If you stay up-to-date with fast food trends, then you know that McDonald’s cut down their late-night menu and everyone’s dying to know what’s on it (and what’s not). Before you go into a panic, the company left their most popular items and fortunately, breakfast made the cut. Regardless, there are now fewer options. Although this may seem jaw-dropping, their reasoning behind it was – well – logical.
In the words of the company, “we always want our customer’s experiences to be simple, smooth and delicious – any time of day.” In other words, the menu was shortened with the intention of improving speed so I guess we can’t really complain. No one wants to be waiting for food that late anyway.
Here’s what’s being served between midnight and 5 am on McDonald’s late night menu:
What would a McDonald’s menu be without their signature burger? Thankfully, we don’t have to find out. The two burgers featured on the late night menu include the Big Mac and all Quarter Pounder burgers. Quarter Pounder options include cheese and bacon, just cheese, and the cheese deluxe which is basically the same thing as the “just cheese” but with lettuce and tomato.
The Big Mac doesn’t even need any options. It’s perfect exactly as it is *insert heart eye emoji*. This popular burger comes dressed in McDonald’s Signature Sauce and topped with lettuce, onions, cheese, and pickles. It’s 4oz of burger perfection sandwiched in a sesame seed bun.
Sorry crispy Chicken Tenders, you didn’t make the cut. But Chicken McNuggets did! Order the nugs in packs of 4, 6, 10, 20 and even 50 in select stores. And before you even say it, McDonald’s addressed the “pink slime” ordeal long ago. Their chicken nuggets are made from 100% white chicken meat and contain no preservatives or artificial flavors. So you can safely order 20 of them without wondering what you’re putting in your mouth.
After we fought so hard to get breakfast served all day, McDonald’s decided to let us have it all night too. They really do know how to keep their customers smiling! You can still order your Egg McMuffin or Sausage McGriddle even at 3 am. Feeling more adventurous? Try the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese or order a stack of Hotcakes. No matter what time of the day it is, breakfast is always a great idea!
What would a McDonald’s order be without their World Famous Fries? Obviously, all sides were a must-keep when it came to slimming down their late-night menu. Other sides that made the cut? Apple Slices, Go-Gurt Strawberry Yogurt, Fruit N’ Parfait, Side Salad, and Slushies.
McDonald’s didn’t forget about the kids! You can still order a happy meal between 12 am and 5 am. Choose from either a hamburger or 4 to 6 chicken nuggets. All Happy Meals also come with a kids-sized fry, your choice of apples or yogurt, and milk, water, or juice.
McDonald’s knew better than to cut ice cream from their late night menu – thank goodness. Don’t worry, they saved the apple pie too! No one ever wants healthy food after midnight, let’s be honest. So if you’ve got the late night munchies for something sweet (and we know you do), opt for a Chocolate, Strawberry, or Vanilla Shake, Hot Fudge Sundae, McFlurry, Strawberry Sundae, or Kiddie Cone.
Those of you awake between the hours of 12 and 5 am probably need some caffeine. We know we would! If so, McDonald’s new late night menu still offers all of their McCafe drinks including the Caramel Macchiato, Iced Caramel Macchiato, Cappuccino, Caramel Cappuccino, French Vanilla Cappuccino, Mocha, Iced Mocha, Caramel Mocha, Iced Caramel Mocha, Latte, Iced Latte, Caramel Latte, Iced Caramel Latte, French Vanilla Latte, Iced French Vanilla Latte, Americano, Traditional Coffee, all Iced Coffees, and smoothies.
What Didn’t Make the Cut?
If your favorites didn’t make the list, you may still be holding out hope. Maybe we just forgot to add it? Probably not, but just to make sure, we’ve rounded up other favorites that are now missing from the late night menu. These include the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwiches, Filet-O-Fish, and Premium Salads. If your frequent go-to’s got cut, they’re still on the menu! You’ll just have to order them before the strike of midnight.
For all you night owls, or early risers, McDonald’s might have cut down your menu but they still left you with plenty of choices. Check out this blog if you’re looking for more late night fast food options!
Move over, Subway – there’s something hotter (and quite possibly healthier) in town. Penn Station has quickly become one of the country’s favorite sandwich shops, serving east-coast-style subs at more than 300 locations. And when you think subs, you may think healthy, but the truth is – some of the most common ingredients in cold and hot sandwiches, like mayonnaise, cheese, and loads of bread, can add up to more calories than you’d ever care to know about. So before you get too invested in that Reuben, forget about that thousand island because we’re here to help you with choosing the healthiest food on the Penn Station menu.
What’s The Healthiest Food At Penn Station?
Penn Station’s signature combo consists of a piping hot sub (cold, if you really prefer that) with salty french fries and fresh-squeezed lemonade. It tastes even better than it sounds, but all those creamy sauces and cheeses don’t make for the healthiest of lunches. So, what’s a hungry guy or gal to do? There’s no need to compromise your diet if you’re looking to find something healthy at Penn Station.
Outlined below are the healthiest options at Penn Station, but keep in mind, these calorie counts and other nutrition information are only for the six-inch sandwiches. There are also eight, 10, and 12-inch subs available with various higher calorie counts.
The Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich is one of Penn Station’s most beloved hot subs and has been around for as long as we can remember. It’s loaded with fresh chicken, offering you tons of protein. The fat comes from the cheese and the sauce, so you can always ask for it without those two if you want a lower calorie/fat percentage.
