With the ever-changing fast food landscape, the menu at McDonald’s has seen its fair share of items come and go.
Time and time again, customers have rolled through the closest drive-thru with a hankering for their beloved McDonald’s dish, only to be delivered the heartbreaking news that the Golden Arches had discontinued the item. Some of the items, of which there have been more than 30 according to Ranker, were rightly retired, while others just never got a chance to shine. Some were ripped from costumers’ grasps too soon and were lucky enough to make reappearances on the menu, like the world-famous Szechuan Sauce.
Some of the discontinued items should stay in the Golden Arches’ graveyard, but there are others that we are hoping will be resurrected.
Keep scrolling to see a few McDonald’s delicacies that should come out of retirement.
When you think of McDonald’s, you likely think of greasy all-American take out, but for a brief period in time the Golden Arches dipped their toes into a new culinary experience: Italian cuisine.
The McPizza was introduced in the late ‘80s in an effort to compete with Dominos and Pizza Hut, but the chain stopped making the McPizza in the 1990s because people had to wait too long for their pies.
While the item has been discontinued, avid fans of the Italian option can still give it a taste test at a single McDonald’s restaurant in Orlando, Florida, where customers can get a personal-sized pizza or a family-sized pizza and choose from an array of different toppings.
Before there were chicken nuggets, there were Onion Nuggets.
Introduced in the mid-1970s as one of the first Dollar Menu items, onion nuggets are exactly what they sound like – chopped onions, dipped in batter, and deep fried, or an onion ring without the ring.
While they may not sound like the tastiest snack, the long-gone and almost mythical item and a precursor to the chicken nugget has a strong fanbase. Though it’s likely that these mini onion snacks will never make their way back to the menu, The Wall Street Journal reports that a small trace remains of the Onion Nugget as a sample that has been preserved in a climate controlled room in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
While the hotdog is a staple American food, the McHotDog has been banned from Golden Arches menus in the United States thanks to the franchises founder.
“On the other hand, there's damned good reason we should never have hot dogs. There's no telling what's inside a hot dog's skin, and our standard of quality just wouldn't permit that kind of item,” founder Ray Kroc wrote in his 1977 autobiography Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's.
Even though customers had no issue with the quality of the McHotDog, it hasn’t been seen on menus in America since the mid-1990s, when it made a brief comeback as a seasonal items in select mid-western states. For those who want to try the elusive treat, they’ll have to travel to Japan, where the McHotDog is a staple breakfast menu item.
Another menu item that probably wasn’t the best idea to begin with, the Hula Burger, a predecessor to the Filet-O-Fish, was McDonald’s first attempt at offering Catholics something to eat during Lent.
The burger, a non-meat version of a cheeseburger launched in 1962, was basically a grilled pineapple and cheese sandwich. It entered into a battle royale with the Filet-O-Fish, which was created by Cincinnati McDonald’s franchisee Lou Groen, and failed miserably.
While the Filet-O-Fish is a staple during to the Golden Arches’ menu during Lent, the addition of the Hula Burger would give daredevils and those genuinely curious about the long-forgotten treat a chance to try it.
The McDLT, short for McDonald’s Lettuce and Tomato, was a revolutionary menu item.
Introduced in 1984, the burger was sold in specially designed two-sided Styrofoam containers, with the meat ad bottom half of the bun on one side and the lettuce, tomato, American cheese, pickles, sauces, and top half of the bun on the other. Customers then combined the two sides when they were ready to eat. The separation of the hot side and the cold side kept the lettuce and other toppings from getting soggy and helped maintain maximum freshness.
Unfortunately, the McDLT saw its end days in Jan. 1991 due to its excessive packaging and environmental concerns.
Introduced in 1996, the Arch Deluxe was a “gourmet style” burger targeted at a more “grown-up” audience.
The masterpiece was made with higher-quality products than regular McDonald’s burgers, with peppered bacon, cherry tomatoes, and romaine lettuce, along with a quarter pound of beef, a potato flour bun, American cheese, onions, ketchup, a “secret” mustard sauce, and mayonnaise.
Unfortunately, the gourmet ingredients called for an increased price that many costumers considered too high for the fast food value chain. After a massively expensive marketing campaign surrounding the item, the Arch Deluxe was eventually discontinued later in 1996.
The Big 33/McJordan special, named after basketball players Larry Bird and Michael B. Jordan, graced the Golden Arches’ menu in 1992 only to be discontinued that same year.
While the burger was basically the same as a Quarter Pounder, with quarter-pound patty, bacon, cheese, pickles, and onions, what made this item so special was the special barbecue sauce, aptly named McJordan BBQ Sauce.
New York Daily News that the sauce was so good that in 2012, an anonymous buyer in Chicago dropped $9,9995 on eBay for a 20-year-old bottle of McJordan BBQ Sauce. The seller of the jug of gold was Mort Bank, a former McDonald’s franchise owner and operator from Bismarck, North Dakota.
In 1993, the Golden Arches decided to dip their toes in the water and give seafood a try with the introduction of the McLobster.
The McLobster, McDoland’s take on the infamous New England lobster roll, consisted of a hotdog bun stuffed to the brim with lobster, “lobster sauce,” and shredded lettuce. Unfortunately, costumers unwilling to shell out $5.99 at McDonald’s led to the eventual discontinuation of the menu item.
According to Today, lucky New Englanders in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut now get the chance to get their hands on the McLobster every summer, when lobster is abundant, though we’re still hoping introducing the famed item to McDonald’s franchises across the nation is in the works.
McDonald’s packed a real flavor punch with the introduction of the Cheddar Melt in 1988.
The burger consisted of a quarter-pound all-beef patty, topped with onions sautéed in butter and teriyaki sauce, and real cheddar cheese sauce, all of which were piled onto a rye bun. It has been the only burger at the fast food chain to feature a rye bun, and it’s amassed such a large fanbase that a simple online search for the Cheddar Melt will result in dozens of knockoff recipes.
While it made a few comebacks in the ‘90s, the last time this burger graced McDonald’s menus was in 2004.
Meant to only be on the menu for a short time, the Strawberry Cheesecake McFlurry is still listed on McDonald’s website, though actually finding a restaurant that still serves it proves to be a difficult task.
The Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry is made with soft serve vanilla ice cream swirled with chunks of white chocolate cheesecake and strawberry sauce. To complete the McFlurry, it is topped with biscuit crumbles.
While fans of this delicious McFlurry may never get their hands on it again, the fast food chain did introduce the new Strawberry Shortcake Sundae in 2017, and there’s always the go-to Shamrock Shake, which made its way back to menus last month.