In-N-Out might just be one of the most well-known regional fast food chains in the world. Even people who are nowhere close to an In-N-Out location know about its famous burgers, fries, and shakes. In-N-Out is a California staple, and anyone who pays a visit to the West Coast makes it a point to stop in at one and try it. One of the most famous aspects of In-N-Out, however, is its secret menu. Well, they call it a secret menu, but really, the items on it are as well known as anything listed on the regular menu. Even people who have never eaten at In-N-Out probably know about getting a burger "Animal Style," or asking for chopped chilis. Still, though, there are some secret menu items that are probably better left a secret.
Knowing what to order (and more importantly, how to order) at In-N-Out can mean the difference between an awesome fast food meal and something that is just sort of underwhelming. After all, a regular In-N-Out cheeseburger is probably pretty great, but if you make it a double-double, Animal Style with chopped chilis, ordered with a side of well-done cheese fries, then your meal is going to be on a whole other level. If someone suggests ordering your burger "protein style," or ordering some "Roadkill Fries," you might want to just ignore them. Take our advice, and stick to these 10 great ways to order off the In-N-Out secret menu (and ignore the 10 that should probably just stay a secret).
20 Epic: 3x3 Burger
Everyone is pretty much familiar with the classic double-double from In-N-Out: two patties, two slices of cheese. What if that's not enough for you, though? What if you need just a little more of a burger boost or a cheesy charge? Well, then up the ante with a 3x3 (or triple-triple) off of the secret menu. This burger comes with, you guessed it three patties and three slices of cheese. It's the perfect burger for someone who has graduated past the single and the double and needs a little bit more to fill them up. Fun fact: in Canada, a triple-triple is a way to order coffee at Tim Horton's with 3 creams and 3 sugars.
19 Should Stay Hidden: Protein Style Burger
If you want to know a secret to eating better, especially if you want to get in shape, then here it is: stop eating fast food. That's it! Seriously, it could be that easy. However, there are some people who want it all in life. They want the fit body and the ability to eat a fast food burger every so often. Enter the protein style burger at In-N-Out. This burger is served on two whole lettuce leaves instead of the standard bun. Of course, if you get this burger Animal Style, then you're still consuming quite a few calories and grams of saturated fat. This just seems like a way for people who are trying to diet to feel better about cheating.
18 Epic: Cheese Fries
Cheese makes everything better. We've said on the site plenty of times before, but it's only because of how true it is. Cheese is just kind of magical. It can be used in savory foods or even sweet ones (cheesecake, anyone?). So it only makes sense that one of the ways to make your In-N-Out fries better is to order them as cheese fries. The staff will add a couple of cheese slices to the top of your hot fries, letting them melt right into them. True In-N-Out pros recommend mixing up the fires almost as soon as you get them so that the cheese doesn't start to harden up before it has a chance to reach the fries on the bottom.
17 Should Stay Hidden: Neapolitan Shake
Like any great fast food burger place, In-N-Out is just as known for its shakes as it is for its burgers and fries. So obviously, people have found ways to make the shakes even better. One of the secret ways to order an In-N-Out shake is to get the Neapolitan shake. This is exactly what it sounds like. Just like Neapolitan ice cream, this shake is a combination of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. However, the beauty of Neapolitan ice cream is that clear separation of the flavors. With this shake, it just seems like all the flavors would just blend into one another, until it's just one new flavor, rather than a balance of all three.
16 Epic: Animal Style Fries
"Animal Style" is one of the most well-known secret phrases from In-N-Out. They differ slightly from the Animal Style burger (more on that later), in that they are served with cheese, grilled onions, and a heaping ladle of special sauce (essentially just thousand island dressing). This is the absolute pinnacle of special ordering fries at In-N-Out. It goes far beyond just getting cheese fries. In fact, if you got the well-done fries Animal Style, they would probably stand up even better to all the toppings, staying crispy underneath all of the extra stuff on top. That's just a friendly tip for anyone paying a visit to In-N-Out in the near future.
