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11 Restaurant Chains Launching Exciting New Menu Items In July

From McDonald's to Panda Express, keep an eye out for new menu innovations at these popular chains.

Between Taco Bell's new value menu, Wendy's new Saucy Nuggs line, Subway's new premium wrap selection, and a plethora of other launches, 2024 is turning out to be quite the memorable year for menu innovation in the restaurant world. This summer, diners will be treated to a whole new slate of food and drink options at some of America's top chain eateries.

While the month of July is still young, fast-food chains and sit-down chains alike have already begun to roll out plenty of fresh menu additions. Some of the new options are returning favorites that haven't been seen in years, while others are making their debut for the very first time. Bold flavors, spice, nostalgia, and affordability are some of the major themes that define this month's selection of new menu additions.

Here are all the restaurant chains expanding their menus with exciting new menu items this month. And since chains roll out fresh food and beverage options practically every day, keep an eye out for other exciting new finds at your favorite eateries throughout July!


McDonald's Special Grade Garlic Sauce
Nutrition information unavailable.

Starting on July 9, McDonald's fans will have a brand-new dipping to sample with their Chicken McNuggets and French fries. The chain has partnered with the hit anime series Jujutsu Kaisen to co-launch the first-ever garlic sauce available in the United States. Inspired by the Black Garlic Sauce served at McDonald's in Japan, the new Special Grade Garlic Sauce has notes of garlic and soy with a slight tangy sweetness. 

The sauce cups will feature eight unique lid designs with popular Jujutsu Kaisen characters. The new condiment will be available exclusively through the McDonald's app for a limited time. Each sauce purchase will come with a 30-day free trial for the streaming service Crunchyroll, where customers can watch free episodes of Jujutsu Kaisen.

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Taco Bell

Taco Bell Jalapeño Ranch Nacho Fries
Taco Bell
Nutrition information unavailable.

This year is shaping up to be an exciting one for fans of Taco Bell's most iconic limited-time dish. Nacho Fries returned to Taco Bell menus in early April for their "longest run ever." And on July 18, Taco Bell will introduce a new spin on the popular seasoned spuds: Jalapeño Ranch Nacho Fries.

The dish features a bed of fries topped with a creamy Jalapeño Ranch sauce, pico de gallo, and the customer's choice of either seasoned beef or black beans. They'll be available for a limited time while supplies last for a suggested price of $4.49. 

As a bonus, Taco Bell is also bringing back the Nacho Fries Lover's Pass that first debuted in late 2023. The pass allows Taco Bell Rewards Members who pay an upfront fee of $10 to score a free regular order of Nacho Fries daily for up to 30 consecutive days. Customers can purchase the subscription through the Taco Bell app from July 9 through July 15.


Arby's Potato Cakes
Inspire Brands
Nutrition: (Per 3-Piece Order)
Calories: 371
Fat: 21 g (Saturated Fat: 3 g, Trans Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 648 mg
Carbs: 35 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 3 g

Arby's fans, rejoice! The chain officially brought back its beloved Potato Cakes on July 1, marking their first return to menus since they were discontinued in 2021. According to Arby's, customers have been relentlessly begging for a relaunch of the retired menu item for years. 

"In the past year alone, Potato Cakes have been mentioned more than 10,000 times on social media, with loyalists issuing passionate pleas for their revival," the chain said in a press release. "From the thousands of social posts to online petitions and even dedicated fan accounts, Arby's knows the true adoration of Potato Cakes devotees and is eager to please!"

The Potato Cakes consist of shredded potato fried to a crispy golden brown. Prices will start at $2.39 for a three-piece order. The side will only be available for a limited time, so Potato Cake fans shouldn't wait too long before heading over to their local Arby's.

 The Best & Worst Menu Items at Arby's, According to a Dietitian

Little Caesars

Pepsi Pineapple
Little Caesars
Pepsi Pineapple (Per Bottle)
Calories: 250

Back in 2020, Pepsi introduced a limited-edition soda with notes of tropical pineapple. That rare soda flavor is back for a limited time in 2024—but you'll only be able to score a sip at your local Little Caesars shop. 

