Fast Food Soups Ranked From Worst To Best

When it comes to fast food, sandwiches, burgers, and anything fried seems to reign supreme. After all, most people who buy fast food want something that is cost-effective yet tasty. Many fast food restaurants have started offering soups on their menus, and there are quite a few that are surprisingly delicious.

On the other hand, there are also many out there that aren't so great, and honestly, that's not surprising. After all, you don't expect a drive-thru burger joint to have the best chicken tortilla soup in town, do you? That being said, if you're looking for a nice, warm, comforting bowl of soup that you can get quickly for a reasonable price, some fast food joints might have exactly what you're looking for — don't rule them all out just yet. Here are some fast food soups ranked from worst to best, so you can go grab that bowl of chicken noodle soup you've been craving.

Panera Bread Ten Vegetable Soup

To start things off, you have Panera Bread. Yes, Panera Bread is known for soups, salads, and sandwiches, but that doesn't mean every single soup on its menu is a winner. Take, for instance, its Ten Vegetable Soup. According to Panera's menu, the soup features "tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, onions, corn, carrots, celery, spinach, poblano peppers and garlic simmered in seasoned vegetable stock with chickpeas, sprouted brown rice and red fife and dried Aleppo chile."

That might sound pretty gourmet, but at the end of the day, the soup tastes like a canned vegetable soup you can get at the grocery store for cheap. What's more, the soup is so light it won't keep you full for very long. Panera Bread tends to be pretty overpriced for what you get, and this soup is no exception. Even if you want a super healthy fast food soup, Panera Bread's Ten Vegetable Soup just isn't worth it.

Culver's Potato Soup

It's no secret that plenty of fast food joints (and even some sit-down restaurant chains) are known for receiving menu items frozen and simply reheating them before serving to customers. With soup, you kind of expect that to happen at a lot of fast food places. After all, it's called fast food, and these establishments may not have time to make several homemade soups from scratch every day.

Still, most fast food soups don't taste frozen, or like they were previously frozen — well, except Culver's. Again, Culver's isn't really the type of place you associate with having delicious, homemade soup, but its Potato with Bacon Soup is especially bad. Most potato soups are hearty, creamy, and filling. At Culver's, the soup tastes almost watered down, and honestly, there are better fast food potato soups out there. Don't waste your time with this one if that's what you're craving.

Wendy's Chili

The fast-food restaurant, Wendy's, is known for many things: square-shaped hamburger patties, its delicious Frosty, and even baked potatoes. However, Wendy's most notorious menu item just might be the only soup they offer (and that's if you consider chili a soup). Wendy's chili has been around for years and has seen plenty of controversy surrounding the dish. From rumors of appendages being found in the dish (via NPR) to workers claiming the meat in the chili is just leftover hamburger patties (via Daily Dot), the dish is seriously questionable.

Aside from all of that, the chili from Wendy's just isn't all that great. For the most part, it tastes just like tomatoes with a few seasonings and meat and beans tossed in, and it's seriously lacking that delicious, homemade flavor that you want from a chili (via Brand Eating). Sure, it might be tempting when you're really craving chili and don't want to spend all day cooking it, but honestly, this is better left alone.

Culver's Chili

Much like Wendy's, the chili from Culver's leaves much to be desired. Again, Culver's isn't exactly the type of place you would expect to find delicious, home-cooked-style soup, but you might be tempted to order it to eat alongside your frozen custard. After all, there is something desirable about eating something hot with something cold. However, you might want to stick to the French fries.

Culver's chili is advertised as the epitome of homemade, coming from a secret family recipe. At the end of the day, though, it's still a fast food joint, so the chili isn't made fresh. More than that, it doesn't even taste good. "The chili was gross...not even the staff would eat it. When we complained out it being too salty, the staff agreed and said it came in a bag form corporate," one reviewer of the chili explained on TripAdvisor. Seriously, just leave fast food chili alone.

Potbelly Chicken Pot Pie Soup

If you've ever been to Potbelly, then you know the fast food chain is mostly famous for its sandwiches. While the sandwiches are pretty delicious, Potbelly also offers soups and salads, and one soup, in particular, is pretty popular. Perhaps more surprisingly, it's also not too bad.

