The Best Fast Food In America

Americans consume fast foodin huge quantities.

From burgers and fries to burritos and pizza, the options are nearly limitless. With all the choices out there, it can be difficult to determine how to spend your hard-earned cash.

We asked our readers to tell us their preferred chains for different types of foods, and more than 2,200 responded.

The results show that while chains like Chipotle and Chick-fil-A are thriving, McDonald’s is still holding its own.

Best Chicken Sandwich: Chick-fil-A (57%)

Chick-fil-A's secret recipe is rumoured to include brining the chicken patty in pickle juice before breading it and frying it in peanut oil. Our survey results show that no one has mastered the chicken sandwich like Chick-fil-A.

Other options included Wendy's Spicy Chicken (26%), McDonald's McChicken (9%), and KFC Chicken Littles (10%).

Best Fried Chicken: KFC (36%)

KFC retained its status as an American fried chicken staple with Business Insider readers, despite Chick-fil-A recently passing the chain in sales.

Still, our survey revealed that competition is intense. Chick-fil-A and Popeye's tied for second place with 32% of votes respectively.

Best Chicken Nuggets: Chick-fil-A (48%)

Chick-fil-A's chicken nuggets, which include whole pieces of unprocessed breast meat, scored big with BI readers. This reveals the bigger trend of consumers preferring unprocessed foods over processed ones.

Other options were McDonald's (31%), Wendy's (18%), and Burger King (4%).

Best Sub: Subway (37%)

Subway won this category, perhaps because of new offerings like the Chicken Enchilada sub. Subway also has more customisation possibilities than competitors, a big trend in the fast food industry.

Besides Subway, readers chose from Jimmy John's (25%), Quizno's (20%), and Potbelly (18%).

Best Coffee: Starbucks (49%)

Starbucks has retained its reputation as the best coffee chain. In addition to signature brews, Starbucks also began offering more frozen Frappuccino and dessert latte options.

Other options were Dunkin' Doughnuts (27%), McDonald's (9%), Tim Horton's (8%), and Caribou (7%).

Best Milkshake: Dairy Queen (57%)

Dairy Queen's plethora of flavours and options won out over the competition. It's possible that readers view Dairy Queen as more of a specialist when it comes to milkshakes.

Competitors were Chick-fil-A (20%), McDonald's (18%), and Burger King (4%).

Best Doughnut: Krispy Kreme (54%)

Krispy Kreme doughnuts go into production at the opening of the store at Harrods in London, October, 3, 2003.

Krispy Kreme is known to make their doughnuts fresh, earning them high marks with BI readers. The doughnuts have also been named among the 'most addictive foods.'

Other choices were Dunkin' Doughnuts (36%), Tim Horton's (8%), and Starbucks (2%).

Best New Breakfast Item: Taco Bell's Waffle Taco (31%)

Taco Bell launched its first ever breakfast menu in late March after nearly seven years of testing menu items. The Waffle Taco was the most buzzed about addition to the Mexican chain's offerings, and it turns out it was a big hit with Business Insider readers. But it was a close match between the Waffle Taco (31%) and McDonald's new Egg White Delight (30%).

Other competitors were Dunkin' Doughnuts Eggs Benedict Sandwich (18%), Burger King's French Toast Sticks (14%), and White Castle's Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches (7%).

Best New Fast Food Item: McDonald's Quarter Pounder BLT (29%)

McDonald's Quarter Pounder BLT, which was released last spring, has thick cut Applewood smoked bacon on top of a beef patty with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onions, crinkle-cut pickles, mayo and mustard. The sandwich is a clear favourite among Business Insider readers.

Taco Bell's Beefy Cheesy Burrito (23%) was the second favourite, followed by Wendy's Bacon Portobello Melt (21%), Burger King's Satisfries (14%), and Jack In The Box's Sweet Potato Fries (13%).

Best Hangover Food: Chipotle (34%)

Business Insider readers crave Mexican food after a night of drinking, according to our survey. Chipotle came in first place with 34% of the vote, followed by Taco Bell (26%).

Readers also chose from McDonald's (23%), Burger King (9%), and Dunkin' Doughnuts (8%).

Best Quick Mexican: Chipotle (58%)

Chipotle's huge food portions, ease of customisation and wholesome ingredients has helped it become a cult favourite.

The burrito chain won the 'Best Quick Mexican' category by a huge margin, with 58% of the vote compared to next-in-line Taco Bell's 27%. Other competitors were Qdoba (8%) and Moe's (7%).

Healthiest Option: Subway (37%)

In addition to the 'Best Sub' category, Subway also wins as the healthiest fast food option. The sandwich shop, which has more locations than McDonald's and Starbucks in the U.S., offers a wide range of salads and healthy snacks, such as apple slices.

Panera Bread (29%) came in second place, followed by Chipotle (25%), Chick-fil-A (7%), and Wendy's (3%).

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