With most of the world’s fast food menus unchanged since the 80s, it’s not surprising that diners eventually get bored. There’s only so many times that you can have a Whopper before you start wondering if there’s more to life.
Fortunately for the rest of us, fast food giants realise that we have tiny attention spans. While most of their resources are committed to churning out tried and tested staples, a few mavericks are allowed to let their imaginations run wild. You won’t find these mashups on every menu, but if you look hard enough, the rewards are worth it. Here’s our guide to the world’s ultimate fast food combos.
1. The Waffle Taco
Fast food for breakfast is one of those things that seems like a great idea but leaves a cloying sense of shame and self-loathing. Few items sum up the indulgence that defines one of these meals than the sadly discontinued Waffle Taco from Taco Bell. With a shell made from starchy waffle and fillings including bacon, sausage, egg and maple syrup, this dish looked more like the brainchild of a sugar-high 10-year-old than any serious chef. Which is probably why it was so yummy.
2. The Whopperito
Not content with dominating the overly expensive average sandwich market, the powers that be at Burger King decided to branch out into Mexican. Introduced in 2016, this cultural mash-up masterpiece featured all the ingredients of the chain’s signature burger packed tightly inside a burrito. Unfortunately, the fast food Frankenstein failed to get the critical reception it was looking for and is yet to find a dedicated fan base.
3. Loaded Chicken Nuggets
Nachos are so last year. When it comes to covering things in cheese and strange sauces, there’s a whole world of ingredients out there, so why settle for tortilla chips? It was this attitude that lead burger giants Jack in the Box to create the loaded chicken nugget box - chunks of chicken submerged beneath cheese, bacon and ranch. Why no one thought of this sooner remains a mystery.
4. McAloo Tikki
India’s culinary culture is among the most celebrated in the world, so it makes sense that the prospect of a curry/McDonald’s combo raised a few eyebrows. Despite doubts from traditionalists, McDonald’s Indian branches still elected to introduce the world to the McAloo Tikki. Featuring a potato and pea patty, coated in a mix of Indian spices, the strange burger continues to be a fan favourite in the world’s second most populous country.
5. Crown Crust Carnival Cheeseburger Pizza
Luxurious holidays to Dubai are defined by decadence. This goes for everything from enormous pools to white sand beaches to ridiculous fast food. In keeping with this tradition, Pizza Huts in Dubai decided to create perhaps the most obscenely awesome pie of all time. Featuring burgers stitched into the crust and an array of toppings including cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, the Crown Crust Carnival Cheeseburger Pizza is as appalling as it is alluring.
6. Chicken Fries Ring
When Burger King gave us chicken fries in 2005, the world was united in celebration. The idea of replacing potato with long fingers of deep fried goodness was a stroke of genius. However, even this idea may have been pushed too far with the introduction of the chicken ring. When a chicken product is so obviously un-chicken-shaped, it’s inevitably going to look a little off-putting. Having said that, it’s still totally delicious.
7. Mexican Pizza
The Mexican Pizza epitomises everything that’s awesome about fast food mashups. Taking the best elements from Mexico and Italy and turning them into something greater than the sum of their parts, this is fast food thinking done right. Featuring a quesadilla, topped with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings, this treat was perfected by the twisted minds at Taco Bell and has rightly taken its place in the junk food hall of fame.
Whenever you mess around with classics, it’s inevitable that mistakes will be made. It’s not always possible to improve on perfection. However, as these dishes prove, when fast food franchises let themselves have a bit of creative freedom, the results can be unbelievable in the best possible way.