Come on, Mr. and Ms. Sustainably Raised Arugula and Organically Butchered Heirloom Pig. You know that you have Secret and Dark Cravings just like the rest of us, and when that happens, you clandestinely sneak down to the McDonald's that's 2 neighborhoods over so no one sees you and you order the #3 and eat it there in the restaurant while reading the USA Today someone left behind and hoping no one sees you. I'm on to you. And you know what? THAT'S COOL. No one can live on Day Boat Sea Scallops or heirloom tomato consommé all the time. Sometimes you need a Double Double, stat. I won't tell if you don't.
5. Arby's, Lakeshore Plaza, 1581 Sloat
There is something about the way the spray cheese melts over the Beef 'n Cheddar that is just magical, a perfect balance of flavor and texture, cushioned in a pillowy onion roll. Plus, you have to love the fact that Lakeshore Plaza is one big Chain-a-thon, a rare sight indeed in San Francisco. They've got a Petco, a UPS Store, a Supercuts, a Big 5, a Radio Shack. It's like being somewhere else in the country! There's even a military recruitment center! What is this place! Anyway, Arby's is the bomb.
4. KFC/Taco Bell, Guerrero and Duboce
You guys, when I found out you could mix and match the KFC and Taco Bell items it felt like I had learned something really important. Like you can get a 1-piece breast meal AND a Taco Supreme. Plus, proximity to Zeitgeist! I mean, come on! I just wish SF had a Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (WARNING: Do not click on link if you plan on having something else in your head for the rest of the day).
3. Jack in the Box, Geary and 10th
You know what's great about Jack? He never sticks. He's always coming up with some new shizz. Like, you may go "I love the Sourdough Jack, but what else you got?" and Jack's all "WHY DON'T YOU TRY A CHICKEN FAJITA PITA MOTHERFUCKER" and you're all "Holy shit, that is a good fucking idea." Not that you would ever do that, though, because the Sourdough Jack is fucking nuts. I've never been to the Union Square location but the one on Geary and 10th is righteous every once in a while. You can sit up front and watch all the dorks going in and out of Lamps Plus.
2. In-N-Out Burger, Fisherman's Wharf
I knew if I didn't put In-N-Out on here peeps would FREAK OUT and be all "WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T YOU PUT IN-N-OUT ON THERE" so calm down, here it is. I don't know, In-N-Out's OK, but not worth the mad hype it gets all the time. Plus, the last time I ate there (in Daly City, not at the Fish-Whar), the fries were totally underdone. Nevertheless, if you want a solid burger surrounded by smelly Germans and thugged-out kids from Modesto, this is your place.
1. McDonald's, Haight and Stanyan
Let's start out with 2 assumptions: (1) McDonald's is rock solid, and generally you can't go wrong there, and (2) the food at every McDonald's is about the same. So it really comes down to location. The McDonald's at Haight and Stanyan is awesome because it's close to Amoeba and it plays host to a constant revolving parade of serious freakshow humanity. You got your hippies, your crazies, your gutter punks, your retirees, your normals, your truck drivers, your speed freaks, your stoners who have to go to McDonald's because they're stoned, your tourists, and you. It's kind of the iconic San Francisco fast food restaurant. That's why it's Number 1.
RIP Wendy, who decamped from her last SF location on Market a few years ago. We miss you, Wendy.
Also, SF needs a Krystal, a Chick-Fil-A, and Bojangles. That would rule.