(Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Fast food in Massachusetts is plentiful, just as it is across the United States. But what fast food chains are the most popular in Mass?


Gambling.com asked the question recently, and they came up with this list: The Most Popular Fast Food Rankings in the Bay State. You can visit Gambling.com’s Massachusett’s page here. And we’ll dive into the list below, which certainly had some chains you’d expect (the No. 1 will come as no surprise), but also had a few unexpected entries.


First though, a little bit of my own pontificating. I’m of the mind that, when you ask someone what their favorite fast food joint is, more often than not they’ll answer with the chain the grew up closest to. Case in point: when I was growing up in Greenwood, we had McDonald’s right on Main St. It was our summer oasis between games of stickball at Greenwood school. From early on, I had a taste for Mickey Dee’s. And to this day, I’ll still find myself craving the 2 Cheeseburgers Meal. It used to be $2.99 for 2 cheeseburgers, fries, and a coke!


20 of Massachusetts’ Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants Ranked

Personal theories aside, how was the research gathered for this one? How were the numbers crunched? Here’s how:

The research team at Gambling.com analyzed Google Trends statistics to discover what MA’s favorite Fast Food Chains and Takeout Cuisines were over the past 7 days. Four different fast food related phrases were analyzed on Google Trends to measure the popularity of each Fast Food Chain. Separately, three phrases were used to measure the different Takeout Cuisines. The totals for all phrases were then added together for each chain/takeout type. Finally the Fast Food Chains and Takeout Cuisines were ranked by popularity.


Makes sense to me! So let’s see how the Top 20 shook out.

  • 1) Dunkin'

    Then: “Time to make the donuts…”

    Now: “America runs on Dunkin’!”

  • 2) Domino's

    Then: The Noid

    Now: The Pizza Tracker

  • 3) Panera Bread

    “Pan” means bread, so technically it’s Bread-era Bread.

  • 4) Chipotle

    It’s pronounced “chuh-POWT-lay.” Like the pepper.

  • 5) Taco Bell

    Then: “Yo quiero Taco Bell”

    Also Then: Forthmeal. Remember when they tried to make that a thing?

  • 6) McDonald's

    Two cheeseburgers meal for $2.99 back in the day. A deal you’ll never beat.

  • 7) Subway

    Amazing to see this placed so high in a state where there’s a local sandwich shop on every corner.

  • 8) Burger King

    Then: “Have it your way!”

    Now: Creepy-ass Burger King showing up unannounced, creepin’.

  • 9) Chick-Fil-A

    “Grew a mustache and a mullet, got a job at Chic-Fil-A…” – Ben Folds, “Army”

  • 10) KFC

    Then: “Finger Lickin’ Good!”

    Also Then: Norm MacDonald as the Colonel. RIP.

  • 11) Popeyes

    Remember the Popeyes that used to be by Fenway Park?

  • 12) Wendy's

    Then: Chocolate Frosty

    Now: Vanilla Frosty

  • 13T) Pizza Hut

    The $5 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet was a gamechanger back in the day.

  • 13T) Dairy Queen

    Bless up to all the Dairy Queens in MA that have to close their doors in the winter.

  • 13T) Five Guys

    Are they more famous for the burgers or for the giant bags of peanuts?

  • 16T) Panda Express

    To all you college kids who hit your local mall for a faceful of free Panda Express samples to save a little dough: we see you.

  • 16T) Little Caesars

    Then: “Pizza Pizza”

    Now: $5 Hot-N-Ready


  • 18T) Papa Johns

    Then: Dunking your crust in the garlic butter sauce.

    Now: Dunking your entire slice in the garlic butter sauce.

  • 18T) Wingstop

    It is “Wing Stop” or “Wings Top?” Asking for a friend.

  • 20) Sonic Drive-In

    When Sonic finally migrated to MA about 20 years ago, it was a revelation.

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