The Dagwood is from Penn Station’s “Create Your Own” menu, so you can customize it however you would like. When choosing the healthiest food at Penn Station, we recommend selecting the turkey Dagwood without cheese. It has only 242 calories and can be piled up with veggies for added flavor.
The Grilled Artichoke Sandwich is stuffed with artichoke hearts, oregano, parmesan, mayo, parmesan, and provolone cheese. Sound delicious? It is. To lower your calorie/fat count, order it without cheese and mayo, and ask them to add heaps of sauteed mushrooms instead. (The following nutrition information reflects the sub without mayo.)
The lightest option from Penn Station’s “Lighter Options” category is the Grilled Vegetarian sub. Inevitably, the meatless sandwich is lower in calories, protein, and fat, but it doesn’t lack taste. Drizzled in the franchise’s famous teriyaki sauce, this veggie option is the healthiest on the menu.
You’re probably thinking that a Philly Cheesesteak cannot be healthy – and you’d be right. Sort of. If you can’t sacrifice your favorite sub, just order it without the provolone cheese or mayo. It’ll cut down the calorie count a bit.
Fat: 6.1 grams
Sugar: 6.1 grams
What About Drinks?
Aside from sauce, your beverage is another calorie and sugar monster. Even the smallest soft drink or lemonade contains loads of sugar and does not provide you with any nutritional value to begin with. If you are looking to select something on the healthier side, we recommend washing down your sandwich with a water or unsweetened iced tea.
Tips For Reducing The Calorie Count at Penn Station
Skip the cheese. As mentioned above, cheese is a big source of calories and fat. If you still want to order your favorite classic subs, you can. You just have to be willing to give up some of that creamy, provolone goodness.
Skip the sauces. Typically, condiments are high in calories and high in fat (although they do taste good!). The mustard at Penn Station weighs in at a whopping 66 calories, while mayo adds about 100 calories and 11 grams of fat to your sandwiches. If you are dying to have sauce on your sub – we don’t blame you – but try pizza sauce if it fits with your order. It only has 18 calories, so it’s not a deal breaker.
Add more veggies. A lot of times, the biggest complaints people have when it comes to eating healthy is that the food isn’t filling, or it lacks in flavor. A simple fix to this is to add loads of flavorful veggies, like onions, banana peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
Looking for something healthy to eat, but not a fan of these healthy options at Penn Station? Here’s a look at 7 quick, delicious, and affordable healthy fast food chains.
We probably don’t need to ask you if you like free food (seriously, who doesn’t?). The problem with loving and wanting free fast food is … actually getting it. But don’t worry, we have a few options for you to score free items from your favorite fast food chains. Most only require a download, your name, and your email address to start scoring freebies.
Free fast food really is just a click away (on your phone no less) when you download many of the major fast food chain apps. Many apps will give you a free item for downloading and signing up with your email, or at the very least, you’ll be on their list for future freebies and discounts.
Auntie Anne’s is the iconic spot to hit for a warm, soft pretzel you can snack on on-the-go. When you download their app, you’ll get a free pretzel after your first purchase. Auntie Anne’s also delivers through GrubHub and Postmates, in case you want your free pretzel to arrive at your door.
Applebee’s is known for its meal deals and cheap appetizers, but what about dessert? If you join Applebee’s email list, you’ll get a free dessert for your birthday. (We’ve been told they’ll give your birthday treat whether you sign up or not, but it’s better safe than sorry.) Choose bewteen the Triple Chocolate Meltdown and Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae.
Baja fresh offers a selection of quick Mexican fare. If you’re craving something south of the border, get a fresh taco for free with any purchase when you download the app. Baja also delivers through DoorDash in select locations (just enter your address to see if one delivers near you).
Snap a free burrito when you join Club Baja by entering your email and information.
Baskin Robins knows how to celebrate free food (and your birthday) the right way. All you have to do to get a free “birthday scoop” of ice cream on your special day is sign up to their Birthday Club. Plus, you will get a discounted icecream cake and a coupon for a future purchase.
Another place that gives away free ice cream is Carvel, but it doesn’t even have to be your birthday! Score a free cup or cone when you join Carvel’s Fudgie Fanatics email rewards program. Once you sign up, you will continue to get deals and discounts sent to you. Cheap and delicious ice cream… What could be better?
Chick-fil-A doesn’t give you a free item for downloading their app; however, users report that you will periodically see free food items pop up! You can also snag free food with a purchase through their app (again, it’s not every time, but it will happen periodically). This is a great app to have if you’re a Chick-fil-A fan and go there often.
Join the “sweetest club in the solar system,” the Blizzard Fan Club, and get a free Blizzard on your birthday. In addition to receiving a free birthday Blizzard, you’ll get monthly promotions sent to you so you can continue your savings throughout the entire year.
Del Taco is one of the best places to get free fast food. If you sign up for their Raving Fan Club, you can snag two free Del Tacos or two free Grilled Chicken Tacos. But the freebies don’t stop there! If you’re a part of the club, you’ll also get a free birthday vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry milkshake.
Who doesn’t love a good (and free) breakfast? If you sign up for Denny’s Rewards, you get The Grand Slam breakfast on the house for your birthday. The Grand Slam breakfast is one of Denny’s best sellers and allows you to customize it however you want, with the option of bacon or sausage, eggs, pancakes, potatoes, and more.
