Do you like Wendy’s for its never-frozen cheeseburgers and McDonald’s for its world-famous fries? While many fast-food fans swear by their favorite drive-thru, have you ever wondered which eatery continues to capture the hearts of the majority and bridge the divide in our divided society? Based on more than 1,500 interviews across multiple demographics conducted between October 2021 and December 2021, YouGov, a firm that specializes in internet research, has been keeping track of the most popular dining brands in America.
Popularity is “determined by taking the proportion of people who perceive something positively and showing it as a percentage of all of the people who have offered any opinion about that subject, including ‘have heard of,'” according to YouGov.
Check out The Oldest Fast-Food Chains in America—Revealed for additional information.
Table of Content
- Checkers & Rally’s
- Jamba Juice
- Einstein Bros. Bagels
- Shake Shack
- Firehouse Subs
- Church’s Chicken
- Jersey Mike’s
- Jimmy John’s
- Long John Silver’s
- Carl’s Jr.
- Jack in the Box
- Orange Julius
- Nathan’s Famous
- In-N-Out Burger
- Auntie Anne’s
- Panda Express
- White Castle
- Boston Market
- Papa John’s
- Little Caesars
1. Checkers & Rally’s: fast food open near me
Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. is a United States-based chain of double drive-thru restaurants. In 28 states and the District of Columbia, the firm operates Checkers and Rally’s restaurants. Hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, and milkshakes are their specialties.
Enrique Silva (February 15, 2007–) was the company’s CEO.
Tampa, Florida is the company’s headquarters.
Oak Hill Capital Partners is the company’s owner.
Founded in August of 1999 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Rally’s Hamburgers, Inc. is the parent company.
Rally’s Hamburgers, Inc. and Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. are the company’s founders.
2. Jamba Juice: fast food near me
This smoothie cafe has something for everyone: in addition to frozen drinks, there are smoothie bowls and a variety of nibbles.
Jamba Juice, dba Jamba, is an American firm that makes blended fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, and other beverages. 1 (866) 473-7848 for customer service
Atlanta, Georgia is the company’s headquarters.
San Luis Obispo, California, March 31, 1990
David A. Pace (Mar 14, 2016–) is the current CEO.
Focus Brands and Jamba, Inc. are the parent companies.
Kirk Perron, Kevin Peters, Joe Vergara, and Linda Olds are the founders.
3. Einstein Bros. Bagels
Einstein Bros. Bagels is a bagel and coffee chain based in the United States. Einstein Bros. purchased out Berkeley-based Noah’s Bagels in 1996, and Manhattan-based New World Coffee, which bought out Manhattan Bagel in 1998, took out Einstein Bros. post-bankruptcy in 2000.
1 (800) 224-3563 for customer assistance
Lakewood, Colorado is the company’s headquarters.
Boston Market is the company’s founder.
Founded in the Miami Metropolitan Area in December 1995.
JAB Holding Company is the company’s owner.
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. is the parent company.
Nutritional information in the menu
370 calories Signature Bagels, French Toast Signature bagels
300 calories Signature Bagels with Asiago Cheese Bagels with a twist
Chocolate Chip Signature Bagels (300 calories)
This vintage ice cream parlor offers a variety of flavors as well as BOGO-free sundae days.
Focus Brands owns the Carvel ice cream franchise in the United States. Carvel is noted for its soft-serve ice cream and ice cream cakes with a layer of characteristic ‘crunchies.’ It also sells a range of ice cream sandwiches and novelty ice cream bars. “America’s Freshest Ice Cream” is the company’s slogan.
Tom Carvel is the company’s founder.
The year the company was founded was 1929.
1 (800) 322-4848 for customer assistance
Atlanta, Georgia is the company’s headquarters.
Roark Capital Group is the company’s owner.
The total number of places is 320.
Focus Brands is the parent company.
5. Sbarro: what fast food places
Sbarro is noted for its huge pizza slices, which can be found in almost every mall court.
