30 Fast Food Sauces, Ranked Worst To Best

There are easily dozens (and dozens) of options when it comes to fast food. Once you've narrowed it down to your restaurant of choice, here comes another big decision — what to order. And now that you've made that decision, it's finally make-or-break time ... what kind of dipping sauce do you go with? Ranch, sweet and sour, barbeque, or some mysterious house specialty that contains who-knows-what? 

There are so many options that you might feel a little overwhelmed. Nearly every franchise has its own ranch sauce, but who has the best — or, more importantly, the worst? What about those perfect-for-everything, crave-worthy dips that have achieved near cult status? Don't fear, intrepid orderers. We've rounded up our most and least favorite fast food condiments, ranging from those loaded with horseradish to avocado to buttermilk. Whether you're just a casual dipper or an absolute sauce slatherer, we've found something for every nugget, fry, and pizza crust out there.

30. Jack in the Box Frank's Red Hot Buffalo dipping sauce

At the bottom of our list is this spicy offering from Jack in the Box. It's fine, sure. But it's also just Frank's Red Hot with a little grated carrot added — great for upping your fiber intake, but it definitely doesn't amp the taste very much.

 We're not negging Frank's Red Hot (because it's delicious), but we expected more from an eatery with a line-up of other really fantastic dipping sauces. Instead, opt for the Spicy Good Good Sauce and save yourself the disappointment.

29. White Castle Zesty Zing

A pale imposter of Burger King's Zesty Sauce, White Castle's version just doesn't deliver. Sure, it has horseradish, tomato paste, and that ludicrously over-the-top orange shade that signals danger in nature, but it's still missing something. The tangy heat of horseradish shows up a few times on our list, with all of them scoring higher than this fairly insipid offering. 

For true zing, try the Dusseldorf Mustard or Hot Sauce on your sliders instead.

28. Burger King Ranch

Universally panned, Burger King's new version of its once-beloved thick and creamy, flavorful ranch sauce has been so maligned by fans that it has even inspired an online petition to bring back the original. 

The old blue-packaged ranch would have easily scored in the top five of our list but the new green-labeled version lands squarely on the other end of the sauce spectrum. Avoid this insipid, weirdly sour version and choose the delightfully spicy, horseradish-based Zesty Sauce instead.

27. Taco Bell Nacho Cheese Sauce

Taco Bell's Nacho Cheese Sauce lands near the end of our list, even though we've all probably eaten gallons of it in our lifetime. The problem with this dipper is that it's really the only non-hot sauce option at Taco Bell, which stinks if you're not into Tabasco or cheese. 

And since 2015, hardcore fans have noticed that it doesn't taste the same anymore because the recipe has changed. It's still good — it's just not good enough to be ranked any higher than this. 

26. Jack in the Box Creamy Avocado Lime

Much better than the franchise's Frank's Red Hot Sauce, the Creamy Avocado Lime deserves a spot on the list because it's one of the rare dips that's guac adjacent. If you're looking for something that isn't ranch-flavored or bolstered with gobs of horseradish, this might be what you crave. 

Packing a punch of lime and cilantro that blends incredibly well with tiny tacos and even fries, it adds a fresh flavor to old standards.

25. Nando's Lemon and Herb Sauce

Another outlier on this list, Nando's Lemon and Herb Peri-Peri Sauce gets a mention because not everyone is into serious sugar or spice. This entry has loads of flavor without bringing tears to your eyes or giving you dragon breath for days. 

Available at grocery stores or online as well as in-store, this extra mild (but still seriously tasty) sauce also makes a terrific marinade for all you lovers of citrus flavor over peppery heat.

24. KFC Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Sauce

While you might think of KFC's gravy as their best dipping option, there are a number of other choices for your wings or popcorn chicken. The Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Sauce is just that — sweet with a distinctly smoky finish that works really well with all that crispy, juicy chicken. 

It only landed farther down on the list because it just doesn't work as well with their fries; obviously, gravy is the only way to go for those babies.

23. Burger King Zesty Sauce

BK's Zesty Sauce is pretty good, but not Horsey Sauce good. A dip made from a blend of horseradish and tomato paste (and Horsey Sauce contains no tomato), this version isn't overly spicy but still adds a nice kick to the brand's fries, onion rings (our favorite combo), or anything else you want to smear it on. 

While it doesn't work exceptionally well with chicken, the horseradish flavor tastes awfully good when added to a big beefy burger. 

22. Subway Garlic Aioli

If you're looking for a milder sauce that's still tasty and ultra-creamy, look no further than Subway's Garlic Aioli. The robust garlic flavor appeals to anyone who craves a little less spice and a little more savory depth.

This sauce matches particularly well with steak and the chain's new ciabatta bread option. Not only that, but the buttery, garlicky mayo also makes a pretty divine salad dressing if you're foregoing the carbs and ordering a bowl instead.

21. McDonald's Sweet and Sour

Introduced in 1983 alongside the uber-adored McNuggets, McDonald's Sweet 'N Sour sauce was a huge hit right away and has managed to endure to this day. It's really quite sweet and lacking the expected sourness, but it still manages to be a pretty solid sauce that people love, likely because it's so familiar. 

Comforting without being cloying, it's reminiscent of Chinese sweet and sour sauces that have been modified for North American palates.

20. Little Caesar's Buffalo Ranch

While the majority of dippers on this list go with chicken or fries, what can you do when you're a pizza lover? Ranch is a go-to, sure. But Little Caesar's has your crust covered with a delicious upgrade to the same old sauces. 

The chain's Buffalo Ranch dip is one of the best we've tried for pizza, but it still works just as well on chicken or fries. Buttery and garlicky like you might expect, this entry also has a hint of paprika that makes it a standout.

19. Chipotle Guacamole

Chipotle's guacamole will cost you as an extra add-on but we think it's worth it, relatively speaking. If you're going to eat Tex-Mex, you might as well get the best, and Chipotle's guac is definitely the best you can get in a fast-casual restaurant. 

This stuff is thick and chunky, with just enough onion and lime to amp up the super creamy avocado base. Not only that, but the addition of jalapeño gives this much-loved addition a decent kick, too.

18. Jack in the Box Good Good Sauce

Jack in the Box is the only franchise that managed to get three mentions on our list, with the appropriately named Good Good Sauce getting the highest marks out of all the available sauces. 

A tangy ranch that is superbly creamy with a lush garlic finish, Good Good Sauce is a great accompaniment to most items on the menu. Mayo-based with a touch of sweetness and a little bit of heat, there isn't much that you won't enjoy topped with this mild addition.

17. Panda Express Teriyaki Sauce

Another sauce that you can buy by the bottle, Panda Express Teriyaki Sauce is flavorful enough for adults but also mild enough for kids. Its rich and sweet taste makes it a great addition to your own stir-fries at home but also makes it a perfect choice for dipping the brand's spring rolls or crab rangoon into. 

Deeply caramelized flavor, with just enough saltiness and sesame overtones, makes this an excellent accompaniment to anything that needs a little upgrade.

16. Carl's Jr. Sweet and Bold BBQ Sauce

This sauce is pretty much exactly as advertised — barbeque sauce with decent sweetness and a hint of smokiness. Not as much of a vinegar-based dip, it's pretty sweet, making it a great alternative to ketchup for dipping your Carl's Jr. seasoned fries. 

It's also terrific when added to any of the burgers, adding just enough heat and smokiness to kick up your meal. Only Sonic Drive-In managed to rank a BBQ sauce higher than this one.

15. Jollibee Gravy

Jollibee is a Filipino chain that serves up fried chicken, spaghetti, and peach hand pies, but don't even bother visiting if you're not planning to order the gravy. The only fast food gravy that we think is worthwhile (sorry, KFC), Jolibee's lushly thick and velvety condiment pairs perfectly with the fried chicken and fries. 

Sure, it's still fast food gravy, but it's probably the best out there —so get ready to dip and dunk to your heart's delight, licking your fingers the whole time.

14. Shake Shack ShackSauce

A fast-casual restaurant that started as a hot dog cart in 2001 but now boasts over 400 dine-in locations, Shake Shack is known for its crazy delicious dipping sauce, as well as those burgers and shakes. 

Unlike most entries on this list, Shack Sauce isn't a closely guarded secret. In fact, the recipe, which uses dill pickle brine as a key ingredient, was published in the brand's cookbook. The combination of mayo, ketchup, Dijon, cayenne, and brine is absolutely unbeatable.

13. Taco Bell Fire Sauce

Not just another hot sauce, Taco Bell's Fire Sauce is easily the best addition to your Mexican pizza or chalupa, hands down. You can go with either of the brand's two milder sauces but we thought they were both pretty bland, to be honest. Not much taste and even less heat. 

Go with the Diablo Sauce if you're more into punishment than flavor ... but for a perfect balance of tastiness and enough spice to remind you that you're alive, squeeze out some of that Fire Sauce.

12. Sonic Drive-In BBQ Sauce

Our top-rated BBQ sauce, Sonic Drive-In's dip manages to master the vinegar-based ideal without making it overly astringent. Just sweet enough, the balance between sugar and vinegar makes this offering perfect for dipping everything from popcorn chicken to fries, as well as adding to the chain's delicious burgers. 

A little salty and smoky, with loads of garlicky tomato flavor, this sweet and tangy potion is one of the best we've tried.

