Fast food restaurants are always innovating — and competing — and that means there’s always something new to try. McDonald’s, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Subway, and other big chains introduce limited-time offerings regularly to entice customers to keep coming back. Even Chipotle, which rarely changes its menu, recently introduced a new protein that had tongues wagging and taste buds at the ready. Here’s what’s new this month in the fast-food world.
Chipotle is adding beef brisket to its menu for a limited time, and people are excited about this one. The brisket is smoked, then charred on the grill with Mexican flavors like roasted jalapenos and chipotles. Finally, it gets chopped and tossed with a smoky sauce that will give your burrito or bowl a brand new flavor profile. Grab it fast, though, because it’s departing after November.
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Yes, it’s that time of year again: McRib season. The pork-shaped, sauce-slathered sandwich is back at McDonald’s, and as usual, its cult following will gorge on it for a couple more months. Then, it will be gone again until next winter.
Wendy’s loves piling bacon on things, and the new Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger is no exception. It’s topped with bacon, a sweet and savory bacon sauce, cheddar cheese spread, American cheese, and crispy onions. But the real new thing here is the bun, which is baked with cheddar on top for a caramelized cheese crust.
The latest limited time offering at BK will make you sweat in the chill of fall. Ghost Pepper Nuggets are made with one of the hottest peppers in the world, though they’re not nearly as spicy as if you just ate the pepper, of course. Still, in the grand scheme of spicy fast food, they’ve got a lingering, slow burn.
The Grilled Cheese Burrito is back at Taco Bell starting Nov. 11. It was first released in 2020, and was apparently popular enough to bring back. It’s filled with beef, rice, nacho cheese, chipotle sauce, and sour cream, and it’s grilled with a crispy, caramelized layer of shredded cheese on the outside.
Perhaps to entice customers who don’t want to pay higher prices for bone-in chicken wings, Arby’s has introduced Boneless Wings to its menu. They’re all white meat and come tossed in buffalo or hot honey sauce. You can try them as a $5 combo for six pieces and fries right now.
The popular Detroit-Style Pizza is back at Pizza Hut. The rectangular pan pizza features a thick, chewy crust, caramelized cheese around the edges, and tomato sauce on top of the cheese. It’s available with double pepperoni, meaty deluxe, or supreme specialty toppings — or you can create your own, just like the chain’s other crust options.
“BaconMania” has hit Papa John’s, bringing with it three new bacon-filled items. The Triple Bacon Pizza is topped with bacon crumbles, julienne-cut Canadian bacon, and whole strips of smoked bacon. There’s also a Parmesan Crusted Smoky Bacon Papadia and Bacon Jalapeño Popper Rolls for a full bacon meal experience.
After a years-long hiatus, Lobster Bites have returned to Long John Silver’s. They’re made with 100% wild-caught Norway lobster tail, and come with a light, crispy, and buttery breading. They come packaged in an adorable lobster tail-shaped box.
Cheese and ranch fans will love the new burgers at Jack in the Box. The Cheddar Loaded Cheeseburger includes cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and a cheddar ranch sauce all on a bun baked with cheddar cheese on top. It’s also available with bacon in a double version.
A fan favorite is back at Sonic. The Garlic Butter Bacon Burger has a beef patty cooked with garlic butter to give it a savory backbone. It’s then topped with bacon, cheese, mayo, and grilled onions, all which go together nicely with garlic.
New this year in Starbucks’ holiday lineup is the Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte. It’s the first drink made with non-dairy milk for the chain, though you can substitute non-dairy milk for any dairy as well. It’s made with sugar cookie-flavored syrup and garnished with festive green and red sprinkles.
Hardee’s is kicking up its fried chicken sandwich lineup with hot honey. There are three new sandwiches, all made with hand-breaded chicken breast.
- The Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich includes bacon, cheese, and hot honey sauce on a potato bun
- The Hot Honey Chicken Biscuit includes hot honey sauce on a biscuit
- The Hot Honey Chicken and Waffle Sandwich includes hot honey sauce on two Belgian waffles, and is available all day.
Del Taco is mashing up two Mexican favorites into one item. The stuffed quesadilla tacos feature a cheddar and queso blanco quesadilla wrapped around a filling of grilled chicken, crispy chicken, or carne asada, plus lettuce, tomato, and more cheddar. There are new extra cheesy breakfast tacos available, too, made with eggs, cheddar, and queso, plus hash browns, beef, or bacon.
There’s a new deep-fried chicken in town at Panda Express, and this one stays crispier than its orange-flavored sibling. The crispy almond chicken breast’s chicken is breaded with puffed rice — think Rice Krispies — to give it extra crunch. It’s tossed with sliced almonds, green onions, and a garlic and soy sauce glaze.
Dunkin’ is fully into fall. The chain has rolled out its Apple Cider Donuts coated in cinnamon sugar, pumpkin donuts, and pumpkin-flavored coffees. New this year is the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew topped with pumpkin cream cold foam and cinnamon sugar topping.
Bojangles has revamped its fried chicken sandwich as the newest entrant in the chicken sandwich wars. The chicken breast is marinated with spices and has hand-breaded crispy buttermilk coating. It’s served on a buttered and toasted bun with two thick-cut dill pickle slices and mayonnaise. Like everything at Bojangles, you can add a thick smear of pimento cheese to gild the lily.
Potbelly has updated its menu with three new choices. The Avo Turkey includes sliced turkey, Swiss, sliced avocado, and cucumbers. The Chicken Club includes grilled chicken, bacon, and cheddar. Finally, the Steakhouse Beef includes roast beef, blue cheese, provolone, and horseradish aioli. All their subs now come in longer original and big sizes.
Popeye’s is teaming up with Megan Thee Stallion for a new sauce. Hottie Sauce is honey-based so it’s sweet and sticky, with cider vinegar for tang and Aleppo pepper for heat. You can get it as a dipping sauce for the chain’s nuggets, or on the fried chicken sandwich.
After a lackluster total menu overhaul earlier this year, Subway is still adding to its menu. The Baja Steak and Jack Sub is made with shaved steak, pepperjack, green peppers, red onions, and a new smoky Baja chipotle sauce with paprika, cumin, and guajillo chiles.
The Hatch Green Chile Bacon Burger is back at Whataburger, and along with it comes a chicken sandwich as well. All of them include bacon, chopped roasted Hatch green chiles, Monterrey jack cheese, and mayonnaise with a spicy or regular fried chicken breast, grilled chicken breast, or hamburger
It’s hard to find a food more comforting than mac and cheese, and Fazoli’s is betting you’ll need some comfort food this fall. There are three new mac and cheese entrees available, including panko-crusted, Angus beef, and lobster. All three have cavatappi pasta coated in a creamy sauce with shredded cheese baked on top, along with parmesan panko breadcrumbs, slow cooked beef, or lobster and langostino.
Church’s is upping its fried chicken sandwich game with the new Texas Cut Bacon Chicken Sandwich. It features the chain’s fried chicken breast along with mayo, pickles, and thick-cut bacon. You can also get it with spicy jalapeño mayo or smoky honey barbecue sauce in place of the mayonnaise.
Pumpkin is back on the menu at Culver’s. The Salted Caramel Pumpkin Concrete Mixer combines pumpkin puree and salted caramel sauce with vanilla frozen custard, and the Pumpkin Spice Shake is full of cinnamon and other fall spices.
You can also get a couple new pumpkin frozen treats at Dairy Queen this month. The Pumpkin Pie Blizzard is back for the season and includes pumpkin pie pieces, vanilla soft serve, and nutmeg. The Pumpkin Cookie Butter Shake combines two autumn flavors — pumpkin and cinnamon spice cookie butter — into one cup topped with whipped cream and nutmeg.
A seasonal fan favorite soup is back at Chick-Fil-A this month, a restaurant that doesn’t make many changes to its menu. The Chicken Tortilla Soup is creamy and full of shredded chicken, beans, vegetables, and Mexican-inspired spices. It’s just in time to warm everyone up as the weather turns cold.
There’s a new roast beef sandwich at participating Jimmy John’s locations. The Beefy Black and Bleu includes bleu cheese crumbles, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, cracked black pepper, horseradish aioli, and blue cheese dressing on top of thinly sliced roast beef. The pungent creation is available in regular and giant sizes.
Quiznos is going wild with the addition of the Bison Reuben to its menu. It features lean sliced bison, cooked in the style of corned beef, from High Plains Bison, along with classic Reuben toppings of sauerkraut, Swiss, and thousand island dressing on toasted rye bread.
The South meets Cuba in the latest offering from Firehouse Subs. The BBQ Cuban Sub includes smoky pulled pork, sliced honey ham, Swiss cheese, sweet and smoky chipotle slaw, spicy pickles, mayo, and mustard-based barbecue sauce. Don’t forget to heat it up with one of the chain’s hot sauces.