Shay Mitchell is a woman of many talents. While she's an incredible actress (who else was addicted to Pretty Little Liars?), beautiful model, and popular vlogger (she has over 1.4 million followers on her YouTube channel), there's one more little-known accolade she can add to the résumé: foodie. In fact, her passion for cuisine goes beyond mere consumption, it's now her profession, thanks to a new role as creative director of Off the Menu. Mitchell teamed up with founder Lawrence Longo to oversee the brand's aesthetic and star in its new series, Celeb Bites. She has also been instrumental in sourcing the app's amazing secret menu items across America.
"Lawrence and I have been finding secret menu items together for years," she said. "We discovered the French onion soup poutine at Terrine here in L.A., as well as the 50/50 Burger at Seven Lamps in Atlanta. We discovered a ton of off-menu items at Piccolo Sogno in Chicago—my favorites were the Branzino and the Mushroom Risotto." As someone who travels extensively, Mitchell loves making new discoveries at every stop. "I love how the app allows everyone to have that feeling of exclusivity," she said. "I travel a lot, and it makes me feel like a local insider even when I am 5000 miles away from home."
Thanks to the app, Mitchell has a ton of new go-to meals, but her favorite foods are actually on the menu. "Pizza and anything with hot sauce," she said. "I grew up loving spicy food, and nothing has changed." So for someone who loves pizza so much, how does she keep in shape? "I love to work out as much as I love to eat (okay, maybe I enjoy eating slightly more)," she said. "I try to switch it up with activities like boxing and spinning to keep me active every day. All in moderation." (You should see her fitness closet.)
Ahead, Mitchell shares her favorite secret menu items from L.A., Toronto, and beyond.
The spot: Loosie’s Kitchen
"This is a cute spot in Brooklyn for Brunch, and its off-the-menu item—its Hot Nashville Fried Chicken—is spicy, just the way I like it."
The spot: Cypress Street Pint & Plate
"Sublime Chick is a sandwich with glazed doughnuts as the bun and fried chicken nestled in between. Sweet and salty."
The spot: Piccolo Sogno
"I ate here the last time I was in town, and all the off-the-menu items were all fantastic. The branzino and mushroom risotto are my favorite."
The spot: Island Foods
"The inside-and-out boneless chicken roti is the yummiest comfort food. It's something I crave all the time and even have it shipped to L.A."
Ready to discover what secret menu items are available in your local area? Download the Off the Menu app below, and start eating your way around town.