Secret menu items you can order at Five Guys

There's a lot to love about Five Guys, that build-to-order burger chain based out of Washington D.C.  

There's those bins of free, in-shell peanuts you can crack open and snack on as you wait. There's those nifty Coca-Cola Freestyle machines that let you invent your own soda flavors — like Diet Coke raspberry or ginger ale fruit punch vanilla. Then there's the fact that burger patties are formed by hand, fresh to order and never frozen.

But perhaps the greatest thing that Five Guys has going for it is its menu of free toppings, which enables you to customize your order any way you like You want a bacon burger topped with grilled mushrooms and A.1. sauce? You got it. A grilled cheese smothered in hot sauce? It's yours. A milkshake with bacon, peanut butter, salted caramel, Oreo pieces, and coffee? If you say so, you beautiful madman. 

Five Guys' unlimited free toppings policy has lead to the birth of a "secret menu" with creative recipes dreamed up by its very own fans. These tasty items go way beyond the standard burger combinations and stretch their topping menu to its limits. But don't thinking you're getting anything past them by ordering one of these items — Five Guys themselves say there's over 250,000 ways to order from their menu. You probably never thought of any of these combos before... but there's a good chance they have.

Double grilled cheese burger

Forget a boring 'ol hamburger bun. The double grilled cheese burger takes two beef patties and tucks it snugly between two individual grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ordering this one is simple: Simply asked for two grilled cheese sandwiches and a "bunless" hamburger. As with all Five Guy burgers, the bunless burger patties will be hand-shaped from never-frozen chuck and sirloin, while the exterior grilled cheeses will come with melted Kraft American cheese. The buns will be served upside-down and come out toasted until golden brown.

Top the burger patty to your heart's content with fixin's of your choosing — may we suggest throwing in some lettuce and tomatoes for a crisp, cool texture that will compliment the gooey warmness of the grilled cheese buns? If you've a bolder palate, you may want to add some jalapenos or a squirt of hot sauce. Ask nicely, and your cashier will probably make your grilled cheese burger with all its topping glory for you — no DIY assembly required.

Presidential burger

One fateful afternoon in 2009, President Barack Obama walked into a Five Guys. Our former commander in chief's healthy eating habits have been well-documented, but he is also known to have a weakness for a good burger.

On this particular day, Obama had a hankering for Five Guys. He placed several orders for his staff, and placed his own order: a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and mustard — thus making secret menu history forever.

Today, you can order Obama's favorite burger — aka "The Presidential" — at any Five Guys location. Of course, the staff may or may not know the details of Obama's order off the top of their heads, so instead of simply asking for the Presidential and getting a blank stare, you may instead want to specify you want a cheeseburger with the aforementioned toppings. "A cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and mustard" may not run off the tongue as smoothly as "the Presidential," but the delicious, Obama-beloved burger is worth the additional verbal exercise.

Nacho-style fries

A burger joint is only as good as its fries. Five Guys, happily, excels in the french fry department. The chain imports most of their potatoes from Idaho, annually purchasing 140 million pounds — more than five percent of the state's total output.

Rather than freezing fries, Five Guys fry cooks — "mad scientists" as they're called within the restaurant crew — slice up fresh potatoes by hand every morning before frying them in pure peanut oil. Fries are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and doled out in huge, heaping portions.

According to the menu, Five Guys offers fries two ways: traditional "Five Guys style" or "Cajun style." But word on the street is select Five Guys locations will also serve your fries nacho style, or covered in melted cheese, upon request. Take things a step further and throw on some bacon and/or jalapeno slices. Note that while most Five Guys toppings are free, adding cheese to your fries might set you back 50 cents or so, depending on location. Totally worth it.  

Breaking Windy City Dog

Here's another cool thing about Five Guys: they're a burger joint that serves hot dogs. And not just any hot dogs: these are all-beef, kosher, premium franks from Hebrew National. Note that hot dogs are cooked on the same grill as beef, so although the dogs are kosher, the way they're prepared is not.

Franks are split and grilled lengthwise to caramelize the exterior. The official Five Guys menu offers four varieties, including "kosher style,"  cheese, bacon, and bacon-cheese. But fans have gotten imaginative with the toppings and come up with some pretty tasty secret menu hot dog alternatives. Notably, Food Network celebrity chef Justin Warner dreamed up the Breaking Windy City Dog, which puts a cajun twist on a classic Chicago-style dog. Like a classic Chicago hot dog, the BWCD tops a frankfurter with pickles, tomatoes, relish, green peppers, and mustard. The chef adds hot sauce and a sprinkle of cajun seasoning. To order, ask for a kosher style hot dog with all the aforelisted ingredients. As for cajun seasoning on the side so you can sprinkle it on yourself.

Patty melt

The Five Guys patty melt is poignant in its simplicity. Like a traditional patty melt, the secret menu favorite takes mild-mannered burger and transforms it into a sandwich. But while a conventional patty melt calls for Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and griddled rye bread, the Five Guys patty melt diverges.

The Five Guys secret menu version is essentially a grilled cheese sandwich with a burger patty inside. Sources report that the staff will have no qualms grilling one up special for you.

To request a patty melt at Five Guys, order a grilled cheese sandwich with a burger patty — or two or three, if you're feeling invincible — and onions and your choice of toppings. In accordance to the original recipe, you can ask for grilled onions (to stand in place caramelized onions).

The melt masterpiece will come served with two slices of grilled, inside-out hamburger buns and melted Kraft cheese (not Swiss), delivering a crunchy punch on the outside and a gooey interior.

Little bacon cheeseburger bowl

For all its charms, Five Guys isn't exactly the most diet-friendly restaurant. The burger joint is often criticized for its giant portions of fries, which pack in as much as 1,314 calories for a large (compared to the 510 calories in a large order of fries at McDonald's). Their other menu options aren't exactly health food items either; their hamburger, for example, packs in 840 calories and more than 19.5 grams of saturated fat — and that's without the toppings.

That said, there are "keto" and "low-carb" friendly options at Five Guys for health-conscious fans with a bit of resourcefulness. Take the "burger bowl," for instance, beloved by fitness-minded, Five Guys-loving bloggers and Instagrammers. To score this low-carb secret menu item, ask for a bunless Little bacon cheeseburger with pickles, grilled onions, and green peppers. Steer clear of ketchup, which is loaded with carbs, and go for mayo, mustard, and/or hot sauce on top. The Five Guys' Little bacon cheeseburger bowl should set you back less than 500 calories and two net carbs.

Steak frites

Steak frites (that's steak fries in French, y'all) is a deceptively simple and delicious staple in bistros across France and Belgium. Sauces and cuts of meat may vary depending on the region, but your basic steak frite recipe calls for beef steaks seasoned with salt and pepper and doused in butter with freshly cut fries on the side.

As chef Justin Warner discovered, you can bring the flavors of a French brasserie to your local Five Guys by hacking the menu to make steak frites. To get this European-style secret menu item, ask for french fries with a bunless hamburger topped with A.1. sauce — make sure to grab some silverware. Sprinkle the patty with salt and pepper to taste. If you're dining with take-out at home, pair your super sophisticated Five Guys steak frites with wine — may we suggest a young cabernet or merlot, with a fruitiness that will play nicely with savoriness of the A1 sauce?

Animal Style-inspired burgers and fries

In-N-Out, another burger chain with a cult following, has a fairly extensive secret menu of its own. Among the most beloved are the not-so-secret "Animal Style" fries and burgers. An Animal Style burger includes mustard grilled directly into the patty, in addition to lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and special sauce. Similarly, Animal Style fries come showered in melted cheese, grilled onions, and special sauce.

Animal Style may be the invention of In-N-Out, but you can order burgers and fries at Five Guys in the style of In-N-Out Animal Style. To order an Animal Style-inspired burger, ask for a cheeseburger topped with an extra slice of cheese, grilled onions, tomatoes, and pickles (you can try and ask if they'll grill mustard into the patty, but past attempts have been unsuccessful). For Animal Style-style fries, order fries topped with cheese and grilled onions.

To DIY In-N-Out's special sauce, mix mayo, ketchup, and relish together, then douse your burger or fries in the heavenly mixture. You can have the staffers top your burger or fries with mayo, ketchup, and relish themselves, but we recommend ordering the sauces separately and mixing up them yourself to get the consistency right.

Vegetarian "BLT"

Though the Five Guys official menu only offers a traditional BLT, crafty vegetarians can hack the menu to order a "BLT" without any meat. Like vegetarian chef Richard Landau, Five Guys' knows that the rich, meaty texture and taste of mushrooms makes them a suitable substitute for bacon. Of course, the chef's recipe calls for for fancy, thinly sliced wild mushrooms, but the grilled white button mushrooms used by Five Guys  work nicely, too.

To order a vegetarian BLT from Five Guys, start by requesting a traditional BLT, which comes with six strips of American smokehouse bacon, two fresh tomato slices, mayo, and hand-torn lettuce on a bun. But, ask them to hold the bacon and replace it with grilled mushrooms. To replace the crunch of the bacon, ask your cashier to throw in some jalapeno peppers into the sandwich for good measure. For a bit of protein, go wild and request a slice of melted cheese.

Chip butty

Beloved by Brits, the English chip butty — also known as a "chip sandwich" or "chip cob" — is essentially a french fry sandwich. The carby concoction is traditionally made by serving french fries on white bread with a generous slathering of cold butter. Different variations may also call for ketchup or malt vinegar.

Maybe you're carb-loading for a marathon. Maybe you're curious about British pub cuisine. Or maybe you're just really drunk. Whatever your reason might be, if you find yourself craving a french fry sandwich, Five Guys can make it for you. To order a Five Guys-style chip butty, order a Little order of fries inside of an untoasted bun,and try to ignore any perplexed looks from the other customers. You might not be able to order butter or malt vinegar, but you can top your chip butty with plenty of ketchup to break up what is otherwise just a plain white pile of starch — and there's plenty of malt vinegar right there on the table.

