Food Review: Five Guys, 57- 61 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow

Five guys burgers glasgow

Five Guys Glasgow St Vincent the American burger chain have moved into Glasgow occupying the space where the ever-busy Pesto used to be (and before that Easy Internet and even before that John Smith books!).

Five guys burgers glasgow

As we entered an employee handed us a paper menu and right away we noticed a few things, the loud music and the queue – as it’s not table service Mrs Foodie grabbed one while I stood in the burger line. It’s not cheap and yet they have the guile to claim that you can have FREE toppings with your £9 burger!

Five guys burgers glasgow
Cash desk/ cooking area

I ordered and paid for a burger and hot dog with two different fries and 2 regular re-fillable drinks (£2.50 each), our server helped out as best she could, recommending the peach drink from the machine which was the queue I headed to next (while passing the basket of free monkey nuts eh?)…

Five guys burgers glasgow
The famous soft drinks machine

There are apparently over 100 drinks so it took a while to pick…but it’s all style over substance, I opted to go for grape flavour, that mainstay of American confectionery flavours, and discovered in the process that they have not 1 but 6 different grape flavours, so did I want Fanta Grape, Diet Fanta Grape, Fanta Grape Lite, Fanta Grape Zero, Fanta Grape Still or Mega Max Fanta Grape Life Whisky Tango Foxtrot? In the end it didn’t really matter cos they all tasted equally bland and watery.

Five guys burgers glasgow
Front seating area

I sat down at our table with the two drinks but our number was nearing – a guy shouted out the order numbers; we were number 70 and after hearing 68 and then 69 I stood up and headed over… “71…72…73…74…75…” and then finally our order was called and our brown paper bags handed over. The shouting guy apologised for the delay and hoped we enjoyed our meal (his throat must be agony at the end of every shift), ok so the staff were trying but…

Five guys burgers glasgow
Our “dinner”

The problem with Five Guys as we discovered is that it just isn’t special. Here’s our £24.75 meal. Are you in awe? If you are you shouldn’t be.

Five guys burgers glasgow
bacon cheeseburger £8.75

There was nothing, absolutely nothing about our burger that elevated it above the likes of Burger King and McDonalds. It was a squashed flaccid pitiful excuse of a burger. And what’s with the little bacon crisps? I like crispy bacon pieces but I had hoped for a rasher!

Five guys burgers glasgow
Bacon Cheese Dog £5.50

The hot dog looked equally sad and had the same crispy bacon which gave it a bit of taste as the dog itself was of the bland tastless variety.

Five guys burgers glasgow
Five Guys fries £2.75

We received two brown bags, 1 large and 1 small with both portions of fries coming in cups so pointlessly small that the bottom of each bag was lined with fries. We used our surplus napkins as plates but it wasn’t worth the effort as they were overcooked, dry & burnt and the Cajun fries were so over-seasoned that it may as well have been battery acid on them. We fed our remaining fries to the bin on the way out.

Five guys burgers glasgow
A sample of US Prices

Our bacon cheeseburger cost £8.75 while in the states it’ll set you back $7.79 (£5.14 at current rates) which is more like what you’d expect to pay for it. Same goes for everything else.

If it’s not clear by now, we were not impressed by Five Guys at all, in fact we’re giving them the ultimate burger insult – McDonald’s is better! At least there it’s cheap, you can have a conversation with people at your table without shouting and there’s no BS about it being “heaven in a brown paper bag”.

I left most of my fries and both of us were still hungry…but at least the toilets were clean.

We’ve now tried all the new burger joints on St.Vincent St and Five Guys is by far the worst, all it is, is an overpriced McDonald’s with funky drinks machine and for that I doubt we’ll ever be back.

+ free monkey nuts (but you’re not allowed to take them away!)
+ unlimited re-fills from drinks machine that has over 100 drinks

– we picked a few drinks from the machine and they were all watery and tasteless
– music too loud
– long queue to pay, then long queue to get drink then stand about and wait for your order to be shouted out
– far too much seasoning on the Cajun fries
– it’s fast but it isn’t really food
– burger was more depressing than a Big Mac
– overpriced
– meh
– meh, meh and meh some more!

