The Ultimate Guide To Fast Food Coffee

Many of us need coffee to increase our energy. We drink it in the morning to get our day started, or in the afternoon to keep going. But there are instances when we don't have the time (or enthusiasm) to make it. In those cases, we need to pick it up — and quickly — and fast food restaurants can be the best option for doing so. These fast food chains are cheap (sometimes) and quick (occasionally). But the number of coffee drinks offered at each chain can vary drastically.

Some chains, like Starbucks, Dunkin', and Tim Hortons, are known for making a large variety of coffee drinks to satisfy every taste bud. But these aren't the only places to get coffee. More traditional fast food chains — like those that specialize in hamburgers and fries — even serve great coffee these days. While the options may not be as numerous, many places offer blended, iced, and hot coffee in various flavors. To make it easier to get your caffeine fix, we've created a guide to help you find the perfect cup of fast food coffee.


In-N-Out is a California-based regional fast-food chain known for its simple menu; burgers, fries, and beverages are all that you'll find. Even within those options, there isn't much diversity — and yes, we know about the secret menu, as well. But in addition to animal-style fries, what keeps fans coming back to In-N-Out is the high standard of the ingredients. It seems the chain's dedication to simplicity and quality also extends to its coffee menu. In-N-Out only serves one coffee drink, and that item is hot coffee.

While a variety of flavors and iced or blended coffee drinks may not be available, there is still one trick to customize your cup of coffee In-N-Out. According to Enjoy Orange County, simply order a cup with half coffee and half hot chocolate and you will have a mocha café au lait! Like other items ordered at In-N-Out, you can expect the coffee to be ready and served efficiently, too. 

Dunkin' Donuts

Even if you associate Dunkin' with donuts more than coffee, you know that the chain makes a mean cup of joe. The java options there are anything but limited. First, there's Dunkin's espresso and coffee menu, which includes both hot and iced coffee drinks. If you're looking for a hot drink, try a black coffee, Americano, macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, latte, or Signature latte (an upgraded version of the latte with whipped cream, a syrup drizzle, and toppings). If you're in the mood for a cold drink, order a cold brew or an iced coffee, Americano, latte, macchiato, cappuccino, or Signature latte. 

Dunkin' has one blended coffee drink on the menu: frozen coffee, which is made from coffee extract blended with ice and milk. The result is similar to a coffee-flavored slushy. From there, you are free to customize your frozen coffee in two ways: the base, and swirl and shot flavor. Both dairy and plant-based bases are available, including whole and skim milks, cream, and almond, coconut, and oat milks. When it comes to the flavor shots and swirls, options vary by season and store, but some include caramel, mocha, coconut crème pie, and butter pecan.


Wendy's has a surprising amount of coffee options on its menu. It sells hot coffee and decaf hot coffee. Both can be ordered in a small or large size. It also offers a cold brew iced coffee. Of course, the chain features coffee drinks that riff on its beloved Frosty. This famous beverage is something between a milkshake and a soft-serve ice cream. On its coffee menu, Wendy's combines a Frosty with coffee and calls it a "Frosty-ccino." You can order a Frosty-ccino in either chocolate or vanilla flavors. 

Frosty-ccinos are the most unique aspect of this fast food chain's coffee menu. But, as Brand Eating points out, the drink isn't authentic. Wendy's can't make a cappuccino because the chain doesn't serve espresso drinks. There isn't any real "ccino" element in the Frosty-ccino. Surprisingly enough, people don't seem to care about that. Instead, they say it doesn't taste enough like a Frosty, as one Wendy's customer critiqued on Yelp. Still, if you're in a hurry and need that quick pick-me-up, Wendy's serves coffee all day.

Burger King

Burger King's coffee menu is on the more minimal side. There are only two types of drinks available at this fast food chain: hot coffee and iced coffee. The hot coffee is called a BK café. It's described as a smooth, medium body coffee made from 100% South and Central American Arabica beans. This type of bean accounts for around 60% of the world's coffee. Arabica coffee is also considered to have a better flavor than its fellow bean variety, Robusta. Its taste is said to be sweet, complex, and less bitter than other types of coffee. You might taste something like this in the Arabica coffee sold at Burger King and other fast food chains. The BK café can be ordered in a small, medium, or large size. The drink can also be bought in a decaf version, with the same size options available. 

