Best French Fry Accompaniment
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Taste Test: The Best Fast-Food Chocolate Milkshake

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Best French Fry Accompaniment
Courtesy of sonicdrivein/facebook.com

Milkshake Throw Down

Milkshakes are by far the ultimate decadent dessert food that still happens to be socially acceptable to consume during lunch hours. Every fast food chain has 'em, but whose are the best? Whose actually tastes like ice cream? Whose go best with fries? How about with a cheeseburger? We looked at six chains — McDonald's, Jack in the Box, Carl's Jr., Wendy's, Sonic Drive-In, and Burger King — that are pretty nationally widespread, so no regionally specific locations like In-N-Out or Shake Shack were considered. Read on to find out which milkshakes rocked our world.

Methodology
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Methodology

There's some important considerations we needed to keep in mind when measuring the best fast food chocolate shake. The most obvious and important piece is flavor. Does this shake taste artificial, or does it taste like actual ice cream was scooped to make it? Does it have those deep, rich flavors that make shakes so wonderful? Assembly is also important. Is there too much whipped cream? Do they put a little cherry on top? Is it too drippy? If you take a fry and dip it in — which you absolutely must — will it hold together or get all over your grubby little fingers? Let's take a look.

Shake that Tastes the Most Like Real Ice Cream
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Shake that Tastes the Most Like Real Ice Cream

Jack in the Box
For the most part, the shakes in the world of fast food aren't great. They tend to have a vague hint of custard, but it's rare when it tastes like they were actually made from a fresh scoop of ice cream. Jack in the Box, one of the most solid all-around chains, doesn't stand for such a thing. Their shakes taste like actual ice cream, and it's nice to be reminded what you were really looking for in the first place. This is, however, a double-edged sword because they are so thick that finishing one can be a bit of a challenge.

Best French Fry Accompaniment
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Best French Fry Accompaniment

Sonic
Perhaps dipping fries into your shake is foreign to you, but we think it's one of life's great pleasures. It's important that a shake be soft enough to cling to the fry, but not so thick that the fry snaps off while you're dipping. With just the right consistency, you'll manage to avoid the drippy little milkshake spots all over your fingers. The flavor also can't be so strong that it overpowers the fries. Sonic is running the show in this department.

Most Forgettable Shake
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Most Forgettable Shake

Burger King
It's not disgusting by any means, but it's also not nearly good enough to remember. Mere minutes after consuming a Burger King shake, it was a challenge to remember even one thing about it. You'll taste it and go, "Yep, that's a chocolate milkshake," and that will be the end of your thought process. It's fine. It's whatever. You can do better.

Worst Overall Shake
Worst Overall Shake by m01229 (CC BY)

Worst Overall Shake

McDonald's

We gave Mickey D's high marks for their cheeseburger, but they've sort of pulled the wool over our eyes when it comes to their frozen treats. Everybody seems to have a vague memory of their soft serve cones being delicious, but in reality they are pretty gross. Their milkshake kind of tastes like one of those soft serve cones was put inside a cup for about 45 minutes. Rather than those ice creamy, malty flavors you're looking for in a good milkshake, you just get the artificial taste of sugar.

Best Overall Shake
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Best Overall Shake

Wendy's Chocolate Frosty
While many fast-food chains overwhelm your palate — and decision-making process — with all manner of flavor options and seasonal shake specials, sometimes you want simplicity. That's what you'll find at Wendy's, just vanilla and chocolate. (They only began serving a vanilla shake due to popular demand back in 2006 after nearly four decades, and other flavor experiments have fallen by the wayside over the years.) Sometimes life is black and white, and here, you'll want to go black. Their chocolate Frosty is tried and true, and still has the best flavor of any plain chocolate shake. And before you start trying to get fancy by asking for the two flavors mixed together, just stop: Their chocolate shake already is a mixture of chocolate and vanilla flavor. Wendy's founder Dave Thomas wanted a well-balanced, flavorful shake that didn't overwhelm the rest of the meal. He also wanted it to be thick, so the Frosty strikes a beautiful balance between soft serve and milkshake. Though not everything Wendy's does to differentiate themselves is a good idea (get those square burgers out of here), the Frosty remains a true icon of the fast food world.