Mr Foodie

Mr Foodie

Likes to travel, eat weird things and read three books at the same time.

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  1. last year's girl

    HA! Loved this.

    I haven’t been in yet, because as somebody who works on St Vincent Street I am pure scunnered of burgers, but it seems that people either love it or hate it!

  2. Laura Pearson-Smith

    Couldn’t disagree more. You haven’t talked about the quality of the meat and product sourcing compared to McDonalds etc. Yes, it’s overpriced; but fine occassionally. I think the food is great quality.

    1. Emma Mykytyn

      We didn’t discuss the provenance of the Dutch potatoes or the “UK” sourced meat, in comparison to other burger providers, as it wasn’t a review about that.

      1. Ben

        Still I think it would relate to the price don’t you think?

  3. Ste

    (gall, not guile)

    1. Emma Mykytyn

      We thought it was more cunning than insolence in this case.

  4. redrules19

    Whoever wrote this review quite clearly didn’t even bother to look up the fact that with every fries you get an extra scoop of fries put in the bag, also music is not played downstairs and the standard burger is the little one not the doubles purchased, you choose the toppings, the free nuts are a company thing. The music is also a company thing, would you go to the hard rock and ask them to turn the music off

    1. Mr Foodie

      My point still stands, the cup is pointless if they’re going to chuck fries all over the bag.
      Not sure what you mean about the burger I thought we’d made it clear that we ordered a bacon cheeseburger.
      RE: the music – it’s the volume I was complaining about, it’s louder than any other eaterie in Glasgow, and if it’s a company thing then why is it not played in the basement?

  5. Stuart leslie

    I think this reviewer is an employee of McDonalds – an unbiased review???……don’t think so.

    I have been many times and like it because the quality of the food outstrips your usual ‘microwave-output’ drive thru burger chains.

    Maybe next time try to not let your bias shine thru!!!!

    1. Emma Mykytyn

      That’s a good un!

  6. Jappy the clown
    Jappy the clown

    Pretty fair review.
    Personally I like the drinks machine thought peach fanta was pretty tasty.
    I’ve had a hotdig was pretty bland.
    I hate the loud music. I dislike the orders being shouted at you.
    But I think the burgers are good.
    Better than macdonalds.
    Accusing the reviewer of working for said franchise is hilarious!
    Clearly that dude is shouting 72 at five guys right now!

  7. rebecca

    agreed with all of this!
    too true!

  8. Alan Kilpatrick
    Alan Kilpatrick

    Where did you get the notion that grape was ‘the mainstay of American flavor’? I have eaten at 5 Guys here in the US a lot, I’m originally from Edinburgh and don’t remember even seeing grape as a flavor option here. As for McDonalds is better? I class 5 Guys as gourmet burgers, McD’s is shit fast food both in UK and US.

    1. Mr Foodie

      The ‘mainstay of American CONFECTIONERY flavour’ is an exaggeration for effect. Grape flavour does not seem to rank highly in most of the countries I’ve visited and I can’t even think of a single British grape flavoured sweet and yet there are numerous “grape” flavoured candies in America (that weird flavour that has never seen a grape in its life!), and Five Guys happened to have not 1, not 2 but 6 different grape flavours available hence the exaggeration.

      Here’s a selection of such grape flavoured candies available for import to the UK:

      Have you ever eaten at Byron down south or Burger Bar in Amsterdam? They’re head and shoulders above Five Guys.

  9. Thattastes Aboutright
    Thattastes Aboutright

    I never knew grape was the mainstay of American flavour. I thought it was spit.

  10. sporran McSporran
    sporran McSporran

    I think someone has a chip on their shoulder.

    And in actual fact the grape drinks that you listed are not actually the ones in the machine

  11. Hannah

    This guy shouldn’t be trusted as a food reviewer if he’d take a mcdonalds burger over a 5 guys. I would rather pay more for the fresh taste.

