9 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Soups
Outback has the Bloomin' Onion. Chili's has its Southwest Egg Rolls. It's no secret that certain restaurant chain menu items receive more attention than others. But now that chilly weather is approaching, one menu category is about to become even more appealing to restaurant patrons: soup.
Some restaurant chains offer a choice of soup or salad. Others couple the two together, sometimes even promising to dole out the dishes in unlimited quantities. Regardless of how it's served, a warm bowl of soup could be the key to getting cozy on a brisk fall day.
So grab your jacket—and your appetite—because there are a variety of restaurant chains with some inviting soup options. Many of these have even been recreated by fans at home. From fast-casual hotspots to steakhouse favorites, here are nine restaurant chains where you can dunk your spoon into a hearty bowl of comfort.
This fast-casual restaurant chain has so many soup fans that it actually sells the beloved item in grocery stores in 14 different varieties. The popularity of Panera's soup extends beyond offering the item outside of its restaurants, though. In 2018, the chain became the first national brand to hit $100 million in annual sales in the refrigerated soup category.
Panera fans can choose from an array of options, some of which include broccoli cheddar, chicken noodle, and creamy tomato. With fall just days away, customers can also now get their hands on two seasonal items—the vegetarian autumn squash soup and turkey chili. Each soup comes with a choice of an apple, French baguette, or chips, and can be served in a cup, bowl, or bread bowl.
Pret a Manger
If you're looking for a quick meal on the go, another fast-casual spot with multiple soup options is U.K.-based chain Pret a Manger, which operates nearly 60 locations across the U.S. Take a look at the menu, and you'll even find some vegan and vegetarian options like Moroccan lentil and tomato and feta soup.
"[C]atch myself thinking about pret a manger's tomato soup like four times a day," one fan wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. "Pret a Manger's Moroccan soup has me by the throat," another one tweeted.
If there's one thing Olive Garden is known for, it's the never-ending soup, salad, and breadsticks. With this dine-in deal, guests can choose between four homemade soups, including zuppa toscana, minestrone, pasta e fagioli, and chicken gnocchi. One Reddit user shared, "I love Olive Garden to the point where I learned to make their soups. I make a giant batch once per week, freeze into small servings, and take it to work."
A soup review account on TikTok gave the chain's chicken gnocchi soup high praise, calling it their "favorite soup of all time by far." Another fan took to Reddit to locate a copycat recipe. This popular option consists of a creamy soup made with roasted chicken, traditional Italian dumplings, and spinach.
LongHorn may be most famous for its steaks, but the Texas-themed restaurant chain has some popular soup options, as well. The menu currently offers three types: loaded potato, shrimp and lobster chowder, and French onion.
In a Reddit thread aimed at finding the best French onion soup, one commenter wrote, "Longhorn Steakhouse might be a chain but their French Onion is the bomb. Probably the best bang for your buck." This menu item is topped with a seasoned crostini, along with Swiss and provolone cheese. It's then finished with the chain's signature parmesan and garlic cheese crust.
Like LongHorn, Outback's menu features both a French onion and baked potato soup. However, the Australian-themed steakhouse chain also throws Tasmanian Chili into the mix, though some wouldn't consider this "soup," despite its categorization.
First launched for a limited time in 2021, the Tasmanian Chili is served spicy with steak and no beans. It's then topped with cheese and green onions and can be ordered in either a bowl or cup.
"I'm not usually a fan of most restaurant chili, but this is awesome. I bought a bowl the other night, added a can of pintos, and it was great. Would love to have a copycat recipe of this if possible," one fan wrote on Reddit two years ago. The thread has continued to gain traction, with one person commenting this year, "Please, someone—figure this recipe out—it could bring about world peace!"
The Capital Grille
If you're seeking a more upscale dining experience, Capital Grille serves steakhouse favorites, including soups, in a refined atmosphere. Choose between options like New England clam chowder, caramelized French onion soup, and lobster bisque.
While you're dreaming about P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps, Dynamite Shrimp, and Crispy Honey Chicken, you might want to consider ordering one of the soup options, as well. Like the aforementioned restaurant chains, P.F. Chang's soups have garnered enough fans to spark the circulation of copycat recipes on food blogs, Reddit threads, and other social media platforms.
The chain's soup options include wonton, hot and sour, and egg drop. While not currently listed on P.F. Chang's menu, the spicy chicken noodle soup is a fan-favorite item that returned to P.F. Chang's for a limited time last November. This soup consists of a spicy broth with pad Thai noodles and vegetables.
In addition to burgers, wings, and Tex-Mex favorites, Chili's serves a few different options in the soup category. One of these, which should come as no surprise, is the chain's famous chili, which is made with beef, onions, and spices, and topped with cheese and tortilla chips. Other choices include the baked potato soup and chicken enchilada soup.
"Love this stuff if you ever stop selling it, I would stop coming to Chili's that's how much I love it," one Facebook user commented on a post featuring Chili's chicken enchilada soup. Someone else shared a similar sentiment, "Your chicken enchilada soup is by far the best soup I've ever had!!! NEVER take it off the menu."
This fast-casual, family-friendly restaurant chain is known for serving up American favorites like burgers and ribs. Venture over to the menu's side dishes, and you'll spot a few soup options, such as French onion, chicken tortilla, and tomato basil.