I Tasted All 8 Chick-fil-A Sides, and Waffle Fries Weren’t Even in the Top 5

Chick-fil-A side dishes

Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

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Chick-fil-A side dishes
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Side Chicks

Chick-fil-A is known for a lot of things: Fried chicken, donating to anti-LGBTQ groups even after saying they stopped, and even some of the best ice in the fast food game (not to mention its superior iced coffee).

The sides department? Not so much. Chick-fil-A's waffle fries are nationally beloved, and I've never understood that. I decided to take a look at the other seven items on the side dish menu, which is full of surprises. Here's how everything stacked up.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Chick-fil-A chicken restaurant. Despite ongoing controversy, Chick-fil-A is wildly popular II


I slid through the drive-thru of my closest Chick-fil-A, which is a little less than 10 minutes from where I live. Everything, especially the soup, was still nice and hot. At least, the fries were as hot as they always are, which is to say they were bordering on cold.

Related: 9 Things You Should Never Order at Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A mac and cheese
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best: Mac & Cheese


Unless you've got a bucket of bolts for a brain, I don't know how anybody could dislike mac and cheese when it's made this way. Thick, gooey, and held together by actual melted cheese. There's no Kraft sauce here, just baked, cheesy goodness. This is the way all mac and cheese should be made.

Related: The 8 Best Fast-Food Sides Under $5 You Should Be Ordering

Chick-fil-A chicken noodle soup
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

2. Chicken Noodle Soup


I can't believe how much I like this. This destroys Panera's chicken soup. The broth is great, full of tender noodles and even more tender chicken. There's a creaminess to the whole thing that feels right, just like good chicken soup should. And it's not too salty, either, and the little saltine crackers you get on the side? Money.

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Chick-fil-A side salad
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

3. Side Salad


I honestly don't know what to believe about reality anymore. There is no chance I would have ordered this in a real-life scenario, but after trying it, it's entirely possible I will again in the future. 

That Avocado Lime Ranch? Chef's kiss. The little bell pepper crispies? That's another kiss. Each little grape tomato was crisp and juicy. The shredded cheese added nice richness to the whole experience. This is a solid side salad, and I have to imagine it's of a higher quality than the stuff other restaurants are spitting out.

Related: The 8 Best Chick-fil-A Sauces, Ranked

Chick-fil-A  kale crunch salad
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

4. Kale Crunch


Can you believe Chick-fil-A has two salads? Three, if you count the fruit cup? I can't. Kale is divisive, but I've always liked it in salads; it grips dressing in a more pleasing way than standard lettuce, in my opinion. This one's dressed in an apple cider-Dijon vinaigrette, and it hits. Another surprising blast of freshness from Chick-fil-A.

Related: I Tried 10 Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches, and McDonald's Was the Worst

Chick-fil-A  waffle potato chips
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

5. Waffle Potato Chips


Where have these been all my life? This is the crunch I want out of the fries, though I'll admit they might be on the verge of too salty. These things are begging to be slid underneath the top bun of a chicken sandwich to add a little bit of texture.

Related: We Sampled 16 Kinds of Potato Chips — These Are the Best (and Worst)

Chick-fil-A  waffle potato fries
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

6. Waffle Potato Fries


The internet will have my head for this one, I have no doubt.

Somebody needs to say it: Chick-fil-A waffle fries are always soft and bland. They taste like nothing and they have no bite. Terrific shape for dipping, yes. But flavor and texture? No way, dude. I don't get what everybody sees in these things. Do yourself a favor, and toss 'em in the air fryer for a few minutes when you get home.

Related: What's the Best Way to Reheat Fries? I Tried 5 Different Methods

Chick-fil-A  fruit cup
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

7. Fruit Cup


Believe it or not, this is actually in the upper tier of fruit cups that I've eaten. I was expecting a hellscape of jellied, canned, soggy fruits. Instead there were crunchy apples, tart blueberries, and fresh strawberries. I'm never going to be a person who chooses a fruit cup alongside fried chicken, but if I had to, I would hope to be at Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A  apple sauce
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

8. Buddy Fruits Apple Sauce


I like applesauce as much as the next fella, but I don't love feeling like a gigantic baby. Buddy Fruits Apple Sauce comes out of a little slurp-top and the only way to consume this is to drink it. This can't be done without feeling like you're four years old. I understand that this is probably intended for actual babies, but it's still right there, in the Sides menu. Just get some Mott's from the grocery store and call it a day.