Calling all McDonald's fans and foodies! You may have noticed the barrage of media coverage that has brought the strangest international McDonald's menu items to light. Our favorite has to be the matcha tea and azuki beans McFlurry that's allegedly served in Japan!
If you haven’t been aware of all this McDonald's weirdness around the globe, let us quickly explain. McDonald's has been serving up some unusual regional variations in their international locations to meet local needs. By catering to the world’s tastes, McDonald's has crafted and marketed some pretty unique menu items. From curry pies and Nutella burgers to squid-ink-colored buns, some of these foods are amazingly unusual.
But while squid-ink buns may be taking the spotlight, there are actually some remarkably random McDonald's menu items being served on the home turf of McDonald’s as well. These may not be as weird and wonderful as the matcha tea and azuki beans McFlurry, but upon scrutinization, they're definitely random additions to the McDonald's menu.
There are actually so many of these random McDonald's menu item that we compiled a list of 20 of them. So, if you find yourself in an adventurous spirit while at McDonald's, check to see if your outlet has some of these off-brand food items.
Or if you don’t really want to get adventurous, and particularly not at McDonald's, then just sit back and be entertained at the odd menu items that they're offering up.
20 The Mini Bundt Cakes
Mini bundt cakes? Don’t get us wrong—everybody has to love a mini bundt cake. So, it's not like we're bashing their spot on the McDonald’s menu or wishing them away.
We do find their presence there among the McFlurries and soft serves quite humorous, though.
Bundt cakes have a kind of cultured, home-baked air about them, and they're typically on the healthier or more moderate side of the cake spectrum. The icing is kept to a minimum, and thick layers of cream and jams are usually left out.
So, to see the innocent little bundt cake next to corn-syrup-filled cones and shakes has a touch of the random.
19 The McLobster
McDonald’s is in no way a seafood joint. Its focus is on burgers, and the beefier the better. However, in some shoreline states, the population’s love of seafood must be such that McDonald's can’t resist getting in on the action.
Which must be why, for a limited time during summer in selected places, you can order a McLobster, which is essentially a lobster salad roll. McDonald’s promises that the lobster is 100% lobster. This is nice. But also unusual, one would think that McD’s would cut that lobster with something—grains, crab... Anyway full points for the lobster that's lobster!
18 The Johnsonville Bratwurst
The Johnsonville Bratwurst has been on and off the McDonald’s menu for some time. Originally introduced, they were then pulled from the menu, only to resurface once more as a menu item in some states several years later in 2016.
This delicious and conflicted sausage is also served overseas and is very popular, unsurprisingly, in McDonald’s outlets in Germany. Back in the USA, while a very tasty menu option, you have to admit that the Johnsonville Bratwurst is one of the more random menu items that McDonald's has on offer.
Perhaps this is the factor that has caused it to be served intermittently and now, only in some states.
Pizza is in no way random. But served at McDonald’s, it kind of is! Currently, there are only three or four outlets known of that still serve the fabled McDonald's pizza. And people have driven hundreds of miles to get their hands on some.
Which raises the question—perhaps what's more random than McDonald’s serving pizza is that McDonald's is NOT serving pizza across the board. Because it definitely seems popular and sought after!
Even if pizza is off-brand for McDonald's, we think that they should really consider it as a nationwide menu option. They're serving oatmeal for goodness sake, so why not pizza?
16 The Mac Snack Wrap
A good fajita probably goes down well with just about anybody. This is another off-brand McDonald’s menu item that was definitely order-worthy.
Unfortunately, McDonald’s didn't share the feeling and replaced the good old fajitas with a range of wraps, the Mac Snack Wrap being one of them.
Perhaps McDonald’s felt that wraps were less random than fajitas because, if you didn't already know, the concept behind the Mac Snack Wrap is that it's supposed to be a Big Mac in a wrap. So perhaps, they felt that this was more on-brand.
But if a big mac in a wrap isn't random, we don’t know what is.
15 Biscuits and Gravy
Biscuits and gravy is another location-limited, regional, and highly popular food that can be found on the McDonald’s menu. Its availability changes and is most likely to be found on offer in outlets in the South.
We're all about people getting good food that they want to eat, so while biscuits and gravy may be a random McDonald’s menu item, it could, at the same time, be an awesome menu option...
