5 On Your Side

Survey: The best fast-food is off the most eaten path

Posted July 7, 2014 5:44 p.m. EDT

Looking for the best fast-food burger? According to Consumer Reports, it’s not at any of the large chain restaurants.

The closest option for those in North Carolina is Five Guys Burger and Fries, which ranked third on Consumer Reports’ list of best and worst fast-food restaurants in America.

Two West Coast options, The Habit Burger Grill and In-N-Out Burger, ranked above the Virginia-based burger chain.

"Our survey found that many of the smaller chains are true regional gems,” said Tod Marks, senior projects manager at Consumer Reports. ”They outperform the big guys, so they're really worth seeking out if you're on the road and looking for a great meal."

As for chicken, Chick-fil-A ranked the best. Those surveyed said they received polite, speedy service and clean dining areas from the Atlanta-based restaurant chain.

Have a taste for Mexican food? Just like fast-food burger and chicken restaurants, the major chains received the lowest marks.

"Mexican chains are another area in which biggest definitely wasn't best,” Marks said. “Taco Bell, in fact, had the worst tacos and burritos of any of the Mexican restaurants in our ratings."

Chipotle Mexican Grill got the highest marks for burritos.

Want a deli sandwich instead? Jason’s Deli and Firehouse Subs ranked the best.

But Firehouse Subs’ large Sweet Thai Chili Pork Sub ranked the worst for fat, calories and sodium. The sandwich has more than 1500 calories, 95 grams of fat and more than 3400 milligrams of sodium.

Out of 65 fast food and casual restaurants, Italian restaurant chain Sbarro ranked the worst. Those surveyed didn’t think their food was of good quality or fresh.