Unlocking the secret menus of your fast food favorites

McDonald’s Land, Sea & Air Burger
Photo: Christopher DeVargas
Katie Visconti

We’ve all heard of the elusive “secret menus” offered at nearly every fast-food chain, but have you ever tried one of these off-menu items? If not, you could be missing out on some of the yummiest (and most unique) eats fast food has to offer. These items aren’t always available by name at every location—they sometimes rely on a saavy, in-the-know server—but when all else fails, you can order the components and construct these fan favorites yourself.


• Meat cube

Wendy's Meat Cube (Christopher DeVargas / Staff)

Four beef patties that equal a pound of beef makes up this monster sandwich with all the fixings on a soft bun.

• Barnyard Burger

Can’t decide between a chicken sandwich or a burger? This off-menu item is the perfect fix—a chicken patty, beef patty, crispy bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato between a bun.


The hamburger joint with a small menu has secret options beyond its “animal-style” onion- and pickle-smothered burgers we know and love.

Grilled cheese

A vegetarian favorite! Just as it sounds, with their sauce and all the fixings.

Tomato wrapped

We all know protein style, but you can also get tomatoes instead of the bun. Warning: frequent orderers say this is the messiest way to have your burger.


The classic menu gets a little flair with these secret upgrades.

Chicken quesadilla

Not in the mood for a sandwich or salad? Try ordering a cheese quesadilla served up with crispy chicken. Use one of Chick-Fil-A’s many awesome sauces for dipping. This item isn’t available at all locations—it’s more common in the Southwest.

Buffalo chicken sandwich

This one is simple. Ask for buffalo sauce on your spicy chicken sandwich to spice up your standard order.


Stoner Burrito

Talk about playing to your audience. This monster includes beans, cheese, red sauce, special sauce and fries. If your server seems confused, ask for a bean and cheese burrito with fries and the above sauces.

“Go Bold”

Ask your server to “go bold” and they’ll add a secret sauce and fries to anything you order ... seriously anything, shakes included.


Meat mountain

This is for the ultra-hungry or just plain bold. The sandwich is made up of chicken tenders, ham, roast beef, roast turkey, corned beef, Angus steak, brisket and cheddar and Swiss cheeses, and topped with bacon. It's $10 and is only available at certain locations.

Turkey classic sandwich

A classic roast beef swapped with turkey.


Shack-cago burger

Shake Shack's Shack-cago Burger (Christopher DeVargas / Staff)

When you want Chicago hot dog toppings without the hot dog, order a burger and ask them to add the Shack-cago hot dog toppings.

Peanut butter and bacon ShackBurger

According to multiple secret menu sites, this is a must-try: a Bacon ShackBurger smothered in peanut sauce.

Sport pepper cheese fries

Chopped sport peppers added to Shake Shack's cheese fries make for an easy (and delicious) swap.



Ask for the “low-carb”version of any burger on the menu to get it wrapped in lettuce instead of bread.

Carl’s Jr. “Veg it” Famous Star Burger

Order any burger and say “veg it” to have the meat patty excluded. Add to it an order of fried zucchini for a delicious, albeit unhealthy, alternative.


Grilled ham and cheese

Just ask for ham added to their classic grilled cheese to step up your usual.



Chipotle's Burittodilla (Christopher DeVargas / Staff)

Bye-bye, standard meat and cheese quesadilla. This monster builds on that with the addition of Chipotle toppings of your choice. Do you also enjoy beans, pico and fajita veggies on your quesadilla? This option is for you.


It’s not on the menu, but order them and pile high with the toppings of your choice from Chipotle’s usual lineup.


A standard Chipotle burrito with fillings of your choice, wrapped with a cheese quesadilla instead of a plain tortilla. If you're a cheese lover, hop on this wagon.


The options for this ever-so-popular coffee chain are endless. There's an entire fan website (starbucks secretmenu.net) showcasing favorite combinations.

Apple Pie Frappuccino

Cream, apple juice, cinnamon dolce syrup and caramel.

• Butterbeer Frappuccino

A nod to Harry Potter, this beverage combines a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with caramel and toffee nut.

Cake Batter Frappuccino

A favorite that’s a simple ask: Almond flavoring is added to a Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino.

Neapolitan Frappuccino

If they don’t know it by name, order the Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino with two pumps mocha, vanilla bean powder and coconut drizzle on top.

The Undertow

The drink for those needing extra energy. Drip coffee, three pumps of your favorite flavor, a splash of milk and two shots espresso.

Blue Drink

An Insta-worthy drink: Order an Iced Passion Tea with soy milk and vanilla syrup. Even though the passion tea is a deep pink, this drink turns blue (though we have no idea why).


Five Guys' Double Grilled Cheeseburger (Christopher DeVargas / Staff)

Double Grilled Cheeseburger

Pick how many beef patties you want, plus your choice of the usual Five Guys toppings, between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Patty Melt

However many beef patties you want, plus toppings, inside a grilled cheese.

Burger bowl

What you would order between the bun, but in a bowl.


Chili Cheese Burrito

A cheese burrito with chili sauce and meat. Most locations know it, but if not, just ask for chili and cheese wrapped like a burrito.

The Superman

Starts out as a cheesy double beef burrito that is then loaded with extra potatoes, sour cream, guacamole and crispy tortilla strips.

The Incredible Hulk

No shortage of superhero secret menu items here. Try this beefy five-layer burrito with guacamole instead of nacho cheese.


A simple order but secret menu fans rave about it: melted cheese, scallions and sauce wrapped in a soft tortilla.


The Hypocrite

This sassy off-menu item pairs a veggie pattie, cheese, a pile of lettuce and ... wait for it ... bacon.


• Suicide Burger

Four beef patties, four slices of cheese, bacon and special sauce.

• Veggie Whopper

Vegetarians, you don't have to settle for just tomatoes, cheese and lettuce. Veggie patties are available upon request.


There’s speculation whether these secret menu items actually exist or are just Frankenstein creations by avid Mickey D’s fans. They’re not officially recognized by corporate, so your order relies on luck, location and a savvy server. If you find that your local spot isn’t familiar with these sandwich hybrids, hack the menu, order each sandwich separately and combine them yourself.

The Land, Sea & Air Burger

A Big Mac, McChicken and Filet-O-Fish sandwich in one, details on the toppings are mixed. Chowhound claims it’s literally the above three sandwiches, plus their corresponding toppings combined, while others says it’s a beef patty, chicken patty and fish filet with Big Mac fixings.

The McGangBang

This one is surely not official. Order a McDouble cheeseburger and a McChicken off the dollar menu and smash the chicken sandwich between the two beef patties for this do-it-yourself secret menu fix.

The Mc10:35

Originally available only during that special, short window of time when McDonald’s served breakfast while also switching over to the lunch menu, this combo is two burger patties, egg, Canadian bacon, cheese and the burger fixings. Now that McDonald’s serves all-day breakfast, you can order it whenever you like. If your local chain doesn’t know what you’re talking about, just order a McMuffin and McDouble and combine them yourself.

Tags: Dining, Featured, Food
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