25 Unappealing Fast Foods That Anthony Bourdain Didn't Dare Touch

The legacy of Anthony Bourdain continues to grow as his work continues to connect with countless viewers all over the world. Bourdain passed away in mid 2018 and many of his fans were heartbroken. Others decided to watch his shows for the first time. The popularity of the shows grew in recent months as people were stunned to realize how entertaining he was. Bourdain stood out in a television landscape of many people having similar cooking or food traveling shows. The biggest difference and positive is that Bourdain would introduce his viewers to both the food in certain areas but also the cultural significance behind it.

Fans learned a lot about places they may not have known even existed before Bourdain visited. His shows No Reservation, The Layover and Parts Unknown all delivered different forms of exposing us to new foods and cultures. Bourdain was very honest about his opinion on the foods. Some people expected him to move towards popular fast food chains for more attention, but CNN indicated he was adamant against that. The importance of the show was to showcase a real story of the food being made by the people in the place he visited rather than a blueprint of a meal.

We will look at some of the foods he would have never agreed to feature on his show. These are twenty-five fast food meals that Anthony Bourdain would never have touched.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

25 McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich – An embarrassment to Seafood

via: thedailydot.com

Seafood dishes are often featured in great international foods that showcase the cuisine element of a culture. McDonald’s, however, has zero depth to their version of seafood. Anthony Bourdain already disliked McDonald’s in general, but the Filet-O-Fish sandwich would have upset him for sure.

The sandwich is a lazy attempt of adding seafood to the menu. It features the piece of fish, a slice of cheese, tartar sauce and the buns. There are frozen foods at the grocery store that put more effort into it than this McDonald’s sandwich.

24 Taco Bell's Waffle Taco – Leave Breakfast Alone, Taco Bell!

via: amny.com

Breakfast burritos are a popular dish already, but Taco Bell tried their best to make breakfast tacos a thing. The meal would consist of items like bacon, sausage, egg and cheese inside of a waffle folded like a taco with maple syrup covering it.

If you think Anthony Bourdain would have enjoyed the Taco Bell Waffle Taco, you need to watch more of his shows. Bourdain would have been upset at a cheap imitation of a unique food. The average person even struggles to eat this sloppy item.

23 Five Guys' Bacon Cheeseburger – So Much Grease

The Bacon Cheeseburger from Five Guys does look tempting in the photo. However, it is just another bacon cheeseburger out there that is unhealthier than most of the others. The standard combination of a burger patty, bacon and cheese makes it appealing to the average eye.

Anthony Bourdain’s hate of the USA's fast food burgers would have made this bacon cheeseburger among his least favorite options out there. Five Guys has a hit or miss reputation for their products, and this is one that misses with anyone wanting to avoid heart issues among other health concerns.

22 KFC's Fried Chicken – He Had One Cheesy KFC Favorite


One of the most standard fast food items to find success is the fried chicken from the appropriately named Kentucky Fried Chicken. Anthony Bourdain’s documented dislike for fast food would have prevented him from ever enjoying the chicken.

However, Bourdain did have one favorite fast food guilty pleasure. A question and answer session with Web MD featured Bourdain revealing he was ashamed of his love for KFC’s macaroni and cheese. The iconic food personality used to enjoy eating the mac and cheese on its own without any chicken.

21 Arby's Meat Mountain Sandwich – The Name Says It All

via: cbslocal.com

The name says it all when looking at the next fast food item. This one's a meal served at Arby’s looking to appeal to the meat lovers that don’t have much interest in any other aspect of their sandwiches.

The Meat Mountain Sandwich features fried chicken, roast beef, ham and brisket all forced between two buns with a slice of cheese in there, because why not. There’s no chance Anthony Bourdain would have ever liked a sandwich made from such lazy creativity.

20 Popeye's Po Boy Sandwich – Get the Real Thing

via: animmovablefeast.blogspot.com

Popeye’s tries to deliver the beautiful food of Louisiana in a fast food method. The Po Boy Sandwich is one that attempts to make the delicious sandwich a fast food fixture. It has struggled to find the same success of Popeye’s fried chicken or tenders.

The fried shrimp served on a French baguette is a poor man’s version of the Po Boy sandwiches you’ll find in New Orleans. It is a food with culture that is represented without it in the fast food version. Popeye’s is trying but they can’t deliver a good Po Boy sandwich.

19 Checkers Baconzilla

via: burgatory.wordpress.com

Checkers tried to get attention in the fast food world with their inception of the Baconzillla sandwich. It features twice as much meat as the average burger with three times as much cheese and four times as much bacon. The idea is that more equals a better meal.

Anthony Bourdain’s Web MD interview where he revealed his dislike for US fast food burgers also featured his dislike for the gimmick of it. Fast food chains try to sell burgers with a new gimmicky twist. The Baconzilla perfectly represents that in name and nature.

18 Subway Philly Cheesesteak – Enough Calories for A Lifetime


Many people view Subway as a step above most fast food restaurants due to the healthier options offered with fresh vegetables as toppings or the main source of the meal. The Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich is one that is not good for you by any means.

It is among the unhealthiest sandwiches offered by Subway. The thing that would offend Anthony Bourdain the most is that it tastes nothing like the Philly Cheesesteaks sold in Philadelphia. A chain restaurant making a poor version of a popular local item is almost as bad as the calorie count.

17 In-N-Out Double-Double Cheeseburger – Because One Double Wasn’t Enough

via: reddit.com

In-N-Out is a beloved fast food restaurant on the West Coast of the United States known for having great burgers. One of the wilder items on the menu is the Double-Double Cheeseburger. The extra meat and cheese are meant to entice you given the larger size of the burger.

However, it is too much for many people that can’t handle such an unhealthy and overdone meal. The gimmick would have sickened Anthony Bourdain if forced to try it for the first time.

16 Jack in the Box's Brunch Burger – Not Good Enough for Breakfast or Lunch

via: youtube.com

Jack in the Box tried to create a combination of the best of both worlds with their Brunch Burger. It combines the beef patty, cheese and bacon with a fried egg on a breakfast croissant. The meal tries to get the better parts of two successful sandwiches, but it misses the mark.

Anthony Bourdain would have struggled to eat such a meal that delivered two mediocre meals together instead of one great one. The Web MD question and answer session featured him saying that burgers were among his least favorite fast foods. This gimmicky attempt at one would have led to disappointment.

15 McDonald's Apple Pie – This Dessert is Not A Treat

via: foodbusinessnews.net

The apple pie at McDonald’s has polarizing results as some people absolutely love it while others believe it is an embarrassment to desserts. A fair result would be acknowledging it’s good when baked to perfection but realizing that only happens when you’re lucky.

Anthony Bourdain’s show would feature high-end versions of every meal. The lowest end of dessert would not be welcomed as McDonald’s apple pie has nothing special about it. Store brand apple pies offer a higher quality of food.

14 Dunkin Donuts' Tuna Melt – Too Much Fish, Not Enough Donuts

via: thedailymeal.com

One recent fast food item that missed the mark was the Tuna Melt Sandwich at Dunkin Donuts. Many people love visiting Dunkin Donuts for the incredible donuts and coffee they offer for a quick breakfast bite.

However, their attempt to sell sandwiches featured a few unique ideas. The Tuna Melt would feature the tuna fish served on a buttery croissant. It was a poor seller and was removed from the menu earlier this year. Anthony Bourdain was one of the many people that would have avoided this meal when available.

13 McDonald's Quarter Pounder – Represents Everything He Disliked


The Web MD interview where Anthony Bourdain revealed he was not a fan of the US fast food burgers also indicated his biggest dislike: Gimmicky burgers were not for Bourdain. And McDonald’s is the king of creating gimmicky burgers that sell.

The Quarter Pounder stands out as one of the unhealthiest yet most popular items on the menu. Many people are tempted by the idea of having a burger weighing that much. Bourdain was one person that would have never been tempted by it.

12 Auntie Anne's Pretzels – One Item to Avoid Buying at the Mall

via: pinterest.com

Auntie Anne's Pretzels are popular for being in many US malls. There are locations elsewhere, but they make the most of their money from bored shoppers wanting a quick pretzel while walking from store to store.

The pretzels made by Auntie Anne’s feature some of the unhealthiest and greasiest fast food snacks out there. Anthony Bourdain would have purchased a pretzel from a New York street cart before he'd have given Auntie Anne’s a chance. It’s hard to blame him given the reputation of being the top generic mall food.

11 Burger King's Ultimate Breakfast Platter – Poor Man’s Version of a Poor Man’s Breakfast

via: boredbug.com

McDonald’s Big Breakfast Platter is not a great meal by any means, but it has found popularity in the fast food world. Burger King decided to try to copy McDonald’s with their version known as the Ultimate Breakfast Platter.

The Burger King breakfast dish includes scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, a biscuit and pancakes covered in maple syrup. It is almost the same exact order as the McDonald’s Big Breakfast except it tastes worse and is somehow unhealthier. Anthony Bourdain would have likely thrown this in the trash if it was given to him.

10 Taco Bell's Beef Quesarito - Unique in the Wrong Way

via: tacobell.com

Taco Bell tried to do something special with the creation of the quesarito. It features a quesadilla and burrito essentially merged together for a huge meal. The idea is good in theory, but Taco Bell just gives us a cheaper imitation of Mexican food with unhealthier results.

It has already been established that Anthony Bourdain disliked fast food gimmicks. Taco Bell swung for the fences with this concept of a meal. In fairness, many people do love the quesarito, but Bourdain would not have been one of them.