If you like iced coffee, Burger King has options in this department. The chain's iced coffee comes mixed with milk, as you can tell by the picture on the Burger King menu. If you like flavors, you can order this beverage in mocha or vanilla. Since Burger King serves breakfast, we're glad that customers have the opportunity to grab a coffee with the first meal of the day at this chain.

Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box offers both hot and iced coffee on the menu. After a period using Kona coffee beans for its drinks, the chain switched to High Mountain 100% Arabica beans, which, as Thrillist states, has "roasty, cereal notes." The hot coffee is available in both regular and decaf.

For iced drink lovers, there are even more options at this fast food chain. First, there is black iced coffee, which is again made with 100% Arabica beans. The chain also offers a vanilla sweet cream iced coffee, which includes coffee, vanilla flavoring, and sweetened cream. The mocha sweet cream iced coffee puts a chocolate twist on the drink by adding in mocha flavor. If you like caramel, opt for the caramel sweet cream iced coffee, which blends sweet vanilla cream and caramel into the coffee. All drinks are available in both regular and large sizes.


Most fast food enjoyers know about McDonald's McCafé, the espresso and coffee drinks section of the chain's menu. These offerings are much more extensive than other chains focused on burgers and fries and include both coffee- and espresso-based drinks. Regardless of the time of day, you can pop in and order a variety of drinks, such as a cappuccino, latte, Americano, caramel macchiato, mocha, and French vanilla coffee. If you're looking for something to warm you up, order them hot. For a cool and refreshing zap of energy, these drinks are also available in iced versions. You can even customize your coffee drink by adding various flavors.

For a more decadent coffee drink, order a frappé. This drink is available in caramel or mocha and is an icy blend of coffee, ice, and flavoring, topped with a dollop of whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce.


Starbucks is synonymous with coffee. But it's not a local coffeehouse or café anymore; per Britannica, it now operates more than 32,000 stores worldwide. With numbers like that, it's safe to say that Starbucks is more of a major fast food chain. Even though we group it in with other restaurants like Taco Bell, people know that there are going to be a lot more coffee options at Starbucks. 

It would take forever to list all the coffee drinks available at Starbucks. Instead, we'll explain a few of the coffee beverage categories at your disposal. The menu includes both hot and cold coffees, such as the Americano, cappuccino, latte, flat white, macchiato, mocha, nitro cold brew, shaken espresso, and more. For a frozen treat, try a Frappuccino, a blended drink that comes in multiple flavors, such as mocha cookie, caramel brûlée, and chestnut praline. There are so many options on the Starbucks menu that it's not hard to find a new favorite each time.


Sonic offers three coffee drinks on its menu. The first is a regular hot coffee. It is made with Green Mountain Coffee, a popular brand which you can find in most grocery stores. Sonic's is made with 100% Arabica beans. Customers can choose to add French vanilla flavoring, cream, sugar, or Sweet'N Low. 

If you like iced coffee, you're in luck. The fast food chain sells an original cold brew iced coffee. This consists of Sonic's cold brew iced coffee, which is combined with sweet cream and then poured over the chain's famous pellet ice (which is known for being small and easy to chew). You can choose to add caramel or chocolate syrup to the beverage if you want. 

Finally, there's the French vanilla cold brew iced coffee. This is similar to the original cold brew iced coffee, except that it comes automatically mixed with French vanilla flavoring. Like the other drinks, you can add caramel or chocolate flavoring, plus cream or sugar. 


Chick-fil-A features hot and iced coffee on the menu. The brew is only available in regular though, so if you want the taste without the caffeine you'll have to look elsewhere.

Chik-fil-A's hot coffee is made from arabica beans and the coffee is a custom-made, proprietary blend that's created with the help of THR!VE Farmers. This coffee and tea company produces such drinks while partnering with suppliers in order to create a more supportive revenue-sharing model. Not only does Chik-fil-A's coffee come from a humanitarian background, but it is meant to pair with menu items. Part of this means that the beans have a nutty finish and notes of caramel. There are even a few options for customization. You can add French vanilla creamer, Splenda, sugar, or Chik-fil-A-branded coffee creamer to your hot coffee. 

