Lets’s be clear, ‘Secret Menus’ in NYC have nothing to do with the huge range of innovative, creative and totally delightful cafes and restaurants that are everywhere in NYC. No secret menus are associated only with large chains in NYC such as Starbucks, McDonalds, Chipotle, Dairy Queen, Chick Fil A and many more.
No this is all about people who have got used to what chains have on their menus and initially decide to mix things up a bit, try adding together things normally in different menu items or resurrect items that have been discontinued but which they like. A secret menu is less boring, loaded whith heaps of whatever people really like, (one McDonalds secret menu item has 10 cheese burgers one on top of the other) or trying to get either a unique flavor or a healthier option. Though honestly, a lot of the those secret menu items look anything but healthy.
Of course there is great street cred in knowing about who has the secret menus and being the one who knowingly asks for a Butterbeer Frappucino at Starbucks. Starbucks has indeed raised the whole secret menu deal to a high art and have used the whole thing to increase sales and who can blame them. Of course in order to do this everyone has to know what is on the secret menu even though items are by definition not on the regular menu. So various websites oblige. See here Starbucks Secret menu and here Comprehensive Secret Menu List
So check the websites out, roll along to your favorite chain, order away and make you own decision about whether you like these off menu items or not. And there’s always the satisfaction