Some life experiences are just important to have had. Everyone should, for example, fall off a bike at some point. Everyone should fall in love and have their heart broken. And definitely, everyone should experience the joy of animal-style fries at In-N-Out. In the past, we broke down how to order at In-N-Out, and today, we're going in depth about specifically what to order off the In-N-Out secret menu. Think of it as your 200-level In-N-Out seminar.
The actual not-secret menu at In-N-Out is exceptionally short. Not that you should overlook it; they stick to the classics for a reason. While some fast food joints have menus with more than 200 items on them, In-N-Out keeps it simple and does what it does with grace and excellence. You can get a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a Double Double (also known as a cheeseburger with two patties and two slices of cheese), fries, sodas, or a shake. That's it.
“Our so-called ‘secret menu’ items started simply as variations our customers requested when ordering our basic menu items,” Denny Warnick, EVP, and chief operating officer of In-N-Out Burger, tells Bustle. “Over the years, many of those variations were given names, usually by the customers who frequently ordered their burger that way. Some of those names stuck, and today many of our loyal customers continue to order animal-style or protein-style burgers, for example.”
What's so beautiful about In-N-Out's clean, no-frills menu is how endlessly customizable it is, which has spawned a highly popular hidden menu, with items constructed out of ingredients from the traditional list of options. The In-N-Out hidden menu is actually so popular that there's a section on its website dedicated to the "not-so-secret menu" they offer, which goes beyond the basics. Even besides that, there are some important In-N-Out secret menu tricks to be aware of. And don’t fall for social media fakes: If you try to order “Monkey Style,” chicken tenders, or a chili cheese dog, you will look like a fool.
Here is the comprehensive list of In-N-Out secret menu items everyone should try at least once:
1. Animal-Style Fries
Let's get the big one out of the way first: You should not leave this earth without first trying Animal-Style fries from the In-N-Out secret menu. These babies are normal fries covered in cheese, In-N-Out's famous spread, and grilled onions. I'm not really religious, but if there's anything that makes me believe in the existence of a higher power, it's these things. Pro tip: Eat them with a fork.
2. Flying Dutchman
The Flying Dutchman is what happens when you take two patties and use them as buns for a grilled cheese sandwich. That's literally all it is: melted cheese between two beef patties, and people love it. Just remember to use a napkin if you don't want your hands to smell like beef.
3. Neapolitan Shake
When you mix the three shake flavor options from the In-N-Out menu together, you get a chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry-flavored bit of heaven. It’s inspired by the classic Neapolitan ice cream flavor. So, never let anyone convince you that you need to pick one flavor. As the saying (almost) goes, you can have your shake and eat it, too. Or drink it. Or whatever.
I'm not saying you need to get a 4x4 every day. No one needs a burger with four patties, four slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, sauce, and onions that frequently. But I am saying that you should, at some point in your life, try this behemoth of a burger, if for no other reason than to really test the limits of your jaw range. And if you’re feeling a little intimidated by the 4x4, you can always opt for it’s slightly smaller sibling, the 3x3.
5. Cheese Fries
I'm going to get folks stirred up with what I'm about to say, but it's worth it for the sake of journalism: Cheese fries are basically as good as animal-style fries. I'm sorry, but it's true. They're different for sure, but there's something so pure about fries doused in melted cheese that it's really hard to turn these babies down. The best thing is that you don't have to pick between these and animal-style fries. Get an order of both!
6. Any Burger, Animal Style, With Grilled, Regular, & Whole Grilled Onions
Animal Style burgers come with mustard grilled into the patty, as well as lettuce, tomato, cheese, extra sauce, pickles, and grilled onions. Up the ante by ordering it with regular onions as well, or you can be extra crazy and ask for grilled whole onions. And if you don’t want all the works, you can always order a mustard-grilled patty with any burger you desire!
To the surprise of many, you can add chopped chili peppers to anything at In-N-Out. Many native Californians don’t even know this. You will have to ask, though, because they're nowhere to be found on the actual menu, and the workers aren’t going to let you know they exist. You can get them on top of or grilled into your burger, or on your fries.
8. Pup Patty
In-N-Out knows that if its guests love anything as much as animal style menu items, it's actual animals. If you order a Pup Patty, also referred to as a Scooby Snack, they'll give you a cooked, saltless ground beef patty for your pooch. Cutest thing ever, or cutest thing ever? It’s technically not just for dogs, though, so if you feel like eating a plain burger patty with no frills, that’s totally fine too.
9. Grilled Cheese
Vegetarians, take note: Between the cheese, the spread, the onions, and the soft, fluffy bun, this grilled cheese will absolutely knock your socks off. And don't forget, you can get it animal style.
10. Protein Style
Typically, if you’re heading to In-N-Out, chances are you’re not necessarily worrying about being healthy. (After all, the menu is filled with greasy, mouth-watering burgers.) However, if you stray just shy of the regular menu, you’ll land on an option called “Protein Style.” By ordering this way, you get iceberg lettuce sans the bun, and therefore, ditch the carbs.
Looking for a unique soft drink that is only available on the secret menu? Ask for a Lemon Up like all the real In-N-Out experts do. This soda drink is a mix of 7-Up and pink lemonade, and it is incredibly refreshing alongside a burger and fries.
12. Root Beer Float
If you live on the West Coast and can’t decide between a milkshake and a soda, mix it up by ordering the root beer float at In-N-Out. It’s actually more of a root beer and milkshake hybrid, as it uses a vanilla milkshake as its base instead of the vanilla ice cream that’s used in a classic root beer float. For that reason, it’s made of pure creamy goodness, perfect for a hot California summer day. Impress even the biggest In-N-Out fans by ordering this one.
13. Black And White Milkshake
Not a strawberry milkshake fan but want to have a secret menu milkshake concoction? No problem. The Black and White is essentially a chocolate-vanilla swirl milkshake. It combines both the vanilla and chocolate milkshakes for a delicious flavor fusion.
14. Roadkill Fries
Aside from their kind of gross name, Roadkill Fries are nothing but delicious. This secret menu item is basically a combo of In-N-Out Animal Style fries and a Flying Dutchman. You’ll get fries covered in cheese, In-N-Out spread, and grilled onions with burger patties covered in melted cheese on top.
15. Wish Burger
Calling all vegans: There is officially something for you to order and eat at In-N-Out other than fries. After many years of begging for something without animal products, the secret secret menu has granted your wish. When you order a Wish Burger (essentially a grilled cheese without the cheese), you’ll get lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and spread stuffed in a toasted bun. You can even add in some fries for extra texture. It may not be a patty, but it will be satisfying.
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