13 Fast Food Menu Items That Have Fanatical Cult Followings

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McDonald's McRib Back for Christmas
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McDonald's McRib Back for Christmas (ABC News)

Fast food menu items come and go, but only a select few develop a cult-like fan base. Some have disappeared from the fast food world, leaving raging fans pleading with the companies to one day resurrect their beloved foods. Others strive on — either as limited-time offerings or permanent menu stalwarts.

We've compiled a bunch of menu items that have developed true cult followings.

KFC's Double Down

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Mike Saechang / Flickr

KFC originally promoted the Double Down in an April Fools press release, but the sandwich received such a positive response that the chain decided to leave the item on the menu.

Consisting of two thick slabs of bacon, two slices of cheese, and the Colonel's Sauce all sandwiched between two deep fried chicken breasts, KFC's Double Down is considered to be "so meaty, there's no room for a bun!"

It's also considered to be one of the nation's most unhealthy sandwiches.  But popular demand in America and abroad have kept this 540-calorie menu item alive.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte


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Courtesy: Starbucks

It's practically a national holiday for Pumpkin Spice Latte lovers when Starbucks releases its fall drink menu each September.

However, this year there was so much demand for the sweet treat that Starbucks ran out of latte making supplies and declared a "pumpkin emergency," much to the dismay of its loyal customers.

In attempts to get their pumpkin and caffeine fix, some thirsty fans resorted to making homemade pumpkin spice lattes until Starbucks was able to avert the crisis.

Sonic's Cherry Limeade

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Two whole limes go into Sonic's Cherry Limeade which is, perhaps, one of the reasons why this sweet beverage has been so successful.

But fans also gush over the tiny ice pellets, which have a slushier quality than regular ice chips, and the Styrofoam cup, which is said to keep in the chill.

Still not convinced? You can always try one at half price everyday from 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. during Sonic's Happy Hour.

Taco Bell's Beefy Crunch Burrito

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Youtube

Taco Bell's Beefy Crunch Burrito sent burrito lovers into an absolute frenzy. Comprised of layers of ground beef, nacho cheese, sour cream, rice, and Flamin' Hot Fritos all wrapped in a flour tortilla, this menu item is considered to be one of the more economic and spicier choices.

At just 99 cents a pop, the burrito was especially popular with the late night or "fourth meal" crowd. When the price was hiked to $1.49, one customer was so mad that he reportedly ended up getting into a shootout with police with an air gun.

Alas, the limited-time offering didn't last forever. Dismayed burrito fans are still trying to bring back the Beefy Crunch Burrito with various social media campaigns.

McDonald's Pizza

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In the 1990s, McDonald's dished out family-sized and personal pan pizzas to hungry customers across Canada, earning a reputation as one of the best fast pizza providers around.

However, when the food chain suddenly discontinued the item, loyal customers were outraged and began an online petition to bring pizza back to Canadian McDonald's.

Their efforts have been in vain, however. McDonald's currently has no plans to bring back pizza to its menu.
 
Jollibee's Tuna Pie

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Like the McDonald's McRib and the Shamrock Shake, the Jollibee's Tuna Pie is an exclusive menu item only available several months out of the year and found in California, New York, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, and the chain's home country the Philippines, where it is said to have a cult-like fan base.

This savory pie has a flaky, golden brown crust and is stuffed with tuna chunks and assorted vegetables. It is particularly popular with fast foodies who want an alternative to a red meat meal.

White Castle's Sweet Potato Fries

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Jason Lam / Flickr

Only available during the fall and winter months, White Castle's Sweet Potato Fries are a definite crowd pleaser. At $2 to $4 a serving, they're kind to your wallet too.

Often accompanied with sweet cinnamon dipping sauce, these sweet and salty treats offer holiday-esque flavors that customers go positively nuts for.

A food blogger from the Chicago Tribune recently gushed, "And, as if these vitamin-packed fries aren't delicious enough on their own, just wait to see what happens to your taste buds -- and your entire mood -- when you dip them in the little tub of cinnamon sauce."
 
McDonald's Shamrock Shake

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krynsky / Flickr

McDonald's decades-old extreme green Shamrock Shake returned nationally in January of 2012 after shake aficionados complained about lack of availability. 

Its "exotic" hue and flavor, which can be attributed to the combination of mint ice cream and whipped cream, have captured the palates of Americans across the country who look forward to the three months each year when they can get ahold of this St. Patrick's Day-themed treat.

Culver's Butter Burger

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@joefoodie / Flickr

The Culver's Butter Burger gets its name from its toasted and lightly buttered bun which started winning hearts in Wisconsin back in 1984.

Popular demand for the chain's burgers as well as its homemade frozen custard prompted Culver's to expand and now the restaurant has locales that span as far west as Arizona and as far east as Ohio.

The restaurant currently has numerous fan pages and over 325,000 "likes" on Facebook.

Wendy's Premium Fish Fillet

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The Premium Fish Fillet sandwich returns to Wendy's each year just in time for Lent, giving health-conscious- but-hungry customers a nice alternative to the chain's traditional beef patty burgers.

While other fast food giants, such as Burger King, McDonald's, and KFC also offer a variety of seafood options around the same time, Wendy's fish fillet is made with North Pacific Cod, breaded with panko crumbs, and deep fried.

McDonald's McRib

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Peter Bright / Flickr

The McRib is McDonald's legendary boneless pork sandwich, loved by millions for its sweet, tangy taste and its uncanny resemblance to an actual rack of ribs. 

Since its debut in the early 1980s, the McRib has captured the hearts and taste buds of fast food fanatics, yet its presence on McDonald's menus is sporadic. The McRib is an exclusive item which resurfaces from time to time to the delight of sandwich enthusiasts, only to disappear after several months.

The sandwich has numerous pages on Facebook as well as several fan websites that are used to keep track of McRib sightings around the country.

In-N-Out Burger's Double Double

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Wikimedia Commons

In-N-Out Burger began as a small burger joint in Baldwin Park, California but has become a corporate entity with nearly 260 restaurants in five other west coast states. The Double Double, with double meat and double cheese, is the chain's most popular burger.

Burger fanatics call it the "best burger chain ever" and a "must-eat-at restaurant," but the craze doesn't stop there.
Some diehard fans have taken to ordering frozen burgers, which are sold and shipped in packs of two for a whopping $56, so that even folks thousands of miles from the nearest restaurant can get the goods.
 
Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos

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Business Insider / Matthew Lynley

To say that Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco has a cult-like following may be an understatement. This extremely popular menu item, which made its debut in March 2012, is the single most popular item on the Taco Bell menu now.

The $1.29 taco is stuffed with  beef, lettuce and tomatoes and is served in a Doritos-branded taco jacket.

Within four months of its release, the company had sold over 200 million Doritos Locos Tacos, a major factor in the chain's 13 percent revenue increase.


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