If you’re prepared to load a gift card with just $2 after downloading and signing up to Dunkin Donuts reward program, you’ll be gifted a free beverage. In addition, you also get a free beverage on your birthday, as well as after each 200 points your earn. Dunkin’ Donuts has a wide selection of drinks items, ranging from caramel macchiatos to frozen chocolate shakes, so it might be worth your time to sign up!
Join the DDPerks club and have at least $2 to start for a free birthday drink.
If you are lucky enough to have a Jersey Mike’s in your neck of the woods, take advantage of the free fast food that they offer on your birthday. Savor a free birthday sub and drink when you join Jersey Mike’s Email Club. You will also get monthly deals and promotions sent to you.
If you grew up with a Krispy Kreme near your home, you know the pure joy of seeing the illuminated red sign in the storefront window. That red sign meant one thing and one thing only: fresh, hot, and free donuts. But, catching the sign at the right time isn’t the only way to snag a free donut. By signing up for the Krispy Kreme Rewards email program, you get a free donut.
Upon downloading the McDonald’s app, you’ll be able to score a free medium-sized fry with any purchase on Fridays. Not to mention, you’ll also be presented with plenty of coupons and offers regularly. Drive through, stop in, or even order through UberEats or DoorDash to have your freebies come to you.
A birthday doesn’t seem complete without the traditional free dessert; however, there are many more freebie options than you probably think on your birthday. Be prepared to think outside the cake on this one: you can even score things link free subs and drinks at certain chains. Welcome to Moe’s, where on your birthday your present is a free burrito. Simply join Moe’s eWorld.
Earn a free treat when you sign up with the Panera app, as well as free rewards when you become a member of MyPanera Rewards. This includes freebies and exclusive offers every month, as well as on your birthday. Panera’s app may be worth downloading, especially if you lean toward healthier fast food and options like fresh salads and soups without antibiotics.
When you’re sitting on the couch in your sweats debating whether or not you want a fast food burger from Carl’s Jr. or Jack in the Box, you probably aren’t thinking about the blood, sweat, and tears that went into building the franchises from the ground up (unless you are then, come work for us). However, to truly determine the winner of this debate, Carl’s Jr. vs Jack in the Box, it’s important to consider all the factors equally – what’s behind that smiling golden star and clown and in between the buns.
Carl’s Jr. started up in 1941, but it wasn’t the same burger chain you’re used to today. It was originally a hot dog cart, followed by a barbecue joint before it ever became famous for its burgers and fries. Now, there are nearly 4,000 Carl’s Jr. locations, and it was named #15 on Entrepreneur’s Top Franchise 500 list, which is quite the accomplishment in the industry. Some of their best-selling menu items are the Big Hamburger, the hand-breaded chicken tenders, and the bacon-egg burrito (but more on their food later).
Just 10 years after Carl’s Jr. was started, Jack in the Box launched its first restaurant. Opening to serve passers-by in the San Diego area, Jack in the Box had no trouble expanding in its early years. In fact, the franchise even spearheaded the initiative for the two-way intercom that is used in drive-throughs. And while most people think of Jack in the Box as a burger joint, its best seller is actually its taco. Now, with nearly 2,200 locations, many of which are in the western United States, the franchise is still steadily growing in popularity.
So, What’s Good At Carl’s Jr. vs Jack in the Box?
Everything’s greasy, obviously. So, if you’re looking for a traditional, melt-in-your-mouth burger and fries, you’ve come to the right place (whichever place you choose, of course). As with any fast food joint, there are the fan favorites at each, but your taste in greasy goodness is at your discretion. According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s not the burger and fries that win over loyal customers at Jack in the Box – it’s the taco. If you go on any social platform, you’ll read polarizing reviews of this menu item, with some calling it “a wet envelope of cat food” (ouch), while others rave about it, saying it’s “the most underrated taco of all time.”
Frankly, people can call the Jack in the Box taco anything they’d like, but numbers don’t lie. In a single year, Americans eat 554 million of these so-called “wet envelopes of cat food.” Does that say more about the quality of taco, or people in general? We’ll let you decide.
As for Carl’s Junior, there is no menu item up for constant debate like the Jack in the Box taco, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. All things considered, it’s a more predictable menu, with a plethora of burger and chicken sandwich options. If you’re looking for a classic burger, go for the Big Hamburger (clever name, guys!), but if you want something a little more, dare we say it – artisanal? – try the Mushroom and Swiss Thickburger.
Are There Any Healthy Options, Like At All?
Nowadays, nearly every restaurant has adapted to society’s healthy-living craze, whether we’re talking fast food restaurants or fancy sit-down places. So, in an effort to be like everyone else (even though health-food is totally out of both Carl’s Jr. and Jack in the Box’s ballpark), there are a couple of semi-healthy dishes to choose from if you so wish.
Jack in the Box has the Grilled Chicken Salad for 360 calories, the Chicken Fajita Pita for 320 calories, and the Grilled Chicken Strips with Teriyaki Dipping Sauce for 310 calories. Each of these menu items is a bit high in sodium content, but it’s the best you can get.
At Carl’s Jr., there seems to be more of an effort to offer healthy alternatives with their Turkey Burger and lettuce bun options. According to Tracy from StayFitMom.com, ordering the Turkey Burger Low-Carb Style, a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and an unsweetened iced-tea is the healthiest meal you can get at the fast-food chain.
