Popular Hooters Menu Items Ranked Worst To Best

What do you get when you combine six businessmen who know absolutely zilch about the restaurant industry and want to create a spot they wouldn't find themselves thrown out of? You get Hooters. According to the website, this incredibly popular restaurant brand was started by a group of men in Clearwater, Florida, in 1983 who had no experience at all owning or operating a restaurant. However, Hooters showed no signs of stopping once the first spot opened, and now the company boasts over 420 locations in 29 different countries. It's a spot that slings endless glasses of cold beer and tons of great food, and let's be honest, a lot of the traffic also comes from guys who want their food and drink served to them by the Hooters employees.

Hooters is a perfect spot to hit when you want to watch the big game on a huge television, slake your thirst with a cold brew, and fill your belly with some good grub. The place serves up a bunch of different types of food, but let's face it, some of the options are definitely better than others. And, it's nearly impossible to enjoy your favorite team if the food you're eating is subpar while you watch them play. So we've compiled a list of all the options you'll want to be slapped down on the table in front of you and the ones you should steer clear from. These are Hooters menu items ranked worst to first.

20. Buffalo Chicken Salad

Now, the words "salad" and "sports bar" really don't go hand in hand. In fact, the last thing you'd ever think to order when you go to watch the game is a big bowl of greens. Even though salads might not reign supreme at Hooters, it does offer a few options, with one of them being the Buffalo chicken salad. However, one glance at the ingredient list tells you it's somewhat of a stretch to call this a salad. So if you are actually looking to get a dose of roughage, avoid this item for sure.

This "salad" comes with breaded chicken tossed in whatever wing sauce you'd like and served over a bed of spring mix greens and diced tomatoes. You have a choice of either blue cheese or ranch to dress the bowl in. You're basically getting boneless wings and sauce plus some lettuce. Is anything served over greens considered a salad? Who knows, but this is one dish that seems just plain pointless.

19. Beer cheese and pretzels

If you're the kind of person who loves both beer and cheese (who doesn't?), the Food Gods gathered together and created an item that takes the best of both worlds: Beer cheese, which combines the gooey, salty amazingness of cheese and the roasted malty sweetness of beer. Hooters offers customers beer cheese and pretzels to start their meals, but sadly, the appetizer just doesn't do your appetite any justice.

The appetizer consists of a bowl of various melted cheeses infused with stout beer. The stout beer gives the cheese a strong bite that definitely wakes up your palate. However, the pieces of salted Bavarian pretzels that come served with it are the dish's downfall. When the plate first hits the table, the pretzels are soft and warm, but it doesn't take long for the texture to completely change. Unless you scarf all of the pieces down within minutes (which you don't want to do), they become super tough to chew on.

18. Lots-A-Tots

Tater tots are one of the tastiest ways you can consume a potato. When done correctly, the golden crispy outside gives way to a warm and delicate inside that almost melts in your mouth. These little morsels of fried starch are pretty darn tasty. Hooters offers both regular tots and something called Lots-A-Tots. You might take one glance at the latter and think, "These tots are better since they're loaded with additional flavors." Sadly, you should wipe that thought from your mind.

This appetizer is a pile of tater tots on a plate topped with melted cheese, bits of bacon, green onions, and a big dollop of sour cream. This would be an appetizer worthy of your money if the tots weren't piled so high on top of each other, but this structural failure leads to the top layer containing nearly all of the fixings; everything underneath has almost nothing on it. Yes, there are a "lot a tots." But most of them are missing every topping.

17. Blackened mahi tacos

While a taco full of ground beef is delicious, sometimes you want to depart from all the turf and slap some surf inside a tortilla instead. A little handheld vessel full of great flavors from the ocean always hits the spot, and that's not even including all the awesome fixings you can sprinkle on top. The Hooters menu has blackened mahi tacos as an option for those wanting to think outside the meat-filled taco, but sadly, these just don't hold up.

The taco comes with a filet of blackened mahi-mahi, pico de gallo, shredded cabbage, and special sauce. Obviously, the main attraction here is the fish. Fish can be a very fickle protein to cook. It should come out super tender and flaky, but cook it for even a minute too long and it dries out. That's the issue with these tacos. The mahi-mahi is dry and rather flavorless. The sauce drizzled on top does add some moisture and flavor, but when a dish has to rely on the condiment for any real taste, it's not worth ordering.

16. Alaskan snow crab legs

In the hierarchy of flavorful ocean crustaceans, Alaskan snow crabs definitely place close to the top of the pile. When you see a plate of freshly boiled Alaskan snow crab legs hit the table you know you're in for a real treat. So you're probably asking yourself why the Alaskan snow crab legs at Hooters are so close to the bottom of this list. As much as you'd think these would sit appropriately in the front half of this ranking, there are a couple of big reasons why they don't.

The crab legs come with a side of drawn butter for dipping, which is all you really ever need with them. Dunking a huge forkful of crab into warm butter is one of the most luxurious dinner table moves you can perform. Unfortunately, with these legs, you'll never get a huge forkful. For all the effort it takes breaking the crab legs apart to get to the succulent meat inside, the payoff is so far from worth it. The amount of meat you pull out from each leg is super disappointing, and honestly, while it does taste like crab, there's not the explosion of crab flavor you want. You put in a lot of work for an unsatisfying result.

15. Grilled Big Fish sandwich

While the visual appeal of a dish is certainly important — no one's excited to dive into a meal that looks like it was scraped off the bathroom floor — the actual flavor of the thing is way more significant. That's why you might want to avoid the grilled Big Fish sandwich at Hooters regardless of how strong the urge is to eat a sandwich from the sea. This is one ocean-centric item you should paddle your appetite boat far away from.

The fish used here is grilled cod, and it's a big filet. The cod is served on a hoagie roll and slathered in tartar sauce. Nothing fancy at all happening here. Just bread, fish, and sauce. But, that's also the problem. A three-ingredient sandwich can totally be packed with flavor if the right components are used, but that's not what happens here. The entirety of the flavor comes from the tartar sauce, so unless you're craving a tartar sauce sandwich, don't order this. Don't be fooled by the impressive size of the cod. It's totally bland and not worth your time.

14. Chicken strip sandwich

There are so many great ways to enjoy fried chicken. Put a few pieces in a taco, slap a fat, juicy fried filet between a bun, or just pick up a golden piece with your hands and dive in face-first. Hooters has another option that doesn't bother with taco wraps or buns. It offers guests a chicken strip sandwich that uses Texas toast as the ship holding all the culinary cargo inside. While the picture and description might look and sound top-tier, the sad truth is that the food isn't.

The sandwich consists of chicken strips tossed in whichever wing sauce you want with provolone and cheddar cheese in between two thick pieces of Texas toast. The bread here is what makes this sandwich a poor choice to order. The toast is so dense that it overtakes every bite, leaving far more toast flavor in your mouth than wing or cheese. The tenders struggle to stay present, and in the end, you just feel like you ate a ton of bread with a small side of chicken.

13. Smothered shicken sandwich

Protein needs to be smothered sometimes. That's just what our appetite occasionally craves: Take whatever meat's on the dish and dress it in a whole bunch of delicious fixings so the flavors all high-five each other in your mouth. Hooters has a smothered chicken sandwich on its menu, and while it definitely is smothered in various toppings, it might be a sandwich you'd rather not tinker with.

The sandwich comes with a filet of grilled chicken breast topped with sauteed onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and provolone cheese all served on a toasted brioche bun. Is the sandwich smothered? Yes. However, the chicken breast is too dry to allow any of the ingredients it's topped with to shine. The onions, mushrooms, and peppers are a tasty combination, and the melted provolone coats everything nicely. However, you don't want to rely on toppings for moisture when it comes to the protein. If the chicken was juicier, this would be a much better sandwich.

12. Roasted wings

As tasty as fried food is, it's absolutely the kind of cuisine you should avoid eating frequently. All of that oil just courses through your body and can put a strain on your heart after prolonged exposure. So, if you're at Hooters with a hankering for wings but want to avoid anything deep-fried, you can always opt for the roasted wings. However, just prepare yourself for a potentially underwhelming experience.

Hooters seasons the wings and roasts them until they're crispy on the outside. Obviously, the method of cooking differentiates these from most of the other wings, but you also don't get the option to choose a wing sauce. The wings only come in one flavor, so that's slightly disappointing if you have your eyes set on one of the many wing sauces. The wings are crispy, however, and each bite has a nice crunch. The Hooters website says of the wings, "When you skip the fryer, you skip half the calories!" However, it's best not to look at these as a low-calorie menu option. Per Hooters' nutritional information, these wings have fewer calories than the deep-fried options, but they're still not exactly light.

11. Fried pickles

Opposing flavors often work very well together when combined. Think of how delicious the mixture of sweet and salty or rich and vinegary is. Both tastes complement each other and make every bite super balanced. Well, that's exactly what happens with the fried pickles at Hooters. If you're looking to start your meal with something super flavorful and totally shareable, these are a solid option.

