The Quick Report

30 Fast Food Items That Are WAY Overpriced

At one point in time, fast food was supposed to be affordable. You could drop into a place like McDonald’s or Pizza Hut, get a decent (if unhealthy) meal for a few bucks, and go about your business. These days, fast food items like the ones in this list have become outrageously overpriced.

Wendy’s Biggie Bags

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Wendy’s used to offer a “4 for $4” meal that gave you a (very) small drink, a kid’s-sized fry, four little chicken nuggets, and a wimpy burger for $4. This insidious “deal” looked great because it was four things! But now it’s been replaced by the pricier “Biggie Bag,” which is at least $5 and is still a terrible deal for its skimpy little portions.

Panera Chicken Noodle Soup

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You’ll spend upwards of $10 eating a bowl of soup at Panera Bread. Here’s our financial tip for today: skip Panera and go to the supermarket. Purchase a can of chicken noodle soup and a baguette. You’ll have spent around $3 and you can use what you saved to buy yourself a candy bar and still have some money leftover.

McDonald’s Big Mac

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The Big Mac is an outrageously expensive menu item these days just because it’s a recognizable name. The special sauce on them is just French dressing and mayo, so whip that up at home and save some money. Any burger you make yourself at home will be better for you than McDonald’s “food,” anyway.

Chipotle Guacamole

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Chipotle wants you to spend $2 on guacamole. Given that avocados are about a dollar, and you can make a lot more than one measly spoonful of guac from a whole avocado, this is a straight-up rip off. Make your burrito at home, it’ll taste better than the cardboard tortillas Chipotle serves.

Starbucks Coffees

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The coffee at Starbucks isn’t awful like some people claim, but it’s not remotely worth the absurd prices the company charges. Seriously, if you’re just looking for straightforward coffee drinks, invest in a coffee maker and buy your own beans to make yourself a cup in the morning at home.

Chick-fil-A Sandwiches

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There’s nothing inherently wrong with the price of Chick-fil-A’s sandwiches, but customers have noted that, in their experience, these entrees have been shrinking recently. “Shrinkflation” is an insidious tactic where sellers quietly reduce portion sizes while either keeping prices the same or, worse, cranking them up.

Subway Footlong Subs

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Subway’s food is abysmal to begin with, but it became popular around 20 years ago due to the overwhelming success of the “Five Dollar Footlong” promotion. These days, the franchise’s footlong subs cost as much as $10, an inexcusable price for such terrible inexpensive ingredients.

Sonic Burgers

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Sonic Drive-In’s burgers used to be a really good deal. However, in recent years the price of their burgers has soared while the overall quality of their food has cratered. It can take a very long time to even get served, and by the time you get your greasy food you’re questioning whether it was even worth the price.

Fish Sandwiches

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Fish isn’t very well-regulated, especially in fast food settings. Fish sandwiches, like McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish, are very expensive on the assumption that they’re made from things like cod or tuna. However, fish of questionable origin are often passed off as higher quality items, making this price hard to stomach.

Dairy Queen Salad

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Dairy Queen’s side salad is extremely tiny. If you order it thinking it’ll be a decent number of calories to get you through your afternoon (which it should be, judging by the price), you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Avoid this item entirely.

Chick-fil-A Nuggets

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Unlike their sandwiches, Chick-fil-A’s nuggets have no reputation for shrinkflation. However, the price for this very bland chicken is ridiculous. It’s trivial to bread and fry chicken at home, and their signature sauce is just honey mustard. Save the trip next time and just pick up the ingredients from the supermarket.

Taco Bell’s Entire Value Menu

Taco Bell is a study on how a fast-food restaurant can go from a beloved source of cheap calories to a laughingstock of horrible food sold at embarrassing prices. The current “value” menu has no items around the dollar mark, the items that are there are extremely tiny, and frankly they’re just not worth the price.

Panda Express Fried Rice

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You’ll spend upwards of $8 for an order of fried rice from Panda Express. That’s absurd and whoever decided that was going to be the cost of this once-excellent snack should be barred from working with food. You can make the same dish at home for around $2.

Five Guys Burgers

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Five Guys makes some really good burgers, but most people wouldn’t know because they don’t want to mortgage their homes to afford them. Seriously, why does this chain think that $12 is an acceptable price for a fast-food burger?

