If you've ever been to the West Coast, you probably know how amazing an In-N-Out burger tastes. No, it's not overrated, it's food perfection--one of the best foods California has to offer. California is all about beaches, great weather, and In-N-Out.
As it slowly grows outward to places like Nevada and Arizona, and even pop-up locations in Toronto and Hong Kong, In-N-Out is slowly becoming more accessible to the world.
If you haven't had it already, you will have In-N-Out at some point in your life, hopefully. So as a Californian who has been able to enjoy the glorious burgers for 25 years, I felt obligated to give you a full look at the In-N-Out menu, the Not-So-Secret menu, and ridiculous amount of tips and tricks that will let you enjoy your trip to In-N-Out even more.
So get ready for the most extensive look at the In-N-Out menu you'll ever see, and get ready to try something new and delicious:
You roll up to In-N-Out and you see the classic menu that'll probably never change. It's beautiful, consistent, basic, fresh, always made-to-order and delicious:
- Hamburger (A beef patty, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onion, spread)
- Cheeseburger (Same as the hamburger, but with cheese added)
- Double-Double (Same as the cheeseburger, but with an second patty and piece of cheese)
- French Fries
- Shakes (Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry)
Unless instructed otherwise, your burgers come with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, raw onions, their famous Thousand Island spread over the toasted bun, and of course, beef patties. If you get a cheeseburger, they add a slice of cheese--a double-double has two beef patties with two slices of cheese. If you want to split a hamburger in half for the kiddos, they'll happily do that for you as well.
That was the easy part. Now we get to the 'instructed otherwise' part of the list, which is the fun part.
THE 'NOT-SO-SECRET' MENU
They call it the Not-So-Secret Menu because although it's not visible on their in-store menu, it is acknowledged online. The items on here have become so common in people's orders, they probably could be listed on the menu. You've got extra patties in your burgers, cheesy fries and even a breadless burgers.
This part of the list starts off pretty easy. If the Double-Double isn't enough for you, you can add a third patty and a third piece of cheese with the 3x3.
If you're really in Beast Mode, In-N-Out lets you order your burger with up to FOUR patties and FOUR pieces of cheese with its 4x4. There was a time when you could add five, or six, or 100 patties, but someone ruined it for everyone by actually ordering a 100x100, forcing In-N-Out an official limit of four. Sure you can order an unlimited amount of 4x4s and create a super burger, but don't be a dick. The 100x100 has already been done and documented (see photo below). All you'd be doing is slowing down a line that's already going to be incredibly long.
It's come to the point where Animal Style is almost a must when going to In-N-Out. If you're not from the west coast and don't get to enjoy In-N-Out on a consistent basis, it's silly not to order, at least, Animal Style fries.
Animal Style Fries are their classic fries topped off with their famous spread, a slice of cheese and chopped grilled onions. The Animal Style Burger includes extra spread, mustard grilled into the meat patty, and extra pickles in this mess of a burger. You can order Animal style for your double double, 3x3 and 4x4.
If you're not into carbs and want to do away with the bread, In-N-Out can replace the bread by expertly wrapping the burger in lettuce. Everything inside stays the same, it's just breadless. So if you want a 4x4, Protein Style, you'll have a massive burger lettuce wrap.
This Flying Dutchman is more than just a character on Spongebob Squarepants, at In-N-Out it's an uber deconstructed burger. There's no bread, no lettuce, no onions, no spread. It's just two pieces of meat and cheese. This one could have easily been called a protein style burger, but no, it has the name of a mythical ghost ship for some reason.
The grilled cheese sandwich is just what you think it is. It's all the veggies that come with a normal burger and two slices of cheese, but it has no meat patty.
If you're not down with cheese, you can order a Double Meat burger, which is just what it sounds like, a two beer patty burger with no cheese.
EASY DIY In-N-Out CREATIONS
For the sake of allergies and other boring law-abiding reasons, In-N-Out can't exactly do everything you ask, but that shouldn't stop you from taking the available ingredients in the restaurant and making stuff yourself. Here are some ideas that let you play with your food.
This dirty little burger started off as a rumor on Twitter. Legend says that an order of Animal Style fries stuffed inside a Double-Double was called a Monkey Style Burger. We tried ordering it ourselves and pissed off In-N-Out to say the least. Turns out Monkey Style isn't a super secret menu item, and thanks to us, you'll get a vicious look from the cashier if you try to order it. Sorry, not sorry. You can, however, order Animal Style fries and stuff them in a Double-Double yourself. It tastes pretty amazing.
