Explore the nostalgic trip beneath the golden arches while we reflect on the treasures that have been discontinued that once adorned McDonald’s menus. Take a culinary journey through time, starting with the beloved McPizza that momentarily stole the show and ending with the sadly gone McDLT. Discover the backstories of these vanishing treats and delve into the collective lament of fans who have lost their go-to fast-food options. Come explore this delectable world of the past, when the McLean Deluxe and Arch Deluxe were kings. We’ll solve the puzzles behind the demise of these menu items and their enduring influence on the history of McDonald’s during this trip down memory lane.
McDonald’s wanted to fancy up their menu with the Arch Deluxe in 1996. The bun, peppered bacon, and secret sauce of an Arch Deluxe was meant to give the burger a sophisticated vibe, but people don’t go to McDonald’s for sophistication. The burger became McDonald’s most expensive flop.
Fish McBites lasted a mere three months on the menu in 2013. The bites were small pieces of Alaskan pollock filet dipped in golden batter, fried golden brown, and served with tartar dipping sauce. The idea of eating smaller bites of a Filet-O-Fish never took.
The Hula Burger debuted in the 1960s as an alternative for Catholics who did not eat meat on Fridays. People liked the idea of a meatless burger, but Hula Burger lacked appeal. A slice of grilled pineapple with cheese on a bun could not compete with the more appealing Filet-O-Fish.
Onion rings in the shape of McNuggets debuted in 1975 to appeal to vegetarians. Like onion rings, the onions were dipped in batter and deep fried. The shape of the onions lacked appeal. Traditional onion rings were here to stay, and the nugget shapes were gone by 1984.
The McSpaghetti, a traditional pasta with marinara and meatballs, was a hit in the early 1970s. The spaghetti tasted good but did not fit on the McDonald’s menu. It was discontinued in the US in 1980 everywhere except Orlando. It is still on the menu in the Philippines, where spaghetti is a staple dish.
The McPizza was a personal-sized pizza with cheese, pepperoni, and other toppings. The pizza took up to sixteen minutes to cook and caused a delay to the restaurant’s fast-service reputation. McDonald’s removed the pizza to keep up with the fast pace, but many people, including myself, believe it was worth the wait.
To solve the disgust for soggy salad in a burger, McDonald’s created the McDLT. The McDLT was a traditional cheeseburger served in a styrofoam container that split the burger. The design’s purpose was to keep the meat fresh and the lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles, and sauce cool and crisp. Styrofoam’s negative impact on the environment was the downfall of the McDLT in 1998.
Fruit and Walnut Salad
The Fruit and Walnut Salad was part of McDonald’s mission to offer healthier food options. The fruit salad consisted of apple slices, red grapes, candied walnuts, and low-fat yogurt, which many people love. People do not frequent McDonald’s for nutritious meals. Sales of the salad were too low to keep on the menu.
Chopped Beefsteak Sandwich
The Chopped Beefsteak Sandwich was delicious but costly for McDonald’s customers when it debuted in 1979. The average burger cost forty cents at the time, and the beefsteak sandwich cost a whopping $1.29. Many people found it to be one of the most incredible sandwiches McDonald’s has ever offered but were never able to get past the price.
The people want Chicken Fajitas back. The fajitas were a basic chicken, cheese, peppers, and onions fajita everyone loved. There are many theories for why McDonald’s removed it from the menu, but there are no solid answers. It may have been too time-consuming to make, but no one believes it was an unloved or unprofitable item on the menu.
The thought of melted cheese sauce makes my mouth water, and I wonder why the Cheddar Melt was discontinued. This sandwich was a Quarter Pounder with grilled onions, teriyaki sauce, and cheddar cheese sauce on a rye bun. It was launched in 1988 but removed from the menu within the same year. The Cheddar Melt suffered the same fate when it was revived and removed in 2004.
Triple Double Burger
The Triple Double Burger was marketed as the Superhero burger during the release of the “Batman Forever” film. It had three beef patties and two slices of cheese – American and Monterey jack, with lettuce and tomato between a sesame-seed roll. It was highly marketed but could not live up to the commercial hype.
Sweet Chili Sauce
The Sweet Chili Sauce was introduced in 2010 and was gone by 2014. The McDonald’s dipping sauce is described as duck sauce mixed with red pepper flakes. Everyone loved the Sweet Chili Sauce, and it is a mystery as to why it disappeared from the menu.
Eggs Benedict McMuffin
McDonald’s attempted and failed to add Eggs Benedict to their menu. The Eggs Benedict Muffin was missing an essential ingredient – a poached egg. The Eggs Benedict McMuffin did have the signature hollandaise sauce on an egg, but without the poached egg, the eggs benedict was a huge flop.
Big N Tasty
Fast food chains are constantly competing with one another. Big N Tasty was created to compete against Burger King’s popular Whopper. The burger was similar to the Whopper, with a quarter-pound beef patty, tomato, lettuce, and onions in a sesame seed bun. The selling point was the new sauce the burger contained. It was on and off the menu from 2000-2011.
