2023’s Best Cities for Fast Food Lovers: 200 Cities Ranked

From the drive-in to the drive-thru, America loves finger-lickin’ good fast food. 

But which cities are best for satisfying on-the-go hunger (or on-the-couch cravings)? 

LawnStarter compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities to rank 2023’s Best Cities for Fast Food Lovers.

We looked for cities with access to plenty of fast-food establishments. We also considered affordability and quality, including Thrillist’s Fasties Awards. 

Have it your way on National Fast Food Day (Nov. 16) with the help of our ranking below, followed by some highlights, lowlights, and expert tips.

Contents

City Rankings 

A Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant location on an early summer evening in West St. Paul, Minnesota.

See how each city fared in our ranking:

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Overall Rank (1=Best)CityOverall ScoreAccess RankQuality RankAffordability Rank
 
1Orlando, FL67.3721146 
2New York, NY66.343291 
3Miami, FL61.16193147 
4San Francisco, CA59.00101415 
5Chicago, IL58.919969 
6Philadelphia, PA58.79114127 
7Huntington Beach, CA56.9933632 
8Washington, DC56.8962228 
9McAllen, TX56.2491362 
10San Diego, CA55.6047741 
11Los Angeles, CA54.51261096 
12Las Vegas, NV54.461413128 
13Scottsdale, AZ54.09142116 
14Chandler, AZ53.5471174 
15Killeen, TX52.53765149 
16Boston, MA52.3244876 
17Torrance, CA51.95242342 
18Glendale, AZ51.203112160 
19Atlanta, GA50.89204320 
20Austin, TX50.77412833 
21Palmdale, CA50.61152875 
22Pasadena, CA49.91363729 
23Seattle, WA49.24394426 
24Long Beach, CA49.012825124 
25Rancho Cucamonga, CA49.001082625 
26Tempe, AZ48.20254285 
27Orange, CA48.06326221 
28Tampa, FL48.041747104 
29Phoenix, AZ48.025518141 
30Mesa, AZ47.84823343 
31Pomona, CA47.75872482 
32Glendale, CA47.641064612 
33Peoria, AZ47.511571671 
34Escondido, CA47.491073049 
35San Antonio, TX47.236120143 
36Plano, TX47.19735713 
37Anaheim, CA47.01375068 
38Moreno Valley, CA46.971322166 
38Corona, CA46.97844527 
40Naperville, IL46.9165753 
41McKinney, TX46.141026511 
42Oceanside, CA45.801033590 
43Louisville, KY45.505117112 
44Dallas, TX45.36198670 
45Charlotte, NC45.241502981 
46Fontana, CA45.20795944 
47Olathe, KS45.191713238 
48Henderson, NV45.041703439 
49Santa Ana, CA44.74219545 
50Denver, CO44.67407958 
51Fort Lauderdale, FL44.641213151 
52Thornton, CO44.611005857 
53Fullerton, CA44.59468835 
54Salt Lake City, UT44.59905372 
55Norfolk, VA44.564951135 
56Lexington, KY44.511763152 
57Portland, OR44.481216034 
58St. Louis, MO44.334355140 
59Sunnyvale, CA43.40291572 
60Springfield, MO43.2015915181 
61Jersey City, NJ43.16816050 
62Sacramento, CA42.541513799 
63Frisco, TX42.49671328 
64Riverside, CA42.301137460 
65Waco, TX42.079368105 
66Garden Grove, CA42.038063137 
67Eugene, OR41.9817338117 
68Winston-Salem, NC41.921954147 
69Hampton, VA41.877552170 
70Fresno, CA41.875272152 
71Chula Vista, CA41.561221305 
72Overland Park, KS41.481747616 
73Pittsburgh, PA41.3816147110 
74Columbus, OH41.338566153 
75Raleigh, NC41.311688024 
76Little Rock, AR41.2113361122 
77Houston, TX41.1435103121 
78Roseville, CA41.095713823 
79Lincoln, NE41.0416256106 
80North Las Vegas, NV41.0219627134 
81Colorado Springs, CO40.968378129 
82Modesto, CA40.813813361 
83Knoxville, TN40.694587163 
84Fremont, CA40.581481247 
85Santa Clarita, CA40.421447774 
86Richmond, VA40.4018112171 
87Nashville, TN40.261726484 
88Baltimore, MD40.2527104162 
89Ontario, CA40.238610673 
90Alexandria, VA40.06719517 
91Tallahassee, FL39.955096151 
92Tulsa, OK39.8713670133 
93Virginia Beach, VA39.73979898 
94Kansas City, KS39.7319219184 
95San Jose, CA39.63621649 
96Rockford, IL39.5816440177 
97Clarksville, TN39.5219154108 
98Amarillo, TX39.3258122100 
99Kansas City, MO39.2019736145 
100St. Paul, MN39.209814822 
101Fort Worth, TX39.1910111965 
102Lubbock, TX39.186694156 
