Don’t you ever wish you could try every single restaurant in the world? To know what other people’s favorite hang out spots are without having to leave the country? Well, maybe this list will give you a little taste of adventure as we visit more of the Top 10 Restaurants We Wish We Had In America (Part 4).
10. Chicken Cottage, UK
No matter where you go in the world, chicken is almost universally beloved by everyone. But in the UK, it’s particularly popular, especially when it’s fast-food chicken. Chicken Cottage is a very well-known fast-food chain that specializes in, you guessed it, chicken of all kinds! The first restaurant was opened in Wembley, North London, back in 1994, and it has been thriving ever since. When first starting out, their main focus was the creation of a unique taste, closely followed by the design of a memorable logo and individual brand identity – which they were all able to achieve. Chicken Cottage serves everything from fried to grilled chicken and even offers some halal and vegetarian options. You can also get a multitude of chicken sandwiches and wraps. The specialty menu is a bit different from other fast-food chains and is all fresh, highly convenient, and affordable. They’re best known for slathering on the peri-peri sauce, a traditional African sauce with hints of garlic and lemon. What Chicken Cottage values, above all else, is the flavor of their chicken, so you can rest assured that your meal will be more than satisfactory and extremely tasty. The chain mixes value with quality and speedy service, which is what helps them stand out from other regular fast-food places. We can’t help but long for such a heavenly-sounding chicken spot to make its way across the pond!
9. KaatiZone, India
Street food is literally a way of life in some countries, notably in Asian countries. Usually, a quick and easy bite to eat on the go, street food is an idea that practically anyone can get behind. In India, they have a very popular and delicious street food called Kaati rolls. The simplest form of Kaati roll is made with kebab style meat wrapped in paratha bread. But there’s a fast-food outlet where you can customize it to fit your needs, and it’s called KaatiZone. KaatiZone is a Bangalore-based Indian fast-food chain that hasn’t been around for that long, but has still managed to gain quite a following. Since the early 2000s, KaatiZone has been serving some of the yummiest Kaati rolls made with locally sourced ingredients and paratha made from scratch. What sets KaatiZone apart from other Kaati roll spots is how easy it is to customize your rolls. You can have them with falafel, chicken paneer, tikka masala, and all served with a variety of sauces. Whether you want sweet or savory, there’s bound to be the perfect combination just for you. The chain’s vision is to serve some of the finest foods in town while keeping it simple and as authentic as possible. While there used to be a location in none other than New Jersey, it wasn’t successful. But times have changed! We want it now; please bring it back!
8. Wienerwald, Germany
As much as you’d like to think that a place called Wienerwald in Germany would specialize in sausages, you would be dead wrong. Despite the misleading name, Wienerwald is actually chicken land! Even more shocking, when it first opened in Munich in 1955, it only served chicken noodle soup. Then it slowly expanded to serve roast chicken – only for special occasions – but soon enough, the chain started to broaden their menu even more, and today, you can pretty much find any kind of chicken you’re looking for. Like grilled, barbecue, red pepper, garlic and herb – you name it – all spit-roasted. Their specialty is mostly hendl and schnitzel, but they can pull off anything. Quality and freshness are a big part of their philosophy as a restaurant, and they make sure that it shows with every single meal they serve. If you’re indecisive – which would be understandable considering their massive and impressive menu – you can always get the Chicken Box Special that includes more than one variety, so you can try multiple flavors without overfilling yourself. While their chicken dishes are to die for, their desserts are just as extraordinary. Whether you get the Viennese apple strudel or the Viennese Kaiserschmarrn – a thick pancake fried in butter and topped with raisins – you’re sure to end your meal on a good note. We wouldn’t complain if such a delightful and well-rounded restaurant were here in America!
7. Hell Pizza, New Zealand
With this next restaurant, you’re in for one heck of a ride as it is one of the most intense and tasty pizza joints in New Zealand. Hell Pizza, also known as the “the best damned pizza, in this life or next,” is a pizza chain that’s been around since the 1990s – but it’s not exactly the most joyful spot there is. With a hell themed menu and restaurant, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a little bit of spookiness to go with your pizza. One of the coolest and most notable aspects of Hell Pizza is their witty wordplay on their menus. Everything you order sounds like it came straight out of hell, which is definitely what they were going for. For instance, part of the pizza menu is dedicated to the seven deadly sins. It’s easy to assume that Gluttony must be the most popular of all – topped with onions, garlic, ham, pineapple, and so many other exquisite things. Wrath is the spiciest of the bunch, while Greed is made with double everything. They also have many less common pizza toppings, such as the Number 66, which is a Chinese fusion-style pizza. Purgatory, Limbo, and Mayhem are all clever pizza names given to emphasize just how much they look deadly delicious. It would probably do quite well in America because, well, yes, it sounds delicious but also, just imagine how fun it would be to order a Veggie Mayhem on the phone!
6. Chez Ashton, Canada
In Canada, there seems to be an undying, heated debate about one very specific dish: Poutine. Who invented it first, who makes the best one, how should it be made, and so on. So many fast-food joints have taken their turn trying to create the best poutine in the country, but one particular spot has been able to steal the show, and that’s Chez Ashton. For those who don’t know what poutine is, it’s a hearty serving of golden french fries topped with thick brown gravy and fresh cheese curds – sounds delicious, right? Chez Ashton is a popular fast-food restaurant in Quebec first opened in the 1960s by 21-year-old Ashton Leblond. While poutine is now the star of the menu, in its beginnings, Ashton didn’t serve the now fabled poutine. The snack bar was selling burgers, hot dogs, and fries, and it was only a few years later that the famous poutine was introduced to the menu in an attempt to differentiate his snack bar from his competitors. With only 23 locations today, Chez Ashton might not be the biggest fast-food restaurant out there, but it sure is one of the freshest and best in quality. To make your poutine experience even more worth it, you can add some ground meat, like sausage, or chicken and savor some amazing flavors. Obviously, America would never say no to a good, greasy plate of fries with a load of tasty toppings, that’s for sure.
