Number of locations: 87 in CA, KS, LA, MO, OK, and TX
The president and COO of Freebirds is a guy who was once a Chipotle exec, if that tells you anything about the company's plans for burrito domination. But it's not a Chipotle ripoff by any means, as evidenced by its hugely popular nachos and the multitude of options in the way of serving size: Hybrid (small), Freebird (normal), Monster (huge), and Super Monster (you're pretty hungry, eh?) burritos. Horchata and a few agua fresca options shake up the normally boring drink menu, though Chipotle has a few drink tricks up its sleeve lately, too. Freebie alert: download its app and get a free entree.
Number of locations: 60 in CA, CO, HI, NE, NV, PA, TX, and Japan
This is a Horatio Alger story if there ever was one: Wahoo's was started by three Chinese brothers who grew up in Brazil, moved to CA, and opened up a Mexican-Asian fusion joint. The brothers still run the place, and while it may have a rep for being a fish taco-focused establishment, the menu has much more to offer. Sure, there's still wild salmon, wahoo (it's the name of a fish too!), and shrimp tacos, but even more eye-opening are the menu items you'll certainly not find at any other restaurant in this rundown: a Maui Bowl with teriyaki steak, chicken, and cream cheese Baja Rolls, tortas with citrus slaw, and cajun chicken burritos.