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This Is America's Favorite Fast-Food Milkshake, New Data Shows

Is your favorite on the list?

Like burgers and fries, milkshakes have become ubiquitous in fast-food chains across America. In fact, 11.6% of restaurant chains offer shakes on their menu, according to Technomic, a food industry-focused research and consulting firm.

While countless people love indulging in the sweet, frosty treat, one question remains: where is the best place to get one?

Although everyone has different preferences, it's clear that some milkshakes are more sought-after than others. Here are America's favorite fast-food milkshakes according to Technomic's 2021 consumer survey.

For more fast-food news, check out 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.

In-N-Out Burger

in-n-out milkshakes
In-N-Out Burger / Facebook

While this California-based burger chain only offers three milkshake flavors, the "less is more" mentality has clearly paid off. Sticking with the classics—chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry—In-N-Out-Burger scores high for its simplicity. Plus, customers can add a twist to their milkshake by ordering a Neapolitan—a fan-favorite on In-N-Out's secret menu. The "three-flavored shake" received notable praise by survey respondents, as reported by Restaurant Business.


sonic milkshake with nerds
Sonic Drive-In / Facebook

Variety is key for this fast-food chain. At Sonic, customers have the option to choose from six classic milkshake flavors, such as chocolate or fresh banana. Or, they can take things up a notch by ordering a master shake or blast, which are jam-packed with add-ins like M&M's, Oreos, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Survey participants gave special shoutouts to the shakes with Butterfingers and Nerds candy, according to Restaurant Business.

Five Guys

five guys milkshake
Five Guys / Facebook

All of Five Guys' milkshakes start with a base of vanilla ice cream, but customers can load up their mix-ins to their hearts' content. Despite Oreo and salted caramel being the only shakes mentioned in the survey responses, Five Guys allows customers to order as many mix-ins as they desire, with the base price always staying the same. Some options include strawberries, malted milk, peanut butter, and crispy applewood-smoked bacon.

Shake Shack

shake shack brownie batter hot cocoa shake
Shake Shack / Facebook

One of the most popular destinations for a shake is a chain named after the beloved item. While Shake Shack's chocolate, cookies and cream, and brownie batter hot cocoa shakes were highlighted in the survey's responses, the Black & White Shake reigns supreme, according to a social media vote. In addition to selling six hand-spun milkshake flavors, Shake Shack offers "concretes," which are thicker-than-milkshake frozen custard desserts sold at select locations.

Steak 'n Shake

steak n shake milkshakes
Steak 'n Shake / Facebook

Despite the negative chatter surrounding Steak 'n Shake for its long wait times, declining food quality, and ongoing financial trouble, the milkshakes appear to be the burger brand's saving grace. The 88-year-old chain was voted as having the best milkshakes in the industry. It boasts 16 milkshake flavors—from classics like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, to more elaborate options like cotton candy, peppermint chocolate chip, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna