Most people want a tasty burger from time to time, and when the craving hits you, there’s a pretty good chance that your destination will be the nearest Burger King. The home of the Whopper is also home to many other delicious menu items to satisfy your fast food needs. The King’s vast selection is a crucial part of choosing the best meal to sate your particular hunger, but the fact that you’re spoiled for choice can also easily become a problem. What should you order? Would it be wise to just play it safe and grab a Whopper meal, as usual? Or should you risk reaching deeper into the franchise’s sizable roster of burgers, sandwiches, and sides in hopes of finding your new favorite fast food treat? As you consider the options, you realize that analysis paralysis is a very real thing.
The Burger King menu can be a wild terrain for the uninitiated, especially since there is a pretty big gap between the chain’s most delicious fare and some of its less than impressive brethren. In order to help you on your next mission to find an optimal meal from their selection, we’ve rated some of their best-known selections. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Burger King menu items, ranked worst to best.
19. Onion Rings
Look, Burger King’s onion rings are fine when you want a quick fix of deep-fried, greasy crunch to go with the rest of your meal. However, there’s a reason they come dead last in our ranking of fast food onion rings. All told, they’re only onion rings in the sense that they’re ring-shaped and filled with something vaguely onion-like. Onion rings should be, well, rings of onion, battered and deep-fried to crispy perfection. It’s right there in the name.
Yet, as GrubGrade notes, the Burger King take on this classic side dish means that they eschew the whole "actual onion ring" component. Instead, the ring is essentially all about that crispy breading, with the onion component coming in the form of a paste with a vaguely artificial flavor.
Sure, onions can be tricky beasts, and working with more traditional onion rings would presumably take up more prep time than just throwing these things in the fryer. Then again, lots of other fast food chains do operate with the real deal, so what’s BK’s excuse? At the end of the day, Burger King’s onion rings come across as circlets of decent, vaguely onion-tasting batter and little more. We’re not saying this is a wholly bad thing. There’s certainly a time and a place for the Burger King Onion Rings experience, but even then, the chain has far more delicious sides on the menu.
18. Crispy Chicken Garden Salad
Everyone wants to at least try to eat healthy on occasion. However, when you walk through the doors of a Burger King, you’ve already made a dietary decision. Sure, you can still try to correct course and order the Burger King Crispy Chicken Garden Salad, but that might actually be an even worse decision than going all-in with that delicious, delicious burger.
The Crispy Chicken Garden Salad actually manages to disappoint on two fronts. Not only is it a salad when you could be enjoying a burger, but there’s a decent chance that it actually packs more calories than said burger. "This 870-calorie salad will eat into your calorie budget more than a Whopper," dietician Sue Heikkinen told Mashed. "And a salad with 71 grams of fat in is a far cry from a light meal option." That Whopper, by the way, carries an average of 657 calories.
Sorry, Crispy Chicken Garden Salad. You taste decent as far as fast food chain salads go, but as long as you insist on depriving us of a delicious burger while still bombarding us with all those calories and fat, your rightful place is always going to be near the bottom of the list.
17. Chicken Nuggets
Burger King’s all white meat Chicken Nuggets seem like a bit of an afterthought, to the point where it can be easy to forget that the chain sells them in the first place. They’re not awful, as such, but they’re still on the lower end of the fast food chicken nugget spectrum. Knowing this, it’s easy to see them as little more than an attempt to counter McDonald’s famous chicken McNuggets in a "look, people, we can do this, too" kind of way.
The main problem is that the taste and texture of Burger King’s nuggets can’t quite cash the checks written by the very fact that they exist. They’re pretty dry and the breading can be unpleasantly sturdy and crunchy, which then doesn’t quite manage to counterbalance the general softness of the nugget. Though the nuggets are surprisingly well seasoned, the texture trouble takes away from the experience. You may very well find yourself relying heavily on your dipping sauce of choice, which, unfortunately, does very little to solve the textural issues. All in all, you might still find yourself ordering the Burger King Chicken Nuggets on occasion … but have you ever felt a true craving for them, like you might for McNuggets? Didn’t think so.
16. Whopper Jr.
It seems like a travesty to include anything from Burger King’s famous flame-grilled department this low on the list, but here we are — and with a member of the prestigious Whopper family, no less. Whopper Jr. isn’t a bad-tasting burger by any means. It’s just very, very difficult to place it anywhere higher on this list, simply because it’s so derivative.
Per Reader’s Digest, one of the chain’s best-known burgers was hardly the product of careful market research. Instead, franchisee Luis Arenaz-Pérez created the burger as a last-minute improvisation when he was opening up a new location in 1963 and realized he was all out of large Whopper buns. The Whopper Jr. proved popular and earned its creator all sorts of acclaim, but at the end of the day, it’s still a Whopper — only, there’s less of it. Plus, it tends to look far less appetizing than its larger sibling.
Sorry, Whopper Jr. One burger was always bound to be the worst flame-grilled thing on this list, and it doesn’t help that your whole point is giving the hungry customer less of a good thing. You taste pretty good, to be fair, and might even be a perfect choice in a very specific situation. Let’s say, one in which someone isn’t fully hungry, but still absolutely needs that Whopper taste in their mouth. In most other scenarios, however, your big brother is the way to go.
15. Single Sourdough King
On paper, the Sourdough King seems like such a good idea: Take everything that’s great about Burger King’s burgers, and stick all that goodness between two slices of delicious, toasted sourdough. That’s virtually gourmet. What’s not to like?
Quite a lot, in fact. Both TheImpulsiveBuy and Brand Eating have pointed out that the 2018 version of the Sourdough King wasn’t all that mind-blowing, and that the "sourdough" was more like perfectly regular and thoroughly unimpressive toast. The highlight back then was a creamy "secret sauce," which isn’t present in the current incarnation of the menu item, which relies on ketchup and mayo instead.
What’s more, user experience alleges that the bread problem hasn’t exactly corrected itself. Twitter users like ShermanRHardy, TimmyLegs, and ProdigyZ49 have posted images of what appears to be Sourdough King burgers that look an awful lot like they’re made with none other than untoasted white bread. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — it actually sounds kind of delicious in some contexts — but it also sounds like a 2 a.m. novelty sandwich, instead of something that you’d market as Sourdough King.
14. Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich
The Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich is Burger King’s hyped-up entry in the chicken sandwich wars, which is fine and all … if you forget that this is a hamburger chain dipping its toe in what was originally a tug-of-war between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes, two decidedly chicken-themed fast food chains (via Restaurant Business Online). This means that it risks being a little bit of a novelty product in that general fast food burger chain "huh, right, guess they sell chicken sandwiches too" kind of way — unless, that is, it turns out to be way more delicious than its chicken sandwich war competitors.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. The Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich is a nice addition to the Burger King menu, and in other circumstances, it might rank considerably higher on this list. However, the very fact that it’s posited as the chain’s answer to Chick-fil-A and Popeyes means that our taste buds end up comparing it to the competition, instead of its fellow Burger King products. That’s a tall order for what’s essentially a burger chain’s side hustle. Though the crisp, crunchy Burger King sandwich doesn’t surrender to its competitors without a fight, it ends up losing by a noticeable margin. Still, if you find yourself with a relentless hankering for both a Whopper and a decent crispy chicken sandwich, and don’t want to make two separate runs, the Hand-Breaded Crispy Chicken Sandwich goes down just fine.
13. Impossible Whopper
We’d really, really love to like the Impossible Whopper more. Almost every omnivore could probably do with a little less red meat in their lives, and a delicious, plant-based patty in an otherwise classic Whopper sure seems like the ticket to do this in an easy and tasty way. As such, the idea behind the burger is solid. There’s just one little problem: As it stands, the Impossible Whopper is a confusing and underwhelming product.
Per Impossible Foods, the burger’s a little problematic if you like to keep things fully vegetarian — let alone vegan — due to the fact that the patty is "cooked in the same oil as meat and cheese products," per the fine print on the promotional image. This wouldn’t be such a huge problem if the patty would fulfill its own mission statement, and taste so great that meat eaters could casually switch allegiances to the impossible side. Unfortunately, when it comes to taste and texture, the Impossible Whopper ranks dead last among popular fast food meatless burgers. That’s thanks to the patty’s comparatively dry consistency, which joins forces with the moister parts of the burger to create a comparatively underwhelming experience. We genuinely hope that one day, the Impossible Whopper will be able to live up to its considerable hype … but that day isn’t quite here yet.
12. Bacon, Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit
Burger King’s breakfast menu is pretty sizable, though it’s far from the greatest fast food breakfast out there. There’s also the fact that the chain’s signature breakfast item is arguably the Croissan’Wich, while the pancake platters and Egg-Normous Burritos and whatnot are largely the kinds of fare you can get elsewhere. Considering the abundance of chain breakfast restaurants out there, might very well be better off doing so.
So, where does this leave the Bacon, Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit, then? In a pretty decent place, actually. Burger King’s bacon isn’t all that super, but together with the ample amount of cheese stacked between the components, they manage to elevate the sausage, egg, and buttermilk biscuit into more than the sum of its parts. It’s not the greatest thing on the breakfast menu and can’t hold a torch to the majority of the burgers, but it’s a pretty decent way to stock up on calories in the morning.
11. Triple Whopper
Yes, another Whopper fails to make the Top Ten, but for a very different reason than the Whopper Jr. The Triple Whopper With Cheese (seriously, don’t even try to tackle this one without the cheesy goodness to help you pull through) is a meal all unto itself. It’s also solid proof that there can indeed be too much of a good thing. The Whopper usually benefits from its comparatively generous layer of vegetation, but when you stack three of those delicious, flame-grilled quarter-pound patties on top of each other, the lettuce, pickles, onions, and tomato are reduced to a tiny oasis in the lawless, multi-layered meat wilderness.
Burger King’s flame-grilled beef is great, but at the end of the day, we’re still talking about fast food burger patties instead of steak. As such, when they completely overshadow the rest of the burger, the balance of the Whopper experience is thrown off. No amount of condiments can fully salvage the whole.
10. Original Chicken Sandwich
Objectively speaking, the Original Chicken Sandwich has no business ranking above its cool, modern, hand-breaded crispy counterpart. However, fast food doesn’t really have anything to do with objectivity, does it? This long, relatively soggy combination of a chicken patty, lettuce, and mayo in a bun has been around for a long time and judging by the fact that it survived Burger King’s recent chicken sandwich cull, it’s pretty clear that the company recognizes the menu item’s elusive "it factor." At the end of the day, the Original Chicken Sandwich is a classic for a reason: It’s simply a very comfortable, comforting thing to eat.
Taste-wise, the Original Chicken Sandwich is a simple affair, unburdened with the need to surf the waves of fast food trends. Looks-wise, it can be downright unappealing. Still, don’t let its relatively low ranking on this list fool you. This is simple fast food for the times you want nothing but simple fast food, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. The Original Chicken Sandwich will never be the greatest individual food item on any menu, but it may very well still be one that you find yourself ordering time and time again.
9. Classic Fries
When it comes to fast food fries, Burger King’s Classic Fries are almost aggressively alright. They may not be able to hold a torch to the criminally delicious McDonald’s fries, but then again, they most certainly have nothing to fear from the limp crinkle cuts you might get from White Castle. If you’re looking for a thick, hand-cut style fry with the exact right amount of crunch, just waiting to be enjoyed with ketchup and dipping sauce, Burger King has your back. On the other hand, fans of fries that actually taste like something before you add a ton of condiments and spices in the mix may be disappointed by these.
Fries are a side by nature, so even if they’re not particularly tasty, they may work well as accouterments to a solid burger or sandwich, as long as their texture is on point. Fortunately, Burger King has that part of their fry game down to a tee. These fries have a very satisfying fluff underneath the awesome crisp. While a food item as relatively bland as this would normally have no business being anywhere close to this high, this expert texture game makes Burger King’s French fries a natural midway point on this list.