    1. Mr Foodie

      You’re missing the point. I wouldn’t eat in McDonalds either!

  12. :)

    I feel very sad that Mr Foodie did not enjoyed Five Guys. I have to agree that it might be not for everyone even thought the staff tries to please their customers as much as possible. Music is not just for customers it’s for staff as well. We like our music loud. That’s what makes our job more like a party then a job. That’s why you will see more sincere smiles in Five Guys then Macdonalds. And you will not see as much fat people either, because we actually work hard to deliver good quality food as fast as possible. If you don’t like loud music then go down stairs where you can have a conversation. We made a desision to keep music down in there just for people like you. You don’t like your numbers to be shouted? Not much we can do about that as it is again our thing and it keeps us energised. 🙂 Yes we do mistakes sometimes as we are people and we make everything nearly from scratch ( obviously we do not bake the bread in the morning, but we have bread made just for us with no additives so it would be healthier for you. You’re welcome. ). When people look at the price they don’t understand that they are paying for quality. It takes more then 30 seconds to cook our meat in comparison to so beloved Macdonalds. Taste blend? You can choose to add salt and peppers ( you can find them in condiments station on EACH floor ). Have you ever thought how much chemicals you eat when you get your so much adored CHEAP Burger King? Quality comes with a price and Five Guys chooses the best quality products they can get ( and we keep searching for better ones ). “IT LOOKED SAD.. ” Well.. Our food is meant to be eaten and not taken to photoshoots.. For that you can take a plastic burger.. We don’t even put fake picture on the menu to fool you. Did your burger ever looked so lushy and juicy as in those ones? Didn’t thought so.. And about the fries. If you are not happy about your fries then come back to us and we’ll give you another portion of fries with less Cajun, more salt or less burnt ( 😉 ) . Again.. We are human beings and we do make mistakes. It’s actually hard to make perfect five guys fries. There are 3 stages just in cooking them part. Not even gonna start on how much effort we put to cut them and get rid of all the starch. MC fries have like 13-15 ingredients in them. We have 4 at most and they are: FRIES, PEANUT OIL, SALT, CAJUN ( if you choose ). Drink machines came from coca cola company and you are getting same stuff in the cans or bottles ( only sometimes we run out of gas and it might not be as fizzy as usual ). Yet again we have other choices of drinks like water or beer to choose from. All in all if it’s not for your taste then it’s not for your taste. It got me confused first time I tried it as well.. I was so used to paper meat from Mac and all the random flavours in it that a true taste of meat was quite shocking. It is ok, that you feel like not coming back. It is sad for us, that we fail you, but it’s ok as we still have a lot of people that see us for what we are and do not mind to pay the price for quality and our effort to give you FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES EXPERIENCE.

    1. Emma Mykytyn

      I have some Chamomile tea here if you fancy a deep breath and a rest?

    2. Mr Foodie

      Fair enough, but…

      I don’t think it’s clear that there is no music downstairs.

      Perhaps quality ingredients are used and perhaps it is chemical free, but when it came down to taste there was nothing that distinguished it from a McDonalds.

      I didn’t write anything about adoring Burger King.

      The drinks machine is a USP but draught drinks normally aren’t the same standard as cans or bottles, so even if the machine was in top condition I doubt that a dash of artificially flavoured syrup mixed with water would excite me, and there may be over 100 drinks available but that’s only because of the umpteen variations depending on how people like sugar and sweeteners marketed to them.

      Coca Cola fall into the same bracket as McDonalds and Burger King in my world and I’m wary of drinking anything from them.

