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These Restaurants Are Redefining the Concept of Fast Food

These Restaurants Are Redefining the Concept of Fast Food

fast food burger

Fast, fancy and fresh. 

Contrary to what some may think, we don't have to cut corners to keep up with today's fast-paced version of life. A sloppy outfit, a skipped breakfast, a rushed email--these aren't shortcuts that solve issues in any significant way for those with daily go-go-go grinds. However, in the age of "there's-an-app-for-that" accessibility, maintaining order, sophistication, health and balance has never been easier. And it seems the restaurant industry is getting on board.

Processed eating packaged under the guise of "efficiency" and "on-the-go ease" is no longer cutting it for a growing number of ever-savvy customers. With that in mind, these restaurants are leading the charge in redefining what it means to eat well, fast.

fast food mexican

Gallo Blanco
Located in Phoenix, Arizona's charming Historic Garfield District, Gallo Blanco isn't so much "fast casual," as it is "fast lux." In a market already teeming with some of the country's best Mexican fare, Gallo Blanco takes its fusion roots to heart, creating a truly unforgettable menu. Chef and owner Doug Robson was born in Mexico to French-Vietnamese and English parents--a diversity also reflected in his food. Gallo Blanco proudly uses local ingredients sourced from community farms to create its health-minded menu--a la carte tacos, mouth-watering specials and more.


Far from its humble origins, this vegan chain now has locations in four states: New York, Rhode Island, California and Massachusetts. The restaurant's growth is due in large part to its delicious fare--not to mention its focus on local and sustainable ingredients. But don't let the term "chain" deceive you. This must-try eatery brings customers "delicious, wholesome, plant-based food that fuels and energizes without compromising flavor, taste or satisfaction." The minds behind by CHLOE. hope to redefine what it means to "eat well"--and with menu options like house-made vegan hamburgers, air-baked fries and nutritious grab-and-go salads, you'll be eating well in no time.


Started in 2007, Sweetgreen continues to grow, with more than 70 locations in eight states. Sweetgreen's scratch-cooking and sustainable menu items have pleased lunch crowds for years--and while other on-the-go dining options are just starting to hop on the clean-eating bandwagon, Sweetgreen has ten years of business on the competition. From delicious rice bowls to nutrient-packed salads, its menu will fill you up without emptying your wallet.

And it's not just about the customers that walk through the door. Sweetgreen's philosophy takes into account its local communities and environments, ensuring its unique approach to food sourcing, preparation and enjoyment benefit everyone involved.


It's not made, it's not manufactured, it's grown." That's the motto of Miami hotspot Grown, an organic eatery that has the whole town abuzz. The restaurant features a walk-up counter and a drive-thru window, perfect for those looking to eat well despite busy schedules. Conceived and developed by Shannon Allen, Grown began to take root while cooking for Allen cooked for her husband, former NBA player Ray Allen. Shannon utilized her Ray's 18 years in the game to develop a healthy and nutritious food prep approach fit for a professional athlete. Combined with her experience on TV hosting The Pre-Game Meal, Grown is the culmination of good eating while on the clock. Allen also pays special attention to food allergies and Type 1 Diabetes awareness.


The Organic Coup
Billing themselves "America's first USDA certified organic fast food," The Organic Coup brings ingredient transparency to a whole new level. Their website features a complete list of ingredients used to make everything on its menu, from the tortillas to the ranch dressing. Known for their delicious whole breast chicken sandwiches, The Organic Coup uses no GMOs, no added hormones, no pesticides and no harmful chemicals. But it's not just chicken on the menu. Customers can fill up on egg-based breakfast fare, wraps and acai bowls, a menu aimed at on-the-go students and business people. While currently only available in the San Francisco area, The Organic Coup is planning an expansion into the Seattle area in November of this year.

From locally-sourced Mexican fare to drive-thru organic meals, there's plenty to get excited about when it comes to the future of fast food. When you're short on time, trade in that greasy burger bag for one of these healthy options.

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Dustin Diehl