It has some steep competition in the Italian market, but we hope they make it. Said one TripAdvisor reviewer, "Everything was DELICIOUS! With a menu that feels as big as a dictionary, choosing something from the never-ending pages of dishes at the Cheesecake Factory is only part of the popular chain's appeal. Yelpers, too, tend to have good things to say, applauding the quality of the food as well as its elegant presentation. There are far fewer restaurants from this chain than its counterpart (under 600), but it fares a bit better with customers, with more restaurants in the 2 1/2- to 3-star range. Originating in St. Petersburg, Florida, its expanded rapidly over the past 19 years, and earned many fans along the way. But while prices are right, reviewers don't entirely agree that the eating here is "good." You can eat healthy—here's our cheatsheet. What to avoid: The Great White Pizza landed on a list of the most unhealthy pizzas in America. One of the biggest chains in America, it's most liked by TripAdvisor's eaters, who give it a 4-star average and enjoy its variety and quality. Here, you'll find award-winning craft beers and a hefty menu of dishes for every craving. Debuting first in Tampa, Florida, there are today more than 700 locations across the U.S., as well as 22 international countries. What to try: The steaks are good but it's the addictive — and first of its kind — Bloomin' Onion that we crave. Besting Olive Garden not by revenue but by taste, Carrabba's is the first chain to enter the top 10 on our list when it comes to customer love. You'll want to avoid these dangerous dishes! When one of these restaurants opens, it excites newcomers. It's great that Wendy's offers a handful of Jr. Burgers that stay below 400 calories, but there are still many burger and chicken sandwiches that are high in calories and high in fat. What to try: Cheesecake is the name of the game, so sample one of the 34 menu offerings, like the Tiramusu pictured here. It sounds like a step in the right direction, but as of now, KFC is still using artificial sweeteners (like sucralose in their BBQ baked beans), caramel coloring, soybean oil, preservatives, MSG alternatives like disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, liquid margarine, and monoglycerides. Here are the four metrics we used to determine each chain's final grade. Troublingly, there are even a few reports of weird items like hair and "round smelly paper" found in the food. What to avoid: A burger, added to the menu only to satiate landlubbers, What to try: The award-winning New England Clam Chowder (which is now sold in grocery stores). Stance on Antibiotics. And it's beginning to spread further across the country as well. They've removed all artificial flavors and colors—replacing them with natural alternatives—as well as removed added trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and unsustainable palm oil from our food. Not only is it in the top 10 based on revenue, but Cracker Barrel is No. One of the most popular seafood restaurants of Boston began its expansion in the 1990s and is now beloved up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Find out how your favorite stacks up, nutrition-wise, by checking out our exclusive report, Every Soup, Sandwich & Salad at Panera—Ranked. Bringing Asian food to the masses, P.F. As of March 2017, the chain has eliminated artificial ingredients and preservatives from its menu. Menu options, food quality and value for money are just a few things to keep in mind. Add on the namesake cheesecake and food that typically earns at least 3 stars from Yelpers and 4.5 stars from TripAdvisor reviewers, and you can see why the Cheesecake Factory has been a hit since 1972. Menu: Beyond pizza, Mellow Mushroom offers hoagies, salads, appetizers and desserts. The restaurant has a lot of fans on Yelp and TripAdvisor, too, though there are a decent amount of complaints about poor service. Based on reviews of the restaurant, which praise its diversity of food and drink offerings, it seems a lot of states are missing out. "When Bar Louie opened up, it was such a novelty. The only problem: They have a limited number of locations. What is a … What to try: [Mac + Cheese]² is a heavenly combination of chicken, bacon, wild mushrooms, truffle oil, parmesan and cheddar. Healthy Options: B. In 2014, Subway removed azodicarbonamide, a plastic dough conditioner also used in yoga mats, from its breads and increased their offerings of whole-grain breads. One reviewer on Yelp who had to move to Hawaii makes a point to return every time she gets back east — "Omgggggg, this restaurant is absolutely one of my favorite restaurants!". © 2020 Galvanized Media. We calculated the average nutrition information for each menu section on Applebee's menu—ranging