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Where would we be today without the Earl of Sandwich? Probably still eating our meals with forks and knives! Thanks to the British lord’s legendary method of placing meat between two slices of bread, diners around the world now have a convenient way to eat on the go. And since the sandwich’s popularization in 1762, chefs and restaurants have become endlessly creative in what combinations taste best inside your handheld.

Sandwiches are one of the most popular grab-and-go meals around. According to the USDA, almost half of adults in America consume at least one sandwich per day, and thanks to fast-food restaurants all over the country, it’s quicker and easier than ever to satiate your hunger by simply pulling up to your favorite chain.

The innovation never stops, and fast-food restaurants always develop new sandwich ideas. Many of them release limited-time offerings to garner customer reactions to their inventions, and those that are positively received might find their way onto the menu full-time.

In 2024, countless new menu items have graced the menus of all your favorite fast-food chains, but only a handful are deserving of your full attention. If you’re looking to get out of your sandwich comfort zone during your next lunch break, try one of the best new sandwiches that have graced fast-food menus so far this year.

Burger King Fiery Big Fish Sandwich

Burger King Fiery Big Fish Sandwich
Photo: Courtesy of Burger King

Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 727
Fat: 45.7 g (Saturated Fat: 8.1 g)
Sodium: 1,526 mg
Carbs: 61 g (Fiber: 3.2 g, Sugar: 10.6 g)
Protein: 19.2 g

Fans of fried fish sandwiches know they can depend on Burger King. Its popular Big Fish sandwich is available year-round. But in February 2024, the chain spiced things up a bit, offering an all-new Fiery Big Fish Sandwich for a limited time. It’s the same panko-coated Alaskan pollock that fans know and love, but this version layers on a spicy triple pepper glaze. The new piquant fish sandwich became so popular that fans dedicated a whole Reddit thread to its appreciation, writing “Holy Mackerel!” and “This was definitely the best Fast food fish sandwich I have had in a while.”

 14 Restaurant Chains Launching Exciting New Menu Items In April

Smashburger Mango Habanero Crispy Chicken Sandwich

smashburger mango habanero sandwich.
Photo: Smashburger

Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 720
Fat: 34 g (Saturated Fat: 11 g)
Sodium: 1,730 mg
Carbs: 69 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 23 g)
Protein: 35 g

Since exploding onto the scene in 2007, Smashburger has become one of the most beloved fast-casual restaurants in the country. In March, the chain debuted a brand-new menu item that customers are primed to love. The new Mango Habanero Crispy Chicken Sandwich features crispy chicken breast covered in tasty mango habanero sauce and topped with lettuce and mayo on a soft, sweet bun. For fans of the “swicy” flavor profile—that is, sweet and spicy—this is sure to be a favorite in no time.

Shake Shack Korean BBQ Burger

Shake Shack's Korean BBQ Burger with fries and a drink against a colorful background
Photo: Joel Goldberg

Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 690
Fat: 47 g (Saturated Fat: 15 g, Trans Fat: 1 g)
Sodium: 1690 mg
Carbs: 35 g carbs (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 7 g)
Protein: 31 g

Shake Shack previously dabbled in Asian flavors back in 2021 with its limited-time Korean-Style Fried Chick’n sandwich, made with a gochujang-glazed chicken breast, white kimchi slaw, and sesame seeds on a toasted bun. This year, the Shack not only brought back the popular Korean-style chicken, it also launched a new burger version. The Korean BBQ Burger features a 100% Angus beef burger topped with cheese, crispy onions, fresh scallions, and a Korean-style BBQ sauce on a toasted bun.

 10 Best & Worst Menu Items at Shake Shack, According to Dietitians

Carl’s Jr. Spicy Breakfast Burger

Spicy Breakfast Burger from Carl's Jr.
Carl’s Jr.

Nutrition: (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 870

In February, Carl’s Jr. brought back its Spicy Western Bacon Burger, a piquant limited-time twist on the popular Western Bacon Burger. The chain also debuted an all-new variation: the Spicy Breakfast Burger. For those looking to kickstart their day with a dose of heat, the new breakfast sandwich features a charbroiled beef patty, jalapeños, bacon, egg, pepper Jack cheese, ketchup, and hash rounds on a seeded bun. Anthony Nguyen, vice president of brand marketing for Carl’s Jr., explained in a press release that the latest menu additions bring “our big, bold, unique California-inspired flavors and audacious brand personality to life, and we’re excited to see more spins on classics like this going forward.”

Jimmy John’s Kickin’ Cajun Chicken Sandwich

jimmy johns kickin cajun wrap and sandwich.
Photo: @TheJohnnyBlaze / reddit

Nutrition: (Per 16-inch Sandwich):
Calories: 1,850

Adding spicy menu items is an enduring trend again in 2024, and Jimmy John’s is jumping on the bandwagon with the introduction of its Kickin’ Cajun Chicken Sandwich. The brand-new sandwich features all-natural chicken, crispy jalapeños, Jimmy peppers, provolone cheese, lettuce, onion, creole chili pepper sauce, mayo, and oil and vinegar, all sandwiched together on French bread. One Reddit user was psyched at the new limited-time offering, stating, “It is delicious, probably my favorite LTO since the caprese salami pesto.”

 17 Best & Worst Jimmy John’s Subs, According to Dietitians

Burger King Candied Bacon Whopper

Burger King Candied Bacon Whopper
Photo: Courtesy of Burger King

Nutrition (Per Sandwich):
Calories: 850
Fat: 49 g (Saturated Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat: 1.4 g)
Sodium: 103.1 mg
Carbs: 71.8 g carbs (Fiber: 3.1 g, Sugar: 72.3 g)
Protein: 41.2 g

In January, Burger King also dropped a new flavorful take on its classic Whopper. Available for a limited time, the Candied Bacon Whopper featured candied bacon, sweet bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, crispy onions, garlic aioli, and a Whopper patty, all sandwiched inside a seeded bun. Fans on social media quickly asked for it to be added to the menu permanently, with some commenting, “I tried it and thought it was delicious!! I will certainly buy it again!!” Sadly, it’s already off the menu, but if some customers have their way, you’ll see it again.

 Every Burger King Chicken Sandwich, Tasted & Ranked

Bojangles Bird Dogs

a hand holding a bojangles bird dog.
Photo: Bojangles

Nutrition information unavailable.

Bojangles, the Southern-style chain known for its comforting breakfast, chicken, biscuits, and sweet tea, has more than 800 restaurants throughout the United States. For a limited time, the restaurant gives customers a fun spin on a classic hot dog with its Bird Dogs. These hot dog-style sandwiches are made with Chicken Supreme tenders and thick-cut pickles on a split-top bun and drizzled in Carolina Gold sauce. “Bojangles can sell whatever they want, and I will gladly buy it,” one Reddit commenter proclaimed while discussing the new dog. “Score!” exclaimed another.

Sonic Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger

Sonic Pulled Pork Cheeseburger with tater tots against a blue background
Inspire Brands

Nutrition information unavailable

Sonic stepped out of its comfort zone in February, branching into the world of barbecue. The fast-food chain launched a Pulled Pork BBQ Cheeseburger, along with a Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich and Pulled Pork BBQ Totchos. But back to the burger. The new item included smoked pulled pork, cherrywood smoke barbecue sauce, American cheese, and pickles, topped on a burger patty. One Business Insider reviewer praised the newcomer, writing, “It was juicy, well-seasoned, and complemented the flavors of the burger patty and tangy American cheese … I was very impressed.”



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