8. Cheesy Tots
Burger King’s French Fries may be somewhat lacking in flavor, but that doesn’t mean the chain doesn’t know its way around a deliciously unhealthy potato. Consider, for instance, the humble Cheesy Tot. As the company’s website puts it, these delicious little balls are nothing more or less than "melted cheesy potato bites covered in a crunchy bread crumb coating." The amazing taste explosion that this description magically conjures in your mouth? They taste exactly like that, and it’s awesome. On occasion, if you’re lucky, you might even come across the seasonal bacon variant. It’s very much worth a taste. Ultimately, though, even bacon crumble can’t truly improve the Tot. It merely adjusts the flavor profile a little.
If there is a downside to the Cheesy Tots, it’s that you have a very short window of opportunity to consume them while they’re still at that optimal stage of crispy meltiness. So, either you focus entirely on them while neglecting the rest of your order, or risk diminishing your Tot experience considerably after that window closes. Spoiler: You really, really don’t want a diminished Cheesy Tots experience.
7. Bacon King
When Burger King lets its proverbial hair down, all sorts of hamburger magic can happen — only, sometimes it’s dark magic. We’ve told you before that you should probably avoid the Bacon King because, let’s face it, anything called the Bacon King isn’t going to do your arteries any favors. The King’s answer to Wendy’s signature Baconator doesn’t mess around. The Bacon King is 1,313 calories’ worth of happiness that comes in the shape of two flame-grilled patties, a whole bunch of cheese, "a hearty portion" of smoked bacon, and some mayo and ketchup.
Does it look as good live as it does in the ads? Of course not. Does it always contain an absurd amount of bacon? Hard to say, seeing as "a hearty portion" can mean a whole lot of things. Is it as good as the Baconator? The jury is out. Still, one thing is certain: A well-made Bacon King is one of the more pleasant ways to keep things unhealthy.
6. Croissan’wich with Bacon, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese
Many items on Burger King’s breakfast menu skew toward decent rather than truly delicious, but there’s no denying that their Croissan’wich is pretty amazing. This is the one item on this list that’s so highly customizable that depending on your favorite trimmings, it can end up virtually anywhere on the list … as long as it’s the top half, because the croissant bun is a creation that warrants recognition.
Since we’re talking about fast food breakfast, the wandering eye gazes naturally toward the meatier options. In our opinion, the Double Sausage, Egg & Cheese version of the Croissan’wich is a little bit sausage-heavy, and the patties take away from the flakiness of the croissant. The Fully Loaded seems like a natural choice, because it contains the works — however, the black forest ham, sausage, and bacon don’t quite mesh together with each other and the egg and cheese, leaving this particular Croissan’wich without a clear identity. Luckily, you just need to drop the ham from the equation, and you have a winner in your hands. The Bacon and Sausage, Eggs and Cheese Croissan’wich hits the palate like a tasty, flaky brick, allowing you to savor every single one of its 577 calories.
5. Chicken Fries
Every fast food burger chain has a signature burger. Once they’ve settled on that, it’s time to tweak the rest of the menu. The chain in question needs to decide on the other burgers, the sides, the dessert game, and even the array of condiments and drinks. After the basics are set, it’s time to go wild … and still, few have dared to go where Burger King went with Chicken Fries.
On paper, there’s no point in Chicken Fries, which are basically just long nuggets. Yet, therein lies the thrill. The chain’s nugget breading game might be a bit weak, but the Chicken Fries’ breading is on point — which is great, seeing as they offer a pretty impressive breading-to-chicken ratio. They’re also a delight to dip, thanks to the long shape. Also, let’s face it, that container is hilarious. All in all, the Chicken Fries are perfect proof that sometimes food can just be fun, and it’s enough to land it at a good spot on this list.
To be fair, though, we can’t help but feel that this particular menu item could offer a lot more if Burger King decided to bring back the Fiery Chicken Fries, a limited-edition menu item from 2015 (via Delish). Now, those were something extra.
