Fast Food Review: The Famous Krystal Burgers from Krystal

If you’re from the South, saying the name “Krystal“, immediately brings a mental image.  You think about that little box being handed to you and looking inside to get out your fresh burger.  Walking in and smelling the onion aroma that fills all their restaurants.  Fresh, hot, small and square are words that best describe Krystal, and it’s the message it has stood by since 1932.  Growing up in the South, Krystal is always tops among fast food choices.  I can remember getting excited when my parents would take the family there.  Something about getting a tiny burger was exciting to me.  Seeing it prepared behind the counter.  Watching the steam rise up as the onions were added.

Krystal Restaurant

It was great seeing the signature box arrive, and a little burger ready to be enjoyed.  These are the memories I have and I’m reminded of them even walking into a Krystal restaurant today.  The nostalgia…

Krystal Packaging

Founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee over 75 years ago, Krystal has evolved over the years and has enjoyed a growing popularity.  Many locations are now staying open 24/7.  It has become a place where people of all ages enjoy going.  With new business hours and locations adding free wifi (The Krystal HotSpot), it is becoming a great place for college kids to hang out.  In 2004 they announced the Krystal Square Off.  A competition that is now considered a “Major” on the competitive eating circuit.  In 8 minutes, 103 Krystal burgers were consumed by current world record holder, and Celebrity Grubber, Joey Chestnut.

Krystal Burgers

On the left The Cheese Krystal, On the right The Famous Krystal

The burger is prepared next to a small amount of minced onions.  This allows the steam to help flavor the meat.  The bun is also warmed near the burger patty so that it can absorb some flavor.  Once ready, it’s all put together with pickles and mustard.  Given the small size of the burgers, they are big on delicious flavor.  When I was a teenager I could easily take down 6-8 of them, but now I keep it at around 3. There are a couple of regular options for dressing up your Famous Krystal burger.  The two main alternatives are the Cheese Krystal or the Double Cheese Krystal.  The Double Cheese Krystal consists of 2 patties, 2 slices of cheese, and 3 pieces of bread.  It looks similar to a Big Mac but in a mini-Krystal burger form.  I think the burger tastes great no matter how you order it.  A gripe I have is that I have found them to be consistently a bit rushed when ordered.  It’s not unusual to have the pickle and mustard  falling out of the sides of your burger.  A little adjustment and the Krystal is back to perfect form.  In my opinion, I find the Cheese Krystal to be the best tasting.  The cheese works great with the taste of the minced onions and the pickles.  While many may enjoy the Double Cheese Krystal, I find it to be a little too much.  It also tends to be a bit messier and takes away from the easy-burger “on the go” feel the Famous Krystal or Cheese Krystal has.

Krystal Collage (4)

If you are in the South (as far southwest as Texas) of the U.S. and you’re in the mood for some regional fast food, Krystal has the quick burger fix you might be after.  It’s the oldest hamburger chain in the South and is sometimes known as the “White Castle of the South”.  The Famous Krystal burger has been enjoyed for decades and it’s small stature is really worth a taste.

The Cheese Krystal

Pros: Classic Krystal taste. Cheap and portable. Purchase by the sackful. Worthy of an eating competition.

Cons: Ingredients usually thrown together and require some adjustments.

Taste: 8.00/10
Value: 9.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.00/10
Price: The Famous Krystal $0.71 ea, Cheese Krystal $0.93 ea, Double Cheese Krystal $1.96 ea

Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Famous Krystal Burger, Cheese Krystal, Double Cheese Krystal
Calories - 160, 180, 310
Total Fat - 7, 9, 16 grams
Saturated Fat - 3, 4, 7 grams
Cholesterol - 20, 25, 65 milligrams
Sodium - 260, 430, 800 milligrams
Total Carbs - 17, 17, 26 grams
Dietary Fiber - 1, 2, < 1 grams
Sugars - 1, 1, 2 grams
Protein - 7, 9, 16 grams

17 comments on “Fast Food Review: The Famous Krystal Burgers from Krystal

  1. Chaz says:

    103 Krystals in 8 min?! I’d like to see what 103 Krystals look like piled up. I’d probably be good with 5 or 6. Nice review Billy.

