The Ultimate Guide to
In-n-Out’s Secret Menu
If you’ve ever met a Californian abroad, there’s a 99.7% chance they’ve mentioned the three things they miss most from the beautiful golden state:
- Pacific sunsets on a sizzling summer day 🌅
- Baja fish tacos with extra guacamole and salsa picante 🌮
- The best burgers in the country: In-n-Out Burger 🍔
The Best Burger Joint in the USA
In-n-Out is a legend on the west coast (#westcoastbestcoast), home to the best burgers in the USA.
(Don’t even try it, Five Guys fanboys or Whataburger Bros).
Founded in Baldwin Park in 1948, In-n-Out was the first drive thru burger spot in the nation, essentially the beginning of fast food as we know it today. But unlike many fast food chains, In-n-Out takes a lot of pride in their quality. That’s why it’s still owned and run by the same family (no franchises), and why you can always count on fresh ingredients made to order.
Up until 2000, you could only grab the good stuff in SoCal, but nowadays, In-n-Out has spread out to a few other lucky states in the southwest and the PNW. As of 2018, you can grab a bomb a*s burger in California, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Arizona and Oregon.
But letsbehonest here… there’s nothing like gettin’ down on some animal fries after a long day of boogey boarding at the beach, or the magic of landing at LAX and grabbing a welcome-home grilled cheese as you watch the planes take off at the Sepulveda Boulevard location next to the airport.
Short, Sweet & Always Delicious
The menu is short and sweet – burgers, fries and shakes – always made fresh and always cooked to perfection. The meat is always local and never frozen, and their fries are freshly sliced, not out of a freezer bag.
Top that off with great prices and a company that prides themselves on taking care of their staff, and you’ve already got a winner. BUT, as any local will tell you, the best options at In-n-Out are the not-so-secret menu items on the unpublished locals-only menu.
“Can I get a grilled cheese animal style – extra toasted bun, animal fries well done and a Neapolitan shake?”
My order – every single trip back to California – and not one of these bad boys is on the menu.
While it’s true that every good golden coast soul already knows about the secret menu, there’s plenty of visitors out there who may be keen to check out some of the tastier treats on the secret menu – especially if you’re vegetarian or gluten free.
So without further ado, here’s your sneak peak at the somewhat secret menu at the best burger spot in the US of A.
Nice Buns: The Burgers 🍔
This is probably the most well-known of the secret menu items. An animal style burger means a mustard grilled patty, crinkle cut pickle goodness and grilled onions, along with the usual lettuce, tomato and spread. You 👏 must 👏 try 👏 this.
Mustard Grilled Patty
Similar to animal style, sans the grilled onions & pickles (which happens to bethe best part, but hey, to each their own I guess).
3 x 3 and 4 x 4
If a double double isn’t enough to fill your In-n-Out hunger, you can always go bigger with 3 patties & 3 slices of cheese, or 4 & 4, respectively. In my opinion this is extra AF, but 🤷
Grilled Cheese (Vegetarian Friendly!)
All of the deliciousness of an In-n-Out burger, none of the dead animal flesh.
But for real, I’ve been advocating this bad boy since back in the day when I ate meat, and to this day have carnivorous friends who choose the grilled cheese over a cheeseburger. Especially if ordered animal style, this vegetarian friendly option legit tastes exactly the same and can save you those meaty calories so you don’t feel guilty ordering that shake on the side.
Protein Style (Low Carb Friendly!)
If you’re trying to cut the carbs, protein style is the way to go. This one is exactly like a normal burger, only wrapped in lettuce instead of In-n-Out’s signature bomb a*s buns. You can order this bad boy animal style like any other menu item, or as a grilled cheese for vegetarians.
This is for all y’all #nomeatdonteat Keto kids out there: two patties with two slices of cheese melted in between. No bread, no veggies, no sauce. You can get this animal style.
The Scooby Snack
I only recently learned about this one – a single grilled patty, no cheese, no nothing. The only reason I can think of for ordering this is if your copilot is a furry four-legged friend.
Can I Get Some Fries with that Shake? 🍟
Because what’s Sonny without Cher? What’s peanut butter without jelly? What’s a burger without fries?
Well Done Fries
The only thing not everyone agrees about at the best-burger-joint in the world is the fries. Since some say they’re soggy, you can order them well done for some extra crispy crunchiness.
Fries + cheese = happiness.
Animal Style Fries
The Holy Grail of fries, topped off with animal style perfection – cheese, spread, grilled onions and pickles.
