The 11 Best Coke Flavors, Ranked

It's hard to find someone who doesn't enjoy an ice cold Coke, and this obsession is entirely by design. The satisfaction of cracking open a cola is nearly hardwired into our brains for so many occasions. When you sit down at the movie theater to enjoy the latest blockbuster, what is it you reach for to wash down your popcorn? On a hot summer weekend, when you're enjoying a burger fresh off the grill, what's the best option to quench your thirst? Something that is brown, fizzy, sweet, and totally delicious. The perfect choice in all these situations, and many more, is a classically refreshing, and comfortingly familiar Coca-Cola.

The nearly 140-year-old brand has become ubiquitous around the world. Beyond that fact that you can literally find it everywhere, WebFX says Coca-Cola also has such a hold on our taste buds due to decades of immersive marketing campaigns. And Coca-Cola's friendly, catchy slogans like "Happiness," "Share a Coke," and "Taste the Feeling" have definitely played a role in people associating such warm and fuzzy emotions with the soft drink (via LinkedIn). That said, Coke comes in dozens of flavors and it can be hard to decide which one to reach for when a craving strikes for a sweet, bubbly beverage. That's where our totally unofficial, but entirely definitive, ranking of the 11 best Coke flavors comes in. Read on to discover your new favorite. 

11. Coke with Coffee

Mixing two delicious sources of caffeine together sounds amazing on paper, but it doesn't hold up in reality. Coca-Cola with Coffee comes in four main variations: caramel, mocha, vanilla  and dark blend. And the truth is that all four could be a little bit better, according to most fans. The drink is not only a coffee-flavored soda, but also contains real coffee powder meant to give it a real kick (via Coca-Cola). Yet even this extra special touch falls short, as reviewers at The Impulsive Buy found that the vanilla flavor, for example, tastes just like Vanilla Coke without any touches of coffee. 

The dark blend flavor seems to garner a little more favor among consumers, as at least it's more likely you will be able to taste the coffee. But it's subtle. Upon first sip, you'll think that you are just drinking regular Coke, until a strong second wave of coffee-flavored aftertaste hits you. For that reason, The Impulsive Buy suggests this is not the best drink to pair with a meal. It doesn't taste enough like Coke to eat with a burger or pizza, but it doesn't taste enough like coffee to pair with breakfast or enjoy on its own first thing in the morning. There's seemingly no perfect time to enjoy Coke with coffee, so we say your best bet is to enjoy one of the many more delicious flavors instead. 

10. Caffeine free Coke

Some people really enjoy the taste of Coke, but if they drink too much caffeine it can make them feel jittery or disrupt their sleeping patterns. This is especially true if they drink it too late in the day. Caffeine Free Coke sounds like the perfect fix to this problem. It's supposed to have all the flavor of our favorite cola, but without the stimulants that can keep us awake for hours on end. Unfortunately, some reviewers indicate that this flavor falls a bit flat in the taste department. 

According to reviews on Influenster, tasters didn't hate the flavor, but they were not in love with it, either. Some claim the drink shouldn't be enjoyed alone, but would probably be better when mixed in with something else, preferably a spirit. Some tasters even note that Caffeine Free Coke has a metallic, chemical aftertaste which pretty much ruins the entire experience of drinking it for them. And soda expert, Sodanonymous on Youtube, thinks that the coke's red and gold packaging is very visually appealing, but the bubbles in regular Coke feel bigger and more satisfying than the Caffeine Free version. He also agrees that Caffeine Free Coke would be better when used as a mixer. The general consensus is that Caffeine Free Coke isn't terrible, but it still has a lot of room for improvement.

9. Diet Coke Lime

Diet Coke with Lime was a fan favorite that was quietly discontinued. According to Buzzfeed News, it was a really slow fade. The drink disappeared from most store shelves only to be sold online via Amazon. Then suddenly, the soda's biggest fans noticed they couldn't even buy it there anymore, either. This prompted a massive outrage on Twitter from those who really loved the flavor. "Your new flavors suck, and despite your site claiming I can buy Diet Coke Lime on Amazon, I cannot," said one particularly irritated fan

The reason some consumers were so passionate about the Diet Coke with Lime is that the added citrus helped counterbalance the bitter flavor of plain Diet Coke, and the fresh taste elevated the flavor profile with a fun twist (via Viewpoints). Diet Coke with Lime's passionate fanbase and untimely demise earns it a spot on our ranking. And if it was a favorite of yours, it's worth noting that you can still bring it to life on a Coke freestyle machine near you by mixing Diet Coke with lime flavored syrup (via Lancaster Online). 

