The Absolute Best Milkshakes In The U.S.

Milkshakes are the ultimate blend of rich ice cream, whole milk, and delicious toppings. Once, these drinkable dreams were available in a limited range of flavors. Today, however, the humble milkshake has evolved past itself, towards glorious developments such as freakshakes, which are part drink, part dessert. You can now have your milkshake fully loaded, with a towering slice of cake, tons of chocolate garnish, marshmallows, cookies, or cereal. 

According to The Guardian, milkshakes took off in the early 1930s, when rampantly growing technologies such as electric kitchen equipment and enhanced refrigeration systems brought the milkshake to the masses. The milkshake also has an obscure but prominent place in the Teapot Dome Scandal, when Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall equated the poaching and drainage of oil supplies with drinking someone else's milkshake. 

Milkshakes have come a long way since they first appeared at soda counters and in anti-big oil legislation. These are the absolute best milkshakes in the country, perfect for sipping and savoring. Some are fancy, some are pared down, but all are decadent and delicious.

Bassetts Ice Cream: Pomegranate Blueberry Chunk Milkshake - Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love is also the city of phenomenal milkshakes. Just one sip of Bassetts Ice Cream's Pomegranate Blueberry Chunk milkshake will make you a believer. Bassetts Ice Cream has been serving the thirsty citizens of Philly for well over 100 years and is easily one of the top ice cream parlors in town. Still, their Pomegranate Blueberry Chunk milkshake takes it all to the next level, thanks to its beautiful symphony of milk and fruity ice cream, topped with a crown of whipped cream.

Bassetts Ice Cream's signature pomegranate ice cream balances sweetness, tartness, and the unique flavor of pomegranates. Add in a generous blueberry swirl, and you have a surprising yet satisfying fruit-forward concoction that you can enjoy from the bowl or blend into a beautiful milkshake. Although the Pomegranate Blueberry Chunk milkshake is great with a burst of whipped cream, you can also add a drizzle of chocolate for extra decadence.

Lunchbox Laboratory: Strawberry Shake - Seattle

Seattle's Lunchbox Laboratory is the place to get mega salads, classic comfort-food appetizers, and some of the creamiest shakes that you'll find in the western part of the United States. Although you can opt for wacky and beautiful flavors like Banana Cream Pie and Boston Cream Donut, we like to stick to the classics whenever we visit one of their Seattle locations. Lunchbox Laboratory's classic Strawberry Shake has all of the elements of your ideal milkshake; the perfect ice cream to milk combination, fresh strawberry flavor, and just the right amount of whipped cream.

You can get your old-fashioned glass of nostalgia in a 12 or 16-ounce cup and add on a few extras like marshmallow cream, custard, or fudge. If you're feeling extra festive, you can always spike your shake with some of the good stuff, like whipped cream vodka or Malibu coconut. Whether you enjoy it boozy or virgin, Lunchbox Laboratory's Strawberry Shake is sure to put a smile on your face.

Crave Real Burgers: Karmal Chameleon - Colorado

With locations all over the Centennial State, Colorado's own Crave Real Burgers is heaven on earth for carnivores who love a good gourmet burger selection, and they're no slouch in the shake department either. Crave Real Burgers' milkshakes are made of premium ingredients with plenty of add-ons like fruit, peanut butter, and even brownies. The results are shakes that are equal parts familiar and fresh. Although you can't go wrong with any shake on the menu, their Karmal Chameleon stands out as a true winner.

With a clever, punny name and a whole host of superstar ingredients, Karmal Chameleon is one satisfying dessert. It has a premium vanilla ice cream base with plenty of gooey caramel, cheesecake, pecans, and a few graham crackers to round it all off. So if you're the kind of person who suffers from dessert indecision and wants to have it all, get your grubby mitts on a Karmal Chameleon shake, stat!

The Yard Milkshake Bar: The Mermaid - Gulf Shores, Alabama

Husband-and-wife duo Logan and Chelsea Green created the concept for The Yard together. They opened the first store in Gulf Shores, Alabama, in 2017 to rave reviews. In 2019, the chain was featured on "Shark Tank," which attracted additional interest and investment (via The Advocate). 

The Yard Milkshake Bar takes the notion of freakshakes to astounding new levels with their mega-creations that drip with ice cream, chocolate, sprinkles, marshmallows, candy, and more. The Yard currently has 18 locations across the U.S., which indicates the sheer popularity of their whimsical drink creations. If you do decide to stop by, you should definitely try The Mermaid.

