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Best Fast Food Onion Rings

Looking for an easy and delectable snack to sate your appetite? You might be in need of onion rings. For many years, fast food businesses have consistently served these crunchy, flavorful delights. The ideal fusion of a crispy exterior and a delicate, aromatic onion makes onion rings a favorite among fans of fast food.

Homemade Crunchy Fried Onion Rings with Ketchup

There are different varieties of fast food onion rings. While some are overly greasy and soggy, others are wonderfully crisp and tasty.

Knowing which fast food restaurants offer the greatest onion rings might be challenging given the variety of alternatives available.

We can help with that. To help you enjoy this wonderful treat without any guesswork, we’ve done the research and taste testing to bring you the greatest fast food restaurants for onion rings.

History of Onion Rings in Fast Food

For many years, onion rings have been a well-liked side item in fast food establishments.

Delicious golden battered, breaded and deep fried crispy onion rings with ketchup.

Although it is unknown where onion rings first emerged, the recipe for what we now know as onion rings first appeared in a cookbook in 1802.

In the 1950s and 1960s, fast food restaurants began providing onion rings, which quickly gained popularity as a side dish option.

Today, among fries and other sides, onion rings are a common side dish option at fast food restaurants.

The 1960s saw the introduction of onion rings by one of the first fast food companies, A&W.

Even now, people still like A&W’s onion rings, which are frequently praised as some of the best in the fast food sector.

Over time, a lot of other fast food restaurants began to offer onion rings as well.

Some franchises, including Burger King, have a checkered past with onion rings.

Burger King’s onion rings had received criticism in the past for being of poor quality, but they have subsequently updated their formula and now provide a much superior product.

Overall, the fast food sector has made onion rings a standard side item.

Everybody may find their ideal onion ring, whether they like them thick and juicy or crispy and thin.

Top Fast Food Chains for Onion Rings

Many fast food restaurants offer onion rings as a side dish, so if you’re craving them, you’re in luck.

Homemade Crunchy Fried Onion Rings

Onion rings vary greatly in quality, though. While others lack flavor, some are overly oily.

The top fast food outlets for onion rings are listed below.

Burger King

The crispy onion rings from Burger King are created with actual onions.

They have a distinctive flavor since they are spice-seasoned.

The onion rings, however, have drawn criticism for being overly oily from certain consumers.


A&W is well known for its root beer floats, but the restaurant business also offers mouthwatering onion rings.

The onion rings have a crunchy texture and are produced with actual onions. They have a distinctive flavor since they are spice-seasoned.

The onion rings can also be ordered as part of a combo meal that includes a burger and fries.


The crispy onion rings at Arby’s are created using thick-cut onions. They have a distinctive flavor since they are spice-seasoned.

Also available is a combo dish that includes curly fries, a sandwich, and onion rings.

Sonic Drive-In

Onion rings from Sonic Drive-In have a crispy texture and are produced with actual onions.

They have a distinctive flavor since they are spice-seasoned.

The onion rings can also be ordered as part of a combo meal that includes a burger and tots.

Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr.’s onion rings have a crispy texture and are produced with actual onions.

They have a distinctive flavor since they are spice-seasoned. The onion rings can also be ordered as part of a combo meal that includes a burger and fries.

Overall, these fast food restaurants offer some of the industry’s top onion rings.

It’s crucial to remember that location and time of day might have an impact on the onion ring quality.

Criteria for Ranking

To provide a fair and objective assessment, various aspects were taken into account when rating the top fast food onion rings.

Deep - fried onion rings covered in breadcrumbs with ketchup

These standards were employed to establish the rankings:

1. Taste

The taste of onion rings is the most crucial consideration. Onion rings should have a crispy exterior and a soft interior.

The breading should have flavor and work with the onion, not against it. The onions themselves ought to be mildly sweet and not overpowering.

2. Texture

Taste and texture are equally important. When you bite into the onion rings, they should have a satisfying crunch and not be overly greasy or mushy.

When you pick up the onion, the bread ought to remain attached to it.

3. Size

It also matters how big the onion rings are. They should be substantial enough to please without being overly bulky.

To ensure balanced cooking, the rings’ sizes should be consistent.

4. Availability

The onion rings need to be sold by a major fast food chain in order to be taken into account for the ranking.

Local eateries or regional chains were not taken into consideration.

