13 McDonald's Menu Items From The 1990s You Probably Forgot About

McDonald's burger and fries
McDonald's burger and fries - Remus Kotsell/Getty Images

McDonald's has a knack for discontinuing its menu items when people least expect it. The fast food giant seems to take away its offerings almost as quickly as it puts them in its stores, with some decisions, like the discontinuation of the Big N' Tasty Burger, still a source of pain for folks years later. These menu revisions are made all the more stressful by the fact that we often don't have a sense of why they've taken them away. While some can be attributed to bad cost-effectiveness, poor marketing, or a simple bad idea, some firm favorites have been snatched away without any clear reason.

Almost no period in McDonald's history saw as many discontinuations as the 1990s. The decade that saw the Internet come into its own and the Cold War ending was no stranger to change, and that was embodied in everyone's favorite fast food joint, with its menu items seeming to change almost every month. So if you couldn't keep up with its ever-revolving menu during that period, we're here to take you on a trip down memory lane, to revisit some '90s menu items that are lost forever (and some that we honestly wish they'd bring back).

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

‌The Arch Deluxe

McDonald's Arch Deluxe burger commercial
McDonald's Arch Deluxe burger commercial - Andrew Selvaggio / YouTube

Few moments in McDonald's history have had as much impact as the $200 million failure of its "Arch Deluxe." On paper, this burger should have been a winner when it was introduced in 1996. Made with a generous beef patty, peppered bacon, American cheese, and a host of salad toppings, the Arch Deluxe seemed to slot nicely alongside other McDonald's menu items, with its potato roll and mustard-based sauce designed to set it apart and appeal to an adult audience. McDonald's bosses were so confident in its success that they estimated it would make a billion dollars in sales in its first year alone.

This confidence resulted in the company spending a whopping $200 million on its ad campaign, at the time the highest budget ever spent on marketing a fast food product. That's when things started going wrong. Its billion-dollar revenue estimations were based on the feedback of focus groups who turned out to be misrepresentative of the actual population, and were likely already fans of McDonald's products -– and so were always going to be positive about a new burger. Add in a high initial price, and a customer base that just wants a regular burger, and the Arch Deluxe turned into a massive flop and was discontinued not long after its release.

The Mickey-D

McDonald's storefront
McDonald's storefront - Matt Cardy/Getty Images

We can consider the '90s the decade that McDonald's finally figured out how to capitalize on its "Mickey D's" nickname, with an eponymous burger that didn't last very long. The Mickey-D was a variation on the classic McDonald's output of small burgers with soft buns. Instead, this burger weighed in at a whopping 5.3 ounces and consisted of a ⅓-pound beef patty with a slice of cheddar cheese, onto which diced tomatoes, sliced red onions, and a special tomato sauce was added. The whole thing was encased in a crusty sub roll and went on sale for the bargain price of $2.29.

The Mickey-D was introduced at the start of 1993, and the company originally held off on rolling it out nationwide, instead focusing it on some test markets. The burger was rolled out next to a simultaneous offer, which supplied coupons that gave customers a discount to Six Flags theme parks. Unfortunately, the combination of a brand-new burger and some cut-price rollercoasters didn't seem to drive sales enough for the Mickey-D to stick around, and it was soon relegated to history and hasn't been seen since.

The Beef Wennington

McDonald's Beef Wennington burger ad
McDonald's Beef Wennington burger ad - Jordan era NBA history podcast - In all Airness / YouTube

McDonald's has a curious habit of creating products that have a fairly specific appeal, and then discontinuing them almost instantly. That happened in 1998, with the arrival of the Beef Wennington. This burger was introduced to its Chicago stores to pay homage to Bill Wennington, the Chicago Bulls basketball player. True to its name, the Beef Wennington was a particularly meaty affair and was composed of an all-beef patty topped with Canadian bacon (presumably a reference to Bill Wennington's Canadian nationality), with cheese, onions, and a squirt of barbecue sauce to finish it off.

The Beef Wennington came in a classic McDonald's sesame seed bun, and we've gotta say, it sounds pretty delicious. Unfortunately, it wasn't delicious enough to stick around, and after a brief moment of Chicago-based hysteria around the burger, it was snatched away in 1999. Despite this, the Beef Wennington has remained the stuff of Chicago folklore, and in 2023, butcher Ricky Hanft resurrected the burger at his pop-up at Ludlow Liquors, to bring the burger to a brand-new generation and honor the menu item he ate so much of as a kid.

Chicken Fajitas

McDonald's chicken fajitas
McDonald's chicken fajitas - McDonald's

McDonald's has never really been known for its Tex-Mex output (although now and again, it does shake things up with a limited-edition Tex-Mex-inspired menu item). Its chicken fajitas, however, were a real deviation from the norm. These were introduced to the menu in the '90s, with much of the advertising trumpeting the low price of each fajita, coming in at 99 cents each. For this, customers would get a combination of green peppers, chicken, tomatoes, onions, and cheese, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla.

