Somehow we got through 2020. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t very fun. But if you’re anything like me, ordering copious amounts of fast food helped ease the burden a little bit. I honestly don’t want to remember much else about 2020, other than the kickass food that arrived on my doorstep each week. So, join me in celebrating the best limited time offers that 2020 had to offer from all our favorite chains. Oh, and cheers to the new year!
Donuts are donuts, but when they’re cute, it makes all the difference. Every holiday season Krispy Kreme launches a new line of festive donuts – sometimes they’re shaped like presents, sometimes reindeer. But this year, they brought back my all-time favorite Christmas donut – the Santa Belly donut. Just as the name suggests, it’s a big, round donut that looks like Santa’s tummy – AKA a Chocolate Kreme filled doughnut with red icing and sugar on top. There’s no detail left unfrosted, either. The donut is finished off with a chocolate icing and a candy belt, and let me tell you: it is delicious.
Peppermint is my go-to flavor once it hits December, and Chick-Fil-A perfectly captures that holiday taste in their latest limited time offer. Chick-Fil-A’s Peppermint Chocolate Chip Shake makes a quick appearance every winter, along with the Chicken Tortilla Soup. It’s a handspun shake with peppermint flavor, Icedream, and peppermint and chocolate candies. And of course, there’s a cherry (and more peppermint candy!) on top.
Let’s be real for a second. There’s no better way to cope with the stress and disappointment of 2020 than a big juicy burger. Or maybe some queso. Whichever your vice is, you don’t have to choose at Sonic because they’ve combined two of the ultimate comfort foods in the Sonic Queso Burger. It features a quarter-pound beef patty with cheddar cheese and cheese sauce. Then, it’s topped with Hatch Green Chiles, grilled onions, and creamy mayo. It may be a million calories, but trust me, it’s the perfect fast food burger.
DQ’s Frozen Hot Chocolate may be the most underrated limited time offer in the fast food world. It’s been around for years, but it usually only shows up for a couple months at a time. And somehow, this frozen treat really does capture the same cozy taste of hot chocolate in milkshake format. Pro tip: you can probably order this one any time of year, even if it’s not being offered on the menu. This is because it’s made of vanilla soft serve and fudge and topped with whipped cream. That’s it, nothing fancy, and Dairy Queen has those ingredients all year long, so… I’ll let you do the math.
Normally, I’d prefer to get my BBQ at a place like Shigs N Pit, but McDoanld’s McRib turned me to the dark side this year. After being on and off the main menu for years, the McRib is back for a limited time. And for the curious – this peculiar sandwich isn’t made with a real rack of ribs (we all know Mickey D’s isn’t that fancy). The meat portion of the McRib is a boneless pork patty that just looks like a rack of ribs. It’s covered tangy barbecue sauce and topped with crushed onions and tart pickles.
This may be the oddest limited time offer on my list, but I had to include it for that reason. I’m not totally sure what Dunkin’ was thinking when they launched the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut back in October, but it is surprisingly not disgusting like I was imagining. It’s made with an original yeast donut, topped with strawberry icing and cayenne and ghost pepper. Sounds super weird, yes, but you can still try this bad boy until the end of 2020, so drop me a comment below if you get a chance to test it out.
Again, I love when restaurants combine two junk food classics. The Cheeseburger Pizza has been a fan favorite at Papa John’s for years, and only now are they bringing it back to save us from the wrath of 2020. There’s also a new Cheeseburger Papadia, too, which features the same indulgent ingredients as the pizza: ground beef, cheese, pickles, and burger sauce.
Popeyes brought it back to their roots in 2020 with the release of the sweetest limited time offer of the year. The Chocolate Beignets rolled out in the fall and pay homage to New Orleans, where the fast food chain was founded. These pastries are unlike anything you’ve ever seen at a fast food restaurant and are truly delicious. The fried dough is filled with creamy chocolate, and the entire thing is coated in powdered sugar.
Some other heavy hitters on the Starbucks holiday menu include the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulee Latte, and of course, the Peppermint Mocha. But in my opinion, the Chestnut Praline Latte never gets enough love, though it’s been featured on the Christmas line up every year for a while. According to the coffee franchise, this latte features “caramelized chestnuts and spices” with whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs on top.
Spoiler Alert: you can order any of these drinks throughout the year if you know what ingredients they include.
Last but certainly not least on our list of the best limited time offers of 2020 is Popeyes Buffalo Ranch Tenders. These were released back in the summer and have since left the menu. But if you got a chance to taste these scrumptious chicken fingers, you know just why I had to share them. The tenders were marinated with Louisiana seasonings and buffalo ranch sauce – an unforgettable combo. And anytime I can pair fried chicken with biscuits, I am a happy camper.
Did I miss any of your favorite limited time offers from 2020? Drop me a comment below, and I’ll add them here.