The 16 Best Fast Food Chocolate Milkshakes, Ranked For Summer 2024

It’s starting to feel like summer. If the graduation ceremonies, backyard BBQs, music festivals, beach days, warmer temperatures, and the growing itch to travel weren’t indication enough, you’re probably beginning to have an insatiable appetite for a thick and luxurious chocolate shake. What better — and more delicious — indication of summer exists than that?

Few snacks can hit the spot like a cold brain-freeze-inducing chocolate shake. It’s rich, decadent, and satisfying in a way that no other flavor is, it is the quintessential milkshake flavor. One of those rare snacks that cause you to throw caution to the wind — in this case, the caution in question is calorie and sugar content — as soon as it hits your palate, igniting your senses in pure ecstasy.

So to honor the world’s greatest milkshake flavor, we’re naming and ranking the 20 best chocolate milkshakes in all of fast food. There are a lot of chocolate milkshakes out there, and we want you to have only the very best, so if you’re looking for an unforgettably delicious experience, allow us to guide you to the absolute best milkshakes on offer.

16. McDonald’s — McCafe Chocolate Shake

Choco Shake
McDonald

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

It pains me to put McDonald’s at the bottom of any list but we need to accept that McDonald’s stock milkshakes just aren’t good. If you want a good dessert from McDonald’s, go with a McFlurry.

The regular milkshake’s weak point is the syrup and the way it mixes with the vanilla soft-serve base. Once mixed up, this milkshake is watery and loose, and it just doesn’t taste chocolatey enough for me. The chocolate is so faint that it’s distracting. You can’t help but wonder “Where is the chocolate?” while drinking this.

The Bottom Line:

This milkshake has nothing going for it. The flavor is bland and the consistency is watery.

15. Burger King — BK Cafe Chocolate Shake

Choco Shake
Burger King

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Only slightly better than McDonald’s. The BK Cafe Chocolate Shake has a flat, lifeless chocolate flavor over a creamy base. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it “thiccccccc,” but it’s not nearly as watery as what McDonald’s has.

If someone is for some reason forcing you to order a milkshake at Burger King, you’d be better served by ordering the Oreo cookie version. The inclusion of Oreos makes this marginally better by thickening up the shake and giving it some texture.

The Bottom Line:

Bottom tier sh*t. Ignore it unless it’s free.

14. Johnny Rockets — Hershey’s Chocolate Shake

Johnny Rockets

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Johnny Rockets is a strange place because it’s got one foot in the past and one fit in the present, so eating here can cause some cognitive dissonance. Looking at your surroundings, everything about this place screams 1950s. And yet, they play contemporary music over the speakers. Sipping a milkshake in a 1950s diner while Dua Lipa blasts through the room is a weird, weird experience.

As far as shakes go, this is just fine. It’s made with Hershey’s chocolate syrup blended with vanilla ice cream. It tastes homemade, yet low-effort at the same time. Nothing about the flavor jumped out at me or tasted special. It’s simply a stock chocolate milkshake that you probably could’ve made at home.

The Bottom Line:

It’s not really worth the money. You come to Johnny Rockets for the vibes, not the food.

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

Choco Shake
Carl

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Generally, I’m a fan of Carl’s Jr’s milkshakes. They’re made with real scoops of ice cream instead of syrup or powdered flavoring over a soft-serve vanilla base. But the chocolate flavor is easily the weakest of the bunch.

The flavor is chalky and bland, it lacks the richness you expect from a chocolate milkshake. It tastes similar to a Hershey bar, intensely sweet, but more like sugar than actual chocolate.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t let this relatively low ranking dissuade you from ordering a Carl’s Jr. milkshake. Just don’t order the chocolate flavor.

12. Wendy’s — Chocolate Frosty

Choco Shake
Wendy

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

I’m going to catch some heat for this one but the Chocolate Frosty is mid. Yes, it’s thick, I’ll admit that it has that going for it, but the flavor tastes like someone mixed Nesquik into some blended ice and called it a day.

It’s not rich, creamy, milky, or particularly chocolatey. It’s just thick. It tastes more like sweet ice than chocolate, and that’s a problem.

Having said all that, it makes for a delicious French fry dip. With an infusion of hot, salty, and buttery potato, this shake tastes amazing. Unfortunately for the Frosty, this isn’t an article about the best milkshakes to dip french fries into, though that’s a pretty good article idea, so we’ll circle back one day on that!

