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The Richest, Best-Tasting Chocolate Milkshakes In The Fast Food Universe, Ranked

Chocolate is the quintessential milkshake flavor. Sure vanilla is the most luscious, but it functions best as the base of a milkshake, not the star of the show. Strawberry, while refreshing, is divisive for a reason. But chocolate, with its rich and decadent nature shining through every slurp of the straw? It just satisfies in a way that no other flavor can.

When the perfect chocolate milkshake hits, you don’t think about calories or sugar. You just think: That’s a pretty f*cking good milkshake.

In celebration of the greatest milkshake flavor of all time, we’re ranking all the best chocolate milkshakes in the fast food universe in search of the GOAT. Just like we did with our strawberry milkshake ranking, we’ll be paying special attention to each shake’s thickness, scoring each on a 1-5 scale. Let’s sip!

14. McDonald’s — McCafe Chocolate Shake

Choco Shake
McDonald

Thickness: 2/5

Tasting Notes:

McDonald’s milkshakes just… aren’t good. The chain just hasn’t really figured out how to nail a quality milkshake, which is strange because their McFlurry’s, which are the middle ground between a sundae and a milkshake, are so damn delicious.

But their stock McCafe milkshakes? Awful.

It’s the syrup that’s to blame. McDonald’s makes their milkshakes by using their vanilla soft serve base and blending in flavored syrup, but the syrup tends to change the consistency of the milkshake, causing it to become watery and loose. The chocolate in particular just doesn’t taste all that much like chocolate. It’s so faint that it somehow comes across as distracting. You won’t be able to stop wondering “where is the chocolate?”

The Bottom Line:

This milkshake has nothing going for it. It’s not thick enough, and the flavors are bland and taste watered down.

Find your nearest McDonald’s here.

13. Burger King — Chocolate Shake with Oreo Cookies

Choco Shake
Burger King

Thickness: 3/5

Tasting Notes:

Maybe it’s cheating to include Burger King’s Chocolate Shake with Oreo Cookies over their plain Chocolate shake but I consistently give BK the bottom spot on nearly all of my fast food rankings and I desperately want the brand to win for some reason, so… welcome to 2nd last place, Burger King!

Burger King’s Chocolate Shake with Oreo Cookies takes a bad thing, BK’s chocolate shake, and makes it marginally better by adding Oreos in, giving it a bit more thickness and a whole lot of texture and flavor. The Oreos are crushed small enough to travel up your straw with ease and provide a great mouthfeel, but the milkshake tends to melt in your mouth before the cookie pieces can dissolve, leaving you with a layer of cookie gravel on your tongue after every sip.

The Bottom Line:

Burger King’s best milkshake! Having said that, maybe skip ordering a milkshake at BK. Or… anything at all.

Find your nearest Burger King here.

12. Carl’s Jr. — Hand-Scooped Chocolate Ice Cream

Choco Shake
Carl

Thickness: 4/5

Tasting Notes:

I generally like Carl’s Jr.’s milkshakes but the chocolate flavor is easily the weakest of the three offered. Carl’s Jr. uses real scoops of ice cream instead of flavoring a soft serve vanilla base with powders or syrups (which a lot of milkshakes do) providing a nice depth of flavor in the vanilla and strawberry flavor,s but whatever chocolate ice cream Carl’s Jr. is using. is just not good.

The chocolate tastes chalky and bland, it lacks the richness you expect from the flavor. It tastes kind of like a Hershey bar, intensely sweet, but more like sugar and milk than chocolate.

The Bottom Line:

Carl’s Jr. makes good milkshakes, so long as your order any flavor other than chocolate

Find your nearest Carl’s Jr. here

11. Wendy’s — Chocolate Frosty

Choco Shake
Wendy

Thickness: 5/5

Tasting Notes:

Frosty Heads are going to lose their shit over this [my boss is one, but YOLO!] but the Chocolate Frosty is mid-tier at best. I get it, the Frosty is thick, probably the thickest milkshake in the game, but the flavor is like someone mixed Nesquik into some blended ice and called it a day.

It’s bland, tasting more like sweet ice than chocolate. Its only real strength is that it makes for a delicious fry dip. With an infusion of hot, salty, and buttery potato, this shake tastes amazing. But this isn’t an article about the best milkshakes to dip french fries into — as a stand-alone shake this just doesn’t offer enough flavor to deserve a better spot than this.

The Bottom Line:

A delicious thick fry dip, but as a shake, it doesn’t offer enough flavor to really stand out.

Find your nearest Wendy’s here.

10. Del Taco — Chocolate Shake

ChocoShake
Del Taco

Thickness: 4/5

Tasting Notes:

I’ll swear by the Del Taco Strawberry Shake. You could put it up against the top five of this ranking and I think it would put up a good fight and we’re talking about strawberry vs chocolate here — that’s not an easy win for the fruit. But Del Taco’s take on chocolate? It misses the mark. Where the strawberry shake is refreshing and luxurious, this is, like a lot of the chocolate shakes in this section of the ranking, bland and flavorless.

The thickness is there, but the flavor isn’t — the chocolate presents itself as chalky and muddled, with the tiniest echoes of cocoa over its mostly milky flavor.

The Bottom Line:

Order the Strawberry, trust us, even if you don’t generally like strawberry shakes. It’s Del Taco’s best dessert. This isn’t.

Find your nearest Del Taco here.

9. Steak n’ Shake Chocolate Milkshake

Choco Shake
Steak N Shake

Thickness: 3/5

Tasting Notes:

You think that a place with the word ‘Shake’ in the name would make some great milkshakes, and maybe at one point Steak n’ Shake did. But have you been there lately?

The quality of the milkshakes has taken a serious dip. This shake lacks consistency, it’s watery, and too sweet, with a cheap chocolate flavor that comes across as almost sour. It’s so bad that when I had this shake recently, I had to take a second trip back to a different Steak n’ Shake the next day, assuming I got a bad shake.

I was wrong, Steak n’ Shake just sucks.

The Bottom Line:

Doesn’t rank high enough to deserve the word “shake” in the name of the chain.

Find your nearest Steak n Shake here.

8. Sonic — Chocolate Classic Shake

Choco Shake
Sonic

Thickness: 4/5

Tasting Notes:

Sonic’s milkshakes are thick as hell and offer more mix-ins than your average fast food chain, which begs the question: why would you ever order just chocolate? Seriously, you’re a banana, a strawberry, and some graham cracker dust away from making this simple shake into a gourmet experience.

We can let a single mix-in pass (see our BK entry) but once we start adding a bunch of ingredients into a milkshake, it’s not fair to call it “chocolate” anymore. As a stand-alone chocolate shake, this one is just fine — it’s thick, rich and intensely sweet but somehow comes across as boring given the amount of other options Sonic offers you and in comparison to what we’ve ranked higher.

The Bottom Line:

You’re at Sonic, you should go nuts with the mix-ins. Use this as a base, not a standalone flavor.

Find your nearest Sonic here.

7. Arby’s Chocolate Shake

Choco Shake
Arby

Thickness: 3/5

Tasting Notes:

Put some respect on Arby’s name! I know that Arby’s brings a lot of the hate on itself (their whole “we’ve got the meats” marketing comes across as obnoxious and a bit tone-deaf in our rapidly warming world) but the brand is pretty good at everything it does. The roast beef sandwiches are on point, their seasonal offerings are always strong, and they even made a Wagyu burger that was pretty damn tasty.

Glad to say that consistency translates over to their dessert offerings.

This shake is gloriously chocolate forward, it’s creamy, with a caramelized sugar and cocoa flavor, and a velvety smooth finish. We have the famed Ghirardelli to thank for that, as Arby’s blends Ghirardelli chocolate right into the shake before drizzling more Ghirardelli chocolate syrup on top. The only weak point is the consistency — it’s not nearly thick enough to deserve a higher spot on this ranking.

The Bottom Line:

Arby’s has nailed the flavor of a great chocolate shake, but they have a lot of work to do on the consistency. This is the only shake on this ranking where the lack of thickness holds it back.

Find your nearest Arby’s here.

6. Jack in the Box — Chocolate Shake

Choco Shake
Jack in the Box

Thickness:. 5/5

Tasting Notes:

Jack in the Box is, to misquote the late ’90s early ’00s band Disturbed, “Down with the thickness.” They make some of the thickest milkshakes in the game, so thick that it’s highly likely your straw will start to bend and contort from the force of your sucking as you try drinking it. But if you’re at Jack in the Box, we have to ask, why are you ordering anything other than an Oreo milkshake?

This is another milkshake that will probably continue to get overlooked by a vastly superior menu option, but if curiosity causes you to actually go for chocolate over Oreo, here is what you’re getting: a toasted semi-sweet chocolate flavor over a thick vanilla base. It has a nice balance between its sweetness and more bitter and complex cocoa notes.

It’s a bit too powdery to deserve a spot in the top five, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good milkshake.

The Bottom Line:

It’s not going to blow you away, but it’s a very good chocolate shake.

Find your nearest Jack in the Box here.

5. Dairy Queen Hot Fudge Shake

Choco Shake
DQ

Thickness: 3/5

Tasting Notes:

Dairy Queen’s chocolate shake’s can get confusing, you’ve got the OG Chocolate, and the Hot Fudge, and I’m pretty sure at one point there was a cold fudge, and just fudge, which I guess…. fudge at room temperature? It seems DQ has wisely scaled back, during my most recent visit there was just Chocolate and Hot Fudge.

It’s hard to describe why I like the Hot Fudge over the Chocolate flavor but it just tastes more chocolate-y to me. The chocolate flavor is richer and more prominent in the hot fudge, and it comes across as more decadent and satisfying to me.

