HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

Best Fast Food Chain?

Which fast food chain do you think is the best?

For me,

Burgers and Fries: In n Out
Needs no explanation, unless your into Six dollar Anus burgers and what not.

Pizza: Papa John's
Actually pretty good crust considering they are a fast food chain and they beat pizza hut by far. Dominoes is like a loaf of bread with toppings. Shakey's is a little bit too vinegary for me.

Other: Chipotle
This category includes everything else - Quizno's, Subway, El Pollo Loco etc.

Best Beverage: Lollicup
It's an SGV thing, they have the best texture of boba, not chewy but not extremely soft either, and their tea is pretty good, but not as good as Tapioca Express. It's a little to bland and not tea enough.

Best Coffee? I dont drink coffee so I wouldn't know.

Anyother Bests?

Whoops! My computer lagged a bit so it posted twice. Sorry.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I agree with you about In-N-Out but when it comes to pizza I don't think any chain makes good pizza (or even decent pizza). There is no pizza chain that I would even think of patronizing because they're all so bad.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monkuboy

      I don't know- I love love love Donatos pepperoni pizza.

      1. re: jessicheese

        An ex boyfriend hailed from Ohio - I went back home with him once and isntantly developed a liking for Donatos. Everytime I travel back to Ohio-Indiana, I stop in.

    2. Wings: I like Quaker Steak. I really like the pretzel appetizer with beer cheese dip.

      Pizza: Garlic Jim's. All the decent non-chains in the area are just too far a drive and Garlic Jim's has a lot more interesting sauces/toppings than most.

      Chicken: Chik-Fil-A.

      Burgers and Fries: We don't have In n Out so I'll have to go for 5 guys.

      2 Replies
      1. re: queencru

        I'd like to add my opinion about Quaker Steak & Lube...but we can't get near the place. They opened near me a couple of months ago and every time we thot of going there it was an hour or so wait! I guess it must be pretty good.

        1. re: al b. darned

          Update!
          Finally got to try QS&L. The wings are really good. Full of flavor and not dripping wet like some of the local places serve them. The "hot" ones have a decent bite and good flavor and won't melt your teeth. Next time I will go up a notch or two. Not brave enuf to sign the waiver and try the "atomic" ones.

          The onion rings are great! (I am a self-professed o-ring snob.) Thick sliced with a crunchy batter and served with a BBQ dipping sauce. They even stayed crunchy in the to-go box for the ride home.

          My wife said her order was also worth a second visit, too.

          Seems as tho all the hype is accurate.

      2. Being from the east coast and therefore not having In n Out and I have to say White Castle for burgers...usually just burgers because the fries are soggy

        Best coffee - dunkin donuts even though I hear McDonald's is giving them a run for there money

        1 Reply
        1. re: ajr524

          Then you'd probably hate I&O's fries. Limp, greasy and soggy.

        2. Best burgers and fries-Culvers

          1. Pizza- Papa Murphy's, but only the Gourmet Garlic Chicken, or the Chicken, Bacon, Artichoke. The red sauce pizzas are a pass.
            Burgers- B-Bops
            Other- Popeye's

            These are pretty much the only chains I go to anymore, and not often.

            1. I think a lot of the chains mentioned here must be local/regional, because I've never heard of several of them. Just gives me a good idea what to look for when I travel!

              1. If I have a choice, it's Chik-fil-a, hands down. They use real chicken in their sandwiches and their biscuits are the best of any drive through.

                Chipotle is also a very good option, and Wendy's will do in a pinch and if I order carefully.

                1 Reply
                1. re: northside food

                  For the choice of one singular best ff chain I agree on Chick-Fil-A. Their chicken strips are still amazing.

                2. Popeye's, though I'm sure loactions vary. I arrive about 11:55 when the steam table is just being loaded. And the red beans and rice is sensational.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mpalmer6c

                    I agree with Popeye's...
                    For burgers & Fries, 5 Guys, Wendy's a distant second, though I have never been to In n Out
                    Pizza chains?, might as well put some ragu and fake cheese on the box

                    1. re: mmalmad

                      "Pizza chains?, might as well put some ragu and fake cheese on the box" So I take it use the whole box if you want deep dish pizza, and just cut off the top flap and use the ragu and fake cheese if you want "new york" style, lol.. would anyone really be able to tell the cardboard from the crust you get from chain pizza places if you did that?

                      1. re: monkuboy

                        It would be a little better than most.

                    1. re: MattInNJ

                      I think the In N Out burger is the most overrated food item of all time.
                      My spin on best is genre rather than a particular place.
                      The emergence of Fresh Mex is the best thing (in my opinion) to happen to chains/fast food in the history of the world.
                      Baja Fresh, Chipotle, Sharkys, Rubios, etc. all offer tasty, inexpensive, somewhat healthy, fast food.

                      1. re: tofuburrito

                        No In N Out in these parts. My favorites are:
                        1) Steak and Shake (open 24 hours, good quality, nice shakes)
                        2) Culver (the fries! Oh, the fries!)
                        3) Baja Fresh

                        I also have a weakness for Arby's turkey reuben (hold the saurkraut, and very light sauce) as well as their potato cakes.

                    2. I don't see the appeal of In N' Out! I went once when I was in Cali but it was just ok.

                      For me, I like Wendy's a lot.

                      And for Mexican, Qdoba is my favorites - chicken tacos are the best!

