13 Chain Restaurant Green Beans Ranked From Worst To Best, According To Customers

fried and seasoned green beans
fried and seasoned green beans - Maksims Grigorjevs/Getty Images

Whether steamed, roasted, baked, or fried to a golden crisp, green beans are packed with flavor and make the perfect side to any meal. You can find this legume across many cuisines, though they're especially prevalent in French, Chinese, and American Southern cooking. Other than the most common variety, the green bean or string bean, there are also French green beans, long beans, and purple string beans. High in vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber, this veggie is a healthy addition to any recipe.

Alongside broccoli and Brussels sprouts, green beans are one of the most popular veggie sides on restaurant menus. But while not everyone is a fan of the cruciferous family of vegetables, green beans are loved universally. We hold the firm belief that they taste delicious no matter how you prepare them — but sadly, not every restaurant cooks them with the level of care they deserve, leading to soggy or underdone beans. On the flip side, some green bean dishes are so tasty they call for second or third servings, inspiring us to try to recreate them at home.

With this in mind, we compiled a list of the best and worst green beans at popular restaurant chains. We read hundreds of customer reviews online to determine our selection and ranking. For more on this process, take a look at our methodology section at the end of the article.

Read more: Steakhouse Chains Where The Sides Outshine The Steaks

13. Bojangles

cup of Bojangles green beans
cup of Bojangles green beans - Leanne Petty / X, formerly known as Twitter

Originating from North Carolina, Bojangles has around 800 locations across 17 different states. The Southern fast food chain's menu is centered around fried chicken and biscuits, but no meal here is complete without the sides. Next to mashed potatoes, dirty rice, and fries, green beans may seem like a lackluster choice. However, the green beans are made more exciting with the addition of red peppers, cooked together in a smoky broth.

While some customers enjoy the spiciness from the peppers, the reviews for Bojangles' green beans are overwhelmingly negative. But don't take our word for it. "The green beans just weren't good, tasted and smelled weird," wrote one disappointed customer on Yelp. Another customer on Yelp was reminded of the green beans they ate as a child (though this is no compliment), saying, "Ordered green beans as one of our side dishes and to be quite honest they were horrible with no taste swimming in water." While the side seems to consistently fail on the flavor front, others also raised concerns about freshness, claiming they were served day-old beans. This only makes us want to avoid them even more.

12. Golden Corral

green beans and fried food
green beans and fried food - Golden Corral Buffet & Grill / Facebook

With over 350 locations nationwide, Golden Corral is one of the most popular buffet-style restaurants in the U.S. From the all-you-can-eat salad bar to its long list of meats, sides, and desserts, Golden Corral truly does have options for everyone. Available as a side, the green beans are bit of a mystery, as the restaurant doesn't provide a description of how they're prepared. However, customers report they contain pieces of bacon or pork for added flavor.

But don't get your hopes up. Across many different locations, customer reviews mention a canned taste from the green beans. One Yelp diner claims to have witnessed this firsthand, saying, "One of the cooks opened a huge can of green beans and proceeded to drain the water inches away from the drain on the floor in the middle of where they're serving with it splashing back at him." The use of canned green beans is unforgivable, but this also sounds unsanitary. Even when fresh green beans were on the menu, customers complained they were undercooked, showing there's no winning with these beans.

11. Long John Silver's

side of green beans
side of green beans - Swhacker / X, formerly known as Twitter

After first opening its doors in 1969 in Lexington, Kentucky, Long John Silver's grew to the heights of its popularity in the '70s and '80s, becoming known for selling seafood at low prices. Today, you can often find Long John Silver's at combined locations with KFC or A&W. When it comes to the sides, the hushpuppies are a fan-favorite order, but customers have quite a few things to say about the green beans, too. And it isn't all good.

While some customers have found the seasoned green beans to be full of flavor, others lamented that theirs were too salty. Even harsher words came from one Yelp diner, who had a bad experience at the restaurant overall: "To top it off, the green beans were rancid when I went to eat them." Beyond taste, customers were also disappointed by cold green beans, leading us to question the freshness of the dish. It may be wise to stick to the fried seafood at Long John Silver's.

10. The Cheesecake Factory

plate of green beans
plate of green beans - Kwitty23 / X, formerly known as Twitter

Given the long and varied menu at The Cheesecake Factory, we'd be surprised if green beans weren't on the menu. But while the popular restaurant chain is known for many things, the green beans aren't one of them. Unfortunately, the veggie side leaves much to be desired, according to customer reviews.

One Yelp diner, who enjoyed the rest of their food, wrote, "The green beans tasted rubbery and fake." Others also had problems with taste, like one Yelp customer who accused the restaurant of not using fresh beans. They wrote, "Also the green beans man just look like y'all threw them out the can and warmed them ... so cheap no flavor either." The problems with the green beans don't stop there — several customers also reported issues with still-raw beans. One diner surmised that the green beans were only briefly blanched, which wasn't enough to cook them fully through. Whatever the case, green beans are delicious any way you prepare them, but it's not a vegetable we recommend consuming raw.

