When you want to get a nice, cold treat in the middle of the summer, where do you go? If you live near a Dairy Queen, there’s a good chance that you stop by from time to time to grab something to eat. But far too many people order the exact same thing over and over again. It’s too easy to get stuck in a routine.
Don’t let that happen to you! At a fast food joint that has as many options as you’ll find at Dairy Queen, you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one or two items. The only problem is, how do you know you’re getting something you want before you actually buy it?
We’re here to do some of the heavy lifting here by ranking some of the most popular Dairy Queen menu items from worst to best. While there aren’t many options we actively dislike from Dairy Queen, we don’t love everything equally. Taking a look at this ranking can help you decide what you want to order the next time you’re going through the drive-thru or eating in.
Ready to discover some of the best foods Dairy Queen has to offer? Let’s take a closer look.
19. Plain vanilla cone
When you’re going out to eat, whether you’re headed to a nice restaurant or just stopping by your local fast food place, you want to know that you’re spending your money wisely. It’s not bad to spend some extra cash on food when you have it, but just make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. That certainly won’t be the case when you order the plain vanilla cone from Dairy Queen.
When it comes to ice cream, you really can’t get any more basic than this. It’s just a cone with a little scoop of soft serve vanilla ice cream on top. Now, don’t think we’re going to hate on this soft serve, because we’re not. It does taste really good. But let’s be honest with ourselves: Is it really worth the money when you could buy a whole carton of ice cream instead?
Besides, vanilla is the most boring flavor out there. People literally use it to describe other things that are boring. There’s really nothing to say about the flavor of this cone, because it just couldn’t be more blah. If you’ve got a picky toddler in the back seat, maybe a plain vanilla cone will be the way to go. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.
18. Brownie and Oreo Cupfection
We just complained about how the vanilla cone isn’t exciting enough, but we have a different complaint about the brownie and Oreo Cupfection from Dairy Queen. Sure, it starts with the same vanilla soft serve, but then the fast food restaurant goes way off the rails with this menu item. We don’t normally think you can have too much chocolate in your life, but this menu item proved us wrong. We warn you, this dessert is definitely not for the faint of heart.
First, Dairy Queen adds a triple chocolate brownie to the mix, which might sound great, but this brownie is so unbelievably sweet that you probably won’t be able to eat more than half of it. Next up are the Oreos, which are crushed up to make a sort of topping for the dessert. To make things even more chocolatey-sweet, they also add a rich chocolate sauce. It comes to a head with a marshmallow topping that’s somehow even sweeter than the rest of the dessert.
If this sounds like an unbelievable amount of sugar in one serving of ice cream, you couldn’t be more right. We think it’s over the top and is just too rich, so unless you have the most aggressive sweet tooth imaginable, you should probably stay away from this option.
17. Peanut Buster Parfait
Some people love peanuts. Others can’t stand them. Still others are seriously allergic to them. If you don’t fall into those last two categories, you have the option of choosing the Peanut Buster Parfait. These days, when you read the word "parfait," you might think of a light and healthy breakfast option that’s served with fresh fruit and whole grains; however, you should know after reading this far that you shouldn’t assume that to be the case when you stop at your local Dairy Queen. Instead, you’ll find a dessert that just doesn’t do it for us.
This treat again uses vanilla ice cream as its base and is layered with chocolate sauce, but we think there is way too much chocolate involved here. It made us want to throw in our spoons and give up on dessert entirely.
Then come the peanuts. You might think that a nice, salty crunch would add an enjoyable flavor and texture to an otherwise sweet and creamy dish, but the peanuts we got here were hard, dried out, and barely salty at all. They provided some crunch, but that was the extent of their usefulness.
16. Bacon Cheese Grillburger
If you’re looking for the perfect after-dinner ice cream treat, Dairy Queen might just be the place to go. But if you’re looking for the ideal burger, you might want to pass on this fast food option and find something else. Why? We just can’t get behind the bacon cheese Grillburger. This quarter-pound beef burger is topped with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and, of course, bacon. It also comes with ketchup and mayo if you’re into that kind of thing. And it’s served on a toasted bun, which is much too light and airy to properly hold the contents of this burger.
While this sandwich seems innocuous enough, it’s definitely not very high on our list of must-haves at Dairy Queen. The toppings are usually kind of sad, and the patty itself isn’t very juicy. Though it might not be the worst burger in the world, it’s kind of a bummer when you compare it to most other popular fast food burgers. As far as we’re concerned, why would you bother? Just grab your burger from a fast food spot that does it better. You can stop by for ice cream at Dairy Queen after you’re done.