                      Pizza: Hmm...I'm going to go with Go Roma's Margherita Pizza! :)

                      1. Burgers: Five Guys (we don't have In N Out, so I can't compare), with Hardees as a close second

                        Tex-Mex: Tie between Moe's and Tijuana Flats, if you consider them fast-food (they might be fast casual), otherwise Taco Bueno

                        Chicken: Chick-Fil-A, with Popeyes a close second

                        Biscuits: Popeyes (with honey! and ditto mpalmer6c - their red beans & rice are sensational!)

                        Fries: Checkers

                        Milkshakes: Chick-Fil-A

                        Pizza: for chains, Papa Johns, although a few local pizza places are better

                        Coffee: as my screen name indicates, its Starbucks for me because of the variety, although Barnie's coffee is better quality coffee

                        Donuts: Krispy Kreme

                        Bagels: Einstein's

                        ALL AROUND BEST FAST FOOD CHAIN: Chick-Fil-A -- great chicken, breakfast options (biscuit, bagel, or yeast rolls for your chicken), milkshakes, fries, and playlands for the kids.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: starbucksbrew

                          I love IN N' OUT. I will visit several times during business trips to the coast. Steak and Shake is another winner.

                            1. re: adrian

                              Oh my! I haven't heard mention that name in a long time!! Used to be my birthday place to go! I would get the Lagostino pot but not before helping myself to the fantastic salad bar-they had the best dressings. I think there might be one left in the greater Pittsbugh area. Is there? It may just be a nostalgic thing for me.....

                          1. re: starbucksbrew

                            Another vote for Tijuana Flats. Food tastes fresh, you control the grease level depending on your whim of the day, and the employees at my local one are always cheerful and efficient. My husband normally hates fast food, but he loves his megajuana burritos there.

                          2. In n Out
                            Jack in the Box
                            Steak & Shake
                            Wienerschnitzel
                            Round Table
                            Giordano's

                            1. Popeyes-regular chicken and biscuits
                              Qdoba-vegetarian burrito with queso
                              A&W- rootbeer float and hot dog with cheese sauce and onions
                              Mc D's - breakfast sandwiches,hashbrowns, fries, double cheeseburgers w/out pickles. also their coffee 'drinks" which are very chocolately etc, to order in place of ice cream on a road trip
                              Dairy Queen-vanilla and cherry dip

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: fara

                                Potbelly's sandwiches, but I don't know if they're located outside this area (Chicago). They also have the best shakes on the planet--real ice cream, blended in an old fashioned shake blender. They have a little tiny Salerno butter cookie on the straw and you can get SMALL (12 oz) ones to satisfy your hankering.

                              2. McDonald's for breakfast (sausage mcmuffin) and $1 menu double cheeseburger
                                Sonic for fun drinks and slushes -- onion rings aren't bad either
                                Rib Crib for BBQ
                                Outback for steak , bread and ceasar salad
                                Pizza Hut for pizza IF it is thin crust (like a cracker) with Barbecue beef toppings. Yum. Also have another local chain called Hideaway Pizza that is fantabulous.

                                1. I would rather have a frozen pizza than anything from Papa John's, Domino's or Pizza Hut.
                                  Steak n' Shake for their shakes.
                                  Not proud of it but will plead guilty to a love of McD's Sausge & Biscuit.
                                  No White Castles where I now live & do miss those little guys.

                                  1. Coffee: I like Caribou a lot
                                    Bagels: Bruegger's, but I haven't had one in a few years, since a franchisee-home office dispute drove them from the DC area. No other chain bagel is even passable.
                                    Fried chicken: Gotta be Popeye's.

                                    1. I'm an In and Out fan. I like Steak And Shake too, but they are not fast food.

                                      Of the Mex places I much prefer Barbacoa to Chipotle. The menus are virtually identical, but I like the flavors and portions size at Barbacoa.

                                      1. Noodles & Co., Potbelly, Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle, and Donatos (which I only get if I'm visiting the 'rents in Ohio, we sadly don't have them here in the DC metro area...)

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: MDoodle

                                          I don't understand the appeal of Five Guys, since they only serve their burgers horribly overdone, and their fries are just average. Their fried mushrooms suck too. Once was enough!

                                          1. re: crowsonguy

                                            Have to agree on the doneness issue. I like mine medium rare or rare. The fries, I think, are good.

                                            1. re: robert4444

                                              the fries are average in my book, but man do they give you a lot. The small could feed a family of 4!

                                        2. For cheapy type burgers, McDonald's ...the $1 or so double cheeseburger
                                          For fries, McDonald's
                                          For coffee, McDonald's if they are serving the Green Mtn. Coffee Roaster stuff
                                          For breakfast, egg McMuffin or sausage mcmuffin at Mcdonalds
                                          For chicken sandwich, Chick Fil-A
                                          For pizza, no chain; it is nigh on impossible

                                          1. Burgers: Checkers
                                            Fries: Roy Rogers
                                            Pizza: Nothing since Shakey's disappeared
                                            Chicken: Chick fil-a for nuggets and sandwiches; Popeye's for fried
                                            Roast beef: Arby's
                                            Best Beverage: Jamocha shake - Arby's
                                            Other: Chipotle - for carnitas

                                            1. Burgers: Harvey's (only in Canada), it actually tastes like meat, and they grill their burgers and grill >>> that hot metal steamy crap at other places

                                              Fries: McDonalds seriously, though NY Fries are pretty good too (are there NY Fries in America o.o?)

                                              Drinks: Starbucks

                                              Donuts: Krispy Kreme (I'm quite sad that the one in Toronto closed down, it's not the same in a gas station)

                                              Breakfast: McDonalds

                                              1. Chick-fil-A, but if you're too far north Culver's is good.