That is a pizza restaurant franchise in the United States that specializes in New York-style pizza by the slice and other Italian-American food. QSR Magazine ranked the company 15th in global sales among U.S.-based quick-serve and fast-casual companies in 2011.
Columbus, Ohio is the company’s headquarters.
Brooklyn, New York, NY was founded in 1956.
J. David Karam (Mar 2013–) is the current CEO.
236 million dollars in revenue (2017)
Sbarro Holdings, LLC is the parent company.
Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro founded the company.
Nutritional information in the menu
4,610 calories in a whole Roman Meat Primo Pizza Roman pizzas in their entirety
4,450 calories in a whole Roman Double Duo Pepperoni Pizza Roman pizzas in their entirety
Whole Roman Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza 4,340 calories
6. Shake Shack: best fast food places
Shake Shack is a New York City-based American fast-casual restaurant brand. In 2001, it began as a hot dog vendor in Madison Square Park, and its popularity expanded rapidly.
Shake Shack has grown into a global megachain, so it’s no surprise that it made the top 50 most popular fast-food restaurants list.
7. Wingstop: fast food places around me
Wingstop’s lunch deal, which includes boneless wings, fries, and a drink for around $10, is unbeatable.
When I go to a sports bar, I almost always order chicken wings. They’re just fantastic, and as someone who adores condiments, I enjoy experimenting with new dipping sauces in addition to old favorites like ranch. Chicken wings are an American institution, so it’s no wonder that they’re on the menus of numerous chain restaurants, with some even specializing in them.
Of course, not all chicken wings are created equal, and nothing is more disheartening than ordering this delectable delicacy only to be served subpar—or, in some cases, downright bad—wings. To examine how they compared, I had wings from five different chain restaurants. Here’s how they rate, from worst to greatest, based entirely on personal preference.
8. Whataburger: fast food places near me
The Lone Star state’s answer to McDonald’s has a devoted fanbase, and it’s growing, with over 800 outlets around the country. Here are the greatest and worst options on the menu, whether you’re a die-hard fan or just want to see what all the hype is about. If they haven’t yet arrived in your area, follow our instructions to make the finest burger at home.
9. Firehouse Subs: fast food places open
Firehouse Subs was founded by two brothers who worked as firefighters before deciding to pursue a career in the sandwich industry.
There are 1,170 Firehouse Subs outlets in 46 states, and it’s little surprise: the sub store is a favorite of both lunch and sandwich aficionados. Although the Dalmation Dog was the first item on the menu, they now focus on hearty sandwiches and traditional sides. We asked Lara Metz, a qualified dietitian, which products on the Firehouse Subs menu are the healthiest and unhealthiest, so you know what to order and what to avoid.
10. Church’s Chicken: fast food places open near me
There’s nothing more comfortable than a meal of fried chicken, vegetables, and gravy-topped mashed potatoes. Every cook seems to have a secret for making finger-lickin’ delicious fried chicken, from buttermilk to brining, but some eateries around the country are genuinely recognized as the greatest options for crisp, properly prepared fried chicken. We went ahead and compiled a list of the top 20 fried chicken restaurants in the United States. Thank you very much.
11. Jersey Mike’s: fast food places that deliver
Despite the fact that Jersey is a small island Although Mike’s is known for its handcrafted hoagies, you should still be cautious about what you purchase at the sandwich store. They may have some healthy-sounding products on their menu, like 99 percent lean turkey breast, but that doesn’t mean their entire menu is devoid of high-calorie, high-sodium, and high-fat subs. Although it may be difficult to distinguish villains from heroes at first appearance, we at Eat This, Not That! combed through all of the nutrition data to determine the greatest and worst subs for your waistline.
The little, standard, huge, wrap, and tub is all available. For those who have never gone in, the tub is a salad. While none of the sandwiches are keto-friendly, there is a salad with only olive oil and oregano as a dressing and meat on top that you can order.
We chose to assess the nutritional value of each sub using traditional white bread and a 7-1/2-inch sub-size.
12. Jimmy John’s: fast food places to eat
“Freaky Fast, Freaky Fresh” is Jimmy John’s slogan, and it appears that consumers agree!
