Secret menu hacks you need to know

Whether you eat at fast food restaurants all the time or only occasionally, you might, from time to time, get a little bit bored with the menu and wish there was something you could do to mix things up a bit. At most restaurants, there is something you can do. These aren't official menu items, but with a little creative ordering and tinkering, you can get brand-new, interesting dishes at your regular fast food spots.

The McCrepe at McDonald's

If you're looking for a new fast food breakfast, look no further than the so-called McCrepe at McDonald's. According to Hack The Menu, it's pretty easy to order the McCrepe and doesn't take a lot of arranging to put the dish together. Make sure you order an order of the hotcakes and a fruit and yogurt parfait. Then, simply spoon the parfait onto the hotcakes, roll, and eat. As an added bonus you get a little bit of protein that you wouldn't normally get if you just ordered pancakes and syrup.

Your discontinued favorites at Panera

It's always hard when a restaurant takes your favorite dish off the menu, but in the case of Panera (or St. Louis Bread Company to all those in the St. Louis area), it might be easier for you to order those items again than you thought. According to a shift supervisor who commented on a Hack The Menu post about Panera, many "secret menu" and discontinued items can still be ordered, just not by name. You have to know how to recreate it, but if they have the ingredients in the store, they'll typically be able to make it for you, no problem. Just be sure to know how you want your salad, sandwich, bowl, or flatbread customized. 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Frappuccino at Starbucks

There are nearly endless numbers of Starbucks "secret menu" and "menu hacks" available out there if you take even just a cursory glance at what's available online. A good option for the fall is the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Frappuccino. According to Starbucks Secret Menu, it all begins with ordering a Pumpkin Spice Crème Frappuccino. Then, you need to add mocha sauce, java chips, and cinnamon dolce syrup to top it all off and pull all the flavors together. Yum. Just make sure you explain what you're ordering and don't just order it by name. As with many of the other "secret menu" hacks, they're not official things, so knowing exactly how you want your order customized is key to your success.

The Caramel Apple Sundae at McDonald's

Like that Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Frappuccino, the Caramel Apple Sundae sounds like the most delicious treat for fall. A simple social media search seems to indicate that at least some McDonald's locations had this on their official menu at some point, but no longer do. Never fear. It's easy to order and customize to your liking. According to Hack The Menu, all you have to do is order a hot caramel sundae and (nicely) ask if you can have apple slices added to it. If they say no, order a side of apple slices and add them to your sundae yourself. Top it off with nuts (or granola if you'd prefer and are able).

The Quesorito at Chipotle

Technically, as The Daily Meal noted, this order includes not one, but two secret menu items, however the quesadilla is more of an open secret at Chipotle. First, order your quesadilla, then, order your burrito wrapped in your quesadilla instead of a regular old tortilla. I'm not sure anything sounds more delicious. While some workers might know what you mean if you order a quesorito by name, you might need to describe what you're looking for, so be ready just in case.

The Oatmeal Latte at Starbucks

This menu hack is for all those who are constantly on the go, too busy for sitting down for breakfast and coffee in the morning. According to People, in order to successfully order Starbucks' oatmeal latte, order oatmeal with milk rather than water and then a shot or two of espresso. While you can certainly order the espresso on the side, you can also ask them to just add it to your oatmeal for the perfect all-in-one breakfast.

The Double Grilled Cheese Burger at Five Guys

According to Uproxx, this unusual sandwich is a Five Guys burger sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches (as the bun of the burger) and is totally delicious. While you might think taking two delicious things and combining them might be a little bit too much, apparently, it's a winning combination.

The Ferrero Rocher Frappuccino at Starbucks

Does it get any better than chocolate, hazelnut, and coffee? I'm really not sure that it does. Now you can get your favorite combination of flavors in your Starbucks frappuccino. According to Starbucks Secret Menu, you need to order either a Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino or a Java Chip Frappucino. Then, add mocha syrup, hazelnut syrup, hazelnut drizzle, and whipped cream. Way more delicious than one small truffle (but, to be fair, many more calories too).

The Monkey-Style Burger at In-N-Out

In case you didn't know (I didn't), ordering things "animal-style" at exceedingly popular West Coast burger chain In-N-Out is actually, technically, a "secret menu" situation in and of itself. According to First We Feast, because it's such an open secret (like Chipotle's quesadilla), it no longer even really qualifies, but there are other secret menu hacks at In-N-Out that you definitely need to know. One such hack is the Monkey-Style Burger, which is an In-N-Out burger stuffed with animal-style fries. The hack you never knew you needed.

Order off the kids menu at Panera

You might not think that ordering off the kids menu at Panera is really a hack, but it totally is. According to a recent Panera Bread Instagram post, kids can now order a half order of anything off the adult menu — they're not just stuck with peanut butter and jelly and grilled cheese. That means that whether you're trying to watch your portion sizes or don't think that you should or can polish off a full order of something, you can still order something tasty as well as healthy and feel good about what you're eating.

The Peanut Butter Bacon Shackburger

According to Fortune, this is an easy one to order. Order a regular ShackBurger with bacon and a side of peanut butter sauce. According to Hack The Menu, while it was on the official menu for about a weekend, it was removed due to concerns related to allergies and cross-contamination. Now, you'll have to hack this burger yourself, but luckily, it's really no problem to do so.