When it comes to chain restaurants, a lot of the menus look shockingly similar. While they may all specialize in something different, you’ll notice that a lot of these big chains have the same (or very similar) items on their menus. Sure, if you always like to eat the same foods day after day, that may not be so bad. But most of us want variety and novelty, especially when we go out to eat — and that’s why we love Red Robin oh-so-much. The fare might be somewhat standard, but they put a twist on their menu items that make them exciting. It’s just about perfect for when you want to break free from the routine of cooking every evening.
Of course, this place is known for its burgers, but it has a lot of other offerings as well, meaning it’s the ideal place to take your family when you’re looking for something new and interesting. But how do you know what you should order? We’ve taken it upon ourselves to rank some of the most popular items at Red Robin so you can decide what to get the next time you’re there. While this doesn’t cover the entire menu, it should at least point you in the right direction so you know where to start. Take a look at these popular Red Robin menu items, ranked worst to best.
22. Vegan Burger
First off, let us just say that we have nothing against veganism. It’s a great move for the environment and it can be decidedly beneficial for your health as well. But just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you have to order the vegan burger from Red Robin. This thing is just downright sad and, frankly, you deserve better. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have a real bun just because you’re vegan, but this burger comes in a lettuce bun … so basically, it’s no bun at all. Meanwhile, the ancient grain and quinoa patty tastes okay, but it’s definitely not bursting with flavor.
This burger is topped with salsa that makes the whole meal watery and difficult to eat, and the avocado slices on top might just slip out and plop onto your plate before you can even get them in your mouth. Plus, the fact that this "burger" is served with a side of steamed broccoli makes us wonder if Red Robin believes that vegans should have any fun at all.
You shouldn’t accept subpar, bland, and tasteless food just because you’re vegan. Red Robin, do better for our plant-based friends.
21. Arctic Cod Fish & Chips
Red Robin is known for their burgers, but that doesn’t mean you can’t venture off and explore the other options on the menu. One you shouldn’t explore, though, is the Arctic Cod Fish & Chips. Fish and chips seems like a dish that’s hard to mess up, but at Red Robin, you’re likely to be disappointed. The fried cod isn’t the mild, flaky fish we want, but rather, there’s a good chance it’s going to come out overcooked. While we wanted the breading to be nice and crispy, it just seemed greasy and unpalatable.
The fries at Red Robin are pretty good, which means that at least half this meal isn’t bad. But when the star of the show tastes so lackluster, you probably won’t want to go back for more. If you do end up ordering this entree by accident, we recommend covering everything with the tartar sauce. That stuff is incredible and it’ll help cover up the less-than-delightful taste of the fish. (It doesn’t taste bad on the fries, either.)
20. Towering Onion Rings
We get it. Sometimes, restaurants have to come up with gimmicks to keep their customers coming back, but we think that Red Robin is uniquely placed to focus on the quality of their food rather than on the shape. Apparently, though, they still fall victim to these Instagrammable food traps. Entering the towering onion rings. You may be thinking that there has to be something special or notable about these onion rings, but no. The only thing that sets these onion rings apart from the standard ones is the fact that they are, in fact, stacked in a tower.
We don’t mean to imply that the actual onion rings don’t taste good. They may be a little bland, but that’s typical for onion rings. It’s just that there’s nothing particularly exciting about this dish. Even if you’re just looking for something that you can share on social media, these onion rings will come up a bit short.
Sure, if you’re craving your standard, everyday onion rings, then go ahead and order these. But if you’re looking for something new and unique, just know that you may not get what you’re expecting here.
19. The Banzai
We all know that people have strong opinions about pineapple on pizza … but what about pineapple on a burger? If you ask us, that’s taking things just a bit too far. However, Red Robin apparently thinks it’s okay because they created The Banzai. This monstrosity is a fever dream of a burger. Let’s start with the patty: It’s glazed with a teriyaki sauce, which makes the meat in this dish way, way too sweet to begin with. It’s got a stickiness to it that you just don’t want when you’re craving a burger.
But it gets worse from there. In addition to sensible burger toppings like tomatoes, lettuce, and cheddar cheese, you’re also going to find a slice of pineapple adorning this burger. That’s right: A whole slice of pineapple is just sitting in your burger, hiding, waiting for you to bite into it and recoil from the tropical sweetness of this big chunk of fruit.
In theory, salty and sweet are two flavors that pair up perfectly. But when the sweetness comes from pineapple and is bolstered by an overly sugary piece of meat, we just can’t get on board with it.
18. Creamy Artichoke & Spinach Dip
Are you looking for the most boring item on the entire Red Robin menu? Congratulations, you’ve found it! It’s the creamy artichoke and spinach dip. This is an appetizer that you can get pretty much anywhere, which is disappointing when it comes from a usually innovative fast casual restaurant like Red Robin. The creamy artichoke and spinach dip tastes like it’s mostly made of spinach — there’s barely any artichoke flavor there at all (which is probably what you really want when you order this dip).
The dip comes with seasoned tortilla chips, which actually are quite flavorful. Unfortunately, though, they’re almost better on their own than they are with the dip. You’ll also get some carrot sticks on the side, but it almost seems like they’re there more for decoration than they are to eat.
This appetizer is about as boring as it gets. Considering there are so many other amazing starter options at Red Robin, we don’t think this one deserves a top spot in our ranking at all.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few dessert options on the menu at Red Robin. Some of them are amazing, others are just okay, and some are a little bit disappointing. While the sundae certainly isn’t the worst item on the menu, we still don’t think you should order it if you have any other choice when you go to Red Robin. It’s basically just like any other sundae you could think of: Soft-serve ice cream is paired with Hershey’s chocolate sauce (and a lot of it — probably too much unless you have a mean sweet tooth). You’ll find whipped cream, a cherry, and rainbow sprinkles on top. Those additions might make it look prettier, but they don’t really do much as far as taste goes.
Overall, we think that this dessert is too sweet, mostly from the superfluous amount of chocolate sauce added into the mix. But it’s also just not that creative. You can get a dish like this pretty much anywhere, so we don’t think you should waste your time or money when there are more interesting options on the table.
16. The Wedgie Burger
Can you tell that we’re not exactly fans of "lettuce buns"? Look, we know that some people can’t have gluten and others may be looking for ways to reduce their carb intake, so that’s why we didn’t rank The Wedgie Burger even lower on our list. But you can’t deny that there’s something depressing about seeing your burger come out on what’s basically just a salad. In fact, a salad is probably preferable. But if you’re determined to get a burger without the bun, this might be your best option.
Apart from the fact that this sandwich is bunless, the ingredients inside aren’t that bad. Between the two massive hunks of lettuce, you’ll find a burger patty, guacamole, tomatoes, and red onion. Plus, there’s bacon inside to give you even more flavor. Those are amazing burger toppings, so it makes sense that they go well together.
If you’re looking for a keto option, we don’t blame you for choosing The Wedgie Burger. But if you don’t have any dietary restrictions and want to get the best meal from Red Robin possible, this sandwich should be a no-go.
15. Serious Meat Pizza
If you aren’t a regular at Red Robin, you may not even realize that the chain sells pizzas. However, they do, and if you go into one of their restaurants and don’t feel like ordering a burger (or just want to get something that you can share with the whole family), a pizza might seem like one of your best options. We think that most of the pizzas here are so-so, though. They’re probably not going to blow you away, but they’re not terrible, either. But one of the ones that we like the least is the Serious Meat Pizza.
Some people like a pizza that’s really packed with meat, but we think that this one goes a little bit over the top with the concept. The pizza is absolutely packed with sausage, pepperoni, ham, and bacon. While you’ll probably be getting your money’s worth, you’ll also be getting more meat than most people want to eat in one sitting. All those intense flavors have nothing to balance them out, given that there’s not a shred of veggies in sight. This pizza might be good, but you likely won’t want to enjoy more than a slice or two.