13. Long John Silver’s: fast food places to eat near me
Greetings, matey! When it comes to the greatest fast-food restaurants in the United States, this seafood-based fast-food business ranks in the middle of the pack.
RELATED: Every State’s Best Seafood Restaurant
Seafood can be pan-seared, broiled, grilled, or fried in a variety of ways. While finding the perfect deep-sea dish can be difficult, we’ve compiled a list of seafood locations that consistently impress consumers. This list shows that wonderful seafood may be found in a variety of places, from dive bars to fine dining establishments. So, what do you have to lose? Prepare to savor some of America’s top seafood restaurants.
14. Carl’s Jr.
If you’re seeking a thick, juicy gut-busting charbroiled burger, this fast-food restaurant, whether it’s called Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s, is the place to go. The Carl’s Jr. menu is far from healthy, with its super-stacking buns, luscious milkshakes, and sodium-laden sides. However, there are a few really good options on the menu that won’t entirely ruin your diet. We handpicked the absolute best goods to order with Jane Ujoatu, RD’s guidance, and assistance, as well as a list of all the red flags to avoid. If you stick to our recommendations, you’ll be fine.
15. Jack in the Box: good fast food places
If you live in the Midwest or on the West Coast, you’re likely to stop by the Jack in the Box drive-thru when you have a fast-food hankering. Tacos, breakfast, brunch, teriyaki bowls, chicken nuggets, burgers, shakes, fries, and other items are among the chain’s many offerings. However, if you’re trying to eat healthily, it’s not the easiest place to eat.
Many of the menu items are extremely fatty and greasy—the menu is almost crawling with trans fat and sodium. It’s not hard to locate a dinner that doesn’t deceive you into ingesting two days’ worth of fat and calories if you know how to explore the menu.
16. Orange Julius: healthy fast food places
Nothing beats a smoothie from Orange Julius, whether you stop by on your way to the mall or after a workout.
17. Nathan’s Famous
A hot dog and French fries combo is always a good choice, and where better to get them than at Nathan’s?
RELATED: We Tried 8 Different Hot Dog Brands and Found This to Be the Best
Dogs on a stick. You either adore them or act as though you don’t. Hot dogs are one of the classic American comfort meals, whether you’re tossing a couple on a portable grill at a tailgate or whipping up a quick supper for your kids.
Sure, hot dogs aren’t the healthiest food on the planet, but a once-in-a-while treat isn’t so bad when topped with high-fiber chili or pungent sauerkraut. Furthermore, no party would be complete without the crowd-pleasing appetizer pigs in a blanket. So, if you’re going to treat yourself every now and again, why not go for the best-tasting hot dog you can find?
We decided to put the most popular hot dogs to the test for the sake of the globe. In the ultimate blind taste test, two tasters put eight widely available all-beef franks against each other. Each dog was zapped for 30 seconds in the microwave before being rated on its appearance, texture, and, of course, taste. In the event of a tie, the nutrition labels were compared to see which was the healthiest.
18. In-N-Out Burger
There’s no doubting that In-N-Out has developed a devoted fanbase over the years, becoming a go-to burger spot for Californians and celebrities alike. You still don’t believe us? Consider the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscars Party, which served up a heaping amount of juicy burgers to its celebrity guests. The appeal of this fast-food mecca is strong enough to entice even Hollywood’s finest. So, what about the menu selections? Which ones are the best and which are the worst?
While a double cheeseburger may not appear to be healthy, registered dietitian Katey Davidson MSc, RD advises that if you make the appropriate food choices at this popular restaurant, you can still stick to your wellness objectives. Davidson breaks down the greatest and worst menu items available on the In-N-Out menu below to help you decide which burgers, shakes, and fries are worth trying. That includes items from their well-known not-so-secret menu!