The Chicken Pot Pie Soup from Potbelly is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: imagine the filling of a chicken pot pie, including chicken, vegetables, creamy sauce, tons of flavor, and turn that into a soup! At Potbelly, though, the soup also comes with a topping of crispy pie crust pieces, and some people absolutely love it. "It didn't sound appealing but do not pass it by! It is so flavorful and the crust crumbles are amazing, I need to see if you can order extra when you get a bowl, never enough!" one person wrote about the soup (via TripAdvisor). However, the only thing that sets this soup apart from other chicken pit pie soups is the topping, which is why it's not that high on this list.

Zoup Lobster Bisque

When it comes to fast food soup, Zoup! definitely has an edge in the market. The chain offers a large variety of soups rotating daily, and as you can tell based on its name, soup is its specialty. Still, not every soup the chain offers is amazing, and one of their most popular soups kind of falls in the middle. The Lobster Bisque soup from Zoup! is definitely beloved by patrons, but is it really all that special?

Well, one blogger of the soup certainly thinks so (via The Breakfast Menu). "It was very creamy and tasty. The man behind the counter told me that it was their best selling soup," the blogger wrote. "I appreciated its flavor. It was creamy and featured good little chunks of crab. I thought it was delicious and I would definitely try it again." 

However, this soup definitely isn't up to par with other lobster bisques that you can find at fancier, sit-down restaurants. Still, if you're craving it and don't want to spend an arm and a leg, you could do worse than the Zoup! Lobster bisque.

Tim Hortons Chicken Noodle Soup

If you don't live in Canada or certain regions of the northern United States, you might not be familiar with Tim Hortons. The famous Canadian coffee shop is basically as well-loved in the Great White North as Starbucks is in the U.S. However, the difference is that Tim Hortons serves a whole lot more than just coffee and pastries. The chain also offers soups and sandwiches, and one of its soups is pretty popular and actually pretty good!

The Chicken Noodle Soup at Tim Hortons isn't as good as homemade, but it's pretty good for a fast food restaurant. It's savory, warm, flavorful, and very comforting, but don't just take our word for it. "Tim Hortons' chicken noodle soup makes you feel like you're right at home," one reviewer of the soup explained (via Spoon University). "Always cooked to the right temperature, this soup is filled with flavor. Adding the packet of saltine crackers brings the whole food experience together." Basically, this isn't the best fast food soup out there, but it's pretty darn tasty.

Panera Bread Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Once again, Panera Bread is definitely a fast food chain known for its soups, and its Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is no exception. According to the Panera Bread menu, the soup features "Diced chicken, long grain and wild rice, celery, onion and carrots simmered in chicken stock with cream and select herbs." It sounds pretty hearty and delicious, but it's still not the best the restaurant — or any fast food chain — has to offer.

Customers describe the soup as something not to be missed (via TripAdvisor), and the soup is also part of the Panera At Home line, meaning you can purchase a container of the soup at a grocery store to heat up and eat at home. "YUM -as good as getting it from the restaurant," one reviewer wrote. "Outstanding! Love everything about it!!" another added. 

Still, the soup isn't perfect, and there seems to be an issue of quality control across Panera Bread locations — the soup can sometimes be perfect, and other times, the taste is too watered down or the rice undercooked.

El Pollo Loca Chicken Tortilla Soup

Obviously, El Pollo Loca specializes in delicious Mexican-inspired chicken dishes, and its Chicken Tortilla Soup is no exception. This soup certainly stands out, and it tastes pretty authentic as well.

One look at reviews of this soup tells you what you need to know. "It is absolutely delicious!" wrote one customer (via ChowHound). "There was lots of chicken in my 12-ounce cup ($2.49), along with 'non-frozen' chopped vegetables, in a very chicken-y broth. The tortilla chips come on the side, along with fresh cilantro and Mexican cheese. Wow–so good it's hard to believe it is fast food!" 

That being said, it may not be the best fast food soup out there, and it's might not even the best chicken tortilla soup on the market. If that's what you're craving, hold onto your spoon. While El Pollo Loca's chicken tortilla soup might be okay, it's not great. It lacks the depth of spice that you would expect, and the quality of ingredients is somewhat questionable as well.

Zoup Chicken Noodle Soup

Coming back to Zoup!, the fast food chain obviously offers a ton of different soup options, but one of the most popular (and let's face it, one of the most classic soups out there) is also one of its best. The Chicken Noodle Soup from Zoup! hits all the right notes that you want from a chicken noodle soup. On a cold day, this is the kind of soup that will warm you right up.

Really, the chicken noodle from Zoup! is one of the best fast food soups out there. One customer who ate the soup claimed it almost tastes homemade (via Grubhub). "I had the Chicken Noodle and [it] tasted like as if my grandmother made it herself. As a soup lover, I never thought that I could taste this amazing out of a restaurant. Best soup in TOWN!" Obviously, not everyone will feel that way, but Zoup! chicken noodle is still noteworthy.

