Things You Probably Never Order At White Castle, But Should

White Castle is a fast-food enigma, with no other truly comparable to its quirks and innovations. Being the first fast food hamburger chain in the world, White Castle holds a series of firsts under its belt, from the invention of restaurant carryout to their squared patties resembling dice. They were also the first fast food chain to create a plant-based Impossible burger, making it a late-night munchies haven for vegetarians and carnivores alike.

White Castle's deliciousness has no boundaries. With their miniature sliders smothered and cooked on a mountain of onions — it's like eating a bag of potato chips; you can't eat just one. With an original slider costing under one dollar, White Castle is an even cheaper fast food option than competitors like McDonald's. Aside from their original sliders, classics like their onion rings, chicken breast slider, and gooey butter cake-on-a-stick are fan favorites. Even though some items like their fish nibblers and clam strips can't live up to the slider's celebrity status, there are some sleeper items hiding on the menu that are waiting for their big moment.

Birthday cake-on-a-stick

Opening in 1921, owner and creator Bill Ingram decided to open White Castle as a family-owned restaurant selling five-cent burgers to the hungry and maybe intoxicated masses. Now, 100 years after the first store opening, White Castle decided to honor their beloved restaurant's birthday with the best gift possible –– a birthday cake-on-a-stick

The birthday cake-on-a-stick is the latest dessert to join the White Castle family alongside their cheesecake, brownie, and butter cake –– all placed on a stick for maximum portability and satisfaction. It features everything you would expect to see from a regular birthday cake, just smaller and sans birthday candles. It is made out of vanilla cake, filled with confetti-colored sprinkles, topped with white frosting, and White Castle-themed sprinkles in shades of orange, blue, and white. It's the perfect celebratory sweet tooth fix for non-chocolate lovers, and no one is stopping you from buying a whole eight-sliced cake-on-a-stick for your next birthday celebration. 

Loaded fries

French fries automatically make a meal better, but loaded fries are the side that gives off entree energy. White Castle's loaded fries were originally a secret menu item that you could only order by asking for a side of fries, nacho cheese sauce, and whatever else you wanted to pile on top. In 2011, by popular demand, loaded waffle fries were added to the menu, along with the bacon and cheddar slider.

The beauty of White Castle's loaded fries is their simplicity, built to the hilt with thick-cut bacon crumbles, melted nacho cheese, ranch, and a bed of crinkle-cut fries. On the flip side, you can customize their loaded fries to whatever strange flavor combinations your heart desires. A popular option, the White Castle mutant loaded fries from their secret menu, have not only melted nacho cheese and bacon crumbles but BBQ sauce and onion chips for an all-out flavor and texture explosion. Any additional sauce or side combination will do, from zesty zing sauce and mozzarella sticks to yellow mustard and hash brown nibblers or chicken rings and maple syrup if you are feeling extra weird.

Chicken parm sliders

Few things make chicken parm better than being enclosed between two slices of bread. But sometimes, that is questionable, with soggy buns and chicken oversaturated in marinara sauce killing the experience. However, White Castle's chicken parm sandwich was unmatched with its petite size and perfectly rationed bites. In 2014, White Castle released Italian pizza sliders featuring a slider resembling a pepperoni pizza and a crispy or grilled chicken slider with marinara, mozzarella, and a side of cheese sticks.

Sadly, the legendary sandwich is no longer on White Castle's menu, but its legacy and deliciousness live on in the world of their secret menu. It's up to us to create our own slightly better chicken parm, starting with a chicken slider (bacon and cheese optional). Then, get an order of mozzarella sticks (marinara sauce is not optional here), and slide those on the sandwich for that perfect crunchy yet melty bite every time.

Panko bread fish slider

In the next fast food war, instead of battling for the title of best chicken sandwich, let's make the best fast food fish sandwich trendy. Oftentimes, fish sandwiches are underrated in terms of flavor — from the rich amount of tartar sauce, the crispiness of the fish, and the soft flakiness inside. However, when a fish sandwich is bad, it's enough to have you swear off fish Fridays and reach for that original beefy slider. Even though White Castle's fish sandwich is small in size, it's mighty in flavor.

Most people don't realize that White Castle has a fish sandwich, let alone one of the best. It ranks high for a burger joint among the pack of seafood fast food favorites, like Long John Silver's and Captain D's, even outpacing giants like Burger King and Arby's. Its Alaskan pollock fish patty crusted in panko is the ideal marriage of flaky and crunchy, with a slice of American cheese adding the perfect amount of saltiness and creaminess –– just don't skimp out on the sauce, preferably tartar.

Waffle sliders

White Castle's breakfast is nothing to throw shade at –– in fact, its all-day breakfast with delicious, hand-held options should be celebrated. Some options are adorably sized in slider fashion, like their breakfast slider with egg and bacon and their original beef slider with egg and cheese. But their crown jewel breakfast item isn't either of these — it's their Belgian waffle sliders.

In 2017, White Castle introduced a line of Belgian waffle breakfast sandwiches in partnership with a producer in Brussels, Belgium, to give that authentic waffle taste. Their chicken and waffles slider is the Southern mashup needed to reinvent a classic –– a crispy chicken breast smothered in country gravy and bacon and nestled between two waffles. Their classic take on a breakfast sandwich, the Belgian waffle slider, is the more traditional yet delicious option with egg, bacon or sausage, and your choice of cheese. These give the McGriddle a run for its money.

Veggie slider

In the time of Impossible burgers and lab-generated meat, a good fast food veggie burger is far and few between (besides Shake Shack's mushroom burger). It's tough for hardcore vegetarians and vegans to find options on the go that don't involve bland steamed vegetables or french fries. White Castle stands out from the pack by having two vegan options — the Impossible slider and a veggie-based slider.

Don't be fooled by the color –– the veggie patty, sourced by Dr. Praeger's, is made from all the vegetables of the rainbow like carrots, onions, beans, zucchini, corn, spinach, peppers, broccoli, and herbs. The veggie slider is 100% vegan –– everything is prepared on a separate grill to eliminate cross-contamination and made with vegan buns and dairy-free cheese options. Their only vegan sauce option is the sweet Thai, but if it doesn't ruffle your feathers that much, jalapeño cheese is the way to go.

Any milkshakes

If ranch is the nectar of the Earth, then milkshakes are the icing on the intergalactic cake. With other fast food frozen desserts to compete against like the McFlurry, Wendy's Frosty, and Sonic's slushies, it's hard to imagine a little burger joint like White Castle offering a more superior milkshake. Is it the best milkshake you will ever have? No, but it will taste best when paired with about 10 sliders and a side of fries.

White Castle's milkshakes were first introduced in the early 1950s after WWII, in order to compete with other fast food chains like Burger King and McDonald's, according to the Whiting-Robertsdale Historical Society. They keep things classic with only three flavors available –– strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. If you are craving more flavors, make a black and white shake by combining vanilla and chocolate, or add a strawberry milkshake to the mix to make a Neapolitan shake from White Castle's secret menu.

Strawberry cheesecake-on-a-stick

It's debatable whether or not being served on a stick makes a dessert taste better, but at least it avoids unnecessary utensils. Their strawberry cheesecake on-a-stick is still delicious regardless of stick or fork, with a delicate strawberry swirl nestled on top of a brownie crust. It accompanies other cheesy delicacies, like their fudge-dipped cheesecake on-a-stick, not to mention a grocery store version of the sweet treat dipped in chocolate with a graham cracker.

They introduced one of their newest desserts in addition to their Valentine's Day dinner special. Their love-fueled dinner, filled with fancy tablecloths, and table-side service, has been a Valentine's Day tradition at White Castle since 1991, complete with 10 sliders of your choice, two 21-ounce sodas, and a side of french fries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their signature dinner was turned into a to-go "Love Club" carryout box, perfect for a romantic fast food dinner in the car.

Jalepeño cheese sliders

One of the biggest surprises we found was that White Castle offers more than just American cheddar. They offer a wide array of cheese toppings like smoked cheddar, vegan cheddar, and even nacho cheese sauce. However, their jalapeño cheddar cheese is a spicy yet savory addition to amp up any sandwich.

Apparently, everyone else on Reddit understood the assignment and has been partaking in the spicy cheese selection to break up the monotony of regular cheese sliders. You can add it virtually to any sandwich with cheese like a fish slider, veggie slider for added nutrients, or even a Belgian waffle slider for an extra kick to your morning breakfast. There are even grocery store frozen jalapeño cheese sliders for those who don't live close enough to a White Castle. For another super secret menu option, get rid of the meat altogether and ask for a cheese slider with American, smoked, and jalapeño cheddar for an unbeatable grilled cheese to add to their vegetarian repertoire.

Onion chips

The history of onion rings goes way back. They increased in popularity in the early 1900s, thanks to an advertisement for Crisco published in the New York Times. Years later, nearly every drive-thru has onion rings on its menu.

White Castle wasn't the first to invent the onion ring, but they are one of the only fast food joints that offer onion chips. A cross between an onion ring, a french fry, and a potato chip, the onion chip is perhaps the superior option when comparing it side-by-side to the onion ring. It is perfect for mindless eating like a french fry, but you also don't have to deal with the onion filling coming out on the first bite. Plus, it's short in stature, so it's easy to layer on a burger for more onion flavor or loaded french fries. Unlike their competitors, White Castle uses real onions for their onion rings and chips.

The crave clutch

In 1927, White Castle revolutionized the fast food industry by creating the concept of a carry-out bag, making fast food even faster. Their signature tagline, "selling 'em by the sack," has been a constant-evolving phenomenon for White Castle with their signature and easily-recognizable carryout bags. Their crave cases have been an easy and sturdy way to transport mass quantities of sliders and fries, from their crave case that carries 30 sliders to their crave crate that holds 100 different sliders.

In 2020, White Castle unveiled the stylish and retro-themed crave clutch to make carryout more aesthetically pleasing. The box resembles a vintage boom box you would see strolled down the street in the 1980s, with leather stitch detailing in the handle for superior portability. Its red and blue colors are eye-catching, and the "long live sliders" tagline makes the box instantly recognizable to anyone who knows the White Castle crave. It can hold up to 20 sliders for $20 (unless you live in New York or New Jersey); it's worth the collectible box.

The 1921 slider

There's nothing like revisiting the past to make you feel grateful for the present. In honor of White Castle's centennial anniversary, their 1921 slider was introduced to the menu to mark 101 years of burger innovation and excellence using the same recipe from over 100 years ago. The original slider was created when the founder, Billy Ingram, pressed a meatball into a flat patty that would be flippable and instantly famous. Since then, White Castle has produced many firsts in the industry, and there's no better way to celebrate that than by creating a new, fully-loaded slider.

The biggest recognizable difference with the 1921 slider is its lack of squared edges and toppings aside from cooked onions. It comes with a 100% beef patty topped with grilled onions, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles. They may be bringing the menu full circle to its humble beginnings, but in a way, they are making a classic feel new and inventive again.