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The Absolute Worst Menu Items From 17 Different Fast Food Chains

Worst Fast Food

We spend a lot of time talking about the best of the best in fast food. Need to find the best double cheeseburger? We’ve got you. Looking for the spiciest chicken sandwich? Look no further. Want to know who has the best french fries in the game? We’ve done that.

But what about the food you should avoid? The trash. The dregs.

Let’s face it, not everything in fast food is worth eating and nothing hurts like shelling out cash when you’re hungry only to leave feeling unsatisfied. To help you avoid that culinary misery, we’re naming the absolute worst items from our favorite fast food chains so that you never have to waste your time or money ordering them.

Sound fun? Let’s do the thing!

Arby’s — Chicken Slider

Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Dry stringy chicken that tastes like black pepper and grease with an unmelted slice of Swiss cheese served on a near-flavorless bun. I’m not sure who this is for. Really, who is rolling up to Arby’s, home of the Beef ’N Cheddar, and ordering this sad excuse for a fried chicken sandwich?

Of Arby’s Sliders line, it’s the weakest, order the Jalapeño Roast Beef Slider instead, and if you absolutely must have chicken for some reason (why are you at Arby’s) at least grab the Buffalo Chicken slider for some buffalo and ranch.

The Bottom Line:

I’m convinced there isn’t a person alive who likes this thing.

Find your nearest Arby’s here.

Burger King — Chicken Nuggets

Fast Food
Burger King

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

A single eight-piece order of chicken nuggets from Burger King is only $2.49. What sort of corners are being cut at BK to keep the nuggets this cheap? Do we even want to know?

These nuggets aren’t crispy like you’d expect, instead the exterior is soft and squishy, and leaves this weird powdery residue on your fingers. The texture of the meat inside is spongey with a web-like appearance that’ll have you wondering if this is chicken in the first place.

The Bottom Line:

Quite possibly the worst chicken nuggets in all of fast food.

Find your nearest Burger King here.

Carl’s Jr —Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit

Worst Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

If you want to almost die by choking on bread, the Carl’s Jr Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit is for you! This biscuit sandwich is so incredibly dry it’s almost unedible. This is a shame because, from a flavor standpoint, it’s not terrible.

The sausage is peppery and slightly sweet, the cheese adds a salty element, but the egg has the mouthfeel of a spider web and the biscuit itself will absorb all the moisture in your mouth, making it impossible to eat this sandwich without a drink in hand.

The Bottom Line:

Carl’s Jr’s weakest breakfast sandwich.

Find your nearest Carl’s Jr. here.

Chick-fil-A — Cool Wrap

Chick fil A

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t easy to pick the worst menu item at Chick-fil-A. All of the food there, even when I don’t like it, is quality. So it came down to the Kale Crunch Side and the Cool Wrap. Ultimately I chose the Cool Wrap because, unlike the Kale Crunch Side, this is intended to be someone’s full men, and I think it falls incredibly short in that regard.

The sliced grilled chicken tastes fine enough but the mix of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese with green leaf lettuce and a rolled flaxseed flatbread fails to impart any real flavor. It’s all texture, with a very dry mouthfeel.

If you like these ingredients though just order the Spicy Southwest Salad, which has all of the above plus grape tomatoes, roasted corn, black beans, poblano chilies, and bell peppers. Doesn’t that sound infinitely better?

The Bottom Line:

Half the ingredients of a Spicy Southwest Salad with 1/10 of the flavor.

Find your nearest Chick-fil-A here.

Chipotle — Queso Blanco

Worst Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Like Chick-fil-A, it’s hard to find a weak link in Chipotle’s menu but because we’re committed to helping you avoid the worst foods at all the big chains… we found it! It’s the Queso Blanco.

This cheese dip is made with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, but it comes across as more oniony than cheesy, and that’s weird. In the dip are some chili peppers which provide a very subtle almost sweet heat but you have to strain to taste it through the overwhelming onion flavor.

Onion is the only ingredient Chipotle loves more than lime — it’s in everything! The guacamole, the fajitas, the corn, the green salsa… chill out on the damn onion, Chipotle!

The Bottom Line:

A cheese dip that tastes more like onion than cheese. Avoid at all costs.

Dairy Queen — Pretzel Sticks with Zesty Queso

Worst Fast Food
Dairy Queen

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

I wanted to simply put “anything that isn’t ice cream,” as the worst DQ menu item but credit where credit is due, these Pretzel Sticks with Zesty Queso are by far worse than the burgers and chicken.

Who is ordering this, and why? The pretzel is too dry, and the zesty queso dipping sauce is incredibly salty. It would be better to just dip the pretzel in a Blizzard.

The Bottom Line:

One question for the people who are ordering this: why?

Find your nearest Dairy Queen here.

Del Taco — Caramel Cheesecake Bites

Worst Fast Food
Del Taco

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Tangy and sweet with caramel and a crunchy mouth texture. I don’t hate Del Taco’s Caramel Cheesecake Bites, but I have to pick something as the worst food on the menu, and this is it.

I only ordered this for the sake of this article, I will never order or eat it again.

The Bottom Line:

Not bad enough to be good, but not good enough to guarantee a “yes” to the question, “Would you like a Caramel Cheesecake Bite?”

Find your nearest Del Taco here.

KFC — Mac & Cheese

Worst Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

I know this one is going to get me some hate, but nobody should be ordering mac & cheese at KFC. You may think to yourself, “How can anyone mess up mac & cheese?” but it’s easier than you think. All you have to do is overcook the noodles, which KFC does every time.

The noodles are soggy and the furthest thing from al dente ever, it might as well be a cheese dip! The cheese is also pretty one-note — salty as f*ck.

