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The Run: Hitting Eight Different LA Fast Food Burgers in the Shortest Time Possible

Fries not included.

Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Power Hour SmallIn this city of unending sprawl, a simple drive to your next meal could sometimes take an hour or more. But what if, in just about the same amount of time, you could feed a small army with burgers from more than half a dozen different fast food spots in town?Eight stops, eight burgers, 80 minutes or less.

It’s the sort of once-in-a-lifetime, cholesterol-fueled run only an insane person with a bunch of different death wishes would even attempt. And yet, the playbook is there for anyone who’s wiling to embrace the impossible.

Here’s how the ride your burger-loving lifetime would likely go down.

1) McDonald’s: Hit the West Hollywood McDonald’s, drifting your car through the circular drive-thru while you scream for someone, anyone, to make you a Big Mac. Throw some cash out the window and push a hard left up La Brea to Sunset.

2) Wendy’s: Swipe left onto Sunset at the light, then turn right into the strip mall parking lot on Detroit Street. Keep the emergency brake on, because this is a hard turn into the drive-thru. One square burger and a Frosty, and you’re on your way.

3) Burger King: Burger King is just across La Brea, but that may as well be miles away with traffic flow at the intersection. Sunset is no good, either; you’ll have to time the gap. Hit the rev limiter through the strip mall parking lot and shoot the gap across the street, braking hard to make the Burger King drive-thru for a Whopper deluxe.

in-n-out-sunset2.0.jpeg4) In-N-Out: Better drivers than you have lost their minds here, waiting in line at the Sunset In-n-Out. Stay calm, grip the wheel. You'll get through this.

Assuming you started early (say, around 10:30 a.m.) the drive-thru line shouldn’t be abysmal, but just to be safe you might want to at least consider parking on the curb and running inside for that double-double, Animal style, with whole grilled onion (if you’re there, might as well eat right). There's lots of debate about whether the drive-thru is faster than the counter service — choosing wrong could be the end of an otherwise perfect run. If you do run in, bonus points for leaving the keys in the ignition so you don’t waste any more time.

5) Jack in the Box: Blast down Sunset into the heart of Hollywood, where even the stars on the Walk of Fame smell like old fryer grease. Thankfully, this oddball Jack in the Box is not only out of place, it’s never very crowded. Enjoy your In-N-Out burger in the car while you casually order whatever inferior product Jack in the Box will serve you.

Where even the stars on the Walk of Fame smell like old fryer grease

6) Fatburger: Now you can open it up a bit, hitting green lights as you push east towards the Los Feliz Fatburger. An ample parking area for the strip mall location means easy access right off Vermont Avenue. The only problem is, you’re facing the wrong way for the drive-thru. Either pull a nasty 180, smoke flying everywhere, or drive the wrong way down the drive-thru lane, letting a passenger steal someone else’s meal from the pickup window before blasting off through Los Feliz again.

A quick pause for inspiration.

7) Rally's: Flat out through here, ideally screaming at the top of your lungs. You’ll have to cross over the 5 freeway and into some neighborhood traffic, but there are enough lanes to make the back-up manageable. Pro tip: if you can get up enough speed, use one of the access roads to the side of the train overpass to jump all the way across Glendale Blvd., landing in the checkered flag parking lot of Rally's. It's as if their logo has been waiting for you, all these years.

8) Carl's Jr: After a Ken Block-worthy drift around the corner onto San Fernando Road, dive into the big box store part of Atwater Village that nobody likes to talk about. Jump the hedgerow straight into the middle of the line, offering to pay the person now behind you twice whatever the value of their meal is. Satisfied, grab their bag and pray it’s not actually just a bunch of stuff from Green Burrito.

Mission accomplished, and in record time. Plus, you're right in front of a Costco now, so head inside and buy a giant bundle of paper towels. You probably need them.