Telling you all about fast food menu prices is our job, clearly, but nobody has all day to sit and compare Carl’s Jr. vs Jack in the Box prices. For the sake of your time and sanity, we’ll go ahead and break down the prices for a couple of their similar menu items. The Ultimate Cheeseburger Combo at Jack in the Box is $6.68, while the 1/3 lb. Cheeseburger Combo at Carl’s Jr. is $6.69. And when it comes to chicken, Jack in the Box has the Homestyle Ranch Chicken Club for $4.99, and Carl’s Jr. serves their Charbroiled Chicken Club for $5.29. The similar pricing is reflected throughout the entire menu, with small variations depending on each restaurant’s spin on the dish.
What’s The Consensus?
Based on quality, taste, price, and customer reviews, the winner of the Carl’s Jr. vs Jack in the Box challenge is…Jack in the Box. While we love a good ol’ Big Burger from Carl’s, nothing wins us over like a cheap, greasy taco and a cheap, greasy burger from the same place.
Let’s face it. Sticking to a diet isn’t always easy on your schedule. If you aren’t keen on carrying around pre-cooked food (and yes, this means you would have had to pre-cook it and remember to pack it) or breaking your diet for a quick bite to eat, there’s always fast food. And before you go into a panic about eating something that’s greasy, sodium-packed and surely breaks your diet – hear us out. It’s about time we throw these stereotypes out the door. Fast food restaurants have upped their health game to provide plenty of options for every diet. Not sure how to order or where to go? Here are nine healthy fast food options for every diet:
If you’re avoiding animal products but need to grab a bite on the run, swing through the Taco Bell drive through and order a Black Bean Burrito! One of these little guys has only 370 calories and 12g of protein. Just be sure to order it fresco style so that they swap the cheese out for pico de gallo. If this isn’t enough food, try adding a side of rice or ask for extra veggies. Not in a taco bell kind of mood? That’s okay! There are plenty of other vegetarian fast food options.
Fast food isn’t exactly known for its low sodium options. While this option isn’t high in sodium, it isn’t exactly low either. So if you have any sort of health concerns, it’s best to proceed with caution and check the nutrition facts of your entire meal and any add-ons on their nutrition calculator before ordering. A plain hamburger with ketchup, pickles, onions, and mustard has 480mg of sodium. Add a small fry and you’re at about 630mg of sodium.
Thanks to Chick-fil-A, you will never have to utter the words “chicken sandwich without the bun please” again. If you’ve been a gluten-free dieter for a while, then you understand just how bad glutenless buns can taste. Not this one! Chick-fil-A chef Christy Cook claimed that “what [this bun] lacks in gluten, it makes up for in flavor.”
Boasting a mere 310 calories, this sandwich is the perfect pick to eat healthy on the go. Keep in mind that while the gluten-free bun is certified gluten-free, the Chick-fil-A kitchens are not. So if you have Celiacs or severe sensitivity, be sure to notify the manager or add an “allergy alert” when ordering. And feel free to add the fries. These are gluten-free too!
Just because you’re sticking to a low-calorie diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your food! In fact, you can enjoy fast food sandwiches from several different restaurants! Subway included.
Subway is a great place for low-calorie eaters who want more than just a salad. Each sub is completely customizable so you can add your favorites and adjust the calorie count to fit your needs. For a simple order, try the Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich.
When made on wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, spinach, green peppers, and cucumbers, this sandwich only has 280 calories! To figure out the nutrition information for your specific order, use Subway’s calculator here. Or if you’re not in a sub mood, here are 11 other options for low-calorie fast food.
If you’re dairy free, Burger King’s Whopper Burger Sandwich is a great option. Burger King’s soft sesame seed buns are made without dairy and this sandwich contains no cheese. Sitting at 660 calories, the Whopper provides 28g of protein, 49g of carbs, and 40g of fat to help keep you full all day. Plus you can add a side of fries and a fountain drink to make it a meal. The fries run the risk of cross-contamination, so proceed with caution if you have a dairy allergy!
If you’re aiming to eat high fat and low carbs but don’t want to give up your sandwiches, Jimmy John has options for you. Since your meals are based around fat, you’ll want to make sure your sandwich is unwiched (bread-less) and full of energy-providing, high fat toppings.
The Italian Night Club comes with salami, capicola, ham, provolone, onion, lettuce, mayo, oil & vinegar, and oregano-basil. Don’t forget to ask for it to be wrapped in lettuce when you order! Calorie and fat count will depend on how you customize your sandwich. But an Italian Night Club wrapped in lettuce with everything on it has 44g of fat and only 8g of net carbs.
According to the media, sugar is the new fat. Instead of everything being fat-free, they’re now low-sugar or sugar-free. And for good reason! So if you’ve hopped aboard the sugar-free train but need something to grab on-the-go, head to KFC. At the window, order the Kentucky grilled chicken breast with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans. This entire meal comes out to 350 calories and less than 4g of sugar. We’d call that a win!
The caveman diet doesn’t exactly mesh well with modern day fast food chains. And a bunless burger slapped in a plastic container with a single piece of wilted lettuce doesn’t always do the trick. Luckily, Panera has your back! Almost all of their salads are considered Paleo, but we suggest the Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken.
You want to pick something that’ll give you energy all day. This salad will do just that! It’s packed with 33g of energizing fat, 43g of muscle building protein, and sits at 550 calories. Plus, everything on this salad is Paleo approved minus the dressing. We recommend swapping the Green Goddess dressing out for the oil and vinegar and the bread out for an apple. Oh, and did we mention you can order online?