For the second year in a row, Pepsi Pineapple is being sold exclusively at the quick-service pizza chain. While 16-ounce cans of the soda were temporarily available at the chain in 2023, Little Caesars is selling the soft drink in 20-ounce bottles during its 2024 run. 

Customers can pair a bottle of Pepsi Pineapple with an order of the chain's popular Crazy Puffs for $4.99 through July 14. Interested customers need only to apply the code "PINEAPPLE" at checkout to take advantage of the deal.

Red Lobster

Red Lobster Flavor Flav's Faves meal
Red Lobster
Nutrition information unavailable.

Have you ever wished you could eat like Flavor Flav? If so, you might want to make a beeline for your local Red Lobster ASAP. 

Shortly after Red Lobster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May and closed dozens of restaurants, the hip-hop icon and reality TV star went viral for ordering everything on the menu in an attempt to help the seafood chain. Red Lobster has now officially teamed up with the rapper to launch an exciting new meal: Flavor Flav's Faves.

The meal includes a variety of popular menu items selected by Flavor Flav himself, including a Maine Lobster Tail, Snow Crab Legs, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Bacon Mac & Cheese, and the customer's preferred side. This is an off-menu option, so guests looking to sample it should ask for the meal by name. 

"As a long-time Red Lobster fan, I'm fired up to bring a little bit of my own flavor to fans with a meal featuring my seafood favorites," Flavor Flav said in a statement. "You gotta get to Red Lobster and give it a try because this signature meal is hype, boy!"

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Sonic Queso Wraps
Inspire Brands
Bacon Ranch Queso Wrap (Per Item)
Calories: 340
Fat: 18 g (Saturated Fat: 7 g, Trans Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 1,030 mg
Carbs: 28 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g)
Protein: 16 g

On July 1, Sonic entered the raging fast-food value wars by launching a permanent new $1.99 Menu with a variety of affordable favorites. The chain also debuted two brand-new offerings as part of the low-priced selection: a Bacon Ranch Queso Wrap and a Southwest Crunch Queso Wrap.

The former features an all-white meat chicken tender, bacon, cheddar cheese, ranch, and white queso wrapped inside a warm flour tortilla. Meanwhile, the latter is stuffed with a chicken tender, creamy Southwest sauce, crunchy tortilla strips, cheddar cheese, and white queso. 

Other options on Sonic's new $1.99 Menu include Sonic's Quarter Pound Double Cheeseburger, Chili Cheese Coney, Small Tots, and 16-ounce shakes. 


Bonchon Korean chicken sandwich
Nutrition: (Per Item)
Calories: 705
Fat: 27 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g, Trans Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 3,750 mg
Carbs: 83 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 25 g)
Protein: 30 g

The Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon already serves up a variety of flavor-packed poultry items, from wings to drumsticks. As of July 2, Bonchon customers also have the option to enjoy their Korean fried chicken in sandwich form. 

The chain just permanently added a brand-new Korean-style chicken sandwich to the menu in response to fierce customer demand. It features a double-fried chicken breast hand-brushed with the customer's sauce of choice. It's then served on a warm brioche bun with fresh coleslaw and a side of fries. 

"The new chicken sandwich is something our guests have been asking for," Bonchon Chef Jae Park said in a statement. "We knew if we added a sandwich to our menu, we had to do it different and better with a Korean edge."

 7 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Chicken Wings

Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company 4-Cheese Alfredo Mac
Noodles & Company
Nutrition information unavailable.

If there's one dish that Noodles & Company is known for above all else, it's undoubtedly the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese. The chain served a whopping 10 million bowls of the cheesy pasta in 2023 alone, making it the top-selling and most-ordered menu item. So, it should come as no surprise that Noodles is planning to go all out for National Mac & Cheese Day, which falls on July 14 this year.

All throughout July, Noodles Rewards members can score $1 sides of macaroni and cheese with a purchase of $15 or more. And on July 3, the chain dropped a brand-new Mac & Cheese Mashup menu with four limited-edition spins on the classic dish:

  • 4-Cheese Alfredo Mac—elbow macaroni noodles in a four-cheese Alfredo sauce topped with MontAmoré cheese. Noodles recommends pairing it with parmesan-crusted chicken.
  • Cheesy Broccoli Mac—elbow macaroni noodles in a creamy cheddar and jack cheese sauce with broccoli. Noodles recommends pairing it with grilled chicken.
  • Crispy Jalapeno Mac—elbow macaroni noodles in a creamy cheddar and jack cheese sauce topped with crispy jalapenos. Noodles recommends pairing it with grilled chicken.
  • Korean Meatball Mac & Cheese—elbow macaroni noodles in a creamy cheddar and jack cheese sauce with Korean Meatballs coated in a sweet and spicy Korean-style Gochujang barbecue sauce. This option is only available for purchase through the DoorDash app or website.

The menu will be available all month long, but can only be ordered online at participating restaurants. Prices for each Mac & Cheese Mashup item will start at less than $9. 


IHOP Fresh Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes
Courtesy of IHOP
<span style="font-weight: 400">Fresh Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes (Per Serving)
Calories: 590
Fat: 19 g (Saturated Fat: 8 g, Trans Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 2,000 mg
Carbs: 87 g (Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 21 g)
Protein: 18 g

IHOP has been rolling out a new limited-edition pancake flavor each month since February this year, when it officially kicked off its new Pancake of the Month program. The July iteration of this series is, unsurprisingly, inspired by Independence Day.

IHOP's new Fresh Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes hit menus on July 1 and will stick around through July 31. The seasonal stack comes with four buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries, and whipping topping. Customers can also order the limited-edition item as a combo that comes with two pancakes, hash browns, two eggs, and two bacon strips or two pork sausage links. 

 I Tried the Pancakes at McDonald's, Denny's, & IHOP—and Only One Chain Makes the Best Stack

Panda Express

Panda Express Beyond The Original Orange Chicken
Courtesy of Panda Express
<span style="font-weight: 400">Beyond The Original Orange Chicken (Per Serving)
Calories: 440
Fat: 22 g (Saturated Fat: 5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 810 mg
Carbs: 47 g (Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 15 g)
Protein: 13 g

Panda Express made huge waves when it rolled out a new plant-based Beyond The Original Orange Chicken for a limited time in both 2021 and 2022. A petition calling for its return has racked up thousands of signatures, and according to the chain, it has become the most requested dish on Panda's social media channels. Thankfully, their pleas have finally been answered.

As of July 3, Beyond The Original Orange Chicken is officially back on the menu at hundreds of participating locations nationwide. Panda created the dish in partnership with Beyond Meat with the goal of capturing the crunchy texture and beloved flavor of its classic Orange Chicken. 

The plant-based item will only be available for a limited time. Customers can search for a participating location on the chain's website.

Dutch Bros

Dutch Bros summer drinks
Dutch Bros
Cookie Dough Freeze (Per Large Drink)
Calories: 1,100
Fat: 34 g (Saturated Fat: 24 g, Trans Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 420 mg
Carbs: 175 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 158 g)
Protein: 24 g

Summer is officially in full swing now, which means that we've entered the hottest part of the year. To help customers beat the sweltering heat, the fast-growing coffee chain Dutch Bros just rolled out three new cold drinks:

  • Cookie Dough Freeze: chocolate chip cookie dough coffee blended with Soft Top (Dutch Bros' signature sweet and fluffy whipped topping) and cookie dough pieces.
  • Sherbet Rebel: a blended orange passionfruit energy drink infused with sweet cream and topped with a strawberry float.
  • Tropical Frosted Lemonade: a blended tropical lemonade with passionfruit, coconut, and blue raspberry. It's topped with strawberries and sweet cream.

In addition to the brand-new beverages, Dutch Bros has also brought back its popular July Fourth-themed Firecracker Rebel. It's a blended red raspberry drink topped with blue poppin' candy and Soft Top.

The summer drinks hit menus nationwide on July 1 and will stick around while supplies last.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe