Everyone gets the itch to hit up their local fast food establishments for a burger, burrito or milkshake every once in awhile. But if you’re going to splurge, why not do it in style? Secret menu items and price cuts have gained popularity via the internet and good ol’ fashion word of mouth in the last few years. But if you’re not in the know, these hidden hacks that restaurants don’t want you to know about, will simply pass you by.
Whether you want to make your menu item healthier, get more bang for your buck or turn the buns of your double cheeseburger into grilled cheese sandwiches—these are 15 tips every fast food lover can't afford to miss. You and your stomach can thank us later.
15 Chipotle Quesarito
There is a holy grail, but it doesn’t come in the form you might think. The true holy grail comes from your local Chipotle establishment and it involves lots of cheese and tortilla. The Chipotle quesarito is a secret menu item few have the strength—or hunger—to conquer. It consists of a quesadilla, which is formed by placing heaping amounts of cheese between two giant flour tortillas, grilling them together, then proceeding as if this were any run-of-the-mill burrito. The person in line behind you will look on at you as if you were a god and they might be right. This secret menu item is well known, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the always-enthusiastic Chipotle burrito artists to construct you your very own quesarito.
14 Peanut Butter & Bacon Shake Shack Burger
This sweet and savory burger is as delicious as it is unique. Unlike many of the items on the list, this burger was actually once available to order at Shake Shack locations for a short period of time. However, some concerns over peanut allergies arose, which eventually lead to its removal from the menu. Don’t worry food enthusiast—this burger is still attainable, albeit with a little creative construction. Simply walk confidently to the front of the line at Shake Shack and order a Shack burger with bacon—the employee will happily oblige. Once this is complete, look the Shack employee in the eye and tell them you would also like a side of peanut butter spread. A look of confusion might appear on their face, but hold steadfast in your desire to taste the peanut butter & bacon Shake Shack burger. All you have left to do is find a seat in a corner of the establishment and drift slowly into fast food nirvana.
13 Chick-fil-A Chicken Quesadilla
If you find yourself at a Chick-fil-A on any regular basis, it might be in your best interest to see if they can whip up this elusive secret menu item. The charbroiled chicken quesadilla from Chick-fil-A sounds like a dream and for many regions in the United States, it is. The availability of this item varies and is more commonly located in the Southwestern portion of the country. This is largely due to the fact that most Chick-fil-A locations don’t have charbroiled chicken, nor do they have the large flour tortilla that the quesadilla calls for. This particular item has eluded me, but writing about it now makes us want to go hunting for this extremely rare secret menu item.
12 In-N-Out Grilled Cheese
We all have at least one vegetarian in our life that complicates dinner or lunch plans with their dietary restrictions. “There’s nothing I can eat there” is the unanimous battle cry of the vegetarian, but this In-N-Out grilled cheese from their secret menu item knocks off one restricted restaurant from every vegetarian's list of forbidden restaurants. In-N-Out’s grilled cheese sounds mundane, but quickly surprises with its unique taste. After all, it’s not just the burger patty that makes an In-N-Out double-double such a fast food staple, it’s also the fresh ingredients and delicious sauce. This secret menu item has gained a lot of popularity among vegetarians and carnivores alike, so the drive-thru attendant will be all too familiar with your request. Throw in some animal fries to your order and you have yourself a meal that all foodies can enjoy.
11 Taco Bell's Incredible Hulk Burrito
A healthier version of Taco Bell’s beefy five-layer burrito that tastes just as delicious as its unhealthier counter part? Sign us up. The Incredible Hulk burrito gets its name from the addition of guacamole, which replaces the standard nacho cheese sauce filling that is usually present in the five-layer burrito. In addition to the guacamole, you will need to request that the burrito be made “fresco style,” which basically just means adding a heaping load of fresh pico. These two ingredients add up to create a very creamy but fresh tasting burrito. Guacamole isn’t common amongst most menu items offered by Taco Bell, but can be added to any and all burritos and tacos. This is a must-try item for any Taco Bell lover.
10 McDonald's McGangbang
The McGangbang: a name that became legendary among snickering teenagers who making their way in droves to their local McDonald's drive thru once word spread of this secret menu item's existence. As they rolled their windows down and pleaded with their friends in the back seat to stop laughing, the bravest would muster the strength to ask the voice on the other side of the talking box for a “McGangbang.” The weirdest part of all of this was that the unamused McDonald's employee would understand this obscenely named order request.
The McGangbang is a mess of a sandwich, which consists of both a McDouble as well as a McChicken sandwich. The real triumph of this masterpiece—aside from its name—is that it will only set you back $2.00. Feel like adding a bit of pep (or irritation) to the employees at your local McDonald's day? Ask for a McGangbang, but please don’t tell them we sent you.
9 Chipotle’s bigger burrito for your buck
This fast food menu hack is designed to give you a little more bang for your buck, which seems to be a common desire for any fast foodie. Chipotle is one establishment whose portion sizes could hardly be considered light, but for some, the desire to make their dollar go further greatly exceeds the capacity of their stomach. To get a larger burrito at Chipotle, simply order a burrito bowl—a menu item that makes up for the lack of tortilla with more meat, cheese and veggie goodies. However, before your burrito gets shuffled down the line, request a grilled tortilla on the side. The employee will happily oblige and you'll find yourself with lots of burrito fillings and your very own grilled tortilla. The only problem with this hack is that you will never be as skilled at rolling a burrito as a Chipotle employee. Never. They must take a class or something.
