31 Popular Applebee's Menu Items, Ranked Worst To Best

For tasty casual dining, one of the most popular places to pop into for an assortment of appetizers or a wholesome meal followed by a decadent dessert happens to be Applebee's. In fact, it's such a hot spot for lunch or dinner that it's part of a pop-country song called "Fancy" Like by Walker Hayes. There's even a TikTok where you dance to the lyrics "Yeah, we fancy like Applebee's on a date night. Got that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake. Get some whipped cream on the top, too. Two straws, one check, girl, I got you."

But it's not just the Bourbon Street steak that tastes fantastic at Applebee's. There's a whole host of amazing appetizers, side and main dishes, along with desserts, that are available to order. There's also a long list of fun drinks to imbibe in if you so choose. So when you open up that big menu, how on Earth do you choose what to nosh on? Well, let us help you out with some suggestions and recommendations of what we think are some awfully tasty options at Applebee's. Plan your next date night like Walker Hayes, or a fun-filled eating fest for dinner with the fam. Either way, you'll walk away from Applebee's full and happy.

31. Buffalo chicken wedge salad

A classic wedge salad, you'll have to wrestle your way through this chunky and clunky salad. Instead of brimming with healthy wisps of dark green leaves, this salad consists of chunks of a head of lettuce that's topped with even bigger chunks of boneless Buffalo chicken wings. It's really not a good combination. Even the breadstick served on the side doesn't save this salad from disaster. It's definitely one Applebee's item we would suggest you skip. While we love the bits of tomato, small slices of celery, and dots of red onion, this salad is simply an odd assortment of individual food items thrown onto one plate.

30. Four Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders

The Four Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders is another one of those food fusions that probably shouldn't be attempted. The four cheese mac & cheese tastes delish as a dish all on its own, even with chunks of applewood-smoked bacon infused throughout, but the whole flavor profile is altered and not for the better when it's topped with the honey pepper chicken tenders that are hotter than they are sweet. Honey pepper just doesn't go well with a four-cheese sauce but if separated, these dishes would taste great as standalone items. Let's hope Applebee's revises this menu item for the better. 

29. Double-glazed baby back ribs

Served as either a full or a half rack of ribs with a side of fries, we found the Double-glazed baby back ribs to be lacking. Sure, they're slow-cooked to a threshold where the meat falls off the bone, but the choices of sauces to slather across the ribs just don't hold up, leaving this dish less than tasty. If you're wanting ribs, definitely go to a rib shack or barbecue joint where you can get ribs done right. But if you really have your heart set on ribs and you end up at Applebee's, select the double-glazed baby back ribs before you order the riblets.

28. Tex Mex Shrimp Bowl

The grilled chipotle lime shrimp is a bit too overpowering for the Tex-Mex Shrimp Bowl at Applebee's. Served on a bed of mixed greens with helpings of cilantro rice, homemade pico de gallo, black bean corn salsa, and guacamole, there is a myriad of flavors going on and not all are good. Served with a lime wedge and topped with crispy strips, certain components of this dish taste fantastic, but when mixed all together as you do with an Irresist-A-Bowl, it just doesn't go down well. The salsa is amazing on its own, the rice is delicious, the pico de gallo tastes fantastic, but when blended together it's too many flavors and not good ones, we'll have to admit.

27. Double Crunch Shrimp

The Double Crunch Shrimp at Applebee's just doesn't float our boat. There's way too much breading, hence the double crunch part of this dish. Granted, the breading is similar to that of the delicious onion rings offered up on the menu as an appetizer, but it's too overpowering with this dish. It hides the fresh seafood flavor of the shrimp and tastes pretty bland. The fries it comes with aren't anything special, but we always dig the cup of coleslaw that accompanies this dish on the side. Maybe this menu item would taste better if it didn't have "double crunch," but instead have a light coating.

26. Garlicky green beans

One word exists for this side dish most of the time — yum! But it honestly depends on who is whipping it up in the kitchen. Not enough garlicky butter sauce drizzled across the crisp yet still tender green beans and they taste like a bland garden. Blech. Get a bit too much of the garlicky butter sauce in a bite and you'll be gulping water from your glass to wash down the overpowering flavor. While they're a fantastically fine side dish most of the time, you may not get a good batch and so they can be a bit of a gamble to order.

25. Quesadilla burger

Described by Applebee's as part burger and part quesadilla, this quesadilla burger combination just plain looks icky to us. With slices of pepper jack cheese melted atop burger patties and wedges of flour tortillas used instead of buns, this burger is a double-decker that doesn't even sound good, let alone look good. The Mexi-ranch dressing doesn't help improve the flavor much, nor does the shredded lettuce and chunks of tomatoes. This is one menu item we have to pass on. It's too creative of a dish to try at a casual dining restaurant like Applebee's. Just order the quesadilla or the burger, but not this offbeat combo. 

