Food & Drink

2014 in fast food, from Quesaritos to pretzel pizzas

Taco Bell
Lee Breslouer

2014 was a prosperous year if you were in the business of speculating about new Star Wars movies, or, alternatively, if you were a fan of fast-food restaurants coming out with crazy new stuff. Pizza Hut totally rebranded, Taco Bell got even wackier, and Burger King merged with Tim Hortons and started selling Buffalo sauce donuts. Yeah, 2014 kinda rocked. Here are the year's best fast-food stories.

Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut did a complete menu overhaul

Pizza Hut decided to go the route of Domino's this year and added a ton of new menu items, including different types of crust (pretzel or toasted Parm, anyone?), sauce drizzles like Buffalo and Sriracha, and some pretty out-there flavors like curry.

Starbucks' holiday menus captivated millions

Everyone knows about Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte -- or PSL, as it's known to people who are so deep in withdrawal that they can't utter its full name. But they also introduced a new winter drink, the Chestnut Praline Latte, and brought back the Eggnog Latte due to an outpouring of rage on Twitter following its discontinuation. They also made a beer-flavored coffee with the Dark Barrel Latte.

Liz Childers

Taco Bell launched a Sriracha menu (and 1,000 other things)

From Crunchwrap Sliders to XXL Nachos to their new breakfast menu (including both biscuit and waffle tacos) to more Doritos Locos Tacos to Rolled Tacos, Taco Bell had a big year. What will their in-house wizards magic into tacos next year? Stay tuned to find out. (It might be Fritos!)

Burger King became kinda Canadian

Burger King's merger with Canadian hospitality chain Tim Hortons produced some oddballs, like their Burger Poutine and the Buffalo Crunch Donut (which has Buffalo sauce on it, DUH).


Fried chicken rose from the dead

Two superb menu items -- Burger King's Chicken Fries and KFC's Double Down -- got resurrected this year, thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of people who spend a lot of time yelling things on Twitter. Thanks, hangry folks!

Dunkin' Donuts tried to get in on the Cronut game

After its success in Korea in replicating the highly coveted Cronut formula, Dunkin' Donuts brought its new game-changer to the US... and it actually got pretty good reviews!

Papa John's tried to take itself higher

The Frito Chili Pizza was a stroke of genius in catering to a -- AHEM -- certain demographic, and somewhat leveled the playing field with Pizza Hut.

Meat Mountain
<br /> Andy Kryza

Arby's got a Meat Mountain

Every meat on the menu. One bun. We tried it. Then we went to sleep.


Wendy's decided to go low-and-slow

Wendy's new BBQ menu inspired with a whole bunch of pulled pork sandwiches, pulled pork BURGERS, and their crown jewel: the beautiful pulled pork cheese fries. We made a Texan eat them, just for fun...

Andy Kryza

Little Caesars tied the knot with pretzels

Nobody seemed to want to make a normal-crusted pizza this year, as Little Caesars was the first of the bunch to experiment with a pretzel-crusted pizza, which has cheddar cheese as a sauce base. Unsurprisingly, it goes great with beer.

White Castle turned even more things into sliders

White Castle is more than just burger sliders now -- the chain released a slew of Italian-inspired Parmesan sliders in addition to some Sriracha-sauced ones. Way to class it up, Whitey.

Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and was fortunate enough to have taste-tested a fair share of this stuff. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.