The fast-food sandwich is the cornerstone of quick, delicious and not entirely healthy meals all over the world. Restaurants have been slinging burgers of different shapes and sizes for decades now, and you can get them dressed up pretty much any way you want. If you want cheese or pickles or lettuce or onions, or none of the above, you can it. And that's just burgers! There's a whole world of more traditional sandwiches out there too, from subs to breakfast sandwiches to just good old-fashioned lunch-style sandwiches like you'd find at a deli. Basically, if you want to eat something that's wedged between two bready substances, sandwiches are the way to go.
With decades of history and literally dozens of restaurant chains to choose from, you could eat a different sandwich every day of your life for well over a year. You've probably already had your fair share too, and we bet you could even pick some of the more iconic ones out of a lineup. But just how many can you recognize, do you think? If you do consider yourself a fast-food sandwich expert, there's one surefire way to prove it. Take a seat and dive right into our quiz and see just how many of these famous fast-food sandwiches you can recognize.
The Big Mac has been served at McDonald's restaurants since 1968. A franchisee invented it and sold it for a whopping 45 cents back in the day in an effort to compete with the burgers available at Bob's Big Boy restaurant. Looks like they succeeded.
The Whopper is the signature burger of Burger King and is often positioned as the BK version of the Big Mac. Interestingly, the Whopper predates the Big Mac by 11 whole years, so technically, is a Big Mac the McDonald's version of the Whopper?
The Meatball Marinara has been a staple at Subway for years and is one of the few menu items that you're going to get hot no matter what, while most of the menu can only be warmed up when toasted. It's also one of the few subs that's generally complete as is—unless you want to add lettuce or mayo to it! You do you.
Wendy's Baconator was a huge success for Wendy's when they introduced it to appeal to 18- to 24-year-old burger fans. It's a half pound of beef and six slices of bacon, which makes it a bit more intense than your average bacon cheeseburger.
The McDonald's McChicken is their signature chicken sandwich and has been on the menu since 1980. It's actually been removed from the menu several times over the years to be replaced, first by Chicken McNuggets and then later by the Crispy Chicken Deluxe. Fan demand kept bringing it back, though.
The McRib is one of the strangest sandwiches on the McDonald's menu. Only available for a limited time every so often, it's a shaped patty of pork designed to look like a slab of ribs even though it has no bones in it. Poor sales removed it from the menu originally, but McDonald's managed to make it a success by making it a rarity.
Arby's has existed since 1964, and the chain has always been a sandwich shop. Originally, all they sold was plain roast-beef sandwiches and chips at a premium compared to hamburgers. Within a decade or so, they innovated to add cheese to the sandwich, because roast beef is always better with cheese.
The original McDonald's Hamburger was one of only a handful of items on the McDonald's menu when the restaurant first opened. There were two burgers on the menu—a regular hamburger and a cheeseburger—and most of the rest was actually just drinks like Orangeade and coffee.
A Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit is part of the breakfast menu and features a seasoned breaded chicken breast on a buttermilk biscuit. Not a lot to it, of course, but every company wants to cash in on the breakfast rush.
A&W has had a strange history as a restaurant chain: At one time, it was actually bigger than McDonald's, but some business problems caused the company to suffer a few setbacks over the years. These days, they're mostly known for their root beer and the classic Papa Burger.
The Jumbo Jack is essentially the Jack in the Box version of a Big Mac or a Whopper. The franchise has actually been around since 1951, almost as long as McDonald's has existed, meaning the Jumbo Jack grew up alongside the Big Mac.
Subway started up in 1965 as Pete's Super Submarines. Three years later, the first Subway-branded restaurant was opened, and today there are over 42,000 Subway locations located around the world. That's a lot of footlongs!
The Checkerburger is the burger to order when you hit up Checker's or Rally's drive-thru joints. It's a pretty standard burger overall, with lettuce, pickle, tomato and onion on a sesame-seed bun. They also serve it with mayo, ketchup and mustard. It's pretty great.
The McDonald's Quarter Pounder has long been the standard for "big" burgers out there and is simply labeled by its weight. Back in the day, A&W introduced a 1/3 pounder that was cheaper and tasted better, according to reviews, but sold poorly because a lot of people didn't understand it was actually bigger, not smaller.
Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich is a marinated chicken breast breaded and seasoned with a pepper blend that gives it a bit of a zip. Most restaurants have a spicy sandwich on the menu, but Wendy's one is one of the most popular, outside of places like Chick-fil-A that specialize in chicken.
According to legend, the Filet-O-Fish was invented as a way to draw Catholics to McDonald's on Fridays, a day when they traditionally were prohibited from eating meat like beef. The Hula Burger, a pineapple slice on a burger, was an alternative as well that proved to be far less popular than the fish.
White Castle has been around since 1921 and has proven to have some amazing staying power in the world of fast food. It is, after all, the only major restaurant chain to be the inspiration for a popular comedy franchise, with the "Harold and Kumar" movies.