19. Auntie Anne’s
Aside from the mall, the airport is one of the few places where you may get a whiff of Auntie Anne’s seductive scent. Take in the aroma, but keep walking! “In a sugar-coated, butter-drenched pretzel, there really isn’t a redeeming ingredient,” explains Cheryl Forberg, RD. “All you need is white flour, white sugar, and a lot of butter. It’s significantly more than a nibble, at roughly 500 calories.”
Customers appreciate the sister brand of Carl’s Jr. a little more!
21. Panda Express
According to the 2018 QSR 50 Ethnic Segment Report, which compiles the greatest restaurant brands in the country and splits them into categories, Panda Express is the top-ranking Asian dining brand in the country, with thousands of outlets around the country.
ChubbyChipotle.com was created by the Center for Consumer Freedom, which has targeted Chipotle by purchasing newspaper advertising saying that the fast-food chain’s “natural” burritos could cause you to gain 40 pounds this year, thwarting your weight-loss plans.
But don’t be deceived by this “watchdog” group, which is hiding its true purpose under a worst-case Chipotle meal: undermining the restaurant’s success in promoting antibiotic-free beef. Restaurants and food corporations fund CCF, which rails against “health campaigners,” “personal-finance do-gooders,” and “animal-rights misanthropes,” among others, on its website. This organization is for you if you are against health, doing good, and animal rights.
The truth is that there are a plethora of ways to lose weight at Chipotle by combining delectable, healthful items that best suit your nutritional requirements. Eat This, Not That! magazine checked in with a group of nutrition experts to discover what they order from the popular Mexican chain to help you avoid a 1,000-calorie dinner disaster. Their tasty, RD-approved recommendations will help you stay on track with your calorie intake while still enjoying the foods you love—while also helping do-gooders everywhere.
23. White Castle
Sliders from White Castle are, by their very nature, a very snackable food—and therein lays the danger. Each tiny burger may not appear to have a lot of large bads (calories, sodium, fat, carbohydrates) at first glance, but whoever eats just one? We chatted with registered dietitian Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, about the best and worst sliders, breakfast options, and sides offered on the White Castle menu to help you stay on a somewhat healthy road the next time you pay this fast-food restaurant a visit. The following are some of the things she recommends ordering—and avoiding—the next time you’re craving White Castle.
24. Boston Market
Do you have a strong desire for rotisserie chicken? Since its beginning in 1984, Boston Market has been the answer to your savory wants. (Of course, it was known as Boston Chicken back then.) Since changing its name to Boston Market in 1995, the eatery-turned-position rotisserie in the Northeast and Midwest has only grown, with branches in California, Florida, and Texas. People adore the rotisserie items they may order from the Boston Market menu, whether it’s chicken, turkey, or meatloaf, with 450 locations across the United States.
25. Papa John’s
Papa John’s is known for its superior ingredients and pizza, but separating the excellent from the bad can be difficult with so many menu selections. While Papa John’s menu includes pizza pies with more fat than a McDonald’s Big Mac, it also includes a variety of healthier selections. This is where we can help. We combed over the whole Papa John’s menu in search of the greatest and worst dishes. We’ve got the selections to choose from, including specialty pies, sides, desserts, and dipping sauces, down below. Before you go to PJ’s for pizza night, make sure to check out our guide!
26. Little Caesars
Because of the “cheap and fast” feel of the cuisine, “Pizza, pizza” has a large following. When it comes to pizza, do you know what your state’s most popular topping is?
Pizza, one of America’s favorite cuisines, has the astonishing capacity to amaze us again with each gooey bite, from crispy pepperoni to briny black olives. And we can certainly blame it on the myriad of toppings pizzerias use to dress up their pies.
We’ve unearthed the data that reveals each state’s absolute favorite pizza topping, whether you prefer Chicago’s filled, deep-dish behemoths or a basic, New York-style slice. The information was acquired with the help of Yelp’s data scientists, who analyzed the number of nationwide pizza orders placed on Yelp and Eat24 and filtered them by state.
When fall arrives, Starbucks has developed a reputation for being the place to go for a pumpkin coffee drink. Additionally, they have a variety of sweet delights for those who don’t drink coffee, including their luscious Frappuccinos.