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Any decent chains in New England?

I love trying at least one regional fast food chain (like In-N-Out or Wahoos Fish Tacos in Cali) when I travel. I'm heading to Boston/New England area, but can't seem to find any info on really good fast food chains there. I'd love to find something that specializes in regional food (italian? clam chowder? heck, even a local ice cream chain...). I've been to 99, but I wouldn't call it good... Any thoughts? thanks!

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  1. For seafood, small local chains are Newicks and Weathervane. There are only 3 Newick's but there are Weathervane's throughout New England and New York. I wouldn't call them fast food restaurants though. For ice cream, there aren't any that I know of but you will find that various independents sell a locally made ice cream. We find Round Top sold around mid-coast Maine, I saw Richardson's around Salem MA. I think Moe's Italian Sandwich Shops make my favorite sub. According to their webpage there are locations throughout NH and a couple in Maine. I think they make a great quality sandwich. Vegetables are very thinly sliced so each bite tastes great unlike the typical subs that are top loaded so you get either a mouthful of veggies or a mouthful of meat/cheese. You can also find Moe's in the deli dept of some Shaw's supermarkets but they aren't as good as a freshly made sandwich.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dfrostnh

      Ice cream chains in the Boston area are plentiful and mostly good. Among the best are Toscanini's, Emack & Bolio's, and Herrell's. Another one, J.P. Lick's, is to my mind not as good. Perhaps one can also count Ben & Jerry's among the list, though they may have a wider distribution of ice cream shops (besides of course what they sell in stores).

      1. re: bachslunch

        Can you consider Tosanini's a chain now that the Harvard Square location is gone?

    2. If you are in new england, im not sure about really good chain fast food places, but just stop in any local clam shack type place. They are easy to find in most seaside towns. Order fried clams, a fried shrimp roll, chowder (can be hit or miss) and some steamers (steamed clams)

      1. I'm intrigued by Newicks and Weathervane....thanks, drostnh! Any other small local chains like that with a handful of locations that serve regional specialties that are worth a visit?

        1. I enjoy Weathervane for fried seafood. Freshly breaded and huge tasty portions for cheap. I would not recommend any of the grilled or baked items or anything else for that matter! The Admirals Platter is great though when you want a fried seafood feast.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hargau

            I think they do okay with boiled lobsters, and we've had great steamers there, too. Worst sandwich I've ever eaten in my life is their crab melt, and the lobster roll is bad, too.

          2. Well I don't consider 99 as fast food. But, if you do, some like Naked Fish which is all over the Boston area. I don't care for it much - but to each his own. There is also Famous Daves BBQ out of MN which, for a chain, wasn't too bad. I dont like chains though.

            If you are thinking fast food chains in the normal sense, cant think of much. I think you should look for the area you are in for non-chain fast food places, for which the board should have some info (e.g. Hot Dog places, Clam Shacks, etc.)