A definitive guide to every single item on the McDonald’s menu and what it says about you
‘Can I get no gherkin please’
We all love McDonald’s. Some of us more than others. Can we go past the drive-thru on the way home? Should I get a large meal? Will they give me extra McFlurry topping if I ask very, very nicely?
Some of life’s great questions. But the greatest of all is, unquestionably: What is your McDonald’s order, and what does it say about you?
Convention states that people who eat McDonald’s breakfast are either productive, have jobs and want to grab something to eat before they go to work or are mid-way through the regret of their second pill, stumbling toward the hash brown retailer closest to home. Which one are you?
Sausage and egg McMuffin
The standard, the staple. You know what you want for breakfast (grease) and you know where to get it (here at McDonald’s). Double up if you have an extra large pile of bricks to move on site today, or don’t think the 15th sambuca was a good shout last night. You have your shit well and truly together, which is more than most of us can say at this time in the morning.
Bacon and egg McMuffin
Ordering the bacon and egg McMuffin is a perplexing decision. Why would you not order a bacon and egg sandwich from literally anywhere else? Muffins are inferior to sandwiches in almost every way. Texture, their only redeeming feature, does not make up for a diminished capacity for containing bacon and eggs. Also, why not go to a local diner to be a served a fried egg, bursting with delicious yellow. Confusing. Sad.
Don’t be surprised if the spotty teen behind the counter looks at you in disbelief and repeats: “Bacon and egg muffin?”
You like wraps. You like breakfast. A win win some would say, and that summarises you in a nutshell. A high roller, go hard or go home, my way or the high way. Trailblazing your way to cheesey, sausagey, bacony, hash browny nourishment, you’re pissed off that they don’t sell Big Macs before 10.30am and, anyway, you wanted something with more calories.
Egg and cheese McMuffin
What the fuck are you doing here? Stop wasting everybody’s time and go and get a granola pot from Pret or something. You’re delusional and/or in denial.
See the above.
Hash browns (to be eaten as a pair or not at all)
Dip them in ketchup and savour the salts restoring some semblance of humanity to your fatigued face and jaw. Do you think they just press all the leftover chips from last night into a hash brown mould and say it’s fresh? I think that must be what they do.
What in tarnation? They sell cream cheese bagels at McDonald’s? I’m as surprised as you are and I worked there for four years.
While ordering you probably ask if there’s a gluten free option.
The main event. The only reason we visit. For the good good 100 per cent British and Irish beef. Killed, butchered and ground down to tiny bits for human consumption.
The one that started it all, the OG. The people’s burger, so good that BK sell the Big King (please) in a cheap attempt to imitate it. You are mature and like gherkins, as any grown adult does, so much that you’re not content with the two in the burger. You want it in your sauce as well.
Have this for free: the recipe’s secret but that’s one of the ingredients.
Bite down, safe in the knowledge that you are normal. Part of the 52 per cent. You are eating England and my God doesn’t it taste great.
If you order this a fiver says you also simultaneously quote Pulp Fiction.
The two by one Lego brick of McDonald’s. Simple, efficient, straightforward. You don’t want the nonsense of cheese, or you could be lactose intolerant. It’s neither here nor there for the humble hamburger eater, concerned only with onion distribution and what toy was in their happy meal.
NB if you ever ever order a plain hamburger you’re better off eating a flip flop, seriously.
A burger for Joe Bloggs and his student card. Why wouldn’t you ask for it?
“Yes mum I know I graduated in 2015 but just trust me on this, they’re not going to catch us. See, look, the silly man didn’t even ask to look at it and, if he had, he wouldn’t know it had expired because the date is on the back.”
Ask me what the best munchies food available for purchase in McDonald’s is and I will tell you that it is the double cheeseburger. The co-author of Freakonomics called it the “cheapest most nutritious food in human history.” Can you blame him? Two burgers for the price of one. You like value and you like meat. You like sumptuous plastic cheese that sticks to the roof of your mouth. A burger so dense it’s unsuitable for aquatic travel.
They teach you two things at sailing school: the first is something to do with the North star and the second is don’t bring a double cheeseburger for lunch.
They come from Brazil and you can’t imagine life was particularly pleasant for them at all if you could even call it that but omg nuggets yaaassssssssssssss.
An entry level burger, for an entry level person, with so few ingredients even the fussiest eater will struggle to find something to dislike. Maybe no mayo? But then you’re essentially eating a constructed caesar salad sans dressing.