  2. Ryan says:

    Great review Billy…thanks for your work. I feel like Bear now, not a Krystal within hundreds of miles of me…still a good read though. I know we have visitors to GG from all regions of the country and it’s good to have help from places that are no where near the current GG team.

  3. @Ryan: Hahaha, I was going to say it again! I’ve never had a slider. They look SO unappetizing but everyone raves about them. I’d love to give them a try. Double Krystal Burger, awesome. I’d love to see someone combine a “sackfull” into one 😛

  4. rob says:

    There was a Krystal across the street from the main library at U of F, last two weeks of the semester I would eat breakfast lunch and dinner there.

    They were also popular after a night of partying, everybody would order a dozen or so.

  5. Evan says:

    I’ve never eaten or seen a Krystal burger, but from this:

    “When I was a teenager I could easily take down 6-8 of them, but now I keep it at around 3”

    It makes me think that they are bigger than white castle’s. The patty doesn’t have holes in it like White Castle’s does.

  6. Josh says:

    I have one their stickers up on my fridge, they have great little chili cheese dogs, if you ever stop over in Atlanta for a flight, which is likely, they have one in there…good stuff

  7. Billy says:

    I have only ever had the frozen White Castle burgers. Those are a little smaller than a Krystal but maybe that has to do with how they are prepared for grocery stores.

  8. Raiders757 says:

    I am in no mans land with these two chains. South Eastern Va. doesn’t have a White castle or a Krystal. At least not anywhere within 50 miles of where I live.

    The only thing I can get, are those frozen White Castle burgers, which aren’t all that bad. The thing is. the microwave ruins the buns. Never fails. If I were to steam them as also suggested, I might as well break out my cast iron skillet and make my mini-bagel smashed cheese burgers. Those things rock!

  9. FM Fats says:

    I grew up on White Castle in Queens but made the adjustment to Krystal when I moved to Atlanta 20 years ago. I just wish they’d do ketchup instead of mustard.

  10. Jose C says:

    FM Fats:

    As Lewis Grizzard used to say, “Delta is ready when you are”

  11. Julia says:

    Man I have not had a Krystal burger since I worked at one in Jacksonville, Florida in 1986 while in HS. Going for a visit to Jax in November. Think I am gonna have to stop in for one a few. I used to make mine deluxe for my dinner by adding bacon, lettuce, and tomato. I loved their pecan pie back then too. Can’t believe I was thin working there, lol. They did stay open late back then too. I remember dealing with lots of drunks at 1am.

  12. lisa says:

    just ate at krystals in prattville, alabama and a person working there rung out the mop with bare hands and the wiped hands on his pants and went directly to counter without washing his hands and started serving food. willllll never eat at another krystals again!!!!!!!!!!!!! nasty.

  13. Bobabooey Jr. says:

    I’ve had Krystal’s twice, and White Castle dozens of times. They are pretty close, IMHO. I’m a condiment phobe, no pickles, they just contaminate the bun, no mustard (disgusting), ketchup(really disgusting), or anything else (OMFG- any “sauce” is revolting!), just meat(?), onions, and bun. That’s it. Give me a sack of them and a sack of fries and they will be gone in a half hour, and I won’t eat again for about 14-16 hours. If I want to add something to a burger, it’s bacon, that’s it. Just salt on my fries, nothing else. I’m disgusted almost to the point of vomiting by anything that looks or smells like mayo or ranch dressing. I went to a place in Canada once and was shocked when they brought me a plate of decent fries with mayo all over them. The waiter saw my look of disgust and knew I wasn’t “Canadian” right away. I had to explain it to him twice that I didn’t want ANYTHING on my fries but salt. I will give them credit though, they knew how to do a burger well done without drying it out. Only bad thing was a big burger, fries, and ice tea cost about 12 bucks.

  14. Michael Turner says:

    yea so how much would a sack full of double cheese krystals cost with cheese ?

  15. Barack Obama says:

    I went to a Krystal burger in Atlanta. It was by far the most disgusting burger I’ve ever eaten. It tasted and had the consistency of wet paper towels. And I was shortages when I ate it.

  16. […] main ingredients and both lacked quality enough to make any sort of positive impression on me.  A Krystal Burger was really what I should’ve been going after, but my limitations steered me in the direction […]