The Best Fast-Food Value Menus, Ranked

Fast Food Value Meals Ranked Cover

McDonald's / Taco Bell / Wendy's

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Fast Food Value Meals Ranked Cover
McDonald's / Taco Bell / Wendy's

Drive-Thru Value

Dollar menus have gone the way of the dodo. They've either been replaced by a low-price menu with creative wording so as not to imply anything costs just $1, or completely disappeared altogether (we're looking at you, Burger King). 

Thankfully, there are still some decent value menus out there, you just have to know which drive-thru to hit up. These menus are permanent and don't require mobile apps, coupons, or other hoops to jump through. Here are the best fast food value menus available right now.

Taco Bell Cravings Value Menu items
Taco Bell

1. Taco Bell

Taco Bell unveiled its brand new Cravings Value Menu at the beginning of 2024 and it's good enough to take the top spot. There's 10 items on it, so you get a good variety of items to choose from. There's burritos, tacos, quesadilla-like items, sides, and nachos, which makes it easy to put together an entire meal without feeling monotonous. 

The Loaded Beef Nachos are a standout for $3 since they come topped with beef, beans, sour cream, and guac. Customizing the Stacker, which is $2.19, can bring it close to a budget quesadilla. And if you ask us, the Spicy Potato Soft Taco is the best item on the entire TB menu, not just the value items. 

Related: Taco Bell Reveals Wild New Treats for 2024: Chicken Nuggets, Crispanadas, Ice Cream Tacos, and More

Del Taco value menu items
Del Taco

2. Del Taco

Del Taco might have taken the top spot in this list if the chain still had its 20 Under $2 value menu. But as it stands, it seems like it was quietly discontinued recently. Still, the current value menu has good selection and variety with eight items, and they're all still $2 or less. There's burritos, tacos, a quesadilla, nachos, and a tostada (an item Taco Bell axed from its menu in 2020). Notable is the amount of chicken items, including crispy chicken tacos in three varieties.

Related: Cracking the Code: 7 Del Taco Secret Menu Items To Try Right Now

Wendy's biggie bag

3. Wendy's

The Wendy's value menu isn't really a value menu, it's just a collection of the chain's cheap(ish) sandwiches. But there's a much better section of the menu with amazing deals: Biggie Bags and meal deals. They continue to be some of the best deals in fast food compared to other combo meals. 

Biggie Bags come with a sandwich, four-piece chicken nuggets, junior fries, and a drink, and the Crispy Chicken and Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger options are just $5. There's also two options for $6, and one for $7. And amazingly, the Jr. Cheeseburger 4 for $4 Meal is still kicking too. You cannot find combo meals cheaper than that.

All of the Items on the McDonald's Dollar Menu, Ranked

4. McDonald's

The value menu at McDonald's is called the $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu, which is pretty infuriating since nothing on it has been just a dollar in a long time. It's definitely gotten smaller and more expensive over the years, but compared to other value menus, it's not terrible anymore. 

Notably, there are four breakfast items on the menu, which we appreciate. However, it's a total sham to sell hash browns for $2 and pretend like that's a deal. On the other hand, the McChicken is still around $2 and that's a much better value. As always, McDonald's is a land of contrasts. 

Dairy Queen mix and match items
Dairy Queen

5. Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen is a dark horse on this list. It often gets overlooked in the shadow of the mega-chains, but it has a small and mighty value section. The 2 for $5 Mix and Match menu has six items to choose from, and many are surprising and original. You can get pretzel sticks with queso for dipping, two-piece chicken strips, a small sundae, and regular-size fries. How does a $5 meal of a cheeseburger and strawberry sundae sound? We're on board; we just wish there was a way to spend less than $5 for the best deal.

Related: 15 Things To Try From the Dairy Queen Secret Menu

sonic grilled cheese
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

6. Sonic

"Under $4 Favorites"? Come on Sonic, you can do better than that. It's barely a value menu if your top limit is four bucks. Still, there are a couple standouts for both value and variety: a corndog and a grilled cheese sandwich for $2.49 each. After that, your best bet is a caramel, hot fudge, or strawberry sundae, but those will set you back $3.59. Why are $4 hot dogs and double cheeseburgers even on the value menu? Who knows.

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