Best McDonald’s Dollar Menu Items Ranked

McDonald’s has always been known for consistent products at reasonable prices. They doubled down on this business model in the late 1980s with their value menu, which evolved into their famous McDonald’s dollar menu in the early 2000s. 

mcdonald's dollar menu fries and burger

Fast-food customers are usually no stranger to one-dollar drinks, desserts, or snacks. However, when items like a chicken sandwich or cheeseburger began popping up for just a dollar, it caused quite a stir among diners. 

This discount has expanded from soft drinks to coffee, meals for kids, and hearty breakfast sandwiches. Of course, these aren’t all the largest or heartiest options, but for a mere dollar, you can think of it as anything from an individual snack to a three-course tasting menu for less than $5. 

What are the best Mcdonald’s dollar menu items? We’ve compiled a list so that next time you’re hungry, you can make an informed and tasty decision at the golden arches, all without any risk of breaking the bank. 

2 Piece Buttermilk Crispy Tenders

The flavor and the price of these savory chicken morsels do NOT disappoint but don’t expect to be full for hours after eating just two.

The two-piece buttermilk crispy tenders are an excellent snack choice, and if you’re still hungry at that price, why not order another? 

The buttermilk batter elevates these from the generic pub food they resemble to something you might see at a hidden gem of a restaurant in the deep south.

That said, they boast McDonald’s consistency, so If you order a second helping, rest assured they will be quality-made. Want to spice things up literally and figuratively? Try the variety of sauces that accompany these tenders. 

Classic Chicken Sandwich

The Classic Chicken Sandwich, now named the McChicken has been a Mcdonald’s staple for years, and it never ceases to disappoint, which is even more true now that it is available on the dollar menu. 

The sandwich is still a little small to be considered a whole meal, but it is a well-rounded light meal or snack with a mix of carbs, protein, and tasty lettuce on top. 

Grilled chicken cuts a few calories that its breaded companions contain, but no flavor is lost either, with a dollop of mayonnaise and a perfectly toasted bun. Iceberg lettuce continues this “tasty but light” theme. 

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Sausage McMuffin with Egg

A classic from the breakfast menu has been adapted at many locations for McDonald’s all-day breakfast and now goes a step further with a great low price.

The Sausage McMuffin with Egg is classic not just for its consistent flavor but also for its compact look. 

When I was a kid, it was all the rage trying to get your eggs to that round shape that perfectly fits atop an English muffin. It’s still cathartic today to see this complete sandwich. 

Sausage Burrito

Are you looking for a grab-and-go breakfast that’s a little lighter than the Sausage McMuffin with Egg? At only 310 calories and for only $1, try out the Sausage Burrito!

Akin to a western omelet, this tortilla-clad offering has green peppers, onions, and eggs. The classic Mcdonald’s sausage ties it together with a light but meaty twist. 

Much like everything on this list, the price is right. The filling nature of this wrap means you can enjoy it with a McCafe coffee as a complete light breakfast for less cost total than specific competitors’ coffee alone!

Happy Meal

Are you bringing the kids along for a meal? Treat them to the paired-down classic, the Happy Meal!

Choose from 4 or 6 piece McNuggets, or a traditional hamburger, alongside McDonald’s famous fries and a drink. Calories are lower than in adult combos, so it doesn’t have to be naptime directly after lunch or dinner. 

While this option has been removed from specific locations’ value menus, it is still available at many stores. The portions are smaller to suit kids’ appetites, but a complete meal like this is an excellent bang for your buck. 


The Cheeseburger is a classic and an excellent item to see turn up on a dollar menu.

Cheeseburgers are simple and easy to prepare, so it’s not strange to see them on this menu, but unlike some of the more snack-based items, these are pretty filling! 

Topped with a slice of delicious cheese, the standard beef patty truly shines with this burger. Pickles cut through the richness of the cheese and make every bite a balanced one. As with many other offerings here, these goodies are sandwiched between two toasted buns. 

Bacon McDouble

If you like the cheeseburger but are hungry for more, there’s always the option to add a second all-beef patty.

If you still need a little extra something, how about applewood smoked bacon? We introduce to you the Bacon McDouble. 

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A little extra protein never hurts anyone, and this hearty burger comes with the same American cheese, onions, and pickles that other hamburgers offer. All in the same neatly wrapped package.

Hard to believe it is on the same value menu considering how much food it contains, but here it is! 

Sausage McMuffin

The Sausage McMuffin is a budget offering of the classic McMuffin, where costs have been saved in removing cheese and egg.

This ingredient list makes it a little less exciting in comparison, but still a perfect choice for any pancake lover who wants a little protein with their breakfast.

Like the Sausage Burrito, its value menu pricing allows a very budget-conscious breakfast. The Sausage McMuffin has the benefit of tasty pancakes as its “bun,” but you sacrifice the vegetables and egg present in the McMuffin and burrito. Worth it? A pancake fan will likely say “yes”! 

Triple Cheeseburger

Serious beef fans, rejoice! While quite large, the Triple Cheeseburger is also the epitome of “simple but effective.” Its three all-beef patties pack a protein punch, but the classic size of these patties is thin enough that they are still sandwich-sized, albeit a handful. 

The same can be said of the cheese that intersperses the patties. It is rich, no doubt, but not overpowering when stuck between this much meat.

This sandwich may be the best value item on the dollar menu, as that’s a lot of beef! The extra patty is also a filling alternative to upsizing your meal with carbs for those counting calories. 


If you’re not as excited about beef as your Triple Cheeseburger-loving dining companions, a classic fast-food alternative is the McChicken.

Breaded chicken gives this the crunch that its die-hard fans love, and the iceberg lettuce and mayo beneath the sandwich’s top bun accentuate this further. 

While this sandwich comes from a natural blend of white and dark chicken meat, it is not necessarily a healthier or lighter option than its burger and sausage counterparts.

The golden buns that hold it all together, and that tasty breading on the patty, all add a few extra carbs onto the McChicken, but at least it’s delicious! 

Any Size Soft Drink

This value offering speaks for itself, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent addition to this list! You can purchase all soft drinks of any size at the same rate as our above mentioned deals. 

If you’re looking for a bargain and want a meal rather than just a snack, these one-dollar drinks will round out one of the options above in a tasty way.

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Still thirsty? Maybe you should have started with a large! On a restrictive diet? This deal includes all juices and diet soft drinks as well. Cheers! 

Small McCafe Beverage

Our second beverage option is also relatively self-explanatory, but McCafe has come a long way from merely offering drip coffee. McDonald’s has always had great coffee at a reasonable price, but they have introduced several espresso options in recent years. 

This means a small latte, cappuccino, or macchiato, now fall into this McCafe category. Their drip coffee is still included, and they have several roasts to choose from. 

Are you taking advantage of this deal in the summer? McCafe offers iced coffee too! End a great value meal with a little caffeinated pick me up, or choose from herbal, green, and black teas. 

Still hungry? Give some of these options a try! At these prices, why not try a couple of things?

The value menu is the epitome of McDonald’s commitment to consistency and quality at a great price point, and the items reflected here are not just snack-sized versions of their full-price selves! 

These burgers and a soft drink, or a breakfast offering and something from the McCafe, both provide perfect simple meals for under $5.

Want to mix it up and try something new? Why not! You can sample most of this menu with these prices without spending a cent more than you would on a single meal at competing restaurants. Bon Appetite! 

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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