Fast Food Restaurant Fancy McDonald’s for its world-famous fries and Wendy’s for the never-frozen cheeseburgers? While many fast-food-frequenting folks swear by their favorite drive-thru joint, have you ever wondered which restaurant continues to steal the heart of the majority and bridges the gap between our polarized population? YouGov, a firm that specializes in online research, has been keeping track of the most popular dining brands in America based on more than 1,500 interviews across multiple demographics taken between October 2021 and December 2021.
Fast Food Restaurant
Fast Food Restaurant According to YouGov, popularity is “calculated by taking the proportion of people who view something positively and showing it as a percentage of all of the people who have given any opinion about that thing, including ‘have heard
To help make YouGov’s data of dining brands more digestible, we combed through the list and isolated just the fast-food chains. We ranked these fast-food joints from least to most popular.
And for more, check out The Oldest Fast-Food Chains in America—Revealed!
Looking for a classic burger? Look no further—it’s dare we say, a checkmate ordering from here.
There really is something for everyone at this smoothie shop—besides frozen drinks you can sip on, there are smoothie bowls and plenty of bites.
Just because it’s called ‘fast food’ doesn’t mean it has to be ‘inferior food.’ From iconic originals like Taco Bell’s burrito-quesadilla hybrid Quesarito to reliable standards like a simple fresh-made burger, fast food restaurants offer an array of hand-held goodies that will satisfy your hunger fast. Now more than ever, the options are dizzying, and no matter where you live you likely have dozens of options within a short drive.
Perhaps you seek out the absolute best restaurants in America, be it Mexican, Italian, French or some other cuisine type. But sometimes there’s nothing better than a pit stop at one of the best fast food restaurants in the country. Whether hitting up the drive-thru for a quick meal or a hangover cure, there are many worthy occasions when fast food eats (including burger joints, chicken chains, Americanized Mexican spots and other fast food favorites) are the way to go.
So which fast food chain is the best? Here are our favorites, and you’re sure to find one in your neighborhood. If not, start planning your next road trip so you can visit these spots along the way while checking out the best places to visit in the US
There’s nothing clandestine about the ‘secret’ menu at In-N-Out—it even has a page on the Cali chain’s website. But the not-so-covert items still garner a cult-like following by those who make the pilgrimage out west for smashed burgers and animal-style fries. Besides, who can argue with the tastes of The Dude from The Big Lebowski?
Speaking of fried chicken, Zaxby’s is one of the rulers of the roost—at least in the South. Dreamed up by two childhood pals on a Statesboro, Georgia basketball court, the comfort-food spot slings out crispy bird in a number of forms (tenders, wings, etc.), plus a house-made, addictive Zax sauce.
It’s all about the spice, people. Popeyes’ hush-hush blend imbues Cajun flavor into many of its beloved dishes, from the signature fried chicken and creamy mashed potatoes to those generously-seasoned fries. It’s no wonder the New Orleans-born restaurant has amassed an uber-passionate following.
Fun fact for young folks: Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas starred in more than 800 commercials for the brand, hawking its burgers in a soft-spoken, grandfatherly demeanor. He passsed away in 2002, but his signature never-frozen beef patties and iconic Frosty desserts live on.
Down south, Whataburger’s orange and white stripes are almost as iconic as McDonald’s golden arches, signaling meaty goodness in the form of wide, thin patties on a toasted five-inch bun. They’re not just skilled with beef, however—as much as its namesake hits the spot, Whataburger devotees will tell you that there’s no better hangover cure than the honey butter chicken biscuit.