Here’s Why Ohio Gets the Newest Fast Food Before Everyone Else

We can thank Ohio for many history-defining innovations: the modern traffic light, aviation, and the basketball artistry of LeBron James, to name a few. But the Buckeye State also serves as an important birthplace for a fundamentally American product: new fast food items.

While Southern California modernized the fast food industry, Ohio has served a vital role in helping shape its offerings in the decades since burgers, fries, and the drive-thru redefined America. Wendy’s and its signature square patties found their first hungry audiences in Columbus. Arby’s turned roast beef sandwiches into a quick-serve item in suburban Youngstown. And in 2011, Toledo residents were among the very first to get their fingers stained by cheese dust from Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco. Ohio’s track record with fast food innovation is as lengthy as it is overlooked.

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Story excerpt provided by Thrillist.

Written by Ryan Joseph.

Originally published February 19, 2020.

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