RANKED: The best fast food in America

Cheeseburger Championship 1Hollis JohnsonThere are a lot of options out there, but we’ve decided on the best.

French fries, cheeseburgers, pizza, and Tex-Mex burritos have come to define American cuisine.

And the eateries that serve up these classics, from the Golden Arches to Chipotle, have come to define American culture.

But with so many choices, one wonders: Where is the best burger? Where are the finest fries? Who has the choicest chicken nuggets? And where can you get the best breakfast, fast?

In honour of National Fast Food Day, we diligently tested America’s finest fast food options to see how they all stack up. Here are the results.

First up, the cheeseburgers. Between Burger King, McDonald's, and Wendy's 1/4 lb equivalents ...

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McDonald's Quarter Pounder looks the best, and it's a classic and safe bet.

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But if you're looking for pure beefy burger taste, Wendy's might actually be best. The patty is thick and flavorful -- always freshly grilled. Plus, red onions add sharpness and tang.

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The fries showdown is a difficult call to make -- everyone has an opinion as to who makes the best fries. But for our testers, out of Burger King, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, and Wendy's ...

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... Burger King's fries were surprisingly the tastiest. They're cut thick, and fried to a satisfying crispiness on the outside, while still keeping the soft and salty potato inside.

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As for the nugget debate, the answer is -- for the most part -- pretty clear.

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While McDonald's McNuggets are a delicious and crispy stand-by, Chick-fil-A really knows how to do chicken. The nuggets are crisply breaded and are made from visibly real chicken.

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Cheese pizza is something that nearly everyone can enjoy. As the saying goes, it's hard to make a bad pizza. But how hard is it to make the best? After testing Papa John's, Pizza Hut, and Domino's ...

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... Pizza Hut's flavorful take on cheese pizza comes out on top. The cheese is strong and perfectly browned, the crust is just the right amount of chewy and crispy, and the tomato sauce is bold and tastes very fresh.

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But as far as the Supreme Pizza goes, another winner takes the crown.

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Domino's ExtravaganZZa pizza -- the company's version of a Supreme -- is clearly above the rest. The amount of toppings is insane, but the buttery crust manages to hold it all well.

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And who won the best of pizza's classic companion, breadsticks? Papa John's breadsticks are pure and simple, and they come with multiple choices of great dipping sauces. Not too salty, not too greasy; just breadsticks as breadsticks should be.

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The fast -- food breakfast battle is a huge affair, with the likes of Burger King, McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Wendy's.

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McDonald's breakfast burrito easily wins, as it's the lightest of the four. Plus, the ingredients -- egg, cheese, and sausage -- are simple and taste great. The other options paled in comparison.

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However, the breakfast sandwich is a different story. The McMuffin is rather dry and overwhelmed by bread, and Taco Bell's Biscuit Taco is, frankly, an abomination of breakfasts. Burger King's breakfast sandwich was fine but forgettable in the face of Wendy's Artisan Egg Sandwich. The fried egg is real and tasty, the Asiago cheese is real and melty, and the sausage is real and seasoned perfectly. It all tastes, well ... real.

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In the hash brown category, an upset occurred. While McDonald's deliciously greasy and crispy hash browns are fried golden slabs of heaven, the real star turns out to be Wendy's Seasoned Home -- Style Potatoes. They're peppery, crispy, and are a perfect way to fool oneself about eating healthier while still enjoying delicious fried potato in the morning.

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Our taste-testers put the chicken wing showdown between Buffalo Wild Wings and Wingstop to rest once and for all.

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We assumed the competition would be neck to neck -- wing to wing, rather -- but our testers overwhelmingly decided on Wingstop.

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Wingstop's wings are juicy, tender, and the flavour options taste much more authentic and satisfying.

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Then, lastly, we have the ultimate Tex-Mex battle. Previously, Chipotle had all but trounced the popular Moe's Southwestern Grill, so we brought Qdoba into the mix to see which would truly win.

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This contest is much closer, as both Qdoba and Chipotle are similar in terms of menus and quality. But Qdoba has something that Chipotle doesn't: queso. Qdoba's burrito is tightly packed, and the flavour is more rich and dense thanks to the queso. Plus, the free guac is a real game changer in the face of Chipotle's extra charge. Qdoba's burrito takes the crown.

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However, Chipotle's tacos are much more pleasing than Qdoba's: they have the perfect amount of protein (in this case, chicken), veggies, cheese, and guac. Qdoba's tacos are a little heavy on the lettuce filler.

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Qdoba's burrito bowl is clearly king. The queso, free guac, colourful salsas, and fajita veggies in an easily resealable container push it to the next level, despite how good Chipotle's bowl may be.

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And of course, you can't determine anything without trying the guacamole and chips. Chipotle's is buttery, mellow, and smooth, with an emphasis on cilantro. Qdoba's recipe has more onion and lime juice, giving it a clean, sharp taste and bolder flavour. While Chipotle's is delicious -- making bad guacamole is difficult to do -- Qdoba wins.

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