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The food trade: 5 appetizing plays

El Pollo Loco shares look tasty after an earnings-driven spike, said CNBC "Fast Money" trader Brian Kelly. The Tex-Mex fast food chain surged 9 percent, above $26 per share, in extended trading on Thursday after it met Wall Street profit expectations.

"It's got a lot of upside," Kelly said, adding that he likes it on a risk-reward basis.

Other "Fast Money" traders, though, saw more appetizing options in the food trade.

Read MoreThis is fast food...really

Jack in the Box:

Shares in the burger chain enjoyed a strong Thursday, closing more than 3 percent higher. The stock is in "nosebleed territory" as it has climbed more than 22 percent this year, said trader Steve Grasso.

"I would stick with Jack in the Box," he said.

Pedestrians pass a Shake Shack location in New York City.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Pedestrians pass a Shake Shack location in New York City.

Shake Shack:

The fast-casual chain closed nearly 2 percent higher on Thursday after erasing losses earlier in the day. It reported its first quarterly results on Wednesday, beating Wall Street expectations.

The company has "a lot of room" to grow, said trader Dan Nathan.

"You own it until there's a piece of bad news where they really sell it, and they keep it down," he said.

Read MoreDid Shake Shack beat? Now we know

Sanderson Farms:

The poultry producer has suffered through a rough few trading days amid avian flu concerns. It shed more than 2 percent on Thursday.

Trader Guy Adami sees the struggles as a short opportunity in the near term and an investment opportunity in the long term.

"For an investment, I think it's a no-brainer," Adami said.

ConAgra Foods:

The packaged foods company's offerings are "very diversified," Kelly said. The stock looks interesting after a nearly 2 percent jump on Thursday, he said.

Disclosures:

Steve Grasso

Steve Grasso is long AAPL, BA, CLVS, EVGN, FB, GDX, GOOGL, IMMR, KBH, KDUS, MHY, MJNA, PFE, POT, SO, T, TMUS and TWTR. His firm is long AVP, EOG, FCX, NE, NEM, OXY, RIG and VALE. His kids are long EFG, EFA, EWJ, IJR and SPY.

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is long BTC=, U.S. dollar, GLD, CTRL calls, HYG puts, BBRY, BBRY call spreads and TLT. He is short EWA, EWG, EWQ, EWZ, EWW, JJC, yen and yuan.

Dan Nathan

Dan Nathan is long BBRY June call spread, CTRP March puts, IBB April put spread, KO March put spread, M March 65/67.50 call spread, QQQ May 108/98 put spread, SHAK, TWTR, XHB April 35/32 put spread and XRT March 90/85 put spread.

Guy Adami

Guy Adami is long CELG, EXAS and INTC. Guy Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.