Finding whole foods in the fast food world can be – well – a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, Chipotle has kept you Whole30 followers in mind. Unlike other fast food chains, Chipotle allows you to build your own bowls from the bottom up. Each ingredient is made from real food, is non-GMO, and contains no added colors, flavors, or preservatives. If you’re looking for whole food, Chipotle is your place.
To order, ask for a salad bowl. Your choices of Whole30 approved toppings include the barbacoa, chicken, carnitas, steak, fajita vegetables, fresh tomato salsa, guacamole, romaine lettuce, tomatillo green-chili salsa, or the tomatillo red-chili salsa. Calories will range between 520 and 195 depending on how you top it. To figure out your exact calorie count, plug your order into Chipotle’s calorie counter.
No matter your diet, fast food places have started to offer options for everyone. So even if you don’t see something on this list, head to the restaurant’s website and check out their menu. Or if you’re looking for something healthy, but aren’t necessarily sticking to any specific diet, check out these healthy fast food options!
After what seems like an eternity of drab weather, summer is almost here. But how are we supposed to get our pot of coffee a day without sweating up a storm from all that fresh-brewed heat? Two words: iced coffee. We’re convinced iced coffee is one of the wonders of the world and that it belongs with summer the ways peas belong in a pod. We’ve rounded up your options for grabbing the best fast food iced coffee on a hot day, as well as exactly which food items to pair with your beverage. But be forewarned… You might have trouble choosing your brew.
Chick-fil-A may not be well known for its iced coffee, but customers consider it one of the best fast food iced coffees. You can order a traditional with 2% milk or their vanilla flavor option. According to their website, their coffee beans are sustainably sourced by THRIVE Farmers, a farmer-direct coffee company that enriches the lives and communities of those who grow it.
It’s not really a surprise that Starbucks would be on any list that includes the word “coffee.” Of course, Starbucks is a pro at all of their iced coffees, but a couple favorite seem to be the Iced Caramel Macchiato or Iced Vanilla Latte. They also have blended iced coffee options in various flavors if you’re looking for a coffee that resembles the texture of a milkshake. To keep things dairy-free, substitute almond milk for regular milk.
McDonald’s keeps its coffee game strong by offering different flavors of McCafe iced coffees, such as the Iced Caramel Macchiato, Mocha, Caramel Mocha, and more. Hazelnut and sugar-free flavors are also available at select locations, so be sure to ask what your local spot offers. Their “base” iced coffee, if you’re looking to keep it simple, contains light cream, liquid sugar, premium roast coffee, and, of course, ice.
Dunkin’ has obviously made a name for itself in the coffee world, being a donut and coffee shop after all. When it comes to iced coffee, they offer plenty of options. Each of their flavor shots, including french vanilla, hazelnut, toasted almond, blueberry, raspberry, and coconut are all unsweetened and sugar-free. Their flavor swirls, which contain sugar, come in caramel, french vanilla, hazelnut, and mocha.
Wendy’s flavored iced coffees are a good bet if you’re craving a sweeter blend. They currently offer three flavors: vanilla, mocha, and caramel, and coffee lovers claim their extra sweetness makes them taste like a dessert. Could an iced coffee be the new frosty? Perhaps.
Krispy Kreme’s iced coffee is underrated, but what else is going to pair with that donut in the summer time? They offer a variety of flavors as well, including some that feature whipped cream like their Caramel Mocha Latte. They also offer a standard iced coffee with a splash of two percent milk and hazelnut flavor.
If you want a slew of options with your iced coffee, Sonic is your spot. They serve traditional iced coffee made with a blend from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, as well as blended coffee options like Iced Coffee Twists. Try the Praline Pecan flavor for a sweet, nutty option. But if you’re looking to keep things on the lighter side, order a traditional iced coffee with skim milk to keep fat and calories to a minimum.
This Canadian cafe chain does many things well, and iced coffee is no exception. While they don’t offer flavors, customers claim their premium roast is exceptionally creamy in its iced version and makes an ideal quick-grab coffee on a hot day. Additional cold coffee options at Tim Horton’s include the Iced Latte, a sweetened beverage, or the Iced Capp, a sweet, frozen, and blended coffee drink.
While Panera’s iced coffee comes in just one flavor, original, it does have one thing going for it: it’s refillable like other soft drinks. You can also jazz it up with a few dashes of cream and sugar to your liking with each refill you make.
If you’re looking for something a little more delectable, Panera also offers blended coffee drinks like the Frozen Mocha and Frozen Caramel, as well as the Cold Brew Madagascar Vanilla Cream and the Cold Brew Madagascar Vanilla Almond.
Jack-in-the-Box iced coffee is another similar to Wendy’s, in that it tends toward the sweeter side. They offer an original and mocha flavor, both sweetened, so be sure you’re looking for more of a “dessert” coffee when you order this one. Otherwise, pair it with an extra savory or spicy menu option to offset the sweetness.
Iced coffee at a taco joint? You heard that right. While it’s not considered the best iced coffee out there (and only comes in two flavors: traditional and vanilla), it pairs with tacos or other Mexican goodies in a pinch. Some customers say it can have a bitter tinge, so we recommend asking for a sugar packet if the roast is too dark for your liking.
The Crunchwrap balances out this coffee with savory eggs, and adds a delightful smoky crunch to round things out.
