Fast Food Holiday Lattes, Ranked According To Customers

Fast food holiday lattes are the epitome of joy, aren't they? After all, how could coffee, milk, sweetly flavored syrups, and whipped topping ever be wrong? Still, as with anything else, there are some latte options out there that fare well amongst the crowd and others that don't, and we personally believe you should know ahead of time which is which.

While holiday lattes dished out by fast food chains often change, we've done our best to sort through some of the most popular holiday latte offerings available to provide you with a customer's perspective on how each latte ranks. We'll focus mainly on taste and customer appreciation here, though there may be other factors we consider from time to time that may play a role in ranking as well. With tons of warm, iced, and blended options out there, let's get sipping on the details concerning some of our favorite (and least favorite) lattes available at fast food restaurants.

14. Tim Hortons Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte

Available since November 15, Tim Hortons Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte seems like it would prove pretty promising in terms of its title. After all, oat milk is known to be rich and smooth-tasting, while gingerbread offers up the spiciness often associated with the warmth of holiday baking.

So, how does this drink actually fare? Not so well, we're afraid. According to Tim Horton devotees, this Gingerbread latte is a swing and a miss in terms of gingerbread flavor. One review claimed the spices in this were much weaker than your traditional pumpkin spice flavor might be, which is disappointing as gingerbread flavors tend to be quite strong. Oh, and that's not all. People also complain that the espresso in this drink tastes oddly scorched, making this latte an overall unimpressive holiday release — much to our chagrin.

Still, Tim Hortons has a substantial holiday menu available to fans this year, meaning that though this one was a flop, there still might be a holiday flavor out there for you. Keep trying Tim Hortons — most customers aren't feeling this one.

13. McDonald's Peppermint Mocha

McDonald's Peppermint Mocha is about what we'd expect. According to customers, it isn't super intense on coffee, but instead, mellows out a bit into mostly just chocolate flavor. One customer review claims that the drink tastes a bit like "watered-down junior mints", which isn't quite the way we want to spend our budgeted coffee money for the week. Also, several customers agree that this one's pretty strong on peppermint flavor, and thus, you ought to be prepared for the minty blast if you choose to pick one of these lattes up.

All in all, this pick doesn't seem bad, but it's definitely not the winner of the bunch. One thing we do love about this drink is the price point. Much like we expect from McDonald's, the potentially smaller price tag may make it worth the grab over higher-priced lattes on the list. Also, from what we hear, this McDonald's Peppermint Mocha is available for the holiday season in the U.S. and Canada but still may not be sold everywhere — score this drink only at participating locations for a limited time.

12. Peet's Holiday Spice Latte

Peet's Holiday Spice Latte features a yummy blend of spices that supposedly emulate the flavors of delicious pumpkin pie. Infused with "baking spices" according to the company's website, customers describe the taste as encompassing cloves, ginger, and cinnamon all without being too overbearing. The drink is also made with the company's "Espresso Forte" which is a dark roast and full-bodied espresso, though patrons claim it isn't so strong as to offend those who prefer the taste of their coffee to veer on the lighter side.

You can also enjoy Peet's Holiday Spice Latte iced, though we aren't necessarily seeing an option for a blended version. We will warn you, however, that some people aren't feeling the iced version of this drink. Despite claims from some that the spices in the drink aren't overpowering, others, especially when it comes to the iced version, beg to differ. Because of these discrepancies in reviews, we're forced to rank this holiday grab a bit lower than others. Still, it might be good for those who really love the flavor or warming spices, especially when ordered cold.

11. Starbucks Peppermint Mocha

Some latte flavors are delicious in their own right, but the more you know, the better you do. Although Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha is undoubtedly one of Starbucks' more popular holiday grabs, it isn't always well received. While the taste is there, the amount of syrup that goes into it can be somewhat off-putting, causing some customers (and baristas) to stave off this minty drink, despite its tasty appeal.

While we understand that the "peppermint" and "mocha" flavors are needed to properly compose the drink, the fact that there are four pumps of each type (versus four pumps of one singularly flavored syrup) is indeed overkill. At a whopping 54 grams of sugar in a grande size (74 grams if you'd prefer the white chocolate peppermint flavor), it's quite a bit more than, say, a Chestnut Praline, which only registers at around 38 grams. For reference, the American Heart Association, recommends a person consume only 25-36 grams of sugar per day. Baristas concur that pumping that much syrup in a latte can be downright sickening — even if the flavor is dynamite.

Hey, we aren't judging if you don't care about sugar content — no one wants to be reprimanded for enjoying a good old-fashioned holiday drink. Still, if you tend to veer away from drinks with too much sugar, this probably isn't the order for you — choose from one of the other delicious holiday flavors instead!

10. Starbucks Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte

The Starbucks Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte has landed itself a middle-of-the-road ranking because of the split reactions it's garnered from patrons. Admittedly, this latte is indeed pretty and puts us in a festive spirit. The warm brown color of the latte checkered with colorful holiday sprinkles; what's not to love, right?