The Bottom Line:

KFC’s worst side order, and keep in mind they also have cole slaw!

Find your nearest KFC here.

In-N-Out — Grilled Cheese

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

I know people are going to expect to see the fries as the worst thing on the In-N-Out menu but I will have to respectfully disagree. There is nothing wrong with potatoes that are peeled, sliced, and fried on-site. If you think the fries from In-N-Out are bad, it might be the freshness that you are recoiling from. Are they the best french fries? Absolutely not, but they’re certainly not “bad.”

Oh right, we’re here to talk about the grilled cheese. It takes everything that’s great about an In-N-Out cheeseburger and takes out the best ingredient, the beef. The grilled cheese comes across as boring to me, there is too much bread, and not enough cheese, and the rest of the ingredients taste objectively strange without the beefy counterpart.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re ordering In-N-Out’s grilled cheese because you don’t eat meat but your friends do, just ask them to go somewhere else. You don’t have to keep pretending this thing is good.

Find your nearest In-N-Out here.

Jack in the Box — Jumbo Egg Rolls

Worst Fast Food
Jack in the Box

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Let me get this straight, in my lifetime Jack in the Box has put mozzarella sticks on the menu over five times only to take them away and somehow these Jumbo Egg Rolls are still on the menu? Make it make sense!

These things are foul, they taste like if someone threw up an egg roll and then rolled it up and fried it, and now you’re eating it. The cabbage celery and carrot taste dirty and sour, and the meat, which I think is pork but it’s honestly hard to tell, is totally rubbery in texture.

The Bottom Line:

Not even worth eating if you’re stoned.

Find your nearest Jack in the Box here.

McDonald’s — Sausage Burrito

Worst Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Oh boy, somehow McDonald’s ruined a burrito. The first issue is they put a slice of American cheese in a flour tortilla, an objectively terrible flavor combination. The sausage is dry, the onions are too sharp, and the eggs smell straight-up funky — the only thing this burger has going for it are the peppers, which have a nice vegetal flavor to them.

Also, what’s going on with this tortilla? Did McDonald’s bother to put it on a flat-top grill? It tastes straight out of the pack. It’s also way too thick.

The Bottom Line:

An insult to the very concept of a burrito. Feed this to an alien and they’ll leave Earth thinking the burrito is the worst food on Earth.

Find your nearest McDonald’s here.

Popeyes — Coleslaw

Worst Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

It hurts me to criticize anything Popeyes-related because it’s one of the best chains in all of fast food but this coleslaw is maybe the worst coleslaw I’ve ever had.

It’s sour and smells spoiled. A single spoonful of this stuff will be enough to turn you off from coleslaw forever.

The Bottom Line:

Disgusting is too weak a word to describe how bad this food truly is.

Find your nearest Popeyes here.

Rally’s — Grilled Hot Dog

Worst Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

I mean… do I even need to say anything?

The Bottom Line:

It’s a hot dog that somehow manages to be worse than one you made at home in the microwave.

Find your nearest Rally’s here.

Shake Shack — Cheese Fries

Worst Fast Food
Shake Shack

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

I will rally against these fries until the day I die. I will never understand why people give these french fries a pass but trash talk In-N-Out. Shake Shack is often so good:

  • The meat patty is a custom Pat LaFrieda meat blend.
  • The bun is a perfect potato roll.
  • The lettuce and tomato combo is straight-up salad-worthy.
  • The milkshakes are some of the best in all of fast food.
  • The chicken sandwiches are even capable of competing with Popeyes.

And yet somehow, these fries share a menu with all of that.

What’s going on with these fries? They’re Ore-ida frozen french fry quality with the worst movie-theater cheese sauce you can find spread all over them. We should all expect more from Shake Shack.

The Bottom Line:

So bad that oftentimes I’ll choose another burger restaurant because I’d rather have fries from anywhere else.

Find your nearest Shake Shack here.

Sonic — Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Worst Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

I wouldn’t call this grilled cheese sandwich bad, but I struggle to figure out why anyone would order it. It features two slices of American cheese grilled and melted between two pieces of thick and fluffy Texas Toast.

It tastes as you’d pretty much expect it to, but you can make a way better grilled cheese sandwich at home.

The Bottom Line:

Not bad, but totally inessential. It’s a sandwich Sonic makes because it can not because it should.

Find your nearest Sonic here.

Taco Bell — Nachos BellGrande

Worst Fast Food
Taco Bell

I know some people are die-hard Nachos BellGrande fans [YOUR EDITOR, FOR INSTANCE!] but I’m convinced that has more to do with nostalgia than anything else. These are an embarrassment to nachos everywhere. On a bed of way-too-thin tortilla chips sit Taco Bell’s ground meat, the palest tomatoes you will ever eat, powdered beans, and a dollop of sour cream with globs of salty nacho cheese.

Have you ever had nachos from an actual Mexican food spot? These don’t deserve to be called the same thing.

The Bottom Line:

Order almost anything else from Taco Bell. We suggest the Nacho Fries.

Find your nearest Taco Bell here.

Wendy’s —Grilled Chicken Ranch Wrap

Worst Fast Food

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

It was truly hard to find something at Wendy’s I didn’t like but… look, I found it! And no surprise, it’s a wrap. The Grilled Chicken Ranch Wrap features grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce, and ranch wrapped in a thick tortilla.

The tortilla is chewy and powdery, the chicken is dry, the cheese might as well be non-existent it has so little flavor, and the romaine lettuce tastes mostly like water. Making the best part of this wrap the ranch. You might as well order some fries and dipping sauce.

The Bottom Line:

Wendy’s has so many delicious options, from burgers to chicken sandwiches, to salads, and sides like baked potatoes and chili. Why would you ever order this?

Find your nearest Wendy’s here.