Food Culture

21 Most Popular McDonald's Items To Try in 2024

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 | 0 Comments
Most Popular McDonald's Items

Founded in 1954 by Ray Kroc, McDonald’s quickly grew from a small Californian restaurant to a franchise of over 36,000 eateries in more than 100 countries. Today, everyone has their go-to options at this globally loved chain, but with so much choice, you may find yourself wondering just what the most popular McDonald’s items are. 

Indeed, there is so much to choose from at McDonald’s, from the McDonald’s breakfast menu to the chain’s secret menu, which includes unofficial items that are loved by those in the know. In this guide, we’ll reveal McDonald’s most popular menu items, and while the focus will mainly be on U.S. menu favorites, we’ll also explore some of the most popular McDonald’s items around the world. This means that wherever you are, you’ll be able to find a new favorite meal beneath your local golden arches.


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The Most Popular McDonald's Items

1. Big Mac

We’ll start with McDonald’s most famous burger and one of the most popular McDonald’s items ever created. This signature item is native to Pennsylvania, where it was created in the 1960s. Its layers of soft seeded bread, two juicy beef patties, chopped onions, cheese, tomatoes, pickles and lettuce have dominated the fast food industry for years. But arguably it is its special sauce that makes this burger so memorable. The McDonald's secret sauce is made of mayo, sweet pickle relish and mustard, plus other mysterious ingredients. Not only is this one of the most famous fast-food burgers, it's also one of the best fast-food burgers of all time. No wonder it’s one of the most popular McDonald’s items!

Most Popular McDonald's Items Big Mac
via Canva 

2. Filet-O-Fish

This is a controversial pick for a list of the most popular McDonald’s items, but hear us out. One of the most well-known fish sandwiches and a contender for the best fast-food sandwich, the Filet-O-Fish is a tasty item that has stood the test of time. Beginning in 1962, this fish sandwich has become a staple for McDonald’s customers. Fried fish, cheese and tartar sauce are a delicious combination, well worthy of a place on the list of most popular McDonald’s items and something that everyone should try at least once. 

3. Chicken McNuggets

Everyone knows what chicken McNuggets are. Just like the Big Mac and Filet-O-Fish, these are mainstays on the menu because they are adored the world over and are sure be found on any list of the most popular McDonald's items. McDonald's makes simple food taste delicious and chicken McNuggets are no exception. These deep-fried, crunchy-yet-fluffy chicken pieces pair perfectly with ketchup. They are so popular that in the past there were supply issues because of the demand!

Most Popular McDonald's Items chicken mcnuggets
via Canva

4. Chocolate Shake

McDonald’s shakes are a famous sweet treat and well worth having if you feel like a cooling drink in the summer. Made with chocolate syrup, reduced-fat vanilla and whipped cream, this is a simple yet delicious shake and deserves a spot on the list of the most popular McDonald's items. Shakes are also available in strawberry and vanilla flavors.

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5. Deluxe Quarter Pounder with Cheese

One of the most popular McDonald’s items for a reason, this burger includes a sesame seed bun that is scrumptiously fluffy, lettuce, tomatoes, beef patty, mayo and of course, cheese. The flavor is fantastic — possibly the beefiest taste of all McDonald’s burgers — and the cheese is very strong, great for turophiles. You also have the option to add bacon for extra flavor. If you’re looking for an alternative to the Big Mac but one that deserves a spot on the list of most popular McDonald's items, this is the one to try. 

Most Popular McDonald's Items burger
via McDonald's

6. Apple Pie

A very affordable and scrumptious dessert, the apple pie is one of the most popular McDonald's items. This dessert item is baked to make a crispy and mildly sweet flavor in a hot pastry shell. The inside of the apple pie is jammy and tastes (unsurprisingly) exactly like apples. There’s a slight cinnamon taste, too, providing it with an extra kick. This is an absolute gem of a McDonald’s menu item.

7. McFlurry

The McFlurry is another dessert item that has existed for decades because of its popularity. The McFlurry was originally Canadian and first sold in 1995. Through the late '90s it was introduced to other countries and eventually became one of the most popular McDonald’s items worldwide. Depending on the country you’re enjoying the tasty treat in, you could experience a wide variety of flavors. In the U.K. for example, you can sometimes get a Creme Egg McFlurry flavor, which is delicious. Other specials include Maltesers, Galaxy Caramel and even Skittles. Be sure to check the current menu to see which flavors are currently available near you. 

Most Popular McDonald's Items McFlurry
via McDonald's 

8. Deluxe McCrispy

Beef burgers aren’t the only type of burger that McDonald’s does to perfection. The McCrispy has competed with its fellow McChicken and other fast-food chicken sandwiches for years. But what if you want a step up to something more indulgent? If this sounds like you, the Deluxe McCrispy sandwich is certainly one of the most popular McDonald’s items this year. It includes a crispy chicken filet, potato roll, tomato, lettuce and of course, mayonnaise.

