Skip to content

15 Rarest McDonald's Menu Items In America

These menu unicorns come and go with the seasons. Can you get your hands on them?

Some McDonald's menu items are unicorns, even for the most die-hard fans. They make rare appearances, sometimes seasonally, other times once a decade, and before you know it they're gone again.

This article isn't about McDonald's menu items you'll find in other countries—these items have all been available on the chain's American menu, and have the potential to make another comeback.

Here are some of the hardest-to-find McDonald's items in existence. How many have you tried?

For more fast-food news, check out 10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Highest Quality Food in 2022, According to Customers.

Menu Hack Items

McDonald's fan inspired menu hacks
Courtesy of McDonald's

Fan-Inspired Hacks were officially added to McDonald's menus in Jan. 2022 for a limited time, but you can still order them yourself today. Four items were chosen: The Hash Brown McMuffin, The Crunchy Double, The Land, Air & Sea, and The Surf + Turf. Between stacking differing delectable and combining unlikely ingredients, McDonald's customers have tried it all and if you didn't get the chance earlier in the year, you can try making your own customizations through the app or at participating locations.

Blueberry Pie

mcdonald's blueberry creme pie
Courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald's fans with a sweet tooth know that the chain's iconic pies come in many different iterations besides the classic Apple. And one of the rarest flavors on that list is Blueberry, featuring blueberry and vanilla filling baked in the classic, flaky, sugar-coated crust. The Blueberry Pie was last seen on menus in 2017 before returning to select locations last week.

Cherry Pie

mcdonald's cherry creme pie
Courtesy of McDonald's

Another hard-to-catch pie that pops up on the menu once in a blue moon is the Cherry Pie. The last time this dessert was spotted at McDonald's was in 2017, and it was very popular.

Spicy Chicken McNuggets

mcdonalds spicy mcnuggets
McDonald's/ Facebook

When they first launched alongside the Mighty Hot Sauce in September of 2020, the Spicy Chicken McNuggets sold out in a matter of weeks—becoming one of the most coveted items in McDonald's history.

The chain decided to bring them back for another limited-time run in Feb. 2o21, when they proved to still be in demand. It remains to be seen how often McDonald's plans to capitalize on this hot new product.


mcdonalds mclobster

Every once in a while, New Englanders get to enjoy the McLobster for a low price of $9. The regional sandwich, made with real North Atlantic lobster meat, was first launched nationwide in 1993, but has since become a seasonal summer item on McDonald's menus in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

The last time this gem was spotted was in 2017, so there's definitely still hope it will make another comeback.

Stroopwafel McFlurry

mcdonald's stroopwafel mcflurry
Courtesy of McDonald's

In the summer of 2019, the chain brought several Worldwide Favorites to its domestic menu, and perhaps the most popular among them was this Dutch dessert.

The Stroopwafel McFlurry had traditional caramel waffle cookies blended in with the vanilla soft serve, and Americans couldn't get enough. We wouldn't be surprised if we saw this item on the menus again in the future.

Bacon Cheese Fries

mcdonald's australia cheesy bacon fries
Courtesy of McDonald's

These loaded fries were on the menus for a short time in 2017 (and only in a handful of states like Pennsylvania and Ohio). They made several more appearances through 2019.

Originally dreamt up by McDonald's Australia, these spuds are topped with cheddar cheese sauce and crumbled applewood smoked bacon pieces—and are definitely a unicorn on the McDonald's menu.

Mighty Wings

mcdonald's mighty wings
Courtesy of McDonald's

Long before the current chicken wings craze, McDonald's attempted to popularize its own Mighty Wings.

They first launched in 1990 but were retired from nationwide menus in 2003, returning only as a limited-time offer in 2013 and 2016.

Considering the fact that fried chicken is currently one of the most popular items in fast food, another limited-time return doesn't seem all that unlikely.

Peppermint Mocha

McDonald's peppermint mocha
Courtesy of McDonald's

This holiday treat makes an appearance on the menu every year, but in 2019, McDonald's decided to experiment with other festive flavors and the beloved Peppermint Mocha was benched for a season.

This prompted rumors of a permanent cut, but the drink has been back in 2020 and 2021. Sadly, it doesn't look like it made it to the menu in the U.S. for 2022. You can, however, get it in Canada.

Shamrock Shake

Another drink available but once a year is the Shamrock Shake, whose appearance on the menus marks the unofficial start to spring.

The minty green drink has been offered for a whopping 50 years, and usually rolls around in February.

White Chocolate Mocha

mcdonald's white chocolate mocha
Courtesy of McDonald's

Even in the realm of limited-time McDonald's drinks, White Chocolate Mocha is a rare find.

It was first launched during the Christmas season of 2013 and became a regular holiday offering until 2019, when it was replaced by the Cinnamon Cookie Latte.

Although its more famous cousin Peppermint Mocha made several recent appearances, we're still waiting to see what will come of White Chocolate Mocha.

Szechuan Sauce

mcdonalds szechuan sauce
Courtesy of McDonald's

This may be the most controversial sauce McDonald's has ever made, but it's also one of the most popular collector's items in fast food. The Szechuan Sauce was originally released in 1998 as a tie-in product for Disney's feature film Mulan. While its tenure on the menu lasted a mere month, it made a lasting impression on fans, who haven't been able to get over it ever since.

McDonald's brought the sauce back for a single day in 2017, and then for a somewhat longer run later that winter. It came back again in 2022.

Johnsonville Brats

mcdonalds johnsonville brats and soda
Courtesy of McDonald's

Once upon a time, McDonald's sold hot dogs. Since they were discontinued in 2009, they have made one limited-time, regional appearance.

The chain brought back the Johnsonville Brats at some 125 restaurants in southeast Wisconsin in 2016, and they haven't been seen since, making them one of the rarest limited-time items ever to grace the menu.

Arctic Orange Shake

mcdonald's arctic orange shake
Courtesy of McDonald's

The refreshing Arctic Orange Shake was all the rage when it first launched in the '70s. But over the years, it has been demoted from leading shake to an extremely rare seasonal occurrence on the McDonald's menu.

According to our research, it was last spotted in 2016, and its future seems as mysterious as its past.

 This Is America's Favorite Fast-Food Milkshake, New Data Shows

Haupia Pie

mcdonald's haupia pie
Courtesy of McDonald's

You'll have to go to Hawaii to try this rare McDonald's dessert. The Haupia Pie is a cross between a creamy Hawaiian coconut dessert and the chain's iconic hand-held pie format.

According to Onolicious Hawaii, you'll find several other interesting rarities on McDonald's menus across the island state, like Portuguese sausages, Spam, and noodle soup.

Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Executive Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura