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The 20 Best & Worst Menu Items at Sonic, According to Dietitians

From cheeseburgers to milkshakes and sides, here are the best and worst options for your health at Sonic.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

Eating at Sonic is just as much about the experience as it is about the food. With walk-up service (or skate-up service in some locations), car hops bring your burgers, chicken, hot dogs, drinks, or sweet treats straight to your window. With the wide range of fast-food options that Sonic offers, you may be a little confused about what you should order, especially if you're trying to stick to your health goals.

Quick-service foods are notoriously high in calories, saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium while being low in essential vitamins and minerals. It can feel impossible to find a Sonic menu item that's satisfying but won't derail your diet goals, and at the same time, some of the foods that look healthy are actually loaded with undesirable nutrients.

We spoke with dietitians to find the best and worst options on the Sonic menu in all of their most popular categories. Whether you're craving a burger, crispy chicken, a coney, or a sweet treat, this list has your cravings covered!


Best: Sonic Cheeseburger

sonic cheeseburger
Per plain burger: 720 calories, 35 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 1,380 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (2 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 31 g protein

The Sonic Cheeseburger goes beyond the plain burger for significantly more satisfaction (you get lettuce, pickles, tomato, onion, and mayonnaise) with only a little extra sodium, fat, and calories. It's the perfect combination of satisfying and healthy for a fast food burger.

 20 Healthy Fast-Food Orders, According to Dietitians

Best: Quarter Pound Double Cheeseburger

sonic Quarter Pound Double Cheeseburger
Per burger: 550 calories, 34 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 1,250 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (2 g fiber,6 g sugar), 26 g protein

Health probably isn't top of mind when ordering a fast food burger, but you can be completely satisfied without eating an entire day's worth of calories, fat, and sodium. "The Sonic Quarter Pound Double Cheeseburger will save you on about half the calories and saturated fat [when compared to several other Sonic burger options]", says Sheri Berger, RDN, CDCES, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for Health Insiders. This incredibly beefy and satisfying burger has just 550 calories but still comes in at over 50% of the saturated fat and sodium you should have in a day, so it should still only be eaten on occasion.

Worst: Garlic Butter Bacon Cheeseburger

Sonic Garlic Butter Bacon Cheeseburger
Per burger: 920 calories, 60 g fat (17 g saturated fat), 2,060 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (1 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 38 g protein

Adding butter and bacon to a cheeseburger is anything but nutritious. Sure, this burger will likely keep you full for several hours, but it comes with a surplus of calories and plenty of nutrients that are anything but healthy. With 17 total grams of fat and over 2,000 milligrams of sodium in each burger, you're almost at your daily limit after this one meal. And that's before adding a side of fries.

Worst: SuperSONIC Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Supersonic bacon double cheeseburger
Per burger: 1,130 calories, 75 g fat (22 g saturated fat), 2,000 mg sodium, 54 g carbs (2 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 57 g protein

"I would recommend avoiding the SuperSONIC Bacon Double Cheeseburgers as they have over 1,000 calories and over 20 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat," says Berger. This massive burger has 110% of the recommended daily limit for saturated fat and 87% DV for sodium.

 The #1 Unhealthiest Burger at Every Major Fast-Food Chain


Worst: Dragon Fruit Recharger

Sonic Dragon fruit recharger
Per medium drink: 220 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 59 g carbs (0 g fiber, 59 g sugar), 1 g protein

One of the worst drinks is the Dragon Fruit Recharger, which combines Sprite, dragon fruit syrup, and a Red Bull, says Amy Beney, MS RD CDCES. The smallest size you can get is a medium, which has 220 calories, 59 grams of sugar, and caffeine in an unknown amount.

The recommended limit for added sugars is 10% of your daily calories, or 50 grams per day, on a 2,000-calorie diet. Just one medium Dragon Fruit Recharger has 118% DV of added sugars.