...if it weren't for the numerous bad reviews of the McDonald’s biscuits and gravy, that is. Reported to be measly in size (one biscuit) and watery in gravy, this sounds like a disappointment with a 5-dollar price tag.
14 Apple Slices
The packaging indicates that this latest McDonald’s item is aimed at kids. Now, what kid, goes to McDonald’s to eat packaged apple slices? And what parent takes them there and expects them to?
McDonald’s seems to be making a great effort to supply healthy options on their menu. However, seeing as they also serve Happy Meals and all other kinds of deep-fried delights, having apple slices in packets available for kids is not only random but also sounds like a recipe for torture and contention.
Honey, you can’t eat your nuggets until you've finished your pre-packaged McDonald’s apple slices!
13 The Filet-o-Fish
Seafood is definitely not McDonald’s forte or realm of expertise. And it's pretty apparent when you take a close look at their Filet-o-Fish burger.
Hmm, not the most appetizing-sounding of burger names, and it's definitely right up there when it comes to randomness. To make matters worse, the creator of the McDonald’s fish burger decided to put a square piece of cheese on top of the fish ‘patty,’ as McDonald's terms it. This all just sounds wrong and poorly thought out. Fish and processed cheese seem like an unfortunate pairing, and then, you shouldn't really get fish ‘patties.’ Rather, call it a "fillet of fish," as in the name.
Of course, the fillet-o-fish burger does serve a need as a pescatarian option. And if you really don’t want to eat fish and cheese together, you can always ask for yours without cheese.
12 The McCafe Peppermint Mocha
McDonald’s is definitely getting Starbuck-sy on us with their McCafe range of menu items. And now, they've released their ‘McCafe Peppermint Mocha’ for the holiday season, which is suspiciously similar to... the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha...
In our review of the Starbucks menu, we happened to pinpoint the Peppermint Mocha as one item that they can just stop selling. Which thankfully, they, and McDonald’s, will, after the festive period has drawn to a close!
The reason why we feel that peppermint mochas are random is simple. Who drinks mint in their coffee? Yes, chocolate and coffee go great together, as do mint and chocolate. But the coffee-mint combo is just weird.
11 Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich
And now, we come to the McDonald’s Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich. We thought that Micky D’s was all about grab and go, “don’t count the calories”, deep-fried heaven. Now, they're going the artisan route. We feel confused.
According to McDonald’s, the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich contains 100% chicken and no preservatives, artificial flavorings, or colorants. Horror! Where will we get our preservative fix now? Sigh. Definitely not from the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich, with its parsley-speckled, salt-and-pepper-seared exterior.
While we can see where McDonald’s is trying to take things, artisan anything seems very out-of-niche and highly random for them.
10 The Mushroom & Swiss Melt Burger
This interesting new addition to the McDonald’s menu sounds delicious. Mushrooms, Swiss-style cheese, combined with garlic and herb sauce, tied up with a burger… this item truly does sound mouthwateringly good.
So, as far as random McDonald’s menu items, what a perfect new order to have on the block.
The randomness comes in strong not only with the ingredients better known in Europe but also with the marketing of McDonald’s of this range of burgers. They call them a ‘classic melt,’ which incorporates ‘real’ cheese (the epitome of random when it comes to McDonald’s, who specializes in non-real cheese). They're also a part of what they call the ‘Signature Crafted Recipes line.’
This all sounds decidedly un-McDonald’s-ish.
9 The Gilroy Garlic Fries
This is another regional food that McDonald’s is now offering in selected areas.
The word on the street is that garlic fries were invented by a chef named "Dan Gordon," who subsequently popularized them in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is the heart of McDonald's Gilroy Garlic Fries land, and now, McDonald’s Canada has followed suit and are trialing their own garlic fries.
Upon introduction, various outlets sold out of garlic fries, which makes it a pretty safe bet that they're tasty and popular. We like this random menu item of McDonald’s and fully support its place on the menu.
8 Chicken Pesto, Wild Rocket, and Tomato on Ciabatta
Since when does McDonald's serve bread better known in Italy? Well, since the Chicken Pesto, Wild Rocket, and Tomato Ciabatta item hit the menu.
While this menu item sounds pretty good, it's definitely far removed in terms of food style from Big Mac and soft drinks. Which is why it's featured on the McCafe menu.
