9 Restaurants That Have Great Dollar Menus

When contemplating fast-food choices, the sought-after “dollar menu” is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. It’s reasonable; you can essentially obtain a complete meal, including drinks and sides, for under $5 at fast-food establishments throughout the nation.

Fast-food chains in the United States have introduced dollar or value menus packed with attractive deals and combos to lure their customers, following Wendy’s lead in 1989 when they launched their first dollar menu.

  • Wendy’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Burger King
  • Taco Bell
  • White Castle
  • Del Taco
  • Sonic
  • Hardee’s
  • Steak ‘n Shake

Although it’s usually easy to figure out how to spend your money at these 9 restaurants with great dollar menus, we’ve put together a brief guide for you below. Keep reading to learn more about each establishment and their offerings for just one dollar.


Wendy’s was the first to introduce the dollar menu in 1989, which proved to be immensely popular, prompting other fast-food chains to follow suit. At present, Wendy’s Value Menu comprises items such as the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, 4 Piece Regular or Spicy Chicken Nuggets, and Jr.

Wendy’s provides a small Frosty, Natural-Cut Fries, and a Cheeseburger. Wendy’s also has a 4 for $4 Meal that includes fries, a drink, the 4 Piece Chicken Nuggets, and your choice of an entrée. This is an excellent offer since Wendy’s entrees begin at $4.

Wendy’s offers menu items that are priced below $3, which are not part of the value menu, such as the Double Stack, 6 Piece Regular or Spicy Chicken Nuggets, a Chicken Go Wrap, or any of their sides.

Wendy’s provides combo meals that can cater to the entire family, such as two Spicy Chickens, two Jr. Cheeseburgers, and four small servings of French fries for only $15.

In 2020, Wendy’s introduced a loyalty program to boost business and incentivize customers to revisit the restaurant.

For every dollar you spend, you will receive 10 points that can be used to redeem items once you have accumulated at least 150 points. The maximum number of points required for redemption is 700, and this will allow you to redeem a Full-Size Salad or a Baconator.


Most people are aware of the Golden Arches and its Dollar Menu, which has undergone changes since its inception in 2002 (now known as the $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu), but still includes popular items such as the McDouble, McChicken, and Chicken McNuggets.

McDonald’s Dollar Menu, which now includes the Sausage Biscuit, Sausage McMuffin, Sausage McGriddles, and hashbrowns, has been expanded since the introduction of all-day breakfast in October 2015; naturally, beverages are also available on the Dollar Menu.

On their dollar menu, McDonald’s provides their specialty McCafé beverages, smoothies, and soft drinks, all priced under $3 as indicated by the new name.

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Were you aware that McDonald’s offers a dollar menu steal where you can receive a complimentary medium fries every Friday? Starting from March 31, 2022, if you place an order of at least $1 through the McDonald’s app, you will be eligible for a free order of fries.

Burger King

Despite being a latecomer in the creation of a value menu, Burger King has devised an innovative strategy for its dollar menu by presenting various promotions and bargains such as the 2 for $6, the 2 for $10, the $1 Your Way Menu, and the Wednesday Deal. Nevertheless, Burger King still maintains a conventional value menu that features products priced below $3.

Both the 2 for $6 and the 2 for $10 options are excellent bargains as they allow you to choose two highlighted main dishes, such as the Italian Original Chicken Sandwich, Whopper, Impossible Whopper, Big Fish, Original Chicken Sandwich, or 9 Piece Chicken Fries.

Opting for the $10 choice will also include two servings of small fries and two small fountain drinks, whereas the Whopper’s initial price is $4.99 and the Impossible Whopper’s initial price is $6.19.

Furthermore, these meal combinations cater to a diverse range of dietary preferences, such as vegan and pescatarian, and are exclusively available at select establishments.

Burger King introduced the $1 Your Way menu in 2018, which included the Rodeo Burger, Chicken Jr., fries, and a fountain drink for only $1 each. Moreover, customers can find a fresh offer every Wednesday on the Burger King app.

Burger King offers a wide range of items on their Value Menu, which is particularly impressive when compared to their other promotions.

At a price below $3 on the standard menu, you have the option to purchase a Crispy Chicken, onion rings, chicken nuggets, soft-serve ice cream, soft drinks, or a cheeseburger (including a bacon cheeseburger or a double cheeseburger or even a double bacon cheeseburger!).

Taco Bell

In 1990, Taco Bell introduced its initial dollar menu with prices ranging from $0.59 to $0.99, which is now known as the New Cravings Value Menu and includes popular items such as the Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito, Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Cinnamon Twists, and Cheesy Roll Up – all priced at one dollar each.