The chicken fajitas were launched alongside the McDonald's Breakfast Burrito. While the latter has stood the test of time, with the sausage burrito on its current menu being made with a near-identical recipe, the fajitas weren't long for this world. Former employees have highlighted that they weren't exactly a top-seller, which may have contributed to their downfall. Nonetheless, this menu item appears to still have its fair share of loyal fans, with people regularly calling for McDonald's to put them back on the menu. That strategy seems to have had limited success so far, but hey, keep dreaming folks!

‌The McLean Deluxe

mcdonald's mclean deluxe
mcdonald's mclean deluxe - McDonald's

The trouble with McDonald's is it has to be all things to all people -- and so, while it's primarily known as a fast food joint that isn't exactly health centric, occasionally it throws a healthy option into the mix. This was the logic behind the McLean Deluxe, a 91% fat-free burger introduced in 1991. The idea behind the McLean Deluxe, part of the restaurant's Deluxe line, was that it offered people the same great McDonald's taste, but with drastically lower calories. Unfortunately, the way that it achieved its patty's texture without fat was with carrageenan, the common food additive that in recent years has been surrounded by controversy due to its potential pro-inflammatory effects.

It also, quite simply, just failed on taste. Bosses quickly realized that the reason they go to McDonald's is to eat items like the Big Mac, which may be higher in fat, but which are also higher in flavor. The McLean Deluxe, therefore, suffered pretty quickly on the sales front, and it came to be known as the "McFlopper" -- not exactly the reputation McDonald's likely had planned for it. When it was eventually removed from the menu in 1996, it wasn't exactly missed.


mcdonald's mcspaghetti
mcdonald's mcspaghetti - McDonald's

Think McDonald's, and you think burgers and fries. You know what you probably don't think of? Spaghetti. However, that didn't stop McDonald's from trying to change that, when it threw its McSpaghetti at the market in the 1970s. The McSpaghetti was pretty much exactly what it sounds like: A box of spaghetti, served McDonald's-style, with a drizzling of marinara sauce and cheese. The most surprising thing about the McSpaghetti was how long it was available: While you might assume it was a fad, it persisted until the early 1990s when it was finally discontinued.

During this period, McDonald's also served a few other Italian-style dishes, including fettuccine Alfredo, lasagna, and pizza. Incredibly, though, while the McSpaghetti has been largely discontinued everywhere, there are two key places you can still try it. One of these is in McDonald's stores across the Philippines, where it's served with a crispy piece of fried chicken. The other place is in Orlando, Florida, at the World's Largest Entertainment McDonald's, or Epic McD. The biggest McDonald's in the US is a cut above the rest and is likely a pretty alien experience for most folks. With an open kitchen and a host of non-traditional menu items, including spaghetti, it's a must-visit for McDonald's fans. ‌

Coke Float

mcdonald's coke float
mcdonald's coke float - Anything Food / YouTube

When it comes to drinks, McDonald's has typically been pretty restrained with its offerings. However, that changed for a brief moment in the 1990s, when it introduced a Coke float. A regular and Diet Coke Float were added to the menu in 1991 and were provided in a collectible glass. Interestingly, these drinks weren't topped with ice cream, but with fat-free frozen yogurt.

The Coke Float and the Diet Coke Float were conceived with a charitable purpose, with 40 cents from each purchase of the $1.59 drink going to Ronald McDonald's Children's Charities. However, this wasn't enough to drum up interest. Although the Coke Float was seemingly only ever designed to be limited-edition and served in local stores, it didn't quite catch fire in the way that McDonald's might have hoped, and instead of expanding it out, it quietly took it off the menu.

Interestingly, McDonald's has toyed with the idea of bringing the Coke Float back in various forms in subsequent years. In 2016, McDonald's introduced US consumers to the McFloat, a variation on the Coke Float available in New York and Seattle. You can also make your very own Coke Float via a secret menu hack at the restaurant, by ordering a large Coke and a plain sundae and combining the two.

The McPizza

McDonald's McPizza ad
McDonald's McPizza ad - McDonald's

The McPizza is truly the stuff of McDonald's legend. This menu item was first introduced in the 1980s, as a clear response to the rising demand for pizza in the fast food market. The move was quickly mocked by fast food restaurants that specialized in pizza, with Pizza Hut releasing a particularly vicious commercial describing McDonald's pizza dough as "McFrozen." This didn't seem to stop McDonald's, though, and by the early '90s, these pizzas were everywhere.

However, that wasn't the end of McDonald's' trouble. The restaurant chain had to make some significant investments to its existing stores to make its pizza work, expanding its drive-thru windows and adding in specialized quick-cook ovens. These pies also cost a pretty penny, and, arguably, the cost was just way too much for some customers, who had come to expect to be able to buy a meal for way less at McDonald's. There was also the cooking time to consider, which took much longer than a lot of other McDonald's items, shattering its image of being able to grab and go. Ultimately, the McPizza was doomed to fail, and despite hanging on at a few locations in the US into the late '90s, it soon disappeared forever.