8. Orange Vanilla Coke

Orange Vanilla Coke has a tasty dreamsicle flavor profile which earns it a solid place in the middle of our ranking. Coca-Cola launched the flavor in 2019, perhaps trying to capitalize on the sales of the ever-popular Cherry Vanilla Coke. The Daily Meal editors had the chance to review the flavor when it first launched and were surprised by a few things. First, there isn't even a hint of orange in the color of Orange Vanilla Coke. It pours the same warm, fizzy brown as any other Coke flavor. But what does stand out from the original is the smell. As soon as you pop open a can of Orange Vanilla Coke you will be hit with "the unmistakable scent of a classic orange creamsicle."

However, very disappointingly, the smell was much stronger than the taste. "Neither the orange or the vanilla flavors were strong enough next to the already-strong flavor of regular Coke to stand out. But the orange did leave an acidic aftertaste on the regular version," said one of our editors. The sentiment was felt all around, with another editor suggesting that someone from the Coca-Cola flavor development team must have been doing too many experiments with the Coke Freestyle Machine.

7. Georgia Peach Coke

Coca-Cola released Georgia Peach Coke in 2019 as part of an attempt to introduce more locally, artisan flavors. According to company's Senior Brand Manager of Innovation, "Specialty sodas are particularly appealing to people who enjoy discovering crafted flavors and who have a desire to try curated food and beverage experiences." And Coca-Cola archivist Ted Ryan noted in the company's release that different flavors tend to be favored in different parts of the country. "Peach was popular in the South and, believe it or not, maple syrup was common up north." 

Now it seems that the peach flavor is being enjoyed well beyond the southern United States. Some taste testers insist that the flavors of peach and cola are perfectly blended together in this drink, creating one of the best new flavors of Coke yet (via Influenster). On the other hand, some other reviewers think the hint of peach makes the soda taste a little bit too much like a piece of pie instead of soda. But even they can still agree that the flavors of cola and fruit work pretty well together overall in this Coke flavor (via Paste Magazine).

6. Vanilla Coke

Vanilla Coke is a bit like an ice cream float without the ice cream. What's not to love? According to the Home Tester Club, even those who don't normally drink soda find comfort in the fizzy drink's flavors. Vanilla Coke is nice and sweet, but doesn't taste overwhelmingly like pure sugar the way regular Coke does to some people. This subtly is a common theme among reviewers of the drink. Even those who are addicted to the classic flavors enjoy the extra layer of tang from the smooth flavor of vanilla. 

Some Redditors even argue that Vanilla Coke is actually even better than not only every other Coka flavor, but also Classic Coca-Cola, too. One fan described the taste of Vanilla Coke as buttercream frosting in a can, giving your sweet tooth the fix it needs and boosting your energy with a shot of caffeine, all in one. The best part about Vanilla Coke is that the vanilla and cola flavors work together. You can taste both across two levels, whereas other flavored drinks kind of just taste like someone has put a bit of fruit in the can and hoped for the best. 

5. Diet Coke

It's not secret that Diet Coke has had a cult following for decades (via Wired). This still rings true today, as many Coke fans still swear by the diet flavor, making it one of the most popular sodas available for purchase. In fact, it is the second highest-selling soda in the U.S., only being topped by — as you might have guessed — it's regular Coke counterpart (via Newsweek). 

At this point, Diet Coke is more than just a soda, it's a cultural phenomenon. Self-proclaimed "Diet Coke Girlies" think that the drink is a perfect combination of crisp fizz and just sweet enough to hit the spot (via The Beacon at the University of Portland). It's a great alternative for people with health conditions like Type 1 Diabetes as well because it is sugar-free (via Healthline). Some critics on Reddit have criticized Diet Coke as bitter. However, the diet drink's many fans seem to massively outweigh the haters, earning it a solid place in the middle of our ranking. 

