Krystal vs White Castle Challenge: Which is Better?

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Some people think a slider is a slider. They can’t see or taste the difference between White Castle and Krystal Sliders.

There are some slight differences between them, and consistency is another factor to consider. Let’s start by looking at the descriptions on their respective websites.

Krystal Description: The original flavor bomb that made Krystal famous is grilled to absolute perfection and topped with diced onions, mustard, and a slice of dill pickle—all On Krystal’s signature steamed bun.

White Castle Description: The Original Slider®, made with 100% beef, steam grilled on a bed of onions, and served with a slice of pickle on our signature bun.

For this versus challenge, I will exclude the White Castle 1921 Slider since it is fresh beef and an altogether different animal than these fellas.

Who came first, Krystal or White Castle?

Krystal History

Krystal in Memphis, Tennessee
The Krystal in Memphis, Tennessee

Krystal was founded on October 24, 1932, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The entire history is included in my post about my visit to Krystal Headquarters.

White Castle History

White Castle in Terre Haute, Indiana
The White Castle in Terre Haute, Indiana

White Castle was founded on September 13, 1921, in Wichita, Kansas.

White Castle architecture, aesthetics, food, and catchphrases inspired many restaurants. The best known were Kewpee Hotel Hamburgs (Flint, Michigan), The Krystal (Chattanooga, Tennessee), Little Tavern (Louisville, Kentucky), Maid-Rite (Muscatine, Iowa), Royal Castle (Miami, Florida), and White Tower (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

White Castle’s entire history can be found in the post about the White Castle 1921 Slider.

Krystal vs White Castle: Which Tastes Better?

In some ways, the battle of Krystal vs. White Castle is similar to the battles of enemy sports teams. White Castle is predominantly located in northern states, while Krystal has stuck to the South.

Both are cooked in the same manner. A bed of rehydrated minced onions covers the flat-top grill. Then, frozen square patties are placed on the onions, followed by the buns.

Everything is cooked via steaming, which is why the slider patties never achieve any sear.

Krystal Slider Taste

Krystal Slider from Orlando, Florida
Krystal Cheese Slider

The Original Krystal slider comes standard with pickle, minced onions, and yellow mustard. Cheese, bacon, mayo, and ketchup are possible add-ons.

When assembled, all of the toppings sit on the slider patty. While I’ve eaten them a few times without cheese, they are better with it.

The pickle, onion, and mustard are triggers for real burger fans. Many, myself included, consider them to be the ideal topping combination.

White Castle Slider Taste

White Castle Slider & Fries in Nashville, Tennessee
A Selection of White Castle Sliders

The Original Slider® by White Castle comes standard with pickles and minced onions. I’ve heard but have not confirmed that, depending on which state you’re located in, it might also include ketchup (East Coast), mustard, or both. American cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeño cheese, bacon, ketchup, mustard, and mayo are possible add-ons.

All of the toppings happily sit on the square patty, which weighs just shy of an ounce. The patty has five holes, which help with the cooking process.

I prefer the jalapeño cheese, but for this comparison, good ol’ American cheese will do.

I Choose…

White Castle Original Slider
White Castle Original Slider

I chose to try both Krystal and White Castle sliders with American cheese, pickles, mustard, and onions.

After eating two sliders from each in Bowling Green and Nashville, I have to give White Castle the edge. But, when the sliders are correctly executed, they are almost identical.

Now, if there were a tie, I still would have chosen White Castle. Why? Well, they were the original, and that has to count for something!

Which Cities have both Krystal and White Castle?

There are four cities in the United States where you can try your own Krystal vs. White Castle challenge. You don’t have to google it cause I’ve listed them below for you.

  • Bowling Green, Kentucky: Krystal (1) and White Castle (1)
  • London, Kentucky: Krystal (1) and White Castle (1)
  • Nashville, Tennessee: Krystal (4) and White Castle (2)
  • Orlando, Florida: Krystal (2) and White Castle (2)

Krystal and White Castle in Grocery Stores?

White Castle Jalapeño Cheese Sliders
White Castle Jalapeño Cheese Sliders

There was a time when both Krystal and White Castle sliders could be found in grocery stores nationwide. It’s been about two decades since then.

White Castle is the undisputed champion when it comes to burgers in supermarkets. They’ve been doing longer than anyone else, and if you follow the instructions on the box, you will have a delicious Original Slider® by White Castle.

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