15 Should Stay Hidden: Flying Dutchman
Now this is truly odd. Clearly, In-N-Out thought that KFC couldn't be the only fast food place with a sandwich that is just cheese between two pieces of meat. The Flying Dutchman, as seen above, is just some of that famous In-N-Out cheese melted between two burger patties. Can you get other toppings on it? Absolutely, but let's be honest here. This isn't really a sandwich. If you tried to eat this with your bare hands, they would be covered in grease so fast you would never have enough napkins. Just do yourself and everyone else a favor and get a bun.
14 Epic: Root Beer Float
Root beer or milkshake? It's a question that often plagues people as soon as they step up to the counter of any fast food place that serves both. However, at In-N-Out, you can split the difference and order a root beer float off of the secret menu. This sweet, refreshing beverage is a combination of half root beer and half vanilla milkshake. However, you can ask for any ration you want to get the perfect flavor combination. That's what makes people love In-N-Out so much: they have a lot of control over how to customize their order, right down to their drink.
13 Should Stay Hidden: 4x4 burger
We mentioned the double-double and the triple-triple already, but did you know that you can go one step further and get a 4x4? Obviously calling it a quadruple-quadruple is a bit of a mouthful, and honestly, so is the burger itself. While the double-double is pretty much standard at In-N-Out, and the triple-triple is like the deluxe version of a burger, the 4x4 is just far too much. Four patties and four slices of cheese are just going to make your burger a sloppy mess. Not only that, but it's going to make your burger too difficult to eat. IF you really need to get more beef, then just order two double-doubles. This is just too far to go with one burger.
12 Epic: Grilled Whole Onions
In-N-Out is one of the few fast food places that will add onions to your burger in basically any form you want. You can get them whole, chopped, or grilled (which usually come chopped up, and then grilled to a nice, crispy brown). However, you can actually ask for whole grilled onions as well. The In-N-Out staff will throw the entire onion ring without chopping it up on the hot grill. This is a pretty great way to get grilled onions because you get a little bit more onion texture and flavor in every bite. That's what you're looking for when you get grilled onions on a burger, so why not go for it and get them whole?
11 Should Stay Hidden: Double Meat Burger
There's no shame in getting a plain burger with no cheese. However, it does make your burger look just a little bit underwhelming. That's why the order of adding an extra meat patty to a plain, cheeseless In-N-Out burger is just kind of sad. After all, the cheese is a big part of In-N-Out's signature flavor. Without it, the burger is just kind of sad. Look at the picture above and try to tell us that it wouldn't look better with some of that signature yellow cheese holding everything together. Can you do it? Probably not. Of course, for the lactose intolerant folks out there, this is a perfectly acceptable order.
10 Epic: Large Milkshakes
If you take a cursory look at the In-N-Out menu, you might notice that there is only one size of shake. However, In-N-Out aficionados know that the shakes don't have to stop at just one size. You can easily order a large or even an extra large shake for an added fee. If you're the kind of person who needs a big shake with their meal, then this might just be the right option for you. After all, it always seems that a shake runs out far too fast, and then you don't even have a tasty beverage to enjoy with the rest of your meal. As we all know, that's one of the worst things that can happen with a meal.
9 Should Stay Hidden: Grilled Cheese
Oh no. How sad does that sandwich look? Why would anyone who goes to In-N-Out order just a grilled cheese? This secret menu item is just two slices of cheese melted between a bun. Technically, it's not even a legitimate grilled cheese since it's not even put on the grill. Sure, you could add toppings to it, but really, is that going to make this any better? Can you imagine the embarrassment of taking someone to In-N-Out for the first time and having them order this thing? You might just have to pretend you don't know them. Without those famous In-N-Out beef patties, there's just no reason to get a sandwich.
8 Epic: Add Chopped Chilis
A little bit of a peppery kick is the perfect way to make anything better (well, besides cheese). So how can you get that little bit of extra flavor at In-N-Out? It's easy! Just ask to add chopped chilis to your order. This can be added to your burger or fries. In-N-Out is famous for its tiny little yellow peppers (which can also be ordered whole on the side). These peppers are spicy without being overbearing, and because they are pickled, they also give a little vinegary kick to the beefy burger or salty fries. However, In-N-Out has recently reported that they are facing a shortage of these peppers, leaving many of their customers wanting.
