“Fast food” nearly always conjures images of crispy French fries, but there’s much more on offer at your go-to spots. Sure, fries are a crunchy, salty delight, but sticking to the usual can mean missing out on some stellar alternatives. Why not switch it up? Venture beyond the potato norms and try something like zesty garlic knots, sweet cinnamon twists, or a fresh side salad.

Curly fries spilled from a fast-food container onto a white surface.
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Culver’s Cheese Curds

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Culver’s, renowned for its Butterburgers and frozen custard, also offers an array of mouthwatering sides that highlight its Wisconsin heritage. Among the favorites are the Wisconsin Cheese Curds, featuring un-aged yellow and white cheddar from La Grander Hillside Dairy, acclaimed for pairing perfectly with marinara sauce.

Chick-fil-A’s Mac and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese in a white dish on a wooden table.
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Chick-fil-A’s macaroni and cheese is a creamy dream, blending Parmesan, Romano, and cheddar into a cheesy masterpiece. Baked to crispy perfection on top, it’s a comfort food side that turns any meal into a cheesy delight.

Jack in the Box’s Egg Roll

Chinese spring rolls on a plate with sauce.
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Jack in the Box stands out with its array of unconventional fast food offerings, like crispy stuffed jalapeños filled with gooey cheese and jumbo egg rolls brimming with a flavorful mix of ground pork and veggies, served with sweet and sour sauce.

Sonic’s Pickle Fries

Fried pickles in a brown paper bag with dipping sauce.
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Sonic shakes up the side dish scene with its innovative Pickle Fries, a quirky twist on traditional fries that pickle enthusiasts will love. These crinkle-cut dill pickles are battered and fried to create a tangy, crispy treat that’s unlike anything else on the menu.

Wendy’s Baked Potato

Three baked potatoes with cheese and bacon on a wooden board.
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Wendy’s breaks the mold of typical fast-food sides with its Baked Potato, a hearty and healthier alternative that stands out. Cooked to fluffy perfection, these potatoes come with a variety of toppings, from cheddar cheese and sour cream to bacon bits and chives, allowing for a customizable and satisfying side option.

Arby’s Mozzarella Sticks

Fried chicken sticks with ketchup on a plate.
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Arby’s adds a cheesy twist to its menu with Mozzarella Sticks, serving up a deliciously gooey and crispy side that cheese lovers can’t resist. These sticks are encased in a perfectly seasoned breadcrumb coating, fried to golden perfection, and served with a tangy marinara sauce for dipping.

Carl’s Jr.’s Fried Zucchini

Fried zucchini chips with ketchup in a bowl on a wooden table.
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Carl’s Jr. spices up its side dish lineup with Fried Zucchini, offering a tasty and unique alternative to standard fast-food options. These zucchini slices are coated in a light batter and fried to a perfect golden crisp, delivering a savory and slightly sweet flavor that’s served with a side of creamy ranch dressing for dipping.

Burger King’s Onion Rings

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Burger King’s Onion Rings are the unsung heroes of the side dish world, bringing a crispy, golden crunch to the table that’s hard to resist. Wrapped in a perfectly seasoned batter and fried to crispy perfection, these rings are the ideal pick for anyone looking to switch up their fry routine. Dunk ’em in BK’s zesty sauce for an extra flavor kick, and you’ve got a side that turns any meal into a crunchy, sweet, and savory party in your mouth.

Popeye’s Biscuits

Biscuits on a plate next to a cup of milk.
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Popeye’s Biscuits are a little slice of heaven that perfectly complement any meal. Buttery, flaky, and with just the right touch of saltiness, these biscuits are more than just a side—they’re a must-have. Fresh from the oven, they pull apart in layers of tender, mouthwatering goodness.

Smashburger’s Tater Tots

Fried taters in a basket on a wooden table.
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Smashburger takes the humble tater tot and turns it into a crunchy, golden delight that’s stealing the spotlight. These little nuggets of joy are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and just begging to be dipped into your favorite sauce. A far cry from the tots you might remember from the school cafeteria, Smashburger’s version is a grown-up twist on a childhood classic.

10 Fast Food Fries Ranked From No, Thanks To Yes, Please!

A plate of seasoned fries with a side of ketchup.
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Who’s got the best fries in the fast food game? It’s a hot topic that can spark endless debate. We took on the tasty task of ranking fries from popular fast food joints and ranked them in our humble opinion from worst to best. Grab your ketchup (or mayo, we don’t judge) and see where each chain stands in the ultimate fry showdown. Do you agree?

See Them Here: 10 Fast Food Fries Ranked From No, Thanks To Yes, Please!

7 Reasons We Never Order Off The Kids Menu

A family looking at a menu in a restaurant.
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Heading out to eat is always a highlight, but when it comes to the kids’ menu, we tend to look the other way. Sure, the crayons and quirky cups are a hit, but the menu itself? Not so much. It feels like a missed opportunity to dive into the real joys of dining out: sampling new dishes, enjoying a meal as a family, and yes, temporarily forgetting the chaos of mealtime at home. Instead of settling for the usual kid fare, we opt for sharing bits of our own meals with the kiddos, just like we do at home. Here’s why sticking to this approach makes every meal out a little more special.

See Them Here: 7 Reasons We Never Order Off The Kids Menu

These 10 Fast Food Breakfast Sandwiches Are Worth Waking Up For

A breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese, and ham on an english muffin, served on a wooden board.
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In the hustle and bustle of morning routines, grabbing a breakfast sandwich on the go has become a staple for the workday rush. Yet, navigating through the myriad of options reveals that not every sandwich hits the mark. Whether your preference leans towards crispy bacon, specific cheese types, or you have dietary restrictions, the quest for the perfect breakfast sandwich is real. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best offerings out there that redefine the morning meal game for on-the-go eaters.

See Them Here: These 10 Fast Food Breakfast Sandwiches Are Worth Waking Up For

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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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