Besides the flavor, one of the greatest things about this appetizer is you get a heaping pile of fried pickle chips, so everyone at the table can enjoy a hefty amount of them. When it comes to the flavor, you get the richness of the outer seasoned breading combined with the bite of the pickles' vinegar, and the combination is great. The chips aren't overly breaded, either, so you never feel like you're consuming something too fried. The pickles taste super fresh, too, which makes each eruption of vinegary flavor extra satisfying.

10. Chocolate mousse cake

Some people just can't get enough chocolate. Heck, there are even those who would gladly have some version of chocolate at every meal throughout the day. It just has that kind of hold. Well, chocoholics everywhere are in luck if they find themselves at Hooters. One of the dessert options offered is the chocolate mousse cake, and this thing is chocolate on steroids. Just don't tell your dentist about the experience afterward.

To say this dessert is decadent would be a drastic understatement. Just looking at this slice of cake fills you up, but that's not a bad thing. The slice has three layers of rich chocolate cake with a creamy chocolate mousse in between for a wonderful texture to offset the density of the cake. The top is coated with a thick layer of icing, and the cake's spine is covered in chocolate chips. This is stick-to-your-mouth chocolate heaven, so take a bite, close your eyes, and allow yourself to get swept away in the chocolate rush.

9. Tex Mex nachos

Nachos are one of those foods you almost have to order if you're at a sports bar prepping for the big game. Everyone at the table can dig into the pile of tortilla chips slathered in a variety of delicious fixings while they wait for the show to begin. Hooters, being the massive sports bar it is, obviously serves up nachos, but they're not just any old regular tray of chips like you might be used to. Here, you can order up the Tex Mex nachos, and you should.

Fresh-made corn chips, tons of gooey cheese, your choice of either chicken or chili, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, and sour cream — that's what you're getting with this platter, and it all works. The chips are super crispy and act as fantastically crunchy vessels for all the awesome toppings. Whichever protein you choose, chicken or chili, know you're getting something super seasoned with deep rich flavor. The gooey cheese is warm and slightly salty, and the sour cream calmly cools every bite off with its tanginess. The best part of this chip tray, however, is that the chips are all spread out, which means nearly every one holds the toppings, and there's nary a dry chip in sight.

8. Smoked wings

When it comes to cooking meat, trapping a smoky flavor into the protein gives an additional layer of taste that can elevate the food immensely. Think about that fantastic smokiness that's infused into so many of the meats when you eat barbecue. It really gives a different dimension to each bite. If you happen to be looking for that lovely smokiness in one of the Hooters dishes, you should check out the smoked wings.

The wings served in this dish are marinated overnight, so they sit for hours in a seasoned bath that soaks deep into the meat for maximum flavor. Once they're pulled from the marinade, they're smoked over hickory chips to seal in the rich aroma. You can choose from one of three different dry rubs: Texas BBQ, jerk, or garlic habanero. Or, you can always get them tossed in a wing sauce instead. Either way, every wing hits you with a punch of great smoky flavor.

7. Sliders

What happens when you're craving a burger, but you really only want a few bites instead of the whole thing? That question can sometimes plague you when you go out to eat, especially at a place that has too many good options to choose from. This is exactly where the sliders at Hooters swoop in strong to answer that burning question. Splitting four miniature burgers with your friends is the perfect way to get your patty fix in without spoiling your appetite for the main course.

You have some options with this appetizer, which is nice. If you're feeling like a beef patty, you can get four of them topped with cheese, mustard, and pickles. If you want to opt for chicken instead, get the Buffalo chicken burgers with chicken tossed in your choice of wing sauce and topped with pickles. Or, go crazy and get two of each. Each burger, although small, is packed with flavor. The beef is super juicy, and the buffalo chicken has a great crunch. Both proteins are complemented by the pickle chips for a balanced bite each time.

6. Western BBQ burger

Few cuisines rival the intense richness of barbecue. Decadent cuts of meat slathered in thick smoky sauces make for a hearty meal that's packed with immense flavor. If that's the kind of experience you want when you're at Hooters, you should opt for the Western BBQ burger. Sure, it may not be authentic Southern barbecue cooking, but it comes pretty darn close to replicating that awesome taste.

This burger is stacked tall with ingredients, so know you're in for quite the mouthful when it arrives at the table. You get two super juicy beef patties topped with melted cheddar cheese, bacon, onion rings, and a thick and zesty barbecue sauce on a toasted brioche bun. The patties are dripping with flavor-packed juice, the cheese is extra gooey, the bacon adds a thin layer of additional richness, and the barbecue sauce is sweet and smokey with a little kick of heat. But it's the onion rings that stand out here. They're enormous, and they give the sandwich a much-needed sweetness.

