The 1921 Slider brings White Castle’s menu full circle to the hamburger that started it all

For the first time in several years, White Castle is rolling out a new, permanent menu item — a slider inspired by the very first hamburger White Castle made when it opened its doors in 1921.

Called The 1921 Slider, the new burger marks 101 years of slider innovations.

“The 1921 Slider brings our menu full circle to the hamburger that started it all,” said Lynn Blashford, chief marketing officer for White Castle. “It’s been so popular in our limited release that we can’t wait for Cravers in all of our restaurant markets to enjoy this fresh take on our 101-year-old slider recipe.”

The 1921 Slider is a thick, 100% beef patty, seared and seasoned to perfection, then topped with cheddar cheese, grilled caramelized onions, a slice of Roma tomato, lettuce and pickles. Inspired by White Castle’s first slider, it promises to bring Cravers back in time to the hamburger that launched an industry!

White Castle tested The 1921 Slider in Cincinnati last spring, using customer feedback to guide the eventual build of the slider. The response to The 1921 Slider was so positive that White Castle began introducing it in a few other markets, including St. Louis, Nashville and Louisville. As of yesterday, White Castle is making the tasty slider available at White Castle restaurants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Arizona, New Jersey and Florida. Restaurants in New York will begin offering The 1921 Slider in June.

In 1921, White Castle founder Billy Ingram had the idea of making a hamburger by pressing a beef meatball into a flat, circular patty, and later even invented an industrial spatula to more easily press the meatball on the grill. That’s how the iconic White Castle slider came to be.

The family-owned White Castle, well-known as the country’s first fast-food hamburger chain, continued to innovate throughout the years, making changes that positioned White Castle as a pioneering leader and its slider as one of America’s favorite sandwiches.

“My great-grandfather came up with many brilliant ideas as he launched White Castle in 1921 and in the decades to follow,” said Lisa Ingram, the CEO of White Castle and a fourth-generation Ingram family member. “Thanks to him, innovation has been part of our DNA from the very beginning, and he would be so pleased to see that our team members’ drive to innovate is as strong as ever.”

White Castle’s slider innovations over the past 101 years include:

1921    White Castle opened and served the very first hamburger “slider.”
1927    White Castle invented the concept of carryout and promoted it with the tagline, “Selling ’em by the Sack.” 
1931    White Castle began selling sliders in individual carton packaging.
1935    White Castle opened its first bakery to produce buns for its sliders (White Castle bakeries still produce slider buns today).
1954    White Castle added five holes to the slider patty to increase cooking speed. 
1954    White Castle formed slider patties into squares to maximize griddle space.
1961    White Castle sold its 1 billionth slider.
1962    White Castle introduced cheese sliders as a standard menu item.
1987    White Castle launched its retail food division, making regular and cheese sliders available in the freezer aisles of U.S. grocery stores.
1990    White Castle created its popular Thanksgiving stuffing recipe featuring 10 Original Sliders.
1997    White Castle introduced jalapeño cheese sliders for those craving a spicy slider.
2001    White Castle added the Crave Case, which holds 30 sliders, as a packaging option.
2015    White Castle introduced a veggie slider for plant-based eaters.
2018    White Castle debuted the Impossible Slider, becoming the first quick-service restaurant to introduce an Impossible burger.
2022    White Castle added The 1921 Slider in all of its markets.

“We’re excited to give our customers this additional menu option that harkens back to our beginning,” Blashford said. “Although we’ve made a lot of updates over 10 decades, the all-new 1921 Slider comes as close as ever to that very first slider with a few new twists.”

White Castle also introduces a new soft drink option from Coca-Cola

The 1921 Slider is just one new item on the menu. Yesterday, White Castle also began offering a new drink option — Coca-Cola Crème Soda — to complement the new 1921 Slider. Consumers can get the crème soda at White Castle before anywhere else. White Castle has been serving Coca-Cola since it first opened 101 years ago, when soft drinks, sliders, coffee, and apple pie were the only items on the menu.