As fast food menus continue to rotate and innovate, items once beloved by the public can inevitably disappear. These discontinued fast food items lie dormant in their company’s vaults, but there are legions of customers who wish that some could be resurrected.
Below are just a paltry representation of those discontinued fast food items no longer around, but where a demand for return is humongous.
KFC’s Original Popcorn Chicken
Sure, the Colonel’s got “Popcorn Nuggets” on the menu these days, but their bigger size means that you get less of the seasoned, crispy batter than the original Popcorn Chicken. I’ll still get the Nuggets from time to time because snackable fried chicken is always a plus. I just wish the old-school version was available as well.
Pizza Hut’s P’Zones
Whether you were one of those screaming “It’s not a calzone!” or not, this was still one hefty meal when it was around. This mashup of pizza and calzone clocked in at about a pound, not counting the extra cups of marinara you’d buy to dunk the crust in. Pizza Hut has brought the P’Zone back before, though, so there’s a possibility they could come back in the future.
McDonald’s OG Fries, Cooked In Beef Fat
McDonald’s made the switch over to vegetable oil in the early ’90s, and since then, people have been able to tell that the savoriness of these crispy spuds has gone way down. The golden-arched fast food giant has tried to replicate the old taste with milk and beef-based flavorings, but it’s still just not the same as the fries of old.
Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco
As one of Taco Bell’s first forays into the Frankenstein’d foods category, this waffle taco blew everyone’s minds when it first came out. The Bell has continued to produce hype breakfasts and innovative items since then, but this combo of sweet and savory has yet to make an appearance since. A “successor” to it, the French Toast Chalupa, is in the works, so maybe there’s hope for the waffle taco in the future to pair alongside it?
Burger King’s Burger Shots
Burger King once went after White Castle with their version of sliders, and learned quickly not to mess with the originators. Still, these were a buzzworthy take on sliders slightly ahead of their time, as the mini burgers are poppin’ on menus elsewhere today. Could the King bring them back for an audience more accepting of these patties? Possibly, if they can keep them from falling through the charbroiled grates this time.
McDonald’s Fried Apple Pie
Photo: Betsy Weber // Flickr
The current version of apple pie on McD’s menu is baked, not fried. There’s a clear distinction between the two, as the fried pies are flakier than the crisp, dry pastry of the baked version. I get that you’re trying to make things healthier, McDonald’s, but sometimes it’s OK to up the indulgence to the max and stick your pies in a deep fryer.
(Note: Apparently, you can still find these in some locations in Oahu and Maui. The rest of the country has changed over, though, so head to Hawaii if you want a deep-fried taste of nostalgia.)
Wendy’s Spicy Nuggets
Wendy’s recently pulled these off the menu without so much as a warning, and it was only after an uproar on social media that they even bothered to talk about where the nuggets went. There are still a few locations that have them, but in a period where hot chicken is boomin’, taking them off the national lineup just doesn’t make sense. I’ll trust the queen of fast food social media for now, but I seriously want my post-road trip fuel back.
Pizza Hut’s Triple Decker Pizza
Before the cheese-stuffed crust was big, there was a cheese-laden pizza base. Pizza Hut crammed as much cheese as they could into these pies in the late ’90s, and was one of the first times the world questioned whether we’d taken indulgent fast foods too far. Today’s world is all about the cheese pull, though, so even though there’s probably an extra thousand calories in this pie, we’ll sacrifice our waistlines to pull this one for the ‘gram.
McDonald’s Mighty Wings
McDonald’s take on wings was off to a flying start, but the company shelved it because it didn’t turn into a major success for them. Mighty Wings stood up to some of the country’s best wing chains at the time, though, and if the fast food giant can find a way to drop the price on them, could be a tasty bite of nostalgia for wing fanatics.
Taco Bell’s Bell Beefer
Originally from Naugles, the Bell once had a take on the “Taco Bun” that piled taco meat into burger form. It ate more like a Sloppy Joe than a burger, though, and while it was popular at first, demand eventually declined to where it left the menu. There’s many fans out there, though, who would love to see Taco Bell’s take on a burger come back to the menu one day.
Wendy’s Frescata Sandwiches
Wendy’s brought these out as a challenge to Subway, but cold cuts from their drive-thru just didn’t sell well. I feel like if Wendy’s revisited these and learned how to make them faster while toasting the bread, they could still be a solid hit. It could be a foray too far into Arby’s territory, though, so maybe sticking to fresh beef is the better move for Wendy’s.
Chick-fil-A’s Spicy Chicken Biscuit
This was THE breakfast item to get when it was on the menu, and nobody was happy to see it go in lieu of other options. Those Chicken Mini biscuits that Chick-fil-A offers in the morning now are no substitute for a juicy, spicy filet of crispy chicken breakfast inside of a buttery biscuit. You’ve still got spicy chicken sandwiches, Chick-fil-A, so I’m not sure what’s holding you back from giving the people what they want here.