The penniless drive thru pauper. “Oh mate can I get a Mayo chicken?” You throw toward the front of the Corsa, just as the talking box asks if you’ve completed your order. Were you in need of 99p in any other situation, none of the car’s occupants would refuse it to you. But there’s something about the drive thru, its ritual and process, that turns everyone into right stingy bastards. “DO YOU WANT A LARGE FRIES AS WELL MARK I FORGOT WE WERE AT THE FOOD BANK FOR FUCK’S SAKE?”
Probably more of a side order than a meal in their own right but we’ll let it go – different strokes for different folks. Do I think nuggets are boring? Yes. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Does that matter to you? No, because you are the sort of person who is okay eating chicken that’s been mashed up and shaped into a “nugget.”
20 McNuggets sharebox
Normally, having more of a bad thing tends to make any situation worse. The 20 McNuggets sharebox successfully bucks this trend because it is accompanied by four dips of your choosing. But choose wisely, each has its own rich and varied flavour profile.
You are, clearly, a chicken connoisseur and as such know the importance of a spice blend. So you order chicken selects. Three or five, it’s irrelevant. The deluxe characteristics of this breaded breast meat personify the classy individuals who eat them. Distinguished. Aristocratic, almost. Why don’t you buy a Big Tasty or similar promotional burger for the same money the haters cry? Worry not, one day they too will understand. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
A premium chicken sandwich, for those who prefer to look down their nose at food rather than eat it.
You enjoy the finer things in life, after all a wrap is made of two chicken selects, but also cost efficiency. Hungry bargain hunters abound will never forget when their favourite wrap was deli of the day. Mine? Sweet chilli Thursdays and Saturdays – recognise game.
Crispy chicken salad
Considering the crispy chicken salad is just a chicken legend chopped up a bit and scattered over some leaves, you might as well treat yourself to some bread and mayo and order the sandwich itself.
Grilled chicken salad
About as close to clean eating gets at the golden arches, you’re gutted that quinoa isn’t an optional side. Dressing? No don’t be silly. I love the taste of dry chicken foliage.
SPECIAL BONUS DIPS EXTRAVAGANZA ROUND
Full bodied with tomato notes, hints of sugar and fruity sweetness.
A smoky finish, a nose reminiscent of long beach walks tinged with guilt.
Sweet and sour
Quirky new world offering, a master brew developed over centuries by Benedictine monks.
A rosé that succeeds, as all good pink wines do, at being not quite as good as either of its predecessors (curry and sweet and sour).
Premiums (sweet chilli, sour cream and chive, smoky barbecue)
The more discerning palate will opt for a premium dip, a perfect pairing for chicken selects.
“Battery farming chickens is morally reprehensible and I won’t stand for it.”
You’re probably in the wrong restaurant, we all know these items are likely available because of some sort of legal requirement, whatever.
Cooking tradition dictates that it is poor form to mix cheese and fish but, if Ronald McDonald has taught us anything, it’s that those pesky continentals clearly don’t what they’re talking about when it comes to cooking. You are rock and roll. You are the Filet-o-fish. The plastic cheese, the hoki, the tartare sauce. It just screams fine dining.
Legit this is really nice, would recommend to a mate. I suggest asking for additional sweet chilli sauce. Bellissimo.
Make sure not to spill any salsa on the upholstery of daddy’s Fiat 500. I’ll give it to you, it’s difficult to compose an Insta including your dippers, Michael Kors watch and Pandora charm bracelet.
Sides and sundries
I know really no one orders anything other than chips as a side but I needed a section to include McFlurries so here we are.
Don’t be deceived into thinking that the cardboard box cradled in your lap counts as a meal. The toy probably has a higher nutritional value than the four McNuggets and baggy of chips next to it. So you’re either a simpleton with a happy meal toy collection, or a simpleton who thinks the happy meal is the healthy option.
The journeyman of the McDonald’s menu. The engine room of the team. What you see is what you get with the humble fry. Salt, (potato?), oil. Mmmhmmm delicious.
Do potato allergies exist? Because if they don’t there is no reason for anyone to ever order this bag of apple and grapes.
If you order carrot sticks you believe that they help you see in the dark. We will cry for you but, when the revolution comes, your kind will be the first against the wall.
Crunchie? Smarties? Plain old dairy milk? Maybe it’s Monopoly time and Creme Egg is available. Maybe you’re the kind of maverick who asks for a shot of all three in one cup of ice cream. It doesn’t matter how you take it, McFlurry fans know there are a few universal truths in this dirty mixed up world. One of them is that McDonald’s ice cream is the best on the High Street. Stay friends with these down-to-earth knowledge fountains for long enough and you can expect an honesty bomb like that every few hours.
I don’t know anyone who buys these that isn’t on some kind of government register.
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