Cookies From 13 Popular Fast Food Restaurants, Ranked Worst To Best

When I think about iconic fast food desserts, my mind naturally drifts toward frozen treats like the Blizzard, McFlurry, and Frosty. Baked goods just aren't as prominent in the fast food space, but that doesn't mean your favorite chains aren't trying to make them a thing. It turns out that tons of fast food restaurants sell cookies, and some of them are actually halfway decent. To determine the ultimate cookie champion, I went and bought different varieties from 13 fast food places, and you might be surprised by which chain came out on top. 

Every restaurant I patronized served some kind of chocolate chip cookie, so the merits of each business' chocolate chip option factored heavily into my ranking. However, I also appreciated when restaurants branched out and offered more variety, so some places earned points for their other cookies as well. I looked at price and value too. If two cookies were of similar quality but one was cheaper than the other, the less expensive cookie won. Of course, my personal cookie taste played a factor, but I tried to be as objective as possible. 

But enough talking — let's dive into some fast food cookies, starting with the absolute worst.

13. Subway

When I purchased the cookies for this taste test, my local Subway had four options — chocolate chip, white chocolate chip, white chocolate chip in chocolate dough, and oatmeal raisin. Three out of the four were simply terrible.

The worst of the bunch was the chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips. It had no chocolate flavor and was horrendously sweet. The white chocolate chips tasted fake and gross — more like margarine and sugar mixed together than anything that might have come from a cacao plant. The texture of the cookie was also off. It was super grainy, almost like granulated sugar held together with syrup instead of proper cookie dough.

The white chocolate chip in the regular dough was slightly better, as it had more of a molasses-y brown sugar taste to it, but the grainy texture and excessive sweetness were still there. The standard chocolate chip marginally improved on the formula, with the bitterness of the dark chocolate chips tempering the sugar overload ever so slightly.

Finally, I came to Subway's oatmeal raisin cookie, which was so much better than the other three that it seemed like it was from another restaurant. It was markedly less sweet and the toasted grain notes from oatmeal were quite pleasant. The oats were complemented perfectly by the warmth of cinnamon and the fruitiness of tender raisins. It was my favorite oatmeal raisin cookie from any restaurant, but it wasn't enough to make up for the terribleness of its siblings.

12. Domino's

While burger places and sub shops tend to sell pre-baked, prepackaged cookies, all three fast food pizza places I visited for this test baked their cookies fresh to order. Domino's cookie dessert, the Marbled Cookie Brownie, stands out from the pack because it is a brownie-cookie hybrid. A base of brownie gets topped with bits of chocolate chip cookie dough, baked, and cut into nine pieces. 

Although it's described as "marbled," which would suggest the two doughs are mingled together, in the example I received, the circular dollops of cookie dough weren't mixed into the brownie batter at all. There were also only eight blobs of cookie dough, which meant some of the brownie squares had less cookie dough than others. I thought this dessert would be a symphony of flavors, especially since I received it hot from the oven, but I was disappointed. 

Both the brownie and the cookie sections were bland. and it was underbaked for my taste. I usually love doughy, soft desserts, but the Marbled Cookie Brownie tasted too much like raw flour. In addition, it was incredibly greasy — the bottom leaked out a ton of oil all over my fingers in an unappetizing way. At $8.99, this was the most expensive cookie I tried, and it wasn't even close to worth it. Sure, you get a ton of food, but that money would be better spent on buying multiple orders of cookies from another restaurant.

11. Arby's

As I mentioned, at most of the places I visited, the cookies had clearly been baked ahead of time. Despite this, the majority I tasted still seemed fresh. Not Arby's cookies, however. The two cookie varieties I bought from the chain weren't stale, exactly, but they reminded me more of processed packaged cookies from a grocery store than anything a bakery would sell.

The first flavor I tried, Reese's peanut butter cup, consisted of a peanut butter cookie base studded with mini Reese's cups. The peanut butter flavor came through, but the cookie was dry. The Reese's cups dried out in the oven and even the best peanut butter cookies tend to absorb all the moisture in your mouth. The cookie did have a crispy, sugary crunch on the outside, which was quite enjoyable.

The other flavor, salted caramel and chocolate, sounded like something from a bougie bakery but ended up tasting cheap. The caramel wasn't nearly salty enough and it reminded me of the jarred caramel sauce you'd use to make a sundae at home. The dough was also disappointing — it was like a soft, crumbly sugar cookie dough, and would have been better with something that tasted more like classic chocolate chip cookie dough.

In addition to lacking on the quality front, Arby's cookies weren't a great value. At $2.29 apiece, they were priced like some of the best cookies on this list, but they weren't nearly as good as the cheap cookies from burger places.