The Mermaid is a mammoth milkshake with a birthday cake ice cream base. The final product is crowned with pink and teal marshmallows, vibrant rock candy, edible mermaid jewels, and a chocolate tail. Although The Mermaid has a ton of components, all of them balance each other out, leaving you with an endlessly sippable shake that tastes as enchanting as it looks. Plus, there are plenty of different textures, from the chocolate mermaid fin to the rock candy and the silky shake itself.

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer: Cotton Candy Shake - Nationwide

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer has several restaurants across the United States, as well as multiple locations overseas. As with many top-end burger joints, the chefs at Black Tap serve up some innovative takes on classic comfort food and burgers. They also do a great job showcasing the humble milkshake by elevating it to all of its freakshake glory. They offer inspired concoctions called crazyshakes that seem like they're right out of Willy Wonka's playbook.

One shining example of this is the Cotton Candy Shake. Although you could certainly tackle this monster on your own, you might want to enlist the help of a friend to slurp down the mammoth strawberry milkshake with its white chocolate decorations, blue, pink & pearl chocolates, frosting, rock candy, whipped cream, lollipops, and of course, oodles of airy cotton candy. This shake is the perfect combination of function and fun.

Holsteins Shakes and Buns: Frozen Grasshopper - Las Vegas

It should come as no surprise that Las Vegas, Nevada, is the place to go for some of the most epic milkshakes in the country. True to the Sin City's style, the milkshakes at Holsteins Shakes and Buns are loaded with decadent ingredients with a decidedly adult twist. This premium burger and shake joint's Bam-Boozled Shakes are jam-packed with your favorite flavors plus a generous serving of spirits to make them all the more decadent.

Take the Frozen Grasshopper, for example. This delicately-green drink has wintergreen, dark chocolate, vanilla frosting, and a flurry of mint chocolate chips, plus peppermint patties, and whipped cream. The presentation is stunning and balanced, and the shake's boozy mix of chocolate vodka and crème de menthe is bound to leave you in high spirits. If you're looking for an intoxicating blend that'll fulfill all your sweet tooth cravings, head on over to Holsteins Shakes and Buns.

Burgatory Bar: Salted Nutella Crunch Shake - Pittsburgh

Although Pittsburgh's best burger and shake stop is named Burgatory, sampling one of their signature shakes will make you feel as if you've died and gone to heaven. Their Salted Nutella Crunch is a prime example of blending sweet and salty flavors that shine without overpowering the palate. The shake is an expert combination of sweet, dreamy, hazelnut-scented Nutella and the tiniest amount of salt to intensify and draw out the Nutella flavor.

One thing that really sets this shake apart is that it's a good riff on a chocolate milkshake. So if you want something a little bit out of the box but still want that classic nostalgic milkshake experience, try the Salted Nutella Crunch Shake on for size. You can get it virgin or lean into your devilish side by spiking it with a generous shot of chocolate vodka. Either way, it is fantastic.

S&B's Burger Joint: Space Cake Shake - Oklahoma

Oklahoma's S&B Burger Joint has the perfect dessert option for people who don't want to go full-on freakshake but would like a little pizzazz in their classic milkshake. Presenting the Space Cake Shake: A chocolate and peanut butter blast of flavor with cosmic brownie chunks and a sprinkle of chocolate candy. The whole thing is texturally masterful, from the crunch of the chocolate topping to the creamy sweetness of the whipped cream and thick chocolate shake.

It's ideal for people who love the taste of chocolate and peanut butter together. No two notes overpower each other in the Space Cake Shake. Instead, each satisfying gulp contains a perfect balance of flavor. This shake is one of S&B's premium offerings for a reason — it's just that good. S&B Burger Joint has locations all over the Panhandle State, giving you several options to find and claim that Space Cake Shake with your name on it.

Cousteau's Waffle & Milkshake Bar: Sonny Milkshake - St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida, is famous for its Fountain of Youth, funky boutiques, and classic premium milkshakes. At Cousteau's Waffle & Milkshake Bar, right in the heart of the city, you can enjoy traditional milkshakes made with high-quality ingredients. Best of all, the portions are enormous, and the shakes themselves are thick and totally satisfying. Although all of the classic hand-spun flavors at Cousteau's Waffle & Milkshake Bar are on-point, there are a few that truly stand out.

Their Sonny Milkshake is, in short, a thing of beauty. The milkshake is offered in chocolate, vanilla, and butter pecan flavors; however, it is the butter pecan that truly stuns. Butter pecan ice cream tends to be underrated and often overlooked for more popular flavors. Fortunately, Cousteau's Waffle & Milkshake Bar celebrates this old-fashioned ice cream gem by whipping it up into a beautifully flavored shake and topping the whole thing off with a heap of whipped cream. It's the perfect traveling companion for exploring the streets of the old town.