Wash it Down 🥤
Aside from the usual selection of soft drinks, In-n-Out has a delightful pink lemonade, fresh iced tea and unbelievable shakes. Plus this stuff:
Root Beer Float
A scoop of vanilla ice cream topped off with root beer. It tastes like a 1950’s diner with a bubble-gum poppin’ waitness named Suzie.
Half vanilla, half chocolate. All delicious.
Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry shake all in one.
For those looking for crispier, crunchier carbs.
Delicious, spicy-sweet banana peppers can add a great extra kick to burgers and fries.
In-n-Out spread (their uniquely yummy version of thousand island dressing) is one of the things that sets these bad boys apart. If you’re looking for a juicier burger or something to dip your fries in, ask for a couple extra packets of spread.
Wait… Why Don’t I live Here Anymore?
All this talk about In-n-Out means I’m gonna have to stop at least one more time before I make my way back over a continent and an ocean to my adopted home in the Canary Islands (Spain). And while my Canary casa does tick most of the boxes for this California native…
✅ Sunset over the sea
✅ Amazing climate …
❌ In-n-Out deliciousness
My In-n-Out cravings simply can’t be quenched until my annual visits home to the gorgeous golden coast. At least I have plenty of tapas and sangria in the meantime!
Stay hungry my friends!
© Erica Edwards and getupgetoutgetlost.com, 2016-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Erica Edwards and getupgetoutgetlost.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
16 Comments Add yours
This is great and a fun post! I shouldn’t have read this right before bed lol because now all i want is an innout burger and we dont have it in NZ. I’m kickin myself for not stopping when i was in the states a few weeks ago!
I love the animal style and the Peppercinis. Animal style fries are also a great way to go. I love how In’n’Out have made something that is very un-exclusive, exclusive. It is a great example of social currency marketing…. Oh man, you made me want an animal style burger now!
Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!
I absolutely agree with you on the social currency bit! Especially in highly touristic places like Southern California, it’s a great idea to add “locals only” type benefits or insider tips.
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I’ve never seen this fast-food chain before. Is it only in the west coast?
We lived in UT for a year and never wandered in because we are vegetarian. You are making me regret this!! The animal style fries sound great!
The animal fries are incredible, but the grilled cheese is to die for! I switched over to that one long before I became a vegetarian, and know some carnivores that only do grilled cheese as well. Next time you’ll have to check it out 😊
OH, now I’m missing some In-n-Out. We used to live in Nevada and had so much fun going to In-n-Out (plus many of my students worked there). I had to learn about the secret menu from those workers. I always feel a little guilty ordering from the secret menu for some unknown reason. And I just love their fries. Now, we live in the mountain west without In-n-out, but it’a always great to get to the West coast and some fun secret menu items.
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That’s fun that some of your students worked there. One of the best things about the company (aside from the grilled cheese 😋) is that they treat their employees really well and always pay above the minimum wage.
As a former resident of southern Cali, I couldn’t agree with you more. I flipping LOVE and MISS In-N-Out SO SO SO much!! I’m sitting in Paris tonight wanting In-N-Out now, thanks! LOL! But seriously, best burgers ever and it’s the FIRST place I go straight from the airport when landing in LA (or Vegas, Dallas, Arizona, etc). Why is it only in five states? Why???
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Same! It’s a must for me every time I come back to the states. Since they don’t do franchises, the family who owns In-n-Out has a rule that they’ll only open restaurants in locations that they can drive to within a day, hence for now just in the southwest and PNW! Though I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually expand to cover more territory. It’s too good not to!
I tried In-n-Out for the first time in San Francisco earlier this year! I’m also from NZ and we don’t have it here – although I’m pretty sure they did a pop-up version a couple years ago and people went nuts for it. Amazing about all these secret menu items! Wish I’d known about this before my visit!
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Guess you’ll hafta come back for more 😋😉 that’s cool about the pop up I had no idea they did that!
While I am a California resident, I hate to admit given this post that I have had better burgers in any number of places in the Golden State — in LA, San Francisco, Sacramento, Truckee. But, I’ll give you this, that for a fast food joint, In-n-Out is like Peets … consistently great food served to order fast.
I have no idea why I haven’t had a burger for a few years (maybe because burgers are not one of my favorite foods. But reading your post has made me crave a really nice burger. This was burger heaven!
OMG I love love love In-n-out burgers and when I visit my friend in LA I always go there at least once. There is just something about there burgers that makes me and everyone else go back for me. I did try 5guys once and it just was not the same. My mouth is watering now
Finally! I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this info! A friend told me about this years ago and I’ve been wanting to know about it ever since. Bookmarking this 🙂