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      Chefs don't subsist mainly on fancy foods. They also get down on fast food. Here's what some of our favorites get from the drive-thru. a close up of a sandwich sitting on top of a pile of fries? Cole Saladino/Thrillist Chefs… they’re just like us! That’s right: they also swing by the Taco Bell drive-thru at 1am and order enough food to feed the Detroit Pistons. All chefs -- from foie gras-plating sous chefs to brisket-smoking pitmasters -- sometimes crave quick, delicious hits of fat and salt you can easily find at our nation’s fast food restaurants. That’s why we asked our favorite chefs from across the country for their favorite fast food chain and exactly what they order, from drinks to entrees to desserts.

      a half eaten sandwich sitting on top of a paper plate? Matt Lynch/Thrillist

      Steak ‘n Shake

      “I always get two Frisco Melts. Not only do I find this meal to be delicious, but it always fills me up when i'm hungry. What I love most about this order is the sweet and tangy Frisco sauce they add to the burgers. Plus, how could you not love their Thin ‘n Crispy fries that come with it?" -- Fabio Viviani, chef/owner, Siena Tavern (Chicago, Illinois)

      a box filled with different types of food on a table? Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen


      "Popeyes is the greatest fast food chain that’s ever existed! The perfect order consists of spicy dark meat chicken, a few biscuits, more red beans & rice than you think, and a whole pickled jalape?o for dessert. Don't forget to add Crystal Hot Sauce to your red beans!" -- Ronnie Evans, co-owner, Blue Oak BBQ (New Orleans, Louisiana)

      “Compared to other fast food chains, their biscuits are the best! Here’s the deal with any chain biscuit: they have to be eaten immediately. No reheating, no waiting. Eat them in the car if you have to. Dip them in your mashed potatoes. Cheap jelly is for children, 'nuff said.” -- Isaac Toups, chef/owner, Toups’ Meatery (New Orleans, Louisiana)

      a sandwich sitting on top of a table? Cole Saladino/Thrillist


      “Double-Double Animal Style with plain fries. The sweetness of the caramelized onions with their tangy special sauce is perfect; it hits that pleasure spot in my brain. And not only is the food great, but I greatly admire their operation as well.” -- Teresa Monta?o, executive chef, Oto?o (Los Angeles, California)

      “Though In-N-Out purists are still awaiting an outlet here in Colorado, I always make it a point to go when visiting family back home in LA. My go-to order is the Double-Double -- skip the fries and order a chocolate shake instead of soda (if I’m going to get a sugary drink, it might as well be made from ice cream!).” -- Jeff Osaka, chef/owner, [email protected] (Denver, Colorado)

      a sandwich sitting on top of a table? Del Taco

      Del Taco

      “I actually like their plain quesadillas, fries, and The Del Taco -- an OG on the menu. My favorite is the Del Scorcho Hot Sauce. Best hot sauce to ever come in a packet, hands down.” -- Kevin Templeton, executive chef, Barleymash (San Diego, California)

      a close up of a sandwich sitting on top of a table? Whataburger


      “My go-to order is Double Meat Whataburger, no pickles, no mustard, wet (as in, with mayo), and add cheese. Pair that with fries and a sweet tea -- nothing better. There is no Whataburger in New Orleans and it’s always something I crave. -- Adam Biderman, chef, The Company Burger (New Orleans, Louisiana)

      a group of people sitting at a table with a plate of food? El Pollo Loco

      El Pollo Loco

      "I like the three-piece meal with coleslaw at El Pollo Loco. I add the chicken and coleslaw to the tortilla, and then I make that into super tasty tacos with the spicy avocado salsa. Easy and delicious." -- Colin Smith, chef/owner, Roundabout Grill (Reno, Nevada)

      a banana sitting on top of a plate of food? Cole Saladino/Thrillist


      "Although it's a very rare occurrence that I feel the urge to eat any fast food, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Wendy's really satisfies on a long road trip (it’s best eaten while driving), or as the first thing eaten after an illness. There's something comforting in the simplicity of it all. The pillowy bun is an unadorned delivery method for a juicy, spicy chicken breast, and the lettuce is wilted just slightly by the heat of everything. The mayo and tomato facilitate the experience for a quick six bite snack. Go for fries and a Frosty (the fries are best dipped) if you're feeling extra indulgent, but don't plan on loving yourself afterwards.” -- Eric Sjaaheim, chef de cuisine, Fat Rice (Chicago, Illinois)

      a hand holding a half eaten sandwich? Cole Saladino/Thrillist


      “It’s close to my Southern heart having grown up in Georgia, and was my morning go-to when I was putting myself through culinary school, bartending till 4am, and heading to morning class at 6am. My regular order was the Chicken Biscuit with cheese and egg, a cup of sweet tea, and their crispy hash browns.” -- Holly Jivin, Chef de Cuisine, The Bazaar (Los Angeles, California)

      “Their fried chicken sandwich is slightly sweet, topped with a judicious amount of mayonnaise, and served up on a squishy bun. It is so good. Their waffle fries are both thick and steak fry-like, but also have crispy bits. It’s a perfect combo. I used to really love their homemade coleslaw, but they replaced it with kale salad. Best of all, the tea is expertly brewed and made in-house every day. As a Southerner, I pretty much consider it to be the perfect iced tea.