You can ask for lemon and pepper on the side if you're in the drive-thru, or if you're dining in, just grab the condiments yourself. Squeeze the lemon over your fries then pepper them.
If you want to upgrade your Animal Style fries even more, top them with a Flying Dutchman. You can even use the plastic utensils to cut up the meat patty and sprinkle them over your fries, for an In-N-Out version of carne asada fries.
I know it sounds weird, but dipping your fries in a vanilla milkshake is just as awesome as stuffing your burger with fries. There's something about mixing the saltiness of the fries with the sweetness of the shake that's perfect.
If you're broke and usually skip the purchase of a drink to save money, you can make your own lemonade with free ingredients. You've got free water, free lemon slices and free sugar. You can easily make yourself a free lemonade. Knowing your broke ass though, you're probably putting 7UP in that clear water cup anyway.
You can pepper your fries, or ketchup. Either way, it's a little upgrade for your fries.
ABOVE AND BEYOND THE NO-SO-SECRET MENU
This is the stuff you won't see on neither the standard nor secret menu, but are upgrades that the workers know about and can do for you. So maybe this is the secret menu? From the small stuff like adding grilled onions to your burger, to getting your Flying Dutchman Animal Style, these are upgrades that can enhance your next order.
If you're vegetarian, you can get the Veggie Burger. It's essentially a regular burger, but meatless and cheese-less. If you're vegan, you can get it without spread as well. It's basically a way for vegetarians to enjoy an In-N-Out burger with their friends.
That breadless burger we mentioned earlier, The Flying Dutchman, can come Animal Style. I was told that you'd probably just ring it up like a Double-Double, but you CAN order a Flying Dutchman Animal Style, which would come with fried mustard, grilled onions, and spread like you would for a regular Animal Style Burger.
Grilled Onions come standard on Animal Style fries, but you also have the option of getting these chopped up little guys on your burger to replace the regular raw onion it usually comes with. J'deteste onions, but I've tried the grilled onions a couple of times and I have to admit they're pretty damn good.
When you ask for grilled onions, they usually come chopped up, but if you really get specific, you can get whole onions grilled as well.
In-N-Out has yellow chilies that can be ordered on the side, but it is also possible to ask them to chop them up and put them over your fries, or in your burger. Gives your order a little extra spice. Works great with your Lemon Pepper Fries as well.
I mentioned that the patties in an Animal Style Burger come with mustard grilled into them, but you have that option with any burger you order. They essentially give the meat a bit of a tangy taste with the combination of mustard and pickles.
In-N-Out burgers are cooked so that there's no pink nor reddish tint showing, like most fast food burgers do. Most locations are OK with making your burger medium rare if you want. There are places, such as the locations in Nevada, that have to cook it all the way through, by law, but other than that, get your pink meat on.
Cheese Fries are what you get when you want more than just regular fries, but don't want to go all the way to Animal Style. They just put a couple slices of melted cheese over your fries. Simple and delicious.
In-N-Out makes their fries fresh to order, so you have the option of having them custom cooked. If you want them a little crispier, you can order them "light-well." If you want them even darker and crispy, you can order them "well-done." If you want them almost burnt and inedible, you can get them "extra well-done." If you want them to be soft and terrible, you can order them "light."
I don't know why you'd want this, but it's an option. If you don't want their classic cheese, beautifully melted in your burger, you can order cold cheese.
Trust me, this burger had its buns toasted a little more than usual. You might not be able to tell from the picture, but look at how glorious this thing looks. The extra toast provides a bit more of a crunch to your bun.
-Arnold Palmer, like anywhere else, is a mix of their lemonade and tea.
-Lemon Up mixes lemonade and 7UP.
-Rootbeer Lemonade: Mixing up root beer and lemonade sounds kind of weird, but I tried it the other day and thought I'd recommend it to the world.
In-N-Out has vanilla, chocolate and strawberry milkshakes. If you order a Neapolitan, they'll mix all three flavors in the same cup. You can also go halfsies of each flavor, such as a strawberry-chocolate shake.
They have vanilla shakes and have root beer. If you order a root beer float, they'll gladly mix the two together for you.
In-N-Out is one of few restaurants that has secret menus for doggies. If you order a Pup Patty, they'll give you a salt-less beef patty so you can enjoy a meal in the car with your four-legged friend.
By Isai Rocha
Isai is the self-proclaimed, "Kanye West of burrito eating." He has a hard time trusting vegans, ranch dressing and people who own more than one cat.