4. Coke Zero Sugar

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has all the zing and fizz of regular Coke, but none of the calories. According to Coca-Cola UK, the flavor was first launched as Coke Zero in 2006. It was meant to be an alternative to Diet Coke with a fuller flavor profile more similar to the original offering. A decade later, after years of taste testing and reformulation, a new and improved version, known as Coke Zero Sugar.

Some Coke Zero fans were really disappointed when the new version first came out in 2016. Reviewers at GQ lamented the end of an era, holding nothing back about their love for the original Coke Zero and disappointment that it was discontinued. They expressed, echoing many others, that Diet Coke tastes too tinny, so Coke Zero was the only place left to turn to for a sugar-free option. Luckily, the Coca-Cola research and development team was listening, and a newer, even more improved, more-like-the-original version was released in 2021 (via The Coca-Cola Company). Coke Zero's dedication to always getting better earns it a place near the top of our rankings.

3. Original Coke

Regular Coca-Cola is a classic, an icon, and a legend that is loved the world over. There is just something about the classic cola flavor that just tickles our taste buds. All cola sodas get their taste and color from the Kola nut, a treat that has long been used to provide people with a caffeine boost in West African cultures (via BBC). The coca part comes from the coca leaf. The inventor of Coke, John Pemberton, mixed these ingredients with sugar in an Atlanta laboratory in 1886, and the rest is history. These natural flavors, although made more synthetic over time, are still a winning, fizzy, delicious combination.

It's easy to tell that classic Coke is one of the most beloved flavors because you can find it virtually anywhere. It is sold in aluminum cans, glass bottles, and plastic bottles, as well as a majority of soda fountains. And the best kind of Coke, many would agree, comes in a paper cup from McDonald's. There is actually a scientific reason behind this. According to The New York Times, McDonald's stores keep their Coke syrup in a stainless steel container instead of a plastic bag like other restaurants. This allegedly keeps its Coke fizzier and fresher than other places, further reinforcing regular Coke's, and by extension McDonald's, status as a fan favorite.  

2. Cherry Vanilla Coke

Cherry Vanilla Coke has earned its place near the top of our ranking because it was delicious enough to transform from a fan-made fantasy to an official Coke product. This flavor came about after the corporate team at Coke noticed so many consumers were creating the flavor using Coke's Freestyle machines.  "We're always looking at multiple ways to vet and learn more about what consumers are looking for," the company's Brand Director told CNN, adding, "freestyle is not our only way of getting that information, but it's definitely one of our favorite ways." And according to the company's data, Cherry Vanilla Coke is the most popular Coke creation across the company's 51,000 Freestyle machines (via CNN).

Reviewers from our team at The Daily Meal team noted that the Cherry Vanilla Coke has the perfect mix of two strong flavors which could otherwise be overwhelming. One reviewer made it clear that the "vanilla was far more prevalent on the tongue than cherry, which is fine since cherry flavoring can taste medicinal." Those looking for a creamy, tangy, refreshing drink will no doubt find it in Cherry Vanilla Coke.

1. Cherry Coke

Cherry Coke first burst onto the market in 1985 (via Coke Solutions). It was the first of its kind — no other major soft drink brand had a cherry soda available for purchase at the time. It was an instant success, as less than three months after Cherry Coke first hit the shelves more than 90% of consumers surveyed said they had tried the new flavor, or at least knew what it was. Jerry Nelson, who worked at Coke bottling plant in Colorado Springs said, "I've never seen such excitement for a new product." It was clear that the Coca-Cola Company had really struck gold here.

Decades later, the flavor of Cherry Coke is still a hit that is widely enjoyed, so it easily tops our list. Reviewers on Reddit have said that cherry is the ultimate Coke flavor, easily coasting into first place in any lineup, over Regular Coke and all other flavor variants. Drinking it feels a bit like a warm hug. Its popularity over the years makes sense, as most people tend to gravitate towards cherry flavored snacks, because the flavor is bold, easy to recognize, and very tasty when done right, according to the flavoring experts at Abelei. And Coke has certainly mastered combining cola and cherry into a fizzy, sharp, satisfying sip.