24. Brew pub pretzels with beer cheese dip

These soft Bavarian-style pretzel sticks smattered with salt granules and baked with butter are delicious, but they're so dense that they're too much to handle. They're thicker than breadsticks, tougher and chewier, and make you work pretty hard to enjoy this appetizer. The white cheddar beer cheese may sound intriguing, but it's best to not investigate this mystery dip. The pretzel sticks taste a wee bit weird in the honey dijon mustard sauce, too. If you don't mind chewing pretty heartily on your appetizers, then you won't mind this dish, Otherwise, we suggest swapping it out for another.

23. Chicken tenders

While the chicken tenders at Applebees are so much tastier than any chicken tenders you'd order at, say McDonald's or elsewhere, they aren't the best menu item to order unless you're a preschooler. It's surprising that they're on the menu as an option for adults, but there's nothing that makes them really stand out from among other eateries' tenders other than they're bigger, so they contain more white meat than the bite-sized alternatives at fast food joints. There are much more flavorful dishes to order off the menu at Applebee's, so we'd suggest skipping this one and finding something else that's tastier.

22. Hand-battered fish & chips

If you are looking for seafood, skip the hand-battered fish and chips available on the menu at Applebee's. They're too greasy and a sad knock-off from what you'd see at an actual seafood restaurant, or even if you made fish and chips at home. Sure the fish is light and flaky, but it just doesn't taste right. If you're seeking seafood, we would try one of the other dishes like the Shrimp n' Parmesan Sirloin or the Classic Blackened Shrimp Alfredo bowl. But we do give two thumbs up to the tiny black cup of coleslaw that accompanies the bland "chips" or French fries. It's pretty good.

21. Quesadilla chicken salad

If you enjoy a good salad and love quesadillas both, then the quesadilla chicken salad might be for you. But we just don't think it's terribly tasty. Fresh garden greens sit on a bed of crispy quesadillas oozing with cheese and chopped tomatoes. The salad also features cubed chunks of grilled chicken, tangy black bean corn salsa, and crispy tortilla strips. The house-made fresh cilantro ranch dressing features an intriguing taste but isn't one that we'd recommend. There are some foods that shouldn't be fused together and this we believe is one of them. There's just too much going on here for our tastebuds.

20. Three Cheese Chicken Penne

A delicious and beautiful blend of asiago, Parmesan, and white cheddar cheeses blanket a bowl filled with penne noodles to make a rich and creamy three cheese chicken penne dish that ranks at a solid place for us on the Applebee's menu. Grilled chicken strips plunked down atop the bed of penne noodles and dotted with bruschetta tomatoes give sustenance and texture to this tasty dish. A golden brown breadstick brushed with buttery garlic and parsley makes the perfect sidekick to this pasta dish that we think is pretty darn good. We give it two thumbs up.

19. White queso dip & chips

Nacho chips and salsa are a mainstay appetizer at Applebee's, but when you swap out the salsa for white queso dip, you take the taste buds on a whole new journey. Queso is a cheese dip infused with salsa, but it's typically yellow cheese. When you swap out the yellow cheese for white cheese and add in onions and green chile, it becomes a zesty and creamy cheese dip that tastes terrific before your main dish arrives. White queso dip can be made with white American cheese and a sprinkling of pepper jack or Monterey jack and jalapenos for some kick.

18. Whisky Bacon Burger

The rich flavor that Fireball whisky lends to the Whisky Bacon Burger is surprising. This all-beef patty topped with two slices of pepper jack cheese, crispy onions, two strips of applewood-smoked bacon, along with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, is soooo tempting when checking out the menu at Applebee's. The thicker buttery Brioche bun used for this burger adds an extra dimension to this dish that bursts with flavor. The classic fries it's served with could use a bit more seasoning, but this burger really stands out on its own as one that will fill you up and quickly become a favorite.

17. Classic bacon cheeseburger

If you love cheeseburgers, you'll really dig Applebee's classic cheeseburger and its pal the classic bacon cheeseburger. They're so thick and juicy you'll have to smush it down with your hands or be prepared to take gigantic bites — it's that big! The all-beef patty is topped with two slices of melted American cheese and served with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles on that delicious buttery and thick Brioche bun for the classic cheeseburger. This burger definitely stands out among other restaurants' offerings. Served alongside seasoned classic fries, both the classic cheeseburger and classic bacon cheeseburger topped with two strips of applewood-smoked bacon are amazing tasting. Can you say yum?!

