Everyone has their favorite fast food item. The one, or maybe two or three, items that you order almost every time you go to the restaurant and sometimes dream about when you are sitting on your couch super hungry and craving that comfort and flavor. You may have even tried searching for a recipe online that claims to provide instructions on how to recreate said items in your own kitchen. But these days you don’t need to try and cook something that almost tastes like your fast food favorite, you can just take a drive out to your local grocery store and buy it so that it’s in your home, waiting and ready for you, whenever you want it. Here are 10 fast food restaurant products you can buy in stores.
10. Starbucks Coffee
One of the most popular drinks in the world is coffee and one of the most popular places to get said drink in the world is at your local Starbucks. But what if you don’t want to get in your car and drive to Starbucks each morning and would rather be able to roll out of bed and get your Starbucks coffee fix while still in your pyjamas. Well, you can! And in pretty much any style you want it. Go to the coffee aisle of your local grocery store and among the rows of choices you will most likely find multiple Starbuck options, from their house blend to Verona, Pike Place and Sumatra. And not only that, but you can find bags of whole beans – for those that like to grind them themselves, bags of ground coffee and for those with a pod-system brewer such as a Keurig, you will find boxes of pods as well. If you are looking for instant coffee, Starbucks sells packages of that too in stores. And we can’t forget about all the Frappucinos, iced coffees, cold brews and other specialty coffee based beverages that Starbucks sells in bottles all over the place – from the big grocery stores to the small convenience stores on the highway where you stop to get gas and pick up snacks before heading off on a long drive.
9. Whataburger Condiments
As important as the beef patty is to any proper burger experience, the condiments and sauces that you decide to put on said burger have quite a bit to do with the overall satisfaction of the meal. Whataburger, is a burger chain based out of Texas and they have a loyal following of burger lovers who frequent their establishments to chow down on a juicy hamburger any chance they get. Well, while the chain hasn’t made their actual burgers available in grocery stores, they have a whole line of condiments that are, including whataburger “original mustard,” “fancy ketchup” and “spicy ketchup” – the latter two being their best sellers. But that’s not all. Their list of available signature condiments and sauces also includes: Spicy Jalapeno Ranch, Creamy Pepper, Honey Mustard and Honey BBQ. Basically it would seem that if you can squeeze it out of a bottle and you can find it at Whataburger, then you can find it in stores. You can even find a number of their squeeze bottle options on Amazon as well, should you want the sauce in your house without having to leave your house. So, go ahead and grill up your own burger at home. Then throw some of these sauces on it and make your own homemade Whataburger.
8. White Castle Sliders
Did you know that in 2014 Time magazine declared the original White Castle slider the most influential burger of all time! That is some very high praise considering the history of the burger in America and all of the, maybe better known, burgers from larger fast food chains. But the iconic two-bite burger (one bite for some) has been drawing people to White Castle restaurants around the country since they opened their first restaurant back in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. Now, did you also know that you don’t have to go to a White Castle restaurant to enjoy their sliders anymore? If Harold and Kumar had known that, it might have saved them a lot of time and a whole bunch of problems. All those two guys needed to do was head on over to the frozen food section of their local grocery store and there, they would have found those burgers they were craving (but, then again, had they done that they would have never met Neil Patrick Harris. That’s right, now you, and everyone you know, can find a box of frozen White Castle sliders at the grocery store. All you have to do is throw one in the microwave for 60 seconds and all your White Castle dreams will come true. Keep a few boxes in the freezer and you will never be left in the lurch when a slider craving hits! And maybe the next movie will be “Harold and Kumar Go To The Grocery Store.”
7. Chick-Fil-A Sauces
The good news is that a few months ago Chick-Fil-A got into the grocery store game and have started selling their signature sauces. The bad news is that, at this point, they are only selling them in Florida. If you live in Florida you can pick up a 16-Ounce bottle for only around $3.49 at Publix, Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Target locations. Chick-Fil-A sauces are very popular and a simple online search will bring up multiple copycat recipes. One online publication even named the chain’s signature sauce the second best fast food sauce in the United States. That’s pretty big praise and so it’s no wonder the company wants to get into retail. Michael Patrick, principal program lead for Chick-fil-A’s Beyond the Restaurant team, explained that customers love their sauces… Chick-fil-A Sauce and Polynesian Sauce are two of their most popular sauces, which is why these flavors are leading the way. Another place you can buy those and other Chick-Fil-A sauces are at the actual restaurants (still, just in Florida though). In select Florida locations, restaurants will have multiple sauces to sell in bottles with take-out orders or to diners in the restaurants. So, go for dinner and grab a bottle of sauce or two on your way out (again, only if you live in Florida). As for the rest of the country, Chick-Fil-A hasn’t ruled out expanding the retail program. So maybe one day it won’t just be the Sunshine State devouring all that Chick-fil-A sauce.
6. Panera Bread Soup
There are few things as comforting as a nice warm bowl of soup. And few restaurant chains have as many yummy soup choices as the Panera Bread bakery-cafe chain. But you don’t need to have a Panera Bread restaurant near you to enjoy the soups. All you need is a grocery store or a Target or another retail location that carries them. With the Panera at Home campaign, the popular restaurant has brought many of its favorite items right to the consumer. Just a few of the soups available for purchase in retail locations, include Autumn Squash, Baked Potato, Broccoli Cheddar, Chicken Noodle, Chicken Tortilla, New England Clam Chowder and a Lobster Bisque – just to name a few. And if you feel like a side dish to go with your soup, the chain also sells three different kinds of Mac & Cheese. A bowl of soup with a side of Mac & Cheese. Talk about pure, delicious comfort. And for a restaurant with the word “bread” right in their logo, you will be happy to know that they also sell loaves of bread. Something to dip in your soup perhaps? Panera Bread is one of the most active chains when it comes to the sheer number of products they put on grocery store shelves. It would seem that with all their retail options, it is possible to have a pretty complete Panera experience in the comfort of your own home.