10. McDonald's

Speaking of cheap cookies from burger places, McDonald's makes a totally adequate chocolate chip cookie that can be purchased in my area for a mere 69 cents plus tax. Sure, it's not as tasty as most of the more expensive cookies I tried, but it's not bad and it's a fantastic value.

McDonald's cookies don't have a ton of chocolate chips in them, but the chips themselves are quite flavorful. They were noticeably more bitter than the chips in most other cookies, which helped offset the sweetness of the dough. Speaking of the dough, the texture was exactly what I wanted — crispy on the outside with a soft, slightly doughy interior and soft bits of chocolate.

On the negative side, I could tell the cookie was made with cheap ingredients. McDonald's uses margarine rather than butter in its recipe and I could pick up the fake butter flavor, as well as a slight chemical aftertaste in each bite. Still, for less than a dollar, I can't complain too much.

9. Burger King

It seems like Burger King and McDonald's are always trying to copy each other. The two chains' chocolate chip cookies were very hard for me to tell apart. Like McDonald's, Burger King's chocolate chip cookies had a perfectly crispy exterior and were soft on the inside. Burger King's cookies had a few more chocolate chips than McDonald's, but the chips were a little less bitter, so the overall amount of chocolate flavor was similar. 

Like McDonald's, Burger King's baked goods tasted a bit too much like margarine and chemicals. I thought Burger King's dough was a bit more sugar cookie-like and grainy in texture, but the difference was subtle. With so little to differentiate the cookie options of the two burger giants, I went with price as the deciding factor. At Burger King, I was able to buy two cookies for a dollar, which was the best deal of any place I visited. 

8. Wendy's

Wendy's charges a bit more at $1.39 for individual cookies than its fellow burger chains. However, you get a noticeably higher-quality product for the slight increase in cash outlay. Rather than the meager chips in McDonald's and Burger King cookies, Wendy's uses large, irregular pieces of decent bittersweet chocolate in its chocolate chunk cookies. The dough is also better — I loved the strong brown sugar flavor and saltiness of Wendy's chocolate chunk cookies. 

The one thing this cookie lacked was butter flavor. It's made with palm oil, which at least is flavorless instead of tasting aggressively fake like margarine can sometimes. Wendy's other cookie offering, a sugar cookie, was also quite pleasant. It had a crunchy, crackly top and a chewy, firm interior. This cookie actually has some butter in it in addition to the palm oil and I could taste the butter clearly. However, the flavor was slightly marred by a raw flour taste that I didn't love.

7. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A keeps its cookie game simple, selling just one type of chocolate chunk cookie. Flavor-wise, this was one of the best fast food cookies I sampled. It tasted buttery and had strong notes of molasses and vanilla. All the sugar was balanced by a hefty amount of salt and the unique addition of oats to the chocolate chip formula added a pleasant earthiness. The chocolate chunks were plentiful and high-quality, and the mix of dark and milk chocolate led to a more well-rounded, complex chocolate flavor than most of the other cookies had.

So, if this cookie tasted so good, why isn't it ranked higher? It's because I wasn't crazy about its texture. This was the only cookie that was cooked all the way through until crispy. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I'll always prefer a soft, gooey chocolate chip cookie over a hard and crispy one. Also, the oats got stuck in my teeth. If Chick-fil-A started underbaking these cookies, it would have a real winner on its hands.

6. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is one of two fast food pizzerias that serves a giant, pizza-sized chocolate chip cookie baked in a cake pan. I preferred one of its competitor's oversized cookies, but Pizza Hut's offering is certainly a tasty option if you want something sweet after inhaling a bunch of salty cheese and marinara sauce.

This cookie was delivered to me totally uncut with a plastic knife in the box so I could hack at it myself. Of course, I went straight for the middle first, which I was disappointed to find was soft but completely cooked through. I would have preferred a little more doughiness to contrast with the crispy edges. My other issue with this cookie was that it was skimpy on the chocolate chips. 

Besides these two minor complaints, everything about Pizza Hut's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie was great. The dough tasted almost exactly like Nestle Toll House, it was salty, and had a ton of brown sugar flavor. The cookie was still hot and fresh when I dug into it, which made it even more delicious. The crunchy bottom and sides were slightly oily, but nothing compared to the grease fire that was the Domino's Marbled Cookie Brownie.

5. Jersey Mike's

Setting aside Subway's poor showing, sub shops seem to know what they're doing when it comes to cookies. Jersey Mike's baked goods are enormous and taste fresh. Now that I know how yummy they are I'll definitely be tempted by the display near the register every time I go in for a sandwich.