16. Onion rings

Applebee's onion rings are one of the best appetizers on the menu. They're fairly heavily breaded and dotted with seasonings — but not too breaded — and come with a couple of different dipping sauces. This amazing appetizer consists of thick rings of onion that don't skimp on flavor. One thing we really love about this appetizer is that the onion rings aren't greasy. Sometimes when you have thinly sliced onions, there's more breading — too much, if you ask us. But these onion rings are the perfect pairing of crispy breading and thick onion slices that don't drip with unwanted grease.

15. Tuscan garden chicken salad

For a light lunch or healthy dinner, the Tuscan garden chicken salad is a hit. With its blend of sweet and savory mixed greens, cucumber cubes, bruschetta tomatoes, and red onions topped with flavorful grilled chicken chunks, this salad tastes fantastic and takes it easy on the waistline, too. The light lemon olive oil vinaigrette served on the side gives this menu item from Applebee's a delightful tang. This big bowl of salad will fill you up for sure. The fact that it has 590 calories makes it all the more attractive of a menu item at this casual dining restaurant.

14. Sirloin steak

Even though it definitely is not a steakhouse and most definitely is not widely known for its sirloin steaks, Applebee's sirloins really are delicious. They come as a 6-ounce sirloin or an 8-ounce sirloin and are lightly seasoned before being plunked down on the grill where they cook until these USDA Select top sirloins are juicy and a mouthful of yumminess in every bite. This menu item also is served alongside healthy steamed broccoli and luscious garlic mashed potatoes with bacon bits. This definitely is a hearty meal so make sure you're good and hungry before ordering this menu item.

13. Clubhouse Grille

If you are wanting something lighter than a burger or steak, but really aren't in the mood for a salad, then Applebee's Clubhouse Grille sandwich is the perfect option. Filled with sliced ham and turkey, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, two strips of applewood-smoked bacon, along with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and honey barbecue sauce on toasted potato bread. The flavors of both meats and the cheeses meld beautifully in every bite. Toss in the rich taste of applewood-smoked bacon and the mayo-honey barbecue sauce and this dish will become a favorite alternative to the heavier meals on the menu.

12. Grilled chicken breast

If you're working hard at eating healthy and find it's difficult to stick to a decent diet while eating out, maybe even impossible, then look no further than Applebee's grilled chicken breast. This juicy and ample slab of white meat is crisscross grilled to perfection over an open flame so the seasonings soak right in. It's served with a side of steamed broccoli so you're getting in your greens for the day, along with a not as healthy, but pretty darn tasty pile of garlic mashed potatoes with real bits of skin and bacon blended in. You could swap the taters out for garlicky green beans or a side salad if you'd rather.

11. Classic broccoli chicken alfredo

As one of the most popular dishes ordered at Applebee's, coined a "neighborhood favorite" according to the company, the Classic broccoli chicken alfredo is bursting with flavor. From the rich and creamy white alfredo sauce with the tiniest bit of kick to it smothered across seasoned chunks of chicken topping a bed of noodles, this dish has it all. The steamed broccoli has just enough crunch and bite to compliment the tender fettuccine noodles and lends a healthier aspect to this dish. It also comes with a breadstick and no one can turn down an Applebee's breadstick, they're that good.

10. Prime Rib Dipper

You probably wouldn't expect this type of dish to appear on the menu at Applebee's, but the Prime Rib Dipper sandwich is a delicious offering off the menu at this casual dining restaurant. Featuring thinly sliced prime rib meat adorned with grilled onions and melted American cheese, the toasted cheddar roll it's served on makes for a mouthful of deliciousness in every bite. The housemade herb-laced mayo and French onion au jus for dipping bring a savory taste with every single bite as you've never experienced. Served alongside seasoned classic fries, the prime rib sandwich is a must-try on your next visit to Applebee's.

9. Neighborhood nachos beef

Neighborhood nachos beef may be found under the appetizers category on the Applebee's menu, but it provides so much food on an elongated plate that it's way too much for just one or even two people. White corn tortilla chips are laden with taco-seasoned ground beef, queso blanco, melted cheddar cheeses, house-made pico de gallo, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, a glob of sour cream, and a dab of guacamole. This appetizer is beyond hearty and exceptionally tasty. Oftentimes when you have a plateful of nachos, you end up with barren chips on the bottom, but that's not usually the case with Applebee's Neighborhood Nachos Beef dish. It's fantastically filling!

