30 Nostalgic Fast Food Items from the 80s and 90s That We'll Never Forget

By Jack Ripley | February 8, 2024

McDonald’s Fried Apple Pie

If you grew up in the 1980s or 1990s, you may have fond memories of fast-food items that are no longer available. These menu items had cult followings and loyal fans who still reminisce about their favorite bites. Whether it was the McDLT, the McArch, the Taco Bell Enchirito, Pizza Hut's Triple Decker Pizza, the McLobster, Onion Nuggets, or the Burger King Dinner Baskets, these discontinued items were often ahead of their time or just plain irresistible. In this gallery, we will take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most beloved fast-food items of the past. So, sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy the nostalgia trip. Keep reading to see if your favorite fast-food item made the list.

test article image
(Serious Eats)

McDonald's decision to replace their classic fried apple pie with a baked version in most states (excluding Hawaii) during the 1990s was an attempt to cater to health-conscious customers. However, even after two decades, fans of the original fried pie are still campaigning for its return. Supporters of the fried pie argue that its crispy pastry and piping hot filling are far superior to the bland baked version. One Change.org petition urges McDonald's to embrace their identity as an indulgent fast-food chain and bring back the fried pie, stating, "McDonald's, we know you're not good for us. Step up, own what you are, and put the pies back in the fryer."

Taco Bell's Seafood Salad

test article image

During the 1980s, Taco Bell introduced a unique menu item - the Seafood Salad. Served in a large, crispy tortilla bowl, this salad consisted of a blend of shrimp, crab, and whitefish, combined with lettuce, tomato, and olives, a common topping choice for Taco Bell at the time.

While the Seafood Salad may have seemed like a promising addition to the fast-food landscape, it ultimately failed to find a foothold in the industry. One possible reason for its lack of success may be attributed to the limited appeal of fish-based fast food offerings in general. In an industry dominated by beef and chicken, the Seafood Salad may have simply been unable to compete.

Today, the Seafood Salad is little more than a memory, a forgotten menu item that sleeps with the fishes.