We want breakfast all day every day, but it is difficult for staff to keep up with our demands. McDonald’s removed the all-day breakfast to simplify the kitchen operations. Dinner pancakes are missed, and I am back to having to rush to McDonald’s before 10:30 am to get my favorite breakfast meals.
Spanish Omelette Bagel
The Spanish Omelette Bagel was a bagel with ham, cheese, egg, and spices. This sandwich sounds like a tasty breakfast, but it did not gain popularity. The omelet bagel did not fit in with the other breakfast sandwiches and soon faded from the menu without many people noticing.
Hot dogs seem to go hand in hand with burgers, but not many cared for them to be served at McDonald’s. The McHotDog became a seasonal item in 1995. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, intensely disliked hot dogs and wished for them never to appear on the menu. His opposition to the food item may have influenced its removal from the menu.
Soup on a McDonald’s menu seems out of the ordinary, but the McSoup found its way to McDonald’s. The idea of soup had potential, but the McSoup was a failure. The soup was similar to any can of chicken noodle soup. Why go to McDonald’s for a cup of soup you can warm up at home?
Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry
Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry was a McDonald’s dessert item available for a limited time. The McFlurry was a delicious mix of strawberry with vanilla soft-serve ice cream. Customers loved it, but this McFlurry didn’t remain on the menu. Other McFlurry flavors are still available – if the machine is ever working.
McDonald’s attempted to expand our love for dipping our chicken in sauces with bone-in chicken wings. The wings had potential but were too spicy for most people. Poor sales of the Mighty Wings led McDonald’s to drop the prices to sell the remaining surplus supply of chicken wings.
The McSalad Shakers were a variation of a green salad mix served in a cup and came with three choices – chef, grilled chicken caesar, and garden. Customers had fun pouring their dressing in and shaking the cup of salad up. The shakers left the menu to pave the way for salads in a bowl.
Hot Pockets were wildly popular at the time McDonald’s released McStuffins. Like Hot Pockets, McStuffins was a baked French bread filled with one of four flavor options: pepperoni pizza, teriyaki chicken, barbecued beef, and cheesesteak. While many people love Hot Pockets, no one cared for McStuffins. The item sold poorly and was on the menu for less than a year.
McLobster debuted as a seasonal sandwich in 1993. It was a lobster roll with lobster sauce, and shredded lettuce served in a hot dog bun. Supply issues made the McLobster unprofitable, and can only be found at Canadian and New England locations when there is an ample supply of lobsters.
The McJordan honored the legendary Michael Jordan with his favorite burger. The basketball star’s burger was a Quarter Pounder with bacon and barbecue sauce. The McJordan sandwich was a special that was only available in the Chicagoland area for a limited time.
Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich
The Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich is similar to the McChicken – a chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and sauce. Grilled chicken has a poor reputation at McDonald’s. I was not disappointed when this dry grilled chicken option left the menu and was quickly forgotten.
The Bubblegum McFlurry is so good someone started a petition for it to be returned to the menu. The McFlurry is an infusion of vanilla soft-serve ice cream with bubblegum syrup and marshmallows. The aesthetically pleasing, colorful dessert was only available in Australia, but people everywhere wanted this item back on the menu.
Chicken Big Mac
Everyone loves a Big Mac, so why not try a chicken version? Rather than two beef patties, Chicken Big Mac was made with two breaded chicken patties. The idea was great, but the flavor was off. The original Chicken Big Mac left the menu, but it is coming back after some adjustments. Maybe this time, it will be as good as it sounds.
Chicken Selects were the grown-up version of Chicken McNuggets. The chicken strips were larger, seasoned, and less processed than chicken nuggets. The Selects were brought to the menu in 2004 but did not sell well. It was brought to the menu in 2004 but did not sell well. The item became a limited-time special before leaving the menu in 2013.
Fried Apple Pie
Baked Apple Pies are on the menu, but the fried versions are a thing of the past. A fried apple pie had a nice, crisp, and flaky crust, but the filling was too hot. One bite of the fried apple pie burned mouths. It is said to have been removed for health-conscious reasons, but those with burning tongues say otherwise. While I love the baked apple pie, the fried version was something special.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait was a healthy alternative for dessert. The parfait was a cup full of layers of yogurt, parfait cream, strawberries, and blueberries, topped with whipped cream. The item was sadly a casualty of the cuts made to simplify the menu. This yummy and light dessert was once my go-to snack.
The McFeast looks like a typical burger, but it does not taste like one. It has the standard beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and onions, but the three sauces – mustard, ketchup, and McChicken’s signature mayonnaise, made it special. Many people are upset that it was discontinued without reason.
Mulan Szechuan Sauce
The Mulan Szechuan Sauce debuted in 1998 to promote Disney’s film Mulan. The teriyaki dipping sauce imitates a traditional Chinese Szechuan Sauce. An episode of Rick & Morty had people going wild for the sauce, and supplies didn’t last long when it was brought back in 2017 for a limited time.
People love a classic BLT sandwich with mayo and cheese. McDonald’s made the traditional BLT even better by adding an egg and serving it on a toasted English muffin instead. The Egg BLT McMuffin has been on and off the menu and is sold exclusively in Canada, but the people want it back for good.