Every Fast Food Restaurant Lemonade Ranked From Worst To Best

Once winter comes to an end (whenever that happens where you live), it can almost feel like there's something magical in the air with the beginning of springtime. The weather warms up, the sun comes out, it stays light out later, and you long for more time outdoors, good food, and fresh flavors. Fruit, ice cream, snow cones, and a good lemonade recipe sound even more appealing. And for those lemonade lovers, there's no denying the fact that not every lemonade is made equally, and there are some that are far superior to others.

However, even if you have your own homemade tried and true lemonade recipe, you might want a quick drink on the go and end up at a fast food joint. Or maybe you're craving a certain burger, fries, fried chicken, or even a taco and want a lemonade to go with it. Hey, no judging! Sometimes all you want is a certain fried chicken sandwich and a lemonade! But so many fast food places serve lemonade these days, how do you know which ones to try and which to avoid? Well, you've come to the right place. Because while some fast food chains serve basic, bland lemonade, others serve truly delicious house-made drinks that are worthy of your attention.

Burger King

Probably the worst fast food lemonade you can buy comes from Burger King. True, they might make a good burger, but their lemonade just is not the vibe. And while the kinds of lemonade you'll find at each Burger King might change at each location (for instance some might have regular, others might have pink), and the chain might offer seasonal lemonade options, none of them are very good. And that might just be because their lemonade seems to be just HI-C, something you can get anywhere, and isn't known for being the best lemonade on the market anyways. After all, nothing beats fresh-made.

"Burger King lemonade don't be hitting on nothing! Taste like sugary lemon water .. but not lemonade," one Twitter user described of the drink. And if you're thinking that a specialty drink from Burger King like a frozen lemonade would be any better — think again. "I just got the frozen lemonade from Burger King... Don't get it," as another Twitter user put it. Basically, Burger King's lemonade offerings aren't worth trying.

Dairy Queen

Another disappointing fast-food lemonade hails from Dairy Queen. The chain might be known for delicious sweet treats, but nothing of the lemonade variety is all that great, unfortunately. Like Burger King, the fountain drink options at each location will vary, but many will just have lemonade in the fountain soda area, meaning it's not made fresh.

"Can someone please tell me why Dairy Queen's lemonade tastes like bleach 'cuz I don't appreciate it," one Twitter user exclaimed of the drink. Additionally, the specialty lemonades like the Tropical Lemonade Twist Dairy Queen introduced in 2021 aren't all that great either. This drink is a blend of mango, lemon-lime, and lemonade flavors, but the lemonade flavor is pretty faint. To be fair, the other flavors are pretty tasty, but it's just not a true lemonade flavor, and is especially lacking in the tartness department. So if you're looking for a real lemonade treat, Dairy Queen isn't it.


Starbucks might be known for their many different drinks — from coffees to teas to refreshers and even frozen blended beverages — but not all are worth the hype. Specifically, their lemonade is one of the worst fast-food lemonades out there, which is pretty disappointing. Starbucks has so many fruity refresher options on their menu that it's a bit of a shock that their lemonade wouldn't make the top, but unless you mix their lemonade with another drink, specifically a refresher (that has a lot more flavor in it), it's not worth the money.

For starters, Starbucks is expensive, and not only will a Grande lemonade cost you over $3, but it will probably be at least half ice, something the chain is notorious for doing with their cold drinks. Additionally, it's severely lacking in flavor. The lemonade is made with the traditional lemonade ingredients: Water, lemon juice, and sugar, but it also has lemon oil in it, which may be to save costs on lemon juice, but all it does is suck the flavor from the drink. Definitely not worth it.

Taco Bell

When you think of Taco Bell, you probably don't think of what drinks they have to offer, other than the iconic Baja Blast, of course. But sometimes you just really want a lemonade to go with your Crunchwrap Supreme. Unfortunately, Taco Bel's lemonade is one of the worst at a fast-food joint out there.

"Taco Bell got the worst breakfast & the worst lemonade," one Twitter user exclaimed, and they have a point. Well, at least with the lemonade. For starters, Taco Bell's lemonades aren't made fresh, and they tend to change up what they offer every so often, and if there's a constant lemonade offered, it's going to be from the fountain soda machine, and therefore not fresh at all. More than that, even their Dole Lemonade Strawberry Squeeze (which sounds delicious) is pretty disappointing. The ingredients are a far cry from fresh homemade lemonade, and the strawberry flavor totally outshines the lemon flavor. So really, don't waste your time getting lemonade from Taco Bell.


Oh, Chipotle. The fast-food joint is known for huge burritos, filling bowls, and so much more, and it's all pretty tasty and impressive. But one of the less-impressive things you can get at Chipotle? Their lemonade. Not only are drinks at Chipotle pretty expensive (although you can get free refills if you eat inside the establishment), but the lemonade being offered isn't as fresh or tasty as it looks.

The lemonade at Chipotle is served in a separate container from the fountain drinks, giving the appearance that the drink is fresher and full of flavor. But unfortunately, that's not the case. The lemonade is lacking in lemon flavor, too sweet, and overall just bland. Considering how expensive the drink is, and how good everything else is at Chipotle, the lemonade is just a huge disappointment. It's certainly not the worst out there, but it's a far cry from the best.


America's drive-in has quite a lot going for it. The menu is seriously huge, with everything from chili-cheese wraps to pretzel sticks to slushes and more. And while Sonic might be known for their many drink options and combinations, that doesn't mean that all of the chain's beverages are winners. Specifically, their lemonade is below average, and considering how it's marketed, that's a bit of a letdown. Sonic describes the drink as an "All Natural Lemonade," but the drink is severely lacking in flavor and way too sweet.

A medium lemonade from Sonic packs in a whopping 64 grams of sugar, nearly twice the recommended intake of 36 grams from the American Heart Association. But all of that sugar, and it's still not good! Sonic's lemonade ingredients are also confusing, as they are listed as just "ice," and "all-natural lemonade," but there's no indication of what, exactly, is in the lemonade. As one Twitter user put it, "Sonic lemonade is trash," and that's exactly right. The lemonade just doesn't have a lot going for it, and there are so many lemonades out there with more flavor, tang, and a better balance of sour and sweet that Sonic's isn't worth it.


Coming in as a more controversial lemonade is the lemonade at In-N-Out. If you've never been to an In-N-Out or don't have one near you, you're definitely missing out in terms of food. The chain is known for its burgers, animal-style fries, and milkshakes, but is their lemonade any good? It turns out, it depends on who you ask. The chain doesn't offer any homemade or fresh lemonades, but their fountain drinks include Pink Lemonade and Minute Maid Zero Sugar Lemonade. And while some people claim the lemonade at In n Out is good, others say that Minute Maid lemonade is pretty bad.

Clearly, In-N-Out's lemonade depends on your own personal taste preferences, but as they don't make their own fresh lemonade, they aren't very high on this list. After all, what would go better with an animal-style grilled cheese than a fresh-squeezed lemonade? The world may never know because In-N-Out's lemonade offerings are so controversial — especially the diet version. And while you can do worse, you can definitely do better, especially considering In-N-Outs aren't as widely located as other fast-food joints with even better lemonades.

Jack in the Box

In the same way that In-N-Out's lemonade is controversial, so is Jack in the Box's lemonade. The two are pretty similar, which makes sense considering it appears as if they're both Minute Maid lemonade — as far as the sugar-free option at In-N-Out goes. So really, these two could be a tie, but it's no secret that many fast-food chains have different tastes in their sodas even though they're all supposed to be made the same, so each Jack in the Box and each In-N-Out might have a different flavor to their lemonade.

Whatever the case might be, Jack in the Box's lemonade is beloved by some, although considering the fact that it's just Minute Maid lemonade, it's really nothing special. And as a small lemonade has 45 grams of sugar in it, things don't look too good for Jack in the Box's lemonade. But, if you know you like Minute Maid lemonade, then you know what to expect at Jack in the Box, and unlike In-N-Out, they don't serve the diet option.


Arby's is one of those fast-food joints that tends to surprise people. Sure, they have sandwiches, "the meat," and curly fries, but they also have some delicious side dishes and other items that you might not expect from the chain. They offer crispy chicken bites, macaroni and cheese, mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, milkshakes, cookies, and turnovers. The menu is expansive, and their drinks are part of that. Obviously, they have your classic soda fountain drinks, but they also offer three different "Market Fresh" lemonades.

The regular Market Fresh lemonade is described as "the perfect mix of water, pure lemon juice, and cane sugar," although the ingredients reveal it to be a little more than just that. Still, the lemonade is pretty good and definitely tastes fresh. But in addition to that, Arby's also has a Strawberry and Peach Market Fresh lemonade, both of which are regular lemonade with a fruit puree as well. Talk about tasty! Arby's lemonade is definitely good, not the best, but a step above many other fast-food lemonades, for sure.


