45% Of People Agree That This Fast Food Place Has The Best Milkshakes

Milkshakes are one of those beverages that you're actually more likely to consume at a fast-food restaurant than any other kind of place. You might also have one at a retro '50s-themed diner like Johnny Rockets, since the fictional '50s seemed to be the heyday of the milkshake served in a soda fountain glass, but this millennium, when you think milkshake you're more likely to picture one that comes in a paper cup with a plastic straw. (Unless you live in a place where these are banned, in which case, good luck sucking up a thick, frozen beverage through soggy cardboard.)

While not all fast food establishments offer shakes, and those that do are often unable to deliver them (yes, Mickey D's, that was a direct reference to your notorious soft-serve fails that make shakes as well as McFlurries more fantasy than reality), the ones that do each have their loyal partisans. In order to find out who the real movers and shakers are, Mashed conducted a survey of 23,000 people around the world and asked them, "Whose milkshake brings you to their yard?" The results ... well, let's just say, they left us a bit shaken.

Dairy Queen is king of the shakes

In a shake-up for the ages, a whopping 45 percent of respondents, or three times the number of those who voted for the second place choice, selected the often-underrated old-school standby, Dairy Queen. So why were they all, like, "it's better than yours"? While we'd like to answer "we can teach you, but we'd have to charge," the fact is, survey respondents didn't actually state their reasons (because we didn't ask). At a guess, though, it may have something to do with the fact that Dairy Queen, which is first and foremost an ice cream shop, never lets their soft-serve machines go out of service. This means that even though some of their other menu items can be pretty dubious, you can actually get a decent shake whenever you go in.

Another advantage Dairy Queen has over its competitors is its near-ubiquity. No matter how revered the In-N-Out shake may be, unless you live in one of the western states, you may never have even seen an In-N-Out. DQ, on the other hand, seems to have staked out its territory in East Nowheresville, U.S.A. all across the land.

The runners-up were neck-and-neck

The second-most preferred shake maker, according to our survey, is Five Guys, with 15 percent of the vote. The advantage their shakes offer, apart from being "hand-spun" (even Burger King does this, so it's really no big deal), is all those free mix-ins that include such out-of-the-cup options as peanut butter, bananas, and bacon. (Yes, they do have a secret menu "Elvis" shake that combines all three.) The Number 3 spot goes to Steak 'n Shake, coming in at 14 percent. Funny, with their name you'd think they'd have scored higher, but then, it's not like they actually offer steak, either, just "steakburgers."

Last of all the named chains in our survey was Chick-fil-A, still in the mix with 13 percent of the votes. While they are, of course, best known for their yummy chicken (real chicken, not "chickenburgers"), they also do a nice line in seasonal shakes like peach and peppermint chip.

There were also some also-rans

Of those who took our poll, 13 percent chose something other than the above-named chains. Arby's got a few votes, many of these naming its Jamocha shake in particular. There were also a few Culver's and Freddy's fans who preferred shakes made with custard, while Sonic and Whataburger also got shout-outs. The Oklahoma-based Braum's earned a well-deserved vote, as did Baskin-Robbins and even convenience store chain Wawa. Wendy's, surprisingly, was mentioned only a few times, despite the Frosty's having been named best fast food dessert. (Perhaps it's a semantic thing, since the Frosty isn't technically a milkshake, but then, neither is the DQ Blizzard.)

One chain whose name kept coming up over and over again was Cook Out, a North Carolina-based restaurant that, according to its menu, features an amazing 40+ shake varieties in flavors you don't see every day, such as walnut, banana pudding, and a seasonal watermelon that commenters on our YouTube survey described as "amazingly good!" and "awesome!" What is, perhaps, surprising is the fact that so many of our poll respondents were familiar with Cook Out, since it seems that their furthest-flung outposts are in southern Virginia, just a hickory nut's throw from the Carolina border. Too bad, since it seems as if those of us in the other 48 states could only have the pleasure of making their acquaintance, we'd have a new candidate for nation's best shake.