McDonald’s McRib and 14 Other Iconic Fast Food Items With a Cult Following
Fast food isn’t only a quick solution to hunger. For some, certain fast food items are akin to the Holy Grail. People go out of their way to track down menu items. Discover 15 fast food items such as the McRib (page 14) with a cult following, ahead.
McDonald’s fried apple pie
Gone are the days of the fried apple at McDonald’s. Baked apple pies have become a mainstay on the menu since the early 90s, according to Delish. Some locations do still sell the original fried apple pies. Locator websites help fans track down McDonald’s locations with fried apple pie on the menu.
Hint: A restaurant partners with a chip brand to make a new menu item.
Taco Bell’s Doritos Tacos Locos
A limited time menu item becomes permanent when customers try Doritos Tacos Locos at Taco Bell. Customers loved the flavors so much Taco Bell continues to introduce new flavors, like Cool Ranch.
Hint: One ingredient sets this sandwich apart from others.
Wendy’s Premium Fish Fillet
Similar to other fast food restaurants, Wendy’s introduces a fish sandwich available during Lent. Wendy’s fish sandwich sets itself apart by being made with North Pacific Cod and breaded with panko bread crumbs, according to Delish.
Hint: The holidays mean these seasonal drinks are available.
Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread lattes
While these aren’t necessarily hard to come by, they’re seasonal drinks making their popularity skyrocket. People even order them before their release date. “Impatient holiday latte fans have discovered that customers who ask for the seasonal fare about a week before the yearly launch can usually get a premature latte,” according to Delish.
Hint: This iconic burger restaurant is known for their seasonal fries.
White Castle sweet potato fries
Only available during the fall and winter months, White Castle’s sweet potato fries have a cult following. And these aren’t just any sweet potato fries. They’re served with cinnamon dipping sauce giving the fries a sweet and salty flavor.
Hint: One of the most fattening fast food sandwiches is also one of the most loved.
KFC’s Double Down
Originally part of an April Fools’ Day joke, KFC’s Double Down first makes an appearance in a press release. Customers, taking the joke seriously, expect to find bacon, two slices of cheese slathered in Colonel’s Sauce, between two deep fried chicken breasts on KFC’s menu. KFC listens to their customers and adds the Double Down to their menu.
Hint: A green shake comes back by popular demand.
McDonald’s Shamrock Shake
The month of March means Shamrock Shakes — make an alternative recipe here — at McDonald’s. Until 2012, Shamrock Shakes are sold at a limited number of locations. Because of their popularity, McDonald’s makes Shamrock Shakes available everywhere.
Hint: A citrus fruit makes this drink popular.
Sonic’s cherry limeade
Of their 20 lemonades and limeades, Sonic’s cherry limeade is one of their most popular, according to Business Insider. The recipe includes the juice of two limes and small, almost crushed ice cubes, giving the limeade a unique texture.
Hint: The largest family-owned chain in America has an even larger following.
The “A” in the name stands for “Grade A,” a policy Chick-fil-A upholds today. They’re no strangers to controversy but continue to sell lots of chicken. Fans like that the chain is family-owned and are very loyal to the brand.
Hint: This burger restaurant is the inspiration for a movie.
Rivaling In-N-Out Burger is Whataburger. The chain gives customers free coffee mugs, which eventually become collectors’ items, according to Ranker. Whataburger is said to be the inspiration behind the Nickelodeon movie, Good Burger. Fans love the relaxed atmosphere where they’re encouraged to take their time eating their food.
Hint: A TV show gives this fast food sauce new life.
McDonald’s szechuan sauce
After one man finds an old packet of szechuan sauce from McDonald’s in his car and sells the packet on eBay, fans of the TV show, Rick & Morty, want the sauce to be available once again. After a disastrous first launch, the sauce is launched a second time, but still sells out. Fans still want the sauce to return to McDonald’s because they, like the characters on Rick & Morty, love the sauce.
Hint: A burger from this restaurant has people coming back for more.
In-N-Out burger has a cult following but on their menu is a burger their fans love. Known as the Double-Double, the burger contains two slices of cheese and two burger patties. The recipe hasn’t changed since its inception in 1948.
Hint: Coca-Cola from this country is popular in America.
Mexican Coke is regarded as better than American Coca-Cola because cane sugar — i.e. real sugar — is used. Plus, Mexican Coke is bottled in glass as opposed to aluminum, which diminishes the flavor. The combination of using real sugar and a glass bottle improve the taste so much people buy Mexican Coke at a premium, according to Ranker.
Hint: A decades old sandwich makes surprise returns to the menu at this restaurant.
After decades of being off the menu at McDonald’s, the McRib makes a comeback. Since 2006, the McRib makes periodic appearances at McDonald’s restaurants across the country. Fans of the McRib document sightings on websites, according to Delish.
Hint: Little girls sell this food item with a cult following.
Honorable mention: Girl Scout cookies
While they’re not technically a fast food item, Girl Scout cookies have a cult following. Their website has a “Find Cookies!” feature where cookie enthusiasts can enter their ZIP code to track down Thin Mints, Samoas or whichever cookie their heart desires.
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Read more: Healthy Fast Food: The Best Meals at 15 Popular Restaurants