The first month of 2024 saw major restaurant chains debut a plethora of exciting new items, from Krispy Kreme's Biscoff-inspired donut collection to the return of Chick-fil-A's Mango Passion Sunjoy beverages. Now that February has arrived, America's biggest chain eateries have no plans of slowing down the new menu item launches.
Several major chains—including McDonald's, IHOP, and Burger King—have already announced new or returning items that are hitting menus this month. Like any other February, consumers can expect to see a lot of limited-time fish options as chains cater to customers abstaining from meat during Lent. With Valentine's Day just a little over a week away, chain eateries are also introducing plenty of love-themed foods and drinks in celebration of the romantic holiday.
We've rounded up 12 of the chains that have already announced exciting new menu items this February. But since it's still pretty early in the month, make sure to keep an eye out for additional new menu item announcements from your favorite eateries in the coming weeks!
Burger King's signature fish sandwich—the Big Fish—is available to customers year-round. But just in time for the start of Lent, customers will be able to snag a spicy new fish option.
The chain's brand-new Fiery Big Fish sandwich will hit menus on Feb. 14. It comes with a fried fish fillet, lettuce, pickles, tartar sauce, and a spicy glaze on a brioche-style bun. If you're hoping to sample it for yourself, don't wait too long. The sandwich will only be available for a limited time while supplies last.
Burger King isn't the only fast-food chain expanding its menu with meat-free options ahead of Lent. White Castle also jumped on the trend this week by bringing back its seasonal Shrimp Nibblers and Sriracha Shrimp Nibblers.
The classic Shrimp Nibblers feature pieces of butterfly shrimp that are coated in a seasoned batter and then fried. The Sriracha Shrimp Nibblers are pretty much identical aside from featuring a spicy breading. Both options will be available for a limited time through March 31.
White Castle has also brought back its popular Clam Strips for a limited time, but they're only available in select markets, including New York, New Jersey, Detroit, and Columbus, Ohio.
February is shaping up to be quite a big month for IHOP. The breakfast chain just kicked off its brand-new Pancake of the Month program, whereby it will introduce a new limited-time pancake flavor each month.
In a nod to one of February's biggest holidays—Valentine's Day—Chocolate Strawberry Pancakes are this month's new limited-time flavor. Those who order a full stack will get four chocolate chip pancakes topped with creamy cheesecake mousse, chocolate sauce, fresh sliced strawberries, whipped topping, and chocolate chips.
If there's one constant that you can cling to in a world filled with so much chaos, it's that the Shamrock Shake will return year after year without fail. McDonald's came through yet again in 2024 and officially brought back the minty, vanilla-y treat nationwide on Feb. 5.
For the fourth year in a row, McDonald's is also offering the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry this "shamrock season." It's a spin on the classic Shamrock Shake that's loaded with Oreo cookie pieces. Grab them while you can, since both will only be available for a limited time while supplies last.
Noodles & Company
Noodles & Company made a big announcement at the end of January—and it's a twofold one. For starters, the chain is launching a brand-new Chicken Prosciutto Tortelloni with Smoked Gouda. The limited-time dish starts with black pepper tortelloni that's stuffed with chicken, prosciutto, toasted mushrooms, and spinach, then topped with a smoked gouda cheese sauce, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Customers can score a small bowl for $10, or a regular bowl for $12.
Noodles has also upgraded all of its Mac & Cheese dishes to now include 50% more cheese sauce. According to Stacey Pool, the chain's chief marketing officer, that's because "you can never have too much of a good thing."
The revamped Mac & Cheese menu is available now. The Chicken Prosciutto Tortelloni with Smoked Gouda will be available to customers nationwide starting on Feb. 14, though Noodles Rewards members have early access as of Jan. 31.
For the first time ever, Sweetgreen is expanding its protein offerings with not just one, but three steak options: a Steak Caesar salad, Steakhouse Chopped warm bowl, and Caramelized Garlic Steak protein plate. The chain is now testing the new limited-time steak offering at 22 locations across Boston, but fans in other parts of the country can hope that the items are rolled out on a wider basis further down the road.
