From their salsas, which range from classic salsa verde to the sweet and delicious mango salsa, to their delicious tacos, quesadillas and fajitas, a lack of flavor is never a problem at Baja Fresh. There are close to 800 Qdoba locations in the U.S., and 44 out of 50 U.S. states have at least one Qdoba restaurant. After her family migrated from Mexico to Texas in the 1890s, Adelaida Cuellar began selling her handmade tamales at her county fair. After a booming start in the late 1970s and a growth spurt in the early 1980s, Chi-Chi's sales and store count declined. Without further ado, were going to be listing the 16 best Mexican chain restaurants in America, describing the style of the menu for each one (see also Americas Best Buffet Restaurants). That's what you call to live your childhood dream. And for more than 1980 anti-stirlish, Only the children of the 1980s will remember these restaurants . (Well, not quite the same fries.) In addition, DoorDash, the nations number-one food delivery service, revealed recently that five of, 2019s 15 most popular food orders in America, Of course, the fare offered by Mexican chains, whether fast-food places or sit-down restaurants, is designed for a wide American audience, and rarely reflects the way people eat in Mexico. Del Taco is headquartered in Lake Forest California, and is led by CEO John D. Cappasola Jr. Similar restaurants that were more adaptable to changing tastes became fierce competitors. Pappasitos Cantina is undoubtedly one of the best Tex-Mex chain restaurants in America. But if you'd kill for an Ollieburger, check out this copycat recipe to satisfy your craving. The Mexican seafood restaurant closed because of high rent costs. By the mid-'80s, there were nearly 100 D'Lites locations across the country. If you grew up in the '80s, there's a good chance you went to at least one of these restaurants. Still another Texan, founded in Dallas in 1986, Uncle Julios features mesquite-grilled fajitas, guacamole made tableside, and chocolate piatas for dessert. "Come on into Pup 'n' Taco and give your tummy a treat"we wish we could! At its height, there were nearly 100 restaurants in The national level, which was quite the Founder Graydon D. Webb. And for children, in particular, Burger Chef was the best choice: it was the first fast food chain to include toys with the meals of his children. Another Dallas-born chain, on the border launched in 1982, featuring mesquite-grilled meats, hand-pressed tortillas, and small-batch salsas. 24/7 Tempo delved further into the list to come up with the top 15 Mexican chains in America (the farthest down came in at No. Qdoba comes out of Denver, where its ancestor, called Zuma Fresh Mexican Grill, opened in 1995. JoJos in the ring around the mall 625 . The company sold most of its locations in the '90s, though, before they all fizzled out. > Number of U.S. units: 170. Cote D'Oro: In 1980, Holiday Magazine named this distinctive, turreted Yosemite Boulevard restaurant one of the Top 100 in the United States. In addition, DoorDash, the nations number-one food delivery service, revealed recently that five of 2019s 15 most popular food orders in America were Mexican in style. The original Pioneer Chicken opened in 1961 next to a Pioneer Market, a grocery store chain in Los Angeles. There arent as many Baja Fresh locations as there are for other Mexican fast food chains, so be sure to look up the nearest Baja Fresh and try it out when you can! Chuys sets itself apart from much of the competition in the Mexican restaurant industry by rolling their tortillas by hand and serving only fresh ingredients. > Number of U.S. units: 6,588. Burger Chef. Fast-food chains aren't necessarily known for their healthy options (especially in 1980s America), but that's what D'Lites sought to do with its menu. The graveyard of Denver eateries is the subject of a wonderful new book by Colorado authors Robert and Kristen Autobee titled, Lost Restaurants of Denver . Besides Texas, the chain can be found in Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Maryland. Keep the place clean!" . Del Taco was founded in 1964, in California. