Everyone and their mom is aware of about Olive Garden, and whereas the soup-salad-and-breadsticks chain can adequately fulfill a red-sauce craving (you’ll see it additional down our record), we have to rule out favor of competitor Maggiano’s for the usual of eats being supplied. Serving heaping platters of family-style dishes (eggplant parm, rooster marsala, Mom’s lasagna), Maggiano’s fosters a enjoyable group eating expertise that households love.
Signature dish: Mom’s lasagna, with meatballs, sausage and ricotta.
As America’s largest informal eating chain — with almost 2,000 places in 49 states and 15 international locations — Applebee’s is clearly doing one thing proper. Combining a low-key, family-friendly ambiance with an encyclopedic menu of bar snacks, burger, sandwiches and steaks — absolutely anything that any diner could possibly be craving at any given time — and including low costs into the mix , Applebee’s has struck upon a golden method that works no matter the place it opens its doorways. Also: large cocktails!
Signature dish: BBQ “Riblets” with fries and coleslaw.
3. Red Lobster
This crustacean-pushing behemoth has come an prolonged method since 1968, when it first opened its doorways in Lakeland, Florida: With 700-plus places inside the US and Canada, it’s far and away the nation’s largest retailer of seafood. Hitting up an space bar or seaside seafood shack would possibly relatively be the right for a number of diners, however the fact — particularly inside the landlocked Midwest — is that Red Lobster is often the only sport on the town once you’re craving a buttery steamed lobster or a straightforward grilled filet. And with dishes like steamed snow crab , garlicky grilled scallops and jumbo coconut shrimp, that actuality isn’t so unhealthy within the least .
Signature dish: Steamed Maine lobster with corn on the cob and child potatoes.
4. T.G.I. Friday’s
When T.G.I. Friday’s initially opened in ny City in 1965, its intention was to provide a safe mingling area for single twenty-somethings of each sexes, in an period when social mixing was restricted to cope with events and super-sketchy singles’ bars. The method was so successful that people waited in line nightly; at this time, whereas occasions have modified, Friday’s nonetheless promotes itself as a date-night spot, with free-flowing booze and lots of of budget-friendly hour promotions. Indulgent apps like loaded potato skins and crispy inexperienced bean fries go down straightforward with the cocktails, too.
Signature dish: Sizzling rooster and shrimp over tacky mashed potatoes.
With a Southwestern aptitude that units its fast-casual menu of burgers, steaks and seafood other than its rivals, Chili’s could also be a worthy vacation spot for chain-restaurant diners with a relatively extra adventurous palate. Value is moreover a excessive precedence right here: Two friends can refill for $20 with a shared app like guac and chips adopted by two full-size entrees like carnitas fajitas, bacon ranch rooster quesadillas and mango-chile tilapia.
Signature dish: Chili’s babyback ribs (and BBQ sauce).
6. Ruby Tuesday
There isn’t an extreme quantity of that’s rock & roll about this East Coast institution, which, sure, takes its title instantly from the Rolling Stones tune, however a random but interesting combination of all-day drinks and free children’ nights are inside the offing everytime you go to. Match your breaded shrimp and Texas-dusted ribs with $5 margaritas, mai tais and Long Island iced teas (sure, actually); for the children , free entrees can be found every Tuesday night time.
Signature dish: Ruby’s basic burger and fries.
7. Olive Garden
It are sometimes enjoyable to hate on this pasta-piling, carbo-loading “Italian kitchen” — the meals can go away one thing to be desired, relying on the state of affairs — however the actuality is that diners prefer it , dropping fairly a billion bucks yearly at 800-plus places around the world. And let’s admit it: $7.99 for limitless soup, salad and breadsticks? That’s a rattling cut price albeit the ’sticks are a contact squishy and subsequently the soup a contact salty. Count us in.
Signature dish: Fettucine alfredo.
8. Cracker Barrel
If you’ve ever taken a highway journey by the South, chances are high that you acknowledge Cracker Barrel’s charms firsthand. Established in Tennessee in 1969, the combo basic store-restaurant hits exhausting on Dixieland nostalgia, with the shops hawking previous wood toys, nation and western CDs and different “down-home” gadgets; additional embracing the theme, every location contains a porch lined with wood rocking chairs. The menu, in fact, is 100 computer meals — assume buttermilk fried rooster, smothered pork chops and biscuits and gravy (breakfast is served all day lengthy) — and tons of it is fairly darn tasty.
Signature dish: Chicken and dumplings.
9. Sonic Drive-In
Even should you didn’t grow old inside the period of the drive-in, it’s straightforward to really feel nostalgic for the idea: getting all snuggly inside the automotive and having fun with high quality time with mates, household and even , should you’re fortunate, a makeout buddy — all whereas slurping delicate drinks and chowing down on fryer-fresh grub. Sonic — “America’s Drive-In” — ingeniously capitalized on the thought in 1959, when founder Troy Smith Sr. launched his inaugural intercom-ordered, “carhop”-delivered burger-and-shakes joint. While we’re nicely previous the golden age of the automotive , it’s straightforward to know why Sonic places have surged to 3 ,500-plus, serving 3 million prospects per day.
Signature dish: Slushes, limeades and shakes in hundreds of taste mixtures.
10. Boston Marke
Its title is easy and subsequently the meals is simply too . With a Sunday dinner-type menu of comfort-food classics together with moist rotisserie rooster and sauce-slicked ribs served alongside mashed potatoes, inexperienced beans and biscuits, Boston Market could also be a great choice for these palate-fatigued days when all you desire to could also be a drumstick and some sizzling, buttered corn kernels.
Signature dish: Half rooster plus three sides