What other daily publication could claim to have its fingers on the pulse of the nation like USA Today? Every year, the America’s newspaper runs a giant Reader’s Choice poll, in categories from Best Caribbean Dive Site to Best Helicopter Tour. And in the category of Best Fast Casual Restaurant, USA Today readers chose Qdoba to top the list of 10 restaurants including Chipotle, Portillo’s, and Panera Bread.
USA Today enthuses, “Just about everything on the menu at Qdoba, from the guacamole to the flame-grilled vegetables, is made fresh each day.” For the unfamiliar, the paper goes on to explain that guests customize their orders in the form of tacos, burritos, grilled quesadillas or burrito bowls. Not mentioned is Qdoba’s popular queso, so popular that Chipotle answered with its own queso, which received many negative reviews at first.
Depending on where you live, you may not be as familiar with fast-casual restaurant numbers 2 and 3, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (first one opened in opened in Dallas in 1941, says USA Today) and MOD Pizza (“specializes in super-fast artisan pizzas”), respectively. Despite its previous health scares, Chipotle still ranked at number 4, followed by Portillo’s, Panera Bread, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and McAlister’s Deli at numbers 5 through 8. Rounding off the list is burger chain Five Guys and sandwich shop Au Bon Pain at number 10.
All of these restaurants seem fairly specific, specializing in sandwiches or burrito bowls, for example. But we still maintain that Qdoba’s ranking means that queso reigns supreme. You can kill a few work hours by scrolling through the plethora of USA Today’s other Top 10 lists at 10best.com.