Fast food is definitely a guilty pleasure. We know that chains are bad for our health and can create some serious problems if consumed on a regular basis. Yet, it doesn’t stop us from enjoying the occasional burger.
From McDonald’s, Burger King, or Chick-fil-A – we highlight some of our favorite fast food meals. We are counting the main meals, sides, drinks, and desserts. People travel all over the world to eat some of these famous foods – how many have you had?
KFC uses 11 herbs and spices to season its famous chicken. Amazingly, one man knows half of them, and another man knows the other half. This means that no one alive today knows the total ingredients of its recipe.
Every day, millions of people flock to KFC and enjoy their chicken in many forms. Whether it’s a Bargain Bucket, Twister Wrap, or Tower Burger, their chicken is one-of-a-kind. On Twitter, @KFC follows 11 people: the five Spice Girls and six men called Herb.
White Castle Sliders
Ask any stoner: White Castle knows how to make a good slider. Their simple recipe is affordable and delicious, making the chain a popular late-night spot for college kids around the country.
White Castle started serving their famous sliders when they first opened their doors in 1921. Today, they remain a popular staple of the fast food chain and are instantly recognizable. White Castle was a central ‘character’ in the stoner comedy Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle.
Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich
For those who hate the idea of salad in their food – we bring you the Roast Beef Sandwich! Arby’s’ popular meal only has two ingredients: roast beef and a sesame seed bun. In fact, Arby’s claims that this helped put roast beef ‘on the map’.
Any redeeming quality of a healthy sandwich is straight out the window with this. Since there isn’t even salad to balance out the meat, you want to make sure these aren’t a frequent go-to meal!
Sonic Cherry Limeade
Our first drink on the list comes from Sonic. Their daily Happy Hour includes half-priced drinks, seeing millions of people turning up for the Cherry Limeade.
The signature limeade is made with real fruit juice and a bunch of sugar! To accompany the drink, customers can also order more conventional meals like burgers, hotdogs, or nuggets. Even without the food, Sonic’s limeade is as famous as it is delicious. When was the last time you had one?
Wendy’s has been offering their Frostys since 1969 and they’ve been popular ever since. 50 years later, and the fast food chain still only offers them in two flavors: chocolate and vanilla. Today, they are considered one of the most signature desserts.
Wendy’s has one of the most prominent social media accounts among fast food companies. Their Twitter account actively acts rude and dismissive to its followers, resulting in globally successful media campaigns. You can see them here.
McDonald’s Happy Meals
It’s one of the first instances of fast food we encounter: the Happy Meal. McDonald’s’ simple meal has been going strong since 1979 and is still as simple. Just four nuggets and some fries, accompanied by a toy.
The addition of a toy, as well as the famous packaging, makes the Happy Meal one of the most recognizable items found on the extensive menu. Everyone remembers walking into their childhood McDonald’s and getting their first toy!
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
You can’t go far in California or New York without spotting a young girl in yoga pants sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte. The inexplicably popular drink comes out to play in Fall and leads the coffee trend right up until Thanksgiving.
Starbucks isn’t exactly known for producing good coffee – certainly among coffee drinkers. Nevertheless, their Pumpkin Spice Latte is definitely up there as one of the most iconic and popular fast food orders. Don’t forget the low-fat soy milk!
Taco Bell Burrito Supreme
Taco Bell changed the fast food game when it opened its doors for breakfast a few years back. Today, it’s one of the major players in the industry and can thank the Burrito Supreme for that. They even call it ‘the Supreme Ruler of the Burrito Empire’.
While Taco Bell isn’t the most popular fast food chain out there, their burrito certainly earns a place as one of our favorite cheat meals. To date, the establishment serves millions of customers every day.
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
Chick-fil-A has quickly grown to become one of the most successful and popular fast food chains in the United States. Its chicken sandwich is considered one of the best ones out there in all of the chains around the country.
The establishment might be seen as politically polarizing, but customers are proving that they don’t mind. Each year, it is becoming more and more famous around the country. When was the last time you had a Chick-fil-A sandwich?
Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger
Five Guys only has four burgers on their menu: burger, cheeseburger, bacon burger, or bacon cheeseburger. To get the best experience, customers are encouraged to order the bacon cheeseburger with as many toppings as they wish.
According to The Harris Poll, Five Guys came in at #1 for fast food brands in the US. Year after year, their juicy patties and fresh salads earn awards for their quality and service. A bacon cheeseburger at Five Guys has around 1200 calories.
Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee
Coffee lovers will tell you straight out: Dunkin’ has some of the best coffee out there. Its rich and dark blend makes for the perfect cup of morning Joe. Last year, they rebranded as ‘Dunkin’ to reduce its emphasis on donuts and expand their menu.
As well as their coffee and donuts, Dunkin’ also offers sandwiches, wraps, and other breakfast foods. Each year, Dunkin’ serves nearly three billion donuts to American across the country. After all: ‘America runs on Dunkin’’
Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts
Speaking of donuts! We couldn’t make a list like this and not include Krispy Kremes! These original doughnuts have remained the same since 1945, and people love them as much today than ever before.
Aside from the original recipe, Krispy Kreme also makes dozens of other flavors that are adored as they are enjoyed. Today, you can’t go to a gas station without seeing them on display. Everyone has a favorite Krispy Kreme – what’s yours?
Taco Bell Nacho Fries
We’re heading back to Taco Bell to catch a look at some of their Nacho Fries. These seasoned sides with their cheese dip quickly became the best-selling new product launch in Taco Bell’s history. In fact, they sold more than 53 million orders of fries in the first five weeks!
For a chain that focuses so much on Mexican cuisine, it’s refreshing to see some ‘western’ food additions be popular on the list. Can you ever go wrong with fries and cheese?
Culver’s may not be as recognized as other chains on this list, but they definitely shouldn’t be ignored. Their famous ButterBurger is still one of the most popular burgers on their list and Americans often rush to pick one up for a tasty treat.
The fast food chain nicknamed the ButerBurger ‘The Original’, and claims that this is the burger that ‘started it all’. We would love to try one of these burgers next time we come across a Culver’s!
Whataburger Taquito with Cheese
Whataburger might not have national appeal or interest, but its fans in Texas are willing to defend it with honor! The Taquito with Cheese has been called a ‘Texas Tradition’ among customers there.
The wrap is full of egg and cheese with additional ingredients including bacon, hash browns, or minced meat. What you choose to get inside is totally up to you. Next time you find yourself in the Lone Star State, you might want to get in line!
Domino’s Pepperoni Pizza
It might ‘only’ be the second most popular pizza delivery franchise in America, but that doesn’t mean it’s Pepperoni pizza isn’t one of the most popular meals. Domino’s has an extensive menu and even offers the chance to make your own pizza. Still, it’s Pepperoni that wins out among customers.
According to QSR Magazine, the Pepperoni pizza is significantly more popular than any other item on the menu. Not to mention their garlic and herb dip – drizzle some of that on top and you have yourself a winner.
Panera Bread Tortellini Alfredo
It’s quite rare to have pasta on a fast food list, which only shows us just how successful Panera Bread has been at its menu. Generally, Panera isn’t treated as ‘fast food’ – customers consider it more ‘fast casual’ dining.
Either way, this is by far the most popular pasta item on their menu, proving that customers everywhere are still a fan. It is most commonly ordered as a half dish with a sandwich or a soup.
Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken
You might struggle to find Kung Pao Chicken outside of the States, let alone in China, but it’s actually one of the nation’s most popular dishes. The sesame chicken along with veggies and spices make it a loved food dish around the country.
According to the Chinese fast food chain, the Kung Pao Chicken dish is their most ordered item. Recently, Panda Express released its recipe so now we can all cook it at home. That is, if you want to cook!
Carl’s Jr Texas BBQ Thickburger
In a 2018 advert made famous by Kate Upton, Carl’s Jr showed the world they were serious about being a major player in the fast food arena. In 2014, they partnered with the supermodel to try to woo food fans to the Texas BBQ Thickburger.