Arby's Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich is a sandwich-ified version of the Swiss dish "Cordon Bleu," which is a chicken breast pounded out and wrapped around some ham and Swiss cheese before being breaded and fried.
The McDouble is a doubled-up version of McDonald's classic hamburger, with all the regular stuff on it, plus two beef patties instead of one. It's for when you just need a heck of a lot more beef than normal, but not a lot more bun.
The Whopper Jr. is a smaller version of the Burger King Whopper that was accidentally invented in Puerto Rico. When the first Burger King restaurant opened, the buns to make a proper Whopper weren't on hand, so the owner improvised with some smaller versions.
Dave's Single is more or less the signature burger over at Wendy's, as they don't really have their own version of a Big Mac or a Whopper. They used to have the "Big Classic" on the menu, but it was discontinued back in 2007 when the Baconator was introduced.
Burger King has been selling fish sandwiches since the mid-'70s. Virtually erestaurant chain has some kind of fish offering, and Burger King's Big Fish has gone through a few iterations. Back in the day, it was called the Whaler, then later, it became the Long Fish Sandwich.
Like a number of fast food burger joints, Whataburger actually traces its roots back many years. The first Whataburger was opened in 1950. Aside from its Whataburger hamburger, they sell Whatacatch fish sandwiches and Whatachick'n chicken sandwiches.
Denny's Slamburger is the unhealthy union between breakfast and dinner. It has a regular beef patty covered in crispy hash browns, two strips of bacon, Pepper Jack queso and a sunnyside up egg.
The Egg McMuffin is the gold standard of breakfast sandwiches in fast food. It was created in 1972 and has pretty much been the most popular breakfast food in fast-food history.
The Big Boy original was, according to legend, created mostly as a joke for some local band members who came into the restaurant looking for something more special than usual. The result was a two-patty burger that looks a lot like the Big Mac, only much earlier than the Mac.
Burger King's Croissan'wich comes in a few varieties, including fully loaded, and then several others defined by the meat that's on them. You can also get Double Croissan'wiches if you need more meat at breakfast than normal.
The A&W Papa Burger is the biggest burger on the A&W menu in America. In Canada, however, there's something called the Burger Family, which includes the Mama Burger, Teen Burger, Baby Burger, Uncle Burger and the Grandpa Burger, which has 3 patties.
The Burger King Crispy Chicken Sandwich is the restaurant chain's answer to the McChicken and is the latest in the line of chicken sandwiches available at the restaurant. Like most places, they've had chicken on the menu for years in either grilled or crispy form.
The Fatburger XXXL Triple King is a beastly burger with three huge meat patties. Fatburger itself is actually a very old restaurant chain dating back to the 1940s and is found in 19 different countries, so you can get a giant burger all around the world if you want.
In 2001, Carl's Jr. gave the world its "Thickburger" line of burgers that started with the 1/2lb Six Dollar Thickburger, which of course stomps all over the standard Quarter Pounder or big burger that other restaurants serve.
The Crispy Colonel Sandwich from KFC is just a big ol' hunk of crispy breaded chicken on a bun for when your regular order of KFC chicken just doesn't have enough carbohydrates to give you energy during the day. Aside from Nashville Hot and Smoky Mountain BBQ, there's also Georgia Gold, which has honey mustard and pickles.
The Five Guys Hamburger has proven to be remarkably popular. The chain is relatively young compared to some and was founded in 1986. The titular Five Guys are the sons of the original founders.
Fuddruckers Original Fudds Burger is marketed as the world's greatest hamburger. They bake their buns in-store and use fresh beef for their patties. And, of course, you can get a burger that weighs up to one pound, which is intensely beefy.
Smashburgers get their name from the fact the chain uses a ball of fresh beef to start every hamburger. They smash the burger onto the hot grill and sear it. They also use Angus chuck steak sliced thin rather than ground beef.
The Shackburger from Shake Shack is known for being a pretty tasty burger that has the standard beef patty, cheese, lettuce and tomato and also some delicious Shake Shack secret sauce. What's in the secret sauce? Well, that's a secret.
The Supersonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger is made with two quarter-pound patties and is pretty much the beefiest item on the Sonic menu. Unlike most places, Sonic uses roller skating carhops to deliver their food to you, so that's fun.
McGriddles are McDonald's other breakfast sandwich next to the Egg McMuffin. Rather than using a traditional kind of bread, a McGriddles uses small, maple-infused pancakes to give you a sweet and savory kick, if you're into that sort of thing.
The In-N-Out Double Double is a staple of the In-N-Out menu. There are two beef patties, two slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato and spread. In-N-Out is primarily a West Coast chain, and very popular, but they've been branching out to places like Texas over the years.
The Chick-fil-A Deluxe Sandwich is the fancied-up version of their regular chicken sandwich. What makes it deluxe? Well, this one has a slice of cheese, green leaf lettuce and tomato on it.