Yes, Texas has been the birthplace for quite a few iconic brands that have been part of American culture. These brands include Dr Pepper, which was created by a pharmacist in Waco in the 1880s. Then you have Neiman Marcus, Texas Instruments, and Wolf Brand Chili.
But quite a few of these iconic Texas brands are famous in the fast-food industry. Here are some of the greatest fast-food chains in the world that originally came from Texas:
No Texas brand in the fast-food industry comes close to even matching the almost mythical fame of the Whataburger brand. Plenty of burger experts rank Whataburger as among the very best burgers in the world.
Whataburger started out in Corpus Christi back in 1950, and their aim was simple. They wanted to create a burger so good that customers just couldn’t help praising it. That meant that their customer base became an integral part of their marketing arm, and its effectiveness would be much more obvious in the age of social media.
Whataburger started out by offering larger burgers, and they matched the quantity of the burgers by the premium quality of their beef. They also didn’t make the burgers until a customer asked for them, so they were always fresh.
Today, Whataburger spreads out its 820 locations in 10 states in the American South. Plenty of residents in other states hopefully wish that one day, their state and town would also be home to a Whataburger location.
This is a chain restaurant brand that specializes in sandwiches and pizza. Its current headquarters may be in Atlanta, Georgia, but it started out in Austin way back in 1971. Today, it has more than 330 locations scattered along the southern and southwestern US states.
Its current slogan is “It’s a mouthful”, and this came out in 2021. But it’s a nod to how a small sandwich shop started out by creating a huge 8-inch handheld muffuletta sandwich. It featured a freshly made toasted bun with 3 meats, along with cheese and black olives.
Today, this sandwich is still available, featuring genoa salami, cotto salami, and shaved ham, along with sliced tomato, shredded iceberg lettuce, red onion black olives, yellow mustard, and its signature sauce. It also has 3 cheeses: shredded mozzarella cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and grated parmesan cheese.
The modern-day menu actually contains a lot more than just sandwiches. Other options include pizzas and flatbreads, calzones, salads, soups, and desserts.
The first Bahama Buck’s opened in 1990. This was in Lubbock, where the brand still has its headquarters today. That first shop had a single ice shaver operating, with the aim of working through the summer.
The thing is, this is Texas. It’s a place that’s basically hot all-year round, and where cold treats are always welcome. This helps explain why as of 2022, Bahama Buck’s operates more than 100 stores in Texas and several other warm-climate states. With all the news about global warming, demand for their cold and frozen goods probably won’t die out too soon.
Bahama Buck’s offers more than just shaved ice. You have smoothies, blended sodas, frozen coffees, lemonades, and Acai Bowls with fresh fruits. All these, plus the low prices (see latest Bahama Buck’s menu prices) also explain why the brand endures.
It may not be as ubiquitous as some of the other Tex-Mex brands out there, but the Taco Cabana brand is quite famous among Texans. It started out in San Antonio in 1978, and today it has about 148 locations spread out in the state and in nearby states.
The brand has always focused on serving high quality ingredients with low prices, while offering Tex-Mex menu items that people back then could only find in sit-down restaurants. But all Taco Cabana locations have a drive-thru, which is how the brand survived the Covid crisis when they closed down all their dine-in facilities. These dine-in facilities may be open now, but you can still get take-away service. Plenty of these locations are also open 24 hours a day.
Their menu offers an all-star lineup of Tex-Mex classics. These include burritos, chalupas, enchiladas, flautas, tacos, and quesadillas. They also offer Nachos, along with several types of fruity margaritas.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
This is quite possible the most famous barbecue franchise in the country. It’s certainly the largest, with more than 450 locations spread out across 44 states, and with annual revenues of about $322 million. It even has locations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and even Singapore and Japan.
It all started out in Dallas back in 1941, with a location that’s still running today. The brand specialized in slow-smoked meats that are just too bothersome to grill at home. They offer plates of beef brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, Polish sausage, along with ribs, wings, sandwiches, and lots and lots of sides.