Sonic Groovy Fries And Groovy Sauce Review: The Sonic Menu Gets A Solid Upgrade

With the addition of what the chain is calling Groovy Fries, Sonic Drive-In has fundamentally overhauled the french fry portion of its menu. Of course, new menu items are a relatively frequent occurrence at Sonic. In one particularly left-field example, a peanut butter bacon burger and shake debuted at Sonic in January of 2024. What makes the Groovy Fries distinct from these sorts of limited-time promotions is that they're taking the place of the standard french fry that was previously a staple of the Sonic menu. Sonic is so confident its Groovy Fries are an upgrade that those old fries became unavailable the instant this new version debuted.

In conjunction with this new fry recipe, the chain has also debuted a sauce, appropriately titled Groovy Sauce and which consists of a blend of ranch and sriracha. So, is the big change worth it? I took to my local Sonic to try the new fries and sauce for myself. Here's everything regulars and newcomers alike should know about these two shake-ups to Sonic's status quo, in addition to my thoughts about the Groovy Fries and Groovy Sauce.

What exactly are Sonic's Groovy Fries and Groovy Sauce?

The french fries Sonic Drive-In served for more than 10 years prior to the advent of its Groovy Fries were essentially made in a standard fast food style: medium thickness, untextured, crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. What most immediately sets the Groovy Fries apart from that old recipe is their form. They're crinkle-cut, meaning that the fries are thicker and sport a ridged texture on their exterior. One consequence of this new shape is that, as is typical for the style, the outer layer of the fry is even crisper than what was characteristic of the old Sonic fry style.

Meanwhile, Groovy Sauce approximates an herby ranch dressing as its base and supplements that with a sriracha-inspired spice that Sonic describes as decidedly mild. The grooves on the Groovy Fries are intended to maximize the amount of sauce each fry can hold, so their pairing with the Groovy Sauce is seemingly intended to show off that capability. Plus, at least in the immediate wake of the two items' simultaneous debut, Sonic is offering Groovy Sauce for free with any order of Groovy Fries, effectively using each item as a hook to get customers to try its counterpart.

How much do the Groovy Fries and Groovy Sauce cost?

Since each Sonic is owned by a franchisee, Groovy Fries prices will vary depending on location. At my local Sonic, in Las Vegas, Nevada, prices for small, medium, and large orders of Groovy Fries totaled $1.99, $2.59, and $3.29 before tax. By comparison, a location in Brooklyn, New York offers those same sizes for $2.89, $3.59, and $4.19 each.

The price of the Groovy Sauce, however, is consistent across all Sonic locations. That's because it comes free with any order of Groovy Fries, though — at least as of both items first hitting the Sonic menu — it can only accompany an order of Groovy Fries. The list of sauces available to order with a 3-piece Crispy Tenders, for example, lacks a Groovy Sauce option. It's also worth noting that one order of Groovy Fries, no matter the size, comes with a maximum of five free sauce packets, whether that selection of five includes Groovy Sauce or not.

The Groovy Fries and Groovy Sauce are permanent additions to the Sonic menu

By the looks of it, the Groovy Fries and Groovy Sauce have joined the Sonic menu permanently. Sonic hasn't quite made clear its intent to replace the old fry recipe full-time (perhaps so that the chain can backtrack if necessary), but language in a press release circulated through Business Wire strongly suggests that Groovy Fries are here to stay.

Most notably, that press release describes Groovy Fries as an update to Sonic's fry recipe rather than an alternative. Instead, the press release positions the Groovy Fries as an alternative to the chain's tater tots, further indicating that the Groovy Fries are set to be on the menu full-time. While there's no word on how long the Groovy Sauce will remain, it stands to reason that it will remain on the menu as long as the similarly-named fries stick around.

How do the Groovy Fries compare to Sonic's fries before the switch?

The fries that Sonic served before the advent of its Groovy Fries weren't particularly notable. Rather, they were as standard as standard fast food fries could be. The Groovy Fries are a less ho-hum but still not uncommon crinkle-cut style of fry, akin to the Shake Shack fries or what they serve at Raising Cane's. Groovy, of course, is both how Austin Powers and friends say "cool" and a seeming reference to the grooves that are characteristic of a crinkle-cut fry.

Even before this new fry recipe, the fry portion of the Sonic menu also included cheese fries and chili cheese fries. Alongside a variety of sauces — which includes the chain's signature sauce, honey BBQ, and other non-standard options — as well as a few add-ons for additional charges, it was already possible for customers to customize their fries plenty before the Groovy Fries overhaul.

It's worth noting that all of those same options are still available. In fact, the cheese fries and chili cheese fries are now called the Cheese Groovy Fries and Chili Cheese Groovy Fries. Of course, the addition of Groovy Sauce allows for one additional fry order possibility than what existed before.

What are the Groovy Fries' and Groovy Sauce's nutritional values?

A small order of Groovy Fries will come out to 260 calories, 16 grams of fat — 2.5 of which are saturated fat — 570 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. A medium order nets 370 calories and contains 22 grams of fat — 3 of which are saturated fat — 790 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. Finally, a large size is 520 calories, 31 grams of fat — 4.5 of which are saturated fat — 1110 grams of sodium, 56 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. According to the FDA, the standard limits for an adult's daily intake should be 78 grams of fat, 20 grams saturated fat, 50 grams of added sugar, and 2300mg of sodium.

One full packet of the Groovy Sauce, meanwhile, amounts to 110 calories. It also contains 11 grams of fat — 2 of which are saturated fat — 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of sugar.

The Groovy Fries are great while mileage may vary on the Groovy Sauce

When trying the Groovy Fries for the first time, it became immediately apparent to me that they're a blanket upgrade over Sonic's old style of french fry. Whereas the crinkle-cut fries that are served at Raising Cane's are soft and mushy, the outer layer of each Groovy Fry is satisfyingly crisp and even crunchy, almost like it was deep-fried twice (though I can't confirm that's what happened here). They taste great plain too, supplementing their natural potato flavor with ample seasoning. Between that taste and a pleasing texture, the Groovy Fries are a solidly above-average fast food french fry, cleanly overtaking the pretty forgettable fries of Sonic's past.

As advertised, the signature grooves of the Groovy Fries are well-suited for dipping. That said, the Groovy Sauce is an unusual choice to showcase that capability. Appreciating the Groovy Sauce relies pretty heavily on enjoying the flavor of ranch — while ranch may be a popular dipping sauce, it's not quite a universally beloved condiment. The sriracha component is subtle, adding more sweet, peppery, and tangy flavors than a detectable spice. Personally, I preferred the Groovy Fries plain, but adherents of fries in ranch may well appreciate this unique take on the standard ranch dressing formula.

Ultimately, between the outright success of the Groovy Fries and the perhaps conditionally good Groovy Sauce, it's safe to say the Sonic menu is better off with the addition of these two new items.


For this review of the Sonic Groovy Fries and Groovy Sauce, I picked up a medium order of Groovy Fries and two packets of Groovy Sauce from one of the drive-in stalls at my local Sonic. To assess them as comprehensively as possible, I tried a few Groovy Fries immediately after ordering them, then gradually finished the rest of the order over the course of a meal. The fries I tasted earlier were hot, whereas the fries at the end of the meal were solidly room temperature. Since it's not unusual to save at least some of a side of fries for the end of a meal, I thought it was important to taste them in that state, too.

In order to get a good sense of what's going on with the Groovy Sauce, I used it on about a third of my fry order, just about finishing one whole Groovy Sauce container. I tried another third of the fries plain, and then a final third in other dipping sauces, including Sonic's BBQ, ranch, and ketchup.