Kinda Fast Food Places Rule “Healthiest Fast Food Chains” List


What we would call real fast food places.
photo by Flickr/AdamL212, some rights reserved)

Health magazine has released its list of the ten healthiest fast food chains in the country, but it’s hard to come by the supposed healthiest option in the city, much to Mayor Bloomberg’s dismay, we’re guessing.

Panera Bread tops the list with its half-size portions and mostly antibiotic and hormone-free chicken. Tragically, the nearest locations of the chain bakery are in Long Island City (3801 35th Avenue) and Hoboken (310 Washington Street). More New York-y options making the list include Au Bon Pain at #3 and Chipotle at #6. Of course, if you haven’t already noticed, the “healthiest fast food chains” skew away from what we (or at least I) would typically think of as “fast food”–McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Dairy Queen, etc–and more towards “convenience food”–ie. Panera, Au Bon Pain, Corner Bakery. Sure these convenience foods are fast, but they’re also expensive relative to what I would call “traditional” fast food places. As the recession leads more people to eat fast food more often, it’s worth noting that a meal at many of these “convenience food” places usually runs around $10, while $5 usually suffices at a traditional fast food place, at least in my experience.

Interestingly, McDonald’s does make it on the list at #8 (in addition to Chipotle, which they own), and it’s the only one of the old guard fast food places on the list. McD’s earns praise for its retooled menu with healthy options like 260-270 calorie Snack Wraps and Happy Meals with apple dippers. Ohmy! Jared and Subway must feel so left out.


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