Apparently, the answer to that question will depend on who you ask — and where they live. It seems that Starbucks has changed the recipe a bit depending on where it is sold, with some Canadians saying it comes with oat milk in their location, while those in America sip the sort with the almond milk base. This alone can cause discrepancies in the drink's taste, but that's not all — even within the same geographical location, this latte is one people seem to either love or hate.

So, what's to love? Those who rave about the drink say it's not as sweet as other latte options, making it more appealing for those who don't possess a sugar-craving palate. Others think it tastes off, almost like chemicals, and with one customer on Reddit claiming they couldn't even finish it. Which is correct, we can't tell you. Like some of the others, you'll need to taste this one yourself to make the final call — everybody's taste buds seem to receive this one a little differently!

9. Caribou Coffee Spicy Mocha

A "spicy mocha" isn't something you'll commonly find on fast food menus, and we were pleased to see one featured at Caribou Coffee. Truth be told, the Spicy Mocha sold at Caribou Coffee is indeed spicy from what we hear, and that's what we'd expect from a latte bearing such a name. Even so, to us, the spicy mocha name leads us to believe this would taste more like a Mexican hot chocolate with coffee, but reviewers have very choice words to describe the flavor. According to a YouTube review we've found, the drink's a little more akin to a spicy cinnamon toast crunch flavor than anything else. It's still good, of course — you'll need to like cinnamon and spices to love this unique flavor.

In addition, we'd like to note that some fanatics of the Spicy Mocha claim that enjoying this one with dark chocolate is definitely the way to go. Still, remember that Caribou Coffee gives you the choice of white, milk, and dark chocolate to customize your drink, so you should feel comfortable choosing whichever flavor you wish to create your own uniquely spicy sip. Even with its distinct taste, this one deserves a middle-of-the-pack ranking — the spicy cinnamon backdrop might not be everyone's forte, especially when stacked against some of the other universally appealing latte holiday grabs.

8. Dunkin' Peppermint Mocha Signature Latte

Dunkin' Peppermint Mocha has gotten split reactions from folks, and we suppose it depends on what you really expect from a mocha. For some, there's a stronger coffee flavor that certain customers quite like and others despise. As one customer put it, the mocha and coffee flavors shine in this drink, which is sometimes a difficult feat for drinks like this. Other reviewers can taste the coffee, but the lack of the peppermint and the potential "aftertaste" is what apparently kills the vibe for them.

As with many of the latte drinks ranking either too high or too low, whether or not you'll like this one just depends. From what it sounds like, those who dig a true mocha coffee flavor will likely fall head over heels for this one, but those who want more of that refreshing peppermint blast might find themselves a bit thrown off. Either way, it might be worth a try if you don't mind the surprise — chances you'll love it are about 50/50!

7. Tim Hortons Peppermint Mocha Latte

Tim Hortons Peppermint Mocha Latte has landed itself a decent position on our list. Though it doesn't seem to be the best latte most have tasted, it gets fairly good reviews, depending on what you're looking for. The biggest thing that seems to stand out concerning this particular rendition of this traditional drink is the fact that it's low on minty flavor. Fans say the mintiness is there but is more muted than most. Instead, there's a creamy hot chocolate vibe about this one that some people seem to quite like.

With that said, we're willing to guess that if you're a peppermint flavor buff, this sip won't quite suit your fancy as much as other picks on the list. And because we assume those ordering peppermint mochas want to actually taste the peppermint, we hesitate to position this one as part of our highest-ranked lattes. Still, for those of you looking for more of a hot chocolate base with just a hint of festive minty flavor, this one might be your pick — it just depends on your preference.

6. Starbucks Oleato Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte

Starbucks Oleato Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte is a decent grab, especially for those of you wishing to reap the benefits of extra virgin olive oil. These Oleato drinks are relatively new to the U.S. from Starbucks, and people seem to enjoy the Oleato Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte version. According to some, the flavor of the olive oil blends seamlessly with other flavors, yielding a highly delicious taste that isn't too sweet yet still tastes good enough to order over and over again.

Another version of the drink, the Starbucks' Iced Gingerbread Oatmilk Chai, doesn't contain olive oil but still promises the spicier flavor of gingerbread. Does it deliver? Meh. Members of our staff on Mashed think it's a little sugary and the gingerbread in the drink fails to truly shine past the chai flavors. Other customers agree, but according to the website, we think we know why this may be. Unfortunately, the Iced Gingerbread Oatmilk Chai Latte only contains gingerbread syrup in the froth (shocking, we know), and instead features chai syrup mixed in the drink with a spice topping. Anyway, these two drinks are probably worth the grab, but the chai flavor is going to be more for those of you who love sugary flavors and chai syrup. Take your pick!

