Best Regional Fast Food (2020)


No matter where in the U.S. you live, chances are there's that one fast food joint that locals crave when they're away – food you can only get in the state or surrounding region. These 10 regional fast food joints are so good they really should be nationwide, but unless you're in the area, you'll have to travel to get them.

  • Sheetz


    If you’re in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio or North Carolina, be sure to stop at Sheetz, a combination gas station and made-to-order sandwich shop. The menu is available 24/7, with options like subs, sandwiches, salads, wraps and smoothies.
    Photo courtesy of Sheetz

  • PDQ


    PDQ is short for “People Dedicated to Quality,” and that describes founders Bob and Nick who set out to create a new kind of fast food restaurant with a focus on fresh, fast and affordable meals. Chicken tenders and nuggets are a specialty, served alongside a selection of seven signature sauces.
    Photo courtesy of PDQ

  • Schoop's Hamburgers

    Schoop's Hamburgers

    Residents of Indiana’s Calumet Region southeast of Chicago have been enjoying Schoop’s Hamburgers since 1948. The menu includes fresh, never frozen patties cooked to order on a grill and served on a toasted bun alongside fries, onion rings and classic soda shop beverages.
    Photo courtesy of Schoop's Hamburgers

  • Pal's Sudden Service

    Pal's Sudden Service

    A Pal’s Sudden Service location is easy to pick out, thanks to its giant fiberglass hamburger, hot dog and fries adorning the blue-green buildings. This quick-service concept takes “quick” seriously, with fast service through their drive-thrus. Signature items include the Sauceburger and Chipped Ham sandwich.
    Photo courtesy of Pal's Sudden Service

  • Whataburger


    A trip to Texas wouldn’t be complete without a late night trip through the Whataburger drive-thru. This quick-service concept, now available in 10 states, has earned a loyal following for its patty melts, saucy burgers and breakfast taquitos (available throughout the night).
    Photo courtesy of Whataburger

  • Cook Out

    Cook Out

    Founded in North Carolina and available throughout much of the South, Cook Out is a regional favorite for burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes and Southern-style barbecue.
    Photo courtesy of Cook Out

  • Biscuitville


    Headquartered in North Carolina with 55 locations throughout North Carolina and Virginia, Biscuitville is a family owned line of restaurants specializing in Southern food. Biscuits are baked fresh every 15 minutes for the menu of breakfast sandwiches.
    Photo courtesy of Biscuitville

  • Hattie B's Hot Chicken

    Hattie B's Hot Chicken

    Hattie B’s has a loyal following of hot chicken lovers who come for the sandwiches and plates. Heat levels vary from no-heat Southern to Shut the Cluck Up!!! with a serious burn factor.
    Photo courtesy of Hattie B's Hot Chicken

  • In-N-Out Burger

    In-N-Out Burger

    In-N-Out Burger has long been a cult favorite fast food staple for West Coast residents, who come for Double-Double cheeseburgers, perhaps ordered “Animal Style” from the Not-So-Secret Menu.
    Photo courtesy of Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

  • Zippy's


    Hawaiian residents and visitors have been heading to the local Zippy’s for their comfort food fix for more than half a century. This island chain is known for its chili and daily plates, like the Zip Pac which comes with fried chicken, breaded fish, teri beef and Spam, served on a bed of rice.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / PhanuwatNandee

The top 10 winners in the category Best Regional Fast Food are as follows:

  1. Sheetz
  2. PDQ
  3. Schoop's Hamburgers
  4. Pal's Sudden Service
  5. Whataburger
  6. Cook Out
  7. Biscuitville
  8. Hattie B's Hot Chicken
  9. In-N-Out Burger
  10. Zippy's

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 fast food restaurants!

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