4. Double Sourdough King
Remember what we said about the Sourdough King earlier? Turns out, all that goes right out the window when a second beef patty enters the fray. As the Triple Whopper taught us, the art of the Burger King hamburger is a delicate one, and the beef-to-everything else ratio needs to be balanced just so in order to provide optimal fast food enjoyment. The Double Sourdough King manages to do exactly this, courtesy of the extra patty and the accompanying second slice of American cheese. This simple addition manages to magically turn a mildly disappointing menu item to fast food royalty.
Granted, there are caveats when it comes to selecting this menu item. The bread still tastes a lot more like plain white toast than artisanal sourdough, and you might want to triple-check that the toaster is in working in your location before you place the order. Even so, there’s something to be said about great hamburger ingredients between two slices of toasted bread, and a lot of it has been said by Louis’ Lunch — the reported birthplace of the hamburger (via Eater). Their version specifically uses two slices of toast, so when you get to the bottom of it, a perfectly-toasted Double Sourdough King is just a very, very old-school hamburger with delicious Burger King fillings and the absolute optimal amount of beef.
Burger King’s signature hamburger has attained its status for a very good reason — it’s incredibly good. Like almost any fast food item out there, the Whopper has a tendency to look far less impressive in your hand than it does in the product images, but fortunately, this doesn’t affect the taste. The flame-grilled patty is exactly what you expect and hope for, and the interplay between its taste and the freshness of the lettuce and tomatoes works like a dream. The texture game is on point, too, thanks to the much-needed crunch from the pickles and onions. Meanwhile, the ketchup and mayo tie a neat little flavor bow around the package. It’s so good that you don’t even need to add cheese, bacon, or any of the usual suspects … though none of them take away from the taste of the original, only add to it.
Granted, a Whopper will never fool you to believe that you’re eating anything other than a fast food chain burger. Then again, it doesn’t have to. Like all good dishes, the Whopper knows exactly what it is and what it needs to be, and Burger King has calibrated it to be just about as satisfying as a burger can be at this level. In fact, the only reason it doesn’t top our list is that the company has managed to fine-tune a couple of other burgers even better.
2. Double Whopper
Three burger patties are way too much. Then again, one patty is great, but not quite the greatest. Two patties, on the other hand, are nothing short of perfection. The Double Whopper takes everything that’s good in the Whopper and doubles down on the flame-grilled stuff to elevate the experience even further. Incidentally, it also marks a watershed moment in the Burger King menu. This is the heftiest and most opulent thing that you can order while still barely staying on the side of a "normal" order. Just try saying "Hey, I’ll have a Double Whopper with cheese" out loud, as opposed to something like the Bacon King. It’s easy. It’s natural. It rolls off the tongue without shame.
That’s not to say that the Double Whopper isn’t a huge calorie bomb on its own. Depending on your order, it can pack anywhere from 897 to 1,393 calories — and that’s before you add in the drink and side. As such, while the Double Whopper is superior to its smaller brother, it might still be wise to err to the side of regular, one-patty Whopper, at least from time to time. Just be prepared to hear the siren call of that second patty ringing in your ears as you make the order.
1. Big King XL
At the end of the day, why do you really go to Burger King? To have the best Burger King hamburger you can have, of course. What makes a Burger King hamburger great? The uncanny combination of the flame-grilled beef, crinkle-cut pickles, cheese, and thickly-sliced onion. Sure, you can find all that in a Whopper, but to truly maximize the experience, you might want to take the best of both worlds and add a little bit of Mickey D and some ultra-delicious secret sauce in the mix. This is where the Big King XL comes in.
Burger King’s famed XL offering is notorious for its 1/2 pound of meat and a beefy 1,006 calories. But it’s also known for the fact that, apart from its great protein content, its build-up seems awfully similar to a certain little-known burger called the Big Mac (per Delish). Big King XL even has a secret sauce, known as the Stacker Sauce, a mainstay of the Stacker line of burgers. This, ultimately, is what sets it apart from the Whopper line. Everything you love from Burger King is present and accounted for in the Big King XXL, and the presence of the Stacker Sauce brings a delicious, unexpected hint of rosemary and celery to typical "secret sauce" fare (per Top Secret Recipes). You might not want to make this big boy your everyday lunch, but when you’re really hungry and want the absolute best the King has to offer, look no further.