15. Triple chocolate brownie
Here’s another dessert that we think is just too rich for anyone’s good. The triple chocolate brownie is just as unnecessarily indulgent as it sounds. It all starts with a massive chocolate brownie that’s quite dense, so just a few bites and you’ll find yourself getting full. The brownie is filled with chunks of chocolate, which is what really takes it over the top. A fudge brownie filled with even more chocolate? We get what they were trying to do here, but it’s overkill. And it doesn’t end there. You’ll also find chocolate fudge drizzled over the top of the entire dessert. You’d have to have the biggest chocolate craving in the world to find this dessert appetizing after the first few bites.
Don’t forget about the ice cream, either. The brownie is served with Dairy Queen’s famous soft serve. You didn’t think it would come out naked, did you? While the cold creaminess does add a nice touch, it still doesn’t cut down on the sweetness at all. Overall, this is a real mess of a dessert that you probably shouldn’t try to eat by yourself.
14. Hot fudge sundae
Okay, we want to be fair here. The hot fudge sundae from Dairy Queen doesn’t actually taste bad at all. It starts with the classic soft serve you expect when you go to any Dairy Queen location, and then the hot fudge topping is added to make it a little bit more interesting. While it’s similar to the vanilla cone, we rate this one a bit higher because of that chocolate drizzle, which is more balanced with the ice than it is in the peanut buster parfait. It makes the flavor slightly more exciting, and it gives you at least a little bit of variety when it comes to texture. It’s also more convenient to eat your ice cream from a cup instead of a cone, especially if you go through the drive-thru and try to eat the treat in the car.
So all in all, this dessert isn’t bad. We just probably wouldn’t buy it, since it’s another one of those dishes you can probably make at home for way cheaper. Just buy some ice cream and some chocolate sauce, and you’re good to go. Of course, not everyone wants to buy several servings at once, and sometimes you just have to treat yourself when you’re out and about. So if that’s your situation, go ahead and try this simple treat.
13. Oreo Blizzard
We bet you were wondering when a Blizzard would show up in our ranking. They are perhaps what Dairy Queen is known best for (even though they’re not technically ice cream, and neither is Dairy Queen’s soft serve), and they certainly take up a hefty portion of the menu. They’re also great options because they’re easy to eat and they’re something that you can’t get just anywhere. While the Oreo Blizzard is our least favorite of the popular Blizzard flavors, that doesn’t mean we don’t like it at all. Because at the end of the day, when you mix Oreos into any ice cream situation, you know you’re going to get something good.
That being said, there are just so many desserts these days that involve ice cream and Oreos. The flavor certainly isn’t groundbreaking, and it’s not like you can’t get something similar elsewhere. Sure, you might not be able to turn other Oreo desserts upside down without making a mess all over the ground, but since that seems to be the main appeal when it comes to getting an Oreo Blizzard, we probably wouldn’t go out of our way just to grab one.
If you’re already there, though, and you happen to love Oreos more than anything, then this might just be the dessert for you.
12. Butterfinger Blizzard
Next up on our list is the Butterfinger Blizzard, which you’ll only find at Dairy Queen. If you love Butterfingers, you might be asking yourself why this Blizzard isn’t ranked higher on our list. Well, that’s because we have a hot take: Butterfingers just aren’t the best candy out there. We’re sorry we had to break the news to you this way. Of course, if you disagree with us, we totally understand if you have to move this particular Blizzard up in your own personal Dairy Queen ratings. But for us, the humble Butterfinger just can’t live up to the gloriousness that is the candy in some of our other favorite Blizzards.
The peanut butter flavor from the Butterfingers is strong, which you’ll probably like if you’re a big peanut butter fan; however, we wish there were more actual pieces of candy in the soft serve mix. In ours, it seemed like it was mostly vanilla ice cream, which is a bit of a bummer when you’re expecting the treat to be laced with your favorite candy.
If this were one of the only Blizzards on the menu, there’d be a good chance we’d ordered it a lot. But when you compare it to many of the other Blizzards that are simply out-of-this-world delicious, it makes sense that the Butterfinger Blizzard just didn’t manage to get as high a rating as some of the others.
11. Misty Slush
When you go to Dairy Queen, you’re probably expecting a treat that’s, well, filled with dairy. But not everyone can have dairy in their diet. Whether you’re lactose intolerant or just trying to consume less of it, it can be a bummer to go to a fast food drive-thru only to find out that you can’t really order anything off the dessert menu. But when you go to Dairy Queen, that certainly won’t be the case with the Misty Slush.
