Apparently, Sonic’s regular menu items are actually just a glimpse of what they can offer. The chain has a whole other “secret” menu! Let’s cut through the unnecessary mystique and take a snag at these secret items and hacks for even more.
The beginnings of Sonic came about when Troy N. Smith, Sr. purchased a plot of land along with his business partner in Oklahoma. Eventually, they built a log cabin which they turned into a sit-down eatery with an adjacent drink stand and began their dining experience by selling everyday hotdogs and root beer.
As time went by, the stand became way more lucrative, so Tony N. Smith Sr. bought his partner out, and focused all of his attention on the stand selling drinks.
Sonic's already-extensive menu features a wider variety of burgers than you might realize. All those delicious menu items you see on their display are only a few of their offerings.
Feel free to ask about their Dixie Burger or Garlic Butter Burger. Basically, whatever words you could think of putting in front of 'burger' could get you something you won't see on their menu. So feel free to ask and if they have the ingredients, they'll surely help!
In case you didn't already know, Sonic Drive-In takes their cheese very seriously and uses two distinctly different kinds of cheese for their tater tots. The chili cheese tots are topped with special shredded cheese while the regular cheese tots are made of straight-up American cheese.
For a delightful, yet surprising change, mix it up and ask for shredded cheese on your cheese tots!
This secret menu item is something you won't find on any menu but one that you can definitely order, and it's their Hickory Burger.
It's only a slight modification, but this tasty burger is slathered in hickory-smoked sauce and topped with an onion ring. Seeing as Sonic has been crowned as the onion ring king, you might do well to remember to add onion rings whenever you can.
Sonic's biggest flex is customizing your order, which means if they have the ingredients at your local drive-in, they'll basically make you whatever your heart desires. Within reasonable limitations, of course.
So while casual items like the Pickle O's and Extreme Tots aren't actually on their expansive menu nowadays, they might still be available, if you ask.
Anyone can find what they're looking for through Sonic's menu, no matter what they're craving. With that being said, any drink on the Sonic menu can easily be transformed into a slushie.
If you're feeling adventurous enough, you could even order a slushie with no added flavoring and simply put your own in at home!
Order Breakfast All Day
Breakfast food is an American favorite. So much so, that we're absolutely certain that American fast-food chains that serve do much better than those that don't. Keep in mind, though, that we sometimes like to eat it at varying times of the day.
This is another reason to love Sonic — breakfast can be ordered there all day long. From their delicious french toast sticks to the bacon breakfast toaster!
Sprite is not actually purple, you know. This Sonic slushie doesn't even include any grape flavor, it's actually a blend of lemonade, Powerade, Sprite, and cranberry juice.
While you might not be able to order the Purple Sprite from every Sonic, if you're feeling eager enough, you might as well ask.
Free Soft Drink
Many eateries have surveys for their customers to fill out, and while most customers would rather ignore them, just know that at Sonic you could be missing out on free food and drinks!
All you need to do to get your freebie is fill out the survey at the bottom of your receipt the next time you order and you could get a free Route 44 soda!
Grilled Ham and Cheese
If you want a grilled ham and cheese sandwich at Sonic, all you have to do is ask for it! Now that you've reached this hack, you can finally marvel at your own style.
So the next time you order a grilled cheese, you'll definitely want to try adding a slice of ham to maximize the amount of congealed cheese on your sandwich.
More for Less
Here's a kernel of truth we've learned in researching this list: There are many cheaper ways to enjoy your food at Sonic that you're not taking advantage of. Would you like to get more drink for your money?
Now, this may not seem very important but you can easily get a little bit more for the exact same price. All you have to do is order a plain cup of ice separately, then order your drink with no ice. It really is that simple.
Buying Chili in Bulk
If you're not buying Sonic's chili by the bag, you're making a huge mistake. Of course, whether or not you like chili is a different question entirely.
So if you feel brave enough to ask for it, you might be able to get your hands on some spicy bags of chili. According to Sonic's most ardent fans, the cost for each bag comes out to around nine bucks — that's if they're willing to sell it to you, of course.
This one item is like a rite of passage for anyone who loves Sonic's regular tots. In case you don't already know about it, there's another secret menu item from Sonic that you need to try — and it's aptly named 'Extreme Tots.'
This incredible version of tater tots includes chili cheese tater tots and comes included with spicy jalapeños and other goodies like grilled onions, and a splash of dressing.
Every time we drive by the Sonic a few blocks from our house, we feel a very real and sudden urge to pull the car over and order some mozzarella sticks.
That's probably because some items on the Sonic menu are always made fresh, so take note of their mozzarella sticks and cheddar peppers! They're never pre-made so if you're looking for something fresh, be sure to order these babies.
Free Tater Tots?
Sonic is kind of insanely underrated in the fast-food world, especially when it comes to their tater tots. Lucky for us, you can actually add them to your order or even have them put into your meal.
For example, you could add tater tots to your next burger order at no extra cost! Sure, it's not the most sophisticated order. But if you really cared about style points, you wouldn't be ordering a burrito at Sonic.
Deals on Desserts
Right off the bat, Sonic earns points for having insanely delicious cold treats — from slushies and milkshakes to ice cream, and don't forget their refrigerated cream cheese frosting!
During the sizzling hot months of summer, many of these cold desserts are half-off. Each Sonic branch will have a different schedule when it comes to their specials, but be sure to stay updated.
The Secret Ringleader
Are you ready for yet another Sonic secret menu item? Well, you'll be happy you've gotten this far as now we've reached the ringleader — this bacon cheeseburger comes with perfectly grilled onions and those crowned onion rings.
Suddenly, the name makes much more sense! As you'd expect, this item is for onion lovers, and for the rest of us. Sometimes we just want an artfully prepared cheeseburger.
You know what makes every single fast food item on the planet better? For most of us, that would be the sauce. We all know what it's like when there isn't enough sauce to put on our french fries, or not enough mustard for our hotdog.
Something that we're all pleased to know is that Sonic's sauces are free, so go crazy and ask for all the sauce you could want.
What's the Difference?
This feature on our list might be less of a hack, but it sure is helpful when it comes to knowing more about how Sonic runs. If you're anything like us, you may have wondered, "What's the difference between a milkshake and a blast?"
Well, a milkshake is just about any drink you can slurp through a straw. While on the other hand, a blast is more of an ice cream that's been mixed with hard candy or cookies.
The Secret of Blue Coconut
The main attraction to any Sonic Drive-In isn’t its burgers or fries, but rather, its frozen drinks and that's why the Blue Coconut drink at Sonic is fairly popular for quenching their customers' thirst. Ocean Water is another beloved item that you can order from Sonic's menu.
Did you know that these two drinks are almost identical? Ocean Water is actually just the Blue Coconut beverage, but instead of Powerade, it's made with Sprite.
Get Your Sonic Drink!
Between Sonic's many fountain drinks and slushies, they boast more than 1.5 million drink combinations! Some of the most sought-after flavor combinations include the Orange Creamsicle, Purple Sprite, and the famous, Dr. Van Limer.
That's more than a million reasons to visit your local Sonic more often and try every single one.
Another magical combination comes in this delicious drink called the Pink Flamingo. It's made of Sprite, pineapple, orange, and cherry, just for that bit of tart aftertaste.
With so many drinks already listed on their menu, it's quite surprising that this one missed the tally, but it's definitely worth a try!
Since Sonic Drive-Ins have so many items that aren't on their menu, it's safe to say that almost as many people don't know they can order a Dr. Pepper float from Sonic.
While this secret menu item is loved all over America, everyone should be happy to know they can and should order this the next time they're at Sonic.
Sweet Tart Slush
Slushie delicacies like the Sweet Tart Slush, are known for their delicious blends of drinks that culminate in excitement with every sip. This secret menu item is made from Powerade, Sprite, Lemonade, and cranberry juice.
As you can imagine this mixture of sweet and tart makes for a mouth-watering drink. Enjoy!
Extreme Popcorn Chicken
In case you needed more reasons to visit your nearest Sonic (which you didn't because this fast-food chain already has so many delicious options,) Sonic's version of popcorn chicken beats all other versions of popcorn chicken.
