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Best Fast Casual Restaurant (2020)

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The concept of a fast casual restaurant has skyrocketed in popularity in the U.S. These eateries offer the convenience of fast food with the quality and comfort more akin to a sit-down restaurant. 

  • QDOBA Mexican Eats

    QDOBA Mexican Eats

    Just about everything on the menu at QDOBA, from the guacamole to the flame-grilled vegetables, is made fresh each day. Diners build their own Mexican masterpieces in the form of tacos, burritos, grilled quesadillas or burrito bowls.
    Photo courtesy of QDOBA Mexican Eats

  • Jason's Deli

    Jason's Deli

    Jason’s Deli has been an independent, family owned business for more than four decades, known for their extensive salad bar and even bigger menu of sandwiches, salads, soups and stuffed potatoes. Nothing on the menu contains high-fructose corn syrup, dyes, MSG or artificial colors or flavors.
    Photo courtesy of Jason's Deli

  • Slim Chickens

    Slim Chickens

    Only all-natural chicken tenderloins go into the chicken tenders at Slim Chickens. Each tender is hand-breaded to order and served as a basket, sandwich, salad, wrap or with a stack of waffles. The house Slim Sauce packs a tomato punch with a hint of pepper.
    Photo courtesy of Slim Chickens

  • Portillo's

    Portillo's

    Portillo's is a staple for their Italian beef, served Dry (very little gravy), Extra Gravy (extra splashed on) and Dipped (gravy on the side). No matter how you take your Italian beef, Portillo’s has become known as one of the best in Chicagoland and around the country with its original recipe served on fresh baked French bread.
    Photo courtesy of Portillo's

  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop

    Potbelly Sandwich Shop

    Potbelly bills itself as “The Neighborhood Sandwich Shop,” where hungry diners can pick up toasty sandwiches, entree salads, soups, fresh-baked cookies and hand-dipped milkshakes. Each shop has an antique stove, symbolic of a warm and welcoming gathering place. "Each Potbelly shop reflects the local neighborhood, too, so it feels as though it's the only one on earth," says 10Best Local Expert Jacqueline Runice.
    Photo courtesy of Potbelly Sandwich Shop

  • I Heart Mac & Cheese

    I Heart Mac & Cheese

    Carb lovers rejoice! This decadent favorite among cheese lovers serves customized bowls of mac and cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches with a host of sauce choices and ingredient add-ins. Healthy options include bases of cauliflower or broccoli, so there’s something for everyone.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / zkruger

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill

    Chipotle Mexican Grill

    The burritos and burrito bowls from Chipotle Mexican Grill are made from real non-GMO ingredients without added colors, flavors or preservatives. Filling options include chicken, steak, barbacoa, carnitas, grilled vegetables or sofritas (braised, shredded tofu).
    Photo courtesy of Chipotle

  • Roti Modern Mediterranean

    Roti Modern Mediterranean

    Roti Modern Mediterranean serves the flavors of the Mediterranean using the best wholesome ingredients and bright spices – food that’s designed to make diners feel great. The menu includes rice plates, pita sandwiches, laffa wraps and fresh salads.
    Photo courtesy of Roti Modern Mediterranean

  • Muscle Maker Grill

    Muscle Maker Grill

    Muscle Maker Grill was founded in 1995 with a vision of making mainstream comfort food more healthy, without sacrificing flavor. With the motto “Great food with your health in mind,” MMG’s menu features grass-fed beef and all-natural chicken, as well as options for just about every dietary preference.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Mariha-kitchen

  • Au Bon Pain

    Au Bon Pain

    Au Bon Pain translates to “from good bread,” and bread is the cornerstone at this bakery and deli. Breads and pastries are made from scratch, and the menu includes sandwiches, soups, salads and sweet treats.
    Photo courtesy of Au Bon Pain

  • QDOBA Mexican Eats
  • Jason's Deli
  • Slim Chickens
  • Portillo's
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop
  • I Heart Mac & Cheese
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Roti Modern Mediterranean
  • Muscle Maker Grill
  • Au Bon Pain

The top 10 winners in the category Best Fast Casual Restaurant are as follows:

  1. QDOBA Mexican Eats
  2. Jason's Deli
  3. Slim Chickens
  4. Portillo's
  5. Potbelly Sandwich Shop
  6. I Heart Mac & Cheese
  7. Chipotle Mexican Grill
  8. Roti Modern Mediterranean
  9. Muscle Maker Grill
  10. Au Bon Pain

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning restaurant chains!

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