9. Pei Wei Asian Kitchen

dish of wok-cooked green beans
dish of wok-cooked green beans - Pei Wei Asian Kitchen

With over 100 locations nationwide, Pei Wei Asian Kitchen serves Asian-inspired fare in a fast-casual setting. The chain, which first opened in Arizona in 2000, offers a wide range of options, including orange chicken, pad thai, poke, and wings. Found on the shareables menu, the Mongolian green beans are an alluring option: Cooked on the wok with high heat, these beans are flavored with chili paste, garlic, and a sweet sauce.

The consensus is mixed on these green beans, though it leans to the negative. "The beans were tough, chewy, and over cooked," wrote one Yelp customer, who ended up throwing them out. Another customer who received overcooked beans didn't mind as much, saying they were still delicious. However, chewy green beans proved to be an irredeemable problem for one diner, whose experience has deterred them from ever visiting the restaurant chain again. While some customers were satisfied with their orders, it's safe to say that consistency isn't Pei Wei's strong point.

8. Texas Roadhouse

bowl of green beans
bowl of green beans - Texas Roadhouse / Facebook

Despite its name, Texas Roadhouse actually started in Indiana, back in 1993. Known for its hearty steaks, ribs, and fresh bread, the chain also offers a wide range of made-from-scratch sides. But before you get in line, be aware that the reviews are mixed when it comes to the green beans.

"The beans were a bit too salty for me, but when eaten little by little it was bearable," said one Yelp customer, and others ran into the same problem. While the menu doesn't offer much in the way of description, various customer reviews and copycat recipes reveal the beans are cooked with bacon, steak seasoning, and broth. Any one of these ingredients could contribute to the dish's salt content.

One Yelp customer didn't like the addition of broth. "But the green beans were floating in a bowl full of water. They should have been drained before serving. Very bland," they wrote. Other negative reviews include complaints of canned-tasting beans. But now for the positives — many customers really enjoyed the smoky flavor and softer texture of these green beans.

7. Captain D's

bowl of green beans
bowl of green beans - whoissabrinaxo / X, formerly known as Twitter

For many, Captain D's is the go-to spot for quick and affordable seafood. The chain, now at over 500 locations, serves a selection of familiar sides to complement its offerings of breaded and grilled fish entrées. One such side is the green beans, slow-cooked with pieces of ham. While a number of reviewers spoke positively of Captain D's green beans, others took issue with their flavor (or lack thereof). "The green beans have absolutely NO taste whatsoever," said one former regular on Yelp. "In the past the green beans have had seasoned pork in them or they at least tasted as if they were cooked with some type of seasoning."

Customer reviews also agree that the greens are sometimes cooked a tad too long. "The veggies (broccoli and green beans) were cooked to destruction ... cold, limp, and broken," wrote one dissatisfied Yelp customer. Another diner expressed disappointment at the size of their order, saying the portion of green beans was more fit for a child. With such inconsistency in quality and quantity, choosing these beans as a side is a gamble we're not sure is worth it.

6. Cracker Barrel

dish of seasoned green beans
dish of seasoned green beans - Cracker Barrel

While Cracker Barrel seemingly sells a little bit of everything, its menu of comfort food is what keeps fans coming back for more. Among country sides such as cornbread muffins and fried okra, you'll find the green beans, cooked with a dash of pork seasoning. But though the green beans satisfy some, many other customers have not-so-favorable things to say about the veggie side.

To their chagrin, one Yelp customer received "green beans so overcooked they had become soup or something." Other reviews indicate that the chain often fails to season the beans properly, with some diners calling them bland and boring and others declaring them too salty. While these reviews are all over the place, the majority of reviewers expressed neither enthusiasm nor strong dislike for the dish. Most were somewhere in the middle, like one Yelp reviewer who wrote, "The only thing that wasn't dry with this entire order was the green beans. And they were just blah." While not terrible, this doesn't really build our confidence in these green beans.

5. TGI Fridays

green bean fries and dip
green bean fries and dip - TGI Fridays / Facebook

With over 200 locations nationwide, TGI Fridays is known for serving comfort food and mixed drinks in a lively, eclectically decorated setting. One popular appetizer option is the green bean fries, which are exactly what they sound like: battered green beans fried as if they were potatoes. The fan-favorite item goes down really well with reviewers, like with one Yelp customer who wrote, "Fried green beans: the only way to eat green beans." Another Yelp customer continued the praise, saying, "Perfect crunch and it was also nice to have some sort of veggie to cut back all of the fried food." They rated the dish a 5/5 in their review.

