Wegmans? Cracker Barrel? Waffle House? Which of these chains do you want on Long Island
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store can be a road trip staple. Each location has both a restaurant with Southern and comfort food choices and an attached store with gifts, candy and old-fashioned toys. The stores also have a long porch lined with rocking chairs and checker sets to evoke the rural South. The closest locations to Long Island are in Connecticut and New Jersey.
Perkins Restaurant and Bakery
The chain, best known for its all-day breakfast menu, has more than 400 locations in the United States - but none yet in Nassau or Suffolk counties. The closest location is in Staten Island, with others nearby elsewhere in New York State and in Pennsylvania.
The steakhouse, which started in Atlanta in 1981 and which has gotten high marks for quality food, menu variety and atmosphere, has more than 400 locations mostly on the East Coast, including ones in Queens and Yonkers - but none on Long Island.
Papa Murphy's is a take-and-bake pizza operation based in Vancouver, Wash. with 1,300 locations across the United States, making it the fifth-largest pizza chain in the country.
Mimi's Cafe was named one of the top breakfast chains in the country in a Market Force consumer survey, and has locations across the southern and western United States, with the closest to Long Island being in Maryland.
If you need groceries on the road, it's hard to argue with Wegmans, with locations from Virginia to Massachusetts and western New York. The chain also features take-out pizza, wings and Chinese food. The chain is planning to expand to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the near future.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, based in Syracuse and an upstate New York standby, has locations nearby in Brooklyn, Newark, and is a must-stop for anyone looking for top-notch barbecue.
BGR The Burger Joint
BGR: The Burger Joint is a chain that started in Maryland and is prevalent in the Washington area. It has gotten up to Yonkers, but not yet to Long Island.
Wawa Inc. is a chain of convenience store/gas stations known for its extensive choice of coffees, sandwiches and other on-the-go eats. Founded in 1964, the Pennsylvania-based company has locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and other East Coast states -- except, of course, for New York.
The Canadian chain has one location in New York State near Buffalo, but is a popular eatery north of the border with its signature garlic pan bread.
Ted's Hot Dogs
The western New York chain has several locations in the Buffalo area, and serves char-grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.
While you can find D'Angelo grilled sandwiches a ferry ride across the Long Island Sound across the New England states, the chain still hasn't made it to New York.
Maryland-based Ledo Pizza was profiled by Oprah Winfrey as one of the top pizzerias in the United States, and has more than 100 locations in the mid-Atlantic states.
Logan's Roadhouse is a chain specializing in steak, with 230 outlets across the country, with the closest location to Long Island being in Pennsylvania.
In-N-Out is a staple of West Coast trips, with over 300 locations in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Oregon and Utah.
Bob Evans Farms
Bob Evans Farms, famous for its sausage and bacon products, owns 500 restaurants across the United States. The closest to Long Island are upstate in Corning, Watertown and Batavia.
Waffle House has more than 2,100 locations across 25 states -- mostly in the South -- and is a popular for late-night and early morning eats for many. The closest Waffle Houses to Long Island are in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Although Krispy Kreme Doughnuts closed its Long Island locations years back, nothing beats seeing the doughnuts freshly made instead of getting a dozen at the grocery store or gas station. There are more than 1,000 locations where you can get your hot doughnuts now, with the closest being in Manhattan and Jersey City, N.J.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
While Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Shop has made its way to Manhattan, it still hasn't ventured through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel toward Long Island. There are 413 locations across the midwest and mid-Atlantic states.
Fazoli's is one of many businesses that should make its way to Long Island. The Italian-American fast casual restaurant chain is based in Lexington, Ky., and has 200 locations for quick food and breadsticks, The closest to Long Island are in Ohio and Virginia.
Named after the cowboy-movie actor, Roy Rogers Franchise Co. is a fast-food restaurant chain founded in 1968. Headquartered in Maryland, the company has 56 stores and serves a mix of hamburgers, roast beef sandwiches and fried chicken. The closest locations are in New Jersey and along the New York State Thruway.
Take a quick ride across the Long Island Sound and everyone -- and we mean everyone -- knows the famous Duchess hot dogs. The chain is located all throughout Connecticut.
The California chain had a Long Island location in Massapequa Park, but it closed and the "Last Great Hamburger Stand" that is in 19 countries and is a popular L.A. dining spot hasn't been back. However, there are 150 locations across the country.
Fuddruckers is one of many businesses that should make its way back to Long Island. The chain famous for its hamburgers is based in Houston, Texas, and has more than 180 eateries across the country. The closest locations to Long Island are in New Jersey.
Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits is a fast-food restaurant chain based in North Carolina that's found throughout the South The closest spots to Long Island are in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Its take on biscuits -- offerings include the trademarked Bo-Berry Biscuit and biscuit breakfast sandwiches -- makes them stand out.