9 Chipotle Chips and Queso – Chipotle’s First Major Failure

via: businessinsider.com

Chipotle has become one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the United States over the past decades. Customers love their burritos, burrito bowls, tacos and quesadillas. The addition of queso to the menu when served with chips has resulted in failure.

People that love Chipotle instantly ripped the queso for tasting anything but queso with a dry and flavorless taste. There are many great Mexican dishes out there using nachos and queso. Anthony Bourdain is one of many people that would have refused to eat this poor version of it.

8 Arby's Fish Sandwich – Something is Fishy Here

via: fastfoodgeek.com

The next item on the list is a meal that’s only available occasionally as a limited-edition item. Arby’s only offers their Crispy Fish Sandwich for a short time whenever it is on the menu. Many people do like it and want to get the fish sandwich when they can.

However, the seafood option is still an extremely unhealthy meal that is a bit lazy. There’s nothing but tartar sauce and lettuce with the fish. Cheap, lazy and unhealthy usually means a pass to any foodie like Anthony Bourdain.

7 McDonald's McRib – Definition of a Fad

via: mashed.com

Another limited edition item in the fast food world is McDonald's McRib. The legacy of the McRib is that you only have a limited time to order it. McDonald’s would never keep it in stores full-time as it would lose the luster of being a rare item that influences people to try it.

Anthony Bourdain’s established dislike of gimmicks and fads would have made him resent the McRib. The sandwich itself is also unimpressive as it is with the pork patty covered in barbecue sauce with pickles and onions.

6 Burger King Double Whopper – Double the Fail

via: flickr.com

Burger King has a reputation for being a distant second to McDonald’s, and Anthony Bourdain couldn't stand McDonald’s. You can do the math. Burger King does find great success with the greasy and unhealthy Whopper burger.

It naturally made sense the fast food chain would create the Double Whopper to try to get more customers on board. Bourdain is one of the many people that would look down on the quality of the Double Whopper. The item is popular, but it ranks extremely poorly compared to higher quality burgers out there.

5 Whataburger’s A1 Thick & Hearty Burger – A1 in Unhealthy Burgers

via: thedailymeal.com

Whataburger has a lot of wild burgers on their menu as they try to rise in the rankings of burger chains. The A1 Thick and Hearty Burger ranks as the unhealthiest menu on the item for good reason. It features the standard beef patty, cheese, bacon and the addition of a lot of A1 steak sauce.

Anthony Bourdain might have enjoyed A1 sauce with a great steak, but the Whataburger beef patty is not that. It is another weak burger gimmick that is even unhealthier than most of the others on the list.

4 Papa John's Spicy Italian Pizza – Proves Bad Pizza Can Be Truly Bad

via: papajohns.com

Some people like to say there’s no such thing as bad pizza. The logic is understandable as even the bad pizza is serviceable. That is until you try Papa John’s for the first time. Papa John’s has a reputation for delivering the worst fast food pizza out there.

The Spicy Italian Pizza is one of their specialties, but there’s nothing special about it. Online reviews on sites like Yelp and Google feature customers complaining about the Papa John’s pepperoni and Italian sausage in addition to the awful pizza. Anthony Bourdain would have walked away from you if you ever suggested he eat Papa John’s.

3 Wendy's Baconator – Gimmick of All Gimmicks

via: thedailydot.com

The established dislike for gimmicky fast food meals by Anthony Bourdain likely made the Baconator from Wendy’s one of his least favorite in the world. Wendy’s decided to cash in on the popularity of bacon by selling a burger with a half-pound of beef along with 6 slices of bacon and the fixings.

It is one of the unhealthiest foods in the fast food world and relies on the gimmick name to bring in customers. Bourdain clearly disliked everything the Baconator represents and may have quit if forced to eat it on his shows.

2 Taco Bell's Frito Burrito – When Thinking Outside of the Box Goes Wrong

via: thetakeout.com

Taco Bell is known for going as far as needed to come up with unique ideas. This is clearly shown with the inception of the Frito Burrito. It features a huge burrito stuffed with spicy beef, nacho cheese sauce and rice. Nothing too crazy, right? Wrong. There are also Frito chips in there.

The idea of adding chips into a burrito seems ridiculous and it tastes as such unless you’re among the biggest fan of Fritos. Anthony Bourdain never spoke on this, but anyone that researches his likes and dislikes could guess that he would never have wanted to eat a burrito with Frito chips inside.

1 McDonald's McNuggets – His Least Favorite Fast Food by Far

via: sunsentinel.com

Anthony Bourdain luckily informed the world of his least favorite fast food while he was still here to let us the top choice of the list. The Wed MD interview featured Bourdain stating the following:

“I avoid American fast food whenever I can. I never eat chicken McNuggets.”

The McNuggets are among the most popular fast foods of McDonald’s customers. However, the ingredients and health concerns have turned many away. There are also those with taste buds that view the McNuggets as the lowest form of fast food as Bourdain did.

References: Cheat Sheet, Eat This

More in Food