Food

The Best American Restaurant Chains 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated February 25, 2020 235.3k votes 10.3k voters 387.5k views 300 items

List Rules American restaurants that have multiple locations or franchises

The List of Top Restaurant Chains in America includes famous restaurant chains from throughout the United States. Restaurant chains offer a familiarity through their decor and menu throughout all of their locations. As such, they tend to be most popular in areas where one would find travelers or tourists. From fast food, to drive-thrus, and even some sit-down franchises, there are a variety of restaurants on this list, each serving different international cuisines or their own takes on American classics.

The idea of chain restaurants is widely credited to Harland Sanders, more famously known as "Colonel Sanders." By "franchising" out his secret recipe, restaurants that served his food had an advantage as travelers knew what to expect. His restaurant, KFC, is now one of the largest in the world. Today, nearly every cuisine imaginable has a restaurant chain attached to it.

Vote up your favorite chain restaurants below, or vote down those you'll never go back to again. Looking for more of a sweet treat? Check out lists of the Best Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Chains. Cook up some mediocre Italian food at home using this list of Olive Garden recipes, and take a look at other delicious lists like, the Best Japanese Foods and the Best Brain Foods.

list ordered by
1
Chick-fil-A is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
2
The Cheesecake Factory ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
Tina Tucker added
3
Wendy's is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
4
Five Guys is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
5
In-N-Out Burger is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
6
Taco Bell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
7
Cracker Barrel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
8
Olive Garden is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
9
Outback Steakhouse is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
10
Cold Stone Creamery is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
11
Popeyes Louisiana Kitche... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
12
Chili's is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
13
Arby's is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
14
Steak 'n Shake is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
15
Sonic Drive-In is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains

Be sure to check out our list of the best food at Sonic and the best Sonic secret menu items to help you decide what to order. 

16
Dairy Queen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
17
Krispy Kreme is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
18
Chipotle Mexican Grill ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
19
Red Robin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
20
IHOP is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
21
Red Lobster is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
22
Buffalo Wild Wings is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
23
Dunkin' Donuts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
24
Subway is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains
25
Auntie Anne's is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best American Restaurant Chains