Special Report

Most Popular Fast Food Chain in Every State

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They may not always admit it, but apparently almost everybody in this country eats fast food at least once in a while – and some consume it a lot more often than that. About a third of Americans (children included) eat fast food every day, industry sources say, and statistics suggest that a staggering 83% of American families eat fast food (in a restaurant or takeout) at least once a week. 

The assembly-line fare these places serve, often made with ingredients of marginal quality and almost always overloaded with sodium and saturated fat, is hardly healthy. Regular consumption of burgers, fried chicken, tacos, and other staples of the genre has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and even depression. (These are the unhealthiest items at the most popular fast food chains.)

On the other hand, sometimes people just have a hard time resisting a Big Mac, a bucket of Kentucky Fried Wings, or a Crunchwrap Supreme, and it probably won’t do them much damage as long as it’s just an occasional thing.

As with just about anything else, however, the specifics of what kind of fast food people prefer varies from state to state.

To determine the most popular fast food chain in every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed “Most Popular Fast Food by State,” published by Top Data, part of the international branding, marketing, and public relations firm Top Agency. Top Data analyzed consumer tracking data as an indicator of visits to each chain’s locations in June 2022. Alaska and Hawaii did not have data.

The chain that is most popular in the highest number of states turns out to be Chick-fil-A, which holds the No. 1 spot in 10 states. Close behind is Smashburger, the favorite in eight states. Not surprisingly, the Southern California-based cult favorite In-N-Out Burger rules in its home state and three other states in the West. 

Perhaps less expected is that Whataburger, founded in Corpus Christi and headquartered in San Antonio, isn’t the favorite in Texas – A&W is. Florida, however, loves Whataburger best. (These are he best burgers you can get at a fast food restaurant.)

Click here to see the most popular fast food chain in every state

Alabama
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: A&W Restaurants
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Church’s Chicken
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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Arizona
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant In-N-Out Burger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Church’s Chicken

Arkansas
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

California
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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Colorado
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Taco Bell
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Del Taco

Connecticut
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger

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Delaware
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: KFC
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Arby’s
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant McDonald’s

Florida
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Whataburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

Georgia
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A

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Idaho
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Illinois
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Del Taco
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A

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Indiana
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant White Castle

Iowa
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant A&W Restaurants
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

Kansas
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant A&W Restaurants
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant McDonald’s

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Kentucky
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Jason’s Deli
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Which Wich

Louisiana
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Carl’s Jr.

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Maine
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Burger King
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant KFC

Maryland
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: A&W Restaurants
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant McDonald’s
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

Massachusetts
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Burger King

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Michigan
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Church’s Chicken

Minnesota
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Shake Shack
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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Mississippi
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Church’s Chicken
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

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Missouri
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant A&W Restaurants
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

Montana
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant A&W Restaurants

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Nebraska
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant McDonald’s

Nevada
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant El Pollo Loco
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

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New Hampshire
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Whataburger

New Jersey
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Church’s Chicken
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Shake Shack
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

New Mexico
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Whataburger

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New York
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Church’s Chicken
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Shake Shack
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco John’s

North Carolina
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: A&W Restaurants
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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North Dakota
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: KFC
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

Ohio
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

Oklahoma
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: A&W Restaurants
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Del Taco
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger

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Oregon
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A

Pennsylvania
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Del Taco
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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Rhode Island
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Burger King
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger

South Carolina
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Church’s Chicken

South Dakota
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Taco Bell
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Wendy’s
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant McDonald’s

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Tennessee
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco John’s
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

Texas
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: A&W Restaurants
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant In-N-Out Burger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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Utah
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Del Taco
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A

Vermont
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Burger King
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

Virginia
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Five Guys
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger

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Washington
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

West Virginia
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

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Wisconsin
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

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Wyoming
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Hardee’s
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant McDonald’s
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Wendy’s

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