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Value-driven fast-food options

Wendy's is wary of promising specific prices for its items because, as is the case with most chains, pricing may vary, but based on some sample addresses that we plugged in, the deals seem to be solid. They're not mindblowing, which makes it hard to get super hyped, but they're easy on your wallet nonetheless.

The chain has variety in the sense that it includes all sorts of burgers and sandwiches, but if we were to give Wendy some advice, it would be to add more sides to the list and include at least one vegetarian option. The menu has six items in total, including a taco, a quesadilla, two burrito-like "grillers," loaded tater tots, and a dessert-y side.

Each price tier features two items. Taco John's value menu isn't the most shocking thing we've ever seen, but it's clearly defined and plenty easy to understand, and for that, it makes an impression.

Currently on the dollar-ish menu are the Chicken Chicken Chipotle Melt, Beef Burrito, Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito, Cheesy Roll Up, Chips and Nacho Cheese Sauce, Cinnamon Twists, and—thankfully—the newly recovered Spicy Potato Soft Taco. The seven distinct items are fairly small but impressively cheap and incredibly desirable.

Best of all, they serve as the perfect canvas for playing around with the chain's many customization options. Based on memory alone, the Cravings Value Menu would take the crown for its variety, affordability, and friendliness to various diets, but when we compared each chain's offerings out side by side, we realized it has a fiercer competitor.

If you want some chicken, you have plenty of taco, burrito, and roller options. If you prefer beef, might you consider a taco or mini taco salad? May you can't eat meat.

Even so, half the menu fits your needs. If you have a sweet tooth, choose between a Mini Churro or Donut Bites, and for a thirst-quenching option, choose between iced coffee and a brewed iced tea.

What good is a value menu that only suits certain palates? What good is a value menu that only contains a few items? What good is a value menu that still racks up a hefty total?

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram , Twitter , Pinterest , YouTube , TikTok , and Snapchat. Skip to main content News Fast Food. By Thrillist News. Illustration by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist Illustration by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist. The awards feature more than a dozen categories celebrating all the best foods that came out of drive-thru windows over the past year—from Best Chicken Nuggets to Best Bacon Cheeseburgers, and many more.

Watch the full awards show and check out the full list of categories and winners. Sonic Drive-In: Everyday Deals. Wendy's: Biggie Deals Menu.

Taco John's: The ValuEST Menu. Taco Bell: Cravings Value Menu. Plan Your Trip. But there are always choices you can make that are healthier than others. The following tips and menu recommendations can help you stay on track. Aim to keep your entire meal to calories or less. The average adult eats calories per fast food meal-and underestimates what they ate by calories.

So don't guess! Most chains post nutritional info both on their websites and at the franchise location. Take advantage of this information. Opt for foods that are lower in fat and higher in protein and fiber. Look for items with more good stuff, like fiber , whole grains, and high-quality protein.

Also aim for options that are relatively low in saturated fats. And steer clear of all items that contain trans fats. Bring your own add-on items if you really want a health boost. Even when you order wisely, it can be pretty tough to get enough fiber and other important vitamins and nutrients from a fast food menu.

If you plan ahead, you can bring healthy sides and toppings like dried fruit, nuts and seeds, carrot sticks, apple or pear slices, and cottage cheese or yogurt. High sodium intake is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that adults stay under mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2, mg a day.

Unfortunately, that's tough to do when eating fasting food, even when you're eating lower calorie meals. Your best bet: plan ahead if possible and eat low sodium in the meals leading up to and following your fast food meal.

However, you can minimize some of the damage by requesting that your burger or meat be cooked without added salt. Many fast food chains post nutritional information on their websites. Sometimes, these lists are confusing and hard to use, but they are the best source for accurate, up-to-date information on your menu options.

There are also many other websites and apps that provide nutritional information, often in easier to use formats. Making healthier fast food choices is easier if you plan ahead by checking the nutritional guides that most chains post on their websites. But if you don't have the chance to prepare, you can still make smarter choices by following a few common sense guidelines.

Keep your eye on portion size. Many fast food meals deliver enough food for several meals in the guise of a single serving. Avoid supersized and value-sized items, and go for the smallest size when it comes to sandwiches, burgers, and sides.

You can also find more reasonable portions on the children's menu. Focus on grilled or roasted lean meats. Avoid fried and breaded items, such as crispy chicken sandwiches and breaded fish fillets.

Choose turkey, chicken breast, lean ham, or lean roast beef instead. Grilled skinless chicken is usually your best bet. Pay attention to the descriptions on the menu.

Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, or au gratin are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium.

Same with items in Alfredo or cream sauce. Don't be afraid to special order. Many menu items can be made healthier with a few tweaks and substitutions. For example, you can ask to hold the sauce or dressing or serve it on the side. Or you can request a wheat bun for your hamburger or whole-grain bread for your sandwich.

Don't assume that healthy-sounding dishes are always your best option. For example, many fast food salads are a diet minefield, smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings. This is where reading the nutrition facts before you order can make a huge difference.

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Be careful when it comes to condiments and dressings. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, sauces, and sides such as sour cream. Mayonnaise- and oil-based sauces in particular add a lot of calories.

Try holding the mayo and asking for a packet of ketchup or mustard you can add yourself-controlling how much you put on your sandwich. Stick to zero-calorie beverages.

Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. The average large soda packs around calories, which can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake.

Shakes are even worse, with up to calories and a day's worth of saturated fat. And don't be fooled by lemonade and fruit drinks, which add calories and sugar without much in the way of nutrients.

Order water, diet soda, or unsweetened tea instead. Be wise about sides. Watch menu items that come with one or more side dishes. Sides that can quickly send calories soaring include fries, chips, rice, noodles, onion rings, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and mashed potatoes with gravy.

Better bets are side salads with light dressing, baked potato easy on the toppings , fresh fruit cups, corn on the cob, or apple slices.

Pass on the French fries. Do you really need those fries? A sandwich or burger should be plenty filling on its own. Or if your meal doesn't sound complete without fries, choose the smallest size which can be calories less than a large serving.

Skip the bacon. It's always tempting to add bacon to sandwiches and salads for extra flavor, but bacon has very few nutrients and is high in fat and calories. Instead, try ordering extra pickles, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, or mustard to add flavor without the fat.

The typical fast food meal of a burger, fries, and a drink can easily add up to a whole day's worth of calories. That's a nutritional and weight control recipe for disaster. The burger alone at many fast food joints can pack between 1,, calories, particularly when loaded up with extra patties, bacon, and cheese.

To keep calories and fat down, you also should pay particular attention to portion sizes and high-fat toppings and sides. Everything that you add to your meal counts—from fries to soda or a shake.

Stick to a single hamburger patty. No double or triple burgers! Burgers with two or three beef patties add loads of unnecessary calories and unhealthy fat up to calories and 40 grams of fat.

Hold or go light on the mayonnaise. You can eliminate around calories. Add extra ketchup or mustard if you need a flavor kick. Go easy on special sauces, which add a lot of calories. If you don't want to do without, ask for the sauce on the side.

A little goes a long way. Say no to bacon, cheese, onion rings, and other calorie-laden burger toppings. If you want to add some interest, go with extra pickles or heart-healthy avocado. Ask about no-meat burger or sandwich options, such as the veggie burger at Burger King or the grilled cheese at In-N-Out Burger.

Skip the fries. You'll save hundreds of calories calories for a large McDonald's fries, calories for a medium. Check out the kid's menu. Junior and children's-sized hamburgers usually have between calories, making them a healthier choice.

Chicken may sound healthier than beef, but when it comes to fast food, that's not always the case. Many menu items at chicken chains are higher in fat and sodium than a burger. What kind of meat you order also matters. Chicken breast is highest in calories, followed closely by the thigh.

Chicken wings and drumsticks are much lower in calories, making them smarter choices. If you prefer breast meat, you can make it healthier by taking off the skin.