      “And here are the complications! I am also LGBTQ and have a love/hate relationship with this fast food establishment well-known for their conservative Christian values, especially in regards to gay marriage. The company has voiced that they do not have a policy of discrimination, and they also have an amazing scholarship program, donate to the Salvation Army, and do a lot of good. I’m sure a lot of people will call me a hypocrite -- all I can say is that sometimes a really good chicken sandwich is just a really good chicken sandwich.” -- Virginia Willis, chef (Atlanta, Georgia)

      a plastic container filled with different types of food? Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

      Taco Bell

      “I truly believe in sourcing fresh, local ingredients. However, as a chef, I work long hours and sometimes I just don’t have the time and energy to prepare a meal for myself. I usually only eat one meal a day, and I’m 6’3” and only weigh 149 pounds, but I can put down an impressive amount of Taco Bell. I always go through the drive-thru and take home three Soft Taco Supremes, three Doritos Locos Tacos, two bean burritos, an order of Nachos BellGrande, and a Mexican Pizza. I also use so much Fire Sauce and Diablo Sauce that they make me pay a little extra. Once I get home, I like to eat my order -- which usually costs over $20 -- with cold, canned PBR. After a Taco Bell run, I usually can’t wear my wedding ring for a few days because my fingers are so swollen from the crazy high sodium intake.” -- Justin Burdett, chef, Crook's Corner (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

      “Double Decker, no lettuce. It’s everything that you want in a taco -- crispy and crunchy.” -- Tory McPhail, chef, Commander’s Palace (New Orleans, Louisiana)

      a close up of a sandwich on a plate? Courtesy of Shake Shack

      Shake Shack

      “I order a Smoke Shack burger, a chicken sandwich, cheese fries, and a 50/50 shake. At first [I would go there] because we couldn’t get it in Minnesota, but now that it’s here I love the fact that they get their beef locally. They have great combinations that make them more interesting than the standard fast food burger place. And that bun! The shakes also come in unique flavors that keep it interesting and make you want to try everything on the menu.” -- Mike DeCamp, chef/owner, P.S. Steak (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

      “Shake Shake is consistently great, and now that there’s one right up the street from me, I go more than I would like to admit. When I’m there, I always get the Smoke Shack with Bacon Cheese Fries. Why? Well, I mean, obviously bacon makes everything better, but I think it’s also pretty genius to have the cherry peppers on the burger -- they give it a little bit of spice and a really nice acidity that offsets the fatty bacon and complements the burger and cheese.” -- Adam Vero, executive chef, Hearth & Dram (Denver, Colorado)

      a sandwich sitting on top of a pile of fries? Jerry Huddleston

      Five Guys

      "I don't always eat at fast food chains, but when I do, I prefer the burgers at Five Guys. I always order the Bacon Cheeseburger, and I add mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and onions. I always get a small order of fries, Cajun Style. I also like their handspun milkshakes -- the calted caramel’s my favorite. While waiting for my order, I love that I can snack on peanuts in the meantime!" -- Matt Weinstein, chef, Biltong Bar (Atlanta, Georgia)

      a close up of food? Sheetz


      "The two things I love about Sheetz are the bizarrely huge beverage selection and the meatball sub. I like the way the sauce melts into the bread and it gets all saucy and doughy." -- Duff Goldman, chef/owner, Charm City Cakes (Baltimore, Maryland)

      a sandwich sitting on top of a paper plate? Culver's


      “As a native Wisconsinite, I’m a fan of Culver’s and their cheese curds -- they’re perfectly fried, gooey, and completely Midwestern.” -- Tony Mantuano, chef/partner, Spiaggia (Chicago, Illinois)

      a cut in half sandwich sitting on top of a wooden cutting board? McDonald's


      “At this point it’s just for nostalgia, but I love those memories. My grandmother used to take me for lunch as a child, which was special to get one-on-one time with her as the oldest of three grandkids. I remember always wanting a cheeseburger and her insisting that I try the Filet-O-Fish. There was no looking back once I did! She had a great passion for food as I would come to learn, and a lot of her cooking is in mine." -- Michael Scelfo, chef/owner, The Longfellow Bar (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

      a sandwich sitting on top of a wooden table? Arby’s


      “My favorite fast food chain is Arby’s, and it’s because of the sauces (or maybe only for the sauces). The Arby’s Sauce and the Horsey Sauce are my secret indulgence. I always get the Classic Roast Beef Sandwich without cheese -- I don’t want anything to distract from the meat and sauces. Then, I drench the sandwich with both sauces, reapplying sauce after each bite. Of course, I have to pair this with curly fries instead of regular french fries. The super soft, steamed bun with the salty meat and the sweet and savory sauces… it’s a winning combination.” -- Terryl Gavre, proprietor, Cafe 222 (San Diego, California)

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