Restaurants having “secret menus” can seem like a strange concept, but it’s one that’s become more and more popular as time has gone on. If you feel silly ordering something you can’t point out on a menu, don’t—just be prepared to tell the employees exactly what it is you’re looking for.
Secret menus have been one of the biggest trends at chain restaurants lately, and it’s not hard to see why. These hidden items give even the everyday Starbucks run a fun, speakeasy-like feel, but that’s only for those who’ll try it.
For a while now, there have been many non-believers when it comes to secret menus, most likely because they were met with blank stares from employees who probably weren’t aware of the random concoctions another worker or customer across the country came up with. Thankfully, though, the trend is now in full force, and even the most unexpected restaurants are participating.
Be prepared, though… For the vast majority of secret menu items, you’re bound to run into the occasional employee who has no idea what you’re talking about. After all, these aren’t things the company is officially selling in the form you want to order them.
When it comes down to it, just be patient and, most importantly, make sure you know exactly what’s in the item you want so you can give a more detailed description.
Any of the frappuccinos from Starbucks are delicious on their own, but did you know that you can have a barista make one that tastes exactly like a Twix bar?
If you’re looking for your favorite candy bar in liquid form, just order a regular caramel frappuccino with up to two pumps of both hazelnut and caramel syrup, along with a small handful of java chips. When it’s all blended, top it off with chocolate sauce and caramel.
This isn’t something you’ll want to order when your local Chipotle is having a busy day, because it’ll take some time to pull together. You can also just forget about your diet when you try this one, because it’s the definition of indulgence.
Start by ordering a cheese quesadilla—you don’t want it to have any other fillings, because the quesadilla will eventually serve as the tortilla to make a burrito. Once that’s made, just pick out your favorite burrito fillings and have them roll it on up.
When you think about it, it’s kind of surprising that Chick-fil-A doesn’t already have a quesadilla on its menu, but a Mexican restaurant it’s not. However, the restaurant does serve wraps, meaning that they definitely have tortillas behind the counter.
The staff there tend to be pretty friendly, so you shouldn’t have any problems asking for some cheese and grilled chicken to be added into a plain quesadilla.
Jamba Juice—Butterfinger Smoothie
A Butterfinger has probably never even seen the inside of a Jamba Juice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthier alternative that tastes just like one.
The next time you head in for a drink, order a 12-ounce cup of carrot juice and add in two scoops of frozen yogurt, some ice, peanut butter, and a little bit of chocolate. Blend it up and enjoy the candy bar flavor without all of the guilt—and, you know, all of those pesky calories.
Five Guys Burgers & Fries—Cheese Fries
Anyone who’s been to Five Guys knows that their fries are some of the best around, especially if you order them with the Cajun seasoning. In fact, the only fry-related thing their menu seems to be missing is cheese fries, but they actually may have been there all along.
Just ask for some melted cheese over your next order of fries, and prepare to be amazed. If you dare, maybe even go for Cajun cheese fries—we honestly don’t see much that could go wrong with that.
If you’ve ever had poutine before, you know how amazing it is and how it is sorely missing from many American menus. Well, until now, that is.
KFC now has cheese curds as a side on its menu and, since they also serve fries, this means that you can now get poutine pretty much any time you want. Just add cheese curds and gravy to any order of fries to get in on the poutine goodness.
McDonald’s—Land, Sea, and Air Burger
McDonald’s truly does have a menu filled with a variety of items—what are you to do when you can’t decide which sandwich to get? You could pick and choose, or you could do what one brave soul did and order them all, then combine them.
The Land, Sea, and Air burger combines a chicken filet (air, sort of), a fish fillet (sea), which are both sandwiched within the beef patties of a Big Mac (land). If your server doesn’t already know this concoction by name, just ask for a Big Mac with the chicken and fish added.
Chick-fil-A—Blueberry Cheesecake Milkshake
How this isn’t already a regular item, we have no idea, because it not only sounds incredibly delicious, but it’s also super simple to make. All you do is ask for a slice of the restaurant’s blueberry cheesecake to be blended into a plain vanilla milkshake.
The only problem with this creation is that not every Chick-fil-A carries the blueberry cheesecake, but you’ll definitely want to give it a shot if your local restaurant does.
Taco Bell—Incredible Hulk
Guacamole fans, this one is for you. The 5-Layer Burrito at Taco Bell is a staple that most people are familiar with, but there’s a simple addition you can make that’ll give you a whole new burrito.
To make the Incredible Hulk burrito, just order a 5-Layer Burrito and ask to substitute all or some of the cheese with guacamole. If you’re not the biggest fan of the green stuff, though, you can always try ordering it on the side first to see how you like it.
Listen up, Harry Potter fans! We know that not everyone can just head down to Florida on a moment’s notice to grab a butterbeer from the Harry Potter theme park, so thankfully there’s a quick solution that’ll cost you a lot less than a plane ticket.
At Starbucks, ask for a whole milk steamer and then add up to four pumps each of their cinnamon dolce, toffee nut, and caramel syrups. The brew is best topped off with whipped cream and Starbucks’ salted caramel pieces, and you can even add a shot of espresso if you need the caffeine.
Alright, so this one is more of a do-it-yourself venture, but the idea behind it is actually pretty genius. To make the McDonald’s version of a French crepe, get both an order of hot cakes and a yogurt parfait.
Then just stir up the fruit and granola into the yogurt, and scoop a few spoonfuls into each pancake. Give them a little roll and you’ve got crepes on the go! You could even try to separate out some of the granola from the parfait to give yourself more of a crunchy topping.
The Grand Slam may not be as creative as some of Wendy’s other burgers, but it’s definitely a good choice for anyone wanting to pack in some protein.
It’s a simple creation—just four hamburger patties with any of the toppings you’d like. Not much to it, but if you’re going to eat all of that fast-food beef, you might as well do it as the restaurant that boasts about how theirs is never frozen.
Shake Shack—Shake-ago Burger
Shakes Shack isn’t as spread out throughout the country like many other fast food chains, but the cities that have them seem to love them. If you have one near you and want a taste of the Midwest, you can order a Chicago-style hotdog with all of the standard toppings—onions, neon-green relish, tomato, mustard, celery salt, peppers, and a pickle. However, someone who doesn’t like hotdogs may be looking for something else.
The solution? You could just order a hotdog and a burger and transfer the Chicago-style topping from one to another, or you can make it easier on yourself and just ask for all of the toppings on a burger.
Chick-fil-A—Fried Chicken Club
While there is a club sandwich with grilled chicken on the Chick-fil-A menu, it’s strangely devoid of the crispy chicken version of that same sandwich.
It’s easy enough to have one made for you, though—all you have to do is ask. Hey, if you’re going all out with cheese and bacon, you might as well throw some fried chicken in there, too.