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Hamburger Diaries xtra: The In-N-Out Burger Secret Menu

Sunday, 9 March, 2014

So much cyberspace is dedicated to the In-N-Out Burger “secret menu” it could probably be weighed. It may be the case that this entry is not required. This is one mortal’s attempt to delineate every off-menu item available at In-N-Out Burger with explicit names. A very few of these are not known system wide. Your correspondent has emphasized the principle of keeping a menu welcoming and simple within the Hamburger Diaries. You will be forgiven if you presume opposition to a formal off-menu system.

While not imposing to first-time customers, the secret menu is an important part of In-N-Out’s mythology. Whenever In-N-Out does a “pop up” location in a distant land, such as New York, Tokyo or Shanghai one need not ask the most popular item among new customers. Every person in every land has seen enough television or movies originating in Los Angeles to become curious about Double Double animal-style.

Special note: Monkey Style, denoting a half-order of fries served within your burger, is not a recognized style. Monkey Style exists only in the imagination of a few internet obsessives. Monkey Style is trolling. The INO preparation system cannot allow for this style.


  • Plain, just the meat and cheese. Strangely, this is often presumed to be unavailable.
  • grilled onions
  • whole grilled onion, an entire slice of a onion grilled
  • Onion is not a standard topping. Order “with onion” for a slice of onion or “with chopped onion” for a smaller serving.
  • chopped chilis
  • grilled chilis are chopped then cooked into the patties
  • chilis are available in packets of two for to-go orders, on request only, and at the ketchup bar
  • In-N-Out Burgers are served with Spread, their interpretation of Big Boy sauce, but not mustard or ketchup.
  • add mustard, in lieu of Spread
  • add ketchup, in lieu of Spread
  • with pickles, which are only added on request
  • cold cheese, unmelted cheese right out of the cooler and not placed on the grill
  • “on the side” your cold toppings are served in a burger bag instead of on the sandwich
  • “cut in half”
  • “cut in four”


  • No toast
  • Well done, or Extra Toast
  • Protein wrap, as in the Adkins diet, sandwich wrapped in lettuce leaves in lieu of a bun. (The nomenclature has changed from “protein style”.)


  • Extra well, may not be system wide, dark caramelized, crunchy fries. An entire boat of those bits at the bottom.
  • Well done, darker crisper fries, more in common with McDonald’s fries
  • Light, lighter softer fries, more in common with Steak’N’Shake
  • Two-minute, just warmed and still oily, this style may have originated recently in Dallas and may not be system wide.
  • Cheese fries, topped with one melted slice of American cheese
  • Animal fries, topped with one melted slice of American cheese, Spread, and grilled chopped onion. Chopped pickles or chopped chilis are available on request. (Note: cheese fries and animal fries are dressed then streamed.)
  • Note on Style. Cheese Fries and Animal Fries should be ordered like regular menu items, with the modifier following. For example, my preference is ordered “Animal Fries, light.”

Off-Menu Items:

  • Grilled cheese, two slices of cheese in a bun, optionally with lettuce, tomato, and raw onion, “dressed grilled cheese”
  • Veggie Burger, or Wish Burger, no meat. the same price as a hamburger or cheeseburger.
  • Ordering by number: [patties] x (pronounced “by”) [cheese slices], such as 3×3 or 2×4, the most popular options. INO no longer provides sandwiches larger than 4×4. The sandwich with two patties and two slices of cheese is on the menu. It is called a Double Double. A 3×3 should never be ordered as a Triple Triple, although they would probably know what you mean, it is a “three by three”
  • Toppings are available “on the side”, served in a separate burger bag.
  • Side salad, lettuce tomatoes onion and Spread in an INO burger wrapper. This is the same thing you will receive if you order toppings on the side.
  • Double Double Animal Style, the signature sandwich of In-N-Out comparable to the Big Boy, Big Mac, and the inspiration for all grilled-onion quick-service burgers, save sliders. Two patties, two cheese slices, fully dressed with a double portion of Spread. The beef is mustard grilled with a double portion of diced onion. Optional: Whole grilled onion. Hamburgers (1×0) and Cheeseburgers (1×1) are also available Animal Style. The etymology of the phrase “animal style” is not known, but it was known throughout the much smaller company by 1968. The two predominant theories presume a connection to surfer culture. Animal may have been an individual surfer and regular customer, or this style of burger dressing was preferred by relatively unkempt surfers unkindly referred to as animals.
  • Flying Dutchman, two patties, two cheese slices, no toppings, no bun, and priced like a Double Double. This item is available Animal Style. Optional: toppings on the side


  • Medium-rare, typically burgers are prepared well done but you may specify medium-rare which in practice is closer to medium.
  • Mustard grilled, with mustard grilled into the beef. Mustard is added just before the patty is flipped.


  • Lemon-up, 7 up and lemonade (note: this is Minute Maid fountain lemonade)
  • Arnold Palmer, iced tea (from concentrate) and lemonade, will be made with Sweet Tea unless specified.
  • Root Beer Float, root beer and vanilla shake. Any fountain beverage may be ordered as a float, but only Root Beer Float has a button in the ordering system.
  • Neopolitan, strawberry, chocolate and vanilla shake
  • Black and white, chocolate and vanilla shake
  • They will provide a half-strawberry, half-vanilla shake and a half-strawberry and half-chocolate shake on request, however no nicknames are known.
  • A combo shake may also be ordered as a Swirl.
  • Shakes are available in large and extra large size.

The most extreme order I have witnessed at INO is a protein-style wish burger, essentially a salad with thousand island dressing. My most elaborate order so far is a Double Double, animal style, protein style with chopped chilis. I’ve only ordered it once because I felt silly. It’s a brilliant burger.

One Comment
  1. Elmo Smythe permalink
    Sunday, 25 May, 2014 1:36

    Moved to Dallas in February. We have an In/Out right across the tollway. Didn’t like it at first, then loved it, then decided to lose weight. I’m sure it will come back into rotation eventually. The fries are so hit or miss. Regular was bland, “well done” was too burnt in a lot of cases. Animal style double double was amazing. Still haven’t found the “best” burger in Dallas. It is absolutely not Burger Street, which is, at best, a poor version of Rally’s. it premiered in 1985 and claims to be the best. No. Boring, uninspired, bland curly fries, and overpriced.


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