HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — There are plenty of options if you’re heading out to grab a bite to eat in North Alabama — but some well-known chain restaurants still don’t have a home here.

While there are plenty of Jack’s or Chipotle locations, several popular chains remain elusive in the Tennessee Valley.

News 19 compiled a list of the most popular chain restaurants that have yet to make their way an open storefront in North Alabama. See the full list below:

In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger signs fill the skyline on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, in Calif. (AP Photo/Adam Lau)

According to the company’s website, In-N-Out Burger operates more than 350 locations across the United States — but none in Alabama.

The closest In-N-Out locations to North Alabama are likely located in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington, Texas.

The first location opened in 1948 as California’s first drive-thru hamburger joint. The company’s signature “Animal Style” burgers didn’t come along until 1961, but by then, In-N-Out was becoming widely known across Southern California.

There have been efforts to bring the company to Alabama before.

When the company drew controversy in 2018 for donating to the California Republican Party, former Alabama Senator Phil Williams tweeted, “Hey #InNOutBurger c’mon to Alabama! We love burgers, and we love #Republicans!”

As of 2023, no In-N-Out locations were opened anywhere in Alabama. However, the company announced Tuesday that it plans to open locations in Nashville by 2026.

Raising Cane’s

Raising Cane’s does have a presence in Alabama — just nowhere north of Tuscaloosa.

The restaurant, sometimes known mononymously as “Cane’s,” was founded in 1996 by Todd Graves. The name was taken from Cane, Graves’ Labrador retriever, who remains the company’s mascot to this day.

Aside from Tuscaloosa, the next closest locations to North Alabama include Cookeville and Knoxville, both in Tennessee. There is also a location in Mobile.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Workers view a boarded-up door and a tire scuff mark where earlier a car had crashed into the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant on the Santa Monica Pier after an altercation between people in the vehicle and construction workers on the pier in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has more than 20 locations across the nation — and even a few overseas — but none here in Alabama.

According to bubbagump.com, the closest location is likely in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The restaurant chain began in 1996 with a restaurant in Monterey, Calif. as the “first and only (even to this day) casual restaurant chain based on a motion picture property.” The namesake of the chain comes from the 1994 film “Forrest Gump,” combining the title character’s surname with his best friend Bubba’s nickname.

Ben & Jerry’s

A Monarch butterfly lands on a flower outside the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shop, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

If you’re looking for ice cream in North Alabama, you’ll find Handel’s, Bruster’s, Cold Stone Creamery, and many others. However, you won’t find a single pint of Ben & Jerry’s unless you go to the supermarket.

According to benjerry.com, the closest locations to the Tennessee Valley include Chattanooga and Nashville — both in Tennessee. That isn’t too far to drive for a day trip, but it’s probably too far for a scoop of ice cream.

Jollibee

The logo of Jollibee Food in Santa Rosa, Laguna province, Philippines on Wednesday Nov. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

There are more than 1,500 Jollibee locations across the world — but not a single one can be found in Alabama.

The chain, founded in January 1978, features signature items like “Chickenjoy,” a crispy fried chicken meal, and the “Yumburger,” a hamburger that became the chain’s first flagship item.

Jollibee mostly has their locations reserved for the Northeast and West Coast. Most of the chain’s restaurants are located in California or New Jersey with a few spaced out between Chicago, Florida, and Texas.


Is there a particular chain restaurant you want to see in North Alabama? Submit those entries to whnt@nexstardigital.com for that choice to possibly be featured in a future news article!