This Is the Most Beloved Restaurant Chain in Your State

In-N-Out Burger

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In-N-Out Burger
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Favorite Restaurant Chains by State

Chain restaurants elicit strong reactions in people. Sometimes it's ire and criticism, but sometimes it's adoration. Many people love small chains that have a long local history, serve beloved foods from the region, or are good stewards of the community. It's those spots that make it to the top of locals' best restaurants lists. Here are some of the most revered chains, based on customer reviews, critics, and popularity.

Related: 25 Best New Restaurant Chains the Rest of the Country Needs

Milo's Hamburgers
Harumi C./Yelp

Alabama: Milo's

Milo's is a fast food burger chain that opened in Birmingham in 1946 after its founder, Milo Carlton, served as a mess cook in the Army. There are now around 20 locations, all in Alabama, and all have a simple menu of classics. Try their signature burger topped with Milo's secret sauce, onions, and pickles on a grilled bun and wash it down with sweet tea. 

Related: The Best Value Meal Deals at 29 Chains Across the Country

Pho Vietnam
Andrew H./Yelp

Alaska: Pho Vietnam

It's hard to beat a hot, steaming bowl of pho in the cold weather of Alaska, and locals in Anchorage seem to agree. The four locations of this small Vietnamese chain all garner good reviews, especially the pho, which is packed with meats and "hands down the best in town." Besides pho, you can also get banh mi, bun noodle salad, and Thai dishes like panang curry and tom yum soup.

Related: 18 Best Chain Restaurants for Keto and Other Low-Carb Diets

Kade B./Yelp

Arizona: eegee's

Founded in 1971 and named after their founders' initials of E and G, eegee's has a few dozen locations in Arizona, mostly in Phoenix and its hometown of Tucson. They serve sub sandwiches and fries, but their real claim to fame is their namesake eegee. It's a thick, frozen slushie that comes in flavors like lemon, pina colada and strawberry, plus a flavor-of-the-month including regional treats like prickly pear. 

Related: Best Soft Serve Ice Cream Shops in America

Whole Hog Cafe, Little Rock, Arkansas
Christy R./Yelp

Arkansas: Whole Hog Cafe

The original Little Rock location of this small chain has a wall of trophies and awards won by the founders in barbecue competitions. They entered their first in 2000, and after some success, decided to open a barbecue trailer. Now Whole Hog Cafe has seven locations in Arkansas with a handful in other states. They're known for tender and juicy ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and brisket with traditional sides like potato salad, beans, and slaw. 

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall BBQ Joints Across America

In-N-Out Burger

California: In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger is one of the most popular and beloved fast food chains in the country, let alone in their home state of California. Because they do not franchise, the chain has remained relatively small in order to keep quality high and pay their employees a fair rate well above minimum wage. Their burgers have a cult-like following, especially for "secret menu" items like "animal style" where the burger is grilled in mustard and topped with pickles, grilled onions and extra Thousand Island-like spread.

Related: Local Burger Chains the Rest of the Country Needs

Illegal Pete's
Bry B./Yelp

Colorado: Illegal Pete's

While well known burrito mega-chains Chipotle and Qdoba were both founded in Denver, Coloradans have a softer spot in their hearts for Illegal Pete's, a much smaller burrito chain with only a dozen locations, 10 of which are in Colorado. The fast casual restaurant offers burritos, bowls, taquitos and other Tex-Mex favorites along with breakfast and a full bar. Get your burrito smothered in pork green chile, a Colorado specialty. 

Related: Where to Find Good, Cheap Burritos in Every State

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Connecticut: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

New Haven-style pizza is characterised by a thin, bubbly crust charred in a coal oven, and the first pizzeria to offer it is now a small chain, Pepe's. The original location opened in 1925, and there are a dozen locations now, most of them in Connecticut. White clam pizza, topped with fresh shucked clam, garlic, oregano, and Romano cheese is one of the most popular pizzas, along with the original tomato pie, with or without mozzarella. 

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Pizza Joints Across America

The Bobbie at Capriotti's in Wilmington, DE
Anthony N./Yelp

Delaware: Capriotti's

Though it's since grown well beyond Delaware's borders, Capriotti's was started by Wilmington native Lois Margolet in 1976 and named after her grandfather. The sub chain's signature sandwich, the Bobbie, is like Thanksgiving on a bun. It has pulled turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayo. It's a sandwich that's become synonymous with Delaware. 

