Food Fun & News
The 10 Bestselling McDonald’s Menu Items—Ever
Does your favorite make the list?
#10: McGriddles breakfast sandwich
This McDonald’s breakfast staple—bacon and egg surrounded by miniature, M-stamped pancakes—takes the number ten spot on our list. This is a big hit among people who crave the delicious taste of pancakes, but don’t have the time to sit down and have a stack. The egg in McGriddles is actually what employees call a “folded egg”—a frozen, slightly modified egg. There is one McDonald’s breakfast dish that uses real eggs—here’s what it is.
#9: Double cheeseburger
In 2002, McDonald’s learned that it’s OK to mess with the classics—if it means people get more of them. With double the beef and double the cheese, this burger is the ninth most popular Mickey D’s item. In early 2003, the Dollar Menu—which the Double Cheeseburger was introduced as a part of—saved McDonald’s from its first quarterly loss since 1965. Sales skyrocketed, with the dollar Double Cheeseburger leading the way. Of course, the Double Cheeseburger is now a little pricier (about $1.69), thanks in part to the rising price of American cheese, but it’s still a big hit. Check out these 75 mind-blowing McDonald’s facts.
#8: Premium salads
While McDonald’s may not immediately pop into your mind when you think of health food, consumers took notice when the franchise upped its salad game in 2003. Instead of using iceberg lettuce, the then-new Premium Salads used a new lettuce blend, and McDonald’s eventually got rid of iceberg lettuce altogether. Salads like the Southwest Buttermilk Crispy Chicken and the Bacon Ranch have cemented the Premium Salad at eighth place on this list. These are the healthiest things you can order from a McDonald’s menu.
#7: Chicken nuggets/Select Strips
Burgers and fries might be McDonald’s primary claim to fame, but chicken holds strong, claiming the seventh spot on this McDonald’s menu item list. McDonald’s introduced its Chicken McNuggets in 1980 and they’ve been a bestseller ever since. Select Strips, on the other hand, vanished from the menu in 2015, but chicken connoisseurs are still able to get their fix with the Buttermilk Chicken Tenders, new as of 2017. Either way, the combined chicken items have garnered enough sales to rank seventh. Did you know Chicken McNuggets only come in one of four shapes?
#6: Apple slices/baked apple pie
From snacks to dessert, apples are a big deal for McDonald’s. The baked apple pie, introduced in 1992, has become somewhat iconic thanks to its very inexpensive price (99 cents!) and its tasty recipe. In fact, its ingredients are actually more natural than you might think! (Here’s the secret behind McDonald’s apple pie recipe.) If you want to get an even healthier apple fix, opt for the apple slices. Originally created as Apple Dippers, a nutritious side for Happy Meals, the apple slices alone have helped propel apple-related fare to spot six on this list.
#5: Egg McMuffin
The Egg McMuffin revolutionized fast food as the first-ever breakfast item truly offered by a fast food franchise. In the 1970s, fast food executive Herb Peterson sought to create an eggs Benedict sandwich for McDonald’s. He put a poached egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese between two English muffins, and consumers loved it. Loved it enough, in fact, to make it the fifth most popular menu item.
#4: Happy Meal
Thanks to everything from the PlayPlaces in many McDonald’s locations to the fact that McDonald’s is the world’s largest toy distributor (yes, really!), it might come as a surprise that McDonald’s didn’t always market to children. But it’s true—it wasn’t until 1979 that the franchise began selling the boxed “kids’ meals” we know and love today. Even back then, the cardboard Happy Meal boxes contained toys, and the colorful, child-friendly packaging was inspired by cereal boxes. Learn the secrets McDonald’s employees won’t tell you.
#3: Snack Wraps
Food on the go is what McDonald’s does best, and Snack Wraps are made for that very purpose. Don’t have the time or the appetite for a full meal? A snack wrap is the perfect choice off the McDonald’s menu. Take your pick of Grilled, Crispy, or Buttermilk Crispy chicken and enjoy. These portable portions are McDonald’s third best-selling item.
#2: Big Mac
You knew this one had to be near the top. The special-sauce-loaded, sesame-seed-bun-surrounded burger concoction, named after the franchise itself, falls just shy of the number one spot. Successful marketing has played a big part in the Big Mac’s enduring popularity. Most recently, the Big Mac has gotten both a downsize and an up-size, being marketed alongside respective larger and smaller sandwiches the Grand Big Mac and the Mac Jr. As the McDonald’s website puts it, “there’s a Mac for any moment.” (That goes for appetite too!) Get a look at the first-ever McDonald’s menu.
#1: French fries
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that these delicious slices of golden goodness are the all-time bestseller. They’ve been a staple of McDonald’s since its very first menu, and people have been asking for fries with that—or just fries—ever since. And yes, there is a secret ingredient that makes McDonald’s fries so addictive.