The chain's Decadent Triple Chocolate Cookie lived up to its name. The one I tried was packed with big pieces of chocolate that tasted like chopped-up pieces of Hershey's bars. That might not be a positive for everyone, but I love Hershey's chocolate. The dough surrounding the chocolate was nice and chewy, though it could have used more brown sugar flavor — it was a bit too sugar cookie-esque for my taste.

The actual sugar cookie on the menu was also quite tasty. It was super buttery and soft in the middle, with satisfyingly chewy edges. I was impressed by the fact that it wasn't overpoweringly sweet. It could have actually used a touch more sugar, as well as some more vanilla flavoring, as it was a tad bland. Still, overall, both of the cookie options from Jersey Mike's are worth buying.

4. Firehouse Subs

I bought three types of cookies from Firehouse Subs and each charmed me in its own way. The Celebration Sugar Cookie came loaded with multicolored sprinkles and white chocolate chips. Thankfully, the white chocolate didn't have the aggressively fake taste I hated in Subway's cookies. The sprinkles didn't do much for the flavor or texture of the cookie, but they added to the visual flair. Despite the sprinkles and white chocolate chips, the sugar cookie wasn't too sweet, and the outside was super crispy.

The chocolate chip cookie was very similar to Toll House, with a strong brown sugar presence. The cookie was baked crispy on the outside with a dense, chewy interior. However, the oatmeal raisin may have been my favorite. The edges were almost flaky and the cookie was very fatty without being greasy. There was a lot of oat flavor and the raisins were soft. The only thing that dragged Firehouse down a few spots was that the sugar and oatmeal raisin cookies both tasted a bit like margarine.

3. Crumbl

I thought Crumbl would run away with the win in this ranking — all it does is cookies, after all. I have tried and loved many of the chain's flavors in the past, but when it came time to select cookies to sample for this article, I ran into a problem: Crumbl changes its menu every week. Anything I tasted would be out of date by the time you read about it. With this in mind, I decided to evaluate Crumbl based on the one cookie that never leaves the menu, the milk chocolate chip. 

Crumbl is working on a different level than most other fast food cookie-makers. The milk chocolate chip cookie was fresh and warm and clearly had been baked in-store. The crispy edges tasted like butterscotch and the abundant milk chocolate chips were all melted. The ingredients were high-quality and the center of the cookie was perfectly gooey. 

However, I can't give Crumbl the top spot because this cookie was a little unbalanced. I would have preferred dark chocolate chips because the milk chocolate was incredibly sweet. It tasted good for a few bites, but there's no way I could have eaten the whole cookie in one sitting. Also, Crumbl is expensive, I paid almost $5 for a single (admittedly very large, but not pizza-sized) cookie.

2. Papa John's

I think Papa John's is the worst fast food pizzeria, so I had incredibly low hopes for its chocolate chip cookie. It ended up blowing my expectations out of the water. Papa John's cookie was almost identical in form factor to Pizza Hut's — the main difference was that it was pre-cut into wedges, which made it more convenient to eat. 

Taste-wise, it was also quite similar, with all the flavors of brown sugar, salt, and butter that you want out of a chocolate chip cookie. However, it surpassed Pizza Hut in two ways. First, it seemed to have been baked at a higher temperature for less time. This meant the outside was crispier but the interior was less cooked, giving me the doughy texture I craved. Second, this cookie had way more chocolate chips.

Papa John's dessert offering was my favorite chocolate chip cookie in the taste test and it's a great value. For just two more dollars than a single Crumbl cookie, you get a massive shareable dessert that's cut into eight servings. The pizzeria misses out on the top spot, however, because it only sells one type of cookie, and I want variety.

1. Jimmy John's

I was able to try both of Jimmy John's permanent cookie flavors (chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin) as well as a seasonal chocolate peppermint variety. They all tasted like they could have been homemade and looking at the ingredients labels, I was able to figure out why. All of Jimmy John's cookies are made with butter. Not margarine, not palm oil, but real, honest butter. It makes a huge difference.

In addition to the real butter, the Triple Chip cookie from Jimmy John's is made with Ghirardelli chocolate instead of cheap, generic chips. The decadent chocolate combined with butter and brown sugar was a winning flavor combo. The oatmeal raisin cookie was simple but well-executed, with tender raisins and plenty of oat flavor. The peppermint chocolate cookie was, miraculously, not overly sweet, and the dough had a nice bitter cocoa taste that paired amazingly with crushed-up bits of peppermint candy. 

All three of the cookies were perfect from a textural perspective as well, with the chocolate chip being dense and chewy, the oatmeal nice and soft, and the chocolate peppermint a mix of pillowy and crunchy. I don't even like Jimmy John's sandwiches that much, but I could easily see myself going back just to buy cookies.