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1992 and never quite recovered. That was the motto of Mexican fast-food chain Naugles. Was on 7th ave. Just south of Van Buren at the bottom just before going over the bridge. Howard Johnson's. There is one Howard Johnson's restaurant left in the country, in New York's Lake George. The restaurants your family ate at when you were growing up might not have been the finest dining establishments, but they probably hold a special place in your heart. There were serious noise complaints from neighbors at the Huntington Harbour location in 1981, and, in the mid-1980s, claims that the chain excluded minorities on a regular basis from several of its Orange County . The chain marketed an all-you-can-eat salad bar plus unlimited beer, wine, and sangria. Scott Mercer (left) was helped by Bob Scura and Kurt Cameron of Grand American Fare chain in assembling dcor for P.O. Lots of Transients ate there. > U.S. sales: $398 million Chipotle specializes in Mexican food favorites such as burritos, but it has an extensive menu ranging from burrito bowls to tacos and fajitas. Unfortunately, the opposite of theWag's Jingle Is true today: it's no longer "a good day for Wag", which is nowhere where is in the world. California has the most with 822. Growth was especially strong in the Midwest which was targeted as a region susceptible to their appeal. More than half of the locations were finally converted to Roy Rogers, and the rest was closed. It was known for its burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes. Annie's Santa Fe was a popular Mexican restaurant during the 1980s and 1990s which had locations at several local malls, including Oak Park Mall and Bannister Mall. New Balance > Decline alone for the industry leader, McDonalds, exceeded $38 billion in 2018. However, it's also a derogatory term used to refer to Black Americans, which was part of the reason this chain restaurant eventually failed. Whether you are in their delicious skins of red potatoes or the iconic Irish tower O'Rings, Bennigan was a success in the 1980s. Get the best food tips and diet advice every single day, Now, you'll have the best and latest food and healthy eating news right in your inboxevery Keep place clean!" He worked management jobs at Del Taco, and in the 1980s, struck by the quality and efficiency of El Pollo Loco, he started his own chain of Mexican-style broiled chicken, Juan Pollo, which still . Get the best food tips and diet advice RIP VIP's. 20+ New & Recently-Opened Restaurants in Columbus in 2023. The first Taco Johns was in Wyoming, and it opened way back in 1968. This Mexican restaurant is the original home of the frozen margarita, tableside guacamole, and the fajita platter, so other Mexican chain restaurants owe a lot to this establishment. 11. 24. But in 1989, Red Barn did not come out of bang, but a groan. By the 1990s, the Cuellars owned more than 100 El Chico . 4. > U.S. sales: $214 million (est.) Pizza Haven - Australian pizza chain; Pumper Nic - chain in Argentina; founded in 1974 and closed in 1999; Pup 'N' Taco; Red Barn; Royal Castle - one franchise location survived after chain was liquidated in 1975; Sandy's; ShowBiz Pizza Place - Merged into Chuck E. Cheese Taco Bueno. But by the late '80s, most locations had been sold. Of course the sections most of us will head to immediately are . West-Mex is Midwest-based Mexican cuisine, and thats exactly what you can find on the menu at Taco Johns. "Kiki's How a little neighborhood restaurant grew to be a community tradition", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_Mexican_restaurants&oldid=1135522955, Belgium-based restaurant chain that was originally the European branch of the now defunct American company, Based in Mexico, not related to U.S. company, Based in the United States, not related to Mexican company. Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse. Jolly Tiger 2080 W. Stadium Blvd. "Man, I miss this place. In 1982, a few years after being purchased by a Swiss holding company, the chain overflowed in its franchise efforts and filed for bankruptcy. That is, until 2008 when Bennigan's went bankrupt. The original Del Taco opened in the Mojave Desert town of Yermo, California, in 1964. It took on the rest of the East Coast in the '70s, too. In addition to hot dogs, the menu included tacos. "I used to eat here as a child at lunch time with my father," wrote a Yelper. 1 of 3. Chi-Chi's. Chain restaurants are big business. The trade publication Restaurant Business releases, an annual ranking of the nations top 250 restaurant chains. SmartAssets free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. We finally started swishing and sipping when La Cave popped open "with a refr eshing idea whose arrival . Red Barn had small-town beginnings in 1960s Ohio, but it was destined for greater things. Family Style. Sambo started in 1957 in Santa Barbara, California, reachingMaximum popularity In the late 1970s, more than 1,100 restaurants in 47 states. 