10 Fast Food Restaurants With The Best Value Menus

Cheap prices and quick service are the main reasons that people flock to fast-food restaurants. Thanks to the entire food industry increasing its prices, despite record-breaking profit margins, there's no doubt that high food costs are squeezing the wallets of consumers and forcing them to find the best deals they can. For many Americans, the value menus at fast food chains are one of the least expensive and most convenient ways to score a quick meal. There are plenty of solid deals out there whether you're looking for tacos, cheeseburgers, sandwiches, or pizza.

Even though value menus tend to fluctuate in price and offerings over time, some restaurants have kept theirs fairly consistent. In fact, some of these deals have been around for decades. If you're looking for some cheap eats that are tasty and won't break the bank, then you're in the right place. Read on to scope out 10 fast food restaurants with the best value menus.

1. Del Taco

Del Taco has nearly 600 locations across the country, with the majority of them out west in several states, including New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington. Del Taco's allure is partly thanks to the company's emphasis on freshness. The restaurant freshly shreds its cheeses, slow-cooks the beans from scratch, marinates its chicken and steak, and whips up the guacamole and pico de gallo in-house. Compared to other fast food chains, Del Taco has a higher level of freshness and you can taste the difference.

Del Taco's menu features a value section, 20 Under $2, that has a variety of good deals. Some of the items on the menu include bean and cheese burritos, crispy chicken tacos, and cinnamon churros. What's more, the deals don't stop there: On the value menu, you'll also find quesadillas made with queso blanco, and crunchy tostadas loaded with beans, cheese, lettuce, and salsa, along with three-layer nachos. Between Del Taco's fresh ingredients and reasonable prices, this value menu is definitely worth ordering from.

2. Little Caesars

When it comes to tasty food at a great value, it's honestly pretty hard to beat Little Caesars. The company was a trailblazer on the scene for its outrageously cheap prices, introducing its famous Hot-N-Ready pizzas back in 1997. Little Caesars set itself apart from competitors by making pizza available in stores without customers having to place an order, which simplified operations and cut down on wait time. Hot-N-Ready pizzas are usually available with a few different toppings including pepperoni and green peppers, with some stores also offering things like jalapeños or black olives.

For decades, Hot-N-Readys at Little Caesars were only five dollars, making it one of the best deals in the fast food industry. Only recently did Little Caesars bump up the price, but fear not — it's still a fantastic deal and still costs less than $6. For a whole pizza, that's certainly nothing to complain about. To be honest, it's pretty astonishing that Little Caesars has managed to offer such a low price for such a long time. Little Caesars, we salute your efforts to nourish the masses with pizza at such a bargain.

3. Burger King

Famous for its Whopper, Burger King is one of the best-known fast-food restaurants in the industry. It has some great deals on its menu and offers many of its items for less than five dollars. Some of these include the Rodeo Burger, Whopper Junior, and Bacon Double Cheeseburger. The Rodeo Burger stands out because it includes crispy onion rings with a touch of barbecue sauce, and currently costs less than two bucks.

The good news is that the impressive values don't stop there. Burger King also has a few wraps on the menu that are only about three dollars each. The Classic BK Royal Crispy Wrap comes with a fried chicken breast fillet, Burger King Royal sauce (which is similar to ranch), tomato, and lettuce in a warm tortilla. The other variations of Burger King's Crispy Wrap come with chicken glazed in different sauces, including honey mustard and a spicy triple pepper glaze for those who like a little heat. The sides on their menu offer good deals, too. Onion rings, fries, chicken nuggets, and mozzarella sticks all cost only a few bucks each. When it comes to cheap burgers and other snacks, Burger King definitely has some very solid deals.

4. Taco Bell

Like just about every other business in the food industry, Taco Bell's prices have risen in recent years. That said, the company still has some tasty bargains. Many of Taco Bell's menu items cost anywhere between two and three dollars apiece, including its soft or crunchy taco supremes, and spicy potato taco. Taco Bell's burritos are equally cheap, including its Beefy Crunch Burrito, Chipotle Ranch Grilled Chicken Burrito, and Chili Cheese Burrito. The company's Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito might be one of the best deals on the whole fast-food scene, only costing about a buck or so.

The company's Chicken Enchilada Burrito, made with chicken, shredded cheese, red sauce, seasoned rice, and sour cream, will only set you back a couple of dollars. The Shredded Beef Grilled Cheese Dipping Taco is another great value menu, at a little under four bucks a pop. The shredded beef in this taco is a big step up from Taco Bell's regular ground beef. Tender and juicy, it makes this a fast-food version of a birria taco. Other cheap eats include Taco Bell's nacho fries, cheesy fiesta potatoes, beans and rice, and cinnamon twists — all of which only cost about a couple of dollars. Part of what makes Taco Bell's value truly exceptional is the wide range of low prices that it offers on its menu. While many other fast food joints might only have a handful of deals, Taco Bell feels more generous in its variety of affordable options. 

5. Jimmy John's

Jimmy John's is a popular sandwich chain that sets itself apart from some of its competition by preparing some of the menu's main ingredients in-house. The company hand-slices its deli meats fresh at each location, makes its ranch dressing from scratch, chops its veggies by hand, and bakes loaves of bread in its stores to ensure ultimate freshness. Even with good-quality ingredients and attention to detail, Jimmy John's still manages to make much of its menu very accessible in terms of price.

