Special Report

Favorite Fast Food Restaurants in 30 U.S. Cities

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Love it or hate it, fast food is everywhere. From cheeseburgers to chicken nuggets to burritos and back to cheeseburgers, the American landscape is dotted with quick, cheap, mass-produced meals. But not every major city’s residents have the same favorites.  

Even though the big chains like Taco Bell, KFC, and McDonald’s can be found from coast to coast, there are plenty of regional chains that simply don’t exist outside of certain parts of the country. These include beloved chains like the West Coast-based In-N-Out and Bojangles in the South – both among the most successful restaurant chains in America

As you travel the country, you’ll find that there’s no such thing as a city with no fast food chain restaurants (though a few small communities around the country do ban them). Fast food is so popular for a reason: it’s convenient, quick, reliable, and tasty. But seeing a McDonald’s right next door to a Burger King makes it obvious: when it comes to fast food, everyone has their own personal favorite chain.

Fast food preferences tend to be regional. This, for instance, is the most popular fast food chain in every state. It turns out that individual cities have their clear favorites, too.

To determine the most popular fast food chain in 30 major American cities, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the cityu breakdowns in “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. 

Click here to see the favorite fast food restaurants in 30 U.S. cities

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

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Baltimore, Maryland
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: A&W Restaurants
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Hardee’s
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant McDonald’s

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

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Charlottesville, Virginia
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Burger King
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant McDonald’s

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

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

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Dallas, Texas
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger

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Denver, Colorado
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Carl’s Jr.
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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Detroit, Michigan
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys

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Houston, Texas
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: A&W Restaurants
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

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

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Los Angeles, California
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger

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Miami, Florida
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: McDonald’s
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Shake Shack
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant A&W Restaurants

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

Source: jetcityimage / Getty Images

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

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Orlando, Florida
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Burger King
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant A&W Restaurants
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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

Phoenix, Arizona
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant In-N-Out Burger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Sbarro

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chick-fil-A
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant In-N-Out Burger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant A&W Restaurants

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Portland, Oregon
> 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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Raleigh, North Carolina
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant A&W Restaurants
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A

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Sacramento, California
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Smashburger
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco John’s

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

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

San Francisco, California
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A

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Seattle, Washington
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Del Taco
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

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St. Louis, Missouri
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: A&W Restaurants
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

Source: Brycia James / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Tampa, Florida
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Chipotle Mexican Grill
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Five Guys
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Taco Bell

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Washington, D.C.
> Favorite fast-food restaurant: Smashburger
> 2nd favorite fast-food restaurant Church’s Chicken
> 3rd favorite fast-food restaurant Chipotle Mexican Grill

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