Taking a Shot at the Fast Food Tier List

Welcome to my fast food tier list. Apparently I’m a bit late to the trend, but I will give it a shot nonetheless. This may get heated for some of you, and I sincerely apologize if you find any of these rankings offensive. I hope you will hear me out as I highlight a few of the decisions I made.

Source: Taco Bell

S tier

I truly believe Taco Bell deserves to be a stand-alone in the top-most tier. When ranking these fast food restaurants, I took into consideration cost, convenience, menu diversity, nostalgia, and taste (duh). Taco Bell easily satisfies all these categories. Starting with the five dollar box, which gets you three tacos/burritos of some sort, a dessert, and a drink, Taco Bell is cost efficient and will hold any college student over for at least two meals. Not only that, but the menu is all-inclusive with an abundance of vegetarian and vegan options (which again, are extremely affordable!). And if you attend UCI, you know you went to Taco Bell way too often late at night to satisfy a craving or just bond with friends during first year, so the nostalgia factor was a big reason for including Taco Bell in S tier.

Source: Food Business News

Source: Fortune

A tier

Because I had Taco Bell as a stand-alone in S tier, I have quite a few fast food chains score highly as A tier quality. In-N-Out is an obvious one for us California kids, as we all have a particular pride in knowing not everyone gets to experience the freshness and quality of this fast food restaurant. However, Jack in the Box might come as a surprise to some, and if I’m being completely honest, I only put it in A tier because of their curly fries and because they are open 24 hours. Chipotle was a difficult one to rank because it may be on the expensive side for fast food, but I think it deserves a spot in A tier because of the quality and huge portion sizes.

Source: McDonald’s

B tier

The restaurants in this tier I like to call “just okay but redeemable food.” McDonald’s fries are hard to mess up, so you can always count on having something to eat when you’re in desperate need of a quick and cheap meal. Plus, their soft-serve ice cream is one of the only reasons I ever go back to McDonald’s (desserts matter!). I wanted so badly to rank Panda Express higher on this list, especially since they have so many options and is distinct from the rest of the restaurants in terms of flavor, but it’s just too expensive to have regularly. Panera Bread is an outlier on this entire tier list because it’s not exactly fast food. I like to call the food at Panera Bread “fancy” food for non-fancy people. It has a sit-down feel but is still relatively cheap for what it is. I think the best part of Panera Bread is being able to order combos, so you can enjoy a little bit of everything you’re feeling that day.

Source: Concrete Playground


Source: Chasing the Storm       

C tier

I have nothing to say about these fast food places, and that’s probably why they are C tier. Krispy Kreme glazed donuts will always be a classic, but they are replicable and comparable to other donuts. Considering I’ve only had Raising Cane’s once in my life, I can’t say it was very memorable, but it was still edible. I have to admit, the sauce was something else. Then again, I might have just been really hungry.

Source: Citizen Times

D tier

Okay, now we’re diving into the ugly of fast food. Five Guys is the most overpriced generic burger place I have ever been to in my life. I wish I had something nice to say about Five Guys, especially since it received so much hype when it first opened, but there is literally nothing special about this place. And I don’t even really like peanuts, so the free peanuts are definitely not a motivating factor for me. As for Jersey Mike’s and Subway, I still question how any fast food sandwich place is still in business. Sorry if this ruins your appetite, but Subway tastes like if someone made a sandwich, dipped it in toilet water, and left it out to dry.

Source: Buffalo News

F tier

Last and definitely least, my most controversial ranking in this entire tier: Chick-fil-A. I’ve never actually spent any of my own money at this establishment (I’ve always had people just get me food from here), and I am so glad that is the case. And yes, I took into consideration the waffle fries and the sauce. I didn’t think this tier list was going to get political, but here we go. I will never understand how someone can outwardly support a business that freely and happily donates money to anti-LGBT and hate groups. A lot of you may be thinking, “but what about In-N-Out donating to the Republican party?”, and to that I have to argue that there is a difference between donating to groups that actively try to undermine an entire population’s existence and donating to a political party. Also, closed on Sundays? Talk about classist. Sundays are when most college-aged students and working-class people have time to work. And if politics aren’t a good enough reason for you, I promise you can find cheaper wet chicken sandwiches at other restaurants.

Oh, and Burger King. Burger King is just objectively bad.

I hope we can still be friends after this. Happy eating!