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

Fast Food Sides Cover

Cheapism / Anthony S./Yelp / Wilder Shaw / Jennifer M./Yelp

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Fast Food Sides Cover
Cheapism / Anthony S./Yelp / Wilder Shaw / Jennifer M./Yelp
Culver's onion rings
Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

Onion Rings from Culver

Culver's onion rings are battered rather than breaded, cooked long enough for the onions to be tender, and easy to bite through. This sends them shooting way past just about every fast-food onion ring in the biz, because there's nothing worse than biting into an onion ring and extracting the entire onion from its shell because it's too tough.

Related: Cheese Curds Schmeese Curds: Culver's Sides, Ranked

red beans and rice from popeyes
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism
botato rounds from bojangles
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Bo-Tato Rounds

Sometimes I think Bo-Tato Rounds are the best thing on the Bojangles menu. Crunchy and peppery, these things perfectly nail that midpoint between hash browns and tater tots. There's a little onion in here too, to round it all out. I'm wild about these little discs, and good news, they're served all day long.

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sonic heath blast
Fola D. / Yelp

Sonic Heath Nut Blast

For a chain that mostly cranks out duds, I’m in a full-on love affair with Sonic’s Heath Blast. This thing will outperform a McFlurry every time, with a consistency much more in sync with your neighborhood soft serve spot than an industrial machine. And because I love toffee so dearly, a Heath bar is the perfect compliment. Plus, Sonic is not only swirling the bits into the shake, but topping the thing with them as well.

Related: Everything on Sonic's Value Menu Is Under $4. Here's What You Should Order

Jack in the Box Tacos
Jennifer M./Yelp

Jack in the Box Tacos

There’s probably no better deal in the fast food game than Jack’s two-taco deal. When paired with that house taco sauce, you’re looking at two incredibly decent hard-shell tacos for a buck. Incredible stuff. Thank you, Jack, for your service.

Related: The Best Fast-Food Value Menus, Ranked

kfc secret recipe fries
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Secret Recipe Fries from KFC

There aren't many (or potentially even any) fast-food fries better than KFC's. We’re talking about thick, crunchy potato wedges, jagged and angled like a piece of battered fish, and seasoned with something incredibly reminiscent of Australian chicken salt. I love them, and I want steak with these frites. I want a burger, too, or maybe a big plate of them in a German beer hall. I cannot find any room in this heart of mine for criticism. 

Related: 6 Items on the KFC Sides Menu, Ranked

wendy's frosty
Anthony S. / Yelp

Wendy’s Frosty

As far as I’m concerned, this is the gold standard fast-food chocolate shake. It’s lush and cold, and folded between all of that is the perfect malty chocolate flavor. There aren’t many ways Wendy’s outshines the competition this much, but a nice, cold Frosty is unbeatable.

Related: $3 Breakfast Biggie Bundles, and More Delicious Wendy's Deals in April

Crinkle Cut Fries from Del Taco
Esther C. / Yelp

Crinkle Cut Fries from Del Taco

They’re crispy. They’re golden. They’re well-salted every single time. These crinkle cuts are a thing of beauty, a perfect addition to Del’s tacos, burgers, burritos, and everything between. Crinkle-cuts forever.

Related: Cracking the Code: 7 Del Taco Secret Menu Items To Try Right Now