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11 Secret Menus Every Foodie Should Know About

11 Secret Menus Every Foodie Should Know About

Discover secret menu items that will make you seem like the newest member of the underground foodie society.


5 min read

September 08, 2021

If there's anything we know about the Golden State's restaurant world, one must keep customers on their toes; hence, consistently innovating dining options is a must. And while a few foodie spots resort to flaunting the latest avocado-incorporated creation all over social media, there's something almost magnetic about secrecy nowadays. Looking for new ways to impress your fellow restaurateurs? Discover secret menu items that will make you seem like the newest member of the underground foodie society—just keep reading on.

Saying this is just a cheeseburger is like saying Mona Lisa is just a painting. Extra cheese, extra happiness!

1. In-N-Out Secret Menu Item: The Flying Dutchman

In ancient traditional mythology, the flying Dutchman is supposed to be a ghost ship that never makes it to port, cursed to sail the ocean forever. But in In-N-Out mythology, it's two slices of cheese smooshed in between two burger patties. Apparently, this odd-looking 2x2 was named one of the best secret menu items ever by Harry Snider, the founder of the iconic fast food joint.

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2. McDonald’s Secret Menu Item: The McBrunch Burger 

McDonald's may as well be deemed the king of fast-food restaurants with secret menus because they're always coming up with creative combinations. For example, the McBrunch burger solves the all-too-common dilemma of the choice between a breakfast sandwich and a burger—if you’ve ever dreamt of a combination of the two, this is it. All you have to do is order a regular or double burger and add an egg and a hashbrown to it. You might have to assemble it yourself, but the result is totally worth it.

Why is Taco Bell's secret recipe such a mystery? Because they've got it all wrapped up!

3. Taco Bell Secret Menu Item: The Double Cheesy Gordita Crunch

True Taco Bell connoisseurs know that there is much much more to the menu than meets the eye. Like the double cheesy gordita crunch, which is basically a cheesier and meatier rendition of its existing namesake. The hard shell beef taco comes with a soft tortilla and a little extra melted cheese in between—you’ll want all your secrets to be this delicious from now on.

4. Bar Ama: Flamin' Cheeto Pie, Puffy Tacos 

For an odd but wonderful reason, flaming hot Cheetos are going through a bit of a renaissance. And Bar Ama is riding that wave like Chester Cheeto the Cheeta himself, only it's happening on the down-low. The Flamin' Cheeto pie is an off-menu item consisting of, well, you guessed it hot Cheetos. It is, however, described as delicious for acquired tastes. So if you feel like this one’s not for you, try the Puffy Tacos instead—they’re also a hidden menu item and they’re approved by Jonathan Gold. 

The classic way for cooking razor clams is by steaming them in a flavored liquid with onions and garlic; there are other ways to flatter their taste.

5. Ho Kee Cafe: Private Kitchen Item

When you arrive at the unbeatable Ho Kee Cafe, scan the menu for appetizers before ordering the private kitchen menu—apps take a while to prepare. And what is the private kitchen menu you ask? Well, the closest thing we can describe it is Razor Clams, but they're so much more than that. These slender beauties are steamed in clear broth and topped with fried garlic. They have scallions for flavor and texture and below there's a layer of glass noodles to soak up the juices. 

6. Joan’s On Third: Joan’s Cheeseburger 

If you ever feel nostalgic for a time when simplicity in flavor was revered, Joan's on Third is the place to go. Order the Joan's Cheeseburger for a quintessential patty with tomato, lettuce, and mustard. Well, granted, there's a little more flare than that, with the brioche bun and a side of onion rings, but nothing too "out there".

Everything is sweeter and more colorful with sprinkles on top. Always in the mood for sprinkles and sundaes!

7. Halo Top: Stardust Sundae

Halo Top, Santa Monica's premier ice cream wonderland, knows a thing or two about out-of-this-world flavors. But what if we told you that they have an off-menu item that's straight-up intergalactic? That's right, the Stardust Sundae is a saccharine wild ride full of swirling colors inside a vanilla soft serve with sugar-free sauce and rock candy wand.

8. Spago: Spicy Tuna Cones and Maybe More 

The luxurious Spago has been serving Spicy Tuna Cones, a savory take on an otherwise sweet desert, for many years and at numerous coveted events (Oscars anyone?). So with growing popularity, it became one of those secret-but-not-so-secret items customers often enjoy. With a place like Spago, however, you're always in for more—all you have to do is ask. The smoked salmon pizza with dough, for example, is simply stellar. It's made in-house and will take you to foodie heaven within seconds. And for dessert; get the kaiserschmarrn, you'll thank us later.

Soup reminds you of family, each ingredient enhancing the other. If it rains soup, it's going to be a good day.

9. Guelaguetza: Vegan Squash Soup

Nestled at the heart of Koreatown, Guelaguetza stands as a beacon of Oaxacan culinary delight.  And while the 'vegan squash soup' or 'Sopa de Guias’ is nowhere to be found on the menu, the waiter will instantly know what you're talking about. It'll be love at first try as the comforting, ginger-laced soup enters your system; and it just so happens to be vegan, which is exactly what we like to indulge in.

10. Alfred Coffee: Military Latte, Matcha in a Coconut

Alfred Inc. boasts a collection of coffee shops spread throughout Los Angeles, making access to their exclusive menu items quite convenient. Among these special offerings is the Military Latte, a unique twist on the traditional matcha latte, enhanced with a shot of espresso and available only at Alfred's coffee locations. For those looking to experiment, the Matcha in Coconut is a must-try: a blend of matcha latte and coconut water, presented in a real coconut. Alfred keeps a stock of coconuts at all its stores, though you might find this particular delight hard to come by in their Japan locations!

Porterhouse, rib-eye, flank, skirt, sirloin... Oh, the infinite choices. Throw me a tomahawk steak and I’ll catch it and eat it!

11. Cecconi’s: The Secret Steak

Okay, steaks are pretty standard, so you may be wondering how does one create a secret steak? And we see your point. But with a place like Cecconi’s, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Your “secret steak” order is actually going to depend on what the restaurant has available on that given day, but this doesn’t actually affect “the secret” factor of it all. In fact, it makes the creation of the secret steak all the more enticing. The grass-fed, juicy delight is a masterclass in succulence, with its “secret” lying in the cut of the meat. So whatever you end up with, whether it be a tomahawk, filet mignon, or something new to you entirely, Cecconi’s is bound to leave you pleasantly surprised.

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