Not only is iced coffee an iconic summer item, it is perfect for all those travel plans. As a bonus, many iced coffees are reasonably healthy. But don’t stop your health roll there. Check out how you can still eat healthy while traveling.
Luckily, indulging in a hearty and filling breakfast doesn’t have to equal an hour in the kitchen every morning, as fast food joints have seriously upgraded their breakfast menus in the past few years. Chick-fil-A in particular has expanded and improved its breakfast menu, featuring everything from protein-rich yogurt with granola to chicken and egg burritos, and their signature chicken on a multigrain bagel.
Chick-fil-A has also taken into account the importance of offering plenty of healthy options, like their fruit cups and Egg White Grill. Where you used to only be given the choice between two or three sandwiches, you now have several options that are delicious, yet still keep things light. Next time you swing by during sunrise (or 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.), consider the 12 most popular items on the Chick-Fil-A breakfast menu.
Chick-fil-A’s Chick-N-Minis are essentially the breakfast sandwich version of their chicken nuggets (and who secretly doesn’t want chicken nuggets for breakfast?). These bites are perfect when you’re on the go, as you can simply pop them into your mouth without much hassle. Pair with a fruit cup side for a dose of vitamins.
The Chicken, Egg, and Cheese Bagel is a hearty option that will keep you feeling full for hours. Complete with Chick-fil-A’s signature chicken, warm egg, and melted cheese atop a multigrain bagel, it’s a great way to start your morning with a win.
If you’re watching your fat or cholesterol intake (or simply looking for a lighter and leaner option) reach for the Egg White Grill. This sandwich features grilled chicken instead of fried, as well as egg whites to reduce the fat total. Drop the cheese for an even leaner option, and pair with a fruit cup.
The fruit cup is an excellent way to get your daily dose of antioxidants and vitamins alongside any breakfast item. You can order it standalone or as a side in place of hash browns to reduce the calories and fats in your meal.
Feigning a burrito breakfast? Chick-fil-A even has you covered there, stuffing a flour tortilla with their signature chicken bites and egg. Convenient and hearty, this one is another good one to eat on the go.
Sometimes nostalgia creeps in in the form of food cravings. Say, like when you get that old familiar taste for grandma’s biscuits. Chick-fil-A’s buttered biscuits satisfy the urge for homemade comfort food, to go.
If you’re feeling like eggs and sausage, but also need something convenient you can hold and eat, the Sausage Breakfast Burrito at Chick-Fil-A has you covered. Eggs, sausage, and melted cheese are all wrapped in a flour tortilla for a satisfying, yet portable, breakfast classic.
Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Biscuit keeps breakfast simple but definitely still flavorful. If you’re feigning chicken but still want breakfast-style bread, order them stacked together in the form of this delight.
Healthy meets filling in Chick-fil-A’s Greek Yogurt Parfait. Protein-rich yogurt is layered with healthy Harvest granola and berries so you can feel light and energized throughout your day. Pair it with an extra fruit cup for an additional antioxidant blast.
Sometimes you just need the classic taste of bacon in the morning…but you might also be craving a sandwich and biscuits. If you don’t have time to sit down to a plated meal of all of the above, order Chick-fil-A’s Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, and get it all wrapped into one.
This is another Chick-fil-A sandwich option that combines all the positives – protein in the form of a sausage patty, melted cheese for extra flavor, a nutrient-rich egg, and a filling biscuit. Order up this favorite and pair it with a fruit cup or hash browns for a well-rounded meal.
Chick-fil-A’s breakfast options focus not only on convenience, but also health and satisfaction. For more, check out Chick-fil-A’s full menu for other options.
We all love a good secret. Preferably one that’s extra juicy, perhaps with a flavor we’ve never come across before. Well, we have good news: you can order from a “secret menu” at many of your favorite fast food joints. If you find nothing on the regular menu is satisfying your cravings, peak at some of these juicy secrets.
Just when you thought it was hard enough choosing just one drink off Starbucks regular menu, a secret version filled with all kinds of goodies pops up. And the best part? Many of these secret drinks are also healthy, fitting into a keto or paleo diet depending on what milk you choose (we recommend going with almond).
Believe it or not, many fast food joints have keto-friendly options on their menus. Often, all you have to do is ask! Check out these 10 keto friendly options at popular fast food joints if you want to plan before you go.
The secret menu at Sonic contains a taste of childhood, featuring smoky ham nestled between traditional melted cheese and grilled bread in their classic Grilled Ham and Cheese. You won’t see it on the regular menu, but it’s there.
Add another layer of nostalgia by ordering one of their classic shakes.
Looking for another keto option on your fast food run? In-N-Out offers a secret burger called the “Flying Dutchman,” which consists of two beef patties with a layer of cheese in the middle. To keep this one keto, order it sans fries.
Bring a taste of la Canada to your table on your next KFC run. Order the Poutine, which features classic KFC popcorn chicken layered with fries, chicken, cheese, and covered in gravy. Some locations may not recognize it when you order “poutine,” but simply order these items and ask for them to be layered!
If you’re craving Italian, but want something a step outside of the regular Italian BMT, order the secret Eggs Florentine Flatbread from Subway. It’s great for breakfast as well, as it’s layered with egg whites, red onion, banana pepper, spinach, black olives and Italian dressing.
Unsatisfied with the taco options on Taco Bell’s standard menu? Well, we have another Tex-Mex option for you. Order the Enchirito from their secret menu for an option that’s similar to an enchilada, loaded with seasoned ground beef taco meat, beans, diced onions, cheddar cheese, and “red sauce.”
