Hitting the road this summer? You may want to drive past big national chains like McDonald's and Taco Bell. A Consumer Reports survey of more than 30,000 of its readers turned up lots of other choices that they say are much tastier.
With about 14,000 McDonald's in the U.S., you're never far from a Big Mac. But out of 21 hamburger chains, Consumer Reports readers rated McDonald's hamburgers the worst tasting.
There are much better choices.
"Our survey found that many of the smaller chains are true regional gems. They outperform the big guys, so they're really worth seeking out if you're on the road and looking for a great meal," said Tod Marks with Consumer Reports.
Habit Burger Grill, with about 100 locations in California, Utah and Arizona, has some of the best burgers.
Also great, In-N-Out Burger with close to 300 outlets in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Texas.
When it comes to chicken, another big name - KFC - was at the bottom of the barrel for taste.
Far better for Consumer Reports readers like chicken from Chick-fil-A with 1,700
locations in 39 states.
Those surveyed say it offers polite, speedy service and they give its dining areas top scores for cleanliness.
"Mexican chains are another area in which biggest definitely wasn't best. Taco Bell in fact had the worst tacos and burritos any of the Mexican restaurants in our ratings," adds Marks.
Survey respondents gave the burritos from national competitor Chipotle Mexican Grill much higher marks.
And who wound up at the bottom of the list? Of the 65 fast food and fast casual restaurants Consumer Reports rated, Sbarro got the lowest score. Those surveyed
didn't think highly of the quality of the food or its freshness.
FOOD & DRINK