5. The Chicken Rice Shop, Malaysia
Yes, another chicken restaurant, but to be fair, chicken is ridiculously popular everywhere – and yummy – so what more to say? The world loves chicken! However, this particular chicken spot is not like the ones we’ve seen before. The Chicken Rice Shop in Malaysia specializes in Hainanese chicken rice, one of the most beloved Southeast Asian dishes. It consists of poached chicken and seasoned rice, served with chili sauce and usually with some cucumber garnishes. We’re already a little familiar with this classic dish here in America, thanks to restaurants like Nong’s Khao Man Gai in Portland, but we haven’t seen anything like the real deal served at The Chicken Rice Shop. With over 100 locations in Malaysia and surrounding areas, the Chicken Rice Shop also offers some more traditional specialties, with over 25 other local favorites like Penang-style fried chicken rolls, crispy whole prawn wontons, homestyle chicken tofu, and even curry laksa. All the meat served is Halal, and their primary goal is to rediscover the wholesome taste of Hainanese and Malaysian cuisine. The Chicken Rice Shop sounds like the perfect place if you’re in search of authentic and delicious chicken, which is what we’re all looking for, no?
4. Telepizza, Spain
In America, if you want cheap and good pizza, you usually turn to Dominos or Pizza Hut. In Spain, you turn to Telepizza. Telepizza is often compared to big American fast-food pizza chains because, well, it’s a big fast-food pizza chain. However, it’s not the exact same kind of pizza we’re familiar with here. It’s got a bit of a Latin-twist with toppings like barbacoa and Iberico ham, which aren’t commonly found on American pizzas. Founded in 1987 in Madrid, Telepizza is present in over 36 countries today, mostly in Spanish-speaking countries and within the European Union. Not only do they make great pizza, but they also offer a ton of other options, like burgers, pasta, and some decadent molten nacho pies. One of the best things about Telepizza is how they constantly transform and reinvent themselves. They adapt to local consumer needs in the countries they establish outlets in, leading to an extremely accurate and personalized experience. Their primary value is to putting the customer first and to connecting with them as much as possible. A little hospitality in the fast-food world never hurt anybody, which is why we could probably learn a thing or two from this Spanish brand. Why not add another country to the list? There is no doubt Telepizza would do well – we’re all suckers for good pizza, after all!
3. Cook Door, Egypt
If there’s one country we don’t talk about enough when it comes to fast-food restaurants, it’s Egypt. While the fast-food market is greatly dominated by American chains, over the years, Egypt has had a notable expansion, and it led to the creation of Cook Door. Cook Door is a fast-food chain founded in the late 1980s. The primary goal of the two young founders was to grow their business in the Egyptian market and compete with other companies on a global scale. With over 62 branches all over Egypt, plus their expanding branches in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, it’s safe to say they’ve been quite successful in their attempt so far. Cook Door serves everything from burgers to seafood and chicken sandwiches, and they all incorporate some classic Egyptian flavors. Everything is cooked to order to ensure freshness – whether it’s fried or grilled. The sauces are all made from scratch, and the bread is baked in-house. As a bonus, the meat cuts and poultry are hand-trimmed especially for the restaurant, and are peppered, marinated, then hand-breaded by hand. Everything from Cook Door screams care and attention, which is what they take pride in, and a good reason why they should head on over to America!
2. Bembos, Peru
We can never truly say we’ve talked enough about burgers. They’re a fast-food staple – and for good reason – they’re amazing! And as much as we’d like to think we’re the only ones who know how to make a good burger, it simply isn’t true, and the proof lies in Peru, at a place called Bembos. Bembos is a Peruvian fast-food chain that serves up burgers, but not just any burgers, some of the best burgers in the country. What makes these burgers so special? The spices that are used to give them such a distinct and delectable taste. As Bembos was experimenting with their recipes, they realized that a burger should have three very important things: fine beef, perfect seasoning for the Peruvian palate, and for it to be cooked over charcoal – all of which are now done at every location. Bembos offers some of the best grilled burgers with one of a kind flavors and creative combinations of ingredients of the highest quality. Bembos has come a long way since it was first founded in 1988 and now has over 55 locations all over Peru. With tons of promotions, deals, and enticing offers, Bembos would definitely fit in among the BKs and McD’s, and we certainly wouldn’t mind if it did.
1. Goli Vada Pav, India
We’ve mentioned earlier how street food is a very common and popular thing in Asian countries like India. And another one of the most beloved street foods is vada pav. Vada pav is basically mashed potatoes with seasonings like garlic, turmeric, mustard seed, and green chile, coated in a chickpea-based flour, deep-fried and tucked into a small bun. Now operating in over 100 cities with 300 locations, Goli Vada Pav excels in the art of the vada pav and is considered to be the number one spot for quality and authenticity. It started out in the Mumbai suburbs as Venkatesh Iyer and Shrivadas Menon wanted to make vada pav the new “talk of the nation” and turn it into an iconic item like burgers and pizza. And while it hasn’t reached a lot of other parts of the world, they certainly achieved their goal in India. Only founded in 2004, Goli Vada Pav is a relatively new restaurant, and yet, it’s already in full bloom, so they must be doing something right. The menu also offers other Indian specialties like fried paneer sandwiches, vegetable curry called pav bhaji, and some freshly made desserts. Goli Vada Pav would make a fine addition to our regular old burger and fries fast-food market!