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How Many Nando's Restaurant Locations Are There In The US?

Nando's chicken and sides
Nando's chicken and sides - aprilinet / Shutterstock

The restaurant Nando's started in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1987, and ever since, people from around the world have embraced the eatery with open arms. Its famous chicken — marinated in a mixture of peri-peri, salt, garlic, lemon, onion, oil, and vinegar — has become a favorite for heat lovers, with Prince William even claiming Nando's as a favorite (Gordon Ramsay, on the other hand, has never tried it). Peri-peri, the chain's signature flavor, is another name for the African bird's eye chili.

The spread of Nando's in the U.S. has been slow. The restaurant currently features 48 locations that span five states and the District of Columbia. Georgia has the least, with just two restaurants, while Maryland has the most, with 13 locations. Illinois and Virginia trail close behind with 12 and 11, respectively, while Texas has four and D.C. has six.

D.C. is home to the first U.S. Nando's, which opened in Chinatown in 2008. John Fisher, the chain's North American CEO, told WTOP News in 2023, "We picked D.C. because of the international mix here, and the exposure that residents have to International flavors and foods. It was a great place for us to land." As a testament to the restaurant's popularity, it eventually outgrew this original location and moved to new, 3,100-square-foot digs in 2023.

Read more: US Foods You Surprisingly Can't Find In Canada

Nando's U.S. Expansion Is Slow But Steady

Nando's storefront at dusk
Nando's storefront at dusk - Nathan Stirk / Getty Images

Until 2011, when Nando's opened its first Maryland location, the only regions in the U.S. where you could find the chain were Illinois and D.C. The chain entered the Virginia market in 2012, followed by Texas in 2022 and Georgia in 2024. But its slow expansion has frustrated many who live outside of those states. "Why isn't Nandos huge in the US?" commented a British transplant to New York's Hudson Valley on Reddit. While most comments agreed that the U.S. already has enough fast food chicken chains vying for customers' affections, the author argued that "Nandos is a very different product, I feel, to what is generally available." In response, one Redditor cryptically replied, "I work at Nando's, and we're planning on expanding in the US to over 500 restaurants within the next decade."

Whether or not Nando's really plans to open that many stores is unknown, but it is expanding — several stores in new markets have opened in the last two years alone. Additionally, unlike food chains that remain within a specific area, Nando's has spread out, opening restaurants in the Midwest (Illinois), Southwest (Texas), Southeast (Virginia and Georgia), and Mid-Atlantic (Maryland and D.C.) regions. This means that new locations could pop up anywhere.

Read the original article on Mashed.