Choose baked, broiled, or grilled chicken over fried or breaded chicken. And don't even think about chicken nuggets, which are loaded as much fat and sodium as a burger. Go easy on the honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and other special sauces.

Each sauce packet adds around 60 calories. Be wary of sides. But these standard side dishes are all high in calories, so make sure to count them toward your meal. Pass on the crispy chicken sandwich, which may be flavorful, but is fried and fatty.

A much better choice is a grilled chicken sandwich. Order it skinless to make it even healthier. Mexican fast food restaurants can be a good option for finding healthy fast food.

But they can also be caloric minefields-especially when it comes to burritos, nachos, and other cheese-heavy items. Portion control is also important, since the serving size on many Mexican fast food items is enormous.

In order to enjoy what you want without blowing your diet, simply eat half and take the rest home for your next meal. You can also find healthier choices at chains such as Chipotle and Taco Del Mar, including whole-wheat tortillas and fresh vegetables. But portions are still huge, so limiting the amount you eat in one sitting is key.

Go easy on the rice and beans including in your burrito. These starches add hundreds of calories to your meal. Skip the sour cream, which can add calories. For a healthier option, add avocado or guacamole. Say no to chips.

They add hundreds of calories calories for a ½ order from Chipotle and sodium you don't need. Look for Baja-style fish dishes. Fish is usually the healthiest meat choice—as long as it's not fried.

Opt for soft tortillas. Whether made of flour or corn, soft tortillas are lower in fat and calories than crispy, deep-fried shells. Soft corn tortillas are usually healthier than soft flour tortillas. Try holding the cheese. You may be surprised how little you miss it in your burrito or taco, and it can save you over calories.

Load up on fajita veggies. Adding them to your burrito or burrito bowl is an easy way to add tons of flavor and heart-healthy vitamins and phytochemicals without adding a lot of calories.

And while it is true that you can find relatively healthy choices at the top sandwich chains, their menus are not without their pitfalls. While sandwich shop ads promote their health benefits, studies have found that many people eat more calories per meal at a sub shop than at McDonald's.

You can make healthier choices at a deli or sub shop but you need to use some common sense. Opt for the smaller sized subs. Ordering a 6-inch sub over the foot-long can save you between calories. Choose whole-grain buns or bread instead of white bread, French rolls, or cheese breads. Go easy on the mayonnaise and condiments.

In a world of unlimited options for fast food, here are the five best value menu items you can find! From McDonald's to Taco Bell and more! 10 Fast-Food Restaurants That Serve Healthy Foods ; 1. Chipotle · burritos, tacos, and salads, with a variety of meats, veggies, rice, beans, and Missing

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Top 10 Best Fast Food Value Meals

7. McDonald's: $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu · 6. Burger King: $1 Your Way Menu · 5. Sonic Drive-In: Everyday Deals · 4. Wendy's: Biggie Deals Menu · 3. Taco Many fast food meals deliver enough food for several meals in the guise of a single serving. Avoid supersized and value-sized items, and go Missing: Value-driven fast-food options


























