10 East-Coast chains we wish would go national

Cook Out 13

  • There are some restaurant and fast-food chains you can largely find on the East Coast of the US.
  • Friendly’s is a family-friendly diner located in a few states along the East Coast, including New York and New Jersey. 
  • Legal Sea Foods is a more upscale dining chain you’ll find in some parts of East Coast. 
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The East Coast has some delightful places to chow down. 

Though it’s impossible to list every great place to eat along the East Coast, we’ve rounded up a few chains we hope to see open more locations across the US. 

Here are 10 food chains from the East Coast that we wish would go national. Just a note — some of these chains have a few locations outside of the East Coast, but since they’re based in the East Coast and primarily serve that region of the US, they’re included on this list.

SEE ALSO: 11 Midwest restaurant chains we wish would go national

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Bojangles is a chain that serves up comfort food and all-day breakfast.

North-Carolina-based eatery Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits is known for its all-day breakfast dishes. Though the eatery mostly serves places up and down the East Coast, it has a few locations in states like Tennessee and Kentucky. 

Exactly as the name implies, this fast-food chain serves hot, freshly baked biscuits that come stuffed with any number of foods including chicken, egg, cheese, sausage, and gravy. The chain is also known for its old-fashioned sweet tea.

Located mostly in the southern parts of the East Coast, Cook Out serves up delightful fast-food dishes.

Found mostly on the southern part of the East Coast, North-Carolina-based eatery Cook Out is known for its indulgent dishes.

The chain can satisfy a variety of cravings as it serves up burgers, fries, hot dogs, chicken, barbecue, and more. They also offer a menu of over 40 different milkshakes, so don’t leave without grabbing dessert.


The East-Coast chain Wawa has food and coffee some people just can’t get enough of.

Although it’s primarily a convenience store, Wawa surpassed even some of the most popular fast-food chains to be voted America’s favorite sandwich shop in 2018. It’s known for its quick bites, including classic creations like meatball hoagies and cheese paninis.

Also known for its affordable coffee, the Pennsylvania-based chain has hundreds of locations up and down the East Coast.

Magnolia Bakery is a chain known for its delightful desserts.

Located only in New York City, Magnolia Bakery has been baking some of Manhattan’s most delicious treats since 1996. Although the bakery serves dozens of desserts — cakes, pies, and cupcakes included — it is probably most famous for its creamy varieties of banana pudding.

Xi’an Famous Foods is a fast-casual restaurant based in NYC.

Xi’an Famous Foods restaurants are only found in New York City and its fast-casual menu of Xi’an-style Chinese food makes it worth a visit during a trip to the concrete jungle.

Alongside traditional soups and noodle dishes, the chain also serves up stewed pork and spicy cumin lamb burgers in folded flatbread buns.

Read More: 16 chefs and restaurateurs share their favorite places to eat in NYC

Legal Sea Foods is an upscale chain based in the Northeast.

Legal Sea Foods opened its first location in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1950. Found primarily in Massachusetts, the upscale restaurant prides itself on serving up classic seafood dishes using only the freshest coastal catches.

Found exclusively in Maine, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream has only a few locations.

Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream has some seriously devoted fans for a good reason. Its ice cream and frozen yogurt comes in over a dozen flavors, including classics like Cookie Dough and Cookies ‘n’ Cream along with more inventive flavors like Sugarloaf Mint Chip, Lemon Wafer Cookie, and Peanut Butter Pie. 

Fortunately, for those who can’t visit a Maine location in person, you can purchase pints of Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream at grocery stores around the US. 

Head to Georgia-based eatery The Varsity for burgers, milkshakes, and more.

Located only in Georgia, The Varsity offers plenty of classic American fare like burgers, fries, loaded hot dogs, and onion rings.

One of The Varsity’s biggest hits is the Frosted Orange, a milkshake made with vanilla ice cream and The Varsity’s special orange soda.

Head to the southern part of the East Coast to experience the regional chain Biscuitville.

Available in North Carolina and Virginia, Biscuitville brings fresh Southern food to the breakfast table.

The restaurant prides itself on working with a single local family-owned flour mill to make its biscuits and it also boasts serving only locally produced chicken, eggs, sausage, and coffee. 

Friendly’s is a family-friendly diner located primarily in northern East-Coast states like New York and New Jersey.

Located only along the East Coast of the US, Friendly’s specializes in ice-cream desserts and also serves up diner classics like burgers and fries. Most famously, this eatery serves up giant ice-cream sundaes that can be customized with dozens of toppings upon request. 

Fortunately, even if you can’t visit a real-life Friendly’s location, you can purchase the brand’s line of ice cream at many grocery stores around the US.