For all of the new steak items, Sweetgreen uses cuts of grass-fed, grass-finished tri-tip that's prepared using a 15-hour sous-vide cooking method then finished with a blend of slow-roasted caramelized garlic and onion for extra flavor.
The Steak Caesar features Sweetgreen's Caesar dressing tossed with kale, romaine, crunchy parmesan crisps, and a hint of lemon. The Steakhouse Chopped warm bowl features quinoa, crispy onions, blue cheese, and Green Goddess Ranch dressing. Finally, the Caramelized Garlic Steak protein plate features wild rice, roasted sweet potatoes, spicy broccoli, arugula, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Panda Express fans, rejoice! The Chinese-American chain is bringing back its fan-favorite Firecracker Shrimp for a limited time starting on Feb. 14. First introduced in 2020, the dish features wok-fired shrimp and fresh vegetables paired with the "bold flavors of Sichuan cuisine," according to a press release.
To celebrate the Firecracker Shrimp's return, Panda Express will transform two of its restaurants in Los Angeles and New York City into "elevated dining destinations" for several nights next week. At those locations, the chain will serve a five-course prix fixe menu that features elevated takes on its signature menu items, as well as unique American Chinese dishes. Panda Express is taking reservations now, so make sure to reserve your spot online soon if you're interested in attending. Additional details on pricing, dates, locations, and the menu are included in the press release.
In honor of Valentine's Day, Popeyes is bringing back a festive spin on its famous biscuits. The chain's Heart-Shaped Strawberry Biscuits just returned to menus for a limited time ahead of the Feb. 14 holiday, featuring a sweet and salty biscuit filled with strawberry bits and drizzled with icing. So even if your partner isn't a fan of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, you'll have other heart-shaped goodies to gift them this Valentine's Day.
Dairy Queen, like McDonald's, has already kicked off its St. Patrick's Day festivities by bringing back two seasonal treats: the Under the Rainbow Shake and the Mint Brownie Blizzard.
The pink-colored shake features vanilla soft serve that's blended with strawberry flavors and then crowned with whipped topping and rainbow sprinkles. The Blizzard is a combination of chocolatey brownie pieces, "choco chunks," cool mint, and Dairy Queen's vanilla soft serve. Both treats are available at Dairy Queen restaurants nationwide right now.
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is rejoining the fish sandwich trend this season by bringing back its own take on the meat-free option: the Deluxe Crispy Fish Sandwich. The cooked-to-order menu item features a four-ounce piece of battered Alaska flounder, tartar sauce, lettuce, pickles, and melted American cheese on a toasted bun. Customers can snag one of these sandwiches from Feb. 14 through April 2.
California Pizza Kitchen
Heart-shaped pizzas have become a long-running tradition at California Pizza Kitchen around Valentine's Day—and customers will see the festive pies back on the menu yet again in 2024. That's right! Customers can order their favorite CPK pizzas on the chain's limited-edition heart-shaped crispy thin crust from Feb. 9 through Feb. 14.
As an extra bonus this Valentine's Day, the chain will also offer a Sweet Deal for Two, which allows customers to choose one appetizer, two entrées, and one dessert for $50 when they order the Classic Package. Guests who eat at one of CPK's restaurants can also add two glasses of wine for an extra $15 or a bottle for $22.
BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
For the first time ever in 2024, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse is introducing a new Sweetheart Pizookie in celebration of Valentine's Day. The festive dessert, which is available now through Feb. 14, features a double chocolate cookie with chunks of Ghirardelli chocolate. It's topped with vanilla bean ice cream, fresh strawberries, and strawberry purée, and served with a side of chocolate shell topping guests can pour on themselves.
The sit-down chain is also offering three additional Valentine's Day specials through Feb. 14: the returning Strawberry Rose Lemon Drop, a new Mango Strawberry Mimosa, and a new Surf & Turf Stack that comes with filet mignon and Cajun-spiced shrimp on a bed of white cheddar mashed potatoes.