Eating fast food is one of many bad things in life we do because, damn it, it just tastes so good. And secret menus are the stuff of genius because they take all those bad things and combine them to make them even badder better. Now, we’ve covered some of our favorite secret menu items before (twice, in fact) but the truth is, those were introductory classes. The following creative calorie bombs, you really need to try before you die—hopefully not because of them…
1. Shake Shack Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger: To the untrained palate, the thought of mixing peanut butter and bacon may seem cringe-worthy. But for those of us who’ve been around the block a few times, the combo is magical. That’s exactly what you get from this Shake Shack secret menu item, which comes atop one of their classic ShackBurgers. It’s a pretty popular order, so they’ll likely know exactly what you’re talking about when you get ask for it.
2. Carl’s Jr. Chicken Stuffed Star: In ’n’ Out is great and all, but for my money, Carl’s Jr. (Hardees, for the East Coasters), is the best fast food joint in the entire country. Case in point: This awesome secret menu item, which combines one of their classic Super Star burger patties with one of their Spicy Chicken sandwiches. It’s like a McGangBang (which we’ll also get to), but bigger, better and a little pricier.
3. McDonalds’ McGangbang: G’head, be naughty, say it. “McGangbang.” Mick. Gang. Bang. Say it. Ah, that was fun. And the McGangbang is like the dirty, cheap, unrefined version of the Chicken Stuffed Star. You order a McDouble and a McChicken, then you place the McChicken—yes, the whole thing—directly in between the patties of the McDouble. For just two bucks, you have yourself a sandwich that tastes delicious and makes your mother blush. That’s a bargain if we’ve ever heard one.
4. In-N-Out’s Flying Dutchman: Did we kinda shit talk them earlier? Maybe. Their fries are trash and Animal Sauce is fancy-talk for Thousand Island salad dressing. But their burgers are solid. Like, for example, The Flying Dutchman. It’s two of their delicious burger patties with some cheese and onion in between (you can also throw some trashfries in there, if you want to know what disappointment tastes like). But no bun, no lettuce, no California-style bullshit. Just good old-fashioned American beef.
5. Sonic’s Frito Pie: Sonic’s whole menu kind of looks like one big secret menu. A bacon cheeseburger with Texas toast? A breakfast burrito with egg, cheese, bacon, sausage and tater tots? A classic Chicago dog…. complete with poppy seed bun? Yeah, alright, count us in. And their “secret” menu is full of even more cool stuff, including their popular Frito Pie, which is literally just a pile of Frito chips, topped with hot chili and cheese. Yes. Yes please.
6. Chipotle’s Nachos: When people think of secret menu items and Chipotle, the first thing that comes to mind is the now-infamous Quesarito. It’s awesome, but you’re also a huge dick if you order it. Instead, try the nachos. While they’re not featured on the actual menu, they also don’t take a year and a day to make and won’t ruin the entire assembly line. It’s basically a bowl of their fresh tortilla chips, topped with all the delicious meat, cheese, beans, guac, and salsa you could dream of. Muy bien!
7. Taco Bell Double Grilled Quesadilla: OK, OK… this one isn’t technically a big deal because nothing is added to or removed from the standard menu item, but it is a pretty life-changing experience. Everybody knows one of the best things on Taco Bell’s menu is their quesadilla, but it’s always a little on the soft side. Try asking them to grill your quesadilla twice. It firms up the crust, gets the cheese a little more melty and transforms an already-good menu item into a fucking great menu item.
8. Starbucks’ Liquid Cocaine: This little beverage is the hands-down most “intense” drink on Starbucks’ entire secret menu, and it’s essentially four (yes, four) shots of espresso and four pumps of white chocolate syrup, stuffed in a grande cup with milk. It’s a moderately popular menu item, but even so, your barista may not know it off-hand—probably because they get asked for dozens of terrible obscure/non-existent secret menu drinks every day—so be sure to tell them exactly how you want it.