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Product testing and trials if you know the deal and you're fast-foof with how Cheap grocery promotions numbers shake out, a Valued-riven Burger at BK optionz A-OK. It was Value-driven fast-food options to find verified value menu details and even more difficult to compare them, but we persevered. Skip the bacon. A Study of Hormones and Antibiotics in Meat Production. And that's to say nothing of calories, which can top 1, Many fast-food restaurants offer nutritious options, including wraps, salads, and burritos. For example, many fast food salads are a diet minefield, smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings. On December 15, , Taco Bell launched an advertising campaign called "The Belluminati" to advertise its Dollar Cravings menu. Even when you order wisely, it can be pretty tough to get enough fiber and other important vitamins and nutrients from a fast food menu. Famous for its Whopper, Burger King is one of the best-known fast-food restaurants in the industry. If you want some chicken, you have plenty of taco, burrito, and roller options. In a world of unlimited options for fast food, here are the five best value menu items you can find! From McDonald's to Taco Bell and more! 10 Fast-Food Restaurants That Serve Healthy Foods ; 1. Chipotle · burritos, tacos, and salads, with a variety of meats, veggies, rice, beans, and Missing Missing 7. McDonald's: $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu · 6. Burger King: $1 Your Way Menu · 5. Sonic Drive-In: Everyday Deals · 4. Wendy's: Biggie Deals Menu · 3. Taco We've created a list of health-conscious meal options you can buy at your favorite fast food joints for under the $5 price point. drive-thru A value menu is a group of menu items at a fast food restaurant that are designed to be the least expensive items available. In the US, the items are McDonald's — Cheeseburgers and french-fries, hands down! · Burger King — Whopper with cheese (or the double whopper) · Carl's, Jr. · Sonic — I find Wendy's and Taco Bell to offer the best value meals (complete). McDonalds has some sandwich deals (2 for 1) but you gotta just stick to Value-driven fast-food options
Free Outdoor Gear third-party Value-driven fast-food options solution, fastfood marketplace-originated orders fats-food into restaurant Vqlue-driven systems. Fast-foood also a Vzlue-driven sandwich that includes mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado spread, and cheese. Product testing and trials Latest. This data can then be used to craft a value proposition that resonates with customers and positions the restaurant as an attractive choice among competitors. Additionally, it is essential to understand who your target customers are and how your value proposition directly speaks to their needs. Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R. It has some great deals on its menu and offers many of its items for less than five dollars. For decades, Hot-N-Readys at Little Caesars were only five dollars, making it one of the best deals in the fast food industry. Buffet smörgåsbord Conveyor belt sushi Dish Finger food Full course dinner Platter Rodízio Service à la française Service à la russe Silver service Small plates Table reservation. Burger King Facebook. Harvard Health Partnership Audio Meditations Newsletter. Famous for its Whopper, Burger King is one of the best-known fast-food restaurants in the industry. The barbell strategy. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. In a world of unlimited options for fast food, here are the five best value menu items you can find! From McDonald's to Taco Bell and more! 10 Fast-Food Restaurants That Serve Healthy Foods ; 1. Chipotle · burritos, tacos, and salads, with a variety of meats, veggies, rice, beans, and Missing 1. McDonald's McDouble · 2. Del Taco 3 Layer Queso Nachos · 3. Jack in the Box Chicken Sandwich · 4. Arby's Americana Roast Beef Sandwich and I find Wendy's and Taco Bell to offer the best value meals (complete). McDonalds has some sandwich deals (2 for 1) but you gotta just stick to Consider these healthy fast food options like the “value menu” in terms of nutritional bang for your buck. In this article: Can You Eat Healthy We've created a list of health-conscious meal options you can buy at your favorite fast food joints for under the $5 price point. drive-thru No matter how much cash is on hand, there's always something on the menu at Sonic Drive-In that will fit your budget. The fast-food chain has Fast food restaurants are notorious for offering a cornucopia of cheap eats and value items. The concept of offering a permanent, separate Value-driven fast-food options

Value-driven fast-food options - The Top 5 Fast Food Value Menus, Ranked · 5. Dunkin' · 5. Dunkin' · 4. Wendy's · 4. Wendy's · 3. McDonald's · 3. McDonald's · 2. Burger King · 2. Burger In a world of unlimited options for fast food, here are the five best value menu items you can find! From McDonald's to Taco Bell and more! 10 Fast-Food Restaurants That Serve Healthy Foods ; 1. Chipotle · burritos, tacos, and salads, with a variety of meats, veggies, rice, beans, and Missing

When you head down to Popeyes , a Blackened Chicken Sandwich regular or spicy is a smart choice. This is a high-protein option, and blackening seasoning provides bold taste without frying or extra sauces that may hide excess sugar or sodium.

You can consider enjoying it open-faced with just half a bun to save a few calories and carbs if that's what you're after. Per serving: calories, 29 g fat 5 g sat fat , carbs, 8 g sugar, mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 32 g protein.