Everyone knows that Popeye's has delicious fried chicken — and really creative and tasty sides as well. But the fast-food chain isn't really known for much else, other than their famous chicken sandwiches. However, that doesn't mean they won't surprise you, specifically with their lemonade. Everyone knows that fried chicken and lemonade are the perfect combination, and Popeye's doesn't just offer regular lemonade to customers. Popeye's has its "Premium Lemonade." This lemonade is pretty good — it starts with a Minute Maid base, but that's definitely not all.

Popeye's also offers both their regular and strawberry lemonade frozen. Yes, frozen. And they are both incredibly tasty, and indulgent, and pair perfectly with everything else on the menu. People online can't stop raving about Popeye's frozen lemonade specifically, and it's a pretty brilliant menu offering for sure. After all, the only thing better than regular lemonade is frozen lemonade, especially once summer starts. Still, there are better fast-food lemonades out there that aren't made with Minute Maid, so if you want to hold out for the best, keep reading.


Another fried chicken joint unsurprisingly has pretty good lemonade. KFC serves up fried chicken and sides and is well-known for its family meals served in buckets, but next time you head that way, make sure you order a lemonade as well. KFC's lemonade might not seem like anything special, but it is a unique recipe, dubbed "The Colonel's Lemonade," and has a more distinct flavor than many other fast-food lemonades.

But don't just take KFC's word for it. "KFC has good lemonade AND they have good ice as well," one Twitter user said. And others online agreed, making it clear that KFC's lemonade really is above average and seriously delicious. And while the ingredients aren't that stellar, there's something about the more sour side of KFC's lemonade that really sets it apart. Other lemonades are sweeter, but the tang in KFC's goes perfectly with the sweet and is a delicious counterpart to everything else on the menu.


Now, McDonald's might not be the first place you think of when you think of fresh food. After all, the chain doesn't even sell salads anymore. But it might finally be ready to freshen things up a bit with its newly launched lemonade. According to The Daily Meal, McDonald's subtly launched its new homemade lemonade, which is a far cry from its previous Minute Maid offerings. McDonald's described its new lemonade as "a little bit of summer in every sip," and it's made with minimal ingredients — just water, cane sugar, lemon juice from concentrate, lemon pulp, and natural flavors.

And people really love the new drink. One Twitter user even went so far as to say it's better than a certain other fast-food lemonade. "So...did y'all know that McDonald's has better lemonade than Chick-fil-A ?" they posted. Now, that's some high praise, but as this is a new offering, it still can't be called the best out there!


Wendy's likes to do things differently than most other fast-food restaurants, including offering square-shaped hamburger patties, chili, baked potatoes, and spicy chicken nuggets. And in keeping with the "fresh" theme the chain pushes, its lemonades are also homemade and, honestly, taste surprisingly and impressively fresh. But they don't just offer regular lemonade — they also offer strawberry lemonade, pineapple mango lemonade, and sunburst melon lemonade. And their strawberry lemonade, specifically, is what people obsess over.

"No drink is touching Wendy's Strawberry Lemonade," one Twitter user stated. "Wendy's strawberry lemonade is the best lemonade," another added. And there are plenty more praises for the drink, too, including this one: "Wendy's strawberry lemonade suppresses any negative feeling I had before I drank it." Yeah, people love the drink, and it's certainly delicious. However, it's a little bit on the sweet side, and there's still better out there, but only one. 


Are you really surprised by this? Chick-fil-A is practically famous for its lemonade, made fresh daily and containing only three simple ingredients: Water, cane sugar, and real lemon juice not from concentrate. And if you're looking for an option with less sugar, Chick-fil-A has you covered there, too. Their diet lemonade is made exactly the same, just with Splenda instead of sugar. People are obsessed with Chick-fil-A's lemonade, with many trying to recreate it at home, with varying degrees of success.

People are so obsessed with the drink that Southern Living even researched what made Chick-fil-A's lemonade so good and found that it might have something to do with the exact type of lemon used. You can't use just any old lemon — apparently, only Sunkist lemons will do for the fried chicken place. Is that why Chick-fil-A's lemonade is so perfectly tart and sweet? Why it's refreshing but sour all at once? Who knows, but if you're craving lemonade on a Sunday, it's worth a shot!