The campaign was a moderate success with sales and brand recognition both rising up in the following months. Carl’s Jr still isn’t as well known as other companies out there – but how much longer until they’re the new Wendy’s?
McDonald’s Hash Browns
The breakfast at McDonald’s has always been one of its selling points. When they started opening more ‘all day breakfasts’ around the country, Americans suddenly became more aware of their hash browns.
They might not have the fame of the Egg McMuffin, but the hash browns certainly give them a run for their money. All you need to do is drench a little maple syrup onto them and you’ll see your tastebuds transform. Then, wash it down with a McCafe cup of coffee!
These little bits are pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not wildly popular by people across the country. These original Popeye’s biscuits have inspired plenty of copycat recipes from competitors, but these are the ones we will keep close to our hearts (and mouths!).
They’re easy to make and enjoyable to consume – which probably explains how Popeye’s sells so many millions of them each year. What do you dip your biscuits in? We choose butter or gravy.
Little Caesars Hot-N-Ready Pepperoni Pizza
Here’s another pizza on our list: this time from Little Caesar’s. There’s no surprise that the pepperoni slice is the most popular order on the menu – who can resist a $5 pie from the Italian fast food kings?
For just a few more dollars, customers can upgrade to a stuffed crust pizza that contains more than three feet of cheese. It might not be as good as Dominoes or Pizza Hut when it comes to quality, but you can’t beat the price!
Taco Bell Chalupa Supreme
Taco Bell is largely responsible for introducing Chalupas into the mainstream American customer base. Before their Supremes hit the menu, few Americans had even heard of the dish. Well, that is until now!
Today, the Chalupa Supreme is a popular choice for those visiting Taco Bell late at night. The beans, meat, and cheese all come together for a perfect blend of Mexican cuisine flavors. How many of these can you eat in one sitting? We bet we can beat it.
McDonald’s Egg McMuffin
Here is the classic McDonald’s breakfast item, still as popular as when it first hit the menu in 1972. The Egg McMuffin is essentially a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a muffin. However, by keeping it simple they’ve also managed to keep it successful.
It’s one of the most delicious and iconic breakfast items in the fast food community. You can only imagine how excited the customer base was when they extended it to last all day in selected locations.
Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets are always a safe bet when it comes to fast food items. While you might immediately think of McDonald’s as the nugget home, Wendy’s has proven to be a strong competitor.
In fact, Wendy’s sent a tweet in 2017 responding to a young customer who asked about free nuggets for a year. The tweet ended up getting more than 3.5 retweets – the most viral tweet on the entire platform. Now that’s a sign of good nuggets!
Subway Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt
There are many options at Subway to choose from, but for now, we have to pick the Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt. According to Business Insider, it is one of the chain’s most unhealthy items on the menu. That’s probably why it’s one of the most delicious.
Subway offers customers a lot more flexibility when it comes to personalizing their sandwiches. Since this is just the base, you can tailor your sandwich to include your own salad and sauce.
Burger King French Fries
There’s a perpetual debate among the fast food community on the quality of Burger King fries. While some prefer McDonald’s, you can’t deny that the home of the Whopper knows a thing or two about how to prepare fries.
Fries are one of the most popular items on the Burger King menu. This makes sense since most people order their burgers with a side of fries. But according to Business Insider, the fries are also worthy of praise, too.
Shake Shack SmokeShack Burger
Shake Shack had a pretty consistent menu for many years, but that changed in 2012 with the SmokeShack. There isn’t much difference aside from the addition of bacon – but who can argue against that?
Today, the Shake Shack SmokeShack is one of the most popular items on the menu. Customers are happy to wait in line for up to an hour in Madison Square Park, New York, for one of the delicious bites with a side of fries.
KFC Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Many customers don’t look past the incredible chicken at KFC, but the establishment has some impressive sides, too. In a nice change from the usual fries option, customers can order a side of mashed potatoes with KFC’s famous gravy drizzled on top.
Fans tend to agree: it’s an iconic part of the menu that makes for a delicious trip to the restaurant. Currently, KFC has been overtaken by Chick-fil-A as the most popular chicken spot in the USA.
