Okay, no shame, raise your hand if this map inspires you:
— Julie Dolan (@JulieKDolan) November 16, 2016
Glad to see we’ve got a bunch of fellow fast food junkies on board. And while McDonald’s and Starbucks have gotten us through the longest of road trips with only a few extra bathroom breaks (ahem, we’re lookin’ at you Spring Break 2015), today we’re taking a look at fast food chains that are only in a couple states.
Imagine: All the East Coasters with no idea what In-N-Out is all about and West Coasters who are totally clueless when it comes to the unbelievable goodness of The Halal Guys. Never pass by that run-down regional fast food chain again with our mega list of local joints to try when you’re driving through!
Ivar’s, Pacific Northwest
With 26 locations across Washington state, this seafood joint is best known for its deliciously creamy clam chowder. Ivar’s also has three seaside restaurants if you have the time to sit back and enjoy some Pacific Northwest views.
Zip’s Drive-In, Inland Northwest
With over 30 locations in Eastern Washington and Idaho, Zip’s is a college kid staple for a quick (and cheap!) bite. The drive-in usually has personalized items on the menu depending on the location — make sure to order a personalized burger if you can!
In-N-Out, West Coast
Available in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah, this well-known fast food chain was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1948 with a strong commitment to fresh and locally sourced food — which is why you won’t see their empire expanding past what they can locally source.
Taco Cabana, Southwest
This Mexican fast food joint can be found in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico — but we wish it could be right outside of our front door. With a focus on fresh food and lots of flavor, Taco Cabana is a must-try when you’re passing through these states!
Braum’s, South and Midwest
A real family business, the chain has nearly 300 stores in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas… And all of them are within a 300-mile radius of the family farm, ensuring that the famous ice cream and burgers are super fresh (and delicious)!
This must-taste Chicago staple gives new life to the words “hot dog”… And we love it! Though the chain is in six states — there are nearly 40 in its home state of Illinois. We’re revving up the car as we speak — the hot dogs are calling!
A photo posted by Portillo’s Hot Dogs (@portilloshotdogs) on
Mainly concentrated in the Midwest, this classic burgers n’ shakes joint got its start in rural Wisconsin. Since then, Culver’s has made a name for itself in all things buttery, sugary, and delicious.
Luke’s Lobster, Northeast
This sustainable seafood shack calls Maine home — though it has joints in six other states across America. The relatively new chain seeks to make a name for itself by serving up savory seafood dishes alongside eco-consciousness.
The Halal Guys, Northeast
It started as a humble hot dog cart in New York City — until the entrepreneurial owners recognized a growing demand for halal food and gave us the now-iconic chicken and gyro over rice street food combination. Bring on that white sauce.
The Varsity, South
Since 1928, this Georgia-based fast food chain has spread its fried goodness to eight locations across the state. The coolest part? It’s the world’s largest drive in — the flagship location in Atlanta can accommodate 600 cars and 800 people. Whoa.
If you’re looking for chicken and biscuits, you’ve come to the right place. You can get Bojangles’s famous dish in over 12 states on the Atlantic coast, though a visit to the original shop in Charlotte, North Carolina is worth the trip.
Pollo Tropical, South
Since 1988, this Caribbean-inspired fast food chain has been giving Miami amazingly fresh tastes. With a promise to use hormone-free chicken and only the freshest of foods, Pollo Tropical adds a refreshing zest to traditional fast food fare.
Did we leave any must-try regional fast food places out? Let us know what we missed in the comments!