from their salads and burgers to fajitas and ribs. 1 in the Market Force Information survey. Overall: Solid Q. Honing in on casual-dining restaurants (eliminating fast-food and quick-service hot spots), we took the top restaurants in terms of sales and ranked them by customer love, using the Market Force Information 2019 survey of top chains, Yelp and TripAdvisor average rankings, and social media as our guides. Perhaps it is due to the low Yelp and TripAdvisor ratings, where 2.5's and 3's are common. As of May, there were reports that it would close up to 20 percent of its locations. This restaurant's goal when first opening in North Carolina in 1973 was to make dining out affordable. Our favorite picks are in this exclusive guide: Every Burger King Menu Item—Ranked! What to try: In this traditional family-style restaurant, go for the lasagna. What to avoid: The pasta preparation can be a little spotty;  it's probably best to turn your attention elsewhere. Reviewers across the board like or love CPK, appreciating its consistently tasty food, cleanliness, variety of available wines and cauliflower-crust pizza options. Otherwise, the only other ingredients they use are whole veggies! Sizzling fajitas took off in the '80s, and now there are thousands of restaurants serving that popular dish (and others) across the globe. Tons of quality beers on tap, creative cocktails, good food. That said, they're still purveyors of fried chicken sandwiches and milkshakes which exceed that amount of added sugar you should consume in a day, so we couldn't give them too high of a grade. MONEY analyzed the largest U.S. fast-casual chain restaurants like Chipotle and Panera, ranking the 15 that offered the best value. Choose a bowl over a burrito, don't be afraid of leaving leftovers, skip the white rice and sour cream, load on the lettuce, and you'll do just fine. We also took into consideration what the proportion of healthy offerings to unhealthy options is. Founded here in 1974, the pizza joint was one of the first to offer fresh, local and organic ingredients — way before organic became a craze. Menu: Standard bar fare, some with a special take or kick. Some of these restaurants' sugar bombs have more sugar than two Dunkin' Donuts! Chains and companies assigned a Preceding-Year rank of “—” fell beyond the No. Quality of Ingredients: B. While the restaurant chain previously had 385 locations as of early 2020, the pandemic has not been kind to it. What to try: The new "Loaded" fajitas, introduced in 2019, have quickly become a favorite. Currently found in 13 states, the chain is more beloved by customers than many more traditional options, though there's some grousing about the service. Immediately upon opening in 1988, there were two-hour waits to get into Outback. Macaroni Grill has seen its franchises closing, Brinker letting go of its majority stake and a bankruptcy, but diners still love it. Founded in Arlington, Texas, in 1979 to provide down-home-cooked comfort food, the chain is found in 23 states — and counting! This isn't just a restaurant; this is a winemaker sharing his wine. What to try: The signature Pasta Brio, rigatoni with grilled chicken, spinach, mushrooms and red peppers in roasted red pepper cream sauce. Mortgages. What to avoid: The fries come out lukewarm or cold more than is desirable... What to try: Hooter's hot wings are a different beast than Buffalo's, but pretty good in their own way, though customer mileage tends to vary. This pizza is saddled with so many cheeses, it has 480 calories per slice. The 16 Best International Restaurant Chains, Ranked. What to avoid: Skip the salads — it's not about healthy eating here. Tomatoes! Major layoffs and a possible bankruptcy could be in its future. And there are plenty of options to make everyone happy. Menu: Soups and salads, steak, burgers, ribs, sandwiches and pasta, as well as "lighter side" fish and chicken dishes. What to try: The original — and extremely popular — BBQ Chicken Pizza transformed the pizza world when it was introduced. TripAdvisor reviewers love this chain — giving it four stars, on average. Try a few on the boneless, breaded chicken Zingers, which are served over French fries. Healthy Options: D+. Menu: Southern comfort food like chicken pot pie, fried green tomatoes and fried catfish. The ribs and chicken were so tender that they fell off the bone with the first bite. Either you love this place or you hate it. When bad reviews appear, they're complaints about poor service. In addition to the food, the “Old Country Store” also features a prominent gift shop. Menu: Steaks, pasta, ribs and chops, burgers, sandwiches, salad bar. What to avoid: You really can't go wrong! However, the bulk of the menu is still deep-fried chicken. Stance on Antibiotics: C. Applebee's