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9. Double Cheeseburger

The double cheeseburger is synonymous with McDonald’s. Not just one but two beef patties with lots of cheese, pickles, onions and condiments of your choice. If you love cheese, this is a great item to choose. So simple and yet so good, it’s no wonder the double cheeseburger makes the list of the most popular McDonald’s items around the world.

Most Popular McDonald's Items cheese burger
via McDonald's 

10. Crispy Chicken Salad

If you are looking for a healthier item to select at McDonald’s, it has a range of superb salads. The crispy chicken salad is one of the most popular McDonald's items from the healthier side of the menu. It’s made of crispy chicken breast, lettuce, cucumber, sliced tomato and red onion, perfect for those looking for healthy, high-protein fast food. 

11. French Fries

Like many other items on the list, McDonald’s fries need no introduction. These fries are simple yet so good to taste. They are thin and crispy in texture and covered in plenty of salt, but not too much. Whatever your choice of main, it’s clear why fries are one of the most popular McDonald’s items to have on the side.

Most Popular McDonald's Items french fries
via Canva 

12. Happy Meal

It is fair to say that the most popular McDonald’s items for children are the toys you get with a Happy Meal! In a Happy Meal, kids will get a mini main, like a small burger or chicken nuggets, along with a drink and a side such as fries, a salad or a fruit or veg bag. The best part? They’ll get a fun toy to enjoy both during and after the meal.  

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Most Popular McDonald's Items Worldwide 

13. Samurai Burger

Available in Singapore and Mayalsia around October and November, the Samurai burger is a delicious and special treat and one of the most popular McDonald's items in these countries. This burger comes in both a beef and chicken version, but it’s the sauce — a signature teriyaki — that makes this burger amazing.

Most Popular McDonald's Items
via PRAP Japan Inc

14. Shaka Chiki

A famous burger in Japan, the Shaka Chiki features a chicken cutlet that has been covered in seasoning and a variety of toppings. This popular McDonald's item is available plain, with cheddar cheese or red pepper.

15. Chicken Maharaja Burger

This burger is native to India and is one of the most popular McDonald's items in the region. It comes with two chicken patties, jalapeño, onion, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and crunchy lettuce, with the classic habanero sauce on top. There is also a vegetarian option available.

Most Popular McDonald's Items
via McDonald's India

The Most Popular McDonald's Breakfast Items

16. Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

Whilst super tasty, McDonald’s food is not usually lauded for its health benefits. However, the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal is a very healthy option and also very tasty! The oats are whole-grain and go well with the cream, brown sugar, apples, cranberries and raisins. As breakfasts go, this one is sure to give you the energy you need for the day.

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17. Sausage McMuffin

This is the classic McMuffin, where a sausage patty takes center stage. This is one of the most popular McDonald's items, helping the chain to dominate the world of fast-food breakfast. The sausage is spicy enough to give a kick to the sandwich and combines well with the cheese, perfect for those seeking a protein-packed start to their day. 

Most Popular McDonald's Items McMuffin
via McDonald's

18. Egg McMuffin

Bacon, egg and cheese all within an English muffin will provide you with the energy you need for the rest of the day. One of today’s most popular McDonald's items, it was invented in the 1970s and is hard to beat when it comes to breakfast. In fact, it is arguably the dish that made McDonald’s breakfast menu what it is today.

19. Hash Browns

It will be hard to find someone who doesn’t like hash browns. When you look at the most popular McDonald's items, it will become clear that McDonald’s hash browns are some of the best in the fast-food world. These deep-fried wonders are an important staple of the McDonald’s breakfast menu. If you love your hash browns salty and crunchy, yet soft on the inside, then you should try these the next time you get breakfast.

Most Popular McDonald's Items hash browns
via Canva 

20. Hotcakes

McDonald’s hotcakes were introduced in the 1970s and have since garnered a reputation as one of the most popular McDonald’s items for breakfast. Golden-brown and fluffy, these pancakes are great to have with sausage or as a part of the Big Breakfast. The latter comes with a flaky biscuit, hotcakes, syrup, hash browns, scrambled eggs and a sausage patty. You can also have this popular McDonald's item on its own or dunk it in maple syrup to make it even tastier.

21. Sausage, Egg and Cheese McGriddle

The McGriddle has been one of the most popular McDonald’s items since its creation in 2003 and is a staple for McDonald’s breakfast customers. It consists of scrambled egg, cheese and either sausage or bacon. Instead of using traditional buns, the McGriddle uses two maple-flavored pancakes, so if you want a really tasty and filling breakfast, the McGriddle will do the trick.

Most Popular McDonald's Items McGriddle
via USA Today

McDonald’s is loved for its versatile menu, offering plenty of choices both in terms of food and price range. The way it makes simple items like French fries and apple pies taste wonderfully unique and iconic is what keeps McDonald’s popular. In addition, it often has special items available at certain times of the year, such as the Chicken Big Mac in the U.K. or Japan’s popular Shaka Chiki. 

Add to all of this the tantalizing McDonald's secret menu and, whether you’re driving through for a grab-and-go breakfast or picking up your family’s favorite burgers en route home for a convenient treat-night dinner, you’re almost certain to add some of McDonald’s most popular menu items to your order. 

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