The Best New Fast-Food Items of 2021
Chipotle, Taco Bell and Popeyes have all rolled out new fast-food menu items. Here's a closer look!
Yes, Chipotle has Mexican fast food down to a fine art with their burritos, bowls and tacos. But they’ve never officially had a quesadilla on the menu. That’s changing with the introduction of their Hand-Crafted Quesadilla, customizable as usual to your taste. Psst… it’s only available on the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com.
See the Chipotle secrets that employees want you to know.
McDonald’s is jumping on the plant-based bandwagon with their McPlant patty. It’s made from pea-based protein, which the fast-food giant co-developed with Beyond Meat Inc., creators of the famous Beyond Burger. It’s currently available at McDonald’s in Denmark and Sweden, and will soon be available at locations around the world.
KFC: The (Best Ever) Chicken Sandwich
KFC kicked off 2021 with the release of a sandwich that combines a quarter-pound, double-breaded, extra-crispy chicken patty with a freshly toasted brioche bun. This masterpiece is topped off with the Colonel’s Real Mayo or Spicy Sauce and crinkle-cut pickles. Is this better than the Chik-fil-A chicken sandwich? It might be.
Dunkin’: Avocado Toast
Dunkin has already announced a couple brand-new drinks for 2021. But we’re most excited about the all-new Avocado Toast. You can start your day off on a healthy note with some ‘cado, then treat yourself to a Blueberry Matcha Latte and a doughnut. Here’s how you can get Dunkin’ delivered.
Popeyes: Cajun Flounder Sandwich
Popeyes started the chicken sandwich war of 2019, and this sandwich is so good, it might just ignite another! With a spicy Cajun-seasoned crispy flounder patty served on a brioche bun, topped off with tartar sauce and barrel-aged pickles, this is perfect for Lent fast-food cravings. Don’t forget to check out our other “fishy” fast food picks for Lent.
Taco Bell: Quesalupa
While not exactly a new addition to the menu, the return of the beloved Quesalupa (aka the delicious meeting of a quesadilla and a chalupa) sent fans into a frenzy. The double-layered delight now has 50% more melted pepper jack and mozzarella cheese, plus beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream. Pair it with the brand-new Taco Bell Freeze!
Einstein Bros.: Texas Brisket Egg Sandwich
Brisket. Bacon. Bagels. What could go wrong? The bagel shop’s latest sandwich features a slow-smoked beef brisket served with egg and topped off by melted cheddar cheese and smoky chipotle sauce. The best part? It’s served on a brand-new jalapeno, bacon and cheese bagel.
Caribou: Sparkling Spicy Pineapple Juice
Talk about a wake-up call! This pineapple juice and smoky chipotle blended smoothie is “BOUsted” with caffeine, guarana and ginseng. It’s the perfect kind of refreshing beverage for a hot summer morning. Plus, pineapple is really good for you.
Courtesy Taco Bell
Taco Bell: Green Apple Freeze
This fun new drink earns the Bell another spot on the list! Christmas seems to have come early with this red-and-green-hued drink, which comes with a cherry apple swirl. We predict tangy and sweet flavors, but there’s a catch—it’s only available at the New York Cantina location in Times Square.
Wendy’s: Pineapple Mango Lemonade
We didn’t think anything could top Wendy’s Strawberry Frosty, but this definitely seems like a good contender! Tangy lemonade meets punchy pineapple and sweet mango in this drink that’s just made for a tropical summer. It’s only available for a limited time, so grab it while you can.
McDonald’s: Caramel Brownie McFlurry
The latest McFlurry has not one but two delicious mix-ins: chunky brownie bites and an ooey-gooey caramel ribbon blended into McDonald’s signature vanilla soft serve. It’s only available for a limited time, so grab it while you can, and make sure your local McD’s ice-cream machine is working.
Taco Bell: Baja Blast Colada Freeze
Mountain Dew Baja Blast and sweet tropical cream, all wrapped in one delicious slushie? Sounds like the perfect summer drink to us. Pair it with the Cheesarito from Taco Bell’s secret menu for a real treat.
Sonic: Bursting Bubbles Slush
Dunkin’s not the only one getting in on the bubble tea craze! Sonic dropped two new drinks filled with green Bursting Bubbles, their take on the popping bubbles in boba. The Blue Burst Slush is a blue raspberry-flavored slushie, while the Cherry Burst Slush is a cherry-flavored slushie topped off with a maraschino cherry.
Del Taco: Crispy Chicken Burritos
We love burritos and we love crispy chicken, so combining the two means we’ll be eating these all year long. You can get the Epic Crispy Chicken & Fresh Guac Burrito, the Epic Honey Mango Crispy Chicken & Bacon Burrito or the Epic Honey Chipotle BBQ Crispy Chicken & Bacon Burrito.
Jack in the Box: Roost Fries
Jack in the Box’s Roost Fries tops their regular fries with chicken, Mystery Sauce and tons of cheddar cheese sauce. Bonus: They come in both classic and spicy varieties. Pair ’em with a salad instead of a cheeseburger to keep things lighter.
via Shake Shack.com
Shake Shack: Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich
The Chicken Sandwich Wars are still going strong! Shake Shack’s Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich features a honey-glazed fried chicken breast slathered with habanero mayo sauce, and will be on the menu from July 1 to October 4.