While mozzarella sticks might seem like a modern creation, the concept dates back to the late 14th century, says USDairy.com. A version of breaded and fried cheese appeared in a medieval French cookbook from the year 1393. It was not until the 1970s, however, that the now common American-style mozzarella stick, deep-fried and served with warm marinara sauce, gained widespread appeal.
You probably expect to find this cheezy appetizer at casual chains like Applebee's or TGI Fridays, but there are a number of fast-food chains that offer mozzarella sticks. Offering them is one thing though, a good mozzarella stick requires more than just a quick dip in the deep fryer. As Chef Jimmy Warren, one of the brains behind Big Mozz, told Food52.com, it all starts with "a good cheese [with] a lower moisture content."
Next, Warren says the sticks of cheese need to be handled while chilled, even frozen cheese can be used, which works well for fast-food kitchens. As for the breading and seasoning, simple mixes of herbs and spices that are heavy on salt work well. And finally, mozzarella sticks need to be served up quickly after they are fried, which also works perfectly with the fast-food model.
On that note, here are seven spots where you can great a great fast-food mozzarella stick on the go.
Sonic Drive-In has one of the more eclectic fast-food menus in America, offering everything from Chili Cheese Tots to a Footlong Quarter Pound Coney hot dog to, of course, Mozzarella Sticks, which the chain offers with sauces ranging from BBQ to Ranch to Signature Sauce and more. Oh, and marinara sauce, of course. Of this Drive-In chain's mozzarella sticks, one Redditor raved: "I think I'm addicted to sonic mozzarella sticks. They have so much flavor!" And others agree.
While it's probably best not to think about the approximate 110 calories, six grams of fat, and 352 milligrams of sodium per mozzarella stick from Arby's, the flavor will stay on your mind long after your meal is finished. When one Reddit user posed the question "What fast food has the best mozzarella sticks?" Arby's came up again and again, with many echoing the sentiments of a respondent who stated: "Arby's are hands down the best."
The secret to the rich flavor of Checkers' Fry-Seasoned Monsterella Stix is… well, it's no secret at all, actually, as it's right there in the name: the sticks of cheese are coated in the same seasoned breading the chain uses for its famed fries. These breaded, seasoned tubes of mozzarella are then deep-fried to golden brown goodness and served with marinara sauce on the side.
Not only are Burger King's mozzarella sticks actually pretty tasty, but they're very affordable, too, with a four-piece order priced at just $1.79 at last check. While few people rave about them, many on Reddit were pleasantly surprised that Burger King's mozzarella sticks "really aren't bad." What people do find off-putting, however, is that the restaurant serves them with chilled packets of marinara sauce.
Maybe Harold and Kumar went to White Castle primarily for the sliders, but if you order a side of mozzarella sticks served with a "zesty marinara dipping sauce" on the side, you'll be glad you did. The mozzarella sticks from White Castle are held in high regard by many in the online community, with many people on Twitter even preferring them over classic French fries. One Tweet responding to a question over which was preferred, the fries or the sticks, read: "Cheese sticks. How is this even a question?"
A hybrid between a convenience store and fast-food joint, Sheetz has 677 locations spread across just six states, per ScrapeHero. If you're in Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia, it's hard to miss this place; outside those states, it can't be found. If you do find a Sheetz, by all means, try the chain's mozzarella stick, which can be served with any of 16 sauces and are, per Reddit, really quite good.
Beyond the pizza, the menu items from Pizza Hut that get the most attention are the wings, desserts, and cheese sticks, with the last one being bread sticks topped with melted cheese, not mozzarella cheese sticks. But Pizza Hut does indeed offer traditional mozzarella sticks, meaning battered and fried cheese tubes. And while no one seems to rate them as the best ever made, we found plenty of favorable reviews. As for the Mozzarella Poppers pizza the chain introduced in 2020 wherein the crust was loaded with little mozzarella sticks, that was a bit much.