The secret Presidential burger was aptly named after it was discovered former President Obama orders the same thing during his regular visits to Five Guys: a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, jalapeño peppers, and mustard.
What would a burger joint be without a veggie burger option? Although Whataburger’s Veggie burger is considered part of it’s secret menu, it’s deliciousness is no secret. In fact, it may taste familiar to you. Whataburger subs a traditional beef patty for a hashbrown patty with mushrooms and other veggies in this burger option.
Have you ever thought it odd that a Mexican restaurant doesn’t serve quesadillas? Well, Chipotle isn’t one of those restaurants, but the kicker is, you have to order a quesadilla off their “secret” menu. Just order it up, or else order your favorite meat and veggies flat between two flour tortillas.
You may or may not see Applebee’s Pepper Crusted Sirloin with Whole Grains on your regular Applebee’s menu, but if you don’t, not to worry. Most Applebee’s know exactly what you’re asking for when you order.
This secret item is a must if you’re looking to keep things light, but still peppery and tasty.
Krispy Kreme’s secret doughnut, the “Vimto” doughnut, is so secret it requires a secret code to order. This purple, fruity glazed doughnut is only available during select times, so you’ll need to go in and say, “I see Vimto in Krispy Kreme,” as the secret code to see if it’s available.
It turns out secret menu items are becoming more popular nowadays due to customers wanting more customization options with their orders. It’s often easier to order a “secret” menu item than order a regular item with a new list of custom toppings that someone has already ordered before.
The fast-food industry wasn’t built for vegans – that’s no shocker. The hamburger empires we all know and love were, instead, made for the masses – the everyday person without time to worry about what’s in their food. But the vegan? Not so much. However, there’s been a shift in the industry, as more and more people (and Instagram bios) boldly claim the vegan title. Whether you’re rolling through the nearest drive-through or sitting down for some 5-star cuisine, you can typically find at least one meatless, eggless, and dairy-free option to suit your diet. But don’t worry – we’ve narrowed down the search for you. Here’s a look at the best vegan fast food items. Enjoy!
Sofritas – Chipotle
This Mexican grill offers sumptuous tacos but they also offer vegan-friendly menu items. These include their recently rolled out Sofritas Burritos present in selected areas such as the San Francisco Bay area and Washington, DC. Sofritas Burritos have shredded tofu and additional items such as beans, lettuce, and brown rice. Their veggie fajita burritos have a flavorful combination of grilled onions and peppers and an added plus to this item is that this is more affordable than those with meat!
Surprisingly enough, Dominos has one of the healthiest vegan options out there, the Thin Crust Pacific Veggie Pizza. The only catch? It’s only vegan when you order it without cheese (but we’re sure you’re used to that by now).
Yes, even this fast food place offers a healthy Veggie Burger. Kids love it, and adults benefit from it. These are meat-free burgers which can satisfy the burger cravings without sacrificing the flavor. Paired with one of their side salads, this can be a surprisingly healthy vegan meal.
Although known for their heavy servings of meat-filled subs, they also have the Veggi Delite which can be paired with their 6 types of bread. You can even experiment with their different sauces. Subway consumers are actually on the move for them to include the meat substitute called Tofurkey which makes for an interesting addition to the Veggie Delite.
Taco Bell has a lot of vegan-friendly menu items which are filled with beans, You have the freedom to choose beans instead of meat, and anything with a usually meat filling can be replaced with this vegan item! remove cheese, sour cream, ranch sauce.
Carl’s Jr. has a delicous and unique option for vegans – their veggie burger. But, instead of a normal veggie patty, it’s fried zuccini (tastes amazing, take our word for it)! Plus, Carl’s Jr. has been backed up by PETA as a friendly place to offer fried vegan food since they do not fry them in the same vat of oil used for meat products.
Although the word “dairy” is mostly banned for vegans, Dairy Queen actually has dairy-free Arctic Rush options that can be enjoyed. In some of their locations, they have the “Star Kiss” vegan ice cream which can be a sweet treat for vegans.
In the world of fast food, Wendy’s is known for great service, flavor, and some vegan items to choose from. They serve a well-sized baked potato and the Deluxe Garden Salad which can be coupled with the Italian dressing sans the cheese.
People who aren’t even vegan rave about this slider, which can be topped with a number of White Castle’s sauces, like smokey BBQ, mustard, salsa, sweet chili, hot sauce, ketchup, and Nashville-inspired sauce.
Whenever you order from fast food places and you would like vegan items, make sure to specify this to the person you are ordering from. Follow these tips to ensure you have a satisfying fast food vegan meal:
Swap for brown rice – Whenever you can, opt for brown rice in your meals instead of the regular white one.
Go cheeseless for pizza – Pizza places can cater to cheeseless requests, and their veggie-topped pizzas can be vegan friendly if you remove the cheese.
Choose your salads well – Some fast food places offer salads and these do not have chicken or meat pieces. Consider trying their garden fresh offers next time you would like to have a side for your main dish.
Maybe you had a feeling the fast food industry was changing when McDonald’s started offering apple slices as a side or when Wendy’s became the go-to place for a fresh salad. Regardless of when that lightbulb moment was for you, there have never been more telltale signs that the traditional fast food experience has been totally uprooted. Think about it… White Castle’s vegan burger is rated one of the best fast food burgers in America, and if that doesn’t scream “revolution,” we don’t know what will. From healthy options to centralized delivery, check out these six trends that are turning the fast food industry on its head.