8. Shrimp 'n Parmesan Sirloin

If you simply can't decide between seafood or steak, you don't have to at Applebee's with its Shrimp n' Parmesan Sirloin. It's the restaurant's version of surf 'n turf, and this menu item finds a seasoned and grilled 8-ounce USDA Select top sirloin smothered with sauteed blackened shrimp and a creamy lemon butter Parmesan sauce. This dish bursts with flavors that compliment one another and will satisfy your desire for seafood and steak. It's served with healthy steamed broccoli and a heaping pile of garlic mashed potatoes brimming with bits of bacon. Simply put, you can't go wrong with this dish.

7. Bourbon Street Steak

If you're feeling fancy like country music artist Walker Hayes, then order yourself the Bourbon Street Steak. This 8-ounce USDA Select top sirloin steak is slapped on the grill and fancified with Cajun spices and garlic butter topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions. The steak dish also comes with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. Named after the famous street in New Orleans, the Bourbon Street steak screams adventure and deliciousness for your taste buds. You'll definitely want to try this one if you haven't already.

6. Chicken Fajita Rollup

As an alternative to heavier salads, Applebee's offers rollups, which are a delicious and healthy alternative. Two menu options are modeled after salads while the third option is the Chicken Fajita Rollup, and it's exactly what it sounds like. A white flour shell is stuff full of juicy chipotle chicken, crisp lettuce strips, a blend of cheddar cheeses, and house-made pico de gallo and served with Mexi-ranch dipping sauce and classic fries. It's a fun way to eat a combo of chicken quesadillas and chicken fajitas in a rollup format. It definitely has some kick to it, so be sure to have a thirst-quenching drink on hand.

5. Sizzlin' Caramel Apple Blondie

For dessert, Applebee's offers up fudgy brownies and cake along with a fantastic Sizzlin' Caramel Apple Blondie. Baked, cut, and served up in a dessert bar format, the warm and gooey butter pecan blondie is cushioned with buttery sweetened cinnamon apple slices and topped with a chilly scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzled with warm and rich caramel sauce, candied pecans are sprinkled all across the delightful dessert that will blow your mind it's so good. If you have room for dessert after noshing on your main item, then definitely order this one. You will not regret it as it tastes exceptionally delightful!

4. Bacon cheddar grilled chicken sandwich

The same grilled chicken breast that stars as the main entrée now is sandwiched between two tasty Brioche buns and smothered with hearty melted cheddar cheese as the bacon cheddar grilled chicken sandwich. Topped with strips of smoky bacon, crisp lettuce, tangy onion, tart pickles, tomatoes, and barbecue bacon ranch sauce, this incredibly tantalizing sandwich will fill you up and is ever so slightly a healthier pick of a menu item than the beef burger version. Served with a side of seasoned fries, this sandwich ranks high on our list of dishes you absolutely have to order.

3. Strawberry balsamic chicken salad

Strawberries add a fantastic pop of fresh and springy flavor to a salad and Applebee's has capitalized on that tasty appeal with this salad! The strawberry balsamic chicken salad from Applebee's is truly amazing and healthy. Fresh mixed greens are topped with garden tomatoes, red onions, chunks of grilled chicken, sliced almonds, and drizzled with balsamic glaze and a sweet lemon olive vinaigrette on the side. Once again, you'll be treated to a fantastic golden brown breadstick on the side. The intense flavors of this salad really co-mingle beautifully for a burst of sweet fruit and tart balsamic dressing. If you're leaning towards ordering a salad on your trip to Applebee's, definitely try this one.

2. Mozzarella sticks

A trip to Applebee's isn't complete without an order of tried and true mozzarella sticks off the appetizer section of the menu. With a crispy golden brown exterior infused with seasonings and melted strings of warm ooey-gooey mozzarella cheese on the inside, don't be surprised if your table argues over who gets the last one. The eight sticks served with marina sauce or housemade ranch dressing just isn't enough, to be honest. You just might need to order double to keep everybody happy — they're that fantastic! The next time you visit Applebee's be sure to order a batch and savor every bite, of course, after you plucked your share off the plate before anyone else can grab them.

1. Fiesta lime chicken

With an assortment of textures, colors, and bursting with flavor, the Fiesta lime chicken ranks best on our list of menu items at Applebee's. The grilled chicken stars in yet another dish, glazed with a zesty lime sauce and drizzled with a somewhat tangy but yet satisfying Mexi-ranch sauce. A blend of cheddar cheeses is melted atop the chicken breast that's sprinkled with crispy tortilla strips. Slightly spicy Spanish rice is served on the side along with a cup of pico de gallo. One amazing way to eat this dish is to mix the housemade pico de gallo with the rice and spread the tortilla strips across the entire plate. This is a dish that offers a myriad of flavors and won't disappoint.