The Whopper has reached the end of its reign. It’s been declining for a while, a frail mess of damp lettuce with only a faint whisper of char. It still has the throne, at least in terms of Burger King’s marketing budget—but usurpers wait in the wings, looking for an opportunity to conquer the once-mighty ruler. Now, one such usurper has made its move, and it stands a good chance of taking the throne. I’m referring to Burger King’s new Whopper Melt, which is undeniably cheesier, toastier, and more satisfying than the withered Whopper.
Earlier this year, we reported that Burger King planned to focus on “new extensions and innovations around the Whopper.” This renewed focus on BK’s flagship product came as the chain reported mixed sales. The Whopper’s flame was clearly dying, and Burger King knew it.
Enter the Whopper Melt, BK’s new play on the patty melt. (For the record, McDonald’s has a history of sellin’ melts, too.) Burger King released the new product this week, featuring specialty toasted bread and two Whopper Jr. Patties that together amount to a quarter pound of flame-grilled beef. The sandwich also features melted American cheese, caramelized onions, and BK’s signature Stacker Sauce, a spread reminiscent of Thousand Island. The Melt debuted alongside two variations: a Spicy Whopper Melt with jalapeños and a Bacon Whopper Melt.
Sounds better than a Whopper, doesn’t it? Maybe I’m biased given my general predilection toward patty melts. The rich, sweetly caramelized onions! The perfectly toasty bread! The juicy beef patties! There was only one thing left to do: try the Whopper Melt for myself.
I’d be remiss if I wrote this review without touching on my days-long quest for the Whopper Melt. The product was released on Monday, March 7, which is when I first visited my nearest Burger King for a taste. I ordered the Whopper Melt and was handed a hefty sandwich in a BK bag. But upon further inspection, I hadn’t received a Whopper Melt. I had received... a Whopper.
I slunk back to the counter, embarrassed, and explained the snafu. It then became clear that the associate wasn’t sure what I was talking about. “Melt?” they asked. “Yes, the cheese is melted.” No, no, no. We went back and forth that way for a while until they called their manager, who explained that the location had not yet received the ingredients for the Whopper Melt. I left defeated.
Two days later, I tried again, this time reaching out to a Burger King press contact to confirm that the sandwich was available in the Chicago area. They confirmed and even ordered the sandwich for me via DoorDash. The order arrived at my door an hour later—but it was, once again, a bag full of Whoppers. Finally, on the third try, my steadfast Burger King contact was able to hook me up with a bona fide Whopper Melt.
I’ll say two things. First, Burger King, you’ve got one hell of a persistent PR team. Second, readers, make sure to double-check your order when you go to try the Whopper Melt. And make sure to be kind to the in-store associates—any supply issues aren’t their fault.
By the time I got my hands on the Whopper Melt, I had no less than five Whoppers in my possession. (The Whopper Melt was inexplicably delivered with... an extra Whopper.) With that, I decided to start with a side-by-side taste test. It had been years since my last Whopper, and I was disappointed to find that the standard burger kind of sucked. The lettuce and tomato were both saturated in mayo; the bun was weak and crumbly; the patties were an unappetizing grayish brown enhanced only by the presence of artificial grill marks. I ate a few bites and moved on to the Whopper Melt—and, boy, am I glad I did.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Whopper Melt is its relatively puny size. In a press release sent to The Takeout, the brand describes the melt as a “one-handed sandwich.” I can confirm this is the case; the sandwich fit comfortably in one of my little tiny dainty lady hands, which are perfectly manicured at all times and definitely not calloused from years of hauling a fat beagle around the city of Chicago. Despite its small size, the Whopper Melt packs some heft. I hoisted it up a few times, then compared its weight to the standard Whopper. The Melt was just as meaty, if not a tad bit meatier.
The second thing you’ll notice about the Whopper Melt is its unusual bread situation. I’m used to eating patty melts on rye bread; however, BK opted for thick, circular slices that are more akin to Texas toast. The bread is undoubtedly heftier than the wimpy sesame seed bun that accompanies the standard Whopper. It’s also more toothsome, with a pleasantly toasty crunch around the crust.
The Whopper Melt had everything I was looking for. The cheesy was gooey but not overbearing. The caramelized onions paired beautifully with the Stacker Sauce. Even the meat patties seemed fresher, juicier, and meatier than their standard Whopper counterparts. And though I made short work of the melt, it left me feeling satisfied—arguably more satisfied than many a fast food burger.
This brings me to my modest proposal: Burger King, if you really want to shake things up, it’s time to commit regicide. Axe the Whopper, replace it with the Whopper Melt, and give customers the care and consideration they’ve been missing.