Top 7 Fast-Food Mozzarella Sticks and Cheese Curds, Ranked

Updated: May 19, 2023

We drove all around town sampling fast-food mozzarella sticks and cheese curds to find the very best a drive-thru has to offer.

full frame of various mozzarella sticks and dipping sauceKRISTINA VÄNNI FOR TASTE OF HOME

Everyone loves french fries, and even onion rings are a drive-thru favorite, but sometimes the best side dish to complement your hamburger or chicken nuggets is something a little cheesier. Fast-food mozzarella sticks and cheese curds are the unexpected side dish options to add to your next order.

If you want a bite of the very best, check out this ranked list of 7 options from fast-food chains. We evaluated each menu item based on freshness, cheese pull or squeak, and the breading or coating. Our top choice was definitely a surprise hit!

Here’s a list of all the places I stopped:

  • Arby’s
  • Burger King
  • Checkers
  • Cousin’s Subs
  • Culver’s
  • Sonic
  • White Castle

Burger King Mozzarella sticks
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

7. Burger King

Coming in at the bottom of our list are the mozzarella sticks from Burger King. Because it has some of the best fast-food french fries, we had high hopes. But the breading lacked seasoning, and we didn’t get that signature cheese pull that is so much fun when eating a mozzarella stick. We did like that these came with a pleasant marinara sauce for dipping. And at $1.89, they were also a very budget-friendly option.

Checkers Mozzarella sticks
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

6. Checkers

We enjoyed the seasoning in the breading on the Checkers (also known as Rally’s) mozzarella sticks and found that to be the highlight here. However, they were on the thinner side, almost the size of a thick french fry rather than a hearty piece of cheese. Again, we were hoping for the freshness of a fun cheese pull, but didn’t get that experience.

White Castle Mozzarella sticks
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

5. White Castle

The mozzarella sticks at White Castle were a pleasant surprise in this taste test. While we normally associate White Castle with sliders, its cheese sticks were made from thick-cut pieces of cheese and the breading was well-seasoned. Surprisingly, at $3.09 per order, this side dish cost more than the sliders at White Castle.

Arbys Mozz Mozzarella sticks
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

4. Arby’s

The first bite of an Arby’s mozzarella stick offered a wonderful crunch, and we finally got that playful cheese pull we had been looking for along the way. These cheese sticks were substantial, giving the feeling that they were made from a real piece of mozzarella string cheese. For a restaurant where we normally like to order curly fries, these will definitely be added to the rotation for future visits.

Culvers Mozzarella curds
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

3. Culver’s

We’ve ranked Culver’s high for fast-food chicken nuggets, so it was exciting to finally try some cheese curds here. Before even taking the first bite, we liked that these curds arrived in a variety of hand-cut shapes. At a place like Culver’s, we know that these weren’t pre-formed pieces—they were made fresh. There was a nice squeak and a pleasant crunch. One downside was that these cheese curds didn’t come with any dipping sauce options.

Sonic Mozzarella sticks
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

2. Sonic

Sonic offered the best mozzarella sticks we tried on this journey. They were fresh from the fryer, the breading was well-seasoned and offered a wonderful crunch, and the mozzarella was flavorful. These tasted like they came from a sit down restaurant rather than a drive-in. Like their famous onion rings, we will definitely be ordering these over and over again anytime we visit Sonic!

Cousins Mozzarella curds
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

1. Cousin’s Subs

The absolute best fast-food cheese curds I found came from a tip from my husband, who is a native Wisconsinite. Of course, no one knows cheese curds better than the folks from Wisconsin. You would never guess that the freshest, crunchiest, squeakiest cheese curds would be on the menu at a sandwich shop.

The order took a few moments longer to arrive, but that is only because the curds were made to order just for us. Oh, was it worth the wait. Each deep-fried cheese curd was big and fluffy, without feeling dense. These arrived with the Cousin’s Subs signature dipping sauce, which was a pleasant option compared to typical marinara. If you really want to taste something special from a fast-food joint, swing by Cousin’s Subs for cheese curds the next time you’re in the Wisconsin area. You won’t be disappointed!