In 2019, Jimmy John's rolled out its Little John sandwich line. These sandwiches are a little smaller but sold for a cheaper price, which makes them great for lighter meals and snacks. Originally, Little Johns were sold for only three dollars apiece, but the price seems to have increased somewhat over the years. Fear not though: Little Johns are still available for only about a couple of dollars more. Still very reasonable, especially compared to some other sandwich chains.

There are seven different Little John sandwiches available on the restaurant's menu. Some of the choices include ham, roast beef, turkey, salami, and a BLT. There's also a vegetarian sandwich that includes mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado spread, and cheese. If you're in the mood for a good sandwich and you're looking to save a few bucks, the Little John menu should fit the bill.

6. Wendy's

Wendy's has been in the fast food game for generations, having opened its first restaurant in 1969. The company cooks its food to order, grills fresh and never frozen beef, and uses seasonal produce in its salads. Wendy's has some great deals on its menu for both breakfast sandwiches and burgers. 

One of the best value items at Wendy's is the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. The company first introduced this cheeseburger back in 1989 and it's been a staple on the menu ever since. It only costs a few bucks and comes with a junior hamburger patty and melted American cheese. With its refreshing layers of crunchy lettuce, applewood smoked bacon, slices of sweet tomato, and a creamy spread of mayo, it's almost like a blend of a fast-food burger and a BLT. The chicken nuggets at Wendy's are also a good choice, and the four- or six-piece orders of them will only set you back a few dollars. Wendy's also has good deals for breakfast, with mix-and-match options for only a few bucks apiece. These breakfast items include a sausage biscuit, egg and cheese biscuit, seasoned potatoes, and a medium coffee. Between its inexpensive choices for breakfast and burgers, Wendy's is a good call when hunger strikes.

7. Culver's

Culver's sources its beef, chicken, and dairy from family farms to maximize freshness while supporting the agricultural community. The company's food has a fresher taste compared to a lot of other fast-food restaurants, and the menu is also a bit more eclectic. At Culver's, you can get everything from fried jumbo shrimp and crispy Atlantic cod to fried cheese curds and Buffalo Chicken Tenders. There are also shredded pot roast sandwiches, grilled corned beef Reubens on buttered rye, hand-breaded pork loin, and corn dogs. Of course, Culver's also offers classic cheeseburgers and its famous Fresh Frozen Custard with lots of different flavors and toppings.

Culver's sells its single patty ButterBurger for about three dollars. You can customize the burger with a variety of different toppings at no extra charge, including lettuce, onions, pickles, ketchup, mayo, and mustard. Culver's also serves chicken tenders made from ethically sourced whole meat, with an order of two costing around five dollars. They're available in original flavor or buffalo, and come with a variety of dipping sauce options like bleu cheese, buttermilk ranch, buffalo sauce, and barbecue. The higher quality of the food at Culver's makes all of these deals feel well worth it. 

8. Arby's

Whenever we're in the mood for some of the best chain-restaurant mozzarella sticks around, Arby's is one of the first places that comes to mind, and the other offerings there are no less appealing. With a menu full of interesting offerings, Arby's is known for its roast beef sandwiches that are drizzled with a cheddar cheese sauce. The company has a great deal that allows customers to mix and match two items for seven dollars, including its famous Beef and Cheddar, Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and Mozzarella Sticks. What we dig about this deal is that these three items are some of the best things on the entire menu.

Arby's also serves sliders at a great value, with each of them costing only about two dollars. Slider choices include buffalo chicken, classic fried chicken, roast beef and Swiss, or roast beef and Swiss with diced jalapenos. The company also offers limited-time deals, like an online-only deal in the fall of 2023, which lets you choose from five of its classic menu items, each for three dollars or less.

9. Jack in the Box

Ever been in the mood for tacos and burgers at the same time? If you're anything like us, the answer is definitely yes. The problem is that most fast-food restaurants only sell one or the other, forcing customers to make a choice between the two. What's awesome about Jack in the Box is that you don't have to compromise, because you can score both burgers and tacos all in the same place.

The tacos are also ridiculously cheap: Jack in the Box sells two crunchy tacos stuffed with beef, melted cheese, shredded lettuce, and taco sauce for about a dollar. Tacos for breakfast? Jack in the Box offers that too. The company's breakfast tacos come with Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, fresh scrambled eggs, taco sauce, and cheese for under two bucks apiece. If it's burgers that you're after, Jack in the Box also sells a handful of them for around three dollars, including its Junior Jumbo Jack Cheeseburger and Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. 

10. Checkers and Rally's

Checkers and Rally's sells burgers, hot dogs, wings, and more. The company is known for its filling menu items and relatively cheap prices. There are lots of options for only around two dollars, including grilled hot dogs, cheeseburgers, and a box of fried all-white meat chicken bites with seasoned fries. Another bargain is the Pick Two Mix and Match deal, usually working out at around four or five dollars. Some of the menu items available for the Pick Two include the Checkerburger, Double Checkerburger with Cheese, Spicy Chicken Double, and Chili Dog. 

The restaurant's Meal Deal is yet another way customers can get a good meal on the cheap. For around five dollars, diners can pick between a Checkerburger and a Bacon Cheddar Crisp burger — and that comes with a small order of fried chicken bites and some seasoned fries. Add on top of this the fact that there are also cheap cheesecake sundaes, chocolate chip brookies, and funnel cake fries to satisfy your sweet tooth, and it's easy to see why this is a good destination for growling bellies. For some of the best values on the fast food scene, Checkers and Rally's is absolutely worth making a pit-stop for.