Another drink from Starbucks that expands on the regular cup of Joe customers usually get. The espresso, with an added kick of milk, offers a refreshing and dairy take on the popular drink. If you fancy a change, then customers can get a splash of caramel or cinnamon added if they wish.
Every day, Starbucks serves millions of people mediocre coffee at an unaffordable price. Most of their drinks aren’t worth it – but this one definitely is. Shaken, not stirred!
McDonald’s Baked Apple Pie
Just like Wendy’s has its signature Frostys, McDonald’s also has their iconic dessert: the apple pie. After 50 years, it’s still one of the most popular items on its menu and has pleased millions of people over the years.
Food blogging site Eater has highlighted its adaptability as one of the main reasons for its success. In the following years, McDonald’s would also introduce a McFlurry. Either way, it’s the baked apple pie that takes the cake.
You might not think of Subway for much other than their foot-long sandwiches, but their cookies must not be forgotten! Considering how Subway is *slightly* more healthy than competitors, it might explain the reason why they are so popular.
Customers can choose from a variety of different flavors and chocolates. The fast food franchise has a simple yet delicious business model and their small menu has treated them well for decades. What cookie would you order from the sandwich shop?
Whataburger Original Whataburger
Not many people in the coastal cities will know much about Whataburger. The fast food chain is ranked 22nd in the USA’s most popular joints – but people in the south and midwest might disagree!
The folks in the middle of the country go crazy for the original Whataburger. It’s pretty easy and simple but you can’t go wrong with a solid and safe recipe. We would love to see this expand more across the country one day.
Dairy Queen Blizzard
These Blizzards are some of the most famous items on Dairy Queen’s menu. You might recognize them as the only fast food item that is served upside down. That’s right: the Dairy Queen Blizzards are given by the server upside down to prove just how thick they are.
The milkshake blends additional toppings, such as Reese’s Pieces or Oreos, into the creamy base making it one of the most delicious treats on the road. Next time you find yourself desiring a sweet treat, pop into the Queen.
McDonald’s Big Mac
It’s one of the most famous fast food items ever made. The Big Mac first hit restaurants in 1967 and has only grown in popularity. We challenge you to find one fast food eater who hasn’t tried a Big Mac at least once.
The burger has such a global appeal that there is even an Economics Index to calculate a country’s purchasing power using it. We couldn’t make a list without including this iconic burger and all its delicious sauce.
Our first entry for Mexican fast food joint Chipotle, the burritos with black beans is a classic meal. At the chain, customers can fill their own burritos or salad bowls with beans, cheese, guacamole, and more.
Chipotle suffered a few setbacks in the last couple of years with its unfortunate outbreak of e.coli in its meat. Nevertheless, the chain has bounced back and is as popular as ever. When was the last time you ate at the Mexican chain?
Hardee’s Monster Biscuits
Well, what you’re looking at here is the product of listening to your customers. Hardee’s announced these Monster Biscuits initially as a followup to their Thickburgers. But how did they decide what went in them?
After conducting research on the matter, they realized that their customers wanted ‘everything’ in their biscuits – so that’s exactly what they did. We have to admire this level of entrepreneurial skills – even if it means you have a heart attack sooner than most.
In-n-Out Animal Style Burger
In-n-Out started back in 1961 by preparing Animal Style Burgers but only advertising them on ‘secret’ menus. Today, it is one of the most popular items on their menu as millions of people on the west coast drive their way to enjoy one.
As In-n-Out slowly expands east, we can hope to see the establishment garner more popularity in the next few years. For now, the Animal Style burgers are enjoyed by a select few on one coast of the country.
Burger King Whopper Sandwich
Burger King calls their Whopper ‘America’s Favorite Burger’. Whether or not that is true, you can’t deny the impact the burger has had on the fast food industry. With its fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and gherkins, you know exactly what you’re getting with this signature dish.
Every day, 11 million customers eat at Burger King. While the chain has a bunch of different burgers, there’s no denying that the Whopper is the most popular. Customers can also buy a Double Whopper or Whopper Jr.