Famous fast-food sauces ranked from worst to best

Apr 14 2023, 10:22 pm

Fast-food sauces are the unsung hero of a chain.

It can represent creativity on a menu and individuality from the next fast-food restaurant, and it can be the thing you crave the most on a menu.

Whether it’s as a dip or a condiment, we love our sauces. It got us thinking… what’s the best one?

Here is our selection of the most famous fast-food sauces, ranked from worst to best.

10. Signature Chalet Dipping Sauce

Swiss Chalet


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This sauce lands on our list because it’s iconic. It lands the lowest spot on our list because, well, it’s just not very good. It’s a signature secret but also is pretty much just gravy mixed with apple sauce. We’ll dip if we’re there but… we don’t crave it.

9. Arby’s Sauce


Arby’s Sauce isn’t great but (spoiler alert) with Horsey Sauce, it’s actually pretty good. Also kudos to them for trying out a twist on classic ketchup. AS is basically a sweet, tangy version of tomato-based ketchup, and when most ketchup variations are worse, it’s pretty impressive.

8. Chipotle Mayo


A&W has a unique problem of not really needing quality dips because the food is just so good that it doesn’t really need it. One sauce the popular chain brags about, and rightfully so, is the chipotle mayo that also works well on all of its burgers.

7. In-N-Out Burger Spread


On a burger, this spread is… fine. It’s basically thousand island dressing. Where this sauce really shines is on the fries, particularly when ordered animal style. In-N-Out has gross fries — there are no other ways to say it. The sauce needs to shine to make them edible at all and luckily, the burger spread helps as much as it can.

6. Mild Taco Sauce

Taco Bell

Taco sauce on a taco isn’t like most dips. It feels more… necessary. That’s exactly why the sauces at Taco Bell demand absolute greatness and you know what? They’re pretty good! They aren’t just pure salt or sweet, they actually have some smoky depth to them. Do we think the kitchen team is smoking dried chipotle peppers in the back to make it? Of course not, but for fast-food sauces, the mild taco sauce is pretty good!

5. Jalapeno Ranch


Pizza and ranch… a match made in heaven. Dips are a big deal in the fast-food pizza game. That might be to mask the cardboard taste some of the crusts have, which is why we decided to choose our favourite dip from our favourite fast-food pizza spot.

4. Horsey Sauce



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The second Arby’s sauce is on our list and it lands just outside the top three. Roast beef sandwiches NEED a horseradish sauce but not everyone likes the spicy taste of it. This version keeps the taste but leaves the bite behind. It’s an iconic sauce invention and possibly the main reason Arby’s remains open today.

3. Gravy


Does this count as sauce? We honestly aren’t sure, but why wouldn’t it? It is cooked, which might discount its place on this list, but we can live with it. Anyways, it’s here on the podium because what would KFC be without it? Even the items that don’t traditionally call for gravy would be better with this iconic menu item, right?

2. Sweet & Sour


Oh, the McDonald’s Sweet & Sour sauce, how we love you so. This is the definitive answer to what you get with the McNuggets, right? We can all agree on that? For such a classic combo, how do we not give it second place on this list? Also, if you’re not getting one to put on your chicken sandwiches, you’re missing out.

This tangy sauce brings back the nostalgia of chicken tenders with plum sauce and that’s probably why we keep going back to it.

1. Big Mac Sauce


Yeah, yeah… we gave McDonald’s the top two spots. But hard to argue with it, right? The Big Mac is an iconic sandwich because of the special Mac Sauce. And for the triple bun. And the sesame seed bun. Anyways, the sauce is our favourite part.

There are Big Mac people and there are Quarter Pounder people and if you’re the former, it’s likely due to the sauce.

Sure, it might just be thousand island dressing on a fast-food burger… but it’s so simple, it’s genius. There are at least 10 great restaurants in every city with their version of a “Mac Burger,” a “Mac Dog,” or a “Mac Bao,” and that’s exactly why it tops our list at #1.

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