Red Robin opened in 1940 in Seattle as Sam’s Tavern after the owner, who eventually changed the name to Sam’s Red Robin after the lyrics of his favorite barbershop quartet song.
By 1969, Sam had sold the tavern to restauranteur Gerry Kingen who revamped the restaurant and turned it into the successful 500+ location franchise it is today.
Red Robin’s family-friendly and festive atmosphere has a modern 1950s diner feel, serving a menu of America’s favorite comfort food: burgers and fries.
In keeping with the original burger tavern concept, Red Robin serves a wide selection of beer to keep the adults happy.
Kids and adults alike delight in Red Robin’s amazing gourmet burgers that come with bottomless baskets of their famous thick-cut steak fries.
With limitless amounts of crispy golden wedges and a wide selection of burgers and fry baskets comes an impressive variety of Red Robin sauces.
Red Robin Dipping Sauces
Read on to discover all the delicious Red Robin sauces that will dress up any burger or basket of fries.
Short for “buzzard sauce,” Buzz Sauce is Red Robin’s signature barbecue sauce recipe.
This tangy, sweet sauce with subtle heat is capable of turning anyone into a buzzard, scavenging for more fries to soak up every drop.
Like most barbecue recipes, Buzz Sauce has a myriad of ingredients, starting with vinegar, water, and soybean oil base. Buzz Sauce also has granulated garlic, Worcestershire sauce, aged red peppers, cayenne, and other seasonings.
It’s the perfect combination of tangy and sweet, emulating a typical South Carolina or Tennessee vinegar-based barbecue sauce.
It tastes great on fries, chicken tenders, and burgers. I also drizzle it over the California chicken sandwich.
Campfire Sauce Mayo
Where the Buzz Sauce is sweet and tangy, the Campfire Sauce Mayo is a creamy and spicy counterpart.
This sauce is a dolled-up barbecue sauce that adds mayonnaise and chipotle peppers in adobo.
The smoked, hickory flavor of the sweet barbecue sauce is even more pronounced due to the inherently smokey chipotle flavor.
The mayonnaise base adds a sweet, cooling agent that neutralizes the super spicy chipotle without compromising its flavor.
Still, I think it’s a delightfully spicy sauce that packs as much heat as flavor. I love dipping fries in it or slathering it over any gourmet burger at Red Robin.
Dipping sauces are crucial elements for crudites, French fries, and tortilla chips, so this Salsa-Ranch dressing checks off all the boxes for every food group.
Red Robin offers both a scratch-made tomato-based salsa and buttermilk ranch dressing as signature Red Robin sauces.
The Salsa-Ranch dressing is a combination of the two that is served with Red Robin’s Southwest Salad. It may not appear as a separate menu item, but you can easily create it by adding the two together.
Salsa is bright, tangy, and spicy, while buttermilk ranch is creamy, sweet, and herby.
They complement each other perfectly, whether you want to drizzle them over a salad, chicken entrée, or French fries. I like salsa ranch dressing for the Avo-Cobb-O Salad.
In case you didn’t know, a Chipotle pepper is a dried jalapeno pepper used extensively in Mexican cooking for its heat and smokey pepper flavor.
Perhaps the most popular form of chipotles is in adobo sauce, where the chipotles are re-hydrated and mixed with onions, vinegar, and tomato.
Red Robin uses chipotles in adobo to make their delicious chipotle aioli, a simple mixture of mayonnaise, chipotles, lime juice, and garlic.
In my opinion, the heft and creaminess of mayonnaise mixed with the tangy citrus of the lime, and the spice of chipotles and garlic makes for a well-balanced flavor profile.
It’ll add a South-of-the-border kick to any dish.
Smoke & Pepper™ Ketchup
Ketchup is king at any American burger joint, its tangy sweetness is an invaluable condiment to slather over any burger.
If I had only one condiment to pair with fries, it’d undoubtedly be ketchup.
While your standard Heinz ketchup tops every table at Red Robin, they’ve also created their variation to slather over their special Smoke and Pepper Burger.
The Smoke & Pepper Ketchup is a blend of ketchup, roasted red pepper, cayenne, and liquid smoke.
The burger for which it was made has thick-cut pepper encrusted bacon, which pairs perfectly with the sauce.
Therefore, the Smoke & Pepper Ketchup is my go-to sauce for any sandwich containing bacon, like the California chicken sandwich.
Teriyaki Sauce is a classic Japanese concoction of soy sauce and honey, creating the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and umami.
Its original use as a stir fry sauce for chicken, beef, or shrimp has been co-opted for use in other global cuisines.
Red Robin makes a sandwich out of the classic Teriyaki chicken dish, using a thickened teriyaki sauce as a glaze for grilled chicken.
While you may be used to soaking up Teriyaki sauce with leftover rice, it tastes just as delicious on a bun or over breaded chicken or on Red Robin’s Teriyaki Burger.
It’s one of my favorite sauces to order with chicken tenders and fries.
Sweet & Spicy Ketchup
Red Robin’s Sweet & Spicy Ketchup is so popular that they bottle and sell it for your home condiment collection.
The Sweet & Spicy Ketchup contains sugar, vinegar, tomato concentrate, onion powder, garlic, and a secret spice mixture to add a kick of heat.
A key kitchen hack is using sugar to neutralize a dish that’s too spicy, and Red Robin has turned this kitchen hack into its most popular sauce recipe.
Where ketchup is usually just sweet and tangy, adding spices and garlic ups its game immensely.
I think it gives ketchup a complexity and sophistication that is worthy of Red Robin’s gourmet take on burgers.
