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This Is America's #1 Burger Topping, New Data Shows

Nope, it’s not ketchup.

People can get pretty fancy with their hamburger toppings. Some swear by avocado, while others are only happy if their burger is topped with a heaping spoonful of sautéed mushrooms. Turns out, however, that when it comes to burgers, most of us are pretty basic.

A new poll from data analytics firm YouGov, surveying more than 9,000 U.S. adults, found that the most popular topping by a long shot is cheese. In fact, two thirds of respondents said that they typically choose cheeseburgers over regular cheese-less burgers.

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While it may not be surprising that cheese is a popular choice, the topping came out ahead of even the most basic fixin's. Compared to cheese's 67% of votes, only 62% of respondents reported that they typically opt for lettuce on their burgers, only 58% for tomato, the same portion for ketchup, and only 53% for onion. The survey didn't specify, but we're willing to bet that most people tend to go for cheddar, which is America's most popular cheese.

The survey's 9,394 respondents were invited to select all toppings that apply. Women were significantly more likely than men to say that they typically used ketchup, while men were more likely than women to go for bacon. Participants ages 55 and up were much more likely than those ages 18 to 24 to put cheese on their burgers, while the youngest respondents were more than twice as likely as their oldest counterparts to say that they top their burgers with French fries.

So what were the least popular toppings of all? Thousand island dressing was the least-favorite option, followed shortly by ranch dressing and hot sauce. In fact, more people are OK with putting an egg on their burger than a drizzle of hot sauce. Meanwhile, just 1% of respondents said that they don't put any toppings on their burgers (we'll call them brave), and 3% said they don't even eat burgers.

To learn more about our national likes and dislikes when it comes to food, be sure to check out:

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Clara Olshansky
Clara Olshansky (they/she) is a Brooklyn-based writer and comic whose web content has appeared in Food & Wine, Harper’s Magazine, Men's Health, and Reductress. Read more
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