7 Should Stay Hidden: Ultimate Animal Style Fries
While Animal Style fries are a perfectly acceptable and encouraged order at In-N-Out, the same cannot be said of the "Ultimate Animal Style Fries," sometimes referred to as "Roadkill Fries," which does not sound delicious. At all. These fries are essentially the same old Animal Style fries, but also have a chopped up burger on top of them. The reason this secret menu item should stay a secret is that it actually is not a real item. Most In-N-Out locations will flat out refuse to make fries this way. That's fine, though. If you want a burger, order a burger. Don't be the kind of person who asks for "Roadkill Fries."
6 Epic: Mustard Grilled Patty
The burgers at In-N-Out are already pretty delicious. There's not too much that you could do to them to make them taste any better. At least, that's what you might think if you don't have any concrete experience with In-N-Out. The truth is, that there is a way to order your burger so it has a little more flavor: ask for a mustard-grilled patty. The In-N-Out staff will add a dollop of mustard to the burger while it is on the grill, allowing the zip of the yellow mustard to get cooked into the beef. It's a pretty great way to get more bang for your buck on your burger, but it is also an important component in the most famous secret order at In-N-Out.
5 Should Stay Hidden: Add Extra Tomatoes
In-N-Out is the kind of place that encourages you to customize your burger any way you want. So while adding extra tomatoes isn't necessarily a secret menu order, it is the kind of thing that people will do if they know how they like their burger. However, is this really going to make a burger any better? After all, tomatoes have a definite "slip factor" when it comes to being on a burger. That's doubly true if they're on top of the lettuce, creating a nearly frictionless surface for the burger to slide right out of the bun. Not only is this kind of a boring secret order, but it compromises the structural integrity of the burger.
4 Epic: Animal Style Burger
It's the ultimate secret order at In-N-Out, the one that even people who don't live on the West Coast know about. Ordering a burger Animal Style at In-N-Out is practically a rite of passage for anyone who even just pays a visit to California. Ordering your burger this way gets you the following: extra special sauce, grilled onions, pickles, and a mustard-grilled patty. This is basically the holy grail of fast food burgers. There are plenty of websites out there that will show you how to recreate all of these flavors at home, but there's just no replicating this incredible order exactly. You have to experience it firsthand.
3 Should Stay Hidden: Burger with Cold Cheese
Cheeseburgers are a thing of beauty. Somehow the combination of a beef patty and melty cheese becomes more than the sum of its parts, delivering something hearty, satisfying and delicious. However, In-N-Out caters to everyone, even people who want their burgers made wrong. Hence the burger with cold cheese. This version of a cheeseburger is made without letting the cheese melt on the patty. Why anyone would prefer this to the gooey, hot cheese we all know and love is beyond understanding. Then again, taste is subjective, and who knows? Maybe there is something to this order that we're missing. Probably not, though.
2 Epic: Well Done Fries
Sometimes you bite into a fry from a fast food place, and your expression drops. It's obvious to you right away that your fries could have spent a little more time in the fryer. Well, at In-N-Out, you never have to run into that problem. That is, as long as you ask for your fries to be well-done. If you do, the staff will keep your fries in the fryer just a little bit longer, ensuring that they are firm, crispy, and absolutely perfect for you. This is definitely a great secret menu order to know if you're going to have your fries topped with anything, such as cheese or the Animal Style toppings.
1 Should Stay Hidden: Extra Toast
Like any good fast food place, In-N-Out always toasts their buns. After all, without that little bit of toast on the bun, the flavor quotient goes way down. Obviously, with the In-N-Out secret menu being so thorough, there is a way to special order your bun. You can ask for "extra toast," and the staff will leave the bun on the grill for just a minute longer. Let's be honest though. Does that extra minute really make that much of a difference? It seems like asking for extra toast is just going to put an extra 60 seconds between you and your delicious In-N-Out burger. It might just be better to trust the fact that the normal toasting time is good enough.