significantly improved from its usual "F" to a "C" because they source some chicken and pork that's been raised without medically important antibiotics. Like grandma used to make. The first location opened in Santa Ana in 1978, and there are today 13 states with a BJ's. It has only a handful of options (literally) and a sky-high average sodium count of 1,696 milligrams: 74 percent of your daily value of sodium intake. Grossest thing about it: McDonald's is a classic. Happy Joe's claim to fame is its taco pizza, a fusion food that the chain popularized. Menu: Greasy appetizers, salads, burgers, steaks, ribs, chicken, pasta. Yum!" This list is based on price, convenience and, of course, taste. We're pleased with the direction of McDonald's. Published on 10/27/2014 at 8:00 PM. Chili's serves up some of the country's saltiest, fattiest, and most calorie-laden fare. On top of being free of nasty additives, Chipotle is GMO-free, most of its dairy products are from "Pasture-Raised" cows, and all of its food is fresh (from farms, not factories). The first restaurant opened in Culver City, California, to provide "a great steak dinner at an affordable price." The newest chain to join the American food circuit is Bonefish Grill. What to avoid: Spaghetti Pomodoro, you can make that at home. We can thank a single mother in New Orleans for using all of her money to buy the Chris Steak House in 1965. But many reviewers rate the food as just "average," allowing its Chili's big brother to get all the glory when it comes to Tex-Mex. Check out the top 250 Restaurant Chains in America! asparagus! What to try: You know the commercials: Who's hungry for some baby back, baby back, baby back, baby back ribs? What to try: The Buffalo wings, duh. And yet, the fast food chain receives a failing "F" grade in the Burger Edition report because McDonald's does not provide any publicly-available policy governing antibiotic use in their beef supply chain. These wines, made in Illinois from grapes sourced from around the world, have won nearly 550 awards. What to order: The Pappadeaux Platter fried shrimp, crawfish, stubbed crab, oysters and fish fillets. What to try: O'Charley's Famous Chicken Tenders are twice-breaded and buttermilk-dipped, and so popular that some locations offer endless chicken tender specials. 4 on MarketForce's list of best casual dining restaurants. The Nashville-based chain keeps to its Southern roots with its steaks and grilled meat dishes. "Love your food, atmosphere and employees!! Hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, preservatives, and inflammatory fats are among the ingredients found in nearly every menu item. Six other states have their own loyal customers. List of fast food restaurant chains. ", Menu: Ribs, brisket, pork, chicken and burgers. Founded by "Johnny" Carrabba III in Houston in 1986, Carrabba's uses family recipes passed down from Sicilian ancestors. The Bell officially only sources chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine, but we're still waiting on that beef. From burgers to pad thai, there’s a quick service restaurant that’ll satisfy almost any … Although you can customize many items, the majority of Taco Bell's menu is high in calories, fat, sodium, and carbs, and are missing veggies. As is true of a lot of restaurants higher up on the food chain, your best bet is to front-load, or focus on appetizers. McDonald's is the Walmart of food. As far as we can tell, most Benihana establishments stick to the traditional birthday song beginning with, " Happy Birthday, " and ending in, " to you, " sung on repeat at a slowed down pace. Menu: Burgers, burgers and more burgers (oh, and some wraps, salads, soups and sandwiches too). Funnily enough, Texas Roadhouse actually began in Indiana, debuting in 1993. Chili's has a "Guiltless Grill" section with five menu items of 630 calories or less, and the items are pretty well-rounded. What to order: Of the steak options, your best bet is the Onion Brewski Sirloin, stacked with beer-braised onions and served in a sizzling skillet. Grease and goodness go hand in hand with arcade games and brews. Chili's makes it easy … What to try: Fully enjoy the California way of eating with the Enlightened Kale and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad. The National Chicken Council estimates Americans ate around than 1.38 billion wings during the 2019 Super Bowl. What to avoid: The secret is in the sauce, so avoid plain-old fare like grilled chicken or salmon. Backtrack to yesterday's lunch: Did you choose to grab a salad at your favorite chain restaurant based on its convenience or because you liked the brand itself? EatThis.com is part of the AllRecipes Food Group. ", Quality of Ingredients: A. The following are the cream of the crop when it comes