Taylor Gourmet
Yelp / Zoya F.

District of Columbia: Taylor Gourmet

This eatery with four locations in the D.C. area gets raves for its scratch-made sandwiches, salads, and sides like risotto balls, with DCist asking, "Why is Taylor Gourmet so f-----g good?" and declared it hoagie heaven. Even then-President Barack Obama and his Vice-President Joe Biden strolled in for a bite in 2013.

Michael T./Yelp

Florida: PDQ

Fried chicken sandwiches have been big business in recent years, which may be why PDQ, a fried chicken sandwich and tenders chain that opened in Tampa in 2011, has been growing rapidly. They make all their dipping sauces and dressings from scratch, and use never frozen, hormone- and steroid-free chicken. The chain has been called "downright delicious" by Southern Living, especially their pimento crunch sandwich, which is topped with homemade pimento cheese, bacon, and potato chips.  

Related: Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches in America

Waffle House

Georgia: Waffle House

Founded in 1955 near Atlanta, 24/7 diner Waffle House has become a much-loved restaurant all over the South. It's known as an unpretentious place where all are welcome at all times, whether you've imbibed too much at 3 a.m. or you're grabbing a quick dinner after work. It's such a reliable stalwart that it inspired the Waffle House index, a gauge of how bad a hurricane or storm is based on whether the Waffle Houses closed. Besides waffles (get the pecan), the all-the-way hash browns covered with everything from onions to sausage gravy are customer favorites. 

Rainbow Drive-In, Honolulu, Hawaii
Jerome S./Yelp

Hawaii: Rainbow Drive-In

Rainbow Drive-In in a family owned diner with five locations around Honolulu. The first one opened in 1961, and is still going strong with its own souvenir shop next door. Plate lunches are the must-order here, and they serve over a thousand of them each day. You choose your entree, like BBQ pork, Portuguese sausage and eggs, or mahi mahi, and it comes with two scoops of rice plus a scoop of macaroni salad. Their loco moco plate, a Hawaiian classic with hamburger patties, gravy, and eggs, often takes top spot in local rankings

The Boise Fry Co.
Christine L./Yelp

Idaho: Boise Fry Company

It makes a lot of sense that the chain restaurant beloved in Idaho would focus on the humble potato. The Boise Fry Company has six locations in the state, and the fries, not the burgers, take center stage. The potatoes come from a farm in Buhl, and you can choose your potato type from options like yam, purple potato, or sweet potato. The cut of fry can range from Po’ball to homestyle, though cuts change daily. They are served unsalted, because there's a whole wall of flavored salts and sauces to choose from, including salt and vinegar seasoning and blueberry ketchup. 

Charlene F./Yelp

Illinois: Portillo's

While some people might think a deep dish pizza chain would take this spot, it's Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago-style hot dogs that Illinoisians eat all the time. Portillo's is one of the go-to chains for both those things, plus some really great salads and Maxwell Street Polish sausages, another local favorite. There are dozens of locations now, but most are still located in the Chicago area, where people eagerly slurp up the ridiculously decadent chocolate cake shakes. 

Schoop's Hamburgers
Schoop's Hamburgers/Yelp

Indiana: Schoop's Hamburgers

Located mainly in the Gary area, Schoop's has been around since 1948. Their classic diner decor and menu featuring breakfast, burgers, and shakes are pure Americana. The burgers they serve are smash burgers with crispy, lacy edges, and they have garnered many accolades from critics through the years. The Mickey burger is an homage to Midwest dairy country, with two slices of cheese on a single beef patty. Homemade chili will keep you warm all year, especially when it's ladled over a pile of fries. 

Maid Rite Sandwich
Karen P./Yelp

Iowa: Maid-Rite

Maid-Rite specializes in the loose meat sandwich, which is like a sloppy Joe without the sauce, or a hamburger that isn't pressed together. It's the kind of dish people love if they grew up with it, but everyone else is skeptical until they try it. Maid-Rite has been around in Iowa since 1926, so there's a heck of a lot of people who love their sandwiches. Mustard, pickles, onions, and cheese are standard toppings, but no matter what you put on top, it'll probably fall out as you eat — that's why it's served with a spoon.

