The Best Order at Our Favorite Fast Casual Restaurants

Three Images of Fast Food, Hamburger, Salad, and a Sub

Cheapism / Steve J./Yelp / Debbie F./Yelp / Grace S./Yelp

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Three Images of Fast Food, Hamburger, Salad, and a Sub
Cheapism / Steve J./Yelp / Debbie F./Yelp / Grace S./Yelp

Change of Chow Anyone?

Tired of ordering the same thing over and over again but have no idea what else to eat? Let’s face it, you’re not alone. Most of us tend to get the same meal from the same restaurants because it’s easy. But maybe it’s time to shake things up and say goodbye to your old standby. Start by stepping outside of your comfort zone at a fast casual restaurant where the menu offers lots of choices. If you need some inspiration, these are some of the best things to order at 12 popular restaurants, and we guarantee you haven’t tried them all yet.

Related: Fast Food Restaurants Then and Now

Chicken Bowl, Chipotle
Ann S./Yelp


Order: Chicken Bowl

Bowls are the way to go, according to Redditors. The reason? Chipotle bowls are a lot of food. When you order a side of tortillas with a bowl packed with veggies, rice and meat, you can potentially make a second meal out of it, getting two meals for the price of one.

Shack Stack, Shake Shack
Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Order: Shack Stack

Calories be damned— forget the basic burger, fries and shake, and live dangerously. The Shack Stack is probably the tallest burger on the menu, so come hungry. This monstrosity features a beef cheeseburger topped with a “'shroom burger”, plus lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce. Don’t forget a shake and fries, because what’s more food at this rate.

Related: The 24 Best Family Meal Deals From Popular Fast-Food Joints

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, Panera
Debbie F./Yelp


Order: Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

The Fuji Apple Chicken Salad has been on the menu at Panera forever; and for good reason. It’s sweet yet satisfying and packed with toasted pecan pieces, feta cheese, and apple chips. The combo sounds light and fruity but is somehow deliciously perfect anytime of the year, from the coldest days of winter to a sweltering summer day.

Bacon "All the Way" Burger, Five Guys
Steve J./Yelp

Five Guys

Order: “All the Way” Burger

It seems like Five Guys prices are higher than ever, making this fast casual restaurant quickly budget-busting. So you might as well bust your gut while you’re at it. Order the “All the Way” burger, which basically has everything on it; lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, mushrooms and three condiments.

Kale Caesar Salad, Chopt
Chopt Creative Salad Co.


Order: Kale Caesar Salad

Sometimes, keeping it simple is the best way to go. The Kale Caesar is considered a must-try salad pick. There’s something about the kale and romaine combo sprinkled with aged parmesan and artisan croutons that customers can’t get enough of. Even better, it’s one of the more diet-friendly salads offered, at just 300 calories.

Related: 15 Healthy Fast Food Menu Items at McDonald's, Wendy's, and Beyond

The Good Egg, Au Bon Pain
Brenda C./Yelp

Au Bon Pain

Order: The Good Egg

You can get an egg breakfast sandwich pretty much anywhere, so if you’re going to Au Bon Pain, why not go for something more exciting? The Good Egg is two eggs, cheddar, tomatoes, avocado, spinach and lemon aioli on a rustic baguette. It’s a breakfast sandwich extraordinaire.

Bee Sting Baguette, Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger

Pret A Manger

Order: Bee Sting Baguette

People seem to either find Pret A Manger sandwiches overpriced, soggy piles, or they can’t get enough of the convenient grab and go chain. One sandwich worth trying: The Bee Sting Baguette. The spicy yet sweet combination of sopressata, mozzarella, basil, arugula, pickled jalapeno with marinara sauce and a drizzle of honey on a baguette is hardly a standard sandwich.

Guacamole Greens, Sweetgreen


Order: Guacamole Greens

It’s hard to pick the best option from Sweetgreen’s bowls of goodness. But if you have no idea what to get, Redditors say go for the Guacamole Greens salad. It’s guacamole after all, how can you not? With toppings including roasted chicken, avocado, tomatoes, tortilla chips and lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette, the only thing missing is a lunchtime margarita.

Related: Which Fast Food Salad Is the Best?

Chicken Queso Burrito, Qdoba


Order: Chicken Queso Burrito

If you get overwhelmed by the options at Qdoba, a chicken queso burrito is a gold standard. The chicken has an adobo marinade that’s particularly popular amongst customers. And seriously, who doesn’t love queso? Add on shredded cheese, rice and beans and it’s proof that sometimes the most straightforward suggestion is the best.

Related: America's Best Subs, Grinders, and Hoagies

Classic Smashburger, Smashburger


Order: Classic Smashburger

Classic is often called just that for a reason. You can’t beat Smashburger’s perfect combination of angus beef, American cheese, and all the fixings, including the signature Smash Sauce. The hand “smashed” technique leaves the burger with a crispy sear, so it’s best enjoyed as simple as possible to get all the flavor.

#12 Beach Club, Jimmy John's
Grace S./Yelp

Jimmy John’s

Order: #12 Beach Club

People have serious opinions on their sandwiches, but Redditors say if you don’t know what to get at Jimmy John’s, go for #12, the Beach Club. Turkey and provolone are deli sandwich standbys, but it’s the avocado spread that really shakes things up in this sandwich that’s otherwise your basic deli go-to.

The "Original Sandwich", Schlotzky’s


Order: The Original Sandwich

Schlotzksy’s is one of those “do everything” fast casual places. Do you get pizza, a salad, or go the deli sandwich route? Redditors say stick with the tried and true deliciousness of the Original Sandwich. With hefty layers of shaved ham, cotto and genoa salami, why mess with perfection?

For more stories about fast food, please sign up for our free newsletters.

SmokeShack, Shake Shack
Shake Shack