33 Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America - melshams (2022)

American fast-food restaurants are the most popular in the world, and they have been for decades now. The United States is home to some of the best fast-food restaurant chains around the globe. Some of these restaurants are famous worldwide, while others remain local favorites. Here’s a list of the top 33 U.S. fast-food restaurants that are loved by millions of people across the country.

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33 Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in America - melshams (1)

33 Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in U.S.

1. McDonald’s

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Mcdonald’s first opened in 1940, so it has seen many changes since then. They first served hamburgers and fries, but today you can get McRib sandwiches from them! Other menu items include shakes, salads, wraps, desserts, and more!

2. White Castle

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The White Castle industrial factory chain was founded as a single location on August 21st, 1923. Their specialty is cheap burgers and hot dogs that are prepared with care and kept warm at all times with indoor dining. You can come here and enjoy the burgers away from home.

3. Sonic

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This is one of the biggest burger chains in the US. It started out selling gasoline before moving into other businesses like this. A lot of their food includes double meat cheeseburgers that may be spiced or not, depending on preference. With over 1,100 locations, sonic offers the best food in the business.

4. Jack in the Box

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It looks like your average box store: yellow and simple. But don’t let its appearance fool you because it offers an amazing customer experience. Jack in the Box provides customers with friendly service and delicious food through their drive-thru window. From pizza to chicken wings to coffee drinks, JioBox allows customers to choose what they want to dine, and eat! They even created JioFish to encourage kids to eat healthier. It is one of the essential restaurants in the food industry in America.

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5. Whataburger

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Founded in 1950, Whataburger specializes in filling up those who order. All of their products taste as if they were freshly made without any frozen or pre-prepared foods. And though they sell both lunch and dinner options, nothing can beat their classic burger joint with potato fries.

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6. Wendy’s

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If you love spicy foods then you should try the Spicy nugget appetizer from Wendy’s. Then there’s also the classic Biggie Smalls, Super-Sized Double Patty Thickburger, and Frosty®. If you’re feeling fancy you can order up the Baconator®, Stuffed Chicken Sandwich, Crispy Bird Sandwich, or Ultimate Cheeseburger. Each sandwich comes wrapped in bacon. What else would you expect from a restaurant called Wendy’s?

7. Arby’s

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For those who like roast beef, this restaurant serves delicious sandwiches stuffed with lots of delicious meats including juicy roast beef, fresh turkey breast, ham steak tips, pastrami, and corned beef! As if that wasn’t enough, each sandwich comes with tasty housemade specialties such as thousand island dressing and coleslaw, baked beans and onion rings, and barbecue sauce for extra flavor! There’s something for everyone.

8. Subway

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Transit aficionados will appreciate freshly made subs that contain ingredients such as roasted turkey breast, salami, pepperoni, sausage patties, provolone cheese, zesty marinara sauce, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, roasted garlic, onions, and butter lettuce leaves. Even better, every purchase supports literacy education.

9. Checkers & Rally’s

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You can find the best burgers in this fast food joint located in Detroit Michigan. The hand-pressed juices really add to the taste of the burgers. Rally’s features great tastes in addition to their big sizes. This is definitely the place to go for those looking for something crunchy.

10. Carvel

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Carvel makes everything at home in a cupcake including frosting flavors such as chocolate chip cookie dough, caramel apple crisp, red velvet, rocky road, oreo fudge, banana split barbeque, sugar-free ice cream cake, key lime pie, and more. You might have been expecting cupcakes and maybe even a drive-thru but these are not your average treats.

11. Hardee’s

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Hardee’s isn’t just any ordinary quick service restaurant; instead, it has taken the world’s favorite dishes, offered them on slider buns, and stacked them high into a massive cheeseburger with varieties of food meals. Not only does it look delish, but so does everything on the menu… well almost everything. Sorry, no diet available here.

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12. Carl’s Jr.

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Carl’s Jr. pampers its customers with old-fashioned values such as friendliness and value. You won’t find calorie information posted anywhere on the site because “we don’t believe in numbers.” It focuses more on how it makes its guests feel by offering free refillable soft drinks and other goodies.

13. Shake Shack

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The concept was created back in 2004. Today it contains over 100 locations nationwide with many more coming soon. They sell all-natural Angus Beef Sliders at around 150 calories each. Shake Shack also runs an eGiftCard program when using your Card people receive 10% off their bill through online ordering.

14. Dairy Queen

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This is one chain you can trust when it comes to ice cream. Since 1935 DQ has been creating creamy treats, offering unique flavors day after day. From apple pie sundae to rocky road, there’s always a sweet treat on the menu. And parents can rest easy — most products aren’t tested on animals.

15. Outback Steakhouse

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Outback Steakhouse offers quality cuts of meat cooked over open flames using premium Australian cattle. People come from far and wide to enjoy this famous dish which started it all.

16. Red Robin

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Their slogan? “Where Great Beer Meets Wonderful Chefs.” That couldn’t be better describes what happens at Red Robin. Each meal starts with cold craft beers poured right out of the tap handles. Beer lovers rejoice! Before long, creative chefs use beer as a delicious medium for top-quality foods.

17. In -N- Out Burger

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For fans of animal proteins, In -N-Out Burger is the place to go. Although the main ingredient is beef, In -N- Out uses vegetarian toppings to create some of the healthiest tasting patties on the market. At 1,510 calories per burger, it might not be the lightest option, but it certainly brings plenty of flavor to the table. They have vegan options for food too.

18. Long John Silver’s

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Long John Silver’s is known for treating seafood eaters well – especially since 1934 when founder Harry Silver founded the company. Get fish delivered directly to your table fresh daily. Eat-in or takeout and share a side of chips with a dipping sauce, if you like. Their secret recipe is guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied since they have cut down on the fats and calories that typically come along with fried seafood.