Quizno's Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Let's be honest, one of the greatest soups of all time is easily broccoli cheddar soup. Even if you don't really think of yourself as someone who enjoys broccoli, you may still enjoy this soup because it's heavy on the "cheddar" aspect — the broccoli is more of a side piece. That being said, there are definitely some broccoli cheddar soups out there that aren't as tasty as others.

One such soup that does a good job of hitting all the right flavor notes is Quiznos' broccoli cheddar soup. The dish is warm, hearty, filling, and the perfect balance of cheesy with just a few notes of broccoli and carrots. Reviews of the soup are all pretty positive, unsurprisingly. "One of my favorites is the broccoli cheddar soup in the bread bowl," one reviewer noted (via TripAdvisor). "My kiddos love it too. Wish I could figure out how to make a homemade version of that bread bowl." This soup is definitely tasty, and it's exactly what you want when you think of a broccoli cheddar soup.

Cafe Zupa Southwest Potato and Green Chili

Another popular fast food joint known for having good soups is Cafe Zupa. Most of the soups there are pretty decent, but there's one that stands out: the Southwest Potato and Green Chili Soup. According to the Cafe Zupa menu, the soup features "red skinned potatoes, green chilies, fire roasted corn, green cabbage, chopped bacon, Southwestern spices & fresh cilantro in a creamy broth." Obviously, that all sounds delicious, and it is! The soup is executed perfectly, and it's one of the best fast food soups out there.

The soup is so good that it has inspired quite a few copycat recipes on the internet. If you don't have a Cafe Zupa near you but want to see what all the hype is about, check out this recipe from The English Geek. Basically, the soup takes your classic potato soup and elevates it. The spice from the green chilis complements the creaminess from the potatoes so well that the soup might just become your new favorite.

Chick-Fil-A Chicken Noodle Soup

You might not expect a place known for its fried chicken to have a delicious soup offering, but Chick-fil-A really knows what it's doing with just about every menu item. That being said, its chicken noodle soup is no different.

The Chick-Fil-A Chicken Noodle Soup is about as simple as it gets, but the fast food joint really nails it. The soup features shredded chicken breast (seasoned just like Chick-fil-A's grilled nuggets), chopped celery and carrots, and egg noodles, all cooked together in a delicious chicken broth. Clearly, this is a classic chicken noodle soup, but because of the quality of chicken at Chick-fil-A and the flavors used in the soup, it really is one of the best fast-food soups out there. Additionally, this soup from Chick-fil-A comes with the chain's well-known hospitality and efficient ordering process. Basically, you won't regret giving this soup a go next time you're craving a comforting bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup

If you're a person who craves soup regularly, then there's a pretty big chance that you've eaten your fair share of soups from Panera Bread. You have also probably tried its best soup, the broccoli cheddar soup, because how could you not?

Per the Panera Bread menu, the broccoli cheddar soup is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. "Chopped broccoli, shredded carrots and select seasonings simmered in a velvety smooth cheese sauce," nothing special or extra. However, that's because the soup doesn't require anything extra or crazy to make it stand out as one of the best fast food soups out there. "Their broccoli cheddar soup is the best, absolute best," one person wrote (via TripAdvisor). "The cheddar broccoli soup is one of my favorites," another added. "Love the broccoli & cheddar soup with 1/2 sandwich deal, wish I could get the recipe for the soup!" one customer raved. Clearly, this is one of the best fast food soups out there.

Chick-Fil-A Chicken Tortilla Soup

Finally, the absolute best fast food soup out there is easily Chick-fil-A's chicken tortilla soup. According to the Chick-Fil-A website, the soup features "shredded chicken breast with navy and black beans in a white creamy soup base with a perfect blend of vegetables and spicy heat. Topped off with seasoned corn tortilla strips." This chicken tortilla soup is definitely creamier than most, and that might just be what makes it so great. The overall flavor and freshness of the soup put it over the top.

Reviewers of the soup seem to agree that it's seriously impressive, especially for a fast food restaurant. "Wow, this stuff was good!" one reviewer wrote (via GrubGradeReview). "The Chicken Tortilla Soup was spiced just right and thick enough to be considered hearty. While the beans and cream stock were standouts, the chicken seemed to just be there for the added protein." If you're a fan of spicy food or tortilla soup in general, definitely give this soup a go.