Food

The Best Fast Casual Restaurants  

Chef Jen
Originally by
16.9k votes 2.4k voters 109.7k views 47 items

List Rules Fast casual or "fresh" casual dining restaurant chains.

What are the best fast casual restaurants in the country? Fast casual, or fresh casual dining includes restaurants that offer the best, freshest ingredients available in a fast-food kind of setting, with quick service. Need a healthy burrito made with free range chicken? That's fast casual. The idea is that yes, this is food made fast, but it's not typically as unhealthy as traditional fast food. What's the most tasty fast casual restaurant around? That's up to you to decide, with your votes. Be sure to add your favorite fresh casual restaurants that aren't listed, too!

In an economy that's struggled in recent years, fast casual restaurants have managed to prosper (in most cases). The demand for fresher, higher quality, healthier fast food options no doubt has driven consumers to seek out fast casual dining, whether it's Mexican, deli-style, bakeries, burgers or even pizza joints.

Some of the most popular fast casual restaurants are big chains, including Chipotle, Panera Bread, Zaxby's and Panda Express. Each of these fast casual chains represents a different kind of food option, but each has done extremely well. One thing all of these places has in common with fast food restaurants: There is no full table service. It's quick, it's simple and it's tremendously popular among foodies who don't want to eat at regular fast food chains or more traditional family restaurant chains, either.

Again, be sure to vote for the restaurants that you think are truly the best fast casual eateries around, vote down any you don't like -- and add any that are missing. 

What are fast casual restaurants? This list will take a look at the best ones and it's up to you to rank them

Check out more lists like the best fast food brands, top family restaurants and the nicest restaurants in America to visit for your foodie needs

list ordered by
1
Five Guys is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
2
Chipotle Mexican Grill is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
3
Panera Bread is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
Kristen Barnhardt added
4
Steak 'n Shake is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
ChangesDownClub added
5
Firehouse Subs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
6
Subway is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
Fendarr added
7
Shake Shack is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
averagej123 added
8
Qdoba Mexican Grill is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
9
Moe's Southwest Grill is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
wiabux added
10
Einstein Bros. Bagels is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
11
Noodles & Company is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
12
Smash Burger is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
13
Boston Market is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
14
Schlotzsky's is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
15
Jersey Mike's Subs is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
Cameron Waller added
16
Jimmy John's is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
17
Nathan's Famous is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
zxray added
18
Quiznos is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
19
Baja Fresh is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
20
El Pollo Loco is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
tlushnia added
21
Pink's Hot Dogs is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
chughklc added
22
Jason's Deli is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
23
Zaxby's is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
24
Au Bon Pain is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants
25
Souplantation is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fast Casual Restaurants