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

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.

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

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

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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