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The Most Iconic Menu Item at 24 Fast-Food Chains

How many of these have you tried?

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overhead view of fast food tray with burger, fries, and a drinkDigital Vision./Getty Images

Have you tried them all?

These dishes are the stars of these famous fast-food chains. The best of the best, you could say. Have you had a chance to give them all a try? And here are 11 European fast-food chains you won’t find in America, for those of you who are already well-versed in these iconic brands.

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Large In-N-Out Burger billboard.Kapi Ng/Shutterstock

In-N-Out: Animal Style Burger

In-N-Out fanatics love the secret menu—and we can’t blame them. The normal menu only has four food options, but the secret menu includes an additional six, our favorite being the Animal Style Burger. It features all our favorite burger fixings, plus a mustard-grilled patty and extra “spread,” which is essentially just In-N-Out’s own secret sauce. Don’t have an In-N-Out nearby? This is why the chain won’t open restaurants on the East Coast.

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Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant exterior.Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock

Five Guys: Cajun Fries

You may be surprised to hear that the most iconic food at a burger joint is its fries—unless you’ve ever been to Five Guys. Their Cajun fries are incredible. They’re made fresh each day with potatoes from Idaho—fried in fresh peanut oil and coated with a delicious blend of savory spices. There’s still one other secret ingredient that makes Five Guys fries so delicious.

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Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Fast Food Restaurant.Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Popeye’s: Chicken Sandwich

When this sandwich, two years in the making, hit stores, it ignited a craze. Chicken fried in a special buttermilk batter, garnished with thick pickle slices, and set on a buttery bun make this a classic chicken sandwich. The marketing campaign made it infamous. Does it beat Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich? This is why Popeye’s version might be better.

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Chick-fil-A restaurant exterior.Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Chick-fil-A: Chicken Nuggets

There is something otherworldly about the chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A. Perfectly bite-sized and always juicy, these nuggets will leave you with a massive smile on your face. Before you leave, don’t forget to load up on famous Chick-fil-A sauce. Their delicious food is one of the reasons Chick-fil-A is America’s favorite restaurant.

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Taco Bell Restaurantdesigns by Jack/Shutterstock

Taco Bell: Doritos Locos Taco Supreme

It’s a taco in a Dorito—how could we pick any other menu item? It’s got all of our favorite taco fillings, plus an outer shell that hits us with an extra cheesy, crunchy blast. The best part is that you can get Cool Ranch or Fiery Dorito shells too, but we like the classic touch. And did you know that Taco Bell is one of the healthiest fast-food chains?

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View in Porto Go Bangpa-in, McDonald's Restaurant in Ayutthaya,Thailand. ATIKAN PORNCHAIPRASIT/Shutterstock

McDonald’s: Big Mac

We come for the Big Mac and stay for the fries. This burger has been a favorite of McDonald’s patrons for more than 50 years—a time throughout which its recipe has never changed. Loaded with two burgers, special sauce, and your favorite toppings, it’s no surprise this one has been popular for so many decades. Order a Happy Meal for a lower-calorie burger and healthy sides, or opt for one of these healthy foods from the 25 best fast food restaurants.

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Sign Starbucks Coffee.Grand Warszawski/Shutterstock

Starbucks: Peppermint Mocha

Known for specialty coffee drinks, Starbucks produces dozens of rotating espresso drinks each year. Our favorite is the peppermint mocha, which you can find between November and January. This seasonal favorite features Starbucks’s rich mocha mixed with peppermint syrup and topped with chocolate flakes. Don’t even get us started on the White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha. (It’s also delicious.) And these 13 secrets Starbucks employees won’t tell you, can make your Starbucks experience even better.

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Dairy Queen Retail Fast Food Location. DQ is a Subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway IIIJonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Dairy Queen: Oreo Blizzard

It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, you can’t keep us away from the Oreo Blizzard at Dairy Queen. This soft serve cup of deliciousness has been extremely popular since it was introduced in 1985. And the restaurant itself has been around since 1940, making Dairy Queen one of the oldest chain restaurants in America.

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Wendy's Willis, TexasWalkerPhotograhy/Shutterstock

Wendy’s: Frosty

There is nothing quite like a refreshing 99-cent Frosty on a summer weeknight. Delicious, chocolaty, frozen, and filling, Frostys pair perfectly with every meal or just a side of fries. Find out all the things you never knew about the Frosty.

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Burger King Restaurants logoVytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock

Burger King: Whopper

There’s nothing quite like the original. The Whopper has been around since the late ’50s, and like the Big Mac, its recipe hasn’t changed in decades. You probably didn’t know these 11 other things about Burger King’s Whopper. But you might know that it’s flame grilled and chock-full of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. Burger King is also known for its sesame-seed buns, which provide that extra little somethin’ that sets them apart from other burger chains.

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Panera Bread restaurant exterior. Panera Bread is a chain of bakery-casual restaurants in the United States and CanadaKen Wolter/Shutterstock

Panera: Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad

This is the absolute perfect salad for warm summer days—or busy nights where you know you should cook but don’t want to. Packed with toasted pecans and all our favorite fresh fruits, like pineapples and blueberries, this salad has it all. Be sure to avoid ordering these fast-food items.

