Fast food restaurants regularly add new and bold items to their menus that we can’t get enough of. McDonald’s Szechuan sauce, Burger King’s cheesy tots, and Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco are just a few examples of some of the best fast food items that were ever created, and then tragically discontinued. One day, we hope to see these again.
McDonald’s Fried Apple Pie
While McDonald’s still serves the baked version, the original started out as a fried apple pie. McDonald’s discontinued the fried version in 1992 because consumers were getting more concerned with their health.
Taste of Home describes the original taste as a “crispy, bubbly, slightly salt crust with an ooey gooey apple or cherry filling.”
Taco Bell’s Bell Beefer
During the 1970s, Taco Bell wanted a way to compete with the larger burger chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King.
They invented the Bell Beefer, which included taco meat, onions, lettuce, and mild Border Sauce on hamburger buns. It lasted until the mid-1990s and there’s even a Facebook group with over four thousand fans who want it brought back.
McDonald’s has a lot more to offer than their Big Macs. In 1989, the fast food chain dipped their toes in the pizza industry.
They were able to cook up a whole frozen pizza in under six minutes and were selling them in about 40 percent of their stores nationwide during the early ’90s.
Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco
Taco Bell realized other fast food chains were hitting it big in the breakfast department, so they wanted to add some unique items to their menu.
They started their breakfast menu in 2014, which included their famous Waffle Taco. The taco-shaped waffle included eggs and meat with syrup on the side and was discontinued within a year.
KFC’s Double Down Sandwich
KFC isn’t necessarily known for being a healthy restaurant, especially after releasing one of the unhealthiest items in fast food history.
In 2010, they came out with the Double Down sandwich. This featured two filets of deep-fried chicken with bacon, cheese, and a special sauce. The Double Down sandwich became so popular that over 10 million were sold.
Burger King’s Cheesy Tots
Burger King’s tater tots became a hit after being featured in the cult classic Napoleon Dynamite. In 2016, the stars of Napoleon Dynamite reunited to promote Burger King’s new cheesy tater tots.
After having a limited run, the cheesy tater tots were brought back a few years later and included smoky bacon bits.
Taco Bell’s Cheetos Burrito
The menu items at Taco Bell seem to always keep customers on their toes. One of their most creative items was the Cheetos burrito.
Taco Bell and Cheetos entered into a partnership in 2016 to create this dish, but their ideas fell flat. The burrito consisted of the original Taco Bell burrito with some Cheetos inside.
McDonald’s McSalad Shakers
Fast food restaurants started to add new healthy food items in the ’90s and early 2000s. One of those failed attempts was the McDonald’s McSalad Shaker.
The McSalad Shaker was introduced in April of 2000 with choices such as Chef, Grilled Chicken Ceasar, and Garden. The McSalad Shaker was replaced by their Premium Salads in 2003.
Burger King’s Bacon Sundae
Bacon has been used in several desserts such as donuts, but Burger King wanted to kick it up a notch.
In 2012, they created the bacon sundae. This featured vanilla soft-serve ice cream, chocolate fudge, caramel, bacon crumbles, and a couple of strips of bacon. Critics and fast food fans had generally mixed reviews.
Pizza Hut’s Taco Pizza
One of Pizza Hut’s most famous discontinued dishes is its taco pizza. It was created in the late 1970s and was a hit well into the 1980s.
The pizza was exactly what it sounds like. It included a regular Pizza Hut pizza topped with taco fixings such as lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded cheese.
KFC’s Potato Wedges
KFC recently swapped out their potato wedges with skinny fries, which outraged many of their loyal customers. One KFC customer wrote, “Bring back our beloved potato wedges! They are what set [KFC] apart from every other chicken spot.”
One of the reasons why customers loved KFC’s potato wedges was because they seasoned them with the same 11 herbs and spices used on their iconic chicken.
McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce
After the 1998 release of Mulan, McDonald’s released a special sauce to go with the film. Their Szechuan Sauce was a limited-time teriyaki dipping sauce that came with the Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal.
After the sauce was referenced in a 2017 episode of Rick and Morty, McDonald’s brought back the sauce in 2017 and 2018.
Jack In The Box’s Cheesy Macaroni Bites
Jack in the Box sometimes goes unnoticed compared to other fast food giants, but they’ve had some popular menu items.
In 2008, they released Cheesy Macaroni Bites, which were deep fried macaroni and cheese in the shape of a triangle. In order to market them, customers were told their triangle shape made them safer to eat while driving.
Sonic’s French Toaster
Sonic may not be known for their breakfast items, but they have released a few decent ones. One fan-favorite was their French Toaster breakfast sandwich.
French toast was used as the bread and it was filled with eggs, bacon or sausage, and cheese. Soon after its 2015 release, the French Toaster was replaced with Texas toast.
Wendy’s Frescata Sandwich
In order to compete with Subway sandwiches in the early 2000s, Wendy’s created the Frescata sandwich. These deli-style sandwiches were released in 2006 but only lasted about one year.
The Frescata sandwiches became discontinued due to poor sales and they took longer to make than most of Wendy’s other menu items.
Burger King’s Ribs
Burger King released their fire-grilled rib meal in May of 2010 and quickly sold over 10 million of them.
The chain didn’t expect to sell so many of them, so they ran out of packaging and rib meat faster than expected. Customers loved the ribs because they were made from real meat, compared to their frozen burgers.
Dairy Queen’s Breeze
One of the most popular items at Dairy Queen is their Blizzards, so they wanted to make a healthier version.
From 1990 to 2000, they sold the Breeze. This used frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Unfortunately, the item was so unpopular that the frozen yogurt often went bad before it was ever used.
McDonald’s Fries Cooked In Beef Fat
Due to a high demand of healthier options beginning in the ’90s, McDonald’s and other fast food chains have needed to switch up their menus.
Before McDonald’s cooked their fries in vegetable oil, they used to cook them with the fat from their burgers. However, McDonald’s fries still rank as one of the top choices today.
McDonald’s McRib Returns Only Once A Year For “McRib Season”
McDonald’s McRib is as delicious as it is fleeting. McDonald’s first debuted the McRib in 1981– but after poor sales, the fast-food chain pulled the item from its menu four years later.
Since then, McDonald’s has brought the boneless pork patty sandwich back, but only for a limited time, typically beginning in November of each year, for what fans on social media call “McRib season.”
Popeyes’ Sweet & Crunchy Tenders
Popeyes is best known for their variety of chicken dishes, but they’ve been pretty explorative with some of their recipes. In 2017, they released Sweet & Crunchy Tenders.
These chicken tenders were actually coated in cookie dough; shortbread cookie coating to be exact. Food critics thought the cookie coating provided a nice, subtle sweetness when paired with the hot chicken.
Little Caesars’ Pepperoni Crazy Bread
Customers were bummed out when Little Caesars discontinued their Pepperoni Crazy Bread. These were stuffed breadsticks with cheese and pepperoni and were often dipped in marinara sauce.
Those who want something similar can try their garlic Crazy Bread sticks and they will sometimes add a bacon-stuffed pizza crust to their menu.