19. Applebee’s

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You probably know this classic American dining experience has been serving up America’s classics since 1967. Who doesn’t love a homecooked meal with family and friends? With a steaming cup of coffee, everyone leaves full and happy. If you like your steak extra juicy, try the new Applewood smoked bacon.

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20. TGI Friday’s

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They call themselves the world’s largest casual dining brand. When hungry diners step into any location, they expect great-tasting food without taking too much time to cook it. You don’t need to order dessert because everything else tastes so good.

21. Biscuitville

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If you’re craving sweets, Biscuitville will make you feel right at home. This regional favorite knows exactly how to craft mouthwatering desserts including pies, cakes, and cookies. They mostly used three ingredients (flour, buttermilk, and shortening).

22. Sbarro

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One of the first franchised national brands, Sbarro sells pizzas, subs, calzones, and hoagies made from scratch every hour. Using only high-quality meats, cheeses, and veggies, no pre-packaged mixes are ever served. A pizza sub from this eatery packs 665 calories while pepperoni pizza slices add up to 710 calories.

23. Domino’s

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Each store makes over 100 million pizzas every week yet Domino’s still remains true to its original mission statement when it opened in 1960: to make the restaurant idea affordable and accessible to anyone. Try their pizza menu builder online to find the perfect pie from one of their thousands of topping combinations.

24. Firehouse Subs and Grill

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As a proud member of the Firehouse Subs and Grills offers guests a variety of footwear for both men and women at affordable prices. The chain was also named a top franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine for having awesome business ideas and expanding services.

25. Five Guys

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Everyone knows about the burgers here, but did you know that Five Guys boasts more than 2,000 different items? From hot dogs to chicken fingers, there’s something for everyone. Not convinced? Check out the customer reviews under the meat section on Google. This local favorite consistently ranks among the best fast-food chains in the nation.

26. Bennigan’s

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Bennigan’s can be found in many states across the US. Founded in 1980, Bennigan prides itself on being a haven for sports fans everywhere. There are more than 1,500 locations nationwide, and all serve their signature hand-battered fries. Each restaurant uses no artificial flavors or colors, just high-quality potatoes are grown nearby in Idaho.

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27. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

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Old fashion goodness means finding a warm cinnamon roll the size of your face at 11 am every day of the year. This homey country store creates craveable classics such as creamy chicken noodle soup, moist chocolate cake, and juicy fried apple pies. You’ll also find hearty breakfasts loaded with bottomless waffles and biscuits. When hunger strikes after dark, candles add festivity to outdoor seating areas and encourage cozy fireside chats.

28. Wingstop

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Wingstop serves up a made-to-order fare in quick-service restaurants. Guests enjoy mouthwatering specialty sauces like buffalo blue cheese, honey BBQ, ranch bacon, and teriyaki. As if the flavor wasn’t enough, the company graciously serves up free refills on a soft drink. It’s easy to get a second wind thanks to these delicious wings.

29. Quiznos

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If you want to know what eating healthy looks like, then this is the place to come. At low prices, you can get sandwiches like the Southwest Chicken Salad, Spicy Chipotle Turkey, and the Southwestern Gardenburger served on sourdough bread.

30. Johnny Rockets

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They might not have invented the hamburger in America, but they definitely perfected it. With over 5,400 locations nationwide, Johnny Rockets offers an array of classic American comfort foods. Think burgers, shakes, and malts—all perfectly crafted to provide the ultimate diner experience.

31. Krispy Kreme

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Krispy Kreme has been slinging doughnuts since 1937 (yes, that’s almost 80 years). And who says donuts have to be boring? Their unique creations including glazed crullers and doughnut holes are a treat. Whether you prefer your treats sweet or savory, the wide selection will keep any fan happy.

32. Zaxby’s

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A lot of people still aren’t familiar with this brand, even though it has been around since 1950. It originated from a family-owned poultry market that also happened to roast its own chickens. Zaxby’s now offers a variety of menu options including steaks, seafood, and covered dishes delivered right to your table.

33. IHOP

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Start each morning off right with a variety of pancakes, french toast sticks, pastries, and coffee. Lunch consists of salads, sandwiches, wraps, and entrees, while dinner features slow cooker favorites like stews and chili. The IHO bakery lets guests pick up cookies, cakes, and more from a bakery inside some diners.

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FAQs

What is the #1 US fast food restaurant? ›

Unsurprisingly, McDonald's comes in at number one with over $40 billion in sales. Despite a scandal involving its former CEO, McDonald's still managed to significantly outsell its peers—the company made almost double that of the second-largest fast food chain, Starbucks.

What is the most popular fast food restaurant in 2022? ›

Restaurants 25 2022 Ranking
20222021Name
11Starbucks
22McDonald's
33KFC
45Domino's Pizza
21 more rows

What are the top 5 fast food restaurant chains? ›

These Are the Top 5 Fast-Food Chains in America Right Now
  • Wendy's.
  • Taco Bell.
  • Chick-fil-A.
  • Starbucks.
  • McDonald's.
Apr 5, 2021

What are the top 10 fast food items? ›

  1. 1 Waffle Fries Chick-fil-A. Micah Peters: You know the scene in Scott Pilgrim vs. ...
  2. 2 Double-Double In-N-Out. ...
  3. 3 Fries McDonald's. ...
  4. 4 Chicken Popeyes. ...
  5. 5 Chicken Sandwich Chick-fil-A. ...
  6. 6 Curly Fries Arby's. ...
  7. 7 Blizzard Dairy Queen. ...
  8. 8 Frosty Wendy's.

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