McDonald’s was my fast food restaurant of choice growing up. It was always cheap, accessible, and good.
It’s been a good ten years since the last time I ate a full McDonald’s burger. As the father of three boys, I’ve often had the first bite out of my kid’s cheeseburgers, to make sure that burger is not poisonous and safe to eat (really to satisfy a craving), or was so desperately hungry that I ate the unfinished portions of their burgers left in their wrappers, rather than throw it away.
While the Thrillist article list is based on the best current McDonald’s burgers, reading through it brought back memories of all my favorite McDonald’s burgers from my lifetime. Here’s my top ten list of McDonald’s burgers:
10. Quarter Pounder with Cheese
This was my burger of choice when I was a pre-teen. It also happens to be my pre-teen son’s favorite.
9. Chicken Sandwich
I remember this being on the McD $1 menu and chowing down on these when I was in high school and college. My “hack” to make this burger a little more palatable was to ask for either the sweet and sour or BBQ dipping sauce and topping the burgers with the sauce.
I always enjoyed these when they were in-season.
7. Superhero/Batman Returns Burger
This had a limited run back in the mid-90’s. It was more of a sub sandwich filled with three burgers, cheese, and toppings. It was a lot of burger for a great price.
6. Double Cheeseburger
The classic McD cheeseburger, but double the meat and cheese. Not to be confused with the McDouble (two beef patties, single slice of cheese).
5. Big N’Tasty
These came out in the late 2000’s and are among the last McD burgers I remember eating. My wife was pregnant at the time and this burger was one of her cravings. It seems bizarre now, but we would go to McD, order these, and sit and eat them in the restaurant.
4. Teriyaki Burger
When I lived in Japan, McD’s offered a Teriyaki Burger. I can’t recall if it was chicken or beef, but the meat was covered in teriyaki sauce and topped with a sweet mayo and served on a bun. That’s it. If I ever return to Japan, a McD Teriyaki Burger is on the list.
The cheeseburger Happy Meal was a staple of my childhood. As a young adult, I survived my first two years of college on the McD cheeseburger. I remember during the early 2000’s, McD ran some ridiculous offer where you could buy them at their original $.49 price. On a return trip to Western, one of my best friends and I bought $10 worth–20 cheeseburgers–and proceeded to eat as many as we could on the 2.5 hour drive. I think we ate 5 each in less than 15 minutes and were full and feeling nauseous for the remainder of the trip.
2. Big Mac
Classic. It’s the sauce that makes this burger. When I get a craving for fast food, the Big Mac or Cheeseburger immediately come to mind.
1. Arch Deluxe
Hands down, my favorite McDonald’s burger of all time. This had a limited run when I was in high school and I’m pretty sure I ate one every Friday night those years it was available. I can’t remember exactly what made this burger so special. I remember it being a little bit more upscale than a traditional McD burger–nicer quality bun, a better special sauce, crunchier lettuce, and the burger packaging (at the time) was nicer and contributed to the experience. It’s the one burger from McD that I wish they’d bring back.
Reflecting on it now, I ate A LOT of McDonald’s growing up and turned out mostly all right…