While driving back home to Michigan the night before Thanksgiving, we drove into a McDonalds’ parking lot. We were tired but had finally made it into Michigan, so we had to get out and stretch our legs. And as the dark sky set over us, my husband needed an extra boost of energy. We ordered a large fry and a medium coffee—what a weird combination, right?
But surely, it isn’t an uncommon one. When you’re swinging into a fast food joint to grab a quick bite, how often do you think, do I need some coffee? Is it worth it? I know I find myself with these thoughts running through my head. But is fast food coffee really the right way to go?
When I worked at Auntie Anne’s, I made coffee every morning for the older gentlemen that would walk the mall. I would say that was worth it if you needed a standard cup of joe while you’re shopping. But what about our drive-thru guilty pleasures? I don’t know about all of them, but let’s break it down with what I do know!
1-McDonalds- It’s strong, super-hot, and their grounds that you buy at the grocery store make a weirdly sweet blend. Personally, I’m not a fan of McDonalds as a business. But still, we’re all addicted to its convenience and that can include coffee. McDonalds is where we always end up going to get coffee before a road trip, or if nothing else is open—like when I had to work 3rd shift at the library one night.
I will say, the McDonalds’ coffee that you buy at the grocery store, however, is pretty good when you want something extra sweet on the cheap.
2- Panera Bread- It isn’t as consistent as you would like, but their coffee is actually reasonably priced compared to the rest of the menu. Out of all the blends, I say the Hazelnut is your best bet, but that’s a usual one for me. At it’s best and most fresh, it could be a good start to the day, but at the storefronts who don’t seem care, it could taste burnt. I also found out from a former employee that they actually roast their own beans! That’s wildly cool for a fast food restaurant.
3- Burger King? So yeah, I’ve never personally had coffee from Burger King, but as one of McDonalds’ biggest rivals I had to look into it. My mother in-law describes it as tasting like “church coffee.” So while it’s alright and gives you what you need, there may just be a bitter taste afterwards, maybe accompanied with memories of church luncheons—which hopefully makes it sweeter for you.
Other fast food restaurants that sell coffee? Taco Bell and Wendy’s have both recently (Wendy’s more recently) added breakfast menus, so some locations may also have coffee for you to try. And if you do try them, please find this post and comment on how they are….let the whole world know how they stack up to these competitors because your caffeinated friends here need to know!
Happy Caffeination Friends! Stay Safe, stay healthy, and as always be kind!