Jersey Mike’s Cheesesteaks

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Jersey Mike makes pretty acceptable subs for less-than-ideal prices, but one item that is far more expensive than it has any business being is their cheesesteak. These bland, unseasoned hot sandwiches would still be a bad deal if they cost 25% less than they currently do.

Starbucks Hot Food

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Starbucks coffee is overpriced, but that’s a given. The coffee chain’s hot food is also hilariously expensive. For upward of $6, you can get a tiny little frozen sandwich hot and fresh out of a toaster! Come on, Starbucks. Do better.

Panera Mac and Cheese

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Want to know a secret? Panera’s mac and cheese dishes, despite being priced like entrees, are really just overpriced sides. By the way, Panera doesn’t make any mac and cheese on site, either: soups and mac and cheese dishes arrive frozen and in plastic bags. It’s basically hospital food.

Papa John’s Pizzas

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Papa John’s pizza was awful before the company’s owner became a controversial, headline-stealing oddball. These days, the food has only gotten worse—and more expensive. The sauce is too sweet, the dough is too bland, and everything just kind tastes like sawdust.

McDonald’s Pancakes

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McDonald’s breakfast menu went from being an all-day thing to being stuck to just the mornings back in 2020. This, combined with the ever-increasing cost of their pancakes, has made their breakfast menu one of the most disappointing in all of the fast food world.


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If a restaurant charges for sauces, they’re charging too much for their sauces. We’re already paying absurdly high prices to even get the food we want to dip into said sauces. This one wouldn’t sting quite as bad if the employees didn’t consistently forget to even put the sauces in the bag after we already paid an upcharge for them!

Small Subs at Firehouse

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Firehouse Subs makes some downright delicious sandwiches, but their small size subs are a terrible deal. Even if you’re not hungry enough to eat an entire medium sub, just get it anyway and put half of it in the fridge for later. It’s barely a higher cost and you’re getting double the food!

Sonic Hot Dogs

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If Sonic’s hamburgers are a bad deal, their hot dogs are even worse. While the footlong Coney dog hasn’t shrunk like many other entrees at similar restaurants, it’s still tremendously overpriced. Just find all your favorite toppings at the grocery store and make a hotdog at home.

Pizza Hut Pizzas

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Papa John’s isn’t the only national pizza chain that’s charging way too much for their terrible food these days. Pizza Hut’s food has never been anything better than mediocre, but these days it’s just embarrassing. Despite the remarkable drop in quality, the company still has the gall to keep raising its prices.

Krispy Kreme

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Ignore that “Hot and Ready” sign, because Krispy Kreme is overrated. Their donuts are tremendously expensive and no better than something you could snag for cheap at a gas station or grocery store. Head to Dunkin’ instead and get a much better donut for a much better price.

KFC’s Value Menu

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KFC’s prices have been skyrocketing in recent months and it’s showing up with their oddly named new value meal, called “Taste of KFC.” These combos offer you the skimpiest pieces of chicken combined with tiny little biscuits and sides that wouldn’t fill up a child. Oh, and you don’t get a drink with them, which is just outright bizarre.

Tim Horton’s

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While Timmy’s used to be the place to get coffee for Canadians and Americans in northern states, it’s experienced an absurd drop-off in quality lately. The company’s coffee has never been exceptional, but its soaring prices these days makes even Starbucks look gourmet by comparison.

Long John Silver’s Food

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Remember that warning about fast food fish from earlier in this article? That applies to every fried fish entrée on Long John Silver’s menu. For the prices they’re charging, you should be getting something a bit better than mystery fish.

Burger King’s Burgers

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Burger King was once a genuine second-place competitor behind McDonald’s in an era when fast food wasn’t just complete garbage. These days, their burgers are nauseating due to a weird combination of mushy produce and overcooked burgers. If you’re spending this kind of money on food, just head to the grocery store.

Read More: The 10 Grossest Meals Fast Food Restaurants Thought We’d Love

Zaxby’s Wings

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The hot wings from Zaxby’s have never been amazing, but lately their ludicrous prices have made them borderline unpalatable. What’s more, the company has the audacity to no longer serve their wings with celery. How much can a few celery stalks cost, Zaxby’s?

Read More: The Highest Calorie Fast Food Menu Items: Do You Eat Any of These??


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Soda fountains are the biggest racket in fast food. It costs next to nothing for the restaurant to stock soda syrup, yet some places charge as much as $2 for a drink. Soda is exceptionally bad for your teeth and overall health, anyway, so it’s best to just skip it altogether.

Read More: The Best Pizza Place in Every State