9 Restaurants With the Best Secret Menus in the U.S.
You may have heard of In-N-Out’s off-the-menu grilled cheese or Chipotle’s secret nacho-filled burritos, but we’ve rounded up some of the most scrumptious slow-food secret menu options across America that you don’t already know. Kimchi stew? Check. Cheese-stuffed tater tots? Check. Chocolate pizza? Check. Read on for all the insider info so you can enjoy these super-hush-hush delicacies. And check out the awesome app Off the Menu for more outrageously good specialties.
Off-the-Menu Item: The “Jazz Burger,” Jitlada
Reason It’s a Must-Try: Everything at Jazz Singnasong’s Thai restaurant is on fire—both figuratively and, depending on your spice tolerance, literally. When you’re sick, Singnasong, the motherly proprietor, will bring over an extra-fresh lemongrass soup, made from lemongrass she grows in her backyard. When you’re friends with the joyful woman, you know to order the “Jazz Burger.” The Thai basil–topped beef patty is marinated with garlic, palm sugar, and other secret ingredients and presented “protein-style” in a lettuce-leaf patty.
Off-the-Menu Item: Cheesy Tots, Umami Burger
Reason It’s a Must-Try: A crossbreed between Spanish croquettes and traditional American tater tots, Umami’s secret dish is the ultimate comfort food. Deep-fried bundles of shredded potato with a melty cheese middle.
Off-the-Menu Item: Kip Kroketten, Noord
Reason It’s a Must-Try: This Scandinavian creation consists of champignon mushrooms, spices, and chicken rolled in breadcrumbs and fried to crispy perfection. If you’re not Dutch, this delicious entrée is hard to get. Asking nicely in advance might just win you a taste or, if you’re lucky, a whole plate.
Off-the-Menu Item: Kimchi Stew, Momofuku Noodle Bar
Reason It’s a Must-Try: We love Momofuku and just found out that kimchi (and pickles) help reduce anxiety, so this off-the-menu dish is double amazing. Braised kimchi is served over shredded pork and rice cakes. This winning combo went off the official Noodle Bar menu awhile ago, but in-the-know Momofuku guests are in luck.
Off-the-Menu Item: The Gibraltar, Blue Bottle Coffee
Reason It’s a Must-Try: An espresso-savvy barista invented this winning caffeine boost while experimenting at the Hayes Valley location in San Francisco. One curious customer asked “What’s that?” in the middle of the barista’s “lab work,” and without a moment’s hesitation, the barista named it the Gibraltar. It quickly became Blue Bottle Coffee’s signature off-the-menu item. Enjoy the double shot of espresso with steamed milk served in a clear Gibraltar glass on your next trip to the artisan coffee shop.
Off-the-Menu Item: Chocolate Pizza, Craig's
Reason It’s a Must-Try: This is chocolatey goodness at its finest. Thin, savory pizza crust provides the perfect foundation for a super sweet and utterly delectable chocolate chip and cookie crumble topping. A generous dollop of vanilla ice-cream graces the top of this melty chocolate mess. Eating this outrageous concoction with your hands just adds to the overall greatness that is Craig's chocolate pizza.
Off-the-Menu Item: Grimey’s Burger Rory Style, Gabby's
Reason It’s a Must-Try: At Gabby’s there is an entire “Secret Menu" of delicious options. But Grimey's Burger Rory Style is the way to go—a burger cooked on the charbroiler, not the flat-top grill, and served with BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheddar cheese.
Gabby’s “Secret Menu” is password-protected on its website, but lucky for us, the taste detectives over at Off the Menu were able to snag us the password (seamus). Warning: You might drool when reading this.
Off-the-Menu Item: Cracker Jack Milkshake, Tongue and Cheek
Reason It’s a Must-Try: It’s a match made in creamy milkshake heaven—cashew butter and caramel. Yes, this exists, and if you’re in Miami anytime soon, you must order it.
Off-the-Menu Item: Eton Mess, Soho House Restaurants
Reason It’s a Must-Try: The expression “the messier the better” could not be more accurate when describing this traditional British dessert. Homemade whipped cream, meringue, and berries make this treat irresistible. We bet you won’t be able to have just one bite!