11. Wingstop Ranch

Americans love their ranch dressing and this list is a testament to that. Wingstop Ranch has gained an enormous following because it's tasty, tangy, and super creamy. 

And you still crave it, even after it was revealed that the sauce is little more than mayo, buttermilk, and Hidden Valley seasoning. That should come as no surprise, though — Hidden Valley is your preferred dressing for veggies, so why shouldn't you slather it on crispy wings and fries too? 

10. In-N-Out Burger Spread

In-N-Out has a reputation for being a bit of an oddity in fast food. It's known for using actually fresh ingredients and the delicious burgers have attained cult status, whether you order from the regular or secret menu. 

With such a small menu, there's only one sauce available and it basically consists of mayo, ketchup, and relish.  A better version of Big Mac sauce, it's good enough to save the restaurant's oft-maligned fries, too.

9. Arby's Horsey Sauce

One of the best-known sauces on the list, Arby's Horsey Sauce has been around forever (really since the 1970s, but that seems like forever to us) and continues to garner love and fanaticism from its adorers. 

Horseradish sauces aren't a rarity in the fast food world, sure. But Arby's Horsey Sauce is the best of the bunch, with a creamy mayo undertone that makes it a perfect pairing for roast beef and a surprisingly good addition to their chicken nuggets.

8. Nando's Peri-Peri Sauce XX Hot

Nando's is a U.K. import that has done pretty well stateside. Juicy roasted chicken with a Portuguese influence doesn't need much else to sell it, right? 

Available in bottles for hardcore lovers of this extra-spicy condiment, the XX Hot Peri-Peri isn't just hot — it also incorporates flavors commonly found in Indian lime pickle, making it a perfect addition for anyone looking to add a little international flavor to their drumsticks. 

7. Chick-fil-A Sweet and Spicy Sriracha

This little baby has been called Chick-fil-A's most underrated sauce, often being overshadowed by the brand's Polynesian sauce. Coming in second to the slightly better eponymous "sauce", the Sweet and Spicy Sriracha sauce is still leagues above the standard sweet and sour sauce. 

Less sugary sweet, it has a delectably tart plummy finish that makes it outstanding. While we feel that it could be spicier, it's still a terrific addition to anything dippable.

6. Whataburger Spicy Ketchup

While plain ketchup might be your go-to dip, this elevated version from Whataburger is about a million times better. The Texas chain originally only offered its "fancy" ketchup but now also has a version with added red jalapeño pepper purée for all you heatseekers.

 Ketchup-y enough to appease but with a tasty kick, it's good enough to drizzle on everything from fries to burgers to nuggets. Whataburger has made it available through their online store if you can't get enough. 

5. Popeye's Blackened Ranch Sauce

Our list was obviously inspired by the fact that no one can agree on the very best dipping sauce, but ranch did score super high in our survey. And this one might be the best of the best; it's like ranch with soul. 

Not only does it have the creaminess that you crave, but it also has a nice bit of kick and depth of flavor. Unfortunately, this particular dipper isn't available in all markets, so stock up if you're at a Popeye's on a road trip.

4. McDonald's Honey Mustard

McDonald's combination of zesty Dijon mustard and sweet honey is our consistent fave choice at this restaurant. Possibly the franchise's best-loved sauce, this honey mustard dipper is a perfect match for the equally adored McNuggets. 

This stuff is a little spicy with a sweet finish, and it also has a depth of flavor not found in many other comparable fast food sauces. We suggest you ask for a second container because it's just as good on the fries.  

3. Raising Cane's Cane Sauce

Raising Cane's started in Louisiana and then spread across the U.S., preaching the gospel of perfectly fried chicken that many people consider the best in the country. And the addition of the restaurant's only advertised sauce (others are available but unnecessary) slathered all over that crispy chicken is a match made in heaven. 

It's rumored to be a blend of mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic, black pepper, and Worcestershire — perfectly balanced and crave-worthy.

2. Chick-Fil-A Sauce

Second on the list is a well-known favorite. Chick-fil-A's beloved sauce (no fancy name needed here — just ask for "sauce") was made accidentally when an employee mixed honey mustard and BBQ sauce together, inventing the tangy, sweet, condiment that is also available in large-sized squeeze bottles for home use. 

It tastes like a honey mustard with some serious substance and vibrancy from the BBQ elements, making it a perfect match for every savory item on the menu. 

1. Culver's Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Sauce

This came first on so many other lists that we were hard-pressed to disagree. If you've ever tried this Midwestern cheesy delight, then you'll know why it's a fan favorite. And if you've never had it, your first taste will make you wish that you'd tried it sooner

Made with real melted Wisconsin Cheddar, it's got all the flavor of real cheese and the luscious, warm dippability that you crave. Sharp and tangy with no nacho vibes at all, it's perfect for dipping anything and everything into. You should definitely order extra if you get the chance.