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A new study analyzing the popularity of fast food restaurants in 30 of the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas has identified the most popular fast food chain in Los Angeles, and it’s probably not the one you’re thinking of.
Five Guys claims the top spot as the most popular fast food chain in the Los Angeles area, according to the study by Top Agency that was released in March. It edged out Chipotle Mexican Grill and L.A.’s own In-N-Out Burger in the rankings.
Top 5 Fast Food Restaurants in Los Angeles:
- Five Guys
- Chipotle Mexican Grill
- In-N-Out Burger
Fans of In-N-Out might be surprised by the third-place finish, as the franchise was founded in the San Gabriel Valley in the late 1940s and is often regarded as the most iconic Los Angeles fast food restaurant.
But head just a little bit south, and the love for Animal Style burgers and 4x4s appears to be going strong. In-N-Out topped the list of San Diego’s most popular fast food joints, ahead of Chipotle and McDonald’s.
Top 5 Fast Food Restaurants in San Diego:
- Carl’s Jr.
- Jersey Mike’s
In the Bay Area, Chick-Fil-A is the top option for Silicon Valley residents. The fried chicken fast food restaurant was the top choice of seven of the 30 regions profiled.
Chick-fil-A is the most popular in the following cities:
- New York
- Salt Lake City
- San Francisco
The study tracked customer data from fast food restaurants across the country in 2021. Overall, the study also found that fast food consumption increased in 2021, citing the COVID-19 pandemic-friendly convenience of a drive-thru in these kinds of restaurants. Nationally, fast food restaurant visits are up 33.06%, including a 54% increase for burger chains.
In California, there was a 49% increase in fast food consumption in 2021. That ranks 10th out of the 50 states in the country. According to the study, California as a whole chose McDonald’s as its most popular fast food restaurant.
For 2021, the study says Sonic was the most popular in 14 states, which is the most in the country. Wendy’s and Taco Bell tied for second, claiming the top spot in nine states each.