Why the New Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Mililani is as Good as the Mainland Chains
Why you may want to drive to Mililani for a big messy burger.
Hawai‘i’s First Five GUYS BURGERS and fries is now open in mililani.
Photos: Aaron Yoshino
The Bacon cheeseburger.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries, the legendary Mainland hamburger and hot dog chain, has officially arrived in Hawai‘i with the recent opening of its first location in the Mililani Town Center. Sporting signature red-and-white-checked tile walls and a shiny metal, open kitchen, the new restaurant opened its doors this past Tuesday, giving local diners their first taste of the fastest-growing fast-food chain in the United States.
For fans of the franchise: The new Five Guys Mililani is as good as the ones you’ve tried in California, Florida or New York. For readers who’ve never been, we’ll walk you through the experience. Don’t worry; we’ve got this.
The big menu behind the front counter at Five Guys offers a straightforward selection: hamburgers ($9.49), cheeseburgers ($10.39), bacon burgers ($10.79), bacon cheeseburgers ($11.79), little bacon cheeseburgers ($9.09)—you get the idea. Hot dogs can be ordered kosher ($6.39), with cheese ($7.29) or with bacon ($7.69). Plus, there are BLTs ($7.59), veggie ($4.99) or grilled cheese sandwiches ($5.99).
Five Guys workers get busy making burgers on grand opening day.
For fast food, Five Guys isn’t cheap; these prices are à la carte, and fries and drinks cost extra. But the burgers are beasts, each one featuring two big fresh ground-beef patties. Only the “little” burgers feature single patties. The hand-formed burgers are never frozen and are cooked exclusively in peanut oil, which has lower mono/poly/saturated fats than other oils, making them slightly healthier than your average fast food burger. Granted, this ain’t no salad.
Five Guys co-franchise owners Ken and Amannda Schneider.
“Initially, in the very beginning, there was only some interest until the landlord got to know our brand,” says Mililani Five Guys owner Amannda Schneider. “Then there was a lot of interest.”
Five Guys runs its burger toppings like a Subway sandwich assembly line, meaning you go down the list and choose all the add-ons you want for no additional charge. It’s all the lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, jalapeños and green peppers you can handle, plus condiments including ketchup, mustard, relish, barbecue and hot sauce. The best value toppings are grilled onions and mushrooms, which are normally pricey additions at other burger spots.
And Five Guys offers the same "free extras" deal on the shakes. Order a shake (with or without whipped cream) for $5.69 and enjoy “all mix-ins free”—an assortment of goodies that includes salted caramel cubes, bananas, strawberries, coffee beans, Oreo cookie pieces, chocolate, peanut butter … and bacon. That’s right—you want bacon in your milkshake? You got bacon in your milkshake, buddy, no extra charge.
“Sometimes people will get the caramel and bacon but, surprisingly, it’s not as popular as the strawberry and the banana, which we blend in the back of house,” Schneider says. “People really seem to go for those. That and the chocolate and peanut butter, of course.”
The crispy fries are skin-on, hand-cut, also cooked in peanut oil and come in either regular or Cajun style. Both are simple and absolutely addicting. They come in sizes that range from little ($4.19) to large ($7.89). However, “little” equals a solid order of fries—plus a whole second scoopful poured into the bag as a bonus, so order appropriately.
If you’ve got a peanut allergy, stay away. Otherwise, dig in.
But wait, there’s more. The chain’s other signature is free roasted peanuts in the shell to munch while you wait for your order. They’re all about the peanuts here. In true Five Guys tradition, you’re encouraged to just go ahead and toss your shells right onto the floor, as they do on the Mainland. “I’ve tried to eat those peanuts and not drop them on the floor and it’s hard, so just go for it,” says Schneider.
The bacon cheese dog and the veggie burger.
Overall, if you like beefy burgers, hot dogs and fries, Five Guys is a winner. Sure, everything is pricier than their counterparts on the Mainland ($10 a pop for the burger without fries and a drink), but this is Hawai‘i, what else is new?
If you’re worried the new spot will be constantly packed, you’re probably right. But Five Guys plans to open seven more restaurants across Hawai‘i over the next few years, beginning with a second spot at the Ka Makana Ali‘i shopping center in Kapolei opening this August.
Our advice: Go early or after the lunch or dinner rushes to beat the crowd. And, if you’re going to dump your shells on the floor, hey, leave a few extra bucks for the tip.
Think you know someone who cares deeply about burgers but is wavering about that drive to Mililani? Show them this viral video review from 2012, featuring YouTube celebrity food critic Daymon “Big Daym” Patterson remixed by the musical group The Gregory Brothers. Truly, “this is how bacon is supposed to be.”
Five Guys, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, 95-1249 Meheula Parkway, Mililani, 625-4897, fiveguys.com