Related: Historic Route 66 Restaurants Worth a Pit Stop

Knolla's Pizza
Jillian B./Yelp

Kansas: Knolla's Pizza

Brother Pat and Tim Knolla opened their first Knolla's locations in Wichita in the 1980s after working for a corporate pizza chain and an independent pizzeria in New York City. They now have five locations in the Wichita area, all serving up classic NYC-style pizza on a bubbly, chewy pizza crust. Toppings range from pepperoni to sunflower seeds and pickles, so you can customize your pizza any way you like. Try a 30-inch party pizza next time you're feeding a couple dozen people. 

Taco Luchador Taqueria
Kevin W./Yelp

Kentucky: Taco Luchador Taqueria

Though it has only been open since 2014, Taco Luchador in Louisville already has a dedicated following of loyal customers. There are four locations around the city already, and all have at least a 4-star rating on Yelp. The colorful, energetic counter service spots are small, but the food has big flavors. Tacos filled with fresh toppings, including al pastor and Baja fish, are the bulk of the menu, along with tortas on big, fluffy rolls. 

Acme Oyster House
Bradley P./Yelp

Louisiana: Acme Oyster House

In a city full of historic seafood restaurants, Acme Oyster House is one of the most loved by locals and tourists alike. Their original location in the CBD has almost 8,000 Yelp reviews with a combined 4 stars, and is the city's oldest oyster bar, founded in 1910. Freshly shucked oysters are the big draw, of course, and you can get them raw or chargrilled with an herb butter sauce and cheese. Po'boys of all kinds, red beans and rice, fried seafood platters, and gumbo round out the classic menu. 

Brooke K./Yelp

Maine: Gifford's

Move over lobster roll, there's Gifford's ice cream to eat. At their five family-owned and operated stores in the state they scoop more than one million cones each year, making tons of Mainers happy. They produce over 100 different flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet, including cannoli, Maine wild blueberry, and Maine lobster tracks with lobster-colored caramel chocolate cups. 

Chaps Pit Beef in Baltimore, Maryland
Karena J./Yelp

Maryland: Chaps Pit Beef

Baltimore has a regional sandwich called pit beef — it’s made by roasting beef in a charcoal pit, then slicing thinly and slapping it on a roll. One of the best versions is made by Chaps, which is a no-frills counter service spot that now has six locations in the area. The original location has a solid 4.5 stars on Yelp, and customers declare it a "must try when you are in the area" before uploading photos of sandwiches absolutely crammed full of shaved rare beef and dripping with horseradish tiger sauce. 

Tasty Burger
Byung Chul K./Yelp

Massachusetts: Tasty Burger

Founded in a location right behind Fenway Park and later named the official burger of the Red Sox, Tasty Burger is quintessential Boston. The first location opened in 2010 and there are now four other locations around Boston. Burgers, dogs, chicken, and sides make up almost the entirety of the menu, but they're all good enough that there are lines of customers, especially late at night. The Big Tasty burger is the signature, though a fried chicken sandwich topped with fried mozzarella and red sauce is a unique standout. 


Michigan: Buddy's Pizza

Detroit-style pizza has spread across the country in recent years, but the most beloved chain has yet to expand beyond Michigan's borders. Buddy's Pizza is where Detroit-style pizza was first created in steel pans borrowed from local automotive plants, as the story goes, back when it opened its first location back in 1946. Now there are 17 full-service locations serving up the thick crust pizza with caramelized Muenster cheese and sauce on the top. 

Betty P./Yelp

Minnesota: MyBurger

Since 2004, MyBurger has been serving up solid, hefty burgers and fries in the Twin Cities area. The family-run chain has expanded to eight locations, and reviewers are saying that they have "delicious burgers with a ton of variety." The original burger with ketchup, mustard, fried onions, and sweet pickles is the preferred order with a side of Cajun fries and a milkshake. Keep an eye out for specials, like deals on beer or burgers of the month, like the campfire burger with peppered bacon, hot pepper cheese, and BBQ garlic mayonnaise. 

Nguyen L./Yelp

Mississippi: Ward's

The Ward brothers opened their first Ward's in 1978, which they modeled on Frostop, an old New Orleans-based chain that they had operated previously. Things worked out, because Frostop is gone, but Ward's is still serving up homemade root beer and chili burgers at around 40 locations, all in Mississippi. The signature chili cheese burger is called the Big One, and it's an "iconic meal that lets you know you're home," according to a former local who still craves Ward’s menu items. 

