Steak 'N Shake Secret Menu Items To Try

Steak 'n Shake is a classic American fast food chain that's been serving up monster milkshakes and seared steakburgers since the 1930s. The small Midwest burger franchise has seen highs, such as massive franchise expansion, and lows, like embarrassing lawsuits and a flirtation with bankruptcy. Through it all, its candy-filled milkshakes and thin, crispy burgers have remained relatively unchanged. As far as the rest of the menu is concerned, however, we can't say the same. 

That's because the core Steak 'n Shake menu has evolved with the times. For instance, 24-hour locations have robust breakfast menus and more milkshake combinations than you can shake a stick at. Some items have stood the test of time, like the 's Frisco Melt, while others, like its famous shooters, have sadly gone to the wayside. 

As with many popular fast food spots, there are certain secret menu items that may not be officially printed on the menu a server provides, but loyal Steak 'n Shake customers nevertheless know exist. Want to be in on it? We dove deep into the internet to uncover some must-try secret menu items at Steak 'n Shake. Here are a few ways to make the most out of your next visit.

Customizing flavors of any shake

It's hard to eat at Steak 'n Shake without ordering a sugary milkshake at the end of your meal. But why not have an occasional treat? The milkshake menu is always changing, with seasonal and limited-edition flavors making appearances from time to time. Why stop there? One former Steak 'n Shake employee took to Twitter to reveal that if you're sick of the traditional mainstay milkshakes, you can also customize them. 

You can order any of the chain's milkshakes with mix-ins like candy and cookies with a different classic flavor base instead of the usual vanilla. The only true limit here is your imagination. The former employee suggested a combination like a banana milkshake with fudge inside the cup. A separate Twitter user and Steak 'n Shake fan mentioned their own unique order of an Oreo milkshake with strawberry ice cream as the unique base.

7x7 burger

Steak 'n Shake steakburgers are pretty thin, so it's not shocking when someone dealing with a big appetite orders a burger with two or even three patties between the two hamburger buns. However, there is one secret menu item that is meant to be ordered after-hours and only for the most daring of meat eaters: the 7x7 burger. 

True to its name, Steak 'n Shake's 7x7 burger features seven cheese-draped patties between two buns. Yes, it's as massive as it sounds. It costs $7.77, of course. Previously, customers were only able to order the sandwich between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. Finishing a 7x7 steakburger by itself is impressive, let alone with an order of fries and a milkshake. 

It's not exactly health food, either. The 7x7 contains more than 1500 calories and over 100 grams of fat, so it's definitely not something to replace your typical Steak 'n Shake order (via Fast Food News). Still, assuming you're seriously hungry, it is fun to order once and see how much of this massive sandwich you can finish. 

Milkshakes with real ice cream

Due to the volume of shakes that are made at any given Steak 'n Shake location, the workers there have the milkshake process down to a science. That includes having a base for milkshakes ready to go rather than scooping from pints of hard ice cream for every individual other. Reddit user r/debotehzombie, who previously worked at Steak 'n Shake, has a hack to make your ice cream sweeter and more creamy Simply order it with real ice cream instead of the base. "The shake base we normally use is 17% butterfat and has barely any flavor," they explained. The ice cream, meanwhile, is a far richer option with 40% butterfat.

Please note that it's probably not a good idea to make this time-consuming order if you can tell the restaurant is swamped. However, so long as you're not stressing employees, order this and see if you can notice the difference the next time you're at a Steak 'n Shake during a lull. 

Chili cheese chicken

Reddit user and former Steak 'n Shake employee u/debotehzombie had plenty of good ideas when it comes to hacking the fast food chain's menu. The biggest revelation they made is that you can pretty much make whatever custom meal you can imagine, so long as you stick to the ingredients listed on the menu. 

For starters, try what the former employee dubbed "chili cheese chicken." For this meal, order chicken strips and ask them to be topped with chili and cheese, just add if the chicken were cheesy fries. Chili is an underrated dish at this burger joint. What's more, this protein-heavy option is a nice change of pace from regular chicken tenders dipped in sauce. Just remember that this is not a courteous move to make if your local Steak 'n Shake is really busy. If you've still got that craving, there's a workaround that can keep staff on your side. Order chili, chicken strips, and a side of melted cheese, then assemble the dish at the table to save the hardworking kitchen staff some time. 

Side-by-side shake

One TikTok user who also happens to work at a Steak 'n Shake decided to make an effort to educate others on  secret menu items available at the chain. The person shouted out the 7x7 steakburger that we've already discussed, as well as a dessert-drink hybrid called the "side-by-side milkshake." To create this, Steak 'n Shake will allow you to enjoy two classic milkshake flavors in one Instagram-worthy glass. All you have to do is just say the word. The classic flavors include all the milkshakes without mix-ins — chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana. 

Need inspiration? You can make a classic chocolate and vanilla swirl shake, or get creative with flavors inspired by chocolate covered strawberries and bananas. This creative treat reportedly used to be on Steak 'n Shake's regular milkshake menu. However, even though it's technically not listed there anymore, this worker ensures us that most locations will still make the side-by-side milkshake if you just ask nicely. 

Root beer float

Root beer floats are standard diner libations, but they aren't always printed on the menus of mainstream restaurant chains unless the chain in question has a novelty recipe up its sleeve. Regardless, it's a pretty foolproof drink that any diner with vanilla ice cream in the freezer and root beer on tap should be willing to whip up. Steak 'n Shake is apparently no different. One Twitter user praised one accommodating Steak 'n Shake employee who made them an off-the-menu root beer and ice cream float during a 2020 visit to one location. As always, a clear order and good manners seems to be key.

Steak 'n Shake clearly lists Barq's root beer on its printed menu, a brand that we think is the perfect companion to some creamy vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry on top. If you want to get even more creative, try an ice cream float with a different sort of soda, such as Coke, Dr Pepper, or even some Fanta orange soda for a creamsicle-inspired shake. 

Loaded ranch fries

Cheese fries are assuredly part of any good trip to Steak 'n Shake, but some loyal customers of the fast food chain have a better idea: loaded fries. One TikTok user made a step-by-step tutorial of how to make loaded fries at Steak 'n Shake. It starts with the chain's basic crispy shoestring fries, then loads it all up with ranch and cheese sauce. As for employees to add crumbled bacon on top before heating up the entire plate. 

Loaded fries are another secret menu item that are almost endlessly customizable. Consider cutting up your chicken tenders or steakburger patty and throw the pieces on top of the fries for even more meat. Or, you can switch up the sauces by adding in some Frisco sauce instead of ranch. Or, better yet, try all three sauces on one plate. Milkshakes and burgers get all the hype at Steak 'n Shake, but why let those menu items have all the fun? This is an excellent way to make the fries the star of your meal. 

Buffalo chicken strips

For those who aren't into a chili cheese chicken extravaganze, there are plenty of other simple ideas you can deploy to add some zest to an otherwise typical plate of chicken fingers. For example, Steak 'n Shake offers several different dipping sauces that can help transform plain chicken fingers into a pretty good replacement for boneless wings. Toss your chicken fingers with Buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce, or even the signature Steak 'n Shake Frisco sauce and you could very well feel as if you're eating an entirely different meal. 

One Reddit user claims that chicken tenders covered in Buffalo sauce used to be a part of the Steak 'n Shake "late night" menu, but have since disappeared from the formal ineup. Luckily, this is a pretty easy recipe to recreate right in the diner booth. You can also ask your server for extra-crispy chicken tenders, so they maintain their crunch underneath all of that sauce. Even if you opt to eat the tenders plain, we think that ordering them extra-crispy makes them even more mouth-watering. 

Order a cheaper Frisco Melt

The Frisco Melt is a Steak 'n Shake classic that will seemingly never leave the menu. It also seems to be a sandwich that people either love or hate. If you're someone who must order a Frisco Melt whenever you're at Steak 'n Shake, there is one way to order it that will help you save a little bit of money. Reddit user u/uhwhatwasisayin shared the hack with fellow Steak 'n Shake fans who like to make every penny count. "Instead of ordering the famous Frisco Melt, order a double with cheese from the four dollar menu and get sourdough instead of a bun," they suggested. For a small surchage, then add Swiss cheese, followed by a free serving of Thousand Island dressing. Given that a Frisco Melt can cost you upwards of $6, this move can save you at least a few cents.

Another Redditor who used to work at a Steak 'n Shake suggests only ordering this secret menu item when the restaurant isn't super busy. "Please don't yell at your server if they don't do this. It's their job vs. your dollar. If it's super busy, don't be shocked or mean if your order is messed up slightly," they wrote.