5. Caribou Coffee Ho Ho Mint Mocha

Now that we've reached the top five, expect things to start getting very tasty. Starting with a great pick from Caribou Coffee, the Ho Ho Mint Mocha is a crowd-pleasing latte you may or may not have heard of before. Though it probably doesn't have the popularity that Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha has, those who are Caribou fans are very familiar with the Ho Ho Mint latte, and honestly, we think that's the way it should be!

According to reviews, the Caribou Coffee Ho Ho Mint Mocha is indeed delicious. It's made with white chocolate melded with powerful mint flavors to produce one very festive version of a latte. Just know that the mint flavor is a bit strong, so those of you who don't dig mint (or are simply tired of this traditional holiday flavor) might want to steer clear. In addition, this yummy drink is topped with whipped cream and crushed candy canes, and this seems to be the "cherry" on top for several customers — it's a drink that truly makes merry.

Just so that you're aware, Caribou Coffee allows you to switch up the chocolate in your drink, allowing you the ability to customize the flavor between white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. You can also choose to have this one prepared warm, iced, or with nitro-brew. With all of these bonuses, we think this is a great grab for the holiday season.

4. Dutch Bros Hazelnut Truffle Mocha

The Hazelnut Truffle Mocha from Dutch Bros is critically acclaimed among fans. Made with espresso, hazelnut flavor, and chocolate milk, this drink melds somewhat uncommon flavors to render something that's universally delicious and well-received amongst avid holiday sippers.

Enjoy these lattes hot, iced, or blended to create a drink that truly suits your palate. And while most fans love the drink as is, there are some with a few suggestions on how to make it even better. One fan recommends adding a pump of white chocolate to it; another says to order it half-sweet, and yet another says to replace the hot chocolate with almond milk to prevent a sugary shock to your system. No matter how you like it, we've yet to find anyone who hates it. Overall, this one's a true holiday banger with a distinct hazelnut backdrop you aren't likely to find on many other holiday menus.

3. Dunkin' Toasted White Chocolate Iced Signature Latte

If you love white chocolate as much as we do, you'll likely fall hard for Dunkin's rendition of a white chocolate latte. Marketed as an iced drink, fans of this particular holiday sip relish the fact that the creaminess of the white chocolate paired with the promised "toasty" flavor rings loud and clear — especially when it comes to that toasted flavor. And though "toasted" can sometimes come across as bitter more than anything else, customers claim that isn't the case here. Instead, expect to get a light but noticeable crème brulée-style flavor that's truly enjoyable on the tongue.

Will it be super strong on coffee? It doesn't seem so. We should also note that some reviewers who sampled this drink warm think it tastes oddly of gingerbread, while some liken the iced flavor to s'mores. Weird, we know. Either way, this white chocolate latte seems to be a winner amongst almost everyone who tries it, which we find rather refreshing — it's often nice to have a swig of well-done white chocolate over a cup of traditional cocoa to shake up the holiday a bit.

2. Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte

Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte is one of those drinks that's an oldie but goodie. People have fallen in love with this drink, even to the point of gushing on Reddit about it the night before it's released. The latte is made with four pumps of caramel brulée sauce, caramel brulée topping, and of course, whipped cream. It comes hot, iced, or blended, so you can customize the temperature and texture to your liking. For those of you wondering how this one stacks up against normal caramel latte flavors, expect to get a more unique and smoky flavor out of this one versus the buttery flavor of the original. Fans love it for its all-around delicious caramelized sugar flavor, as well as the fact that it isn't quite as sweet as some of your other typical caramel latte tastes.

Overall, most people rate this one a 10/10, and honestly, this holiday latte hardly ever receives negative reviews. If you're a caramel fan or want something that's relatively safe to order without too many surprises, this grab is going to be a deliciously safe bet. 

1. Starbucks Chestnut Praline Latte

Landing itself as No.1 on our list, the Chestnut Praline Latte from Starbucks has been around for quite some time, and remarkably, its fan base is still going strong. Like many of the other latte drinks on this list, this sip comes warm or iced. And despite its seemingly less-than-exciting title, it tastes ridiculously good.

According to customers, the Chestnut Praline Latte takes on a bit of a nutty flavor (as expected), but also packs a buttery essence that leaves many taste-testers craving. With as many reviews as we've gone through, we must say it was rather difficult to track down anyone who hated the drink. It comes crowned with whipped cream sprinkled with toffee sugar, and is crafted with a variety of spices, including clove, cinnamon, ginger, and spiced sugar.

Most people love its buttery essence and think the whipped cream and spiced topping work to take it up and over the edge. A few can't help but think the recipe has changed a bit since it was first released, but without confirmation from Starbucks, we can't make this claim ourselves. Nevertheless, even with this supposed change, avid devotees still rave about the flavor. Thus, if nutty or buttery savors are your jam, you'll definitely want to snag this well-loved and distinct latte!