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4 Regional Fast Food Chains So Good That They Need To Go National

Being a foodie in the United States has its benefits. You are in one of the only places on the planet where you have at your disposal the ability to try almost any cuisine you want.

When traveling the country, due to the cultural differences and the sheer size of the United States, you have the opportunity to experience whole chains that you can’t access outside of other regions.

I have lived in the mid-Atlantic, specifically the metropolitan and Delaware areas, as well as New England. So, in my experience, here are four chains that have what it takes to become national.

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Wow / Facebook

Everyone knows the luxury of traveling to Pennsylvania or the beaches of Delaware and being able to stop at Wawa. Everyone who lives there is spoiled by the presence of Wawa in their backyard.

As a kid, I used to go once in the summer with some friends to Hershey Park, and on every ride, thunderous cheers would come from the car during our regular stop at Wawa’s Wonderland. Do I want ice? Maybe a sandwich? candies? The world was my oyster, but Wawa doesn’t sell oysters. However, it holds a special place in my heart.

The Delaware-Pennsylvania region has a strong reputation for gas station chains that are not only fun to eat but are also part of the area’s cultural fabric. Royal Farms, Sheetz, and of course Wawa. This formula works.

Founded in 1964, Wawa currently operates 972 locations in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida. For context, McDonald’s has 1,800 locations across those five states. In those five states, Wawa managed to collect an annual revenue of $11 billion. The answer is this is no accident. Mid-Atlantic loves what Wawa has, and there’s no reason why anyone else shouldn’t enjoy it either.

If there’s one thing living in Delaware for two years has given me, it’s Philly-area love for Wawa and all of its incredible perks. Imagine Dunkin’, a subway, 7/11, and a gas station all rolled into one. That’s what Wawa brings. With very cheap prices too. If the regular gas station is Motel Six, then Wawa is the Ritz Carlton.

It’s not just how many amenities are rolled into one. It is their quality. There is no shadow of any gas stations there, but I think we can all agree that they are not exactly number one dining destinations. But in Wawa, I love the iced coffee and sandwiches. . . It is actually of high quality. This kind of convenience, low price, and quality isn’t something you can find anywhere else, and I want it everywhere.

Quickway Japanese hibachi chicken, rice, and vegetables
Courtesy of Quickway Hibachi

This one born in the metropolitan area is a little more place and hasn’t been around this whole time. But Quickway is truly some of the best fast food I’ve ever eaten.

The chain serves high-quality Japanese hibachi food, except instead of sitting at a table with a grill and seeing someone make an onion tower, you’ll build your own Chipotle-style bento box. Sushi, dumplings and spring rolls are also served.

Quickway was founded in 2011 and operates more than 30 locations in the DC area. In 2019, it recorded annual sales of $22 million. This restaurant is profitable, growing rapidly and, above all, delicious.

For $7.95, one can enjoy a huge helping of crispy, well-seasoned teriyaki chicken atop a pile of white rice, fried rice or noodles with vegetables, and a container of the magical yum yum sauce (a mixture of mayonnaise, rice vinegar, tomato paste and spices). It’s a very high quality and enjoyable meal that not only spoils the bank, but almost smells the bank.

People carrying pumpkin latte smell of jo
Aroma Joe Coffee / Facebook

It wouldn’t suffice to say that Aroma Joe did well in my undergraduate studies. Aroma Joe made me face an epidemic. The coffee chain that was founded in 2000 is native to New Hampshire, and now operates more than 70 locations across New England, Pennsylvania and Florida.

She uses a special technique with her iced coffee which involves pouring hot coffee into the cup with some sugar that dissolves the sugar and absorbs it throughout the drink. This may seem like a small detail, but imagine that your iced coffee contains exactly the same perfect amount of sugar in every sip. It’s the kind of thing that you don’t think you need in your life until you have it.

The chain also has a line of energy drinks called Stimulants with over 30 flavors to choose from. But the best part is the breakfast sandwiches. High on a fast food breakfast sandwich is a no-no, and this place serves quality ingredients.

Options like bacon and gouda, ham and swiss on a croissant, and chorizo ​​on a flatbread hop far exceed what the competitors can manage. Pork is not brittle, but it is thick and juicy. The croissants are flaky and crunchy with a smooth inner layer. The chorizo ​​offers a generous amount of spice with a creamy cheesy citizen to compliment it just right.

But hash browns. Oh my gosh, hash brown. It’s larger than the Dunkin’ version but smaller than the one at McDonald’s, and almost looks like a latke. It’s not crunchy but it doesn’t have to be.

Reed food breeding
Raise Keynes/Facebook

By definition, Raising Cane’s is truly a national chain. But I object that there are no sites where you work. I can’t understand being in Maine, as they are in Delaware, but when I get home, I’m shocked they haven’t found a home here. The nearest one is located in Charlottesville, Virginia. It is not close. I need chicken fingers.

Before getting Cane’s for the first time, I didn’t think there was a way to elevate the current form of chicken tenders. It’s the thing your eclectic friend gets at a fancy restaurant and embarrasses you. It’s delicious, but it’s definitely nothing special. And even Kens, I stayed there, in a picky purgatory to eat alongside regular burgers with ketchup and cheese quesadillas.

But at Cane’s, you’ll experience a new level of chicken tenderness. The chicken is wet all the way through. Bread doesn’t make you feel like you ate a brick. It’s light, crunchy, and all it needs. The bread is inexplicably amazing. French fries are, well, just sliced ​​potatoes, but they complement the chicken really well. I don’t know what’s in that sauce, but I see a lot of people trying to imitate it. My best guess is ketchup mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce with some seasoning. But it’s a delicious umami heaven.

With over 600 locations, the chain is already a national brand, but fans like me think it’s time to take the next step. She has the potential to sweep the country and assert herself alongside Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. In many ways, the quality beats these competitors and Raising Cane’s can truly take the reins as the king of American fast food chicken.