Sure, fast food might never be considered high quality, 5-star-meals, but there’s always something to satisfy every type of craving. From fried chicken to cheesy fries, if you’ve got a favorite, see if it’s one of the 10 Biggest Fast Food SUCCESSES Of All Time (Part 3).
10. Five Guys Burger
Five Guys is without a doubt one of the fastest-growing fast-food chains in America. Starting out in 1986, they climbed to the top with their quality and tasty food, so they deserve a little recognition. Actually, Five Guys won The Harris Poll’s burger brand of the year award in 2017 and 2018 and hold the title of #1 fan-favorite burger chain. Not too shabby. There are a lot of amazing things about Five Guys: the shakes, the complementary peanuts, the service – you name it. But the real deal? The one and only burger – the one that started it all. What makes this particular burger so delicious is the beef. The juicy beef patty is made fresh, always cooked to order, and never frozen. That’s one of the great things about Five Guys: there are no freezers. Meaning, the commitment to freshness is real – they have no choice. The patty is put in between a slightly toasted bun, just toasty enough to hold the toppings – which you can customize as you like. You can add all the sauces you want, fresh produce, and onions and mushrooms cooked in clarified butter. The possibilities are endless, and so are the number of toppings. If you want to put everything on it, then go for it! Five Guys claims that there are over 250,000 possible ways to order a burger. With that many options, you’re bound to find the perfect one!
9. Taco Bell Nacho Fries
If there’s one Taco Bell menu item that won over people’s taste buds more than others, it’s the nacho fries. Over the years, they’ve come and gone from the menu multiple times, and each time they left, the goodbye became ever more bitter. First introduced in 2018, the Nacho fries were an immediate success. And how could they not be? Crisp, boldly seasoned fries served with a generous serving of warm nacho cheese sauce – now, that’s everything we could ever hope to get alongside our tacos. Within just the first five weeks of their debut, 53 million orders had been eaten. These impressive numbers made the fries the number one most successful new menu item at Taco Bell, dethroning the very popular Doritos Locos Tacos. Offered as a limited-time item, the Nacho Fries were so cheap; they were hard to resist ordering. Their arrival was the beginning of an array of new sides developed at Taco Bell, each more delicious than the last, like the Nacho Fries Supreme. You’re probably wondering why they keep taking these off the menu if they’re oh so tasty? Well, the answer is pretty easy: the more it’s missed, the more it’s going to come back with a bang. Taco Bell is doing with Nacho Fries what McDonald’s is doing with the McRib. They dangle them in front of us for a while, then they take them away and leave us wanting more. Whenever these dippable, seasoned fries return to the menu, fans usually go bananas and head straight down to Taco Bell, no questions asked.
8. McDonald’s Baked Apple Pie
Almost everyone is a sucker for apple pie. It’s a classic, American comfort food staple, after all. You can never really say no to apple pie, no matter where you are, and that includes McDonald’s. The Apple Pie has been on the menu since, well, forever, and was even the first McD’s dessert to be served on the menu nationwide. Back in the 1960s, McDonald’s went through a lot of trial and error involving many other desserts, like brownies and strawberry shortcake, but nothing really took off. Not until a McDonald’s restaurant owner in Tennessee decided to ask his mother for the recipe to the tiny fried apple pies she used to make. The owner’s mom and sister were hired as cooks, and the rest is history. Since then, there have been over 40 different fillings and seasonal flavors across the U.S. and beyond. It wasn’t long after the apparent success of the apple pie that other fast-food outlets tried to recreate the hype on their own menus. This famous pie does not come without controversy, however. The switch from fried to baked in the early 1990s sparked a lot of outrage in the McD’s apple pie community. All they wanted was to make the pie healthier, but people weren’t having it. Obviously, most got used to it since apple pie is still delicious no matter what, but some people are still out there, fighting the “fried vs baked battle”, hoping McDonald’s changes its mind one day. Oh, and another little fact, the apple pies are vegan. So, the more you know!
7. Jack in the Box Tacos
Tacos might not be the first things that come to mind when you think about Jack in the Box, and yet, they sell over 554 million tacos per year. That’s roughly 1ooo tacos per minute. Oh, and it’s one of their best selling items. So, yea, it’s fair to assume that the tacos must be pretty darn delicious for them to sell so well. Although opinion on how top-quality or crunchy they are is far from unanimous, no matter how much people complain about them, they still buy and buy, constantly. And it’s a little unclear why, even. Aside from being cheap and easy to eat, these tacos don’t really have much going for them. Let’s just say they’re not exactly what people consider to be “good tacos.” For a very reasonable price, you can get two tacos loaded with beef, American cheese, shredded lettuce, and taco sauce. However, many have called the beef questionable, the shells soggy, and the overall experience really underwhelming. So, why do these little treats have such a big cult-like following? Who knows, but if it works, it works, and Jack in the Box will keep on making their tacos just the way people “like” them. The recipe hasn’t really changed in about 50 years, so they’re not about to change it now. In 2020, Jack in the Box released Tiny Tacos, a box full of 15 tiny, deep-fried tacos kinda like shrunken versions of the original tacos.
6. In-N-Out Animal Style Burger
In-N-Out offers some of the best burgers on the West Coast. Operating since 1948, they were able to perfect their recipe over the years to create some of the tastiest and juiciest burgers out there. While the original burger is arguably one of the most popular and most delicious, there is one secret menu item, that’s not-so-secret anymore, that’s been stealing the show lately. The Animal Style Burger. What separates this secret burger from the regular burger? It’s a whole lot of yummy additions. First of all, the beef is grilled with mustard, topped with extra Thousand Island special sauce, pickles, and grilled caramelized onions. If you’re a vegetarian, you can always ask for an animal style grilled cheese, which is the same thing, minus the beef. Once this recipe became known to the public, there was no turning back. The secret was out, and so were the people, trying to get their hands on this tasty creation. If burgers aren’t your thing, you can also order the Animal style fries, which are fries topped with melted American cheese, grilled chopped onions, and, of course, smothered with In-N-Out’s special sauce. And if, for some reason, you can’t make your way to an In-N-Out, don’t worry; you can recreate pretty much any “Animal Style” at home. All you need is the Thousand Island dressing, pickles, some caramelized onions, and you’re good to go!
5. McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich
Whether it’s because you don’t like burgers or you simply feel like a change of pace, chances are, you’ve had a Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s at least once in your life. It has remained a popular menu item for over 50 years, ever since it was first introduced on the menu. Around for longer than the Big Mac, the Filet-O-Fish was the first non-meat sandwich addition to the McD’s menu. The groundbreaking idea to make a sandwich with a fried fish patty came out of a necessity to appeal to Catholics. In 1961, a Cincinnati-area franchisee, Lou Groen, saw that his sales dropped dramatically on Friday nights. His Ohio restaurant was located in an area of the city where over two-thirds of the population were practicing Catholics and didn’t eat meat on Fridays. They needed to find a solution, so the Filet-O-Fish came to the rescue and saved the day! And, in case you were wondering, yes, it is made of real fish! Many people have assumed that it was made from questionable non-fish ingredients, however, they’re very real and very delicious. They used to be made with halibut until McDonald’s started using cod shortly after, to save money. In 2013, McD’s even introduced Fish McBites, a deep-sea take on their popular Chicken McNuggets. While it didn’t exactly work out, it was still a good idea. This simple fried fish patty sandwich with cheese and tartar sauce continues to be a fan favorite!
4. Chipotle Chicken Bowl
Chipotle is notorious for serving some pretty exquisite burrito bowls. You can customize them to your taste with your choice of meat, toppings, rice – basically, everything is up to you. While the possibilities are endless, there is one that seems to garner a little more attention, the chicken bowl. The meal in a bowl trend truly launched a decade ago when Chipotle first introduced its burrito bowl and revolutionized the way we eat fast-food. It was such a hit that Chipotle now sells more bowls than burritos and it’s among the most popular items ordered at Chipotle. The most popular bowl toppings include white rice, black beans, chicken, mild salsa, lettuce, and cheese. Chicken bowls are also perfect for workers looking for meals they can easily eat at their desks. Despite the dramatic E.Coli outbreaks that hit Chipotle and hundreds of customers back in 2015, the restaurant has been able to get back on its feet and leave that bad experience as a distant memory. Another benefit of ordering the chicken bowl instead of the burrito is the number of toppings you get. You tend to get a little bit more for your money when you order the bowl, simply because more can fit into it than in a burrito. So, if you’re in search of a delicious, easy-to-eat, and practical meal, the chicken burrito bowl is perfect for you!
3. Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich
You can get a burger at just about any fast-food restaurant. It’s the most common item on most menus, and everyone has their own take on it. However, it’s not everywhere that you can get a Roast Beef Sandwich – especially one as tasty as the one offered at Arby’s. Arby’s even claims that theirs is the sandwich that put roast beef on the map. With a pretty distinctive taste and texture, Arby’s practically built their entire business on roast beef, while other chains were focusing on the burger scene. Roast beef was originally chosen as the main ingredient in the sandwich as a way to attract a higher-end clientele. The freshly-sliced roast beef was considered something completely out of the box, and something people had never seen before. Arby’s wanted to offer something that would set them apart from the competition, and they certainly did that. It might not be the healthiest thing on the fast-food market – actually, it might be one of the most unhealthy – but it sure is one of the most flavorful and simple sandwiches. Over the years, Arby’s has tried to step away from roast beef and build a new image for themselves by coming up with new products, but they could never really escape the original iconic meaty creation.
2. Subway Cookies
If there’s one thing people are most excited to get when they go to Subway, it’s got to be the cookies. Even though you get to choose between chips or cookies, the choice should always be clear; get the cookies! Soft, chewy, and always fresh, they are the perfect way to end your meal. Not only are they super affordable, but they’re also the most underrated item on the menu. With a very small dessert menu, they should be worshiped in every way. The cookies are always made fresh, no matter what time of the day you go into Subway. They are cut and flash frozen offsite but then thawed out and baked fresh in-store each day. Whether you prefer the macadamia nut, the M&M, or the original chocolate chip cookie, you will find the ideal flavor for you. Subway’s cookies are so renowned; countless recipes can be found online, claiming to be exact copycats of the real thing. Subway might be experts when it comes to sandwiches, but cookies might just have become the new “must-try” item. It’s always nice to treat yourself to some sweets, and Subway’s cookies are the perfect way to do so.
1. McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets
Ah, chicken nuggets. A classic in the fast-food world. They’re so delicious, you’d think they’ve been around forever, and yet, they’re a fairly recent addition to the game. The crispy, breaded little chicken pieces are a fan favorite practically everywhere and keep on gaining more and more popularity. But at McDonald’s, the chicken McNuggets might be a little ahead in terms of taste, texture, and overall reputation. Chicken McNuggets made their debut in 1983 and have been thriving ever since. Some even say that they are more iconic than the Big Mac – but that’s a debate for another day. Originally created as an alternative to beef, the Chicken McNuggets quickly became the new favorite for a lot of McD’s fans. Despite their booming popularity, these nuggets have also seen their share of controversy over the years. From questionable ingredients to rumors of pink slime being used, nothing could stand in their way. The Golden Arches even has four precise shapes of McNuggets, with special names to identify them: the “ball,” the “boot,” the “bow-tie,” and the “bell.” Considered one of the most successful items to ever grace the menu, the Chicken McNuggets will never disappoint.