Relax! It’s National Fast Food Day. Know what that means for you? An easy peasy dinnertime. Whether you prefer burgers or chicken, salad or tacos, fries or biscuits, sodas or coffee, fast food options have come to encompass nearly any American food your belly can crave. Plus, studies have shown that fast food can be even healthier than other restaurants’: Fast food adds an average of 10 milligrams of cholesterol compared to 58 — and 297 milligrams of sodium compared to 412.
National Fast Food Day timeline
McDonald’s stopped counting
The burger Goliath quit counting the number of burgers it sold at 99 billion.
Fast food was born
White Castle, arguably the first modern fast food restaurant in the world, opened its doors.
Automat hit the scene
New York’s Automat restaurant popularized the phrase “take-out food.”
Tamales are to-go
Missionary priest Father Bernardino de Sahagun described Aztec street markets selling tamales with hot sauce.
- 3200 BC
Take-out windows make their debut
Some Mesopotamian ruins featured windows, a fireplace, leftover food, and a ton of bowls; archaeologists suspect these were ancient take-out restaurants.
National Fast Food Day Activities
Skip on cooking and doing the dishes. Eat out — and don’t forget the extra drink refills.
Rather stay in? Set the dining room table like it’s Thanksgiving — minus the 5 a.m. alarm to get that turkey in the oven.
Try something new
Always opt for burgers? Try a Chinese spot. Typically prefer chicken? Go roast beef.
5 Menu Quirks Worldwide
Chinese Dunkin' Donuts offer pork or spicy beef floss doughnuts.
One tandoori taco, please
Indian Taco Bells carry tikka masala burritos with grilled chicken, Mexican rice, onion, and tandoori mayo with cilantro.
Tea with beans
Starbucks in some Asian countries offers a red bean green tea Frappuccino.
Would you like pasta with your burger?
Filipino McDonald’s offer a spaghetti and fried chicken combo.
Can it be ‘pizza’ without tomatoes or cheese?
The Birizza at Sri Lankan Pizza Huts include chicken or paneer rice topped with pizza dough and an onion salad on the side.
Why We Love National Fast Food Day
You can take a night off
Skip all that meal prep for a night and use the time you save to linger over dinner. Whether you dine-in or take-out, value those extra minutes with those closest to you.
The choices are endless
There are more than 50,000 fast food chains in the United States. From the largest — Subway — to the small, regional- and city-specific restaurants, fast food chains offer unparalleled variety.
It can fit into any diet
Fast food gets a bad rap, but plenty of healthy options exist. Want to skip carbs? Opt for a salad. Avoiding fried foods? Get it grilled.
National Fast Food Day dates