Robert Is Here: Mango Milkshake - Homestead, Florida

If you want to take a break from heavy, sugary milkshakes and opt for something fruitier and lighter, Robert Is Here in Homestead, Florida, has you covered. This celebrated Sunshine State fruit stand is one of the top places in the country to pick up good quality fresh fruits. So get them whole, or ask the team at Robert Is Here to whip you up one of their unique, light, flavorful fruit milkshakes.

Although you can, and should, try all of their flavors, their Mango Milkshake is a clear winner in our book. This vibrant orange drink will send your tastebuds straight to the tropics. Robert Is Here's Mango Milkshake does an intricate precision dance with different flavors, ensuring that there's just enough sweetness to elevate the fresh mango and truly allow it to shine. The result is a fruit-forward, unexpected dessert that's as refreshing as it is lovely. So much yum!

FLIP Burger Boutique & Bar: Turtle Milkshake - Atlanta

If you love traditional turtle candies and want to try that combo in drinkable form, head to FLIP Burger Boutique & Bar in Atlanta, Georgia, for their famous Turtle Milkshake. These generously-sized milkshakes are ideal for sharing, although you can certainly slurp the whole sucker down on your own if your sweet tooth and stomach can bear it. This milkshake gives you the best of both worlds by bringing together decadent caramel and rich chocolate. You'll also get the delightful crunch of pecans and plenty of sweetness from the ice cream and whipped cream.

Although FLIP Burger Boutique & Bar has plenty of exceptional offerings, this milkshake stands out for several reasons. First, neither the caramel nor chocolate are overpowering, and although it's a thick and delicious shake, you won't feel overly full after a few sips. The flavor profile is also completely spot-on and is a clever nod to a beloved candy.

The Field Burger and Tap: S'mores Shake - State College, Pennsylvania

The Field Burger and Tap's S'mores Shake takes a cherished childhood fave and liquifies it to great success. This State College, Pennsylvania institution famously transforms your comfort food staples with gourmet twists and new ingredients. So it's no surprise that they've taken on and transformed a campfire classic. The main key to this milkshake's success lies in the ingredients. The base is made of Hershey's vanilla ice cream, topped with chocolate and marshmallows.

Every sip will give you the richness of premium vanilla ice cream, plus a punch of chocolate and velvety marshmallow. Although you can go back to your childhood roots and enjoy this milkshake in its wholesome, virgin fashion, you can also spike it with a bit of sweet booze. The S'mores Shake contains a shot of whipped cream vodka for extra decadence, creating an adult twist on a classic treat.

Papermoon Diner: Bacon Milkshake - Baltimore

Baltimore, Maryland's Papermoon Diner has funky decor, a warm and welcoming staff, and off-the-charts food and shakes. Although all of their creamy concoctions are stellar, the Bacon Milkshake is one for the ages. Foodies have been flirting with the sweet, salty, and meaty flavors of bacon and desserts for well over a decade, and we've pretty much established that this iconic pork product pairs perfectly with all things dessert-like. Still, Papermoon Diner turned it up to 11 with their Bacon Milkshake, offering you the juxtaposition of flavors in one creamy glass of goodness.

Bacon and chocolate go together like ... well ... bacon and chocolate. The bacon infuses the shake with a robust maple flavor that shines through with vanilla ice cream. If the bacon and dessert combo isn't quite your vibe, you could always opt for the Chunky Monkey or the safe but ever satisfying Caramel Sea Salt.   

Hamburg Inn No. 2: Pie Shake - Iowa City

Hamburg Inn No. 2's Pie Shakes might not be freakshakes, per se, but they do have a few of the elements that make freakshakes so irresistible. Specifically, they incorporate desserts into milkshakes. As the name might suggest, Pie Shakes are milkshakes made with the pie of your choice. It's an ingenious way to riff on pie a la mode. Each sip of the Pie Shake gives you delicious ice cream and bright colors, but in beverage form. 

Their Pie Shakes have elevated the Iowa City diner to cult status, and patrons flock to the restaurant from all over the state to sample the tart, sweet Pie Shake of their choice and enjoy some of Hamburg Inn No. 2's famous hospitality. This inspired and deceptively simple combination is a great way to shake up your classic desserts and traditional shakes while also getting the very best of all possible worlds in one simple milkshake.

