10 Beloved McDonald’s Menu Items That Have Soared in Price Over the Last Decade

Some of the most popular menu items at the Golden Arches have more than doubled in price.

Contemporary McDonald's Restaurant Exterior
Updated July 18, 2024
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McDonald’s fans are not exactly lovin’ the price increases on top menu items in recent years. In fact, prices have doubled on many menu favorites — like the McChicken and the Quarter Pounder meal — over the past decade.

To gauge just how much prices have increased, FinanceBuzz analyzed pricing data from a dozen fast-food chains between 2014-2024. We found that McDonald’s had the steepest increases, raising prices more than competitors Burger King, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s.

Below, we rounded up the 10 menu items that have seen the largest price increases to help you stretch your fast food budget.

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Medium drink

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonalds-Medium drink

Even McDonald’s drinks are no longer the bargain they once were. The medium fountain drink you could nab in 2014 for just $1.29 is now $1.61, according to FinanceBuzz’s 10-year analysis.

While the 25% price hike may not seem catastrophic (especially when you see how much other popular menu items have ballooned), these prices really add up if you’re trying to grab a quick, cheap meal for the whole family.

Big Mac sandwich

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonalds-Big Mac sandwich

The Big Mac is probably the most famed McDonald’s menu item, with two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onion on a sesame seed bun.

Sadly, the restaurant’s claim to fame has seen a major price increase alongside other hot menu items. In 2014, the average price for the sandwich was just $3.99. Today, it’s $2 more at $5.99 — a 50% increase.

Filet-O-Fish sandwich

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonalds-Filet-O-Fish sandwich

The Filet-O-Fish is often the go-to Mickey D’s menu item for those who don’t eat meat or simply love fried seafood. 

The fan favorite was just $3.49 back in 2014, but these days, the crispy delight of a sandwich averages about $5.49, a $2 increase translating to a 57% price hike.

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4-piece McNugget Happy Meal

Courtesy of McDonald's Mc Donalds McNugget Happy Meal

Happy Meals are not immune to the woes of price inflation either. A decade ago, the 4-piece McNugget kids meal was a bargain at just $2.99.

In today’s world, it’s not a bad deal — averaging $4.99 for the nuggets, fries, apple slices, a drink, and a toy — but this is still an increase of 67% over 10 years.

10-piece McNugget meal

Courtesy of McDonald's Mc Donalds McNugget Happy Meal

It’s not just the kids menu that’s been affected. The price tag for the 10-piece McNugget meal deal is up $5 from the average a decade ago.

In 2014, the meal, which included nuggets, fries, and a drink, cost just $5.99. Today, it’s $10.99, an 83% increase.

Oreo McFlurry

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonalds-Oreo McFlurry

Back in 2014, the popular Oreo McFlurry was one of the cheapest and most filling fast-food desserts at just $2.39 a pop. These days, its price is on par with what you would expect to pay for a milkshake at a diner or ice cream shop (perhaps even more).

The 2024 average price is $4.49, an 88% increase from a decade ago.

Quarter Pounder with cheese meal

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonalds-Quarter Pounder with cheese meal

McDonald’s may be known for its meal deals, but these have ballooned in price as well. The Quarter Pounder with cheese meal had the biggest price hike of all the top meal choices.

The price of the much-loved meal — which includes a sandwich, fries, and drink — more than doubled between 2014 and 2024, increasing a whopping 122%.

What was once a steal at $5.39 for the meal now goes for an average of $11.99, an increase of more than $6.

Medium fries

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonalds-Medium fries

Medium fries, a staple for many McDonald’s lovers, aren’t quite the bargain they once were.

You could buy an average-size order of fries for $1.59 back in 2014. These days, a 138% increase has put the average price at $3.79.

McDouble sandwich

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonalds-McDouble sandwich

The McDouble, a much-adored take on the classic Mickey D’s cheeseburger that includes two patties, has more than McDoubled in price over the past decade.

The price jumped from $1.19 in 2014 to $3.19 in 2024 — a $2 increase that equates to an incredible 168% spike in pricing.

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McChicken sandwich

Courtesy of McDonald's McDonalds-McChicken sandwich

Taking the No. 1 spot is a much-loved McDonald’s staple, the McChicken. The juicy chicken sandwich was once a favorite on the McDonald’s Dollar Menu, but it won’t qualify for the “dollar menu” anymore.

These days, the average price for a McChicken is $2.99, a whopping 199% increase since 2014 when it boasted the $1 price tag.

While it is, sadly, no longer a dollar, the McChicken is still included on the restaurant's upgraded (or downgraded, depending on how you look at it) “$1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu.”

Bottom line

IB Photography/Adobe McDonald's restaurant sign

Dreams of the return of the Dollar Menu may go unrealized. McDonald’s reported gains in the fourth quarter of 2023 were partially attributed to the price hikes (as well as marketing campaigns).

Yet there are still many ways to save money eating out. Downloading the restaurant’s app, using points and freebies, and keeping track of new bargain meal deals can help keep costs down—even with inflation.


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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.