From McDonald’s healthy options to Chipotle’s grassfed beef, ordering a semi-nutritious meal from a fast food joint isn’t a new concept. However, what is refreshing is the focus on diet. We’re not talking New Year’s Resolution-type diets; no, we mean the specialty diets that everyone and their brother seems to be attempting as of late. From vegetarian to vegan, paleo, keto, and Whole30, fast food franchises are developing their menus to cater not only to the health concious – but those following diets with uber-specific restrictions.
From a consumer standpoint, offering these dietary accommodations is a gift from above. But for the fast food industry, it is a total business move. Just because you go vegan, vegetarian, or keto doesn’t mean you abandon convenience, so why lose valuable customers over dietary restrictions? Slap one or two diet-friendly items on the menu, and you’ve just earned yourself a whole clan of new customers (just make sure that gluten-free bun doesn’t taste like cardboard!).
Visions of robots taking over restaurants seems a bit dystopian, but the fast food industry is already experiencing this shift. From self-ordering kiosks to robot chefs, the tasks that once required a human hand are quickly disappearing. At restaurants like McDonald’s, KFC, and Wendy’s, you can walk up to a screen, rather than an employee, and type in your order – a trend that has been normalized in the past year.
However, something that may take some getting used to is the idea of a robot preparing your order. In Silicon Valley, this concept is a reality for Momentum Machines, a startup that designed a burger-flipping bot. Preparing and serving up to 400 burgers in one hour, this computerized chef does all the work, from slicing toppings to grilling the meat, assembling the burger, and packaging it up to be served to the customer. While you may not see robot chefs taking over at McDonald’s immediately, expect this trend to make waves in 2019.
Fast food delivery is a godsend. This 2019 fast food trend has taken the industry by storm, offering homebodies the opportunity to have a dish from virtually any restaurant delivered right to their front door. This trend is not exclusive to the fast food industry, however. Americans all over the country are choosing to opt for take out or delivery, rather than enjoying a dine-in experience at their favorite restaurants. Perhaps, snuggling up on the couch with a Big Mac and a Netflix binge has something to do with it? Regardless of your reason for not wanting to leave the house, you can find a ton of options on the most popular centralized delivery services, like GrubHub, Doordash, UberEATS, and Postmates.
Swinging through a drive-through is supposed to be the quickest way to get your food and go, but historically, fast food drive-throughs have been a huge flop. However, the future of the industry welcomes more efficient service, according to the Drive-Thru Performance Study. With customers skipping the wait and opting for the most convenient experience, franchises are only left with one option: speed up or lose business. Luckily for fast food lovers, the average wait time for drive-throughs is just two to four minutes.
In addition to faster drive-through service, you’ll start noticing more fast food restaurants opting for curbside service, which is supposed to be even quicker than a drive-through. You can order your dish on the restaurant’s mobile app, pull up to one of their designated carry-out spots in the parking lot, and wait (not for long) for someone to deliver your food right to your car window.
Nearly every fast food restaurant offers breakfast on their menu, whether it be for a limited time in the morning or all day. However, this wasn’t always the case in the fast food industry. Up until the past several years, many of the most popular chains had few breakfast options, if any at all. But, with the increase in demand for egg sandwiches, muffins, and breakfast burritos, restaurants are feeling the pressure to offer a full-fledged breakfast menu to accommodate every craving.
You may have noticed an expansion on the Chick-Fil-A breakfast menu, which started out years ago offering a measly three items to choose from. But after recent additions to the menu, the franchise is one of the most popular places to grab breakfast to go. From mixed fruit to multi-grain bagels, biscuits, and burritos, Chick-Fil-A is the industry leader when it comes to fast food breakfast. You can count on other fast food joints to follow this trend in the coming months.
In addition to changing what we’re consuming, the fast food industry is putting a greater focus on what we’re putting out into the world. Rather than mass producing plastic and styrofoam packaging, restaurants are switching to more environmentally-friendly materials like paper, as well as making recycling waste materials a higher priority. Some notable changes in the fast food industry include:
The elimination of plastic straws
Each day, 500 million plastic straws are thrown away, only to end up in a landfill. In an effort to improve environmental standards in the industry, giant corporations like Starbucks and McDonald’s have vowed to eliminate plastic straws from their stores in the next couple of years and replace them with a more environmentally-friendly option.
Getting rid of styrofoam packaging
Just like most plastic materials, styrofoam isn’t any good for the environment. In fact, it is now illegal for restaurants to use foam packaging in places like Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. The synthetic material is infamous for polluting waterways and has very little to no ability to be recycled, which is why restaurants like McDonald’s are working to swap their foam cups for paper products. While it is an expensive and exhaustive effort to make the transition to a more sustainable material, you can expect other fast food chains to follow suit in the next few years.
Recycling food packaging and other restaurant materials
While eliminating products that cause pollution is a good start, the fast food industry’s next big hurdle will be recycling those new, more sustainable materials. With franchise locations covering the globe, each chain will have to invest in the proper facilities, training, and consumer education to ensure that recycling is not only done, but done properly.
In addition to recyling packaging materials, chains like Chipotle have chosen to “recycle,” or giveaway things like chairs, tables, food processors, and other used equipment to schools and nonprofits who could benefit from them.