When White Castle debuted their now-iconic square-shaped sliders and sold them for five cents a piece back in 1921, they changed the game not only for the concept of fast food restaurants, but for burgers in general. White Castle is now synonymous with late-night cravings of a certain kind, and devotees of the chain’s tiny burgers can sign up to be part of the company’s Cravers Nation program. For the most dedicated fans, there’s even the Cravers Hall of Fame, where customers who have done crazy things in pursuit of White Castle greatness can apply to be immortalized. Think: camping out in the parking lot of a new White Castle location to be among the first customers, or creating crave-worthy photo art.
Today, the White Castle menu goes far beyond the basic slider. In fact, there are at least 16 different ways you can order a slider at White Castle locations. Some are in fact worthy of taking a long drive if you don’t have access to a location in your hometown, while others maybe shouldn’t exist. To help you parse through the menu night time you order a Crave Case, we’ve ranked some of the chain’s most popular sliders, from worst to best.
Because menus vary by location, not all sliders mentioned here are available at some White Castle locations.
16. White Castle’s Surf & Turf Slider
The Surf & Turf slider was once merely a secret menu item, but now some locations, including the one on Hyland Boulevard in Staten Island, New York, have this double-decker creation on their regular menu, though you might have to order via the White Castle app to get it.
The Surf & Turf is basically a hybrid of the chain’s Double Cheese Slider and Fish Sliders, so if your local White Castle doesn’t have it on the menu, just order a Double Cheese Slider and a Fish Slider with no bun, then put it together for yourself.
However, unless you want to complete an exercise in absolute disgust or are just trying to achieve some street cred, there is absolutely no reason to order this. To be frank, it just doesn’t taste good. The fish patty is thick and oily, the beef patties are too thin, and the combination of three pieces of bread plus two slices of cheese just don’t go together. Each bite has the vague texture of play-dough that has sat in the sun for too long, and the flavor tastes like something that has possibly gone bad. We do not recommend.
15. White Castle’s Fish Slider
The plain Fish Slider at White Castle is better than the travesty of the Surf & Turf, but not by much. The patty is made from Alaskan Pollock, and is very thick and flaky, but unfortunately the outside is not at all crisp. The flavor isn’t overly fishy, per se, but it has the consistency of fish meal despite the flakiness.
It doesn’t have the same satisfying crunch and fresh flavor as the Filet-O-Fish from McDonalds, so if you’re a fan of that sandwich, don’t go to White Castle in search of a smaller equivalent. You can get it with or without cheese, but unfortunately White Castle doesn’t offer tartar sauce, which we think is a big mistake. The sandwich needs something creamy and tangy to offset the oily nature of the fish patty. This is the kind of fish sandwich that makes people think they don’t like seafood.
14. White Castle’s Chicken Ring Slider
The Chicken Ring is a classic of the White Castle menu. Similar to a chicken nugget, it’s a ring-shaped, deep fried white meat chicken product. The Chicken Ring Slider takes two of them and puts them on one of White Castles classic slider buns. Like all of their sliders, you can order this sandwich with or without cheese. Neither option is particularly good.
Every bite of the Chicken Ring Slider is approximately 80 percent bread, which is just too much bread. The texture of the chicken ring, which can be decently crisp or disappointingly soggy depending on the day, does not play well with the soft slider bun in either case. If you are a fan of White Castle’s Chicken Rings, your best bet is to order them as a side, and hope you’ve visited the Castle on a day when the person on the fryer really knows what they’re doing.
13. White Castle’s Impossible Slider
We initially had pretty high hopes for White Castle’s Impossible Slider, especially because the Impossible offerings at other fast food chains, like Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, are so reliably good. Not so with this iteration of vegetarian fast food, unfortunately.
One of the most disconcerting things about White Castle’s Impossible Slider was how improbably square it was, especially compared with the restaurant’s beef sliders. From the moment you take it out of its cardboard sleeve, you know this is fake meat. You could probably cut through paper with those sharp corners, and the patty itself, was thin, dry, and fairly devoid of flavor. It lacked the satisfying meaty bite of other Impossible patties, and the lack of any kind of sauce besides ketchup is a miss.
If you’re going to order this, we might suggest adding some ranch, too, but there’s really no need except to satiate curiosity when the much better Vegetable Slider exists to serve vegetarian-leaning White Castle customers.
12. White Castle’s Chicken Bacon Waffle Slider
Chicken and waffles has become a classic of American cuisine, so it’s no surprise that White Castle made their own contribution in the form of the Chicken and Waffles Slider.
