Some life experiences are just important to have had. Everyone should, for example, fall off of a bike at some point. Everyone should fall in love and have their heart broken. And definitely, everyone should experience the joy of animal-style fries at In-N-Out. In the past, we broke down how to order at In-N-Out, and today, we’re going in depth about specifically what to order off the In-N-Out secret menu. Think of it as your 200-level In-N-Out seminar.
The actual not secret menu at In-N-Out is exceptionally short. Not that you should overlook it; they stick to the classics for a reason. While some fast food joints have menus with more than 200 items on them, In-N-Out keeps it simple and does what it does with grace and excellence. You can get a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a Double Double (also known as a cheeseburger with two patties and two slices of cheese), fries, sodas, or a shake. That’s it.
“Our so-called ‘secret menu’ items started simply as variations our customers requested when ordering our basic menu items,” Denny Warnick, EVP, and chief operating officer of In-N-Out Burger, tells Bustle. “Over the years, many of those variations were given names, usually by the customers who frequently ordered their burger that way. Some of those names stuck, and today many of our loyal customers continue to order animal-style or protein-style burgers, for example.”
What’s so beautiful about In-N-Out’s clean, no-frills menu is how endlessly customizable it is, which has spawned a highly popular hidden menu, with items constructed out of ingredients from the traditional list of options. The In-N-Out hidden menu is actually so popular that there’s a section on its website dedicated to the “not-so-secret menu” they offer, which goes beyond the basics. But even besides that, there are some important In-N-Out secret menu tricks to be aware of.
Here is the comprehensive list of In-N-Out secret menu items everyone should try at least once:
1. Animal-Style Fries
Let’s get the big one out of the way first: You should not leave this earth without first trying animal-style fries from the In-N-Out secret menu. These babies are normal fries covered in cheese, In-N-Out’s famous spread, and grilled onions. I’m not really religious, but if there’s anything that makes me believe in the existence of a higher power, it’s these things. Pro tip: Eat them with a fork. You’ll thank me later.
2. Flying Dutchman
The Flying Dutchman is what happens when you take two patties and use them as buns for a grilled cheese sandwich. That’s literally all it is: Melted cheese between two beef patties, and people love it. Just remember to use a napkin if you don’t want your hands to smell like beef. The guy in the photo put fries in his, but definitely don’t ask In-N-Out to do that for you; pretty much the surest way to annoy an In-N-Out employee is to ask them to put fries on your burger.
3. Neapolitan Shake
When you mix the three shake flavor options from the In-N-Out menu together, you get a chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry-flavored bit of heaven. Do not let anyone convince you that you need to pick one flavor. As the saying (almost) goes, you can have your shake and eat it, too. Or drink it. Or whatever.
I’m not saying you need to get a 4×4 every day; probably no one needs a burger with four patties, four slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, sauce, and onions that frequently. I’m just saying that you should, at some point in your life, try this behemoth of a burger, if for no other reason than to really test the limits of your jaw range.
5. Cheese Fries
I’m going to get folks stirred up with what I’m about to say, but it’s worth it for the sake of journalism: Cheese fries are basically as good as animal-style fries. I’m sorry, it’s true. They’re different for sure, but there’s something so pure and good about fries doused in melted cheese that it’s really hard to turn these babies down. The best thing is that you don’t have to pick between these and animal-style fries. Get an order of both!
6. Any Burger, Animal Style, With Grilled, Regular, & Whole Grilled Onions
Animal Style Burgers come with mustard grilled into the patty, as well as lettuce, tomato, cheese, extra sauce, pickles, and grilled onions. Up the ante by ordering it with regular onions as well, or you can be extra crazy and ask for grilled whole onions. They’ll do that for you, because they really do love you.
You can add chopped chili peppers to anything at In-N-Out, but you have to ask because they’re nowhere to be found on the actual menu. You can get them on top of or grilled into your burger, or on your fries.
8. Pup Patty
In-N-Out knows that if its guests love anything as much as animal-style menu items, it’s actual animals, so if you order a “pup patty,” they’ll give you a cooked, saltless ground-beef patty for your pooch. Cutest thing ever, or cutest thing ever?
9. Grilled Cheese
It’s a secret to no one who knows me that I love In-N-Out’s grilled cheese. I think it’s the best vegetarian sandwich on the fast food market. Between the cheese, the spread, the onions, and the soft, fluffy bun, this grilled cheese will absolutely knock your socks off. And don’t forget, you can get it animal style.
10. Protein Style
Typically, if you’re heading to In-N-Out, chances are you’re not necessarily worrying about being healthy. (After all, the menu is filled with greasy and mouth watering burgers). However, if you stray just shy of the regular menu, you’ll land on an option called “Protein Style.” By ordering this way, you get iceberg lettuce sans the bun, and therefore, ditch the carbs.
Another healthier option that is only available on the secret menu — or maybe the “secret” secret menu considering it is not shown on the site — is the salad. TikTok user @andynot2021 on TikTok ordered the secret item at his local In-N-Out. The salad appears to be iceberg lettuce topped with a meat, tomatoes, onions, and other tasty ingredients.
12. Monkey-Style Shake
If you live on the west coast and have a craving for a milkshake, mix it up by ordering the monkey-style shake at In-N-Out Burger. The shake isn’t featured on the website’s secret menu, but TikTok user @aldo.nxri proves that it can be done. The shake appears to be a cookies and cream concoction.
13. Chili Cheese Dog
If In-N-Out’s hot dogs are anything like the burgers, we may have found a winner. The chili cheese dog does exist, according to TikTok user @andynot2021. Served on a steaming bun, the hot dog is covered with meat and cheese.
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