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Curious how we came to our decisions for this map? These notes should help.
Alabama: The first Checkers opened in Mobile in 1986.
Alaska: The Great Alaskan Pizza Company has 11 locations and a bear logo. Enough said.
Arizona: Cold Stone Creamery started in Tempe and is headquartered in Scottsdale. And it’s hot there. They need ice cream.
Arkansas: Slim Chickens was founded in 2003 in Fayetteville and has grown to 10 locations.
California: The Cali competition was tough (hello, Taco Bell), but few chains are more synonymous with a state than In-N-Out is with Cali.
Colorado: Apologies to Quiznos, but Denver-founded Chipotle has you beat.
Connecticut: Subway was founded in Bridgeport and headquartered in Milford.
Delaware: Wings To Go started on the Dover Air Force base before expanding to more than 80 nationwide locations.
Florida: Apologies to Hooters and Red Lobster, but Jacksonville-based Burger King reigns.
Georgia: Another tough state, but in the end Chick-fil-A edged out late-night staple Waffle House.
Hawaii: Zippy’s, the 24hr mix of Hawaiian, Asian, and mainland American eats, is everywhere on Oahu.
Idaho: Yes, there’s a slightly more famous coffee chain in neighboring Washington, but Boise-based Moxie Java is moving up, with 26 locations in six states.
Illinois: Technically the first-ever McDonald’s was in Cali, but Ray Kroc made it what it is today, and the mega-chain remains based just outside Chicago.
Indiana: Steak ‘n Shake actually started in neighboring Illinois, but is now headquartered in Indianapolis.
Iowa: Maid-Rite boasts more than 70 locations for loose meat sandwiches after starting in Iowa in 1926.
Kansas: White Castle actually started in Wichita, but Kansas no longer has any. No worries, though, because Pizza Hut also started there.
Kentucky: KFC requires no explanation.
Lousiana: Popeye’s shouldn’t require much either.
Maine: Just mention Gifford’s ice cream to a Mainer and see what happens.
Maryland: Jerry’s Subs & Pizza was founded and remains based in Maryland, with more than 140 locations.
Massachusetts: Go to Mass sometime and try not to end up in a Dunkin’ Donuts at some point.
Michigan: Domino’s Pizza started in Ypsilanti and it headquartered in Ann Arbor.
Minnesota: The first Dairy Queen opened in Illinois, but it’s now based in Minneapolis.
Mississippi: Founded in 1983, Bumpers Drive-In now has 26 locations -- all in Mississippi.
Missouri: Did you know Panera Bread started out as The St. Louis Bread Co.?
Montana: Okay, so Ted’s Montana Grill was neither founded nor is headquartered in Montana. But it’s in the name, there’s a picture of a buffalo, and they finally opened one there!
Nebraska: Herman Cain’s former employer, Godfather’s Pizza, was founded and remains based in Omaha.
Nevada: You can drink AND gamble at PT’s Pub locations dotting the Vegas area.
New Hampshire: Moe’s Italian Sandwiches’ 13 locations are all in the Granite State.
New Jersey: Blimpie got its start in Hoboken in 1964.
New Mexico: Blake’s Lotaburger started and remains headquartered in Albuquerque, having grown to 76 locations since 1953.
New York: Sbarro started in Brooklyn and remains NY-based to this day.
North Carolina: Bojangles started slinging chicken ‘n biscuits in 1977 in Charlotte, where it maintains its headquarters today.
North Dakota: Space Aliens Grill & Bar only has four locations, but... well, it’s North Dakota.
Ohio: Wendy’s got her start in Columbus, and she’s still based there.
Oklahoma: The name Sonic first appeared on a group of Oklahoma drive-ins in 1959, and the company maintains a headquarters in OKC.
Oregon: The origins of Papa Murphy’s are split between Oregon and Cali, but its very beginnings came with Papa Aldo’s of Hillsboro.
Pennsylvania: Auntie Anne’s path to being a global pretzel powerhouse started as a farmer’s market stand in Downington, and it remains based in Lancaster.
Rhode Island: The hardest spot to make out on the map is Del’s Frozen Lemonade, which now reaches 36 states, but started in Cranston.
South Carolina: Denny’s has its origins in Cali, but it’s now based in Spartanburg.
South Dakota: The Millstone is a family restaurant with three South Dakota locations. Come on, Dakotas!
Tennessee: Krystal has been headquartered in Chattanooga since starting there in 1932.
Texas: Lone Star competition was stiff, but there was no denying Corpus Christi-founded Whataburger.
Utah: Prevalent throughout the West, Arctic Circle started in Salt Lake City in 1950 and remains Utah-based.
Vermont: Ben & Jerry’s didn’t have much competition here.
Virginia: Five Guys has grown like crazy since starting in Arlington County in 1986.
Washington: If you’re ever there, you should check out this quaint coffee joint, Starbucks.
West Virginia: Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti is everywhere here, with 40 locations.
Wisconsin: Of course Culver’s, a chain known for butterburgers and frozen custard, would call Wisconsin home.
Wyoming: There are more than 400 Taco John’s locations; it started in Cheyenne in 1969.