5. Arby’s Curly Fries
Arby’s is famous for their roast beef sandwiches and rightly so. But what fans of the restaurant chain also know, is that while Arby’s “has the meats,” they also have super yummy curly fries that are reason enough to keep going back. In fact, these fries were such a hit with restaurant patrons that Arby’s decided that everyone needed to be able to enjoy them – even if they didn’t have an Arby’s location nearby. So, just check out the frozen food section and you may find that your grocery store is home to bags of delicious, frozen Arby’s curly fries just waiting for you to take home, heat up and enjoy. Whether you decide to make yourself a roast beef sandwich to go along with your fries is up to you. While that definitely would make for an Arby’s-like meal, these curly fries go well with pretty much any main course. And no one would argue with you if you just heated up the whole bag of curly fries and ate that as your main course. Some sides are good enough to be a main course and these seasoned, addictive fries are definitely on that list.
4. McDonald’s Coffee
McDonald’s has always served coffee, but it was with the launch of the McCafe brand that the home of the Big Mac started to find a home in the hearts of coffee lovers across the world. McDonald’s coffee has managed to gain a very loyal following. Even among coffee snobs it isn’t as looked down upon like some of the terrible coffee most other fast food joints serve up. While making a quick run through a Mickey D’s drive-thru to grab a cup of coffee isn’t too difficult, you could avoid the drive altogether and pick some up at your local grocery store. The coffee aisle is home to a multitude of McCafe options from bags to canisters to K-cup pods that go right into your Keurig machine. Whatever method you prefer to brew your morning cup of joe, there is a McCafe option that is right for you. Now, if you want to have a burger with that coffee and are hoping to pick up some Big Mac sauce for said burger…well, you are out of luck. The Chain did release a line of their famous sauce in the stores a few years back, but it was only for a limited time and after they sold out of the product (which happened pretty fast according to reports) that was it. Maybe they will bring it back again one day, but for now you need to rely on the copycat products and online hacks to get your Big Mac fix at home.
3. Taco Bell Hot Sauce
When you go to Taco Bell, do you douse your meal in their hot sauce and then also grab a handful of the hot sauce packets and discreetly stuff them in your pockets to take home? If so, you’re not the only one. Well, since 2014 you haven’t needed to do that anymore. It was in that year that Taco Bell fans could rejoice and find something else to put in that kitchen drawer filled with hot sauce, because the chain started selling jars of the stuff in stores. Pick up a jar of Salsa Verde, Fire Sauce, Mild Sauce and One-And-Only Hot Sauce. No matter what your heat tolerance, from heat wimp to heat master, you will find one that works for you. And now that you have a bottle of Taco Bell hot sauce at home, you don’t have to put the sauce only on tacos. Put it on eggs, dump a bunch on your mac and cheese, cover your hamburger with it… the possibilities are endless. Use it like you use Franks hot sauce and “put that (s*$!) stuff on everything!”
2. Tim Hortons Soup and Chili
Tim Hortons is one of the most iconic Canadian restaurant chains. What began as a simple coffee and donut shot has grown to include multiple coffee drinks, tea, sandwiches and a whole host of other food items for breakfast to dinner. Now, everyone probably already knows that Tim Hortons coffee is available in stores – and has been for years now. But what about their food items? Over the last several years the chain has made a huge push into growing their food menu. So, much so that they hardly ever actually talk about their donuts anymore, preferring instead to hype up their latest breakfast sandwich, grilled cheese or their multiple soup and chili bowls. The drive to get people to visit their locations when they want a meal – and not just a cup of their famous coffee – seems to have worked. So much so that their soups and chili have become popular enough that the company felt like they deserved to have a space in the grocery store. So, when that craving hits for a taste of comfort and only Tim hortons soup or chili will do, just make sure you have a few cans in your pantry at all times and you are good to go. Throw a Tims coffee pod in your Keurig machine and get ready to complete the perfect Timmies experience right at your own kitchen table.
1. Sonic Drink Flavors
Besides their funny commercials Sonic is famous for all of their fun drink flavors, including the iconic Cherry Limeade and Ocean Water. While it’s always fun to visit a Sonic Drive-In restaurant and have your meal brought over to your car by servers on roller-skates, being able to get those drink flavors you crave at your grocery store, to have at home, is exactly what you want. And the best part about the Sonic grocery store offerings is how they get delivered to your mouth. Sonic has brought their famous drink flavors to the grocery store in the form of, among others, slush pops and freezer bars. On a warm day, an Ocean Water frozen ice pop would really hit the spot, don’t you agree? But it doesn’t end there. Those two popular flavors also come in gelatin form. But what about their milkshakes you ask? Well, how does Sonic Strawberry and Chocolate milkshake pudding sound? You can also find lollipops and hard candy featuring the classic Sonic flavors. It’s a pretty cool idea to bring the flavors people love to products that you normally couldn’t get at the restaurant.