Worst: RT44® Sized Cranberry Limeade

Sonic RT44® sized cranberry limeade
Per 44-ounce drink: 524 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 131 g carbs (0 g fiber, 127 g sugar), 0 g protein

While lemon and limeades come in sizes that range from mini to Route 44 (44 ounces), you'll want to skip that extra large size. One RT44® sized Cranberry Limeade has 127 grams of sugar. "This equates to almost 32 teaspoons, which is well over the American Heart Association's daily added sugar recommendation of no more than 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men," says Catherine Karnatz, MPH, RD, dietitian and owner of Nutrition Education RD. "Over time, eating excess sugar may increase your risk for developing chronic illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes," Karnatz adds. She recommends choosing the 10-ounce mini cup to enjoy a sweet drink with a much lower amount of added sugar.

Chicken and Hot Dogs

Best: Crispy Chicken Sandwich

sonic Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Per sandwich: 520 calories, 24 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 1,470 mg sodium, 52 g carbs (4 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 24 g protein

"Their crispy chicken sandwich is a good option with 520 calories, an impressive 24 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber, says Jamie Nadeau, RD. Topped with mayo, pickles, and lettuce on a brioche bun, it still only has 23% DV for saturated fat.

Best: Chicken Tenders

Sonic Crispy Chicken Tenders
Per 5-piece tenders: 530 calories, 27 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1,490 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (3 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 36 g protein

"The five-piece chicken tenders have a great balance of the three major macronutrients: 36 grams of protein, 37 grams of carbohydrate, and 27 grams of fat," says Erica Baty MS, RDN. "Protein is the most satiating nutrient, and the 30+ grams in these chicken tenders can help tide you over until your next meal," Baty adds.

 8 Best & Worst Fast-Food Chicken Tenders, According to Dietitians

Worst: Footlong Quarter-Pound Coney

Footlong quarter-pound coney
Per serving: 770 calories, 48 g fat (18 g saturated fat), 2,160 mg sodium, 54 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 31 g protein

"The Footlong Quarter Pound Coney at Sonic contains almost 800 calories, 19 grams of saturated fat, and 2,160 milligrams of sodium, which is about a day's worth of sodium," says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT of One Pot Wellness.  That's to be expected when you douse a footlong hot dog in chili and cheddar cheese. "High sodium and trans fat content can contribute to health issues such as heart disease and high blood pressure," adds Chun.

Worst: Chili Cheese Coney

Sonic Chili cheese coney
Per serving: 470 calories, 29 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 1,260 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 18 g protein

While the Chili Cheese Coney is a better choice than the footlong, it's still one of the worst options. For 60% of the DV for saturated fat and 52% DV of sodium, you only get 18 grams of protein from the hot dog and chili, which may not leave you as satisfied.


Best: Jr. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Burrito

Sonic Jr. sausage, egg and cheese breakfast burrito
Per serving: 270 calories, 14 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 870 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 13 g protein

"The best breakfast food is the Jr. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Burrito as it has the least amount of total fat, saturated fat, and sodium compared to the other breakfast menu options," says Laurie Thenedy, RD, owner of Nutrition Renewed. With eggs, cheese, and bacon wrapped into a tortilla, you get 13 grams of protein, just 30% DV of saturated fat, and 38% DV of sodium. Keep in mind that one burrito is only 270 calories, so you may need something else to fill up for a full breakfast.

Best: Jr. Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Burrito

Sonic Jr. sausage, egg and cheese breakfast burrito
Per serving: 280 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 830 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 12 g protein

"With just 280 calories, 22 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of protein, this burrito gives you a slice of Sonic without a ton of calories and carbs," says Bess Berger, RDN, CDN. It's lower in fat and sodium compared to the original sausage breakfast burrito but is also a little smaller in size and calories. "This burrito allows you to go out, get your fill of Sonic, and not throw you off track," Berger adds.


Per serving: 580 calories, 36 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 1,960 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 23 g protein

You might think that a basic egg, sausage patty, and slice of cheese on toast would be a healthier option, but that's not the case with this Sonic menu item. Each sausage sandwich has 65% of the daily limit for saturated fat and 85% of the DV for sodium.