The menu claims that the chicken breast should be "covered in a creamy country gravy," then topped with bacon and sandwiched between two miniature Belgian waffles. Unfortunately, stores are inconsistent in terms of whether or not they serve gravy, which is both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, the gravy does make this sandwich a little less dry, which is one of its biggest problems. On the other hand, the gravy is more or less a flavorless gray goop. The chicken breast itself is marginally better than the chicken rings, and has significantly more flavor. The waffles are extremely sweet, and because of that, they don’t play well with the chicken. If you’re dying to try one of White Castle’s waffle sliders, choose literally any other.
11. White Castle’s Belgian Waffle Slider
Let’s talk a little more about those miniature Belgian waffles that form the basis of many of the items on White Castle’s all-day breakfast menu. For starters, they are extremely sweet, which won’t be a problem for some, but will be extremely off-putting to others, especially as they’re paired primarily with savory sandwich fillings. These waffles taste as though someone took instant yellow cake mix and cooked it in a tiny waffle iron, which again, won’t be an issue for people with a massive sweet tooth.
What will be a problem for almost everyone, though, is the fact that 8 times out of 10, these waffles come out totally soggy. If you get a soggy pair of waffles, your sandwich will lack structural integrity, which will make it very hard to eat. Such is the case with the Belgian Waffle Slider, which has no patty to hold it together. White Castle cracks an actual egg for every one of their breakfast sandwiches, which automatically puts them a cut above most other fast food breakfast sandwiches. However, this particular one is a mess to eat, and the flavors are all over the place. There’s not enough salt to balance the sweet of the waffle, and the egg and cheese just feel out of place.
10. White Castle’s Double Original Slider
The Double Original Slider from White Castle is basically a Double Cheese Slider, hold the cheese. It’s made with two of the chain’s original beef patties on a triple-decker slider bun, and topped with chopped onion, ketchup, and notably, a single pickle.
This slider is a study in how to mess up a good thing by completely ignoring the concept of keeping a sandwich proportional. If the toppings were on both slider patties, this might be better, but they’re only on the top patty, so the flavors and textures are lost in too much meat and way too much bread. The whole thing has the texture of taking a giant bite of toothpaste, which is to say, it’s pretty unpleasant. The primary thing you taste is bread.
If you must order this, ask for extra toppings to make it more palatable, but you would be significantly better off just ordering multiple Original Sliders.
9. White Castle’s Egg and Cheese Waffle Slider
There is something very pure about White Castle’s Egg and Cheese Waffle Slider, which is basically the Belgian Waffle Slider without meat. It tastes like the kind of thing you would order for a child who is both a picky eater and has a small appetite.
This breakfast slider is very bland, but in an oddly good way. The sweetness of the waffle is nudged more towards the center of the spectrum by the egg and cheese, which are not particularly salty or flavorful, but are just savory enough to keep this from veering into the territory of something that might be better off as a dessert. It’s also the kind of thing you might want to eat if you’ve had a long night, aren’t feeling great, and want something that is all at once small, filling, and plain: the White Castle Egg and Cheese Waffle Slider is exactly that thing. It is not the best thing on their menu, but it is also not the worst.
8. White Castle’s Crispy Chicken Slider
Unlike the Chicken Ring Slider, the Crispy Chicken Slider at White Castle is made from all white-meat chicken breast that is battered, deep-fried, and topped with cheese. While the chicken has a decent amount of flavor, it’s quite dry, and the melted cheese on top somehow makes the whole slider experience feel even dryer. This sandwich would be greatly improved by the presence of a pickle, perhaps, or some kind of spicy barbecue sauce. You can certainly use the add-on functions of White Castle’s menu to make this slider more palatable, but in its standard iteration, it falls fairly flat.
That said, it’s solidly in the middle of the pack of White Castle’s sliders overall, and if you get a particularly crisp piece of chicken on a particularly fresh slider bun, order a side of sauce and you’ve got a decent little chicken sandwich on your hands.
7. White Castle’s Double Cheese Slider
The Double Cheese Slider is significantly better than the Original Double Slider, which is proof that two slices of cheese can make a whole world of difference.
All of White Castle’s sliders can be ordered with either American, cheddar, or jalapeño cheese slices. For this particular sandwich, we recommend going with the Jalapeño cheese, which has a particularly satisfying melty quality, and a surprising amount of spice that keeps this from becoming too bread-forward and bland. Because there is a slice of cheese on each beef patty, the fact that there are only additional toppings on the top layer isn’t as much of an issue as it is with the Original Double.
If you like the bigger bite and additional slice of bread that a double-decker sandwich offers, the Double Cheese Slider with jalapeño cheese is as good as it gets at White Castle, though we wouldn’t say no to the same with either American or cheddar.
6. White Castle’s Original Slider with Egg and Cheese
When it comes to the White Castle breakfast menu, there are sliders served on tiny waffles, and sliders served on the same mini buns as the rest of the sandwiches on offer. The Original Slider with Egg and Cheese is not quite as good as its similar counterpart, the Sausage Egg and Cheese Waffle slider, but it’s pretty okay — like a solid breakfast sandwich from your local bodega or greasy-spoon diner.
It features an Original steam-grilled beef patty on a bed of chopped onions, just like the classic Original Slider, but then it takes it up a notch and adds egg and cheese. We do miss the delightful spicy quality of the breakfast sausage patty on this sandwich, so if you like your breakfast with a little extra kick, we recommend that you get it with jalapeño cheese instead of American or cheddar.
5. White Castle’s Sausage Egg and Cheese Waffle Slider
The Sausage Egg and Cheese Waffle Slider is one of the best items on the entire menu at White Castle, and is a standout of the breakfast menu. Anchored solidly by the sausage patty, this sandwich is much easier to eat than the Bacon Egg and Cheese version, which can be prone to falling apart.
The sausage patty is not only salty, it also has a delightfully spicy kick to it that does the best job of balancing out those cake batter-flavored waffles. The bite starts out sweet and finishes spicy, and there’s a great textural balance between the sausage, melted cheese, fried egg, and miniature waffles.
On the best day, this is better (and cheaper) than what you would get at some high-end brunch places. Even if you end up with a lukewarm and not particularly crisp version, this is a pretty good sandwich. If you’re a fan of sweet and savory breakfast sandwiches, this one is a must-try.
4. White Castle’s Bacon Cheese Slider
The Bacon Cheese Slider at White Castle does just about everything you want it to do: it gets a little extra salt and crunch from the bacon strips (which are, it feels important to note, real bacon and not bacon crumbles or bits), delightfully gooey melted cheese, and everything we love about White Castle’s Original slider. This is very good on its own, but it’s also good as a Double Bacon Cheese Slider, which you can get by ordering a Double Cheese Slider and adding on some bacon.
This is a sandwich with great mouthfeel, balanced flavors, and just the right amount of decadence. It earns particularly high marks for highlighting the flavor of the beef patty rather than simply burying it in toppings, and for the fact that all of the toppings are portioned so that they compliment one another rather than competing for real estate on your taste buds.
3. White Castle’s Veggie Slider
The Veggie Slider is one of the sleeper hits of the White Castle menu, and is absolutely a better choice for anyone who wants to take a break from eating meat than the chain’s Impossible Slider. One of the most surprising things about this patty is the fact that you can actually see the vegetables it’s made from, like carrots, peas, and soy beans. It’s also delicious, with a crisp exterior, a softer interior, and an overall flavor that’s vaguely reminiscent of a mildly-spiced pakora. It has a good balance of texture, and the relatively bland flavor of the slider bun actually highlights the flavors of the vegetables that make up the patty.
This slider is not served with any toppings or sauces, and it doesn’t really need any, although it’s pretty good with both ketchup and ranch if either of those are your thing. Even if you are an avid meat-eater, it is worth trying White Castle’s Veggie Slider at least once.
2. White Castle’s Original Slider
The Original Slider from White Castle is an icon and a classic for one reason and one reason only: it’s good. Even if you don’t like fast food, even if you don’t love burgers, there is something about the square, steam-grilled patty and how it mingles with the chopped onions, ketchup, and singular, perfect pickle that make this one hit the spot every time. The chain’s signature soft, pillowy bun is the perfect vehicle for the single beef patty, so each bite has the perfect ratio of bread, meat, and toppings. It’s also gone in an instant, which is why most people order a sack full of Original Sliders when they make the trip to a White Castle.
If you have never tried one before, get yourself to the nearest location, put your preconceived notions of what is and isn’t a good burger to the side, and give this one a try. We promise that even skeptics are highly likely to find themselves pleasantly surprised.
1. White Castle’s Cheese Slider
The only thing better than a White Castle Original Slider is a White Castle Cheese Slider. Take everything we just said that makes the original slider great: the depth of flavor of the onion-infused steam-grilled beef patty, the sweet umami of ketchup, the tang and crunch of a pickle slice, that buttery slider roll — and then add a slice of perfectly melted cheese to the equation. Even though it is a relatively minor addition to the equation, it takes this sandwich to a whole new level.
The Cheese Slider is great with cheddar, American, or jalapeño cheese added, but since we tend to like things a little more on the spicy side, we think this slider is best ordered with jalapeño cheese. We also think that this cheese melts better than the other two options on the White Castle menu, which earns it extra points. The Cheese Slider and the Original Slider, combined, are the things Crave Case dreams are made of. We could go for a dozen or so just thinking about how good these little burgers really are.