Nine Fast-Food Franchises Missing From NYC and How Far You Have to Go to Find Them

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To reenact this scene, you'd have to travel 1,360.1 miles from the Empire State Building.


With his developer-friendly real estate policies, Bloomberg has opened the floodgates to fast-food franchises. Ten years ago we had a fraction of what we have now, and ma-and-pa eateries prevailed at the same price level in most neighborhoods. No use crying into our Starbucks caramel lattes, however. There are many that haven't yet arrived -- unfortunately, many happen be the ones I like best (though you'll have to guess which). Here's a rundown of how far you'd have to go to find an example of nine prominent national chains, arranged in order of distance, measured from the base of the Empire State Building.


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Wilkes Architects
1. Sonic Drive-In -- Some go for the corn dogs, some for the fried chicken, and others for the oddball burger called the Bacon Cheeseburger Toaster. The best thing about this chain is the retro-drive-in ambiance. Nearest location: 2819 Kennedy Boulevard West, North Bergen, New Jersey, 201-766-4595. Distance: 4.3 miles


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Arby's
2. Arby's -- Do you still crave that thin-shaved roast beef, the color a corpse achieves after rigor mortis sets in? When you see the neon cowboy hat do you say, "Yee-haw!" Nearest location: 98 Meadow Road, Rutherford, New Jersey, 201-935-3065. Distance: 7.4 miles


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imonlyhereforthefood.com
3. The Cheesecake Factory -- There's probably not a single place in the country where you can consume so many calories in one sitting. And could the cheesecake itself be as good as Junior's? I'm waiting until one comes to NYC to find out. Nearest location: 197 Riverside Square, Hackensack, New Jersey, 201-488-0330. Distance: 13.6 miles

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33 comments
garywrightny
garywrightny

I'm not a proponent of franchises in NYC but when Dunkin' Donuts, Subway, Starbucks,  McDonalds & Baskin Robbins take the lion share of our options away from us - then I begin to think that perhaps we need more of the diversity that these could give - esp. when they bring their out of town prices with them (Steak-n-Shake wins over Shake Shack any day IMHO.)  Comments here are right: Cheesecake Factory is not fast food. More on the scale with Applebees, Olive Garden or Red Lobster. There are 29 White Castles here, by the way, (down from 34) & that means all of NYC - not just Manhattan. Runner-up in the fast-food franchises that number too many: 7-Eleven (59 locations in 2009, 98 & growing today.) Coming up fast is Potbelly Sandwich Shop & Panera Bread.

canadian franchises
canadian franchises

 It is too bad that these all franchisee are now missing but i think the people who are fan of thee all franchisee they definitely miss it and it's food, fast food is most popular franchisee business. 

J_Man
J_Man

How in the world is the Cheesecake Factory considered a "fast food franchise"?  First, they are not fast food in any possible definition of the term, and secondly, they are not franchised.  (Nor is In-N-Out, by the way, which accounts for their limited geographic footprint.)

Vin
Vin

This info is wrong, we have a cheesecake factory here in long island, and we have others too that are closer. Wjhoever wrotw this article needs to do more research of locations.

Lauren_nyc24
Lauren_nyc24

Hey Robert - Queens still counts as NYC so technically, if you're willing to hop on the subway/public bus, you don't have to leave NYC for Arby's!  If you're counting from the Empire State Building and not from NYC as your headline indicates, I would consider changing the headline perhaps?  ;)

J.D. Oxblood
J.D. Oxblood

Robert-- And Jack in the Box? If you spent time in Texas, surely you know about Jack in the Box tacos! (insert serious craving)

Andrew
Andrew

The first three and the fifth are also all on Long Island if you're so inclined; ditto for Checkers and White Castle. I LOVE FAST FOOD. I CAN'T WAIT TO BE DEAD

Kareem Johnson
Kareem Johnson

Carl's Jr. and Hardees are the same chain. So technically, the nearest Carl's Jr/Hardees is 129 miles away in Myerstown, PA.

guest
guest

Carl's Jr is the same as Hardees

Ktkiks
Ktkiks

Missing: WAFFLE HOUSE!!!! The closest one to Manhattan is over 300 miles!!! Such a tragedy!! 

DennyCrane
DennyCrane

I know there's a Chik-Fil-A hidden inside an NYU building somewhere, but does that really count?

Empiricalbaker
Empiricalbaker

I would love to see a whataburger in NYC! And Sonic has "urban location" models that would do well here!

Eilonwy
Eilonwy

Carl's Jr. is essentially a Burger King with a sense of its own importance. It's Bob's Big Boy in Southern California that looks vaguely like a Denny's, and I have a vague sense that some of those might be diners rather than pure burger joints.

kim
kim

There used to be a Long John Silver in Flushing, but ran out of business in a year.

Butter Burger Buddy
Butter Burger Buddy

I second Culver's. 

Maybe not worth a thousand-mile round trip, but good to see it made your list!

Kenny
Kenny

HOW IS THERE NO IN-N-OUT ON HERE!?!

Vake
Vake

Also, I believe there is a Checkers and White Castle in the Bronx.

david eun
david eun

there are two arby's in queens. 17514 Horace Harding Expressway, Fresh Meadows, NYand 6916 Metropolitan Avenue in Ridgewood/Middle Village. just fyi

Vin
Vin

and oh yeah  i go to Arbys on metro all the time. too

DennyCrane
DennyCrane

I was told by a friend of mine that they used to have JITBs on Long Island some time ago, but that they all closed.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

It might count, except it's an "Express" location and all the stuff tastes tired and reheated. Bummer! Because I like Chik-Fil-A.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

That's a relief, kim, 'cause they're pretty awful! Thanks for the info. Nice to hear that some franchises can't make it here.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

I skipped In-N-Out because everyone knows where the nearest one is and everybody talks about it all the time. I love In-N-Out, of course.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Thanks. Yikes! Don't know how I missed those.

JK
JK

Definitely does NOT count.  Chik-Fil-A should have made this list.  There are a couple in nearby NJ.

kim
kim

Really can't compete with the other Korean restaurants on Northern Blvd.  I mean, given the option, why would you go for medicore fried to death fish?

guest
guest

Please make me a part of this "everyone" immediately. Where is the nearest IN-N-OUT?

Michele Jarrett
Michele Jarrett

wait, WHERE is the nearest one?? I long for the day I will get to try an In-N-Out burger.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Actually, the NJ one is closer to the Empire State Building.

JK
JK

Dallas.  Also, Google is your friend.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

No, you're right, the headline says "Missing from NYC"

david eun
david eun

sorry guess i skipped the part about the empire state building.  thought we were just talking about the boroughs.

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