Some McDonald’s menu items are unicorns for even the most hardcore 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 US menu and have the potential to make another comeback.
Here are some of the hardest-to-find McDonald’s items. How many have you tried?
For more fast food news, see 8 worst fast food burgers to avoid right now.
The McRib needs no introduction. Like clockwork, it makes its annual appearance each fall, to the delight of legions of enthusiasts. Still, it’s considered a rarity because it’s usually only sold in certain locations. However, McDonald’s has rolled out the McRib to all of its restaurants for the past two years, making it slightly easier to get one.
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 this list is blueberry, with a 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.
Another hard-to-catch pie that appears on the menu once in a blue moon is cherry pie. The last time this dessert was seen at McDonald’s was in 2017and it was very popular.
When first launched alongside the Mighty Hot Sauce in September 2020, Spicy Chicken McNuggets sold out within weeks, becoming one of the most coveted items in McDonald’s history.
The channel decided to bring them back for another limited time last February, when they still proved incredibly popular. It remains to be seen how often McDonald’s plans to capitalize on this hot new product.
Once in a while, New Englanders can 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 around the Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Last time this gem was spotted was in 2017so there is always hope that he will make another comeback.
In the summer of 2019, the channel brought several Global favorites on its home menu, and perhaps the most popular of them was this Dutch dessert. The Stroopwafel McFlurry had traditional caramel waffle cookies mixed with soft vanilla cream, and Americans couldn’t get enough. We wouldn’t be surprised if we see this menu article again in the near future.
These loaded fries were on menus for a short time in 2017 (and only in a handful of states like Pennsylvania and Ohio), and made several more appearances through 2019. Originally dreamed up by McDonald’s Australia, these potatoes are topped with cheddar cheese sauce and crumbled applewood smoked bacon bits – and are definitely a unicorn on the McDonald’s menu.
Long before the current chicken wing craze, McDonald’s tried to popularize its own Mighty Wings. They were first launched in 1990, but were removed from national menus in 2003, only returning as a limited time offer in 2013 and 2016. Considering that fried chicken is currently one of fast food’s most popular items, another limited-time comeback doesn’t seem so unlikely.
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. It sparked rumors of a permanent cut, but the drink is back in 2020 and 2021, which means you can probably expect it again in December.
Another drink available but once a year is the Shamrock Shake, whose appearance on menus marks the unofficial start of spring. The green mint drink has been offered for 50 years and usually takes place in February.
Even in the realm of limited-time McDonald’s drinks, the white chocolate mocha is a rare find. It was first launched during the Christmas period 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 has made several recent appearances, we’re still waiting to see what happens to White Chocolate Mocha.
It may be the most controversial sauce McDonald’s has ever made, but it’s also one of the most popular collectibles in fast food. The Szechuan sauce was originally released in 1998 as a Disney feature tie-in product Mulane. While his tenure on the menu only lasted a month, he made a lasting impression on fans, who haven’t been able to get over it since.
McDonald’s brought back the sauce for a single day in 2017, then for a slightly longer run later this winter. Although it hasn’t been on the menu for years, you can find packages of it listed on eBay for extortionate prices.
Once upon a time, McDonald’s sold hot dogs. Since going on hiatus in 2009, they have made a limited-time regional appearance. The chain brought the Johnsonville Brats back to some 125 restaurants in Southeast Wisconsin in 2016and they haven’t been seen since, making them one of the rarest limited-time items to ever grace the menu.
The refreshing Arctic Orange Shake was all the rage when it first launched in the 70s. But over the years, it’s been demoted from first shake to an extremely rare seasonal occurrence on the McDonald’s menu. According to our research, it was last spotted in 2016and his future seems as mysterious as his past.
You’ll have to travel to Hawaii to try this rare McDonald’s dessert. Haupia Pie is a cross between a creamy Hawaiian coconut dessert and the chain’s signature hand pie format. According to unolicious hawaiiyou’ll find several other interesting rarities on McDonald’s menus across the island state, like Portuguese sausage, spam and noodle soup.