10 Secret Menu Items Restaurants Won’t Tell You About

Brittny Drye

short size at starbucksWhen I first moved to New York, I worked at Starbucks while I job hunted for my editorial career. Amongst the obscene amount of coffee lingo and info that no one person should ever have to learn, I also found out that they have a "short" size that's not listed on the menu -- it's 8 oz. and costs about 30 cents less than the small tall (gah, don't you hate their sizing?) size.

Turns out, Starbucks isn't the only restaurant with secret menu items -- foods and drinks that were either discontinued years ago but are still available if you ask, or items in sizes, varieties and versions not advertised to the general public.

Go ahead, you've got nothing to lose and major calories to gain. Worst case scenario: You ask for one of these 10 secret menu items and the new guy looks at you like you have purple teeth. After all, a few are throwbacks with a capital T, some of them his own parents probably never even heard of (plus fast-food workers don't always think out of the happy-meal box).

  1. Captain D's Cracklins: You can order the fried crispy crumbs from the fast food restaurant's classic seafood items as a side. The best thing about it is, it's free! Tip: Use them to top off your salad for a delicious crunch. 
  2. In-N-Out Burger's Special Burgers: The food chain has created a whole website that lists items that aren't offered on their menus that includes burgers of different sizes, such as a the 3x3, 4x4, (how high will they go?), as well as a protein-style patty (burger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun).
  3. Jamba Juice's secret flavors: The smoothie store has a healthy rep to uphold so they tend to only advertise their healthier concoctions, but that doesn't mean they don't know how to have their sugary fun. Secret flavors such as Strawberry Shortcake, White Gummy Bear, PB&J, and various flavors of Starbursts, Fruity Pebbles, Push-Up Pops, and Skittles are said to exist if you ask for them.
  4. McDonald's Neopolitan Milkshake:  This tri-flavor twist version lets you break out of the mold of the typical one-flavor strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream shake. Yum!
  5. Wendy's Grand Slam: It's basically a Classic Quadruple Burger -- four beef patties stacked to make the ultimate burger. Wendy's would not confirm nor deny the Grand Slam's existence, but according to our sources, it's orderable -- you just may have to spell out for the cashier that it's simply four patties, duh.
  6. Sonic's Pink Flamingo: The fast food restaurant's discontinued citrus drink is made with Sprite with orange, pineapple, and cherry. The original was more popular down south, so if you're a Yankee, you may need to tell them how to make it (which they'll be happy to do).
  7. Subway's Pizza Sub: This item, basically a pepperoni and cheese pizza-turned-sandwich, has long since deceased, you can raise it from the dead by calling out the name. Three times. In a mirror. Okay, not really. Just ask the guy behind the counter.
  8. Blimpie's Cheese Trio Sandwich: Guess what vegetarians, you still have this classic meatless option at the meat-loving sub shop, even though they took this provolone, American, and Swiss cheese sandwich off the menu.
  9. Red Robin's Petite Burger: Realizing that the world's population is a bunch of fatty fatty pork chops, they took this diet-friendly sized option off of the menu. But ask and ye shall receive.
  10. Popeye's Naked Chicken: Believe it or not, there is a healthy option at the southern fast food establishment. If you're trying to cut calories, request the naked chicken -- it's chicken but without the bread. Cut those carbs!

Granted, you might irk a lot of people by ordering these ... so beware of any extra "ingredients" that may wind up in your food. On that note ...

Got any secret menu items to share?


Image via Marco Arment/Flickr

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