The humble cheeseburger is your best bet when stopping by Checkers for a bite. It's one of the few non-fried options, and it'll still get you a decent amount of protein.

Ask them if they can pile on extra veggies like onions, lettuce, and tomatoes for some extra nutrition. Per serving: calories, 18 g fat 7 g sat fat , 31 g carbs, 8 g sugar, mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 13 g protein.

Chipotle makes healthful eating hearty and easy. Opt for chicken or the sofritas tofu-based , then pile on all the veggies fajitas, salsa , and don't forget beans for some extra fiber and protein!

Skipping the rice, cheese, and sour cream helps make this a light option that still packs plenty of flavor. RELATED: The Best Orders at Chipotle. Per serving : Nutrition varies by toppings.

A humble hamburger from Shake Shack is delicious load it up with veggie toppings and spreads! Knock off a few more calories by getting it wrapped in just lettuce. If you're a plant-based eater, go for the 'Shroom burger. Per serving : calories, 18 g fat 8 g sat fat , 24 g carbs, 5 g sugar, mg sodium, 25 g protein.

You don't have to feel bad about enjoying a couple Original Sliders from White Castle — it scores better on the "healthy" scale than even the chicken or fish sliders.

But here's a surprise: if you're looking for a vegetarian option, go with the Veggie Slider over the Impossible Slider to consume less overall calories and fat. Per serving : calories, 7 g fat 2. Sure, Burger King offers plenty of other options, but it just seems so fitting to order this chain's namesake.

The single cheeseburger comes in at fewer calories and overall fat than even the chicken and plant-based items, and you can pad it with extra veggies and pickles.

Per serving : calories, 13 g fat 6 g sat fat , 30 g carbs, 7 g sugar, g sodium, 1 g fiber, 16 g protein. If you're heading to Quiznos , definitely get yourself a sub—the fan-fave Spicy Monterey, to be specific.

Not big on heat? Nix the chili sauce. Per serving : calories, 8 g fat 3 g sat fat , 41 g carbs, 7 g sugar, mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 19 g protein. Good news: Guac isn't extra, it's included! This salad from Qdoba is bursting with taste via good stuff like grilled veggies and chicken, pico de gallo and salsa verde, and of course, that guac!

It also has less sodium, saturated fat, and carbs, plus more fiber than other options. Per serving : calories, 20 g fat 4 g sat fat , 18 g carbs, 4 g sugar, mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 27 g protein. The thin crust option from Domino's is lighter than the hand-tossed, but crispy enough to hold up to all the delicious toppings.

This veggie-centric pie is ideal, but if you want to add a bit of protein, opt for chicken. And don't forget the veggie side—what goes better together than salad and pizza?! Per serving : calories, 14 g fat 6 g sat fat , 11 g carbs, 1 g sugar, mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein.

This order definitely " has the meat ," but it also delivers plenty of veggie goodness, big Greek-inspired flavor, and is served in a warm pita. Per serving : calories, 29 g fat 7 g sat fat , 48 g carbs, 5 g sugar, mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 24 g protein.

Get your strive-for-five servings of veggies at Au Bon Pain with this vegetarian salad. It's full of greens, peppers, kalamata olives, feta, chickpeas and other veggies to give your body the nutrition it needs.

Per serving : calories, 24 g fat 7 g sat fat , 24 g carbs, 7 g sugar, mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 12 g protein. You can even request a double portion of veggies to get a super-dose of vitamins and fiber.

Per serving : Nutrition varies by side choices. We're not going to tell you to just order a salad from Culver's —but we are going to tell you to order from the "mindful choices" portion of the menu, and get a ButterBurger "The Original" with a side salad and fresh brewed unsweetened iced tea.

You'll be satisfied and satiated with just the right amount of nutrition and fun. Per serving : calories, 19 g fat 8 g sat fat , 43 g carbs, 7 g sugar, mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 22 g protein. Sometimes, you just need ice cream! When a sweet craving hits, go for a kid's size soft serve from Dairy Queen.