Most of the McCafe items come across as random when lined up next to the classic McDonald’s line of menu items. The McCafe range seems designed to appeal to the modern healthy-eating crowd. If it's a hit, these Micky D items may become less random as time goes on and more on-brand as familiarity with the ‘healthy’ range increases.
7 The Sausage Burrito
Another food that definitely falls into the regional side of things, and not so much in the burger and fries camp, is the Sausage Burrito, which is McDonald's breakfast version of their burrito range.
As far as fast-food breakfast items go, the McDonald's breakfast burrito is a pretty good choice. It's tasty and has some nutritional value to it. Containing the sausage, some beans, egg, and even a couple pieces of vegetables, it's a nice regional breakfast item to try from the McDonald's menu.
Thanks to its flavor and usefulness as a good breakfast food, we hope that McDonald's keeps their breakfast burrito going.
Yup, ramen. In the US. Served by McDonald’s. You'd think that ramen would only be served as a menu item in McDonald’s in Asia. But it's served in the USA, in Hawaii of all places.
Folks on the continent must be quite jealous because ramen is good! And although it's served in the US, it's all the way over in the most far-removed state. Cue unanimous sigh of regret among foodies.
If you're in luck by being in Hawaii and want to try the awesomely random ramen menu item, you need to ask for ‘Saimin Ramen.’ "Saimin" is the term for the type of ramen soup that McDonald’s serves in Hawaii. But other than the name variation, it's quite similar to many types of regular ramen.
5 The French Vanilla Cappuccino
This whole drink is a little confusing and random in general. It's called a "French Vanilla Cappuccino," so when it comes to McDonald's selling it, you'd think that it's a regional and exotic item that's made it onto their menu.
No, this isn't the case. As far as we can tell, vanilla cappuccinos have nothing to do with France. The French citizens are notorious for drinking their coffee either black or with milk but hardly ever with any kind of flavorings. Such as vanilla!
While the French Vanilla Cappuccino may not have much to do with France, it seems to have a lot to do with modern-day coffee culture. So, while McDonald's is loved by some for their coffee, you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see specialty coffee at your local McDonald’s.
4 Deep-Fried Apple Pie
If you go to the oldest McDonald’s on Earth, which is in the town of Downey outside of Downtown Los Angeles, you can get a deep-fried apple pie! This may sound random now, but back in the good old days, McDonald’s used to deep-fry all of their pies. It was the thing back then—right up until the ill-fated year of 1992, which is when McDonald’s switched to baking their pies instead, and things generally took a downturn from there.
Fortunately, the folk over in Downey ignored this and continued to deep-fry their apple pies up until today.
3 McDonald's Salads
As more and more millennials are perceived to shy away from McDonald's and their traditional fast-food offerings, the McDonald's brand has endeavored to step up to the plate—or salad bowl. In order to woo the fit-focused younger generation, they've begun by introducing a range of healthy fresh foods like salads that contain a protein and mixed greens. And the mixed greens have a few spinach and kale leaves among them.
This really has to be as random as it can get. Kale and baby spinach on offer at McDonald’s?! You gotta love it. Soon, we'll all be getting our green juice on at Mickey D’s.
2 Pasta Salad
While pizza is a menu item that could potentially be a winner in all McDonald’s outlets, pasta salad, we think, should maybe stay in the one outlet in which it's served.
This location is the new Global Restaurant in Chicago that McDonald’s has opened. Here, they showcase a few menu items from their menus in other countries. For some reason, pasta salad is one of the dishes they chose to serve as a taste of international McDonald’s cuisine.
This is such a bland option that, on second thought, we think that they shouldn't bother containing this item to that particular outlet; they can just replace it with something else entirely, most especially seeing as they have a whole world of cuisines to choose from.
Ahem… mozzarella dippers!
Yes, if you didn't already know, McDonald's sells popcorn. This is kind of fun—and random at the same time. For some reason, barely anybody talks about the popcorn that McDonald's is quietly selling, which somehow adds to the randomness!
We like this idea of random, secretive popcorn selling at McDonald's. But we're not too sure if we would order a portion. When an outlet sells something that nobody talks about, things get a little weird, and you end up with the feeling that one is best off steering clear. We've heard rumors from the UK that McDonald’s is serving coffee drinks topped with popcorn over there. Maybe the McDonald’s popcorn on this side of the water is here to get us ready for some of those random creations!