For cold coffee drinkers, Chick-fil-A has an iced coffee on the menu made from a cold brew that's prepared fresh daily and blended with 2% milk and pure cane sugar. The drink comes in two different flavors: original or vanilla. You can further customize it by adding various creams or sugars to the drink, as well as adjusting the amount of ice used in the beverage.

Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons has been a fixture in Canada since the 1960s and now has more than 500 locations in the United States (via Smartscrapers), meaning Americans can now enjoy the many coffee drinks sold at this institution.

The donuts and coffee chain offers plain hot coffee in three different varieties: original, dark roast, and decaf. But if you want a coffee that's a little more deluxe, you have options in the hot beverage section, such as French vanilla or coffee mocha. Several hot latte flavors are also available, including regular, vanilla, caramel, mocha, or vanilla almond (a non-dairy vanilla latte). There's also an espresso and a caramel macchiato on the menu. During the holidays, you can also order seasonal flavors, such as a peppermint mocha iced cappuccino, latte, or cold brew. 

As for cold drinks, iced coffee can be ordered black or classic — meaning it has one cream and a regular amount of sugar in it. On top of that, the fast food chain also features iced Americano, nitro cold brew, and cold brew, and various flavors, such as vanilla, can be added.

Taco Bell

You may be surprised to find coffee here, but Taco Bell has a few different types on its menu. Whether you like your coffee hot and black or prefer it iced with milk and sugar, you can get your fix. 

Taco Bell's coffee menu begins with plain hot coffee. The chain's premium hot coffee is 45% Rainforest Alliance certified, which means that the coffee is made with social, environmental, and economic sustainability in mind. If black coffee isn't your thing, Taco Bell has one other hot coffee option — the hot Cinnabon Delights coffee, which is made with Cinnabon Delights flavoring and vanilla creamer. 

If you like iced coffee, there are two options. One is Taco Bell's regular iced coffee. This drink is served with creamer automatically added in, so if you need it without the dairy let them know when ordering. Unfortunately, Taco Bell doesn't currently offer plant-based milks (via Veggl). Finally, an iced version of the Cinnabon Delights coffee is also available.

Carl's Jr./Hardee's

Some call it Hardee's. Some call it Carl's Jr. It doesn't matter what you call it, because both names refer to the same chain. However, there can be differences between each company's menu. These discrepancies can be found in the coffee options available at Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. 

Hardee's sells Rise and Shine Coffee, which is made from 100% Arabica beans sourced from Central America. It's described as having a medium body. If you prefer to stay away from caffeine, a cup of decaf coffee is available from Hardee's.

At Carl's Jr., there are some slight differences in the coffee options. The fast food chain's hot coffee is no longer referred to as Rise and Shine Coffee. Also, it's described as a dark roast, rather than a medium one. Like Hardee's, you can also get a cup of decaf coffee, which is made with a dark roast. 

Panera Bread

By becoming a paying member of Panera Bread's drink subscription, you can enjoy bottomless coffee, tea, and other drinks. This gives you ample opportunity to try all of Panera Bread's drip coffees — of which there are many. You'll find hazelnut coffee, 100% Colombian dark roast coffee, café blend light roast coffee, and decaf coffee in this section.

In the espresso bar section of Panera's menu, there are many more hot coffees to try. Panera sells classic coffeehouse drinks like an espresso, cappuccino, Americano, or café latte. Fans of flavored coffees can also find something that they like. You can choose between a chocolate, caramel, or Madagascar vanilla hot latte. All drinks consist of lattes, plus syrups which give each drink its name. Each hot latte is topped with whipped cream and an additional syrup drizzle. 

For Panera's available iced coffees, there is a normal cold brew coffee. For a sweeter twist on the cold brew, try the Madagascar vanilla cream cold brew (made with dairy) or the Madagascar vanilla almond cold brew (made with non-dairy almond milk). If you like even more milk in your iced coffee, you could order Panera's iced café latte. If you like flavors, you can choose those as well. Available options include Madagascar vanilla, cinnamon crunch, caramel, and chocolate. Finally, the chain even has a few frozen coffees. They come topped with whipped cream and syrup, just like the lattes. Available flavors include chocolate and caramel.