Freakshakes, Anyone? 12 Over-the-Top Milkshakes Across America

Freakshakes Cover

Cheapism / Dionne F./Mike C./Sara F. / Yelp

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Freakshakes Cover
Cheapism / Dionne F./Mike C./Sara F. / Yelp

Ice Cream Overload

Outrageous, over-the-top milkshakes — sometimes referred to as "freakshakes" — were a huge trend that exploded sometime around 2016. The weirder and more insane the toppings, the better, so people were sipping on unruly monstrosities just for a good Instagram pic. 

Luckily, the trend tempered a bit. Nowadays, the toppings are a bit more subdued while still creating a towering sight to behold. You can still find crazy milkshakes at many places around the U.S., and they remain a fun, memorable treat.

Related: The Best Milkshakes in Every State

Zuzu milkshake
Sarah S. / Yelp

1. Zuzu

Scottsdale, Arizona

Each month, Zuzu, a restaurant located in the posh Hotel Valley Ho, has a new Show Stopper Shake. The themes range from Girl Scout cookies to root beer float to gingerbread house, but no matter what, it's served on a metal tray to contain the myriad garnishes. Over the years, those have included cannoli in a Godfather-themed shake, fresh tropical fruit, an entire banana split, Choco Tacos, ballpark candy, and even a whole pineapple that served as the glass.

Better Together Cafe Christmas shake
Lacey Muszynski / Cheapism

2. Better Together Cafe

South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Better Together Cafe is a small, unassuming coffee spot that's hiding some delicious over-the-top milkshakes. The garnishes for the standard shakes are typical, but it's the Shake of the Month that gets people talking. They're loaded with goodies like Little Debbie cakes, colorful lollipops, donuts, Pop-Tarts, and uniquely flavored Rice Krispies treats. 

Related: Little Debbie Ice Cream Review: The Best (and Worst) Flavors

Crusade Burger Bar milkshake
Sara F. / Yelp

3. Crusade Burger Bar

Yorkville, Illinois

The milkshakes at Crusade Burger Bar are like edible Jenga. Treats are just stacked and piled in a gravity-defying tower — oh yeah, and there's a drink under there. Each shake has a decidedly badass name to go with it, like the Hallowed Be Thy Mint (glazed donut mint chip ice cream sandwich, Andes candies, and a chocolate cupcake) and Powerslave to Peanut Butter (PB cookie and strawberry ice cream sandwich, PB pie, Nutter Butter, Uncrustable, and strawberry crunch ice cream bar). 

Related: The Most Outrageous Burgers You Can Order

Boston Burger Company milkshakes
May L. / Yelp

4. Boston Burger Company

Multiple Locations in Massachusetts 

There's always a handful of freakshakes on the menu at Boston Burger Company, but since shakes are called frappes in this area of the country, they're called FreakFrappes. They include classics like Dough My Goodness topped with gobs of cookie dough, S'more Than You Can Handle with toasted marshmallows, and Holy Cannoli with the namesake topping. Plus, there's always a festive monthly special like the Pot 'O Gold with Lucky Charms and irish cream pie.

Sugar Factory milkshake
Clark V. / Yelp

5. Sugar Factory

Multiple locations nationwide

In the world of crazy milkshakes, the ones at Sugar Factory tend to be a little more sophisticated and subdued. The shake mugs are tall and thin, and the topping amount is restrained — at least compared to some. Still, you'll find them under the "Insane Milkshakes" section of the menu with toppings like Snickers, chocolate cake slices, mini waffles and pancakes, and cotton candy. Luckily, this is a chain with locations in 16 states, so you might be near one.

Bocas House milkshake
Janine A. / Yelp

6. Bocas House

Two locations in Florida

Latin American restaurant Bocas House has about 10 over-the-top milkshake options on the menu. Many are inspired by the cuisine the restaurant serves, including the popular Dulce de Leche version made with plenty of the caramel-like stuff, a piece of Venezuelan marquesa cake, and a dulce de leche-filled oblea, a Columbian wafer cookie. There's also shakes with guava, tres leches, pina colada, and Nutella.

Related: 22 Traditional Hispanic Dishes Most Americans Don't Know About

Black Tap cake milkshake
Cat N. / Yelp

7. Black Tap

Las Vegas, Nevada

If there's anywhere in the U.S. where you can find insane shakes, it's Vegas. From the land of excess comes Black Tap inside the Venetian where you can get Crazyshakes (a name they even trademarked) loaded with all kinds of goodies in an old fashioned glass. There's a Cakeshake (also trademarked, natch) full of rainbow sprinkles and a whole slice of confetti cake, a cookie shake rimmed with whole chocolate chip cookies, and a cinnamon bun version with a whole roll, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and cream cheese frosting.

 Related: Sin City Dining: 17 Bucket List Restaurants in Las Vegas

Coney Waffle sideshow shake
Mike C. / Yelp

8. Coney Waffle

Multiple locations in New Jersey

You'll be the talk of the boardwalk if you order a Big Show Shake at Coney Waffle. It's easily as big as a toddler thanks to an architectural wall of cotton candy. That serves as an anchor for all kinds of other treats, which usually include gummy candy, lollipops, ice cream cones, chocolate covered pretzels, and wrapped candy bars and peanut butter cups (at least you can save those for later). For a more manageable size, order the Side Show Shake instead.

For more outrageous food, sign up for our free newsletters.

The Yard Milkshake Bar Unicorn
Mike R. / Yelp

9. The Yard Milkshake Bar

Multiple locations nationwide

An appearance on "Shark Tank" popularized The Yard and allowed the Gulf Shores company to expand to 29 locations today. Its milkshakes are compact but full of goodies and covered in sprinkles and toppings. The sparkly, rainbow candy-festooned Unicorn and the Mermaid, complete with a white chocolate mermaid tail and jewel candy, are favorites for kids. Oatmeal cream pies, donuts, brownies, and a whole banana adorn other options. 

Crazy Masons milkshakes
Dionne F. / Yelp

10. Crazy Masons

Multiple locations nationwide

The "Masons" in the name Crazy Masons name refers to the jars that hold the shakes and all its toppings, not the stone cutters. There's about a dozen locations, many in tourist areas, to satisfy the sweet tooth of vacationing families. Each dolled up shake has a cute name, like the You Got to be Puddin' Me (banana pudding-inspired), Where it All Pecan (with a slice of pecan pie), and Sweet Cheesus (with a slice of strawberry cheesecake). 

Ed's Burger Joint princess leia shake
Deborah K. / Yelp

11. Ed's Burger Joint

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

The shakes are just as delicious as the burgers at Ed's Burger Joint. Order one of the off-menu Outrageous Shakes for the real show stoppers, piled high with baked goods and whipped cream. Past shakes have included the Wake and Shake (Belgian waffle, candied bacon, and cereal), Chocolate Motherload (chocolate malt, malted milk balls, chocolate bars, and Oreos), and Princess Leia (cinnamon cereal, caramel, pecans, and two swirl cinnamon roll buns on the sides like the namesake's hairdo). 

M Street Baking Company milkshake
Joyce L. / Yelp

12. M Street Baking Company

Howell, Michigan

M Street is first and foremost a bakery, which means that all the cookies and mini cupcakes on top of your shake are going to be amazing. The menu changes occasionally, but you can expect to find classics like the Black & Gold with Oreos and gold-coated pretzels, the Birthday Party with animal crackers, cotton candy, and plenty of rainbow sprinkles, and the Strawberry Shortcake with a whole ice cream bar.