The Bottom Line:

A delicious thick fry dip, but as a shake? It just doesn’t stand out.

11. Del Taco — Chocolate Shake

ChocoShake
Del Taco

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

The Del Taco Strawberry Shake is one of my favorite strawberry milkshakes of all time. Order that. But this? It misses the mark. For whatever reason, this milkshake just tastes bland and flavorless to me.

The thickness is locked in, but the chocolate itself tastes chalky and muddled, offering only the tiniest echoes of cocoa over a mostly milky flavor.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for Del Taco’s best dessert, order the Strawberry milkshake (it has real strawberries). If you’re looking for a good chocolate shake, look elsewhere.

10. Steak n’ Shake — Chocolate Classic Milkshake

Choco Shake
Steak N Shake

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Steak n Shake’s milkshakes are rich, thick, and super creamy. Imagine a scoop of Dutch chocolate ice cream, but drinkable, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what the Steak n Shake Chocolate milkshake tastes like. The brand makes its milkshakes with real ice cream, and each comes topped with whipped cream and a cherry. I love to mix the whipped cream into the chocolate to enhance sweetness.

It’s a good milkshake, but here is the thing, Steak n Shake is all about the mix-ins. You can add Snickers, Kit Kats, Nutella, Cotton Candy, M&Ms —a whole bunch of great snacks that add a nice sense of texture to this milkshake. Why wouldn’t you get the mix-ins? Because those mix-ins are readily available, it makes the simple chocolate milkshake come across as tasting basic. I won’t hold that against it for this ranking, but I can’t see myself ordering the plain chocolate anytime soon.

The Bottom Line:

A solid, good, but not great, chocolate milkshake.

9. Dave’s Hot Chicken — Chocolate Shake

Milkshakes
Dane Rivera

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

The flavor here is great, it features notes of rich earthy cocoa with a milk-chocolate aftertaste. Unfortunately, the consistency is too watery. A great shake is thick and luxurious, but this comes across as, well, loose. Do you find “loose” an off-putting way to describe a milkshake? I’m willing to bet you do, now just imagine experiencing said looseness in your mouth.

It’s enough to make me never want to order this milkshake again, which is a shame because again, the flavor was great.

The Bottom Line:

Great flavor, but bad consistency.

8. Sonic Chocolate Classic Shake

Choco Shake
Sonic

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Sonic has the exact same issue as Steak n’ Shake. The milkshakes here are thick as hell, that’s a great thing, but they offer more mix-ins than most fast food chains, which begs the question: why would you ever order just chocolate?

You’re supposed to use the three classic flavors (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry) as a base to build upon. What sounds better, a plain chocolate shake, or a chocolate shake with banana, a strawberry, and some graham cracker dust? Sonic allows you to take a regular milkshake and turn it into a gourmet experience.

As a standalone chocolate milkshake, it’s merely good. Thick, rich, intensely sweet, yet somehow boring given the amount of options Sonic offers you to
elevate it.

The Bottom Line:

Again, this isn’t a place to come for a plain milkshake. Go nuts with the mix-ins, think of the chocolate as a base to build upon.

7. Jack in the Box — Chocolate Shake

Choco Shake
Jack in the Box

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Here is the thing about the Jack in the Box Chocolate Shake — it’s good, but the Oreo Milkshake is better. That makes ordering this feel like a bit of a compromise.

If you are willing to order it though, what you’ll get is a toasted semi-sweet chocolate flavor over a thick vanilla base. It offers a nice balance between its sweetness and more bitter and complex cocoa notes.

The Bottom Line:

Not good enough to blow you away, but it’s worth ordering if you want something sweet but you’re not in the mood for the Oreo Milkshake.

6. Arby’s Chocolate Shake

Choco Shake
Arby

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Because it’s a brand that is so easy to make fun of, it’s easy to forget that Arby’s is pretty good at what it makes. This milkshake is wonderfully chocolate forward, it’s creamy, with a caramelized sugar and cocoa flavor, and a finish like smooth velvet.

Arby’s uses Ghirardelli chocolate to flavor this shake before drizzling more Ghirardelli chocolate syrup on top of the whole thing. The only thing holding this shake back is the consistency, which isn’t nearly as thick as you want it to be. If it was just a bit thicker, it’d easily jump up a few spots on this list.

