How many calories is an average cheeseburger from a restaurant?

A cheeseburger is a classic American dish that typically consists of a grilled beef patty topped with cheese and other condiments like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and ketchup or mustard. It’s a filling and satisfying meal, but also one that can be high in calories, especially if ordered from a restaurant.

Quick Answer

On average, a single cheeseburger from a restaurant contains between 600-1200 calories. The exact calorie count depends on factors like patty size, type of bun and cheese, and any additional toppings or condiments added to the burger.

Average Burger Patty Size and Calories

The beef patty is the main source of calories in a cheeseburger. An average patty size at most restaurants ranges from 4 ounces (1/4 pound) to 8 ounces (1/2 pound) when cooked. Here are the approximate calories for typical cooked patty sizes:

  • 4 ounce beef patty: 330 calories
  • 6 ounce beef patty: 495 calories
  • 8 ounce beef patty: 660 calories

As you can see, the larger the patty, the more calories it contains. Many restaurants now offer different patty size options on their menus, with 1/4 pound being on the smaller side and 1/2 pound or even 3/4 pound options for bigger burgers.

Bun Calories

The bun or bread used to hold a cheeseburger also contributes a significant number of calories:

  • Regular white hamburger bun (1 half): 80 calories
  • Whole wheat hamburger bun (1 half): 100 calories
  • Brioche bun (1 half): 140 calories
  • Pretzel bun (1 half): 210 calories

So the type of bread or bun chosen for your cheeseburger can add anywhere from 80-210+ calories to your total per serving.

Cheese Calories

Cheese is one of the signature ingredients in a cheeseburger, but it comes with a hefty calorie cost. Here’s how many calories you can expect from a single slice of common cheeseburger cheese choices:

  • American Cheese Slice: 75 calories
  • Cheddar Cheese Slice: 115 calories
  • Swiss Cheese Slice: 105 calories
  • Pepper Jack Cheese Slice: 110 calories
  • Blue Cheese Slice: 100 calories
  • Monterey Jack Cheese Slice: 100 calories

Go for a cheese like American that melts easily but is lower in calories. Or opt for a smaller amount or thinner slice of higher calorie cheeses like cheddar or pepper jack to keep your calorie counts in check.

Additional Toppings

Toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and condiments add more calories to your cheeseburger. Here are some common examples with their calories for 1 burger serving:

  • Ketchup (1 Tbsp): 20 calories
  • Mustard (1 Tbsp): 0 calories
  • Mayonnaise (1 Tbsp): 90 calories
  • Lettuce (1 leaf): 5 calories
  • Tomato Slice (1 slice): 5 calories
  • Onion Slice (1 slice): 5 calories
  • Pickle Slices (2 slices): 5 calories
  • Bacon Slice (1 slice): 40 calories

While veggies don’t add too many calories, going easy on condiments like mayo and bacon can help keep the totals down. Asking for sauces and spreads on the side allows you to control how much you use too.

Putting It All Together

Now that we’ve looked at the basic components, here is an estimate of the total calories in an average restaurant cheeseburger:

Ingredient Calories
1/4 lb beef patty 330
1 hamburger bun half 80
1 slice American cheese 75
1 leaf lettuce 5
1 slice tomato 5
1 onion slice 5
1 tbsp ketchup 20
1 tbsp mayo 90
Total 610

As you can see from the breakdown, a cheeseburger made with a quarter pound beef patty, standard bun and basic toppings totals up to about 610 calories.

But the calorie count scales up quickly if you opt for larger patty sizes, specialty buns, higher fat cheeses, additional toppings like bacon, or lots of high calorie condiments and sauces.

It’s also common for restaurants to serve their specialty burgers which have multiple toppings and cheeses stacked on. These extra additions can tack on several hundred more calories to the total per serving.

How Calories Vary By Restaurant

While the above estimates give a general idea of cheeseburger calories, nutrition info does vary from restaurant to restaurant based on their specific ingredients, recipes, and portion sizes.

Here are some calorie counts for cheeseburgers served at popular national chains:

  • McDonald’s Cheeseburger – 300 calories (1/10 lb patty)
  • Burger King Cheeseburger – 320 calories (1/10 lb patty)
  • Wendy’s Cheeseburger – 370 calories (1/4 lb patty)
  • Five Guys Cheeseburger – 700 calories (2 fresh beef patties)
  • Shake Shack Cheeseburger – 660 calories (1/4 lb patty)
  • In-N-Out Cheeseburger – 670 calories (2/3 lb patties)

As you can see, calories range from 300 for a small McDonald’s cheeseburger up to 700+ for larger double patty burgers at chains like Five Guys and In-N-Out. Fancier or gourmet burger restaurants also tend to use higher calorie ingredients and preparation methods.

Lower Calorie Options

If you want to enjoy a cheeseburger without breaking your daily calorie budget, there are some simple options for reducing the calories:

  • Choose a single, lower weight patty like 1/4 pound
  • Select a regular bun over pretze, brioche, or other specialty buns
  • Opt for cheeses like American, Swiss, or cheddar in a thin slice
  • Limit extra toppings and condiments or ask for them on the side
  • Order a “little” burger or slider size if available
  • Substitute a side salad instead of fries for the side dish

Making healthier choices like these when customizing your order can potentially shave off a couple hundred calories from your meal.

Health Impact of Calories

While an occasional cheeseburger may fit into your overall diet, consuming extremely high calorie burgers, large fries, and sugary drinks on a regular basis can lead to weight gain and associated health risks over time.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a daily calorie intake of:

  • 1600-2400 calories for adult women
  • 2000-3000 calories for adult men

However, calorie needs do vary based on age, body size, and activity level. Talk to a doctor or dietitian to determine your personalized daily calorie target for maintaining or achieving a healthy body weight.

Healthier Cheeseburger Alternatives

If you are looking for ways to enjoy the indulgent flavors of a cheeseburger while maintaining a balanced, low calorie diet, here are some healthier alternatives to try:

  • Veggie burger – A patty made from beans, lentils, quinoa or other plant-based ingredients instead of beef can slash the calories in half or more.
  • Portobello mushroom cap – Grilled and topped like a burger, provides a meaty texture with just 35 calories per cap.
  • Turkey burger – Around 200 calories for a lean ground turkey burger patty.
  • Lettuce wrapped – Skipping the bun altogether helps reduce carbs and calories.
  • Air fried – Cooking homemade burgers in an air fryer rather than pan frying reduces fat and calories.


An average single patty cheeseburger served at a restaurant contains between 600-1200 calories depending on size and toppings. Controlling portion sizes, minimizing high calorie add-ons, and substituting more nutrient-dense ingredients can help reduce the calorie count of this popular menu item. Consuming extremely high calorie burgers frequently may lead to weight gain over time. But the occasional cheeseburger can fit into an overall healthy diet when balanced with more nourishing whole foods and active lifestyle habits.

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