Imo's Pizza

Missouri: Imo's Pizza

St. Louis-style pizza is made on a thin, cracker-like crust, topped with Provel cheese, and cut into small squares. The place to get it since 1964 is Imo's, a pizzeria that now has around 100 locations. It tends to spark strong feelings from people who either love or hate it, but it's definitely a big part of the state's food identity and generally thought of fondly. Provel cheese, which is a mix of provolone, cheddar and Swiss, bakes up creamy as opposed to stringy, giving the pizza a unique texture. 

The Pickle Barrel
Sam P./Yelp

Montana: The Pickle Barrel

The Pickle Barrel, a small sub sandwich chain, opened in Bozeman way back in 1975. That location is so small it doesn't even have places to sit down inside, but that doesn't stop customers from raving about the sandwiches. The cheesesteaks, topped with barbecue sauce, and cold deli subs are popular, as are the free pickles you fish out of the literal pickle barrel yourself. Their large subs are massive compared to places like Subway, and they're not shy about letting you know.

Runza Brand Runza Sandwiches
Heather C./Yelp

Nebraska: Runza

Across parts of the Midwest is a very popular savory baked roll called a runza or bierock. In Nebraska, the love of that hand held snack was turned into a restaurant, named Runza after its main dish, in 1949. Now there are dozens of locations all over Nebraska. Ground beef, onions, and cabbage are baked in a soft, white bread dough for the classic, but you can get versions with cheese, toppings, or filling like Southwest black bean or barbecue bacon. 

Related: Signature Cheap Eats From Every State

Hash House A Go Go, Las Vegas, Nevada
Sara J./Yelp

Nevada: Hash House a Go Go

Everything over-the-top is beloved in Las Vegas, and that's a big part of the reason why Hash House a Go Go is so popular. The breakfast-and-brunch-only menu consists of modern takes on Midwestern comfort foods, and the portions are as big as the flavors. Pancakes are larger than the plate they're served on, and the sage fried chicken breast and waffles is served in one giant stack held together with a steak knife. Everything is fun, whimsical, and filling. 

Moe's Original Italian Sandwich at Moe's Italian Sandwiches in Portsmouth, NH
Hutch P./Yelp

New Hampshire: Moe's Italian Sandwiches

Moe's was founded in 1959 by Phil "Moe" Pagano in Portsmouth when he decided to buy a sandwich shop and start selling only one sandwich: the one his mom used to make. The menu has expanded since then, and so has the restaurant, which now has 14 locations in New Hampshire and more in other states. The original sandwich is made with mild salami and provolone, veggies, and dressing, but you can also get sub classics like turkey, chicken salad, and capicola. 

Jersey Mike's
Scott B./Yelp

New Jersey: Jersey Mike's

Though Jersey Mike's is one of the fastest growing chains in the U.S., it's still loved by customers in its home state of New Jersey. The history of the chain is long, and it began with Mike's Subs in 1956 on the Jersey Shore. Meats for your sandwich are still sliced in front of you so you know they're fresh, and getting your sub "Mike's way" with veggies and the special vinegar and oil sub dressing and spices is the best way to go. 

Blake's Lotaburger Burger
Kyle J./Yelp

New Mexico: Blake's Lotaburger

Founded in 1952 in Albuquerque, Blake's Lotaburger now has dozens of locations around New Mexico, with a few in other nearby states. The signature Lota Burger is topped with roasted Hatch green chiles, a local favorite chile from Hatch, New Mexico that's known for its rich flavor and just-spicy-enough bite. The burger is so good that it's been named the best green chile cheeseburger in the state, and there's a lot of competition. 

Shake Shack
Miss Ninja/Yelp

New York: Shake Shack

What started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in 2000 has turned into a global chain. In the early days, there was a ton of hype about the burgers and frozen custard at Shake Shack thanks to their high quality ingredients, attention to detail, and social media-worthy presentation. Today, lines still get long enough due to demand. The chain is also so dedicated to cooking everything fresh that there was once a webcam set up in the original location to gauge wait times. 

Kathleen D./Yelp

North Carolina: Bojangles

Though it has spread all over the South thanks to its ridiculously good biscuits and fried chicken, Bojangles started in Charlotte in the 1970s and North Carolina still has the most locations. The fried chicken is marinated for 12 hours before frying to make it tender and well seasoned, but the real draw are the biscuits. They, along with all the other breakfast items, are served all day long. Don't skip the pimento cheese biscuit, the Cajun chicken filet biscuit, or the sweet Bo-Berry biscuits. 