Extra-chunky chocolate peanut butter bacon protein shake

In addition to custom burgers, dogs, and fries, Five Guys lets you design your very own milkshakes. Shakes are hand-spun from vanilla ice cream and served with your choice of unlimited mix-ins. Choose from yummy ingredients like cherries, peanut butter, strawberries, bananas, chocolate, sea-salted caramel, and bacon. That's right. Crumbled applewood-smoked bonafide bacon.

For a creamy treat that is — bonus! — packed with protein, go for the extra-chunky peanut butter bacon milkshake. The secret menu heavy-protein shake blends savory peanut butter, real peanuts, and bacon with sweet honey, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream.

The extra-chunky creation requires a little leg work on your part to make, so get ready. Start by ordering milkshake with peanut butter, chocolate, and bacon. For the extra chunky part, grab a handful of complimentary peanuts from the bin, crack them out of their shells, and crush them up inside a paper bag. Sprinkle the crushed peanuts atop your milkshake and enjoy.  

Jalapeno popper sandwich

Wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cream cheese, jalapeno poppers are an irresistible tex-mex appetizer. The secret menu jalapeno popper at grilled cheese from Five Guys delivers everyone's favorite fiery appetizer in sandwich form.

You can try the jalapeno popper sandwich yourself the next time you pop by the burger joint by ordering a grilled cheese sandwich. But instead of stopping at a mild-mannered grilled cheese, ask if your sandwich can be topped with extra cheese, bacon, and jalapenos. The applewood-smoked bacon will give your grilled Kraft Singles a nice crunch while the fresh jalapenos add a bite.

Fair warning: the fresh jalapenos can pack some heat. If you have timider taste buds, we suggests pairing it with the extra-chunky chocolate peanut butter milkshake listed above. The cool vanilla ice cream will soothe your fiery taste buds, the bacon crumbles will complement the bacon strips in the sandwich, and the overload of sugar and carbs will likely cause you to fall into a tranquil, post-meal nap in your Five Guys booth.

Thai lettuce wrap

Here's another one from the imagination of madman/genius chef Justin Warner: a Five Guys Thai-style lettuce wrap, or as he calls it The Probably-Not-Worth-the-Work-or-Weird-Looks Thai Lettuce Wrap. The PNWTWOWL Thai lettuce wraps draws inspiration from the common Thai restaurant appetizer, which in turn is an adaptation of the traditional Southeast Asian larb salad. Fair warning: as its title suggests, this Five Guys secret menu item does require some effort and a bit of chutzpah.

To try the Five Guys-ified version of the Southeast Asian larb salad, start by ordering a bunless hamburger in a lettuce wrap. In place of hoisin and chili sauces, ask that the patty be topped with steak sauce and jalapenos. Next, grab a handful of peanuts from the complimentary bin, crack them open, and crumble them onto the meat. Use the lettuce as a kind of tortilla-like vessel to shovel the delicious fillings into your face and decide for yourself if it's worth the weird looks.

The Artery Annihilator

This one we found deep in the bowels of Reddit. It was shared by a Five Guys cook, who assures everyone that Five Guys cooks will usually "make whatever you want" as long as they have the ingredients. The Artery Annihilator fuses the Five Guys hot dog and bacon cheeseburger into one, beautiful tower of meat.

To order an Artery Annihilator, ask for a bacon cheeseburger and request that a hot dog be sliced in half and laid on top of the patty. Pile on desired ingredients. If artery annihilation truly is your goal, why hold back? Slather on the mayo and barbecue sauce and pair with a large order of fries and a bacon milkshake with whipped cream (might as well pour some vodka in there, if you have any). Pay a friend to mash up your meal and feed you so you don't accidentally burn off any calories while lifting food to your mouth or chewing. Smoke a celebratory cigar or two when finished. Disclaimer: Don't actually do all that, ever. But the sandwich is probably tasty.

Sloppy Joe

There is some debate over the true origins of the Sloppy Joe. Some claim the sandwich was born in Sioux City Iowa, where a chef name Joe created  a loose meat sandwiches with tomato sauce. Others postulate that the Sloppy Joe was born in Cuba by a bar owner named José Abeal y Otero had a reputation for being untidy. Inspired by the nickname given to him by his regulars, the less-than-neat owner changed the name of the establishment to "Sloppy Joe's" and started serving a sandwich with the same name made of ground beef and stewed tomatoes to complement the drink menu.    

Wherever the sandwich came from, the Sloppy Joe found its way into the American mainstream in the 20th century. It reached its heyday in the late '60s, when the Manwich — essentially canned Sloppy Joe sauce — was released into grocery stores nationwide.

Though the popularity of the Sloppy Joe has waned as more Instagrammable dishes become en vogue, you can still reminisce over the flavors of the classic ground beef sandwich at Five Guys. Just order a burger with grilled green peppers, grilled onions, ketchup, and barbecue sauce. The combination of ground chuck and tomato-based sauces tastes exactly like a Sloppy Joe, apparently.