Food

The Top 7 Fast Foods with Cult Followings

It's McRib season, ladies and gentlemen. While some people are suspicious that McRib's limited availability is a mixed conspiracy of exploiting low pork prices and creating artificial demand by limiting supply, others keep their mouths shut and only open it to eat as many glorious BBQ sandwiches as humanly possible.  In honor of this week's return of the McRib, here's a list of the 7 fast foods with the largest, most rabid, dedicated and seemingly inexplicable cult followings.

These followings pine for these foods and franchises in the same way all of America pines for those special three words every single year: "McRib is Back." These foods are especially popular with stoners, (for example the White Castle crave craze).

What are the best fast foods with cult followings? You may be surprised to learn of some the foods on this list, yet you really shouldn't be knowing the diehard fans that these restaurants have.
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  • 1
    482 VOTES

    White Castle

    White Castle
    Video: YouTube

    WHAT IS IT?
    Small slider hamburgers (that can also be purchased at your local supermarket if you don't happen to live in an area with White Castle establishments) that are inexpensive and supposedly some of the greatest stoner/drunk food around. Why? Because they're greasy, EXTREMELY inexpensive and can be consumed almost like popcorn.

    THE PHENOMENON
    When you have a whole movie named and set about your product and store, you know you've touched "cult" level of popularity.

    The natural thing to call them? Cravers. Besides the slightly creepy zombie-like connotation, their menu can reach crazy proportions of consumption-implication. Known for their sliders (named so because they’re so small that they can just slide down your esophagus in one gulp), the chain offers prescription food to the addicted craver in big sizes.

    By "craver", for the most part, what is meant is "stoned or high individual", at least in popular culture. Much like Taco Bell has gotten a reputation for being a great stoner food, White Castle is the end-all, be-all of stoner foods... supposedly.

    But more on their portions: If you want it bad enough, you can get a Crave Case or even a Crave Crate. 30 sliders for 15 dollars or 100 sliders for 50 dollars, respectively.

    Only fast food restaurants can get away with selling that much food to cure an addiction, and only one with such a loyal following (enough for one of the most iconic Stoner Movies of all time to be built around the establishment/food product) can continue to operate on a platform of such extreme excess.

    One thing the White Castle consuming community has adopted which is notable is the building of impressive structures using their used hamburger cases like so: A White Castle castle.
  • 2
    424 VOTES

    In-N-Out Burger

    In-N-Out Burger
    Video: YouTube

    WHAT IS IT?
    Absolutely delicious hamburgers that are made fresh, not from pre-shaped meat. Great french fries that are made to order from potatoes that are cut right in front of you.

    THE PHENOMENON
    This popular (Mormon) California fast food chain has converted thousands of followers, who will pass a thousand other commerical chains in order to reach an In-N-Out. Case in point: When In-N-Out expanded to other states, the good people of Scottsdale, AZ waited in line for four hours while helicopters whirred above capturing footage of the almighty In-N-Out finally opening its doors to the public.

    People love the taste of the burgers, the "secret sauce" (thousand island dressing with relish in it), and the freshness of the entire franchise. Also, the fact that the uniform hasn't changed since its 1948 inception and the fact that their menu has remained extremely minimalistic and simplistic since, are staples of the In-N-Out dining experience.

    And, of course, people flock to In-N-Out (after their first time) to partake in being "in" on the (now not-so) secret menu that includes a Neopolitan milkshake, lettuce instead of buns, cheese fries with sauce and grilled onions on them, and a hamburger containing up to 100 burger patties and 100 slices of cheese. Take THAT, hungry children in the Third World!

    A 100x100

    Check out the embedded video for an explanation of In-N-Out's "secret" menu.

    The cult of In-N-Out has been strictly word-of-mouth and they really spend minimal time advertising, so much that catching an In-N-Out commercial on television is extremely rare. When it DOES happen, though, you get a taste of the minimalism you'll get when you get to a restaurant itself. How?

    The In-N-Out commercial (that has been ostensibly running for YEARS) is just a camera panning around an amazing looking hamburger while an abbreviated version of their jingle plays in the background which simply says "That's what a hamburger's all about." Brilliant.

    Even the popular online video site CollegeHumor.com pulled its April's Fools prank on the East Coast by announcing that In-N-Out Burger would be coming to New York in 2010... and then revealed that it was a cruel, cruel joke. The fact that one of the most popular websites on the internet, frequented by millions of people every month, would base its entire April's Fools prank on teasing this restaurant is testament to its word-of-mouth glitz, glamour, hype and, most importantly, cult status.

  • 3
    526 VOTES

    Chick Fil-A

    Chick Fil-A
    Video: YouTube

    WHAT IS IT?
    A fast food franchise that serves chicken, kind of like KFC, only "better" and with more sandwiches.

    THE PHENOMENON
    To start off, the employees are a bit fanatical. Unofficial motto of the company is: "if you don’t plan on being here for life, you needn’t apply". And the official corporate mission emblazoned on the company plaque at headquarters? "Glorify God." Which explains why it's closed on Sundays. The company believes that wholesome marriages and relationships fuel good business and for the most part, franchise owners are happily married. In that case, Chick-fil-a doesn’t butt into their lives, which its been known to do if they suspect an employer. You can’t moonlight if you work at a Chick-fil-a. It may be delicious, but it is watching you.

    Read the article from Forbes.

    Aside from this, and being a Taco Bell-esque "Stoner Food", Chick Fil-A enthusiasts honestly just believe that it is the best fried chicken experience and that it is better than any other chicken franchise.

    It might come from brand loyalty, it might come from the hype, but either way people like the ones in this embedded video (who stood and camped out in front of a Chick Fil-A for 24 hours to get some free food) will go to great lengths to get the food that they are so loyal to.
  • 4
    335 VOTES

    Mexican Coke

    Mexican Coke
    Video: YouTube

    WHAT IS IT?
    Well, it's basically Coca Cola Classic that doesn't use fake sugar, but cane sugar, and isn't kept in a can for weeks, but is actually bottled into durable, taste-preserving glass instead of cheap aluminum cans. It's called Mexican Coke because the Coke's that are bottled in Mexico have these properties, uniquely (to the U.S. at least), and can be moderately easily acquired.

    THE PHENOMENON
    Why do people love Mexican Coke so much? Its taste.

    American coke is produced using high-fructose corn syrup. Mexican coke instead uses real cane sugar. Real, not artificial. If you live anywhere in proximity of the border, you’ve most likely heard of the legendary Mexican coke.

    The Coca-Cola company denies that the differences in ingredients create any perceptible taste differences, but to the cult behind Mexican Coke, this is a lie.

    Most people will give you a taste or a sip of their Coke if you ask... unless they are drinking Mexican Coke. If that's what they're enjoying and you're thirsty, then you are most likely on your own.

    Mexican Coke gets kitsch-value bonus for coming in vintage, thick glass bottles and for fusing the label permanently into the glass. You can’t screw off the metal cap, you need a bottle opener, which makes the drink a little more "serious" than your regular Coca Cola. Also, there are no nutrition facts which makes this drink 100% bad-ass.

    The most remarkable thing about the phenomenon is how much more people are willing to pay for "Mexican Coke". A 12 pack of Coca Cola (canned, American, or even plastic-bottled, American) will cost you less than $10 most places. A pack of Mexican Coke will run you over $20 and sometimes $30 (depending on the availability and where you are in the U.S.).

    Click here for the full story, research and a Coke spokesperson's denial/explanation of why Mexican Coke is unique.

    Click here to buy an entire case of Mexican Coke to try it for yourself. It's actually 100% worth it.