Fast Food Menu Items You Probably Haven't Tried Before

In the ever-evolving world of fast food, restaurant chains constantly introduce new and unique items to their menus. It's a common marketing strategy that keeps customers coming through the doors. But it's not always easy to find each item. Sometimes these morsels are offered for a brief period, are seasonal or regional items, or are foods the chains bring back from time to time. With the rapid cycling of these items, it can be easy to miss out on these delicious and unique menu offerings.

Some of these fast food menu items are so rare that you might not have heard of them at all, whether they are within your geographical reach or not. Interested in going on a fast food hunt? We've got the low down on some lesser-known but incredibly tasty options from popular chains. From the Taco Bell Spicy Potato Soft Taco to the Smashburger Double Mac & Cheese Burger, try and catch these sometimes rare and often yummy fast food gems if you can.

1. Jack in the Box Pineapple Express Red Bull Infusion

In 2023, Jack in the Box introduced a tropical energy drink that combines the power of Red Bull Yellow Edition with the flavors of pineapple and passion fruit. Known as the Jack in the Box Pineapple Express Red Bull Infusion, it was released alongside the chain's Pineapple Express Chicken sandwich, shake, and air fresheners. 

The items were released just ahead of 4/20, a popular marijuana-themed occasion, and likely pay homage to the movie of the same name. The shake was even sold on April 20 for $4.20. 

The Jack in the Box Pineapple Express Red Bull Infusion was only available at participating locations, but customers who got their hands on it had mixed feelings. Some enjoyed the treat, while others were unimpressed. Some Redditors appreciated its strong syrup taste but found the combination of the two fruits and the energy drink to be a bit perplexing.

2. Taco Bell Steak Chile Verde Fries Burrito

Taco Bell is no stranger to innovative menu items, and the Steak Chile Verde Fries Burrito is no exception. This creation features tender steak, zesty Chile Verde sauce, crispy seasoned fries, and warm nacho cheese wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. The result is a heavenly combination of flavors and textures that has quickly become a fan favorite.

The key to the Steak Chile Verde Fries Burrito's exceptional taste is the Chile Verde sauce. This tangy, flavorful sauce is made from a blend of jalapeño, herbs, and lime that give the burrito a satisfying kick that counters the creaminess of the cheese

Customers also had the option to enjoy the same toppings over fries instead of in a burrito. Both can be made vegetarian if you ask. The limited-time offering was released in May 2023 with fans promptly praising it as a highlight of the menu. Some customers, however, were disappointed to find that it wasn't available at their location. But many of those who did find it fell in love. "This burrito is crazy good. I was driving while eating it and I turned on the overhead light to look at it because it was so good," a Redditor wrote.

3. Sonic Fritos Chili Cheese Jr. Wrap

The Sonic Fritos Chili Cheese Jr. Wrap is a beloved limited-time offering that was brought back to the menu in 2020. This tasty creation consists of a flour tortilla filled with chili, cheddar cheese sauce, and Fritos corn chips. It proved to be like a chili cheese Fritos pie but with the convenience of a handheld snack. Since this was a "Jr." offering, it sold for only 99 cents that year. The chain brought the wrap back for summer 2022, so it's possible it will do so yet again.

Sonic has long been known for its innovative menu items and adaptability, including its responsiveness to customer demand and dedication to staying ahead of the fast food game. Customer preference is actually how the menu item came to be. "Adding the uniquely delicious and salty bite of Fritos, chili, and cheese was something many had to hack menus to get, and now, people can order their faves in three crave-able ways right from their cars." the chain's vice president of product innovation and development said in a press release.

Sonic must know its fans well because reviews showed the Fritos Chili Cheese Jr. Wrap was a hit. "Finally got around to trying this item at Sonic. It's pretty good, IMO. If you have a Sonic in your area and you're missing the chili cheese burrito it's worth a try," a customer said on Reddit.

4. Chick-fil-A Kale Crunch Side

When one thinks of fast food, kale might be the last thing that comes to mind. But the Chick-fil-A Kale Crunch Side wanted to bring customers a nutritious and tasty alternative to its more traditional offerings of fried chicken sandwiches. This refreshing salad features a blend of curly kale and green cabbage that's tossed in an apple cider and Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The dish is then topped with salty roasted almonds for added texture and flavor. Some locations even serve it as a full-sized salad.

At only 170 calories and 4 grams of protein, it's a much lighter option compared to many other fast food sides, including Chick-fil-A's side salad, which checks in at 470 calories. At a chain that's famous for its chicken, many might be unaware this flavorful leafy option is available.

