From Chicken Strips to Sandwiches, Here Are All the Sonic Chicken Dishes, Ranked

Sonic restaurant


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Sonic restaurant

If you’re a fan of Sonic Drive-In, it’s probably not because of the burgers. Sorry to take such a hard swing right off the bat, but we need to start somewhere.

Chicken is what really shines on the Sonic menu, and those maniacs have bestowed its customers with a whole flock of options. From Sonic's popcorn chicken to the chain's sliders, it might not be obvious which white meat chicken to go with. That’s why I tried ‘em all. Here are the six routes you can take when eating chicken at Sonic, ranked from best to worst.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: The Most Popular Chicken-Centric Fast Food Chains, Ranked

crispy chicken sandwich

Best: Crispy Chicken Sandwich


I’m impressed by this. The seasoning on the Sonic Crispy Chicken Sandwich is nice, and the brioche bun doesn’t hijack the flavor as much as other fast-food buns. The chicken itself is a wide, flying, schnitzel-like thing, with crispy edges that stick out of the sides like wings. I appreciate the two slices of tomato as well. This is as simple and tasty as can be.

Related: Crunch Time: The Best Fast-Food Tacos, Ranked

crispy tenders

2. Crispy Tenders

$4.79 for three, $5.99 for five

I’ve never heard Sonic's chicken tenders come up in any of life’s heated chain restaurant debates, but now that I’ve had them, I’m a bit stunned. These things are tasty, living in a crunchy, well-seasoned batter, and the shape could not be more ideal for dipping.

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jumbo popcorn chicken

3. Jumbo Popcorn Chicken

$3.59 small, $4.79 medium, $6.39 large 

We don’t have to pretend like this isn’t just the tenders again, in a different shape. I find that in a lot of fast-food popcorn chicken, you can wind up with big, greasy crunches that don’t contain much meat. Sonic is less guilty of this than many other chains, but it’s still a bit of an unavoidable fate. You won’t see this problem much with tenders. Plus — the whole thing is cheaper without the sauce.

honey bbq poopcorn chicken

4. Honey BBQ Sauced Popcorn Chicken

$5.49 medium, $6.39 large

Is this sauce necessary? Yes, it is. I can’t be eating dry popcorn chicken. Does it need to be served slopped on top of the chicken? No. 

Why can’t we order the honey BBQ or Buffalo sauce alone? Sonic has other sauces for you to dip the nuggies in, but in order to get these two, they need to come fully sauced. If you’re gonna smash through this giant container before it gets cold and the sauce has a chance to un-crisp that chicken, you’ll be OK. The honey BBQ sauce itself is very tasty, full of peppery, ketchupy, A1-style notes. It’s got surprising depth of flavor, actually, but there’s way too much sauce and it’ll make your chicken soggy.

buffalo popcorn chicken

5. Buffalo Sauced Jumbo Popcorn Chicken

$5.49 medium, $6.39 large

I’m not as hot on this fast-food sauce as I am on the BBQ sauce — this is a bit creamier than I like in Buffalo sauce, and it’s certainly less spicy. C’mon Sonic, let me get some kick in there. 

The value, however, is undeniable. For less than six bucks, this is more chicken than you’ve bargained for.

chicken slinger

6. Chicken Slinger


Fam, this is embarrassingly small. It should be referred to as a slider, not a sando. At a third the size of the Crispy Chicken Sandwich (and more than half the price), there’s no reason to get this. With a piece of chicken this small and pliable, you’re giving that dastardly brioche bun all it needs to take over the entire experience. This is not the Sonic chicken sandwich for you.

One positive note: I like the pickles that come on Sonic's Chicken Slinger. They’re not the classic, neon green brine-bomb you see most of the time. It’s more like somewhere in between those and a bread-and-butter chip.