Steak 'n Shake, founded in 1934 and headquartered in Indianapolis, specializes in milkshakes and the company's famous "Steakburger," which is a combination of T-bone, sirloin and round steaks into a burger patty. The chain has 500 locations, with the closest being in Manhattan, right next to the Ed Sullivan Theater, but a strong presence in the south - particularly Florida - and midwest.
With chains in Ohio, Pennslylvania and New Jersey, Saxbys isn't all that far from Long Island. But it's not here, which is too bad. The more coffee chains, the better.
Quaker Steak and Lube is well known around Pennsylvania and throughout the mid-Atlantic for its wings. Closest spots to Long Island are in New Jersey.
Jimmy John's was founded in Illinois by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and has since grown a cultlike following for its deli sandwiches. The restaurant chain specializes in delivery, quality ingredients and reasonable pricing and now has more than 2,500 locations across the country. The closest to Long Island is in White Plains.
Cook Out may be well known throughout the Southeast for its burgers, barbecue and 40-plus variations of milkshakes, but its virtually unheard of on Long Island. The nearest Cook Out is located in Salisbury, Md.
The Ohio chain, Max & Erma's, features burgers, sandwiches and even a sundae bar, and has 51 locations, mostly in the Midwest. The closest locations to Long Island are in Pennsylvania or Virginia.
Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers is a cross between a pizzeria and the Grateful Dead, with psychedelic vibes and organic ingredients. Started in 1974 by two college students from Georgia Tech who wanted to open a restaurant reflecting their philosophies, the company has more than 150 locations -- closest to Long Island is in New Jersey. Its menu features pizza, calzones, sandwiches and salads with unique takes on each.
Publix Super Markets is an employee-owned grocery chain based in Florida that features numerous products exclusive to Publix locations. The company employs more than 168,000 people at its 1,097 locations, with stores primarily in southeast Florida as well as other locations in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and the Carolinas.
Belk is an upscale department store that competes with companies like JCPenney, Kohl's and Sears. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the company is the largest family owned and operated department store with 306 locations in 16 states, primarily in the South.
A vegetable-heavy cafe chain that prides itself on fresh ingredients, Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes offer a wide variety of pastas, salads and soups for a healthier alternative to traditional fast-food. Currently, the closest Souplantation or Sweet Tomatoes location is in Raleigh, N.C.
Dillard's, an upscale department store chain, is located in 28 states and almost everywhere except the Northeast. The company competes with Macy's and JCPenney's in style and products offered.
New Yorkers swear allegiance to thin-crust pizza, but it can't hurt to try Chicago-style from time to time -- and not have to travel 800 miles to do so. Uno Pizzeria & Grill, more commonly known as Uno's, is a franchise of pizza restaurants that started in Chicago in 1943. This is the original location, where Uno's version of Chicago-style pizza was born. The closest location to Long Island is in Bayside, Queens.
The Wisconsin-based chain that offers custard and "butterburgers" has locations across the Midwest.
While New York is known for its own pizza, Giordano's is one of the best deep-dish restaurants in the country, and has started to expand its footprint outside the Chicago market.
Meijer started the trend of hypermarkets that blend a grocery store and a department store together, leading to plenty of Walmart and Target locations throughout the country. Most of the company's 224 stores are located in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
The Iowa-based chain, popular during the presidential primary season, has 180 locations in the midwest, and is highly-rated among buffet restaurants. However, there are none near Long Island.
Texas-based Whataburger has over 700 locations in the south and southwestern United States.
Depending on what part of the country you live in, you'll see either Hardee's or Carl's Jr. restaurants everywhere -- except for the Northeast. Both restaurants, which are owned by parent company CKE Restaurants, have interchangeable logos but different menus. There are over 3,100 Hardee's in 40 different states, and 600 Carl's Jr. locations, mostly in California.
Jack in the Box is a fast-food chain founded in 1951 and headquartered in San Diego. The chain has 2,200 locations with plans to expand nationally, but New York is not officially on the radar.
Taco Bell may have cornered the Mexican fast-food market, and Chipotle may be on the rise, but Del Taco offers up its own unique take on American-style Mexican cuisine, as well as burgers, fries and shakes. There are over 500 locations, mostly in California and the southwestern United States.
This Los Angeles-based chain offers fast Mexican fare, and has started to branch out of California, but not to New York State yet.
With only one other location in New York, Zoup! would be a welcome addition and alternative to typical fast food chains. Starting in 1997, Zoup! offers fresh salads, soups and sandwiches in many varieties, and was ranked in Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 in 2015.
Although Peet's Coffee & Tea can be found in many grocery stores on Long Island, there's no place to grab a cup on-the-go, and another option besides Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks would be more than welcome.
If you own a television, then odds are you've seen an ad for Golden Corral -- but the nearest location is all the way in New Jersey. The buffet-style restaurant was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in North Carolina.
Known for vintage black-and-white photos hung throughout, Buca di Beppo is a chain of Italian-American restaurants with 92 locations. Food is served family style, meaning each item is served à la carte and meant to be shared with a group. The company was bought in 2008 by Planet Hollywood for $28.5 million.
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