Wendy's Double Stack: What To Know Before Ordering

There's a fast-food restaurant for any type of craving. And when your tastebuds are specifically asking "where's the beef?" Wendy's is a great place to go. The chain has been putting tasty burgers in the hands of customers since 1969, when the chain opened its debut location in Columbus, Ohio (via Wendy's). 

Over the years, Wendy's signature, square-shaped hamburger patties have been the star of a number of decadent meals. The Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger is more than enough to rival the food served at popular sit-down burger joints like Red Robin or Shake Shack, and don't even get us started on their iconic Baconator sandwich that tops half a pound of beef with six strips of juicy Applewood bacon.

Yes, Wendy's is certainly a carnivore's paradise, but scarfing down one of their hearty hamburger creations on a regular basis can have some less-than-ideal effects on both your health and your wallet. Luckily, the eatery offers a satisfying alternative to their diet-busting burgers: the Double Stack, which will allow you to get your fix of their "fresh, never frozen" beef at a fraction of both the calories and the cost.

What is a Wendy's Double Stack?

Based on its name alone, it's pretty easy to determine that you'll be getting a total of two burger patties in your Wendy's Double Stack. More specifically, you'll be getting two of their two-ounce Jr. Hamburger Patties that the chain proudly states on its website are made up of high-quality, "North American-fed" beef — at least when you visit one of their locations in the United States, Alaska, or Canada. Per Wendy's, the sandwich is then "stacked with deliciousness" in the form of American cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions, and, finally, crinkle-cut pickle slices, which The Square Deal Blog says are key to "pumping up the 'umami factor'" of your sandwich.

We'll admit that the Double Stack may look like chump change compared to the extravagant burger creations that take center stage on the Wendy's menu (we see you, Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger), but as Ken Hoffman of Houston Culture Map pointed out, the simplicity of this budget-friendly option is largely what makes it so great. "The Double Stack is a fistful — a stripped-down, nothing fancy, really good burger where beef is the star attraction and condiments and toppings are bare-bones. That's a good thing," he wrote, and we couldn't agree more.

When was the Double Stack added to Wendy's menu and is it permanent?

To understand the history of the Double Stack, it's important to know the history of the value menu, which, according to QSR Web, Wendy's is largely credited with being the "pioneers" of. The story goes that in 1989, McDonald's and Burger King were shilling their respective Big Macs and Whoppers for a mere 99 cents. Knowing they needed to compete in a big way, Wendy's decided to come up with nine items that would be sold at a low price point, and thus, the value menu was born. The concept quickly caught on in the fast-food world — Burger King launched their version in 1998, and McDonald's a bit later in 2003. By the mid-2000s, Wendy's found themselves needing to compete once again.

In 2007, the chain announced the Stack Attack — a value menu double cheeseburger that came dressed with ketchup and mayo. However, this bargain burger was short-lived. One year later, a new double cheeseburger took its place. The Double Stack, which was topped with ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickles, was introduced nationally to "go head-to-head against the double cheeseburger offered by Wendy's largest competitor," a.k.a. Mickey D's (via The OC Register). Clearly their double cheeseburger revamp was a success, as the Double Stack is a permanent staple on the chain's menu today.

How much does it cost?

More than 30 years after they pioneered the concept of the value menu, Wendy's still strives to serve food that is "designed to maximize flavor and fit your budget." Their Double Stack is just one of their many menu items that checks both boxes. While prices for the sandwich vary a bit by location, Fast Food Menu Prices reports that on average, you'll only be shelling out about $2.09 for one of these bad boys, which, for many, is cheaper than the cost of their daily morning coffee.

For even more perspective on how much of a bargain the Wendy's Double Stack is, let's compare its a la carte price to another classic menu item from the chain: the Dave's Single, which Fast Food Menu Prices says costs an average of $4.19 on its own. As Houston Culture Map points out, both sandwiches come with a quarter-pound of beef, so in reality, you're coughing up an extra $2 for "an extra slice of cheese, lettuce and tomato, and bigger bread." If you ask us, that extra money is better used for one of Wendy's signature 4-for-$4 meal deals, which will score you a Double Stack along with a drink, fries, and a four-count order of chicken nuggets.

Is it nutritious?

We all know that fast food isn't the most nutritious cuisine out there, and Wendy's is no exception. The chain currently has a number of burgers on its menu with calorie counts in the quadruple digits, and even going the lighter route and ordering a salad can end up being much unhealthier than it may seem. The good news is that there are a handful of options that fall on the opposite side of the spectrum, and for those that want to get a taste of Wendy's fresh, never frozen beef at a fraction of the calories, the Double Stack may be just the thing for you. 

In its standard form, the value menu burger contains 410 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 690 mg of sodium — though those numbers can get even lower if you cut out the American cheese (via Wendy's). As Cheat Day Design points out, this makes it "the best bet" for those looking to incorporate more protein into their diets without "breaking the calorie bank."

While the Double Stack may not be the healthiest burger you can get from Wendy's (that would be the Jr. Hamburger), but it is still a much better choice than, say, the calorie-laden Baconator. Keep in mind also that moderation is key when eating fast food, whether from Wendy's or not.

Are there different versions of the Double Stack?

These days, grabbing a Double Stack from your local Wendy's will get you almost the exact same sandwich you would have been served in 2008. The rival to the McDonald's Double Cheeseburger still comes with a double dose of the chain's Jr. Hamburger Patties, as well as the same topping lineup — though Wendy's did announce in 2020 that they had started using a new type of pickle on their sandwiches (via The Square Deal Blog). However, despite the eatery taking an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude towards their craveable value menu staple, they did find a way to improve on the sandwich a few years back by adding the one ingredient that makes just about everything better: bacon.

The upgrade came after the Double Stack was added as an option in the chain's 4-for-$4 meal deal, which QSR Magazine reports happened in 2017. Then, according to ChewBoom, the chain upped the ante by introducing the $5 Biggie Bag in 2019 starring their new Bacon Double Stack sandwich. Just like its predecessor, this version included two patties, American cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickles, though for just a dollar more, two strips of juicy Applewood Smoked Bacon were added into the mix — much to the delight of Wendy's fans. The Bacon Double Stack is currently back in the Biggie Bag rotation for a limited time following its removal due to beef supply issues last year, and can also be purchased as a standalone sandwich.

Does Wendy's Double Stack taste good?

The Double Stack certainly trumps a majority of Wendy's burgers in terms of nutrition and price, but where does it fall in the realm of taste? Well, it depends on what else you're comparing it to. When up against a Baconator, the Double Stack obviously falls a bit short. However, for a value menu burger, the general consensus seems to be that it's a pretty decent option. 

Back around the time of its initial release, Grub Grade gave it a score of 8.25 out of 10 for taste, noting that it had the "classic Wendy's taste" but was "deceptively small." More recently, Insider said the Double Stack was a "solid burger" that needed to be on the menu at every fast-food chain. However, given the choice between the original version or the Bacon Double Stack, the reviewer chose the latter. The key thing that the Double Stack has going for it is its price which, after being added to the 4-for-$4 lineup, one Redditor labeled "the best value in fast food."

As you can see, this burger clearly has a lot going for it. When you pull up to Wendy's looking for a tasty meal at a price that won't break the bank, the Double Stack is certainly the way to go.