Kroll's Diner in Fargo, North Dakota

North Dakota: Kroll's Diner

Kroll's is a little chain of vintage-inspired diners with four locations across the state. The decor is pure Americana, which makes sense since the restaurant was founded back in 1969. And while there's all kinds of hearty diner classics like patty melts and pancakes, it's the German dishes that people really love. The knoephla soup, a North Dakota speciality, is creamy, thick and full of dumplings, while the deep fried fleischkuechle are flaky and crisp.

Skyline Chili
Rachel K./Yelp

Ohio: Skyline Chili

Cincinnati chili is one of those argument-beginning regional foods. People who haven't grown up eating it generally aren't fans, but those who are from Cincinnati love it, especially Skyline, one of the two biggest chains in the area. It was started in 1949 by a Greek immigrant, and the chili is indeed much different than most other places. It's got cinnamon and other spices in it for a unique flavor, and it's served over spaghetti noodles with a massive mound of cold shredded cheddar, plus onion and beans if you want them. In the words of a protective Cincinnatian: "Yes, it's delicious. Next question." 

Hideaway Pizza in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Hideaway Pizza/Yelp

Oklahoma: Hideaway Pizza

Hideaway Pizza has been many Oklahomans' favorite pizzeria since they opened their first location in 1957. That location was near the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, and many pizzas were delivered to students in their fleet of colorfully painted Volkswagen Beetles in the 1970s. Now there are about 21 locations to satisfy everyone's craving for hand tossed pizza with toppings like meatballs, Polish sausage, and artichoke hearts. 

Blue Star Donuts

Oregon: Blue Star Donuts

While there's another Portland doughnut chain that has become more famous as a tourist destination, it's Blue Star Donuts that locals love. There are currently three locations in PDX, with another couple planned for later in 2021. Doughnut flavors are sophisticated but playful in that weird, irreverent way that Portlanders love. You might have to wait in line on weekend mornings, but it's worth it for blueberry basil, passion fruit cocoa nib, and chocolate buttermilk old-fashioned doughnuts.

Primanti Brothers
Primanti Brothers/Yelp

Pennsylvania: Primanti Brothers

Primanti Brothers is practically iconic in Pittsburgh, where it was founded in 1933 during the Depression. Its working class roots are still embraced, and each sandwich is a full meal on a couple slices of bread. Choose your meat, like corned beef, boloney, or kielbasa, which gets griddled before being placed on thick cut, hand-sliced, Italian bread with tomatoes, an oil and vinegar coleslaw, and a handful of fresh French fries. It's a hefty double-hander with a great balance of rich, charred meat, crispy fries and tangy fresh slaw.

A container of Del's Lemonade in Rhode Island
A container of Del's Lemonade in Rhode Island by Ericci8996 (CC BY-SA)

Rhode Island: Del's Lemonade

Summers in Rhode Island mean one thing: frozen lemonade. It's like a cross between slush and shaved ice, and it's full of tart, lemon tang. One of the best places to get it is Del's Lemonade, which has locations all over the state. It was founded in 1948 in Cranston, and the founder, Angelo DeLucia, brought his father's recipe over from Italy. Though they now offer other flavors like blood orange and grapefruit, lemon is still the go-to, and locals prefer to eat it with a pretzel stick.

South Carolina: Rush's
Rick T./Yelp

South Carolina: Rush's

The Rush family opened their drive-in near Columbia on the edge of their dairy farm in 1940. It was one of the first fast food drive-ins, but it was destroyed by a fire, reopened as a Dairy Queen, and then eventually changed into Rush's. Now there are nine locations, all in South Carolina. They serve up classic favorites like cheeseburgers, fried chicken, hot dogs, and a hot fudge cake dessert. The milkshakes are particularly popular, with one customer declaring, "I am a milkshake fiend, and these were delicious."

The Millstone Family Restaurant
Dr. Richard M./Yelp

South Dakota: The Millstone Family Restaurant

There's nothing quite like a family restaurant, the kind that serves liver and onions and strawberry-topped pancakes. There are three locations of The Millstone in South Dakota, and they've all embodied that everyone-is-welcome, come-as-you-are vibe since 1981. Customers love the fried chicken, chicken fried steak, salad bar, and huge, sticky, caramel rolls. As always, if you see a lineup of pies, don't hesitate to order a slice. 