Island Heat Sauce
Even if a trip to the Bahamas isn’t in the cards this year, you can still evoke a festive Caribbean beach party with Red Robin’s Island Heat Sauce.
Island Heat sauce combines sweet tropical fruit flavors with spicy peppers to create a vibrant flavor party in your mouth.
Island Heat Sauce has a spicy Tabasco pepper sauce, habanero, and pineapple or mango for some tropical sweetness to cushion the heat of the hot sauce.
It’s the perfect dipping sauce for Red Robin’s wings. I had the Island Heat Sauce with an appetizer of chicken wings and a pineapple shake to round out the tropical culinary theme.
Honey Mustard is a fan favorite for everything, from salads to chicken tenders, to French fries.
While Honey Mustard is usually a combination of honey and mustard with oil and vinegar, Red Robin ups the game by adding mayonnaise and poppyseed.
The Poppyseed-Honey Mustard sauce is now super creamy with a great texture that adds a subtle crunch to anything you dip in it or slather it over.
I love this versatile sauce over a grilled chicken salad as much as I love it to dip a bottomless basket of steak fries in.
Red Robin sauces may include some creative and unique concoctions, but they also acknowledge that tried and true favorites are just as important.
That’s why they feature a scratch-made staple like Ranch Dressing.
Made with mayonnaise, sour cream, cream, buttermilk, herbs, and onion powder, Ranch Dressing is a favorite because it is both creamy and complex.
Its herby tang works well on salads and vegetables, while its creamy coolness pairs perfectly with spicy sauces.
I use Red Robin Ranch as a go-to salad dressing, and I also pair it with the fresh salsa or spicy scorpion wing sauce for dipping chicken tenders.
Whiskey River® BBQ Sauce
An homage to the culinary traditions of the Wild West, the Whiskey River BBQ Sauce is a sweet, spicy, and spirited sauce.
It’s a key sauce for gourmet and specialty burgers like the Southern Charm Burger or the SmokeHouse Brisket Burger.
Its long list of ingredients has every spice, aromatic, sugar, and vinegar you could imagine, resulting in a flavor explosion on par with any beloved BBQ joint.
It’s got a substantial kick of heat, but also has a hearty helping of brown sugar and molasses that caramelizes to perfection over a sizzling burger, brisket, or bacon.
I like to combine it with the Campfire Mayo on a cheeseburger with bacon for the ultimate experience in Wild West flavor.
Roasted Garlic Aioli
While Americans may turn their noses up at dipping their fries in mayonnaise, this delicious, gourmet take will undoubtedly change their minds. Aioli, after all, is an Italian term for mayonnaise.
Roasted garlic is one of my favorite additives to any dish, whether it’s mashed potatoes, soup, or a steak topper.
The roasting process takes out any bitter bite and adds a rich sweetness and creamy texture that melts into any dish beautifully.
Red Robin’s Roasted Garlic Aioli has roasted garlic, scratch-made mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It’s the ultimate dipping sauce for French fries, which I interchange with smoke and pepper ketchup.
No need to spend top dollar at a ritzy steak house when you can use this Bistro Sauce to turn any burger into a fine dining meal.
Bistro Sauce contains spicy brown mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, horseradish, garlic, paprika, and Cajun seasoning.
Bistro Sauce comes on a lot of Red Robin’s burgers, including the Master Cheeseburger.
It’s a rich, savory sauce with a lovely spicey aftertaste that, in my opinion, tastes best over red meat. You can add it to any burger instead of the standard ketchup, mustard, and mayo trifecta.
If you like spice and heat, then the Scorpion Sauce will deliver a powerful punch of both.
It’s one of the newest additions to the Red Robin menu, created for their spiciest burger yet: the Scorpion Burger.
Although it’s a mystery as to what ingredients the Scorpion Sauce contains, I’d liken it to a Tabasco meets Habanero sauce.
The Scorpion Burger pairs it with pepper jack cheese and fried jalapeno coins to up the ante. I like to mix it with the roasted garlic aioli for a spicy and creamy dipping sauce for fries or wings.
Belgium Fat Tire Beer Cheese Dip
If you’ve ever been to a beer garden, you’ve likely tried a soft pretzel with a creamy Beer Cheese Sauce.
Beer Cheese is a dip made with a blend of melty cheeses, garlic and onion powder, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, milk, a roux, and, of course, beer.
It may be the most decadent sauce on the Red Robin menu.
Plus, Red Robin spares no expense by opting for the highest quality Belgium beer for an unparalleled flavor to pair with their soft pretzel bites, steak fries, or any other menu item.
I love it on their burgers or even over their chicken tenders.
Red Robin Dipping Sauces
- Buzz Sauce
- Campfire Sauce Mayo
- Salsa-Ranch Dressing
- Chipotle Aioli
- Smoke & Pepper™ Ketchup
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Sweet & Spicy Ketchup
- Island Heat Sauce
- Poppyseed-Honey Mustard
- Ranch Dressing
- Whiskey River® BBQ Sauce
- Roasted Garlic Aioli
- Bistro Sauce
- Scorpion Sauce
- Belgium Fat Tire Beer Cheese Dip
Red Robbin may be a lively, family-oriented burger restaurant, but their gourmet recipes and a wide variety of flavorful burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees are on par with any elegant steak house.
One of the key elements that elevate their dishes to gourmet status is Red Robin sauces. Whether you’re looking for creamy, spicy, sweet and sour, or cheesy and yeasty, Red Robin sauces are high-quality and complex garnishes for any menu item you choose.
Finish your meal with these tasty Red Robin desserts!
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