8 McDonald's Chicken McGriddle
Chicken and waffles is a popular food item that isn’t always attainable in all locations across the United States. But you know what is served everywhere? A McGriddle from the delicious McDonald's breakfast menu. This creation gives you that chicken and waffle taste in a pinch and is uniquely delicious in its own right. The chicken McGriddle is created by subbing a fried chicken patty for the sausage and bacon that the sandwich typically comes dressed with. This request won’t raise too many eyebrows, as the concoction has become highly popular in the past few years. It’s puzzling that McDonald's doesn’t capitalize on this trend and officially add the syrupy chicken goodness to its full-time menu. This sandwich is something every fast food enthusiast should check out at least once.
7 Five Guys Double-Grilled Cheeseburger
Out of all of the secret menu items on this list, the Five Guys double-grilled cheeseburger would fall under our "do not recommend" category simply for its negative health effects. Despite the obvious health concerns that come from eating a giant double cheeseburger with two grilled cheeses for buns, this secret menu item is a something to behold simply for it's existence. Unfortunately, Five Guys employees have been mandated to no longer construct this concoction for its eager patrons, so anyone looking to eat this will have to do some building on their own. The components you will need to order are: two grilled cheese sandwiches (specify that you don’t want them cut in half) and a bunless double cheeseburger. Good luck to any and all who are willing to tackle this meaty monster.
6 Sonic's Purple Sprite
Purple Sprite, depending on where you’re from, can mean a lot of different things. It could mean you are an avid fan of the rapper Future or, in this case, you are craving a refreshing drink from your favorite neighborhood Sonic drive-in. Sonic is well-known for its hundreds of different drink combinations and this “purple drink” mixes various ingredients from their menu to achieve this beautiful beverage without all of those nasty codeine chemicals Future has to use. The purple sprite combines Sprite with a touch of lemonade, blue Powerade, and cranberry juice. Requesting a second styrofoam cup is optional, but if you really want to go for that authentic 'purple drank' look, it is the only way to go.
5 McDonald's Mc10:35
This McDonald’s secret menu sandwich was once highly sought-after, due to its small window of availability (it could only be ordered between the brief window in which the brand switched from its breakfast menu to its all-day menu). The “Mc10:35” could only be attained by showing up at—you guessed it—10:35 A.M. Just recently, though, McDonald's decided to finally smarten up and make their breakfast menu items available all day, so the attainability of this sandwich is now much easier.
The Mc10:35 is built when you order a McDouble and an Egg McMuffin, then moving the patties from the McDouble into the Egg McMuffin. Okay, we know what you’re thinking. This DOES sounds completely bizarre and maybe slightly disgusting, but an open mind is always necessary when you’re hacking a fast food menu.
4 Chipotle Nachos
An item that is conspicuously absent on all Chipotle menus is the ever popular Mexican staple of nachos. Don’t fret, reader, there is a way to enjoy cheesy nachos using the universally adored Chipotle ingredients. To obtain this famous secret menu item, all you have to do is ask for a bowl of tortilla chips and then proceed with the delicious toppings of your choosing. This secret menu item is great for sharing with a group, or indulging all by yourself...because you’re a grown up and can do whatever you damn well please. It makes you wonder why Chipotle wouldn’t add these nachos it to their full time menu (but what would be the fun in that?).
3 McDonald’s Poor Man’s Big Mac
The poor man’s Big Mac is a fast food hack that you could enjoy for many other reasons besides saving a couple of bucks (although that’s definitely a perk). A poor man’s Big Mac consists of a McDouble (sans ketchup and mustard) with extra lettuce and Big Mac Sauce applied. Simply put, this version of a Big Mac not only tastes superior, but you save some extra calories by nixing that useless piece of bread in the middle. As far as price goes, a regular Big Mac will run you $3.99, while this hacked version of the classic sandwich can be yours for a measly $1.49. This request has become highly popular in the past few years, so getting an employee to make this sandwich for you will be simple—which leaves you little to no reason not to try this out next time you find yourself under those golden arches.
2 In-N-Out's Neapolitan Milkshake
In-N-Out’s milkshakes pair wonderfully with their double-double cheeseburgers and animal fries, but what kind of milkshake do you choose? Strawberry? Chocolate? Vanilla? This is a question that could back the drive-thru line around the building. There’s a way around this conundrum, though, and it comes in the form of Neapolitan milkshake. The Neapolitan milkshake consists of all three milkshake flavors, creating a blend that is both appealing to the eye, but also to the taste buds. Despite this secret menu item's wild popularity, it doesn’t appear on In-N-Outs permanent menu. Like a lot of In-N-Out’s secret menu items, the staff will gladly prepare this item for you upon request. Next time you’re feeling like you need a milkshake in your life, the Neapolitan should be at the top of your list.
1 Sonic's Frito Pie
Depending on what part of the United States you are from, Frito pie can either leave you scratching your head, or induce severe hunger cravings for chili cheese goodness. The Frito pie is more common among the southern portion of the United States, so the success rate for getting an employee to make this secret menu item for you is much higher there (though all Sonic locations have these ingredients readily available). The Sonic Frito pie contains a bed of Fritos that are layered with a heaping load of Sonic’s chili and cheese. For most who have never tried a Frito pie, we get it, it sounds really weird—but give this delicious southern treat a chance to wow you the next time you visit America’s favorite drive-in.