103Salinas, CA38.933017614 
104Tacoma, WA38.8864110136 
105Providence, RI38.8010591154 
106Elk Grove, CA38.7611514330 
107Columbus, GA38.5914690103 
108Irving, TX38.267716118 
109Bellevue, WA38.09951771 
110Laredo, TX38.0815882138 
111Jacksonville, FL38.0769107158 
112Oxnard, CA38.008115446 
113Durham, NC37.8917510254 
114Madison, WI37.761788992 
115Lakewood, CO37.6918071142 
116Greensboro, NC37.6616110193 
117Surprise, AZ37.65114111132 
118Rochester, NY37.6313128191 
119Fort Collins, CO37.5311215048 
120Murfreesboro, TN37.5112015631 
121Omaha, NE37.51149100109 
122Chesapeake, VA37.2418311436 
123Augusta, GA37.1716584157 
124Mobile, AL37.1319449172 
125Indianapolis, IN37.07140109119 
126Wichita, KS37.03124120107 
127Hialeah, FL36.9123124185 
128Milwaukee, WI36.9011881180 
129Baton Rouge, LA36.80111108168 
130Corpus Christi, TX36.8013413477 
131Anchorage, AK36.781998567 
132Carrollton, TX36.765917340 
133Cincinnati, OH36.5660146148 
134Buffalo, NY36.554473196 
135Tucson, AZ36.529569190 
136Hollywood, FL36.413418337 
137Santa Rosa, CA36.3411615279 
138Lancaster, CA36.2015412995 
139Albuquerque, NM36.17143121115 
140Stockton, CA36.0894118169 
141Vancouver, WA36.025316789 
142Bakersfield, CA36.0192153111 
143San Bernardino, CA35.8418267179 
144Denton, TX35.8218810597 
145Arlington, TX35.7074159102 
146Oklahoma City, OK35.6519383150 
147Warren, MI35.6416016319 
148Oakland, CA35.596317453 
149Sioux Falls, SD35.3616614178 
150Boise, ID35.3413715864 
151Grand Rapids, MI35.2951151173 
152Shreveport, LA35.2313492182 
153El Paso, TX35.20117144144 
154Dayton, OH35.167097188 
155Fort Wayne, IN34.71151115161 
156Irvine, CA34.6913818210 
157Aurora, CO34.50123113176 
158Huntsville, AL34.5019014259 
159Midland, TX34.1513117156 
160West Valley City, UT34.14189123113 
161Macon, GA33.93155135155 
162Minneapolis, MN33.347218080 
163Grand Prairie, TX33.2912717086 
164Newport News, VA33.2799139183 
165Des Moines, IA33.25163155125 
166Akron, OH33.1716739200 
167Memphis, TN33.16156140167 
168Yonkers, NY33.124818987 
169Fayetteville, NC32.96179127165 
170Garland, TX32.837818483 
171Hayward, CA32.7689175130 
172New Orleans, LA32.64184149118 
173Birmingham, AL32.04147116187 
174Salem, OR31.71145168139 
175St. Petersburg, FL31.2468194101 
176Reno, NV30.88153178114 
177Savannah, GA30.7656181174 
178Toledo, OH30.7114199198 
179Springfield, MA30.55119136193 
180Spokane, WA30.4554179178 
181Mesquite, TX30.41130185116 
182Paterson, NJ30.30126186123 
183Pembroke Pines, FL30.2613918794 
184Pasadena, TX30.14169165164 
185Port St. Lucie, FL30.13110191126 
186Worcester, MA29.92109193131 
187Cleveland, OH29.74125126199 
188Chattanooga, TN29.25177169159 
189Cape Coral, FL29.06104190166 
190Montgomery, AL28.58181166175 
191Aurora, IL28.4512919963 
192Charleston, SC27.6819818855 
193Detroit, MI27.29185145194 
194Jackson, MS27.14187162186 
195Joliet, IL27.06128172192 
196Newark, NJ26.6242197189 
197Brownsville, TX26.05186196120 
198Syracuse, NY24.9422198195 
199Miramar, FL24.5920019288 
200Bridgeport, CT20.4388200197 

Showing 1 to 200 of 200 entries

Behind the Ranking

For each of the 200 biggest U.S. cities, we gathered publicly available data on the factors listed in the table below. 

We then grouped those factors into three categories: Access, Quality, and Affordability.

Next, we calculated weighted scores for each city in each category. 

Finally, we averaged the scores for each city across all categories.

The city that earned the highest average score was ranked “Best” (No. 1), while the city with the lowest was ranked “Worst” (No. 200). (Note: The “Worst” among individual factors may not be 200 due to ties among cities.)

A Big Thank You!

To Lawnstarter and to writer/researcher Sav Maive

Sav Maive is a writer and director based in San Antonio. Sav is a graduate of the University of Virginia and is a loving cat and plant mom.