Hamburger Heaven: Cookies and Cream Milkshake - Alabama

Alabama's Hamburger Heaven serves simply good, honest food prepared with fresh ingredients. They pride themselves on elevating old-fashioned dishes, and while you won't find freakshakes at any location, you will come across some of the thickest, best, traditional milkshakes that you've ever tasted. When we say that these shakes are thick, we mean that you can turn them upside-down without losing a drop. They're packed to the brim with all the fixings and ice cream that you want, with just enough milk to create a delectable, creamy texture.

Take their Cookies & Cream Milkshake: It comes in a colossal glass topped with a massive pile of whipped cream and some cookie shavings. Inside, you'll find nice chunks of cookies, velvety cream, and plenty of rich vanilla ice cream. The attention to detail and sheer dedication to quality apparent in this shake indicates that the team at Hamburger Heaven knows what they are doing and takes pride in every shake that comes out of their kitchen.

Whataburger: Chocolate Mint Shake - Various locations

If you've ever lived in or traveled through the southern part of the United States, then you know that Whataburger is truly beloved. Hailing from Texas, with locations in Alabama, Arizona, and Florida, to name a few, Whataburger has been cranking out delicious, high-quality comfort food since the 1950s. Their milkshakes are next level. Whataburger's traditional Chocolate Milkshake is undoubtedly a classic, but recently, they've upped the ante by introducing their new Chocolate Mint Shake.

This classic combination is a beautiful mix of Whataburger's original chocolate shake, plus a punch of cooling mint that gives it a unique and refreshing flavor. The result tastes a bit like an Andes Mint Chocolate or a Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie but in drinkable form. If you want to step outside the chocolate box and try out something new, we strongly suggest that you pick up this epic offering from Whataburger. Like all of their shakes, it pairs perfectly with burgers and fries.

Zombie Burger & Shake Lab: Zombie Unicorn Shake - Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa, is home to Zombie Burger & Shake Lab, a "GOREmet eatery" that pays homage to burger stands of the 1970s. This funky little establishment churns out gourmet burgers and delicious, hand-mixed shakes with unique toppings and flavor profiles. One of their best shake offerings, alongside inventive options such as Human Centipeach and Zombie Bride Wedding Cake, is the Zombie Unicorn, a beverage that's bound to hit you right in the feels with its brilliant medley of premium vanilla ice cream, marshmallows, and a bright sprinkle of Fruity Pebbles.

Although Zombie Burger & Shake Lab isn't the first to use childhood cereals in its milkshakes, and it won't be the last, it does have something that seriously sets it apart from the pack — restraint. The Zombie Unicorn is an understated shake, bringing together vanilla ice cream, marshmallow cream, and Fruity Pebbles in a surprisingly rich, yet delicately flavored balance. 

M Street Baking Company: Girl Scout Shakes - Howell, Michigan

M Street Baking Company in Howell, Michigan, has no shortage of decadent, over-the-top shakes and desserts; however, there's one milkshake collection that you simply must try if you want to sample the best that this little bakery has to offer. Their quartet of Girl Scouts Shakes combines your favorite green-box cookie flavors with ice cream, sprinkles, and plenty of chocolate topping.

Through these shakes, M Street Baking Company pays homage to the classic Girl Scout Cookies. Each one of their shakes highlights a different beloved cookie flavor. The Thin Mint Milkshake, with its dark chocolate and fresh, minty flavors, is a brilliant riff on one of the most popular Girl Scout cookies. Their Tagalong Shake is also excellent, offering creamy peanut butter, chocolate, and fresh vanilla in every sip. They also have Samoa Shakes and Trefoil Shakes on the menu, and both embody the flavor profiles of their respective cookies. If you want to experience Girl Scout Cookies in a new and exciting way, try M Street Baking Company's shakes on for size.

Carl's Junior: Classic Vanilla Shake - Nationwide

No list of the absolute best milkshakes would be complete without mentioning Carl's Jr. With over 1000 locations across the U.S. and a strong worldwide presence, this famed West Coast institution has been serving delicious food since the 1950s.

The Hand-Scooped Ice-Cream Shake on the menu complements the food at Carl's Jr.'s exceptionally well. Although they're a fast-food restaurant, Carl's Jr. puts a lot of care and time into their shakes. They use real ice cream and milk, crowning each shake with a big burst of whipped topping.

The classic Vanilla Shake is one of the best things on the menu. It's rich, packed with deep vanilla flavor, and is thick and satisfying. Carl's Jr. shows that sometimes the simplest flavor combinations are the best, particularly when you use premium ingredients. So if you're looking for a great way to get your shake fix in a hurry, you just can't beat the quality or convenience of Carl's Jr.