Sonic's Extreme Popcorn Chicken has that mouth-watering combination of chili and cheese, which is why it's been so aptly named.
French Fry Sauce
While Sonic is known for its many drinks, the reason many people pop in at Sonic has nothing to do with its array of slushies and everything to do with their burgers and fries.
So while we're on the subject of french fries, you might want to try their french fry sauce. This sauce is just a mix of mayonnaise and good ol' ketchup for that perfect mouthful of creamy goodness and sweet tang.
Ice Cream Selections
The next time you're ordering ice cream at Sonic, you might be thinking of getting the advertised options. But is this really the best way to live your life?
What you should know is that you can ask for whatever topping you want, at no extra charge! If you don't know what to get, you're going to be stuck while the queue starts piling up behind you. Best to try the hot fudge option or caramel option.
The Vanilla Cream Dr. Pepper Float
This Sonic order may be less established, but it is the same order we've been making ever since we started working for our own money and commenced living it up.
This no-fuss Vanilla Cream Dr. Pepper float is great. If you feel like something refreshing but not as indulgent, simply ask for a Dr. Pepper float without any added ice cream!
Try the Sonic App
This tip on our list might be less of a hack but it's actually useful and will definitely come in handy. For those who love dining at Sonic, you might want to try using their app.
It will help keep you updated on special deals, new menu items, and whatever Sonic-related news you might want to know. Sometimes, if you order through the Sonic mobile app, you can even get a free item. Sign us up!
When most people think of Sonic, salad is not the first thing that springs to mind. But it's worth knowing that Sonic does offer tasty and healthy alternatives for those who care about them.
If a salad seems a little bland for your taste, you can always add in a few of your favorite items, like grilled chicken or fried onion rings for some added texture to your salad crunch.
Like many of its rivaling fast-food chains, Sonic wouldn't be nearly as popular if they didn't serve delicious food at such prices. The only thing you need to know is that Sonic's "Everyday Deals" are actually just their incredibly cheap items. This means you'll need to check with your nearest location to find out exactly what those everyday deals are.
We checked in with a few different Sonic locations to find out exactly how much each item goes for and learned that, while prices certainly vary, the deals remain fairly consistent.
Add Pickle Sauce
You might recall a time gone by when Sonic announced their pickle slushies and the internet went crazy. Some people loved it, while the rest loathed it.
So while we remain impartial, we do want you to know that you can add pickle favor to anything on the Sonic menu. Would you like a dash of pickle seasoning with your fries? Sure. How about a sprinkle of pickles with your onion rings? You got it.
You could probably take a guess at what goes in the Frito Pie. Basically, it's a stack of Frito chips covered with chili and melted cheddar cheese.
The Frito Pie makes for a tasty, albeit interesting, alternative to standard nachos. If you're a sucker for the salty crunch of Fritos, while also relishing that little bit of sourness, this one is for you.
If you're feeling a little crazy, and in need of something not as artery friendly, we'd suggest getting this secret order of large chili cheese tater tots with chicken strips, ranch dressing, bacon, and jalapenos.
As we said, it's not exactly a heart-healthy option, but it sure is tasty, and as a secret menu item, you won't find it on their menu.
This secret menu item used to be on their classic menu and was always known as the Sunshine Smoothie. Basically, it's just another way to get some extra fruits into your daily mix as it's made of fresh fruits like strawberries and banana and then blended with a splash of orange cream slush.
The item was once featured on the regular menu so most of Sonic's employees should still know how to mix one up in a jiffy.
When it comes to good burgers, what makes a good Sonic burger? Sure, most burgers depend on decent quality meats and fresh bread, but what really makes it a work of art is when the toppings come together as one cohesive burger.
As long as you ask, Sonic will let you choose any combination of patties, toppings, sauces, and that's how you can always get your favorite burger to order.
Slap Your Mama Slush
We know, we know, that name... Apparently, this is truly the name of this special drink from Sonic. Don't ask us who named it, we're just here to let you know about this secret menu item that's so tasty, it's sure to cause an intense reaction. So, what exactly is in a drink with such a startling name?
