Places have been offering 'secret menu' choices in the US for a while now, Starbucks being the best known for it, so what better chain to bring the craze to the UK?
Other chains that offer secret menu items that are in the UK as well as America are McDonalds and Subway.
It's not the same as you'd think normal eating 'off menu' is. There is more to it than coming up with the food you want to eat and asking the venue to make it for you, there is an art to it. It usually comes by word of mouth, but some places now publicise online that they do it. Starbucks is one of these places.
It literally is like the place has a secret menu. One that isn't on display, but the things on it are almost a signature dishes of the place.
Starbucks online secret menu reveals that there is an extra size cup that very few people know about. Rather than the standard tall, grande or venti (small, medium, large) they have an extra-small cup size not on the list called Short! You can order a short size drink at any Starbucks and they should know what you are referring to, and not only is it a smaller drink containing less coffee, but it's a cheaper version too; so if you're dying for a caffeine kick but don't quite have enough change for a tall, you may still be able to satisfy your craving!
Starbucks also have a policy of 'the customer is always right' which means that you can order any flavour of drink or any mixture of flavours or concoctions and as long as you can explain how to make it, the barristas are obliged to make it for you.
McDonalds also have a secret menu, but theirs is a lot less extensive and involves things like exchanging the bread bun for extra burgers, or asking for Big Mac sauce instead of ketchup for your chips.
Subway offer a couple of secret menu items, but theirs are more in the style of the subs. You can ask them to scoop out some of the dough from the subs so that the fillings fit better in the sandwich, or you can ask them for a wing effect on your sub, so that some of the filling spills out the sides so that you can eat it first.
The best items from the Starbucks and McDonalds secret menus are below. If you fancy a change up of your normal choices, give these a try. You might have to explain what they are to the serving staff, as the trend is only just taking off in the UK, but the more people that do it, the quicker it'll take off, so give it a whirl!
The best Secret Menu drinks offered at Starbucks are:
Red/Black/Green Eye versions of any regular menu drink.
This is the normal drink with a shot of espresso added at the end for the Red Eye, a double espresso for the Black Eye, and a triple espresso for the Green Eye version.
Dirty Chai Latte or Double Dirty Chai Latte.
This can be iced or hot and is a regular chai latte with a single or double espresso shot added.
Zebra Mocha or Penguin Mocha.
This is a half anf half mixture of regular and white chocolate mocha. Make it even better by adding Red Tux to the name, where they then add a shot of raspberry syrup as well.
White chocolate mocha with java chips and chocolate chips sprinkled on top.
Super Cream options.
If you like creamy drinks, a super cream will be a blend of a regular frappe but with half the cup being whipped cream blended in.
Affogato Style Frappuccinos.
Regular frappuccino, but with a hot espresso shot poured over the top rahter than blended in cold.
Cinnamon Dolce Latte with caramel syrup and chocolate mocha syrup.
Possible McDonalds secret menu options are:
Chocolate milkshake goes in the cup first, then strawberry then vanilla, and as you get further down the cup, the flavours mix together more and more.
A Big Mac, but rather than having a bread bun they exchange the bread for extra burgers (think about your arteries before you try this one).
Land Air and Sea burger.
Involves a beef burger, a chicken burger and a fillet-o-fish.
Big Mac Sauce.
Ask for a pot of Big Mac Sauce to accompany your fries instead of the normal ketchup.
Some of these may be online rumours that come to no fruition. But if you like the sound of one of them, there's only one way to find out if it's real, and if it's as good as it sounds!