Readers vote QDOBA the nation's best fast casual restaurant

Winner serves flame-grilled Mexican fare

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

    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

  • Dickey's Barbecue Pit

    The first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opened in Dallas in 1941. Today, the restaurants across the U.S. continue to serve slow-smoked beef brisket, chicken, spare ribs, pork butt and three varieties of sausage.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / NadzeyaPhoto

  • MOD Pizza

    MOD specializes in super-fast artisan pizzas. Diners can choose from more than 30 toppings for a customized pie ready in minutes. The price stays the same, no matter which ingredients you choose.
    Photo courtesy of LENSOLOGY.NET / MOD Pizza

  • 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 Mexican Grill

  • 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

  • Panera Bread

    Panera Bread began in 1980 as a cookie store in Boston. Today, some 2,300 bakery cafes across the continent serve up food free of sweeteners, artificial flavors and preservatives. The menu ranges from breads and baked goods, to soups, salads and sandwiches.
    Photo courtesy of Panera Bread

  • Moe's Southwest Grill

    Started in Atlanta in 2000, Moe’s Southwest Grill brings the flavors of the American Southwest to a fast casual setting through its menu of burritos, bowls, quesadillas, tacos, nachos and five freshly prepared salsas.
    Photo courtesy of Moe's Southwest Grill

  • McAlister's Deli

    What started as a neighborhood restaurant in Oxford, Mississippi is today a favorite deli, known as much for its sweet tea as its sandwiches and loaded baked potatoes. The signature McAlister’s Club comes stacked with turkey, Black Forest ham, bacon, sharp cheddar, swiss and veggies.
    Photo courtesy of McAlister's Deli

  • Five Guys

    Five Guys specializes in hand-prepared burgers and fresh-cut fries cooked in 100-percent peanut oil, along with hotdogs, sandwiches and hand-spun milkshakes. Many burger toppings, including grilled onions, mushrooms and jalapeños, are free.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / bymuratdeniz

  • 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

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

  1. QDOBA Mexican Eats
  2. Dickey's Barbecue Pit
  3. MOD Pizza
  4. Chipotle Mexican Grill
  5. Portillo's
  6. Panera Bread
  7. Moe's Southwest Grill
  8. McAlister's Deli
  9. Five Guys
  10. Au Bon Pain

Congratulations to all these winning restaurants!

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo

AlertThe Experts

10Best Local Experts

10Best Local Experts