I Taste Tested the Entire McDonald’s Dollar Menu and Lived to Tell the Story

Updated January 3, 2024 by Kyle James
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As most loyal readers know, I’m a huge fan of secret menus at restaurants and fast-food joints. Delicious stuff that only people “in the know” can order. So I figured I would expand my horizons and taste test some “value or dollar menus” from various joints and grade the quality of the chow. What better place to start than with the legendary McDonald’s dollar menu. They break down their menu into price categories, $1, $2, and $3 items and I tried them ALL and somehow lived to write about it. Let’s get to it…

I Taste Tested the McDonald's Dollar Menu and Lived to Tell the Story

$1 Menu:

Sausage Burrito

This comes stuffed with scrambled eggs, pork sausage, cheese, green chiles and onion.

On first bite I was impressed, but then again I LOVE me a breakfast burrito.

I got a mouthful of melted cheese goodness with a nice touch of salt from the sausage and a bit of kick with the chiles.

Add salsa if you can as it adds a bit of huevo rancheros vibe to it.

I’d need at least 3 for a full breakfast because they definitely are on the smaller side.

Grade: A-

See Also: McDonald’s Secret Menu: Mickey D’s in a Whole New Light

McChicken Sandwich

OK, I realize it’s only a buck, but wow, it ain’t good folks, even for 100 pennies.

The “crispy” chicken is flavorless, the lettuce is soggy and the mayo is just plain gross.

The only redeeming thing is the bun which was toasted perfectly in my case.

Also, it’s a chicken “fillet” which means it’s basically a large McNugget and not real chicken breast but rather chicken parts molded together.

Grade: D


The Mickey D’s cheeseburger is a classic and the 2 cheeseburger meal is one of my go-to meals when I’m traveling and need a quick meal that’s not messy.

So the $1 cheeseburger holds a special place in my heart.

If you’ve never had it, it comes topped with American cheese, mustard, ketchup, pickle, and chopped onions.

I usually ask for it sans ketchup cuz I’m an adult and it ensures a freshly made burger.

Grade: A

See Also: Does McDonald’s Serve Breakfast All Day Long? I Got Answers

4 Piece McNuggets

Not every dollar menu has this but I’m lucky enough to live near a McDonald’s location that does.

At 25 cents each, this is a good value for sure, even if the McNugget is no chicken tender which is usually made from 100% white meat.

But the 4 piece McNugget is a great add-on to one of their value meals, especially if you’re really hungry and want to get your grub on.

Grade: B

Any Size Soft Drink

Any size drink for a buck? Wow, that’s a really affordable way to get diabetes.

The medium size should suffice for most unless you’re splitting it with 3 other adults or hosting a kid’s birthday party later in the day.

Grade: A (for value alone)

Dollar Menu

$2 Menu:

Sausage McGriddles

If you’ve never had a McGriddles they are kind of like a pancake with a taste of sweet maple syrup mixed in.

Then you add the sausage in between the griddle cakes and you get a nice mashup of sweetness and saltiness.

Pretty darn good actually and for only 2 bucks they are worth a try.

Grade: B+

See Also: These 10 McDonald’s Menu Prices Provide the Most Bang for Your Buck

2 Piece Buttermilk Crispy Tenders

OK, now we’re finally talking real chicken, unlike the bastard chicken known as the McNugget.

These Buttermilk Crispy Tenders have a nice crunch to them and are loaded with 100% white meat.

Mine were a little dry but it probably just depends on how long they stay in the fryer.

Ask for the “Signature sauce” as it makes for a fantastic dipping situation.

Overall I enjoyed them and would definitely order them again.

Grade: A-

Bacon McDouble

Any time you can get a double burger with bacon for $2 you’re clearly winning at life and the road to obesity.

So if your local McDonald’s has the Bacon McDouble on their dollar menu you GOTTA try it.

Aside from the extra patty and bacon, it comes with all the toppings you get on their regular cheeseburger.

I enjoyed the burger, not gonna lie. The cheesy goodness really accented the saltiness of the bacon.

In case you’re wondering, I DIDN’T eat all of these items on the same day, not sure I’d still be here to write this if I did.

I spaced them out over a couple weeks.

Grade: B

Small McCafe

Looking for an afternoon pick me up?

The McCafe Frappés, iced coffee, or Latte fits the bill perfectly, especially for only $2.

The small size is basically the same as Starbucks Grande making it a great value for only $2.

See Also: 10 Starbucks Prices That Actually Make Their Coffee Affordable

Grade: A-

$3 Menu:

Sausage McMuffin w/ Egg

$3 items…starting to get into Daddy Warbucks territory now.

But I must say, the Sausage McMuffin with Cheese is one of my all-time favorites.

For starters I love English Muffins, WAY more than toast.

Then you throw on that perfectly cooked round egg and sausage with a slice of American cheese and fo’get ’bout it.

I actually ordered two of these and made quick history of each.

Sure the $6 price tag was a bit steep but my fat cells were screaming as I drove up to the drive thru and I was a bit gluttonous.

Grade: A+

Classic Chicken Sandwich

The Classic Chicken Sandwich at Mickey D’s, not to be confused with the Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich, is a mainstay on their $3 menu.

Along with the crispy chicken, it comes on a toasted hamburger bun with pickles and their Signature sauce.

I liked this sandwich, not as much as Popeye’s version, but I liked it.

The chicken was moist and the meat to bun ratio was perfect.

I would have liked a little lettuce and tomato added to mine just to offset the large piece of chicken, but overall it was a good sammy.

Grade: B+

Triple Cheeseburger

The Triple Cheeseburger is 3 beef patties, 2 slices of American cheese, ketchup, mustard, and diced onions.

It’s a good burger, especially for meat lovers.

But for me it was simply too much beef and my bowels are still trying to recover.

I’d rather have 2 single cheeseburgers for $2 then this meat mountain.

Grade: C

Happy Meal

To the chagrin of many parents, I’ve been told the Happy Meal has been removed from most dollar menus in recent months.

Where else will parents find cheap toys to step on in the middle of the night?

Toys that seem to be kept way too long and inexplicably end up being stored under couch cushions until the kid moves away to college.

Don’t get me wrong, Happy Meals are not going away, just be prepared to pay closer to $5 for them.

Grade: B

Ask the Reader: What’s your go-to item off the McDonald’s dollar menu? Does your local “golden arches” have different items on their dollar menu? Let me know.

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.


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