It has less fat than other options, and just enough sugar to hit the spot. Per serving : calories, 4. Denny's has all the diner breakfast staples you love, as well as some healthier picks. When eggs call your name, the loaded veggie omelet will deliver flavor, protein, and nutritious familiarity; ask for a side of fruit instead of potatoes, and order whole wheat toast.

You can also sub egg whites instead of whole eggs to lower the fat content, if that's your style. Per serving : calories, 38 g fat 12 g sat fat , 9 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 2 g fiber, mg sodium, 29 g protein.

Start your day off right by ordering a Dunkin' wake-up wrap. The lightest option is just egg and cheese, but if you like a little breakfast meat in the mix, bacon is your best bet it has less saturated fat than even the turkey sausage!

Per serving : calories, 10 g fat 4 g sat fat , 14 g carbs, 1 g sugar, mg sodium, 7 g protein. This bagel sandwich from Einstein Bros gives BEC and BLT vibes all at once, and it will definitely leave you satiated and satisfied.

That said, because prices vary by location, several stores break from this mold and sell these "value menu" items at heavier costs. The Golden Arches might have affordable prices, but that doesn't forgive its ill-conceived value menu.

For that, it loses points. In addition to the Bacon Cheeseburger, the menu offers a Chicken Jr. For added context, Value-sized fries and fountain drinks are smaller than the chain's small fries and small fountain drinks.

We appreciate you, Burger King, but if we really had it our way , your value menu would be much more extensive. Sonic disguises its value menu by calling its especially cheap items "Everyday Deals. That means you have to check with your nearest location to find out exactly what those everyday deals are.

We checked in with a few random Sonic locations to find out what each item goes for and learned that, while prices certainly fluctuate, the deals are consistently decent.

Perhaps more than prices, Sonic's Everyday Deals menu shines for its variety—it has sandwiches, breakfast items, and dessert, and is friendly to both vegetarians and carnivores. Wendy's is credited with creating the first fast food value menu back in , and while the deals have evolved over time, we'd be rude not to acknowledge that this ranking only exists in the first place because of Wendy's bold move to make prices as cheap as possible for consumers.

Today, the Biggie Deals Menu at Wendy's is most comparable to Sonic's value menu, but a bit more extensive. It features a Jr. Cheeseburger, Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, Double Stack, Bacon Double Stack, Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Crispy Chicken BLT, and Jr.

Wendy's is wary of promising specific prices for its items because, as is the case with most chains, pricing may vary, but based on some sample addresses that we plugged in, the deals seem to be solid. They're not mindblowing, which makes it hard to get super hyped, but they're easy on your wallet nonetheless.

The chain has variety in the sense that it includes all sorts of burgers and sandwiches, but if we were to give Wendy some advice, it would be to add more sides to the list and include at least one vegetarian option. The menu has six items in total, including a taco, a quesadilla, two burrito-like "grillers," loaded tater tots, and a dessert-y side.

Each price tier features two items. Taco John's value menu isn't the most shocking thing we've ever seen, but it's clearly defined and plenty easy to understand, and for that, it makes an impression. Currently on the dollar-ish menu are the Chicken Chicken Chipotle Melt, Beef Burrito, Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito, Cheesy Roll Up, Chips and Nacho Cheese Sauce, Cinnamon Twists, and—thankfully—the newly recovered Spicy Potato Soft Taco.

The seven distinct items are fairly small but impressively cheap and incredibly desirable. Best of all, they serve as the perfect canvas for playing around with the chain's many customization options. Based on memory alone, the Cravings Value Menu would take the crown for its variety, affordability, and friendliness to various diets, but when we compared each chain's offerings out side by side, we realized it has a fiercer competitor.

If you want some chicken, you have plenty of taco, burrito, and roller options. If you prefer beef, might you consider a taco or mini taco salad?

May you can't eat meat. Even so, half the menu fits your needs.

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