Skip To Content

    28 Of The Most Underrated Fast Casual Restaurants In The U.S.

    Lunch will never be the same.

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the fast-casual restaurants they'd like to see open all over the country. Here are some of their responses...

    1. Media Noche (San Francisco)

    @harryyuan / Instagram / Via instagram.com, @letsforkshitup / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    Media Noche offers Cuban food by way of the Mission District. Think: Cuban sandwiches, rice and bean bowls, and ceviche all in an Instagram-ready setting.

    2. Dizengoff (Philadelphia, New York, Miami)

    3. Gusto! (Atlanta)

    4. Shake Shack (locations in 18 states)

    5. Choolaah Indian BBQ (Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio)

    6. Cava (locations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Texas, North Carolina, and California)

    7. Honeygrow (Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New Jersey, New York)

    @honeygrow / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    This Philly startup has already started expanding across the east coast. The menu is lined with vegetable-forward create-your-own stir-fries and salads.

    8. Souvla (San Francisco)

    @souvlasf / Instagram / Via instagram.com, @magnumpr / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    With three locations in San Francisco, Souvla is a dependable lunch spot for delicious Greek fare. It's hard to find something disappointing on the menu whether you order souvlaki in a pita or on a salad, a side of harissa fries, or a frozen Greek yogurt topped with baklava crumbles and honey syrup.

    9. Taste Unlimited (Virginia)

    @tasteunlimited / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    With locations all around Virginia, Taste is a local favorite for sandwiches, salads, and wraps. The menu changes every season; visit during the fall and you'll find sandwich specials like the "Turkey and Stuffing" to prime your stomach for the holiday season.

    10. Sweetgreen (locations across the US)

    @phoodieur / Instagram / Via instagram.com, @lalibertebody / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    Since it opened its first location in DC, this chain — with its focus on delicious salads made from local ingredients — has expanded across the Mid-Atlantic, Pennsylvania, New York, Chicago, and California. The menu rotates often to highlight the freshest seasonal ingredients.

    11. Made Nice (New York City)

    12. Bubu (Denver)

    13. Martina (New York City)

    @h20gony / Instagram / Via instagram.com, @isnomalicious / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    This fast-casual thin-crust pizza restaurant comes from Danny Meyer (the brains behind Shake Shack). Everything on the menu, from the funghi pizza to the chicken meatballs, costs less than $13.

    14. Native Foods Cafe (California, Colorado, Oregon, and Illinois)

    15. Torchy's Tacos (Texas and Denver)

    16. Xoco (Chicago)

    @mattbe_ / Instagram, @nelson_eats / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    This Rick Bayless creation is a popular, casual spot for Mexican street food cooking. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you'll find sandwiches (called tortas), soups, and lots of churros on the menu.

    17. Sweetfin Poke (Los Angeles)

    18. Good Stuff Eatery (Washington, DC)

    @courtneywandeloski, @awildfeeling / Via instagram.com

    This DC-based chain is the perfect place to get your burger fix for a reasonable price. The Prez Obama Burger, for example, comes with bacon, onion, and Roquefort cheese for just $7.69. There are also plenty of options for vegetarians like the Fried Green Tomato and the 'Shroom Burger.

    19. Chi'lantro BBQ (Austin)

    @moodangbulae / Instagram / Via instagram.com, @eatsbycat / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    Chi'lantro started as a food truck and the owners appeared on Shark Tank with their idea. Now, there are four restaurants cooking up Korean-Mexican fusion. Expect dishes like spicy pork kimchi fries and tacos topped with kimchi and fried egg.

    20. The Sosta (New York City)

    21. Dig Inn (Boston and New York)

    22. &pizza (Mid-Atlantic and New York City)

    23. Bibibop (California, Ohio, DC, Maryland, and Illinois)

    24. Tacodeli (Texas)

    @favor / Instagram, @thefoodtwinz / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    With locations in Austin, Houston, and Dallas, Tacodeli boasts a huge selection of beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian tacos. Why settle for your basic al pastor when you can order the "Tacoloco," stuffed with adobo-braised brisket, caramelized onions, mushrooms, guacamole, cilantro, and queso fresco?

    25. Unforked (Kansas and Missouri)

    26. Piada Italian Street Food (Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania)

    @boomtownbites / Instagram / Via instagram.com, @piadaitalianstreetfood / Instagram / Via instagram.com

    This growing chain is the place to go for quick and fresh salads, pastas, and piadas: thin-crust, Italian dough baked on the grill and rolled up with cheese, veggies, and meat.

    27. Lemonade (California)

    28. Slim + Husky's (Tennessee)