14. California Chicken
There are times when you go out to eat that a burger will just seem too heavy. A hearty, meat-forward sandwich might be good on some days, but when it’s hot out or you just don’t have a super active appetite, something a bit lighter might be in order. That’s where the California chicken sandwich comes in. When you want a sandwich that’s on the lighter side, this sandwich is a solid choice. It may not be as healthy as a salad, sure, but it’s not likely to give you that heavy feeling you get after you eat a big burger.
This sandwich boasts a grilled chicken patty, a bunch of veggies, and guac. There’s even some Provolone cheese for those who require some creaminess in their meals. We think that all the veggies on this sandwich make it fresh and delicious, but the chicken itself could use some work. The grilled patty just doesn’t have much to it, and it’s not that flavorful. Overall, it’s basically a good choice, but it’s certainly not one of our favorites on the menu.
13. Whiskey River BBQ Chicken
If you’re looking for a chicken option that’s slightly more appealing, you may want to consider the Whiskey River BBQ chicken sandwich. This sandwich is similar to the California chicken, but it has the very important addition of Whiskey River BBQ sauce. This isn’t your average BBQ sauce. It has a depth of flavor that really takes it to the next level. Instead of just being sweet and sticky, it has a touch of umami that brings out more complex flavors in everything it touches. We think that this sauce pairs especially well with the cheddar cheese that you’ll find in this sandwich. And when you add in the crispy onion straws, it gets even better.
However, this chicken has the same problem as the grilled chicken we mentioned before: There’s just not much to it. It’s not particularly interesting, and it could be juicier. Plus, there’s just not that much chicken there, given that most of the space is taken up by the veggies.
We suggest trying this sandwich only if you really love good BBQ sauce. Otherwise, there are better sandwiches on the menu to choose from.
12. Southwest Salad
Just because you find yourself at a burger joint doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to throw your whole diet out the window. That’s why you’ll love that Red Robin has some salad options available. These may not be the most incredible salads you’ve ever had, but overall, they’re solid, and it’s a good way to get some greens into your diet, even when the rest of your family is chowing down on greasy burgers. If you’re looking for a meal you can feel pretty good about health-wise, you can always turn to the Southwest salad.
When you order this salad, you should know that you’re going to get plenty of veggies. The mixed greens are topped with avocado, beans, jalapeños, tortilla chips, and a variety of other veggies. The ancho grilled chicken is quite flavorful and gives you the protein you need in a good meal. While the salsa-ranch dressing doesn’t really do anything for the salad, you can always go light on it if you’re not a fan.
This may not be a groundbreaking salad, but it’s not a bad option if you’re looking for a way to pack in those veggies.
11. Founder’s Favorite Pizza
You know the Serious Meat pizza we reviewed above? That one had a ton of meat, and we complained about it. But the Founder’s Favorite also has a lot of meat, so you may be wondering why it’s ranked higher on our list given our earlier gripe. Well, it all comes down to the banana peppers. This pizza comes fully loaded with pepperoni, shaved ham, and sausage, just like the Serious Meat pizza. But when you add in the lovely, light tang of the banana peppers, it takes the whole meal to a new level.
Banana peppers can be quite acidic, which means that they cut through the meaty greasiness of the meat very well. This creates a balance that makes this pizza a lot more enjoyable to eat than one that’s loaded down with meat only. Of course, Red Robin doesn’t specialize in pizza, so you shouldn’t assume that you’re getting the best pie in town when you order this one. However, if you do decide to get it, we don’t think you’re going to be disappointed.
10. BLTA Croissant
Sometimes, food mashups are kind of cringy. Just think of the Naked Chicken Chalupa from Taco Bell, which is not exactly something that comes across as delicious right from the get-go. But a more subtle food mashup can be more interesting, and that’s where the BLTA Croissant from Red Robin comes into play. This sandwich is based on your typical BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato), but it’s also loaded down with plenty of that millennial favorite: avocado. Plus, there’s some turkey breast included in there for a bit more protein. The other twist? Instead of eating your BLTA on regular sandwich bread, it’ll come out on a croissant.