Worst: Ultimate Meat & Cheese Breakfast Burrito

sonic Ultimate Meat & Cheese Breakfast Burrito
Per serving: 820 calories, 56 g fat (18 g saturated fat), 2,190 mg sodium, 47 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 29 g protein

What do you get when you load a tortilla up with bacon, sausage, cheese sauce, eggs, and tots? A whole lot of fat and sodium. With 2,190 milligrams or 95% DV of sodium, the Ultimate Meat and Cheese Breakfast Burrito would be a day's worth of sodium, says Sarah Alsing, MS, RD of Delightfully Fueled. You'd be better off picking one of the regular burritos or a junior-sized burrito for all the flavor and a lot less fat, sodium, and calories.

Snacks and Sides

Best: Fries

sonic Fries
Per Medium fry: 290 calories, 13 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 300 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

While a side of fries is high in carbohydrates and low in protein (not ideal for an actual meal), they're one of the better side options available at Sonic. One medium fry has just 2.5 grams of saturated fat and only 300 milligrams of sodium, or 13% of the daily value. With fries, you won't get a day's worth of sodium or fat in just your side.

Worst: Sonic's Pickle Fries

Sonic's Pickle Fries
Courtesy of Sonic
Per medium serving: 420 calories, 31 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 1,660 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein

"Sonic's Pickle Fries are considered unhealthy due to their high sodium content," warns Chun. you may think that eating pickles instead of potatoes as fries would have fewer carbs or be healthier, but this is far from the case. One medium pickle fry has 72% DV of sodium, instead of the 13% from a medium fry, and has only 4 fewer grams of carbohydrates. "Excessive sodium consumption can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke," says Chun.

Sonic Blasts and sundaes

Best: Strawberry Sundae

Sonic Strawberry Sundae
Per serving: 380 calories, 12 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, 62 g carbs (1 g fiber, 55 g sugar), 7 g protein

Unless you're down with a plain vanilla ice cream, the Strawberry Sundae is the healthiest option. A cup filled to the top with vanilla ice cream, strawberry, and cherry fruit puree, and whipped topping for only 380 calories and 55 grams of sugar. While this is more sugar than experts like to see in one food, it's one of the healthiest treats from Sonic to enjoy on occasion.

 The Best and Worst Frozen Fast Food Desserts

Worst: SONIC Blast® with M&M's® Chocolate Candies

sonic blast
Per medium blast: 960 calories, 38 g fat (25 g saturated fat), 620 mg sodium, 144 g carbs (2 g fiber, 126 g sugar), 17 g protein

One of the worst Blasts at Sonic is the one filled with M&M's candies. One medium Blast has 126 grams of sugar, 252% of the recommended daily limit. Even a mini size has over 100% of the recommended limit, with 64 grams of sugar. While not all of this is added sugars (some occur naturally in the milk used), you can count on the majority coming from added sources.


Best: Vanilla Classic Shake

sonic Vanilla Classic Shake
Per medium shake: 710 calories, 27 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 630 mg sodium, 107 g carbs (0 g fiber, 92 g sugar), 20 g protein

With any shake, you're bound to find a high amount of sugar and saturated fat, considering it's made entirely from ice cream and added sweets like chocolate, fruit, or sweet whipped cream. The classic vanilla shake is one of the best shake options at Sonic, but choosing a mini-sized would still be your best option. A medium has 92 grams of sugar, while a mini has only 46 grams.

Worst: OREO® and REESE'S Peanut Butter Master Shake

sonic OREO and REESE'S Peanut Butter Master Shake
Per medium shake: 1,030 calories, 51 g fat (24 g saturated fat), 930 mg sodium, 133 g carbs (3 g fiber, 103 g sugar), 20 g protein

One medium OREO® and REESE'S Peanut Butter Master Shake has over a thousand calories and two times as much sugar as you should have in one day, not to mention 120% DV for saturated fat and 40% DV for sodium. If you're trying to limit sodium in your diet, you probably let sweets and desserts slip your mind, but this one has almost half the amount recommended in one day!

Kelsey Kunik, RDN
Kelsey Kunik is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, nutrition consultant, and sustainable food blogger. Read more about Kelsey