Some customers who have tried this side liked it so much that they started to use it in their Chick-fil-A creations. One fan on Reddit suggested putting it on top of a spicy chicken sandwich. Others said they were pleased to be able to order healthy fast food options. "I order it every day. It tastes great and makes me feel better than eating fries every day.," an employee wrote on Reddit.

5. Wendy's Curry Bean Burger

Unless you've been to the U.K. or Mexico, you probably haven't tried the Wendy's Curry Bean Burger. Made with a veggie patty that includes black beans and chickpeas, it's served with a slice of Monterrey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and curry mayo on a toasted bun. A reviewer on the chain's TikTok account seemed to think so saying, "Honestly it really hit the spot. That curry mayo is on another level."

It's the sole item under the "Veggie Options" section on the chain's United Kingdom and Mexico menu. There currently isn't a category for vegetarians on the U.S. site. Both the UK and Mexico websites also have pages that link to an item called "The Veggie Stack," a sandwich that comes with a patty made from vegetables, grains, and spices, and gets a topping of lettuce, tomato, and Emmental cheese.

In 2021, Wendy's U.S. tested a similar item called the Spicy Black Bean Burger in Jacksonville, Columbus, and Pittsburgh. This patty added paprika and chipotle pepper and was topped with melted pepper jack cheese. But if you're looking for a vegetarian option without heat, you'll have to head to the U.K. or Mexico for the Curry Bean Burger.

6. Taco Bell Spicy Potato Soft Taco

In 2014, Taco Bell introduced the Spicy Potato Taco as a replacement for its Crispy Potato Soft Taco, which had a pepper jack sauce instead of a spicy chipotle one. The new taco is made with deep-fried potato bits, shredded cheese, lettuce, and spicy sauce in a soft tortilla. It has become a fan favorite due to its unique combination of flavors and textures, offering a pleasant alternative to the usual meat-based tacos.

The item was pulled in 2020 in an attempt to streamline the menu. According to customers on Reddit, the result was a mess and fans were quite furious. Some even got a bit fanatical, like a Missouri man who purchased three tacos shortly after the discontinuation was announced. He immediately tossed them in his freezer and tried to sell them on Facebook Marketplace for $200 saying. Yet no one seemed to want them as badly as the Missouri man thought they would, considering the tacos are still up for sale as of June 2023.

Thankfully, the Spicy Potato Soft Taco was brought back in 2021 along with Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes in an effort to bring more vegetarian items to the menu, where it remains as of June 2023.

7. Popeyes Onion Rings

Unbeknownst to many, Popeyes has been known to offer onion rings every now and then. These crispy, golden rings of fried goodness are an ideal complement to any of the chain's chicken meals. The company has been selling them as far back as 2009. One location advertised them in October 2022 as a "new" item. Unfortunately, they seem to come and go off the menu and are not available at all locations.

In response to the disappearance of Popeyes Onion Rings, fans started a petition on to bring them back in May 2022. These fans claimed that their beloved onion rings were the best side on the menu. Some even said the golden rings were the only reason they ate at the chain. "It's not a true Popeyes meal until I get my onion rings. Asking politely Popeyes, please bring them back soon!" one wrote on the petition.

8. Jack in the Box Bacon All-American Ribeye Steakhouse Burger

Jack in the Box introduced its Bacon All-American Ribeye Steakhouse Burger as a limited-time premium option made with a 100% ribeye beef patty topped with natural cheddar cheese, smoky aioli, hickory-smoked bacon, red onion, lettuce, and tomato on a toasted potato bun. The regular version of the All-American Steakhouse Burger comes without the bacon.

This item was dropped in April 2023, which was unsurprising given that Jack in the Box has a history of offering limited-time burgers like 2017's All-American and Havarti & Grilled Onion varieties. A year later, it added the Blue Cheese & Bacon Ribeye Burger to the lineup. The Bacon All-American Ribeye Steakhouse Burger was the latest addition to this delicious burger family, with a distinctive smoky flavor and big crunch thanks to that bacon. Reviewers were especially pleased with the distinctive aioli, which paired well with the ribeye burger itself.

9. Smashburger Double Mac & Cheese Burger

The Smashburger Double Mac & Cheese Burger deserves a moment in the spotlight. Just looking at a photo of it makes you want to rush to your closest location to chow down. Unfortunately, it was only available at limited locations when it was released in February 2023. This burger is topped with a generous serving of mac and cheese, which is then pressed on the griddle to form a perfectly circular, caramelized layer before being landing atop a certified Angus burger.

The combination of smashed mac and cheese with a similarly smashed burger patty creates a delightful harmony of flavors and textures. The caramelization of the macaroni enhances the sweet and savory notes of the dish, which the thick consistency keeps everything together. This burger is a fun and delicious experience that will leave you full, satisfied, and feeling really comfy.