We’ll be honest here. With the additions of the turkey breast and the avocado, this kind of just feels like an average club sandwich. We have to admit, though, that putting it on a croissant is genius. If it works for chicken salad, so why not for a take on a BLT?
This isn’t the best sandwich on the menu, but the idea is creative, and it’s a light option from Red Robin for the times when you don’t want a massive burger.
9. The Southern Charm Burger
Here comes that Whiskey River BBQ sauce again. But this time, you’ll find it in a burger. The Southern Charm Burger is something special, and it’s probably unlike most burgers you’ve tried in your life. Apart from the BBQ sauce, in this burger, you’ll find cheddar cheese, candied bacon, caramelized onion, lettuce, and mayo. It all comes on a pillowy soft brioche bun. If you really like deep umami flavors, this may just be the ideal burger for you.
The only problem, in our book, is the brown sugar glaze on the burger itself. We don’t hate the idea of sweetness in a burger, but when you pair that brown sugar glaze with the candied bacon as well, it starts to taste almost too sweet. The other rich flavors tone that sweetness down a lot, but perhaps not enough.
There are several burgers on the menu that are better than this one, but we have to admit that this is a creative combination of flavors.
8. Clucks & Fries
If you aren’t looking for a burger but you still want something that’s more on the indulgent side, do we have something for you. It’s the Clucks and Fries. This entree might have a cutesy name, but they’re basically just chicken tenders. Chicken tenders are perhaps the most boring of all restaurant meals, but we have to admit: the ones at Red Robin are pretty good. The chicken itself is nice and juicy, with none of that dried-out stuff you can expect from some chains. Most importantly, though, is the fact that the breading is nice and crispy with plenty of seasoning. The result is a chicken dish that even the adults will like.
While these are some of the best chicken tenders around, you should still keep in mind that chicken tenders are, in large part, a pretty boring option. You’ve had them countless times, so even the best of the best can get old fast. We wouldn’t order this entree every time, but every once in a while, they can be a nice treat.
7. The Madlove Burger
When you want what might be the most random combination of burger ingredients in the entire world, you have to order The Madlove Burger. This burger is seriously off the rails, and we want to check with whoever came up with the idea for it to make sure they’re doing okay. Just wait until you get a load of the ingredients in this one: red onions, lettuce, avocado, jalapeño relish, candied bacon, Provolone, Swiss, cheddar and Parmesan crisp, and citrus-marinated tomatoes. It all sits atop a brioche bun that holds it all together perfectly.
This might sound like an incredibly strange combo, but we’re happy to report that it actually tastes amazing. The cheddar and Parmesan crisp is definitely the star of the show (where else have you seen this kind of ingredient on a burger), but the citrus-marinated tomatoes get an honorable mention as well. Sure, this one might not be for every burger lover out there, but if you’re not afraid to try something completely different, then you should order this burger on your next trip to Red Robin.
6. Crispy Chicken
There’s something about a nice, classic fried chicken sandwich that it’s hard not to love, so you shouldn’t be surprised that the crispy chicken sandwich you’ll find at Red Robin is delicious. You know the "clucks" (or chicken tenders) that we raved about before? Well, the chicken patty in this sandwich has the same thing going on. Expect it’s juicy, mouthwatering chicken dressed in a layer of crunchy, flavorful breading. But it gets even better when you add a bunch of fresh toppings on top. This sandwich is classic. It features red onions, lettuce, pickles, tomato, and mayo. Is it simple? Yes. But when it’s made with great ingredients and a little extra care, it comes out tasting way better than anything you would pick up at another fast food joint.
While anyone could fall in love with this sandwich, we think it’s a particularly good option for those who might be a bit pickier when it comes to what they like. While this sandwich is really tasty, it doesn’t offer anything too unexpected.
5. Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger
You don’t always have to order something over the top to get an amazing meal. If you prefer the classics but aren’t looking for a fried chicken sandwich, Red Robin still has you covered. For those who wrinkle their brow in confusion when they look at something like The Madlove, the Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger is a fantastic choice — and we have to say, it’s one of the best items on the menu. This sandwich contains all of your favorite classic burger ingredients, but it’s made with a little extra thought in mind.
On top of the incredibly juicy and satiating beef patty, you’ll find lettuce, tomatoes, red onion slices, pickle relish, and mayo. You also get to choose the kind of cheese you want. Yes, it definitely sounds simple, and if you’re going to Red Robin specifically because you want to try something interesting, this may not be what you want. But for those who just want to try the best that this burger joint has to offer when it comes to the standard burger ingredients, this gourmet cheeseburger should be at the top of the list.
4. Mountain High Mudd Pie
When you want the best dessert item on the menu at Red Robin, what do you order? Well, if you like completely over-the-top desserts, then the Mountain High Mudd Pie may be right up your alley. It starts out with both chocolate and vanilla ice cream (no, you don’t have to choose one or the other). Then it gets even wilder with the addition of layered Oreo cookies. Already sounds delicious, right? Don’t forget the fudge, caramel, and whipped cream to top it all off, though.
Does this sound like a lot of food? Yes. Is it incredibly rich? Absolutely. And what’s why we suggest that you split this dessert if you’re adventurous enough to try it out. But if you are getting dessert there, this is the one we suggest you try. It’s something different than everything else you’ll find on the dessert menu, and you deserve to indulge in this novelty.
3. Royal Red Robin Burger
If Red Robin is known for one thing, it’s the fact that it serves burgers with eggs on top. While this may be somewhat commonplace now, Red Robin has been doing it for quite a while, so we will defer to them as the experts on burger eggs. If you’re looking for the classic egg-on-a-burger experience, then the Royal Red Robin Burger should be your go-to order. This hefty sandwich isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but it is incredibly delicious. It’s topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo, but the best part is definitely the bacon and egg. If you could ever count a burger as breakfast food, this one would fit the bill.
This burger is a great way to try something new at Red Robin without having to order something that’s really out there. And when the yolk breaks and covers your burger in that delicious runny yellow sauce, you’re going to know that you made the right decision when you placed your order.
2. Bar Wings ‘n’ Yukon Chips
Who would’ve figured that an appetizer would snag the number two spot on our ranking? But when you try the Bar Wings ‘n’ Yukon Chips, it’s going to be completely clear how this dish ranked so high. Basically, it’s two appetizers in one. First of all, you get a bed of Yukon chips. These chips are thicker and crunchier than what you may be used to, so they’re even better than you might be expecting. They’re then covered in bone-in chicken wings, which themselves are also delicious.
It’s the pairing that makes this appetizer such a treat, though. When the sauce of your choice (Buzz with bleu cheese, Whiskey River BBQ, Banzai, or Island Heat) mixes with the chips below, you get a flavorful, carb-rich experience unlike any other. But we do have a warning for you: If you order these for the table, they’re going to go fast. Just be sure you’re ready to gobble down some wings and chips so you get more than a few bites.
1. Bacon Jammin’ Burger
Now, here comes our favorite menu item in this entire list: the Bacon Jammin’ Burger. This may just be one of the most popular burgers at the restaurant, and it’s not hard to see why. First, it starts off with what you would expect from any burger, namely a beef patty accompanied by lettuce, tomato, and onion, and a slice of cheese. But after that, things get more interesting. The hardwood-smoked bacon and the bacon aioli give this burger way more depth of flavor, which is ideal if your taste tends to skew towards fatty and salty flavors.
The absolute star of the show on this burger, though, is the bacon jam. It’s both super savory and super sweet, which provides the perfect balance of flavors to top a burger. While other Red Robin burgers play with this sweet flavor profile, we think the Bacon Jammin’ Burger does it the best. It’s just sweet enough, but not so sweet that it’s overwhelming.
You’re not going to find bacon jam on every burger, so it’s definitely something you should order when you’re at Red Robin at least once. After all, you don’t want to miss out on the best of the best the chain has to offer.