The McHotDog

mcdonald's hot dogs
mcdonald's hot dogs - JunkFoodTasterDotCom / YouTube

McDonald's has stepped away from its core output of burgers and fries a few times to offer alternative fast food items -- with the McHotDog being one of them. The item was added to McDonald's menus in 1995, despite the founder Ray Kroc originally being opposed to the idea during his time running the chain. Unfortunately, the McHotDog failed to take off, with customers turning their noses up at the processed meat and opting for burger patties instead (which, you know, aren't processed at all, right?).

Interestingly, this wasn't even the first time that McDonald's toyed with hot dogs. In 1991, the fast food joint tried its luck with the Hot Dog McNuggets, which were pretty much exactly what they sound like: Tiny hot dogs, coated in batter. These bite size snacks, which sort of looked like mini corn dogs, also went the way of the menu graveyard. There is, however, one place in the world where you can still get a hot dog at McDonald's. The McDonald's Hot Dog Snack Wrap is only available in Korea and consists of a hot dog and bacon topped with lettuce and a smoky bacon sauce, wrapped in a flour tortilla.

The McStuffins

McDonald's McStuffin
McDonald's McStuffin - Mythical Kitchen - Facebook

If you've got no idea what a McStuffin is, we don't blame you: The name doesn't exactly give it away. That might be why they didn't last too long after being introduced in the early 1990s. The McStuffins were the McDonald's version of a hot pocket and were made by stuffing (get it?) French bread with a variety of fillings, including pepperoni pizza and chicken teriyaki. Interestingly, it seemed like McDonald's maybe weren't too confident about the launch of McStuffins from the outset, as it restricted testing its product to locations in Texas, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

That didn't stop them plowing ahead with McStuffins, though -– and things quickly went downhill. After its initial launch and ad campaign, the McStuffins were rapidly pulled from the menu, disappearing from McDonald's stores the same year that they arrived. Decades later, McStuffins have gained somewhat legendary status, with YouTube creators recreating the lost food item on their channels. Unfortunately, though, if you want to try it for yourself, you'll have to make one at home. ‌

The Triple Double Burger

triple double cheeseburger
triple double cheeseburger - rocharibeiro/Shutterstock

McDonald's is no stranger to burgers stacked high with patties, with its Triple Cheeseburger a firm favorite on its menu. However, this all started in 1995, with the Triple Double Burger. This big old burger was pretty beastly and consisted of three beef patties crowned with two slices of cheese. Instead of being served in a classic round bun, it was presented in the bread more popularly associated with the McDonald's fan-favorite McRib, a sesame seed roll, and crowned with a handful of lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.

The Triple Double originally appeared as a tie-in to the Val Kilmer film "Batman Forever," and curiously, after disappearing from the menu it cropped up in various locations under different names. In 1998, for example, locations in Jacksonville, Florida, sold the Triple Double as the Boselli Burger, named after Tony Boselli of the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Phoenix, Arizona, it turned up as the Jason Kidd Burger, named after (yep, who'd have thought!) Jason Kidd, a basketball player who played for the Phoenix Suns. By the early 2000s, though, McDonald's had grown tired of these endless combinations of sports stars and big burgers, and the Triple Double (or whatever it was called) faded into obscurity.

Catfish Sandwich

McDonald's crispy catfish sandwich ad
McDonald's crispy catfish sandwich ad - McDonald's

The Filet O Fish is far from the only fried fish sandwich that McDonald's has had on its menu. In the '90s, it also flirted briefly with the idea of the Catfish Sandwich, testing it across certain Southern states. This sandwich began being placed in stores in early 1991 and consisted of a 2.3-ounce catfish patty tucked into the bread used for the McRib, and crowned with lettuce and a special sauce. The Catfish Sandwich was priced at around $1.89, although franchisees had the choice of pricing it higher or lower, depending on what they thought appropriate.

On the face of things, the Catfish Sandwich seemed like a winner. Catfish is, after all, a longstanding Southern delicacy, and so it looked as though this menu item could easily become one of those fabled regional McDonald's items you need to try. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. The Catfish Sandwich was placed in stores across Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, but customers failed to nibble at the bait, and it eventually disappeared from the restaurant forever.

The McJordan

McDonald's McJordan
McDonald's McJordan - McDonald's

In its time, McDonald's has had quite a few collaborations with sports stars. Arguably the most famous of these was the McJordan. No prizes for guessing who this burger honored, too. The McJordan was made in collaboration with the Chicago Bulls player and all-around basketball superstar Michael Jordan and was released for a limited period in the Chicago area in 1991. The burger was made with Jordan's favorite ingredients in mind and was a quarter-pounder with cheese, completed with smoked bacon, onions, pickles, barbecue sauce, and mustard.

The McJordan was priced at around the $2 mark, and while this was a slightly higher price for what the burger was, its limited-edition nature helped to drive sales. The burger, and McDonald's, definitely capitalized on Jordan-mania here, with the basketball star and all-around icon at peak popularity during this period. Although it disappeared from the menu quickly, the good news is that if you're craving a McJordan, you can recreate one pretty easily. All you need to do is grab a quarter-pounder with cheese, ask them to leave the ketchup out and grab a tub of barbecue sauce. Put the sauce into your burger, and you've got a sandwich fit for a '90s star.

Read the original article on Daily Meal