Last Updated on June 23, 2021 by Jim Edwards
Have you ever heard about so-called “secret menus” and wondered if they are for real? If so, I have ALL of the answers just for you!
What is the History of the Secret Menu?
This is a fascinating question without a clear answer. According to urban folklore, the concept of a “secret menu” really started at In-N-Out in the 1960’s. Many people consider it the “grandfather” of all secret menu items.
According to some sources, surfers in SoCal would visit after catching some waves and they started ordering their onions grilled, their patties fried with extra mustard and extra spread and then some pickles on top. The workers were clean cut behind the counter and referred to the surfers as animals and that is how the term “animal style” started!
No. They do not always know. Much of your success in ordering will depend on how common the secret menu items really are and whether the staff really know about them. So you have to be prepared – its possible you might not get the item, or might have to explain it to the staff.
If you do order from a common secret menu like In-n-Out you will be successful for sure though.
Social Media Has Made Secret Menus Even More Popular
In recent years, #secret menus has “gone viral” and become even more popular, especially on SnapChat, TikTok and Instagram. These platforms offered fast food fans a way to share secret menu items with a lot of people that might not otherwise know about them. So a random person in Nebraska could put up a cool #TikTok of his Five Guys burger and then his friends and followers immediately learn about it. And this increases interest and demand and people wanting to try these new secret menu items.
To find these menus on #TikTok for example, try these searches:
We hope this post has been helpful in explaining what Secret Menus are all about. Before we go, here are a few of our favorite items to tantalize your tastebuds!
Some of our Favorite Secret Menu Items You Should Order
Here is our list of our most favorite secret menu item at each of the most popular places we have reviewed the secret menu for.
In-N-Out Animal Style
This is one of the most well known secret menu items and also one of the most fun. It’s a way to take your In-N-Out burger or fries to the next level! Learn about this hacks and many others on the In-N-Out Secret Menu
Subway’s Pizza Sub
If you love Subway (we do!) and want to try something new, check out the pizza sub. It’s a pizza inside your sub sandwich. It’s a great change, especially if you want to try something new.
Learn how to order this and many other things on the Subway Secret Menu
Pizza Hut’s Vegan Pizza
Yeah we honestly did not know this was possible either! Pizza Hut is the largest Pizza Hut in terms of global stores in the world (over 18,000 at the time of writing this).
Learn how to order this and many other items on the Pizza Hut Secret Menu
Jamba Juice Butterfinger
If you like Jamba Juice and you like Butterfingers, this is the ultimate blend of chocolate and peanut butter. It’s sweeter and richer than the usual Jamba Juice drinks, so your tastebuds will e surprised!
See our post on the Jamba Juice Secret Menu
Starbucks Captain Crunch Berry Frappuccino
The Captain Crunch Berry Frappuccino is one of the most delicious Frappuccinos from the Starbucks secret menu if you love sweet drinks! In addition to the normal strawberries and cream frappuccino, you get an extra pump or even two, of toffee, caramel, and hazelnut syrups that will take your taste buds to the next level.
See our post on the Starbucks Secret Menu to learn about this and many other drinks you can find at Starbucks.
Panera Bread’s Power Breakfast Egg White Bowl Served with Roast Turkey
This is a protein packed egg white bowl with roasted turkey. It is designed to be low carb and not cut back on flavors.
See our post on the Panera Bread Secret Menu for details on how to order this one!
Jersey Mike’s Secret Menu – Sub in a Tub
If you like sandwiches but want to cut back on your carbs, this is a great option. Learn more about how to order this and many other items on the Jersey Mike’s Secret Menu
Chicken Bacon Ranch Biscuit
The Waffle House offers many breakfast sandwiches made with biscuits. This one is the ultimate though and it includes chicken on a biscuit with cheese, bacon and ranch dressing!
See our post on the Waffle House Secret Menu for info on how to order it.
Carl’s Jr – Chicken Stuffed Star
This is an inside combination of a spicy chicken sandwich and burger patties. This is for the truly adventurous and person wants to max out every secret menu. For more details see our post on the Carl’s Jr Secret Menu
Chick-fil-A Fried Chicken Club
Chick-fil-A isn’t afraid to get a little wild with its menu items, in secret at least. One of the best off-the-menu items you can order from this fast food spot is the Fried Chicken Club . Chick-fil-A’s popular chicken club sandwich meets the chain’s ever-popular crispy chicken sandwich in this secret menu item. It’s basically the best of both worlds.
See our post on the Chick-fil-A Secret Menu
Burger King Rodeo Burger
If you love the regular burgers at Burger King you will love this special “rodeo” version which includes BBQ sauce and crispy onion rings. See our post on Burger King’s secret menu for info on how to order it.
Take care of your Cinn-A-Stack craving by ordering iHop’s buttermilk pancakes with the cinnamon spread. If you love cinnamon and pancakes, you will be very very happy!
See our post on the IHOP Secret Menu
Dairy Queen Frozen Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate, but cold and blended…wait, what? Yes, this is an amazing sensation for your tastebuds, especially in the summer. The taste of hot cocoa but blended perfectly so you can enjoy year round.
See our post on the DQ Secret Menu
This is also a well-known secret menu item at McDonald’s and for a perfect reason, the burger combines the two best items from the McDonald’s dollar menu to make a perfect burger. Place an order for a McDouble and a McChicken. Learn more how to put this delicious item together on our post about the McDonald’s Secret Menu
Dunkin Donuts Almond Joy Iced Coffee
If you love Almond Joy then you should not miss the Almond Joy Iced Coffee from the Dunkin Donut secret menu drink. This sweet coffee has the almond joy candy bar flavors but in an iced coffee.
Learn how to order this and many more sweet drinks on the Dunkin’ Donuts Secret Menu
Potbelly’s The Lucky 7
This sandwich is basically a combination of Potbelly’s signature Wreck and Italian sandwiches – it is a meat lover’s dream!
It has 7 different types of meat!
Learn how to order this and many other delicious sandwiches on the Potbelly Secret Menu
Taco Bell Cheesarito
Order the Cheesarito if you love cheese.
America’s favorite Mexican restaurant
boasts a popular and ever-expanding secret menu filled with creative food options and even a few discontinued fan-favorites. If you’re indecisive about what to try first, we suggest the Cheesarito , which combines a generous helping of melted cheese, scallions, and plenty of taco sauce inside a soft tortilla for the ultimate mix of flavor and satisfaction.
See our post on the Taco Bell Secret Menu
It’s basically a burrito and quesadilla in one.
While it might seem like Chipotle offers a very limited number of menu items, this Tex-Mex fast restaurant has an extensive off-the-menu list of delicious meals you have to try. Upgrade your regular Chipotle burrito order with tons of cheese by ordering the quesarito . This secret item is a burrito wrapped inside a warm, gooey quesadilla. Load up on beans, guac, and cheese for the ultimate Tex-Mex meal.
See our post on the Chipotle Secret Menu
Shake Shack Peanut Butter Bacon Cheeseburger
If you like a very intense hi calorie cheeseburger. And you like Bacon. And you like Peanut Butter. Well, then you are in luck because this burger combines them all!
And of course it is very Instagram worthy.
See our post on the Shake Shack Secret Menu
Sonic Frito Pie
Sonic smothers Fritos in chili, and it is AMAZING!
Just picture yourself eating a pile of Fritos covered in perfectly seasoned chili and nacho cheese.
See our post on the Sonic Secret Menu
Del Taco “Stoner Burrito”
Unlike their other burritos, the stoner burrito weighs half a pound! And it’s our favorite funny name to order at the counter too. Rebellious teens love ordering it, just for that reason alone. It is stuffed with beans, cheese and even French fries!
See our post on the Del Taco Secret Menu
KFC’s Zinger Stacker
The zinger stacker is for chicken lovers that enjoy some extra spice in their lives. Two spicy zinger chicken fillets, lettuce, two slices of melted cheese, chili relish, and an extra spicy sauce are all tucked inside a fresh bun. This sandwich is VERY spicy!
See our post on the KFC Secret Menu
Hardee’s Monster Biscuit
This is one of the most popular breakfast items. If you pair it with a small cup of coffee, you will be set for the day. It is basically an egg, cheese, sausage and ham sandwich INSIDE of a warm, buttery biscuit!
See our post on the Hardees Secret Menu
Howlin’ Rays “Luis-style” Sando
This is a spicy and delicious Nashville hot chicken sandwich in Los Angeles. In short, it is a spicy chicken breast smothered in cheddar cheese, topped with slaw and their famous comeback sauce. This is all placed between two thick, grilled, and buttered slices of Texas toast.
Read our post about all the interesting items on the Howlin Rays Secret Menu.
Secret Menu Summary
So, I hope you learned a little bit from reading about the background of Secret Menus, plus my favorite picks from each restaurant. Hope you can try them out and taste them for yourself.
Post a comment and let me know which one is your favorite!
I’m Jim Edwards and I started this website to share my love of Junk Food. We cover new junk food, desserts, snack foods, fast food secret menus, candy (of course!) and other related news. We love trying “secret menus” at restaurants. And we love trying new products too. So, we are trying to have some fun with our hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send us your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have products you would like us to try, let us know…!