At Taco Bell, you have the option to purchase a Beefy Melt Burrito, Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito, or Fiesta Veggie Burrito for only $2 each. Additionally, they provide a combo meal for $5 that consists of a large fountain drink, Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, Crunch Taco, and chips with nacho cheese sauce.

You can customize the combo to suit your individual food tastes.

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Despite the introduction of Taco Bell’s New Cravings Value Menu, there are still numerous menu choices available for less than $3, including the Cantina Crispy Chicken Taco, The Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos Supreme, a range of burritos, and a serving of nachos.

Combo meals at Taco Bell are priced between $5 and $8, and include a maximum of three tacos or burritos, a soft drink, and sometimes a side of nachos, making it an excellent choice for those looking for great dollar menu options.

White Castle

If you’re looking for a great dollar menu, White Castle is the place to go. Although they don’t have a specific value menu, almost everything on their menu can be bought for under $5, with sliders starting at just $0.99 and going up to $2.99. Interestingly, the sides are generally more expensive than the sliders.

White Castle provides combo meals that consist of your preferred sliders, a serving of fries, and a soda. The majority of breakfast combos are priced at approximately $5, but the Original Slider Combo is available for $7.50.

If you want to save money while dining at White Castle, skip the small fries that cost $2.09 and opt for an additional slider or two.

Del Taco

It is logical for another fast-food restaurant that serves tacos to have a value menu since taco places are always satisfying.

Del Taco’s 20 Under $2 menu includes various food items like Chicken Del Carbon Taco, Crispy Chicken Taco, Bean and Cheese Burrito, Chicken Roller, Crunchtada Tostada, Snack Queso Quesadilla, and 3 Layer Queso Nachos.

Conclude your dining experience with 4 pieces of Donut Bites, which can also be found on the menu of 20 items priced under $2. Other options available on this menu comprise of soft drinks, milkshakes, and teas.


Sonic, the restaurant with a 50’s theme and roller skate delivery, offers unique deals to its customers and encourages them to place orders through their app or online to receive special discounts.

On Tuesdays after 5 PM, Sonic offers a 50% discount on Cheeseburgers, while drinks and slushies are also half-priced throughout the day. Additionally, until February 27th, customers can enjoy a one-time offer of a soft pretzel twist for only $1.

During Sonic’s Afternoon Happy Hour, which runs from 2 PM to 4 PM, all beverages and slushies are discounted by 50% for customers who place their orders in-person.

As part of the “deals” theme, Sonic’s value menu, which is officially called Everyday Deals, includes the Quarter Pound Double Cheeseburger, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, vanilla ice cream cone, and Jr. Bacon (or Sausage), Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Burrito.

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With the exception of the Quarter Pound Double Cheeseburger that costs $3.29, all other items on Sonic’s value menu are priced under $3. Although Sonic’s dollar menu is slightly pricier than its rivals, the restaurant often provides amazing discounts via their app.


Hardee’s has replaced its $1 Dollar Menu with the $2, $3, More menu that includes items like French Toast Dips, Breakfast Platter with Sausage, and Sausage Biscuit.

Hardee’s has a small selection of $5 meal combos that consist of an entrée such as the 3 Piece Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders, the Big Cheeseburger, or the Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwich, along with a small soft drink and a small order of fries.

Moreover, Hardee’s subsidiary Carl’s Jr. presents two combo options that consist of the identical 3 Piece Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders as Hardee’s and a Double Cheeseburger and Spicy Chicken Sandwich, accompanied by fries and a soft drink, along with an additional chocolate chip cookie.

Steak ‘n Shake

One of the restaurants known for its delicious Steakburgers and thick milkshakes provides a menu with four options priced under $4, which includes the Original Double ‘n Cheese Steakburger, Single Garlic Steakburger, Single Butter Steakburger, or the Steak Frank.

Each choice is served with a side of either fries, applesauce, or potato chips, but if you want more, you can pay extra to upgrade to a bigger portion of fries, onion rings, or a cup of chili. Steak ‘n Shake’s menu is called the 4 under $4; however, it may be deceiving as it only includes an entrée and fries.

When examining the remaining options on the menu, Steak ‘n Shake effectively manages to keep their meal prices below $5. For a price lower than $5, customers can purchase a single or double Steakburger, a grilled cheese sandwich, or 3-piece chicken fingers.

Additionally, their menu for children is priced below $5. Moreover, all shakes of regular size are available at a price of $4.49 or lower.

The Takeaway

It’s difficult to determine which restaurant has the superior dollar menu since each establishment provides various options to cater to diverse tastes. Ultimately, you can visit any of these fast-food franchises and satiate your hunger with an inexpensive, warm meal.

Dollar menus at restaurants offer a convenient and affordable option for dining out, saving you time and money that would otherwise be spent on meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Indulging in a delicious burger from a drive-thru can be the perfect solution to satisfy your cravings without exceeding your budget.

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