Most food items that are found in standard grocery stores use 2,000 calories when determining the percent of daily values the human body needs. While nutritional requirements vary on a case-by-case basis, the 2,000-calorie mark is the barometer for most. That being said, staying under this number can be tricky–especially for those of us who are constantly on the go.
Let's face it—most of us lead busy lives these days, which makes eating right all the more difficult. It also makes fast food all the more appealing. Unfortunately, when it comes to fast food, there isn’t a ton of healthy options out there. Heck, even fast-food salads can have a ton of calories and are often fattier than most folks realize.
Of course, when frequenting quick-service restaurants, there are varying degrees of unhealthy items to choose from. In other words, there are items that are bad for you, and then, there are items that are really bad. In fact, some places serve single sandwiches that contain over 1,000 calories, and that doesn’t even include fries or a soft drink.
As we're about to see, these artery-clogging foods can be found at a variety of different chains throughout the world. In some cases, the sandwiches that are over 1,000 calories will be fairly obvious. However, on our list, there are also more than a few menu items that folks will be very surprised to see. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 20 fast-food sandwiches that are 1,000 calories or more!
20 Wendy’s: Dave’s Triple (1,090)
Like their competitor, McDonald's, Wendy’s only has one sandwich that surpasses the 1,000-calorie mark: Dave’s Triple. Their caloric runner-up is the Baconator at the 950-calorie mark. The Dave’s Triple is named after the restaurant's late founder, Dave Thomas. Those looking for a lighter version of this calorie-filled colossus may opt to go with Dave’s Single (570 calories) or Dave’s Double (810 calories). The Single and Double are basically the same as the Triple, but with 1 and 2 patties respectively (as opposed to 3).
Dave’s Triple is a giant burger with 3 quarter-pound patties and American cheese that comes at 1,090 calories and also has 72 grams of fat.
19 Hardee's/Carl’s Jr: The 1/2 LB. El Diablo Thickburger (1,270)
Those who like a little extra spice with their 1,000-calorie (plus) burger, might like Carl’s Jr’s ½ lb. El Diablo Thickburger. For those unfamiliar, the word “Diablo” means “devil” in English, so they intended this burger to be pretty hot. Temperature aside, one thing is certain when it comes to the “Devil Burger,” and that’s that it has a ton of calories. This particular sandwich can be purchased at both Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
This burger features some unique items such as jalapeno poppers, fiery habanero sauce, and pepper-jack cheese, which all put this burger on its way to a very impressive 1,270-calorie count.
18 McDonald's: Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger (1,130)
Being that McDonald’s is the most recognized fast-food brand in the world, they're often used as an example of a restaurant that serves unhealthy food. However, despite their reputation, Mickey D’s only has one sandwich that’s over 1,000 calories: the Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger on an Artisan Roll. That being said, the Double Lone Star Stack Burger just misses the mark at 960 calories.
The Double Bacon Smokehouse Burger on an Artisan Roll features items like 2 patties, Applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar, and fried onion rings. This massive sandwich is 1,130 calories and has 67 grams of fat–103% of one’s daily fat allowance.
17 Burger King: Rodeo King Sandwich (1,480)
When it comes to Burger King, the calorie champion is none other than the Rodeo King Sandwich. In total, BK has 3 sandwiches that exceed the 1,000-calorie mark and 4 additional items that are 900 calories or more. This sandwich is also a king in its own right, as it has more calories than any other item on our list.
The Rodeo King Sandwich features an eye-popping 1,480 calories (and 100 grams of fat) per serving–roughly the equivalent of 2 Whopper Sandwiches. This gargantuan burger includes 2 patties (which are more than a ½ pound each), 3 strips of bacon, onion rings, cheese, mayo, and BBQ sauce.
16 Burger King: Triple Whopper Sandwich With Cheese (1,220)
Almost every fast-food joint has its own signature sandwich. For example, Burger King is most commonly associated with their flame-broiled Whopper. Of course, for some, a single Whopper just isn’t enough. Fortunately for those folks, BK offers their Triple Whopper with Cheese. If a single Whopper is good, then triple must be better, right? For those counting calories, the answer is an emphatic "no."
The Triple Whopper with Cheese, which is basically a giant cheeseburger with 3 quarter-pound patties, is around 1,250 calories. On the off chance that someone ordering this item is concerned with caloric intake, removing the cheese will get it down to the 1,140 range.
15 Burger King: Bacon King Sandwich (1,150)
If a burger is known as the “Bacon King Sandwich,” it’s fair to assume that it probably isn’t the healthiest thing on the planet. Of course, fast-food enthusiasts, especially those who love bacon, will likely find Burger King’s Bacon King Sandwich quite tempting.
There are roughly 1,150 calories in a single Bacon King Sandwich. As burgers go, it has the 3rd highest calorie count on BK’s menu–behind the Triple Whopper (1,220) Sandwich and the Rodeo King Sandwich (1,480). The Bacon King comes with 2 quarter-pound patties, thick-cut smoked bacon, mayo, ketchup cheese–and, of course, a sesame-seed bun.
14 Hardee’s: 2/3 LB. Monster Thickburger (1,300)
Hardee’s, along with their sister company Carl’s Jr., has never been shy about marketing hardy hamburgers to the masses. As calories go, Hardee’s offers 5 sandwiches that are 1,000 calories or more. The 2/3 LB Monster Thickburger has more calories than any other sandwich, and it's on a menu with some pretty heavy hitters.
This version of Hardee’s signature Thickburger’s features roughly 1,300 calories per single sandwich serving–more than 2 McDonald’s Big Macs (which are around 540 each) combined. The 2/3 LB Monster Thickburger includes a couple of 1/3 lb. Angus beef patties, 3 slices of American cheese, and 4 slices of bacon.
13 Whataburger: Triple Meat Whataburger (1,080)
In general, if a burger features 3 patties, as is the case with the Triple Meat Whataburger, then it’s a safe bet that the sandwich exceeds the 1,000-calorie mark. Whataburger is a San Antonio, Texas-based chain that offers several burgers that have 1,000 calories or more.
The Triple Meat Whataburger features 3 patties, which, according to their website, are fresh and never frozen. Fresh patties or not, this sandwich still has about 1,080 calories per single sandwich serving. Fortunately, if folks want to go with healthier sides, to slightly offset the hearty sandwich and all, Whataburger does offer apple slices.
12 Hardee’s: 1/2 LB. Bacon Cheese Thickburger (1,110)
In recent years, bacon has become has become increasingly popular, which is why we're seeing it everywhere, especially at fast-food restaurants. Hardee’s, in particular, hasn’t been shy about creating bacon-based sandwiches–like the ½ lb. Bacon Cheese Thickburger. As the name would likely lead one to conclude, there are a lot of calories in this item.
The ½ lb. Bacon Cheese Thickburger has somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,110 calories per sandwich. Those who wish to stay under the 1,000-calorie mark (albeit not by much) can opt to go with the smaller version, that being the 1/3 lb Bacon Cheese Thickburger, at 850 calories.
11 Quiznos: Spicy Chipotle Pulled Pork, 12-Inch Sub (1,320)
Given all the massive burgers, it'll probably come as a surprise to many that a Quiznos’s sub is one of the most calorie-filled items on our list. In truth, Quiznos has around 5 sandwiches that exceed the 1,000-calorie mark.
Those who thought eating a sub, as opposed to a burger, was always the healthier option may want to think again. The Spicy Chipotle Pulled Pork, 12-Inch Sub has around 1,320 calories per sandwich–and that only puts it in 2nd place on Quiznos's menu. This sandwich, which features items like jalapeno cheddar bread, bacon, and pulled pork is definitely not a low-calorie option.
10 Jimmy Johns: Veggie Club, 8-Inch Original (1,020)
Of all the items on our list, this one may be the most surprising. After all, who'd expect an 8-inch veggie sub to have more than 1,000 calories? Jimmy John’s has several sandwiches that are well over 1,000 calories. However, almost all of them are 16-inch subs, which are meant to be shared or used for multiple meals.
While it barely makes the cut, the 8-inch Veggie Club has around 1,020 calories per sandwich. Ingredients like provolone cheese, avocado, and mayo are what make this sandwich's calorie count so high.
9 Subway: Footlong Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt (1,220)
Subway has long marketed itself as a healthy alternative to other fast-food chains. In truth, they have several relatively low-calorie options–as far quick-service restaurants go. That being said, those who are trying to keep their calorie count low may want to avoid certain menu items. For example, the Subway Footlong Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt has as many calories as many of the fatty burgers offered by their competitors.
In total, the Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt has roughly 1,220 calories per item. Of course, folks probably shouldn’t expect a sandwich with bacon and ranch to be a low-calorie product.
8 Sonic: Supersonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger W/ Mayo (1,030)
Sonic Drive-In (aka Sonic) only has one sandwich on their menu that exceeds the 1,000-calorie mark: the Supersonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger with Mayo. Right behind it is their Supersonic Double Cheeseburger, which has 970 calories–falling just short of the requirement needed to make our list.
The Supersonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger with Mayo just makes the list, with a total of around 1,030 calories. The mayo at the end of the names is an important distinction because, without it, the burger would probably be below the 1,000-calorie threshold. Even without the mayo, there’s nothing healthy about a burger with 2 quarter-pound patties, bacon, and cheese.
7 Carl’s Jr: The 1/2 LB. Mile High Bacon Thickburger (1,230)
With 7 burgers that are 1,000 calories are more, Carl’s Jr. has a menu full of items that are ideal for expanding one’s waistline. They also have 2 other burgers, the Double Western Back Burger (990 calories) and the 1/3 lb. Guacamole Bacon Thickburger (990 calories), which just miss the mark. Of their many calorie-filled burgers, the reigning king is the ½ lb. Mile High Bacon Thickburger.
The Mile High Bacon Thickburger will set diners back about 1,230 calories. This massive burger, which features ½ lb. Angus Beef patty, thick-cut Applewood Bacon, and cheese, is as bad for you as it sounds.
6 Carl’s Jr: The 1/2 LB. Guacamole Bacon Thickburger (1,210)
The ½ lb. Guacamole Bacon Thickburger has the distinction of being one of Carl’s Jr’s most calorie-filled sandwich offerings. Only the ½ lb. Mile High Bacon burger and the El Diablo have more calories, and the difference is marginal. Whatever ½ lb. Thickburger one decides to go with when visiting Carl ’s, it'll most certainly not be low in calories.
This gigantic sandwich features items like a ½ lb. Angus beef patty, guacamole, 2 strips of bacon, pepper jack cheese, and Santa Fe sauce. All these ingredients are used to create a burger that has around 1,200 calories. It may not be the franchise’s heaviest burger, but it’s no joke in the calorie department.
5 Carl’s Jr: The 1/2 LB. Original Six Dollar Thickburger (1,050)
As can see here, big calories don’t always equal high price tag. This massive item is known as the "½ lb Original Six Dollar Thickburger," which (usually) costs... well... $6. One has to wonder how customers are going to respond some years down the road when Carl's inevitably has to change the price.
This bargain burger has a grand total of 1,050 calories. It’s fairly basic and features ingredients such as a ½ lb. Angus beef patty, American cheese, and mayonnaise. As far as the math goes, at $6 a pop, this Thickburger cost around $1 for every 175 calories.
4 Quiznos: Honey Bacon Club, 12-Inch Sub (1,270)
Most people probably wouldn’t expect a 12-inch Honey Bacon Club from Quiznos to be low in calories. That being said, a lot of folks might be surprised to learn that this sub has as many calories as many of the Thickburgers that can be purchased at places like Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.
Believe it or not, the 12-inch Honey Bacon Club has a whopping 1,270 calories in it. That being said, when one stops and takes a look at the ingredients in the Club, it really isn’t all that surprising after all. The honey and bacon alone account for a lot of calories by themselves.
3 Arby’s: Market Fresh Triple Decker Sandwich (1,030)
The Triple Decker is a sandwich from Arby’s that’s offered on a limited-time basis. For some folks, a double-decker just isn’t enough, so Arby’s decided to take things to the next level with this creation. This meat-filled number, when it’s available, is the only sandwich on the menu that exceeds the 1,000-calorie mark.
While the sandwich may be “market fresh,” it also has around 1,030 calories. It’s made of ingredients like pepper bacon, cheese, and mayonnaise–not to mention, a pile of lunch meats including roast beef, turkey, and smoked ham. Anyone who's seen the mass of meats probably won’t be shocked by the Triple Decker’s calorie content.
2 Hardee’s: 1/2 LB. Frisco Thickburger (1,060)
Like many fast-food chains, Hardee’s offers many of the same burgers in different sizes. A classic example is their Frisco Thickburger. Hardee’s offers a ¼ lb. Frisco Thickburger, a regular Frisco Thickburger, and the heaviest of the bunch: the ½ lb. Frisco Thickburger.
The ½ lb. version of the burger features around 1,060 calories. The regular Frisco Thickburger, hardly a low-calorie treat, sits at the 840 mark. The smallest of the bunch, the ¼ lb. Frisco Thickburger, still comes in at around 810 calories per sandwich. In other words, Frisco Thickburgers of any size probably aren’t the ideal option for folks who are looking to minimize their daily caloric intake.
1 Quiznos: Classic 12-Inch Sub (1,400)
Most of us realize that subs aren’t the healthiest sandwiches around. However, some may be shocked to learn that Quizno’s Classic 12-inch Sub has the 2nd highest number of calories on a list that's made up primarily of ultra-fatty hamburgers. When it comes to high-calorie foods, subs can be a bit sneaky.
1,400 is the number of calories associated with this 12-inch sub–not to mention, it also has 77 grams of fat. While burgers are a calorie-conscious consumer's worst nightmare, meats associated with the country of Italy, such as salami and capicola, can be every bit as dangerous.