BARRIO (Food and Wine) – If you find yourself in Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa, Mexico, you might want to check out the city’s lush botanical garden, catch a baseball game at the Estadio Tomateros, or visit the historic Culiacán Cathedral. Or you could just go to In-I-Nout — that’s not a typo — and get the closest thing to In-N-Out Burger that northwest Mexico has to offer.
The restaurant has, uh, borrowed the menu and the vibe of the California-based chain, right down to the red plastic trays, the way the burgers and fries are presented, and more than a little of the logo. (The yellow arrow in In-I-Nout faces downward, while the authentic chain’s aims up and to the right.)
According to a post on In-I-Nout’s Instagram, its menu includes cheeseburgers, bacon cheeseburgers, double versions of both of them, fries, and three varieties of boneless wings. Its fries can be topped with cheese, a creamy dressing, and chopped onions, which is not accidentally like In-N-Out’s Animal-style fries.
It’s unclear when In-I-Nout originally opened. It posted its logo on Facebook on March 30, but the first photos of its burgers were shared on Facebook and Instagram on June 26. Its first Google review — a five-star rating — was posted in early July. Regardless, it’s been open long enough for Actual In-N-Out to notice. A spokesperson declined to comment to the Los Angeles Times “due to ongoing litigation,” which suggests that someone in Sinaloa may soon receive a cease-and-desist letter.
This is not the first In-N-Out-inspired restaurant in Mexico, Earlier this year, SanDiegoVille reported on a similar — if more impolitely named — spot in Tijuana, Mexico. There was also a restaurant called Not In-En-Out in Guadeloupe, Mexico, although it has since changed its name to Not-My-Burger.
In-N-Out has also had its copycats in other countries. In 2012, the CaliBurger chain advertised “Double Doubles” and “Animal Fries” in China, and In-N-Out had its attorneys sort that out. After In-N-Out filed a lawsuit, the two restaurants settled, and CaliBurger changed its menu to “Cali Doubles” and “Cali Fries.”
And in Australia, In-N-Out has taken legal action against In & Out Aussie Burgers, a ghost kitchen whose burgers were delivered by Uber Eats, and it also won its legal fight against a Sydney-based burger chain that called itself Down N’Out. As a result, Down N’Out was forced to change its name, hand over anything with the Down N’Out name or logo on it, and pay In-N-Out’s legal fees. Down N’Out renamed itself the Nameless Bar; it has since closed, citing the effects of pandemic-related lockdowns.
All this is to say that if you want to grab a burger at In-I-Nout, you might want to do it fast.