Burger Brawl: The Best Cities for Burger King and McDonald’s Lovers

Would you ever consider moving to a new city because it had a high concentration of your favorite fast food restaurants? If that sounds like you, Apartment Guide has come out with some interesting data.

Using national housing trend data, they have compiled a list of cities that have the highest per-capita instances of either a Burger King or McDonalds restaurant. So, where are most of these burger joints actually found? The results may surprise you.

First, what is going on in Florida?

Before we talk about anything else, we should take a look at what exactly is going on in Florida.

Known for beaches, amusement parks and tourism, you might not equate The Sunshine State with fast food. But, three of the top four cities with the most Burger King restaurants and two of the top four cities with the most McDonalds restaurants are in Florida. In 2018, Orlando Weekly published a report showing that Orlando actually has the highest per-capita number of fast food restaurants in the nation.

There is no clear-cut reason why fast food chains are so commonplace in Florida. However, one could hypothesize that the frequency of out-of-town visitors contributes to the demand for fast food.

Where are the most Burger King restaurants?

Whether you're a fan of the classic Whopper burger or a fan of Burger King's new plant-based Whopper, you probably have no trouble finding a Burger King in your area. That doesn't mean that some cities don't have far more Burger King restaurants than others.

The number one city home to the most Burger King establishments per capita is Syracuse, NY. Syracuse has 9.81 Burger King restaurants per 100,000 residents. Trailing just behind is Orlando, FL with 9.8 per 100,000 residents.

The remainder of the top four spots for Burger King are also in Florida. Miami and West Palm Beach boast 9.56 and 8.98 Burger King restaurants per 100,000 people, respectively.

Where are the most McDonalds restaurants?

McDonalds is likely one of the most notorious fast food stops in the country. The first McDonalds opened in 1955, so they have had plenty of time to expand. That's why you see them everywhere — especially if you've ever done any interstate travel.

But, what cities are home to more of these iconic burger stops than other cities?

Florida has a heavy presence on this list, as well. The first and fourth most McDonalds-heavy cities are both in Florida. Orlando is number one with a whopping (a Big-Mac-ing?) 19.6 McDonalds per 100,000 people and Lakeland is number four with 13.57 per 100,000 people.

Between the first and fourth spot on this list are a couple of surprise appearances. Number two for most McDonalds per capita is Dayton, OH with 15.64 McDonalds per 100,000 people. Just behind Dayton is Columbia, SC, where there are 14.24 McDonalds per 100,000 residents.

How do these numbers compare to the rest of the country?

It seems like many of the cities listed have a huge number of these particular fast food restaurants. But, are they really that different from the rest of the country? Let's take a look at some other cities for comparison.

The two cities with the most McDonalds and Burger King restaurants per capita have 19.6 and 9.81 of these restaurants per 100,000 people, respectively. Apartment Guide included all cities up to the 50th city.

The 50th city on each of these lists has 6.46 McDonalds per 100,000 people and 3.92 Burger King restaurants per 100,000 people. This means, that in both instances, the city where each restaurant is most common has more than double the restaurants per capita than the 50th city.

That means that cities like Orlando, Miami and Dayton actually do have noticeably more Burger King and McDonalds restaurants than other U.S. cities. This divide is especially noticeable when looking at cities like New York City or Boston where there are generally far fewer fast food restaurants per capita.