      1. TheBurgerdude

        If you think that Five guys burger are on the same level as McDonalds then you shouldn’t be a food reviewer

  13. :)

    Emma, there’s no need for that. I am actualy trying to explain why we do things the way we do. And if it seemed rude or close to that then I apologise for that. I was just hyped after reading the article and it kinda came out in a similar manner as hole article. Plus English is not my first language and things can get lost in translation. Mentioning Burger King was just an exaggeration ( the same as you did with MC ) 😉

    About the music again. People are able to walk around and search for the table they would like to sit. With all respect, you guys choose to sit there without even looking for a better place. Upstairs allow you to observe the kitchen from above. Basement is for a bit more intimate chats and get togetherS. Ground floor is our station where we do what we do best. We tend to keep music down in the dining area even there so it’s mainly the kitchen that has the biggest blast. We can control music level as well so who communicates with us get what they want 100%. It’s ok to ask turn the music down a bit. 🙂

    About being the same with MC. This might be a bit offensive now. I’m not sure if you should write reviews about food then as even Mac and Burger King are sooooo different. Every burger is different and plainly comparing it to something and saying there is no difference.. Man.. That’s just pure lazy. I read this ar tick more then once and if I would be someone who never been to five guys before I would actualy go to check it myself as after this article and Emma’s comments I just feel like ( apologising for this up front ) two snobs came in to a burger restaurant already in a bad mood and didn’t liked the fact that they had to wait in a queue, but it shows that people are coming in for some reason. Then after that the mood was gone and everything went down the hill. Even the article speaks for it self when you say things that realy requires some background research. You guys came in in a ” MEH ” mood and left at the same as you were looking for something to pick on. Then you were in similar or even worse mood when you wrote the article because it seems more like a rant of how shitty your day whent in total after you stepped in a dogs poop in the morning ( again just an example, not saying that you actualy experienced that ). And Emma’s comment about that tea was my exact first reaction to your article.

    About the drink machines. Well. Done.. Now you done some back ground research. 😉 And you are right about the coca cola in general, but people love it and we are people pleasers. Myself I would rather choose a bottle of water and a lot of people choose so. We have options and you can always speak with us and come back to us. We are here to give you your wonderful experience and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen. But we can’t do that if people come with a desire to have a bad experience so they could write about it. All you need to do is ask.. And this article did not say anything about trying to comunicate with staff and this is one of big differences from other burger places, that we are alive and able to change things to please our customer.

    P.s. Emma.. I believe so that yoga classes would make you very happy.. Try it out.. 😉 Peace and love sister..

  14. Local Chef

    Great to see food bloggers telling it like it is and I admire the responses from 5 Guys, clearly this is someone who truly cares about their job and the company they work for.

    It doesn’t alter the fact that it’s yet another burger/hotdog restaurant (term used loosely) opening up and being reviewed in Scotland. YAWN.

    The internet is saturated with burger reviews and our eateries of all shapes and sizes in this country seem to be stuck in some sort of burger time warp that goes around and around indefinetely. We need to knock this on the head if we are to progress as a nation.

    A burger is a sandwich, not a meal. Treating burgers and chips as a meal makes you fat and stupid. Wake up people, you’re eating a badly prepared mince sandwich and lining corporate pockets, contributing to world poverty and global warming whilst enthusing about brioche buns, pickles cucumbers and monteray jack cheese like it’s the be all and end all.

    “Gourmet” burgers are a celebration of mediocrity and sycophantly back slapping the twats that sell them is utterly sickening in this day and age. Stop it!

  15. James

    There is no difference eating the muck they serve up here from any other junk food chain.

    The beef and animal agriculture industry is responsible for 50% of greenhouse gas emissions and is putting this planet on the fast track to disaster.

    Eat at Five Guys and ensure you play your part in assisting to make the owners rich while you help to destroy the earth.

  16. Joey Del Sal

    To say MacDonald’s’ chemical slice of something resembling meat is a better burger than 5 Guys shows a stunning lack of knowledge concerning burgers. The fries are not -again – the chemical strips at MacDonald’s, they’re proper fresh potato fried right there. Silly, clueless review. That said, I would agree about the price. Heading there today with my wife, sister and niece and all I can think about is the £50 + bill I’m looking at for 4 burgers and fries. Good street food, but severely overpriced. Something I suspect will be their eventual downfall in Glasgow.

    1. Mr Foodie

      I think a lot of people are missing the point of this review, and the fries I had at Five Guys were rancid and may as well have had chemicals poured on them!

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