Today is National Fast Food Day in the United States and there’s a lot to celebrate. Not only have sales at major chain restaurants skyrocketed since the peak of the pandemic, but we’re doing great with a range of new menu items being launched by these national giants left and right. If you’re a big fast food lover and love to travel, there may be cities in America you need to visit heading into 2023 to get the best of it.
LawnStarter gathered the 200 largest cities in the US, to discover the Best Cities for Fast Food in 2023 for fans of the drive-thru experience. The survey considered three main categories: fast food accessibility, affordability, and overall quality. Many cities on the list vary in ranking by category, but all aspects were scored overall and ranked best in the nation.
Celebrate National Fast Food Day in style or on a later note, and visit any of these top 10 cities in America to find a fast food fix and let your driven dreams come true.
RELATED: 13 Exciting New Fast-Food Items Dropping This Week
San Diego, California
If you’re looking to go on a foodie road trip with a scenic coastal drive, you might want to consider starting at the bottom of California. Jack in the Box was first established in San Diego back in 1951 by Robert O. Peterson and opened as the city’s first drive-thru restaurant with a two-way intercom. Today, the city is also home to an endless stream of popular taco drive-thru spots and vegan fast food, such as Plant Power Fast Food and Evolution Fast Food. San Diego knows how to deliver great fast food.
RELATED: This Is America’s Fastest Drive In 2022, New Data Shows
Although McAllen, Texas does not have the number of fast food locations for a populous city, it thrives on customer satisfaction and quality. According to the survey, it was ranked second for average consumer rating of fast food chains and third for overall quality (out of 200 observed). Take a trip down to your favorite Texan Whataburger, for a southern fast food experience.
Speed of service and accessibility is what put Washington, DC in the top 10. Many city residents choose fresh and healthy places to eat quickly, such as Sweetgreen and local sandwich chain Taylor Gourmet, instead of a greasy drive-thru. food Regardless of food preferences, Washington DC has many options per square mile, making it practically a hub for fast food enthusiasts.
Huntington Beach, California
Back on the west coast, Huntington Beach ranks seventh on this list of the best Cali-based fast food chains. In what is otherwise known as “Surf City”, locals frequent Farmer Boys, The Habit Burger Grill, and Wienerschnitzel, for some of the fastest and most affordable burgers and fries in town.
On the off chance that you’re not grabbing a Philly Cheesesteak while you’re in this city, you have a choice of nearly 10,000 fast-casual and coffee chains in the state. Popular chains like Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and McDonald’s are the big winners and may taste better than other locations in the United States. this city.
Fast food in Chicago is done a little differently, mainly due to the fact that the restaurant dwellers are going to the chains that are not nationally recognized. Staples like Billy Jo’s Drive-Thru—which has a gaming lounge where you can eat and play at the same time—as well as Last Fatso’s Stand, where you’ll find the most mind-blowing late-night hot dog. That said, when you’re in Chicago, make sure you go for the hidden gems of fast food over big brand restaurants.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a busy city with a large population where fast food is widely available, as it had the second most fast food establishments per square mile. However, it’s the diner-style restaurants and California-made chains that put this city near the top. While animal fries from In-N-Out are heavily consumed, places like Mel’s Drive-In embrace more of the tradition and heritage rooted in the historic city.
It won’t be the cheapest, but when you stop for fast food in Miami, you’ll find loads of options and varieties to choose from. That means not restricting yourself to burgers or fried chicken, but instead you will stimulate your taste buds with a quick version of Cuban food from Charles Canarias. There are many fast food chains across the country as well as cultural foods available via drive-thru in the sunny city, but there are no promises of great quality, according to the survey.
New York, New York
It’s true that there is fast and delicious food in the city that never sleeps. New York City ranks high in quality of meals and fast food chains according to customer ratings. For people who are into fried food, Shake Shack and Nathan’s Famous are scattered around and they are fast as can be. But the other chains that serve New York flavors are Bel-Fries, John’s Fried Chicken, and Naya, which are highly recommended by customers and locals.
RELATED: Yelp Says This State Has the Best Pizza — And It’s Not New York
To earn the number one spot on this list, Orlando, Florida leads in every category. Great food quality and service, fast food chains, and locations are everywhere for your convenience. Since 1968, Beefy King has been serving residents the best roast beef sandwiches and tater tots. And for those who want a feast, on a budget, in minutes, 4 Rivers Smokehouse is a family-owned fast food chain that offers great and ready-made barbecue food at its 14 locations within the state. This is the second year in a row that Orlando has come out on top, in terms of fast food, and the city has been said to have the most Fasties Award winning food brands compared to all others on this list.