The Bottom Line:

Arby’s has nailed the flavor, but they need to work on the thickness of this shake for it to really shine.

5. Dairy Queen — Chocolate Malt

Choco Shake
DQ

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Malts are where it’s at! The Dairy Queen Chocolate Malt features a blend of chocolate syrup, milk, malted milk powder, and soft serve ice cream, resulting in a thick milkshake that tastes better and better with each sip.

The chocolate isn’t particularly interesting, you can expect a sweet Hershey’s-like milk chocolate flavor, but the consistency somehow makes it come across as richer. Just be sure to ask for the milkshake malted, because otherwise, you’re getting the stock blend which really puts into focus how one-note the chocolate syrup is.

The Bottom Line:

Get it malted! A great milkshake, but far from the best.

4. Chick-fil-A — Chocolate Milkshake

Choco Shake
Chick Fil A

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

The Chick-fil-A menu on the whole is remarkably consistent. Every food the brand makes, they do it well, and that extends to the milkshakes. This milkshake is thick and flavorful, well-balanced between sweet and bitter notes, with a toasted cocoa flavor, hints of coffee bean, and a sweet vanilla finish.

I like the flavor a lot, but it’s just a bit too faint. The milkshakes are made using the chain’s Ice Cream soft serve, and that creamy flavor dominates the overall experience. This would have to be a bit more chocolate-forward to really wow us.

The Bottom Line:

A great chocolate milkshake, but it’s probably Chick-fil-A’s weakest flavor overall.

3. In-N-Out Chocolate Milkshake

Shakes
In N Out

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

In-N-Out’s chocolate milkshake is a weird one. One on hand, I think it’s great. It’s my go-to flavor at In-N-Out and as far as I’m concerned a must-order. But, it doesn’t really taste all that much like chocolate.

The cocoa flavor is so faint that it barely registers on the taste buds, but the consistency of the milkshake is luxuriously thick and has this unique and distinctly In-N-Out flavor that makes it delicious in its own right. But it would be wrong to rank it any higher than this. Even where it stands now feels a bit too high.

The Bottom Line:

A great milkshake, but I’m not sure it’s a particularly good chocolate milkshake if that makes sense. It’s thick and wonderful to sip on, but the flavor is very faint and leaves a lot to be desired.

2. Five Guys — Chocolate Milkshake

ChocoShake
Dane Rivera

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Five Guys gets a lot of shit for being offensively expensive but, credit where credit is due, they make some damn good food. There are only four things on the menu, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, french fries, and shakes and all four are top-of-the-line. Name another fast food chain that is this consistently great across the board!

One sip is enough to make you exclaim “Wow!” no matter how jaded and joyless your existence is. This milkshake actually starts to taste better the longer you sip on it, and that’s a rarity. Generally, milkshakes taste great for the first 10 or so sips and then they start to melt and become a chore to finish. Not this one though, it stays delicious 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.

Throughout this list, I’ve criticized many milkshakes as being plain and boring when mix-ins are an option, and at Five Guys you can mix everything from bananas to strawberries to bacon to elevate your experience. Even with all of that on hand, I think nothing hits quite like the plain chocolate.

The Bottom Line:

One of the greatest chocolate milkshakes in all of fast food. It’s heaven for chocolate lovers.

1. Shake Shack — Chocolate Shake (Malted)

Milkshakes
Dane Rivera

Thoughts & Tasting Notes:

Here we are at our number one pick — Shake Shack’s Malted Chocolate Milkshake. The flavor is remarkably complex. Layers of rich cocoa hit your palate first before an earthy brown sugar flavor takes over with nutty and toasted notes that melt on the tongue.

The chocolate seeps deep into your taste buds and completely takes over your senses. It’s unlike any other milkshake you’ll find in fast food.
That’s probably because it’s malted, but be sure an ask for this when you’re ordering, because the typical Shake Shack milkshake isn’t made with the malted milk powder. That malted powder really deepens and enriches the flavors, without it this milkshake would’ve barely made the top five. But be warned, once you have a malted milkshake, anything other milkshake not malted will ultimately taste like it’s missing something.

The Bottom Line:

With a name like “Shake Shack,” they better have the best damn milkshake in all of fast food. And it is, but just make sure to get it malted if you want the ultimate experience.

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