The Misty Slush is just what it sounds like: a slushie drink that comes in a variety of fruit flavors. You can choose from lemon lime, blue raspberry, mango, cherry, or strawberry kiwi flavors. Our advice? If you’re looking for something that’s a bit different, the mango slushie is definitely the way to go. You won’t find this on just any fast food menu board. However, several of the other flavors are just as good — particularly the strawberry kiwi.
In the middle of the summer, these Dairy Queen treats can be some of the best items on the menu. Most of the time, however, we would prefer a richer dessert when we’re making the trip to our local DQ.
10. Chili cheese dog
Not every fast food restaurant sells hot dogs. In fact, if you take a look at many of the most popular fast food places in the world, there won’t be a single hot dog on the menu. If you’re the kind of person who loves weenies, though, that’s got to be really disappointing. This is why you might end up considering Dairy Queen your safe haven. Not only is there a traditional hot dog you can order, there’s the chili cheese dog as well.
It’s pretty basic as far as chili cheese dogs go. It starts out, of course, with the plain hot dog. They then pile it high with chili and cheese. That’s it.
While we really love the hot dog itself, the addition of the chili can be slightly dubious. In its review of the menu item, Fast Food Menu Prices said, "The chili is a bit better than it used to be, but there’s nothing particularly interesting about the taste. There’s not a lot of seasonings or flavor, so it’s a bit on the bland side." That’s a strike against it, but in the end, this is a menu item we would order again if we wanted something savory the next time we go through the drive-thru.
9. Snickers Blizzard
When it comes to ice cream mixed with candy, Dairy Queen really has it covered. Think about your favorite chocolate candy and it’s probably available as a Blizzard flavor. So you shouldn’t be too surprised to see the Snickers Blizzard on the menu. It’s definitely a classic, and if you haven’t tried it before, you should get on it to see if you like it as much as we do.
Like all Blizzards, the candy bar is broken down before it’s mixed with the ice cream. That leaves you with chunks of candy to enjoy throughout your treat. There’s something so satisfying about eating a spoonful of creamy soft serve only to be met with a chunk of something chocolate and covered in caramel.
We love this Blizzard selection, even if we aren’t the biggest fans of Snickers themselves. They are some of the heaviest-tasting candy bars out there, probably because they’re packed with chocolate, caramel, and nuts that all compete for your taste buds’ attention. Snickers lovers, pick up this treat as soon as possible! Everyone else, wait until you see what we have at the end of this ranking.
8. Banana split
Sometimes you just have to go with a classic, especially when you’re ordering dessert. There are a ton of classic ice cream dishes, not just at Dairy Queen, but you can’t really get more traditional than the banana split. DQ might not have invented the dessert, but they certainly do it justice with their version.
It all starts with three scoops of soft serve, which are placed inside of a — you guessed it — split banana. Then, each scoop of soft serve is topped with its own sauce: one features chocolate, another has strawberry, and the last has pineapple sauce on top.
One thing we love about this dessert is the fact that it has so many different flavors going on. At the same time, those flavors come together really well — it doesn’t taste like you’re eating three different random desserts. We also love that this treat has so many different types of fruit flavors in it: That’s not something you usually get when you order ice cream.
The only downside we can see to ordering this dessert? It’s pretty massive. It’s probably not something that you’ll want to eat alone unless you haven’t eaten anything in days. If you really want to try it, grab a friend and convince them to share with you.
7. Crispy chicken sandwich
Just because you’re at an ice cream place doesn’t necessarily mean you just want a cup full of sugary soft serve. That’s where Dairy Queen’s sandwiches come in. While we weren’t a huge fan of the Grillburger with bacon, we think the crispy chicken sandwich is actually really good. The bun isn’t our favorite, but the chicken itself is surprisingly juicy. The breading on the outside provides an unexpected crunch, while the lettuce and tomato on top add a bit of freshness that really takes this sandwich to the next level.
Is the crispy chicken sandwich simple? Absolutely. But sometimes you don’t need all the bells and whistles when you’re at a fast food place. If you’re looking for one of the best savory and most substantial items on the menu, you know you can’t go wrong with this chicken-based classic. Try it out for yourself the next time you visit Dairy Queen.
6. Dilly Bar
Remember when you were a kid and the ice cream man would drive through your neighborhood on sunny afternoons? There was nothing more exciting than picking the very best ice cream treat from the truck and eating it with your friends in the hot sun. If you’re nostalgic for that kind of experience and just happen to find yourself at Dairy Queen, you might want to opt for the classic Dilly Bar. This is the ultimate ice cream on a stick. The round slice of ice cream is covered in rich chocolate that forms a crust to protect the soft serve inside. And when you bite into it, you get both the candy-like shell of the chocolate and the ice cream inside. When these two flavors mix and mingle, it’s magic.