If you like a bit more balance in your milkshake, I’d suggest the OG Chocolate, but if you’re a hardcore chocolate lover, the Hot Fudge is the move. The weak point of this shake? It’s not very thick. If the thickness is what you’re after, order a Blizzard instead. We suggest the Oreo Dirt Pie.

The Bottom Line:

Intensely chocolate forward, if you’re wondering if there is a difference between the “Chocolate” and “Hot Fudge,” there is — the Hot Fudge is better.

Find your nearest Dairy Queen here.

4. Chick-fil-A — Chocolate Milkshake

Choco Shake
Chick Fil A

Thickness: 5/5

Tasting Notes:

All of Chick-fil-A’s milkshakes are delicious. Each one is thick and flavorful, but Chocolate is the weakest flavor on the menu. Chick-fil-A’s milkshakes are made using the chain’s Ice Dream soft serve, which is incredibly dense and wonderfully sweet and creamy. The flavor here is well balanced between sweet and bitter notes, with a toasted cocoa flavor, hints of coffee bean, and a sweet vanilla finish.

The flavor is great, but it’s a bit too faint. A Chick-fil-A chocolate shake only disappoints when you’ve had the other flavors, which I have! I suggest you start with the Oreo.

The Bottom Line

An amazing chocolate shake but Chick-fil-A has an Oreo that is twice as good and summer is peach milkshake season, so you’ve got a lot of options that aren’t chocolate and offer a way better experience. Order one of those instead.

Find your nearest Chick-fil-A here.

3. In-N-Out Chocolate Milkshake

Shakes
In N Out

Thickness: 5/5

Tasting Notes:

I have all sorts of nostalgic love for In-N-Out’s milkshakes but if I’m being real I have to admit that the chocolate shake doesn’t really taste all that much like chocolate. That isn’t to say it isn’t good though. It’s great, the cocoa flavor is so faint that it barely registers as chocolate on the taste buds, but the consistency of the milkshake is luxuriously thick and it has this unique and distinctly In-N-Out flavor that makes it delicious in its own right.

Word to the wise, if you’re ordering this milkshake in California, grab a spoon. This shake is way too thick for a paper straw.

The Bottom Line:

A great milkshake. It doesn’t taste all that much like chocolate but the delicious sweet flavor and thickness is enough to earn it a spot in the top five.

Find your nearest In-N-Out here.

2. Shake Shack — Chocolate Milkshake

Shakes
Shake Shack

Thickness: 4/5

Tasting Notes:

Shake Shack is the only fast food brand on this ranking that uses custard instead of soft serve ice cream as a base for their milkshakes. What’s the difference between custard and soft serve? Not a whole lot, but custard tends to be smoother, denser, and more luxurious than airy and sweet soft serve, which absolutely matters when we’re talking about milkshakes. That denseness doesn’t necessarily result in a thicker shake than the competition, it’s still very easy to drink, but there is a richer mouthfeel here — the flavors are more intense and seem to soak into the tongue in this really satisfying way.

The chocolate flavor provides a rich and earthy cocoa flavor with a smooth caramelized sugar finish. Shockingly, despite my praise, this isn’t Shake Shack’s best milkshake, the chain almost always has a seasonal flavor that trumps this very delicious flavor. Right now you can get an Oreo Cookie Funnel Cake and a Chocolate Churro Shake, which makes plain chocolate a little hard to recommend.

The Bottom Line:

If one of Shake Shack’s always rotating seasonal flavors doesn’t catch your eye, order this — it’s one of the best tasting, richest, and smoothest chocolate shakes in the fast food universe.

Find your nearest Shake Shack here.

1. Five Guys — Chocolate Milkshake

ChocoShake
Dane Rivera

Thickness: 5/5

Tasting Notes:

Is Five Guys my favorite fast food joint? I’m genuinely asking because if you asked me for a short list of my five favorite fast food restaurants, I don’t think Five Guys would even come to mind, and yet I consistently give them the top spot in our food rankings. I think they have the best fries, and one of the best burger menus thanks to a limitless combination of options, and here we are with our second milkshake ranking of the year, and once again Five Guys has come out on top.

Never has a fast food chain been so consistently great across the board!

This milkshake is so damn good that a single sip will actually cause you to exclaim “wow!” no matter how jaded and joyless your existence is. This is one of the few milkshakes that actually start to taste better the longer you drink it, the chocolate flavor stays consistently strong throughout the whole experience. Five Guys blends Ghirardelli chocolate in a thick creamy vanilla base and doubles down with some fudge mixed in, which occasionally comes bursting through the straw with a rich and heavy flavor. Imagine the best milk chocolate you’ve ever had, but drinkable.

At Five Guys you can add all sorts of things into your milkshake, you can put everything from bananas and strawberries to bacon in this thing to elevate the experience, but some days, nothing is going to hit like the plain chocolate and that’s a testament to just how good this milkshake is. It doesn’t even need the extra ingredients to be good.

The Bottom Line:

Heaven for chocolate lovers. This is the thickest, richest, and most chocolate-y milkshake in the fast food universe.

Find your nearest Five Guys here.

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