Five Guys burger restaurant in Utrecht

Last Sunday, I took my "boekenweekgeschenk" and traveled all the way to Utrecht to try the newly opened Five Guys burger restaurant. There was already one in Eindhoven, but it is just a bit too far for me (even if it is for burgers). Since I could travel with the train for free and Utrecht is a lot closer than Eindhoven, there was no reason not to go. I heard a lot of good things about their burgers with 15 free toppings, the Cajun fries, the milkshakes with special mix-ins, and the freestyle Coca Cola machine with unlimited refills. High quality burgers is the latest trend in the Netherlands (as you could have seen by my visits to the ellis gourmet burger and Jamie's Diner) and Five Guys couldn't have entered the Dutch market at a better time.

Utrecht Centraal station Five guys burger restaurant seafood bar TGI Fridays

The "boekenweekgeschenk" is a small book, which you get for free with a Dutch book purchase of over €12.50 in the annual national book week in the Netherlands and with which you can travel unlimited with the train on one day of the year.

Besides Five Guys, Vapiano, the Seafood bar, and in a month, also TGI Fridays, are located in the new part of the Hoog Catharijne shopping mall. When you leave the Utrecht Central station from the Hoog Catharijne exit, it is the large glass building on the left.

Five Guys restaurant interior

Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant windows

I really love the floor to ceiling windows, as it lets a lot of natural light inside. The high bar chairs and window bar table are great for people who are eating alone. You get to enjoy the outside view and the chairs are close enough for you to meet new friends and chat with fellow burger lovers.

The loud red-white color scheme is balanced by the wooden chairs and tables. It reminds me a bit of the interior of the Ippudo ramen restaurant in Admiralty, Hong Kong.     

Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant posters

On the walls, there is a lot of articles and quotes that recommends the food and drinks of Five Guys. I didn't know it beforehand, as I just walked in through the middle of the restaurant as there was not a lot of people, but you are supposed to walk along the right side of the restaurant and queue there to order your food. While you wait, you can read the articles on the wall and anticipate the good food that is waiting for you.    

Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant counter order

Five Guys food and drinks

While you wait for your order to get ready at the milkshake counter and the burger and fries counter (5-10 minutes wait, as it is made to order), you can scoop a bowl of salted peanuts for free and take your cup to fill up at the freestyle Coca Cola machines. There, you can also find paper napkins, mayonnaise and ketchup dispensers, sauce cups, salt and pepper, plastic knifes and forks, lids for the drink cups and the sauce cups, and straws. At the back, you can also find a toilet for men and one for women. It is free and it is pretty necessary with the unlimited soda refills. 

Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant free peanuts

This is the Hamburger with mayonnaise, relish, onion, lettuce, pickle, tomato, and ketchup (€8.50) and a normal size Cajun Style Fries (€4.50). The burgers are wrapped in a metal foil and there is a round sticker with a number on the top, with which you can check what is inside by looking on the printed receipt.

Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant burger

The normal size Cajun Style Fries is quite a lot and on the card at the cash register, I read that it is enough for 2-3 people. The Cajun herbs gave the fries with potato peel a beautiful golden brown color and a hint of spice. I felt that the spiciness was a bit on the weak side and I normally cannot handle spicy food. I expected a lot of it, but it didn't wow me. I like the spicy, sweet potato fries at Jamie's Diner more. Maybe, they lessened the amount of Cajun herbs after getting complaints and thought that this would suit the Dutch taste more.   

Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant cajun fries

I got the Cheeseburger with mayonnaise, relish, onion, lettuce, pickle, tomato, and ketchup (€9.50). It is basically the previous burger, but with a slice of cheddar cheese for +€1. I also got a small size of the Five Guys Style fries (+€3.50).

Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant cheese burger

The small size Five Guys Style Fries is enough for 1-2 people and it is more than you would expect. I actually wished I got the Five Guys Style Fries in normal size and the Cajun Style Fries in small size, as in, the other way around. The Five Guys Style Fries were unflavored (besides salt) fries with potato peel and as we shared the fries, I rather wanted to eat more of these heavenly, hand-cut, crispy fries with a strong potato flavor.

It is also better to pour all the fries out on the paper bag as the fries on the bottom of the cup got soft and a bit wet near the end of our meal. But the disadvantage of that, is that they cool down very fast. So, you basically need to eat the fries, while you eat the burger. It requires serious multi-tasking.

The mayonnaise and ketchup with your fries is free and you can get as much as you want yourself. But I think that the flavor of the mayonnaise and the ketchup is great on burgers and less fitting for fries. I am used to very creamy and sour mayonnaise (the Netherlands is famous for that) and compared to that, the mayonnaise is a bit weak.      

Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant fries

The drink cup (0.5 l) that you get at the cash register after paying, can be refilled as much as you want with Coca Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Fuze iced tea, Aquarius, and Finley at the two Coca Cola freestyle machines. For just €3, I tried out a few fruity flavors of Fuze iced tea and Finley. They were quite nice and I had fun trying out new flavors that I couldn't get somewhere else. Hold the cup against the metal bar for the ice cubes and press on the large round button on top to fill it with the soda that you selected on the touch screen beforehand. Just release the button, when you filled it enough. Tip: fill the cup a little bit and not totally full to try a couple of different flavors.  

I didn't try their milkshakes, but it does sound interesting to create your own mix (three mix-ins, choose from: strawberry, cherry, banana, chocolate, coffee, bacon, salted caramel, peanut butter, and Oreo).  
 Utrecht Centraal Station Five Guys burger restaurant burger bitten

I have finally gotten to the most important part: what do I think of the burger? The sesame bun looks and tastes really similar to the one that the Whopper from Burger King has. I think that they are about the same size too. I read some complaints about the burger being soggy due to the heat and moist, but I think they improved by cooling the burgers down a bit, before wrapping. The burger wasn't very hot when I got it, but at least, the buns were fine. 

The two beef patties are quite thick and have a nice beef flavor. They are not super juicy, but not very dry either. The Cheeseburger tasted like the love baby of the Big Mac from McDonalds and the Whopper from Burger King (what happens to be my favorite burgers): the combination of the cheddar cheese, with the sweet and sour relish, lettuce, onions, pickles, remind me of the Big Mac and the combination of onions, pickles, fresh tomato, and lettuce, with mayonnaise on top and ketchup on the bottom, remind me of the Whopper. However in comparison, the toppings were very fresh and crunchy (I especially like the pickles).       

Price-wise, I don't think that it is very expensive. The Cheeseburger that I had was similar to a double Whopper (about €5-6?) with extra cheese (+ €0.60) and with slightly thicker beef patties and more toppings too. The normal size of fries is enough for 2-3 people, so €4.50/3 = €1.50. The ketchup and mayonnaise is for free, but elsewhere, you pay €0.60 per serving. And sometimes, you end up with not enough sauce for your fries, while you can get as much as you want here. A soda is €3 and I drank about 0.75 l, which costs about €2-3 elsewhere too. I think that you pay the most, when you are alone and take-out, because you cannot share the fries and benefit from the unlimited sauce, peanuts, and soda.          

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