However, despite all the love, not everyone is a fan of the green bean fries. Some people have even run into quality problems with the appetizer. For example, one customer reported old-tasting green beans, saying that they belonged in the trash. Other nay-sayers thought the fries were nothing special. Still, going by majority rules, TGI Fridays' take on green beans is a hit. Customers especially enjoyed the unique flavors of the wasabi ranch dip that accompanies the fries.

4. P.F. Chang's

plate of tempura green beans
plate of tempura green beans - P.F. Chang's

Since 1993, P.F. Chang's has offered customers Asian fusion favorites such as Mongolian beef and sweet and sour chicken. One of its most popular creations, however, can be found among the appetizers. The Crispy Green Beans continuously impress and excite diners, who come from far and wide to enjoy the tempura-battered, fried veggies.

Customers enjoy the crispy, crunchy texture of the beans. But it doesn't end there — the dipping sauce, a chipotle aioli, is also well-loved by customers. "I think the sauce that comes with the green beans gives them a taste of wham ... so delicious!" wrote one Yelp customer, who journeys to the restaurant just for the green beans.

Though a customer favorite, the green beans aren't immune to quality problems. Complaints mention excessive oil or grease, sogginess, and undercooked beans. One customer, who regularly orders the appetizer, was met with disappointment on a recent visit. "Crispy green beans — 7/10, not seasoned enough this time around but it was still nice and crispy!" they said in their Yelp review. Despite these criticisms, the majority of diners sing this dish's praises, earning it a place near the top (or shall we say bottom) of this list.

3. Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

bowl of Southern green beans
bowl of Southern green beans - Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

The Texas-based Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen is famous for its honey butter croissants and freshly made food that includes comfort classics like country fried chicken and homestyle meatloaf. With over 180 locations nationwide, the chain has also built a reputation for serving delicious Southern-style green beans. Prepared with pork and onions, these green beans have customers raving. "I've never had southern style green beans that were so good!" said one happy Yelp customer. "They were flat green beans that tasted like they were cooked all day in a southern kitchen. No crunchy raw beans at Cheddar's."

While others complimented the flavor and seasoning of the green beans, not everyone approved of the way they're prepared. "Tried the green beans expecting an earthier, possibly meaty/smoky taste. Nope! Sweet green beans!" wrote one Yelp customer, who vowed never to return to the chain. Other diners found their green beans on the bland side, and some reported overcooked beans. However, many customers noted that their order was perfectly cooked.

2. Din Tai Fung

plate of green beans
plate of green beans - Din Tai Fung

A relative newcomer to the U.S., Din Tai Fung originates from Taiwan and has over 170 locations across 13 different countries worldwide. Known for its delicious soup dumplings and noodles, the chain was even awarded a Michelin star at its Hong Kong location. Though the menu offers many Taiwanese favorites, one of the most popular orders is the string beans. Sautéed with garlic over high heat, these beans have more than earned their spot in second place on this list. Customers love these beans for their crispy texture and simple yet flavorful taste. "The green beans are always a favorite to snack on if you order multiple things, and the garlic just makes it better," wrote one Yelp customer.

While there aren't too many negative reviews for the beans, some customers mentioned too much oil and not enough garlic. One Yelp customer, who encountered too little garlic on their first visit, found a work-around. "This time for the garlic green beans, we requested 'extra garlic' which did the trick," they explained, raising their overall rating of the restaurant from 3 to 4 stars (out of 5). Other diners praised the large portion size, meaning that you'll get more than enough green beans to enjoy for the table.

1. The Habit Burger Grill

box of tempura green beans
box of tempura green beans - vittlemonster / X, formerly known as Twitter

Last but not least, the most highly reviewed green beans belong to a rather unlikely source. After all, who associates green beans with a burger joint? But according to customers at Habit Burger Grill, the side fits right in. The California-based chain has around 350 locations worldwide, making it one of the largest fast-casual burger chains, second only to Five Guys.

The Habit's green beans owe their popularity to the fact that they're coated with a tempura batter and fried to a perfect crispiness. Customers enjoy them like french fries, and many even prefer them to their potato lookalikes. As one Yelp customer put it, "The tempura green beans are a welcome departure from fries." The chain still offers the traditional and sweet potato versions, but they can't compete with the glowing reviews surrounding the green beans.

Another Yelp diner explained what makes them so good: "They are lightly coated, cooked perfectly and we opt to eat them with ranch dressing at no extra cost." According to other reviewers, they're the best tempura green beans at any restaurant, ever. Negative reviews are few and far between, making these the best of the best when it comes to chain restaurant green beans.


plate of seasoned green beans
plate of seasoned green beans - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Many restaurants in the U.S. serve dishes with green beans — definitely too many to count. To narrow things down, we focused on chain restaurants with over 100 locations. We only considered dishes where the green beans are the focus and not just an ingredient, and we further limited our selection to restaurants that currently or recently have had the dish on their menus. After reading countless reviews on sites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor, we felt we had enough evidence to rank our green beans from worst to best. We based our ranking on what customers had to say about taste, texture, quality, and presentation.

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