1. Pop Tart Ice Cream Sandwich (Carl’s Jr.)
Recreate this exactly at home by breaking a Pop Tart in half and sandwiching a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle.
3. Cheeseburger Stuffed Crust Pizza (Pizza Hut UK)
WTF? Also, want one.
4. Bacon Weave Choco-Taco (via Dude Foods)
If you want it, you’ll have to make it yourself. Fairly labor intensive, definitely worth it.
5. Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco
The original DLT was unveiled in 2012, but this year brought the Cool Ranch version. Which is better than the (already excellent) original. So, noteworthy.
6. Cinnabon Donut Holes (Taco Bell)
They might not look like much, but these donut holes are oozing with Cinnabon frosting, AKA the best part of every cinnamon roll.
7. Kentucky Chicken Rice (KFC Japan)
This Japanese take on the “Double Down” is a rice patty topped with special sauce and melted cheese, sandwiched between two fried chicken patties.
8. Chicken McRib (McDonald’s Malaysia)
TBH, the original McRib pretty much tastes like chicken anyway.
9. Dorito Bread (via Bon Appétit)
The bread itself is surprising. Even more surprising is the fact that the recipe first appeared not on a kooky food blog, but on Bon Appétit’s website (albeit with the disclaimer that it has not been vetted by the BA test kitchen).
10. The Cronut (Dominique Ansel Bakery, NYC)
Its reputation precedes it. Also, a very long line precedes anyone who would like to purchase one, even six months after its inception.
11. Jack’s Big Stack/Big Waffle Stack (Jack in the Box)
Donut sandwiches didn’t make the list because, eww, but these waffle sandwiches are an excellent extension of the “alterna-bun” trend.
12. Cheesy Bacon Pretzel Dog (Sonic)
No more having to choose a hot dog or a pretzel.
Organicares, a California based maker of “medical edibles,” debuted this chocolate hazelnut spread infused with hash oil.
14. Mexican S’mores (El Pollo Loco)
A chocolate flour tortilla (game-changing in its own right) served hot, filled with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate chips.
15. Gingerbread Twix
Gingerbread is poised to unseat Pumpkin Spice as the Official Flavor Of The Holiday Season in 2014.
16. Bacon-Cube Topped Cheeseburger (Lotteria, Japan)
Just your average beef burger, topped with massive cubes of bacon and a truffle cream sauce.
17. Blueberry Pancake Sausage (7-Eleven)
Part of a balanced breakfast.
18. Red Velvet Latte (Dunkin’ Donuts)
In retrospect, this was inevitable.
19. Milk Chocolate-Dipped Wavy Lay’s Potato Chips
The best new sweet/savory snack around.
20. Turkey and Cranberry Stuffed Donuts (Zucker Bakery, NYC)
Sweet and savory, in honor of Thanksgivukkah.
21. Pumpkin Spice Everything
From left: pumpkin spice Kahlúa, pumpkin pie M&Ms, pumpkin spice Coffee-Mate.
As cliché as pumpkin spice has become, there’s no denying that it’s popular for a reason. Brands figured this out a while ago (pumpkin spice Hershey kisses debuted way back in 2008, pumpkin spice Pringles in 2012), but this year’s crop of pumpkin spice products has been the most impressive yet.
22. 47-Layer Dip (via BuzzFeed)
The most intricate party dip of all time, in honor of Super Bowl XLVII.
24. Sweet Potato Fries with Marshmallow Sauce and Bacon (Global Gourmet Catering, San Francisco)
A bay area catering company invented a saucy fry dish so much more tempting than poutine.
25. Ninja Burger (Burger King Japan)
Black buns are old news for BK Japan, but this giant slab of bacon is a new development. H/t Food Beast.
26. Steak Mince ‘n’ Cheese Pie (McDonalds New Zealand)
“Quality NZ beef” and a “distinct square shape.”
27. Ramen Burger (available at Smorgasburg, NYC)
Keizo Shimamoto used to make ramen burgers when he was a chef in Tokyo, but this year he brought the burger — a beef patty glazed with a secret shoyu sauce, topped with scallions and arugula, then sandwiched between a bun made from Sun Noodle’s freshly cut ramen noodles — to Brooklyn, first wowing the hipsters, then wowing the world.
28. Mac Attack Burger (Rockit Burger Bar, Chicago)
Forget the ramen burger, this specialty from Rockit Burger Bar is an angus beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, scallions, and sriracha ketchup, all sandwiched into a DEEP FRIED MAC AND CHEESE “bun.”
29. Black and White Burgers (McDonalds Hong Kong)
The “Black Burger” is two beef patties, mashed potatoes (!!!), bacon, lettuce, and truffle sauce (???) on a squid ink bun. The slightly less awesome sounding “White Burger” is crispy chicken, mashed potatoes, lettuce, bacon, and pepper mushroom sauce, on a white bun sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
30. Mac & Cheese Nibblers
Fried mac and cheese nuggets: The perfect side for mediocre sliders.
CORRECTION: 2 items have been removed from this list because they debuted in a previous year. (12/12/13)