5. Texas style cheesesteak sandwich

Everything's bigger in Texas. At least that's how the saying goes. And, if that saying has any truth to it, any menu item with the word "Texas" in it should be quite the hearty meal, right? Well, if you want to try to prove that saying true at Hooters, just order the Texas style cheesesteak sandwich and see for yourself. The size of this thing is certainly worthy of the Texas name, and the flavors it packs are in-your-face amazing.

The sandwich comes loaded with shaved steak, cheese sauce, pico de gallo, and jalapenos slathered in a spicy barbecue sauce. The steak is shaved super thin, so each juicy piece falls apart in your mouth as if it's melting. The pico de gallo is super fresh and adds a sweetness thanks to the diced tomatoes, and the cheese sauce gives everything a gooey rich texture that feels awesome on the palate. But it's the jalapenos and spicy barbecue sauce that help this sandwich blast off into greatness. Each bite has a wonderful blast of heat that wakes up your palate the way only a cheesesteak from Texas could.

4. Daytona Beach style wings

On a warm sunny day, who doesn't wish they could whisk themselves away to the beautiful shoreline of Daytona Beach, Florida, and catch some rays while watching the ocean tide crash onto shore? Unfortunately, Daytona Beach isn't exactly a hop, skip, and a jump away for most people. However, if you want to get a bit of Daytona Beach in your life while at Hooters, you can always order the Daytona Beach style wings. They may not offer you a sandy coastline with access to the sea, but they'll certainly slam you with loads of great flavor.

The wings are tossed with Hooters' signature Daytona Beach sauce, which is sweet, savory, and a little spicy. Once the wings are fried and slathered in the sauce, they spend some additional time on the grill so every bit of flavor is secured inside. The sauce is so good you'll want a cup of it on the side for additional dunking. It's the perfect balance of tanginess, spiciness, and sugar. These are the kind of wings that warrant another order or two after you're finished.

3. Caramel fudge cheesecake

Caramel. Fudge. Cheesecake. Three foods that, by themselves, are absolutely delicious. But, what if you were to combine them into one marvelous dessert that coated your mouth with such an explosion of flavor you'd have to sing its praises long after you finished eating it? Well, ladies and gentlemen, that's exactly what Hooters did with its caramel fudge cheesecake after-dinner delight. This is one dessert that nestles in your memories long after you leave Hooters, and boy what a great thing that is.

Every element of this dessert is rich and decadent. The cheesecake is dense but so creamy at the same time. The cheesecake sits on top of a layer of ridiculously chocolaty fudge, and the whole slice is topped with a thick layer of golden caramel. All three layers offer your palate a different type of sweetness, and when they marry together in your mouth, you realize you've been eating the wrong kind of cheesecake your whole life. This is how all cheesecake should be created. Also, grab a piece to go. You'll want a second later on.

2. Baja shrimp tacos

One of the best ways to enjoy the flavor of the sea is through shrimp. Biting into those little succulent morsels of delicate ocean meat causes an eruption of lightly sweet and subtly salty flavors that make you feel like you're floating in shallow waters with them. Shrimp on their own don't come loaded with strong tastes, but when they're seasoned properly, their flavor rivals any other creature from the sea. If you're looking for an amazing shrimp experience at Hooters, look no further than the Baja shrimp tacos.

These tacos are chock full of flavor even though they don't have a ton of ingredients. You get three warm flour tortillas stuffed with grilled seasoned shrimp, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and special sauce. Hooters claims it loads these tacos up with shrimp, and that's absolutely correct. Each taco is literally overflowing with the little suckers. The cabbage contributes a gentle crunch, and the tomatoes in the pico de gallo add a subtle sweetness. The special sauce, however, really leaves an impression on your palate. It's a slightly spicy, super creamy condiment that works perfectly with every other flavor and texture.

1. Twisted texas melt

It's all too common for someone to peruse a restaurant's menu and feel overwhelmed, especially if they've never been there before. There are so many options staring them in the face, and they have no clue as to what's worth their money. This exact situation can absolutely happen when dining at Hooters. What's the greatest menu option you can order? Well, pay attention, folks. If you want to leave Hooters with your socks completely blown off, there's only one thing to do: order up the Twisted Texas melt.

This sandwich tastes like it was injected with enough flavor to satisfy an entire town all at once. You get two astoundingly juicy burger patties smothered in melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, and the wonderfully sweet and spicy Daytona Beach sauce served in between two pieces of warm and buttery Texas toast. Each bite is so rich thanks to the beef patties and bacon, but the caramelized onions cartwheel in to cut through with a blast of sweetness. The cheese adds that awesome warm and gooey texture that melted cheese always does, and the Daytona Sauce marries every amazing ingredient together with its splendid sweet heat. Don't leave Hooters without trying this sandwich.