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Pizza Hut Fast Casual Restaurant.Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Pizza Hut: Anything with the Ultimate Cheesy Crust

Pepperoni and cheese remain the most popular menu items for pizza places, so if you’re a big pizza chain, how do you stand out? Pizza Hut found the answer with its Ultimate Cheesy Crust, which features a ring of cheese-filled bites that pull apart from the pizza. Share with your friends, or—if you’re me—maintain eye contact with the delivery driver and assure him that while he can’t see them, you have friends who are definitely here to share this pizza with you. You should also know these 15 other oldest restaurant chains in the country.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 1st, 2017: Dunkin Donuts, shop sign, Harrow, London, UK.; Shutterstock ID 598971959; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): -Dom J/Shutterstock

Dunkin’: Munchkins

If you live in the North, you pass at least six Dunkins on the walk to work. On those mornings where you truly feel like indulging, pick up a box of Munchkins and pretend like you got them for your co-workers. These small donut holes are perfectly bite-sized and delicately chewy—we’re particular fans of the powdered sugar donut holes. Did you know that Dunkin’ Donuts was not this chain’s original name? Here’s the name Dunkin’ Donuts used to go by.

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Qdoba Mexican Grill exterior and logoIryna Liveoak/Shutterstock

Qdoba: Chicken Burrito Bowl

Some people swear by handheld burritos, but we love this burrito bowl at Qdoba. It gives us our favorite burrito toppings, like rice and corn and salsa, but omits the carb-loaded tortilla wrap. And check out these fast-food items you can find at the grocery store.

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Kentucky Fried Chicken RestaurantRadu Bercan/Shutterstock

KFC: Biscuits

That’s right, we’re telling you to head straight for the biscuits at a chain well-known for its incredible chicken. That is how good these biscuits are. I mean, definitely try the chicken, but make sure you get a side of biscuits to go, because you’ll be chomping on these buttery delicacies all night long. And if you love KFC’s chicken, find out the secret that makes KFC’s fried chicken so crispy.

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Shake Shack in Tokyo: Shake Shack is an American fast casual restaurant chain based in New York City.Osugi/Shutterstock

Shake Shack: Shackburger

When a burger comes wrapped in paper, you know it’s the real deal. Shake Shack hasn’t been around as long as its fellow burger chains, but that doesn’t make it any less of a contender for burger champion. The Shackburger is flame-grilled, coated with a signature sauce and served on a potato bun. I mean, yum. This is the secret behind Shake Shack’s massive success.

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Sonic Drive-In Restaurant exterior.Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Sonic: Butterfinger Blast

Sonic has a corner on the drive-in fast food market. Not many restaurants have car hops—let alone car hops on skates—but the real reason you should be visiting Sonic is for the Butterfinger Blasts. They feature soft serve vanilla ice cream swirled with chunks of chocolaty, buttery masses. If you’re stuck with the drive-through, check out these 13 stories from drive-through workers that will shock you.

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Domino’s Pizza take away pickup and delivery shop in West Hampstead, London, UK.photocritical/Shutterstock

Domino’s: Pepperoni Pizza

It’s hard to go wrong with the classics, especially at Domino’s. Their pepperoni pizza is the most popular menu item, which isn’t surprising after you’ve had a slice. The crust is loaded with seasonings and garlic flavor, propelling their pepperoni pizza above the others. Read this true story about how ordering a pizza saved this man’s life.

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Zaxby's is a chain of fast food restaurants selling chicken wings, chicken fingers, sandwiches and salads in over 800 locations, primarily in the US south.MilesbeforeIsleep/Shutterstock

Zaxby’s: Chicken Finger Plate

Southern favorite Zaxby’s features a menu packed with chicken-inspired favorites, like sandwiches, plates, and wings. We love the chicken finger plate, which includes Zaxby’s famous tenders—fried to perfection—a slice of white bread, coleslaw and crispy french fries. And don’t forget the Zax Sauce, or as my brother calls it, “the reason I got out of bed this morning.” And learn the first locations of these 8 famous fast-food chains.

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Exterior view of Subway RestaurantSettawat Udom/Shutterstock

Subway: Spicy Italian Sub

We love a classic Italian sub sandwich, and who better to deliver than one of the nation’s largest sandwich chains? The spicy Italian sub at Subway comes with pepperoni, salami, hot peppers and a mix of crispy veggies. Go for the ultimate version and try your favorite sub on cheesy garlic bread. Think the world’s largest fast food chain is McDonald’s? Think again. This is how Subway became the world’s biggest restaurant chain.

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Arby's Retail Fast Food Location. Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Arby’s: Curly Fries

Their slogan focuses on the meats, but we are all about those curly fries. Crisp, seasoned and melt-in-your-mouth delicate, these fries are the perfect side to any dish. Or, more realistically, the perfect snack after a long day—you’ve earned them. Pair these fries with an Arby’s secret menu item. You’ll want to order all the delicious options from these 9 restaurants you didn’t know have secret menus.

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Hardee's Retail Location.Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Hardee’s: Bacon Cheese Thickburger

You know a place is serious about their burgers when the menu listing starts with weight. The 1/3-pound bacon cheese Thickburger from Hardee’s is 100-percent Angus beef and 100-percent delicious. You won’t see us turning down any burger with bacon, especially one we can get loaded with cheese. Did you know Hardee’s is one of the 15 most convenient fast-food restaurants, according to customers?

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Chipotle Restaurant in Manhattanrobert cicchetti/Shutterstock

Chipotle: Carnitas Burrito

Chipotle knows its way around a burrito. We can’t get enough tasty burrito recipes in our lives, and when it comes to Chipotle, we love the carnitas burrito. Load it with savory meats, Chipotle rice, flavorful beans, and—you guessed it—that sweet, sweet guac. And find out the chipotle secrets that employees won’t tell you.

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Jack in the Box Restaurant exterior. Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Jack in the Box: Sourdough Jack

For a while, Jack in the Box was best-known for its hilarious ads. Now, we love them for their Sourdough Jack, a deliciously juicy cheeseburger served on sourdough bread and topped with the good stuff—Swiss cheese and bacon. Arm yourself with a side of curly fries and you’ve got a meal set to make your heart and belly happy. Now, read on for the 33 surprising secrets fast-food workers won’t tell you about your favorite restaurants, which might not make your belly so happy.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home