Made from a mixture of three great beverages — lemonade, Powerade, and some raspberry flavor — that's a three-hit combo that'll leave your taste buds feeling like they were just on a rollercoaster.
Ask for Whatever You Want
One of the best things about Sonic is that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to free-styling your order — that's basically their whole unique schtick.
So long as Sonic has the ingredients in their kitchen and staff that's willing to improvise, they'll be happy to custom-make any kind of request you may have.
Take Advantage of Happy Hour
As one of Sonic's more striking offerings, most people would already know about their happy hour specials. In case you didn't, we'll enlighten you about it here.
Almost every Sonic Drive-In serves all their drinks at half off from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm every afternoon! Gasp! Now you have no excuse not to take advantage of their incredible specials...
For a restaurant chain that's better known for their drinks than their food, the magic is all in the details. Take the Sonic Sunrise, which is kind of like a Tequila Sunrise, just without any tequila.
It's made by mixing some Cherry Limeade with a dash of orange juice which gives the drink that real “Sunrise” effect.
Visit Sonic Beach
While this is unfortunately not a hack you can take advantage of anywhere, it is something to keep in mind when visiting Miami. Now, this specific location is quite different from all the rest. First of all, it's situated right by the beach.
And secondly, it's far more adult-oriented, even going so far as to stay open way past midnight.
You Can Buy Ice
Depending on your own situation, you might have a plausible reason to buy bags of ice. Maybe you're hosting a party this weekend and need bucket loads of ice to keep your drinks cold.
So it's worth knowing that you can buy bags of ice at some Sonic locations if you need to. Oftentimes, their 10-pound bags of ice are sold for five bucks or less.
Keep an Eye on the News!
When it comes to keeping up with Sonic, be sure to always pay attention to their website for any news on great offers that may pop up.
Who knows, you might find that they're running that special where drinks are sold at 99 cents before 10 in the morning or that buy-one-get-one-free burger special.
Special Seltzers at Sonic
A smattering of hard seltzer items may have once graced the scene, but none of them were quite as innovative as Sonic's new take on this classic Seltzer beverage.
The drive-in fast-food chain has joined the ranks of many other chains and has introduced a new line of seltzers that were originally inspired by its own iconic slushes, from Lemon Berry to Ocean Water. You can now enjoy some of their best ideas that come in the form of thirst-quenching seltzer.
Combine Sonic and Coffee
Sonic may not be known for their coffee orders, but if you're a caffeine fiend and you leave a Sonic Drive-In without an order of iced coffee over their famous nugget ice, you might not realize just how much you're missing out.
It’s a smooth, velvety caffeinated drink that’s well worth your next stop at Sonic and you could even top it with some delectable cookies and ice cream.
Sonic also gives you the option to add flavor shots, real fruits, or even candy-like nerds to any of your drink orders. You can mix and match these options to create your own drinks.
Maybe you'd like your next fruity slushie to have a bit more natural sugar in the mix, why not try some added banana or even strawberry? What about something a little naughtier, like some Oreo's in your next milkshake?
At Home Experience
Sonic Drive-In is now offering part of its classic drive-in dining experience for you to take home. The Sonic chain is rolling out new Singles-To-Go Drink Mixes that allow loyalists to whip up their go-to Sonic beverages without ever leaving their kitchen.
With three flavors to choose from — Cherry Limeade, Ocean Water, and Strawberry Lemonade. Now you can get a taste of them any time, whether your nearest Sonic is around the corner or hundreds of miles away.
Frito Chili Pie Wraps
Yes, we know we've already mentioned Sonic's Frito Chili Pie, but in case you didn't know, there's also a wrap version of it!
Basically, know that whatever you order can be made into a wrap, so if you're that kind of person who's inclined to eat wraps, just know that the Frito Chili Pie makes one great wrap!
Another great item you can get off of Sonic's secret menu is the magnificent BLT. If bacon is a definite must for you and if you happen to have a soft spot for sandwiches, then you're in for a real treat.
Seeing as Sonic has been crowned for having the best onion rings, they also have another secret menu item that's truly amazing when eaten with onion rings, yes, it's the BLT.