10. VIP's was a 24-hour West Coast casual dining chain that got its start in Oregon in 1968. But at its peak in the 1960s, there were hundreds of these orange-roofed restaurants . > Number of U.S. units: 63. Brought to life by husband-wife team of Juan and Melanie Martinez, the first Don Juan Mexican Grill opened in 2011, and the made-to-order burritos, bowls, and fresh-fruit smoothies were an instant hit on the East Coast. But according to The Washington Post, Holmes "knew little about cash flow," despite the restaurant's great marketing. According to Eat This, Not That!, Pup "N' Taco was a popular southern California quick service restaurant.When it opened in 1956, the brand's founder, Russ Wendell, took an un-traditional approach to his menu. But many people are still nostalgic for this restaurant chain. The original Pollo Loco was in Sinaloa, Mexico, and there is a Mexican chain today, unrelated to the U.S. one. November 15, 2005. All the Roy Rogers locations were sold off in the '90s. Chain founder Glen Bell ran two other small taco chains before opening the first Taco Bell in 1962 in Downey, California, near Los Angeles. 58 (tie) EL TACO TOTE. If youre looking for something fresh and new, you can also choose to order the Taco of the Month, which never fails to impress. Fast-food tacos, burritos, tostadas, and quesadillas make up much of the menu, though there are also American-style burgers. There were at least 300 Rax locations by the mid-'80s; there were even locations in Guatemala and Canada. And for more failed eateries, Only 1970s Kids Will Remember These Restaurants. > U.S. sales: $324 million Possibly - with a lot of enthusiasm and tons of help Ziebarth has been able to open aNew rental of Naugles In 2017. It served as competition to other taco fast-food chains like Taco Bell, with its burritos, nachos, enchiladas, and six sauces. Leo's Mexican Restaurant In 2001 Leo's Mexican Restaurant closed its doors, to the chagrin of Tex-Mex connoisseurs and ZZ Top fans. > Number of U.S. units: 484. Now Holidays Restaurant. Its chain, Wag's, had 91 restaurants, all open 24 hours, serving your standard Denny's-esque fare. Miss these emblematic meals of children? Taco Bueno is a famous fast food restaurant chain situated in the southern United States. xhr.open('POST', 'https://www.google-analytics.com/collect', true); But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. Howard Johnson's is synonymous with 1950s and '60s dining. The last original location shut down in 2006. In 1956, Pup 'N' Taco began gracing roadsides in Southern California. VIP was a casual catering chain on the 24-hour west coast that started from Oregon in 1968. But in 1987, Beefsteak Charlie's was sold to Bombay Palace Restaurants and went out of business soon thereafter. At the turn of the century, there was less than a dozen the left position of Howard Johnson. In 1979, McDonald's launched his good meal. "The love affair with chief burger remains strong," aThe Hardee Marketing Officer announced in 2007 When the herdee brought the iconic Burger Big Shef. We hope that this guide to the best Mexican restaurant chains in America (see also Ranking The Top 18 Pizza Chains In America) has shown you that there are plenty more Mexican food options than Chipotle and Taco Bell although these two have more than earned their popularity! Theres no doubt that we love our Mexican food. Founded in 1976 and has remained in same location. 4. And for more restaurants that didn't stand the test of time, Only 1990s Kids Will Remember These Restaurants. This meticulously-researched gem recalls dozens of shuttered restaurants going all the way back to Denver's earliest days. Rubios Coastal Grill Chi-Chi's took off, growing to 237 locations by 1986. Ted N. Holmes founded Chicken George in 1979. Get the best food tips and diet advice Get the best food tips and diet Here are 19 Old Happy Meal Toys That'll Bring You Back to Your Childhood. Just some of the delicious Tex-Mex options on the menu at this restaurant include slow-smoked ribs, enchiladas, quesadillas, fajitas, and tacos. Serve customer fast. A revived Naugles has been in Fountain Valley, California, Long Island and NYC Places that are no more/Facebook, still exist in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, animatronic hillbilly bear named Billy Bob greeted kids. So if you want a scoop of that Chunky Dory Fudge, head to Ohio or Kentucky. The fortress ofMcDonalds,Pizza hut,Burger KingAnd other giants from the 80s made the competition steep. If you were around in the early '80s, you might remember Lum's for its signature beer-steamed hot dogs, and if you weren't a hot dog person, there was always the beloved Ollieburger.