You can also order it with different protein bases instead of a beef burger, including turkey, chicken, or black bean patties so everyone can enjoy the creamy cheesy goodness. The Smashburger Double Mac & Cheese Burger comes without other toppings, so you may want to ask for pickles, ketchup, or onions.

10. McDonald's McLobster

Looking for an inexpensive way to enjoy a luxurious lobster roll? Well, look no further than the McDonald's McLobster, but that's only if you live in New England or parts of Canada and your particular McDonald's location carries it in the summer months. This seasonal offering from the Golden Arches comes with chunks of Atlantic lobster that arrives at restaurants frozen and is then thawed out. It's mixed with mayo and shredded lettuce and served on a buttery bun.

Though you may be wondering if a fast food giant like McDonald's can do this summertime treat justice, reviewers have been impressed by the large pieces of claw meat in the sandwich and overall found it exceeded their expectations. Over on Facebook, KBDProductionsTV raved that the McDonald's McLobster is nothing less than a must-try for seafood and lobster lovers that he wished was a permanent fixture on the menu.

11. Del Taco Carnitas & Guac Epic Torta

The Del Taco Carnitas & Guac Epic Torta is a mouth-watering combination of tender, slow-cooked carnitas, creamy guacamole made fresh in-house from California avocados, secret sauces, and crispy lettuce that's all served on a toasted torta bun. The sandwich is part of the chain's limited-time carnitas lineup that was launched in May 2023 to celebrate shredded pork's return to the chain's menu.

With its generous portions of both carnitas and fresh guacamole, the Carnitas & Guac Epic Torta is hearty and satisfying. The warm, toasted torta bun adds an extra layer of indulgence, making it perfect for those seeking a more substantial fast-food option.

YouTube reviewer Peep THIS Out! found the meat to be extremely flavorful and the torta to have an abundance of ingredients that you can taste in every bite. Fans chiming into the comments section below heartily agreed with his verdict.

12. Bojangles' Pimento Cheese Biscuit

Bojangles', already well known for its fast food take on Southern fare, brought a classic down-home favorite to its menu in 2019 with its pimento cheese spread. This beloved country delicacy is made from three types of cheeses, mayo, and diced pimento peppers. The promotion offered it on the chain's famous buttermilk biscuits or its Cajun Chicken Biscuit sandwich. Before it came to all Bojangles' stores, the offering was first tested in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Bojangles' version of pimento cheese is soft, with a just-right texture and a hint of heat from the pepper. It simultaneously cools down and kicks up the Cajun Chicken Biscuit to create a harmonious balance of flavors and textures.

The Pimento Cheese Biscuit was offered as a limited-time promotion, but it's still on the company's online menu in the individual biscuits section. But you'll have to find a Bojangles' location first, most of which are located in the Carolinas and Georgia. What's more, it's an easily overlooked item at a chain that's famous for its chicken-based offerings.

13. Taco Bell California Crunchwrap

Inspired by the flavors of California, the Taco Bell California Crunchwrap brought a refreshing way to start your morning when it launched in April 2023 as a limited-time item. Filled with eggs, bacon, hash browns, diced tomatoes, and guacamole in a grilled tortilla, this provided a comforting and filling morning meal without being loaded down with meat. The avocado lightened up the smoky bacon and paired perfectly with the salty crunch of fried potato. 

Taco Bell partnered with comedian Pete Davidson to promote the California Crunchwrap. Davidson's casual morning show-inspired character perfectly embodied the laid-back California vibe and the chain's unfussy breakfast offerings. 

Users on TripAdvisor claim to have eaten food approximating the California Crunch Wrap as far back as 2016. So, depending on how this menu item fares, it could very well be something that moves on and off the menu and which you'll have to catch if you can.

14. Taco John's Mexican Donut Bites

Taco John's Mexican Donut Bites are bite-sized pastries that offer a fast food version of a Latin American favorite known as sopaipillas, not to mention a sweet and satisfying treat that's well suited to any time of day. Rolled in cinnamon sugar with cream cheese icing poured on top, these delicious morsels are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth. The item was first officially offered in 2014 after customers kept asking for them.

"Instead of ordering Cini-Sopapilla Bites as originally offered, with either cinnamon sugar or icing, we saw guests consistently asking for the dessert with both toppings. So we decided to combine the two flavors and call the new dessert Mexican Donut Bites," Taco John's VP for Menu Strategy and Innovation said in a press release. Some customers say they even eat dessert first at Taco John because these things are so good.