Hot Chicken, Hattie B's Chicken, Nashville
Elvi T./Yelp

Tennessee: Hattie B's Hot Chicken

Though Hattie B's didn't invent hot chicken — that's Prince's, which isn't a chain — they do have an extremely good rendition of their own at a number of locations in Tennessee. The chicken, which is deep-fried and coated in a seriously hot, bright red, cayenne pepper sauce, is worth standing in line for, as all the people waiting in the ridiculously long lines will attest. The bone-in chicken is traditional, but chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches are also available, along with great pimento mac and cheese. 

Related: The Spiciest Foods Around the World

Whataburger Burger
Cassie M./Yelp

Texas: Whataburger

It would be insane to pick anything other than Whataburger for Texans' favorite chain. They have an almost cult-like love for it, and would pit it against other regional favorites In-N-Out and 5 Guys for the best fast food burger chain in the country. There are almost 700 locations in Texas, while the next highest amount in a state is only 37. It first opened in 1950, and the chain's signature orange and white A-frame buildings make customers' mouths water in anticipation of their cheeseburgers. 

Arctic Circle Utah
Jennifer H./Yelp

Utah: Arctic Circle

Fry sauce, the pink, creamy dip beloved in the Western U.S. and especially Utah, was created at Arctic Circle. They've been in business for over 70 years now, and have a few dozen locations in Utah, where they were founded. They serve up classic comfort food like burgers, fries, corn dogs, and fried fish, plus "above the rim" shakes that are so thick they pile above the top of the cup and require a spoon to eat. 

The Skinny Pancake
Joe B./Yelp

Vermont: The Skinny Pancake

What started out as a food cart in 2003 has turned into a chain of seven locations for Skinny Pancake, a Vermont creperie. They serve delicious savory and sweet crepes, and donate a portion of their revenue to non-profits. Locally sourcing ingredients and working toward becoming a zero-waste establishment are both important to the owners as well. That makes your choco monkey and apples and brie crepes taste even sweeter. 

Prima V./Yelp

Virginia: Biscuitville

Biscuitville went through a couple iterations before becoming the biscuit- and Southern-centric chain it is today. It started as a bakery, then became Pizzaville as a way to sell baked goods in the evening. When biscuits were added to the menu, they outsold the pizza, and the rest is history. Now you can watch the buttermilk biscuits being made fresh every day through the "biscuit window" before they're topped with sausage gravy, country ham, or spicy fried chicken and honey. 

Duke's Seafood
James H./Yelp

Washington: Duke's Seafood

Washington has an abundance of fresh seafood, and locals love getting it at Duke's Seafood. The nautical-themed, casual restaurants started in the 1970s and have seven locations around the Seattle area. They're best known for their chowders — the eateries used to be named Duke's Chowder Houses — which come in four varieties, including a classic creamy, New England-style clam chowder and lobster Pernod. There's also plenty of Copper River salmon, halibut, and dungeness crab on the menu. 

Tudor's Biscuit World
Angela P./Yelp

West Virginia: Tudor's Biscuit World

Biscuits are big business in West Virginia thanks to Tudor's Biscuit World. The small, 41-year-old chain has dozens of locations around the state, but only a few outside of it. Locals adore the restaurant, which has been called "the best thing about West Virginia." Whether or not they are the best, the huge, pillowy biscuits with names like Tootie and Thundering Herd stuffed with everything from eggs to fried apples are worth a drive. 

Culver's Burger
Morgan M./Yelp

Wisconsin: Culver's

Though half of the U.S.'s states now have at least one Culver's location, it's still very much a Wisconsin chain at heart. They were founded in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 1984, and they serve some of the state's favorite regional fare. Butter burger patties, which are smashed flat on a griddle, are served on butter-toasted buns, squeaky cheese curds are breaded and deep fried, and dense, creamy frozen custard is made throughout the day and served fresh. Culver's is like a dairy love letter from the Midwest to the rest of the country, and cheeseheads love it.

Taco John's street tacos
Mary M./Yelp

Wyoming: Taco John's

One of Taco Bell's largest competitors opened in Cheyenne in 1969. Taco John's started in a trailer run by John Turner, a Korean War veteran, and it only took a year before people were interested in franchising the concept, which was named after John. The restaurant is known just as much for its deep fried Potato Oles coated in seasoning as they are for crunchy tacos, and you can get a shareable combo of the two in a "six pack and a pound." Interestingly, Taco John's owns the trademark on "Taco Tuesday" in all states but New Jersey.