We love that these are so easy to eat, so it’s something you might want to grab when you’re on the go. It’s also a treat that kids and adults alike will love. And unlike the dipped cone, it’s pre-dipped, and there’s no cone or container involved.
Oh, and good news. If you don’t eat dairy but still want that classic Dilly Bar taste, you can always opt for the non-dairy Dilly Bar instead.
5. M&M Blizzard
Now, you could always take a trip to McDonald’s to grab an M&M McFlurry, but you’re better off taking a trip to Dairy Queen for the real deal: The M&M Blizzard. This really is a magical treat that you’ll want to eat again and again once you’ve tried it. That’s because M&Ms pair perfectly with DQ’s creamy soft serve. Since they’re already in small pieces, they blend with the ice cream really well, and they add just the perfect amount of crunch when you bite into them.
Another thing we love about M&M Blizzards is the fact that the coloring from the M&Ms can bleed and mix with the ice cream. This gives you a rainbow-colored treat that’s as pretty as it tastes. This might be a simple mix of ingredients, but simplicity is all you need when you have a treat made of such delicious components.
4. FlameThrower Grillburger
Okay, okay. We know we weren’t complimentary about a different burger on the menu at Dairy Queen. But if you must grab a burger when you’re at this fast food spot, then the one you’ll want to order is the FlameThrower Grillburger — if you like your food hot and spicy, that is. That’s because this burger is decked out with a ton of spicy ingredients that make it mouthwateringly delicious. You’ve got the melted pepper jack cheese. You’ve got the jalapeño bacon (yes, you heard that right). Then you’ve got the FlameThrower hot sauce on top to bring it together. With all of that flavor, you know you’re going to get something good.
If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, then this might not be the burger for you. But we’re ranking it high on our list because we think it pairs perfectly with the sweet and creamy desserts on the rest of the menu. Sometimes, you just need a little bit of contrast, and this spicy burger provides that perfectly. If you haven’t tried this burger yet, it might be time to check it out.
You might be wondering how the fries at Dairy Queen have managed to snag such a competitive spot on this list. After all, you might not think of Dairy Queen as having the best fries in the fast food universe. But we have to admit, the fries here are really good. They have the perfect amount of crispiness to them, and they’re just salty enough to give you the savory taste you’re craving.
But that’s not the only reason these fries rank so high. The main reason is that you’re definitely going to want to order them to dip in your ice cream.
Dipping these salty fries into your sweet soft serve is going to be a dream come true. Sure, it might not be the most conventional move, but people who’ve been dipping their fries in their shakes for years can tell you that dipping fries in thick and creamy drinks and desserts is a great move when you’re at a fast food restaurant. Don’t take our word for it: Go ahead and order some DQ fries the next time you’re getting dessert. You can thank us later.
2. Reese’s Blizzard
You can argue with us all you want, but at the end of the day, there is only one thing we’re totally sure of: Reese’s are the best candy ever. Salty peanut butter coated in a soft milk chocolate exterior? To us, it’s a dream come true. Luckily, Dairy Queen apparently thought so too because they created the Reese’s Blizzard. If you already love this candy, you know you’re going to be getting the best dessert ever when you combine the candy with DQ soft serve.
But even if you don’t already love Reese’s, you have to give this Blizzard a try. The salty peanut butter plays off the sweet chocolate and soft serve really well, creating a depth of flavor you won’t find in most other Blizzards on the menu. When you get your first little chunk of Reese’s in your spoonful, you’re going to realize why we gave this treat the No. 2 spot on our list.
1. Royal New York Cheesecake Blizzard
If you’re looking for the best of the best at Dairy Queen, look no further than the Royal New York Cheesecake Blizzard. This dessert is going to blow you away. Inside the soft serve you’re expecting, there’s a core of strawberry topping. It’s a surprise when you first dip into it, but once you taste it, you’ll realize that it’s pure genius. The cheesecake flavor with the strawberry topping is seriously out of this world, so it’s no wonder that it’s the top tanked Blizzard flavor at Dairy Queen and the best overall menu item at the fast food chain.
Matthew of GrubGrade agrees with us, saying, "If you ask me, cheesecake is at its best when it just slowly melts in your mouth, more or less dissolving. That’s how this Blizzard is: The cheesecake pieces have that butter-like quality, and spun up through Dairy Queen’s machines, the rich and slightly tangy pieces provide a memorable flavor and evolving texture contrast. Meanwhile, the graham pieces give the Blizzard tiny spots of crunch and graham flavor, working in perfect unison with the cheesecake pieces."
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. From the cheesecake to the soft serve to the graham cracker bites, it’s clear why this Blizzard deserves first place.