to the most popular chain restaurants in the country. What to try: Maybe you tried lettuce wraps before, but P.F. In fact, the CDC estimates antibiotic-resistant bugs account for 23,000 human deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States every year. You can reduce calories and fat by choosing "Fresco style" or up the protein count by adding extra servings of meat. In 2020, the restaurant jumped to the top of Casual Dining in the Top 500 rankings. Unfortunately, nearly half their offerings exceed 1,000 milligrams of sodium per sub—and that's without any condiments. It's not a dive, it just acts like one. Their menu is 100 percent free of food dyes (excluding third-party products and beverages), artificial colors and flavors from their core products, according to the brand. Today, the artistic and eclectic chain brings good karma and good pizza across most of the Southeast. Today, the Australian-themed restaurant still has long lines because, well, the steak is worth it. Stance on Antibiotics: B+. The beer-battered chicken is covered in a buffalo maple glaze then drenched in syrup and served with an onion ranch dip. TripAdvisor reviewers favor other chains on this list, as well. Get the best food tips and diet advice every day. While they may get a bit of criticism for their lack of originality, there ' s a certain appeal to knowing you can always expect the same menu, no matter where you might be.. What began as a man with a grill opening his first restaurant in 1994 has become what Dave Anderson calls the "longest-running backyard BBQ party. Did your favorite restaurant make the grade? While it appears to be bringing in the dough, in July the chain closed eight restaurants in one day — and it shuttered a total of 20 in the last three years. What to order: Do not miss the Signature Queso that is so good they now sell it in stores. We borrowed the grades from the 2018 report, Chain Reaction IV, Burger Edition put out by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Food Safety, Consumer Reports, and several other organizations. 1 rule of eating in a buffet, in our opinion, is to avoid fish, just to be safe. Many Applebee's have just 2 stars, with only a handful nabbing 2 1/2 or 3 stars. Cracker Barrel Ildar Sagdejev. Because we now know Wendy's accomplished this, we bumped the report's grade of a "C+" up to a "B," which is in line with Chick-fil-A's grade when they had the same standards. It wasn’t so long ago when “healthy chain restaurants,” or, more specifically, “healthy fast food,” was considered an oxymoron. Depending on your choice of dining establishment, you may not have the proper tools to navigate through a minefield of belly bombs, missiles that can accelerate aging, and antibiotic-ridden proteins that make you sick and fat. One of the largest family-operated restaurants, it dates back to the Pappas brothers, who opened their first location in 1976. Plus, their "Guiltless Grill" menu is a failed attempt at healthier meals. Healthy Options: B-. The food is about the quality you'd expect, and the steak was better than I'd expected.". Reviewers are generally pleased, singling out not only the food, but the quirky atmosphere. What to avoid: The fajitas are similar to Chili's (since they are owned by the same company), so try something you can't get at the other chain. Quality of Ingredients: D-. Trying to find a healthy dish on Applebee's menu is like walking through a diet-destroying minefield. (They were lurking in the Mexican restaurant's tortilla recipe.) "While many people are just starting to pay attention to the issue," they said, "we have known for a long time that it is the right thing to do, and we are pleased to see others taking even small steps to curb antibiotic use in livestock. Family-owned seems to make a difference as reviewers love Pappadeaux, raving about generous portions, good service and high-quality foods. In a press release, Chipotle touted that it's the only "national brand" to introduce a preservative-free menu. Thankfully, the name was shortened, and today, the chain boasts a massive presence: There are nearly 2,000 locations around the world, each offering a place to "eat good in the neighborhood.". You don't have to eat at home for every meal when you're on a diet, but determining which chain restaurant to visit can keep your weight loss success from stalling. What to avoid: The pizza is what shines here, so it's best to choose that over more off-the-beaten-path choices like the tilapia or garlic chicken. But it's been open for a few years now, and I really feel like the quality has slowly dropped.". When restaurateur Alan Stillman opened the very first TGI Friday's in New York City in 1965, he launched a casual-dining craze. 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