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Chains we wish would come to NYC

New Yorkers don't want Wal-Mart, but we do want In-N-Out Burger.

Whether we like it or not, Chick-fil-A has arrived (twice!) and Cheesecake Factory is on its way to opening in the Big Apple along with Neiman Marcus and a newly opened Wegman's in Brooklyn.

Even though New Yorkers in general are pro small-business, some chains just call to us. Whether it's nostalgic yearning from transplants, or just a longing for something new and different, here are some chains we'd like to see open here in the city.

Waffle House

Sure, you can get your pancakes at IHOP
Photo Credit: Flickr / 40726522@N02

Sure, you can get your pancakes at IHOP and you can get your breakfast on at many brunch locations. But what about waffles at 2 a.m.? Waffle House has more than 2,100 locations across 25 states -- mostly in the South -- and is the No. 1 source of late-night and early-morning eats for many.

Peet's Coffee & Tea

West Coast favorite Peet's Coffee & Tea sells
Photo Credit: Flickr / 39908901@N06

West Coast favorite Peet's Coffee & Tea sells their beans in several NYC grocery stores, but there's no place to grab a cup on the go. It would be great to have an fast, grab-and-go alternative to Dunkin' Donuts. Or Starbucks.

Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box is a fast-food chain
Photo Credit: Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box is a fast-food chain founded in 1951 and headquartered in San Diego. The chain has 2,200 locations with plans to expand nationally, but New York is not officially on the radar.

Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers is a cross between
Photo Credit: Mellow Mushroom

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers is a cross between a pizzeria and the Grateful Dead, with psychedelic vibes and organic ingredients. Started in 1974 by two college students from Georgia Tech who wanted to open a restaurant reflecting their philosophies, the company has more than 150 locations -- closest to Long Island is in New Jersey. Its menu features pizza, calzones, sandwiches and salads with unique takes on each.

Del Taco

Taco Bell may have cornered the Mexican fast-food
Photo Credit: <a href="http://bit.ly/1WWH3NY" target=_blank>Art Bromage via Flickr</a> (CC BY-SA)

Taco Bell may have cornered the Mexican fast-food market, and Chipotle may be on the rise, but Del Taco offers up its own unique take on American-style Mexican cuisine, as well as burgers, fries and shakes. There are over 500 locations, mostly in California and the southwestern United States.

In-N-Out

If there's one thing New Yorkers can admit
Photo Credit: Flickr / Kevin Dinkel

If there's one thing New Yorkers can admit that Cali has over them, it's In-N-Out Burger. We want those animal-style burgers so badly, all the time. It's just a fact. Just check out any New Yorkers' Instagram if they've recently traveled to the West Coast ...

Wawa

Wawa Inc. is a chain of convenience store/gas
Photo Credit: Flickr / Donald West

Wawa Inc. is a chain of convenience store/gas stations known for its extensive choice of coffees, sandwiches and other on-the-go eats. Founded in 1964, the Pennsylvania-based company has locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and other East Coast states -- except, of course, for New York.

Noodles & Company

This Midwestern chain dedicated to noodles of the
Photo Credit: Noodles & Company

This Midwestern chain dedicated to noodles of the world is a carb-lover's dream. From spicy Asian noodles to local classics like Wisconsin mac and cheese, there's something for everyone (even gluten-free vegans!) on this menu. A bowl of noodles costs less than $10, and you can add a soup or salad for $1 more. Plus, there's free Wi-Fi.

Belk

Belk is an upscale department store that competes
Photo Credit: Flickr / Mike Kalasnik

Belk is an upscale department store that competes with companies like JCPenney, Kohl's and Sears. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the company is the largest family owned and operated department store with 306 locations in 16 states, primarily in the South.

Pollo Tropical

This Caribbean-style chain is very popular in Florida
Photo Credit: Flickr / muyyum

This Caribbean-style chain is very popular in Florida and would be a welcome addition to NYC, especially in the cold months. Sure, we have great chicken here, but the tagline "Chicken on the Grill" is just too appetizing.

Golden Corral

If you own a television, then odds are
Photo Credit: <a href="http://bit.ly/23jTy6r" target=_blank> Daniel X. O'Neil via Flickr</a> (CC BY-SA)

If you own a television, then odds are you've seen an ad for Golden Corral -- but the nearest location is all the way in New Jersey. The buffet-style restaurant was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in North Carolina.

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes

Souplantation first opened in San Diego in March
Photo Credit: Flickr / John Lambert Pearson

Souplantation first opened in San Diego in March 1978 and some say it's the first "fast casual" restaurant to serve wholesome and fresh food. Locations outside California are called Sweet Tomatoes. There are locations in 15 states. Hale and Hearty could use some competition!

Zaxby's

Zaxby's is a Chick-fil-A competitor in the South
Photo Credit: Flickr / Stephen Ritchie

Zaxby's is a Chick-fil-A competitor in the South and Southeast. It's heaven, and I buy $10 worth of their signature dipping sauce, Zax Sauce, whenever I find one. (Editor's note: Zaxby's original sauce recipe is a tightly kept secret, but co-founder Tony Townley said the following are likely included: mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper.) -- SCOTT FONTANA

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