5. Price

The cost of the onion rings was also taken into consideration.

The greatest onion rings must be reasonably priced and offer exceptional value.

We were able to rank the top fast food onion rings sold at major chains by taking these characteristics into account.

Health Considerations of Onion Rings

Health is not always put first when it comes to fast food. Not an exception are onion rings.

Crunchy Fried Onion Rings with Ketchup

Before enjoying this crunchy snack, keep the following health advice in mind.

High in Calories and Fat

Since onion rings are frequently deep-fried, they contain a lot of calories and fat.

Depending on the establishment and the size of the serving, an order of onion rings may have between 300 and 500 calories.

They frequently include large amounts of saturated and trans fats, which can raise your risk of developing heart disease.

High in Sodium

Salt is frequently used to season onion rings, which can raise the sodium level of the food.

Onion rings have a salt content of up to 800 milligrams per serving, or around one-third of the daily allowance.

High blood pressure and other health issues can result from consuming too much sodium.

Low in Nutrients

Nutrient-wise, onion rings are not an excellent food. They are frequently produced with white flour, which is deficient in minerals and fiber.

Although onions are a nutritious element, they are frequently obscured by the batter’s high calorie and fat content.

Alternatives to Onion Rings

There are healthier snack options if you’d prefer not to have onion rings.

Instead of fries or onion rings, several fast food establishments provide side salads or fruit cups.

Make your own baked onion rings by using whole wheat flour and a thin layer of oil.

Although they may be a pleasant treat, onion rings are not the healthiest choice.

If you do decide to indulge, do so sparingly and combine them with a healthier alternative.

Alternative Options for Health-Conscious Consumers

Don’t worry if you want onion rings but are concerned about your health; there are various substitutes offered by fast-food restaurants. Here are a few ideas:

Homemade crunchy fried onion rings on plate

Grilled Onion Rings

As an alternative to deep-fried onion rings, some fast food outlets sell grilled onion rings.

Onion rings that have been grilled often have fewer calories and fat, making them a better alternative.

For instance, Sonic Drive-In serves hot off the grill, fresh-on-the-grill grilled onion rings that are cooked with fresh onions and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Baked Onion Rings

Baked onion rings are yet another more wholesome substitute for regular onion rings.

Instead of being deep-fried, these rings are breaded and baked. The rings have fewer calories and less oil thanks to this method of cooking.

The side dish baked onion rings is available at many fast food restaurants.

For instance, Burger King offers baked onion rings as part of their “Satisfries” option, which are reduced in calories and fat.

Onion Rings with a Side Salad

Consider serving your onion rings with a side salad if you’re searching for a healthier choice.

This will enable you to increase the amount of fiber and nutrients in your diet.

Side salads made with fresh vegetables and a variety of toppings are widely available in fast food restaurants.

For instance, Wendy’s sells a side salad with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Onion Rings in Moderation

Try to consume traditional onion rings in moderation if you can’t resist the temptation.

To cut calories, you might also give them to a friend or family member.

It’s vital to keep in mind that fast food onion rings can include high amounts of calories, fat, and sodium.

Overall, there are some substitutes accessible for consumers who are health-conscious yet still want to enjoy the flavor of onion rings.

There are healthy ways to enjoy this delightful snack, whether you select grilled onion rings, baked onion rings, or serve them with a side salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Onion Rings

Are onion rings healthy?

Onion rings are generally not considered a healthy food choice due to their high calorie, fat, and sodium content. However, some fast food restaurants offer slightly healthier options by baking or air frying their onion rings instead of deep frying them. Additionally, some onion rings may be made with whole onions instead of processed onion paste. If you’re looking for a healthier option, consider ordering a side salad or grilled vegetables instead.

Which fast food chain has the best onion rings?

This is a matter of personal preference, but several fast food chains are known for their delicious onion rings. According to Eat This, Not That, the top fast food chains for onion rings are A&W, Jack in the Box, and Arby’s. Thrillist ranks White Castle, Carl’s Jr., and BurgerFi as having the best onion rings. Keep in mind that taste can vary by location and individual preference.

Can you make onion rings at home?

Yes, onion rings can be made at home using a variety of methods. Some recipes call for dipping sliced onions in a batter made from flour, milk, and eggs before frying them in oil. Others suggest using a mixture of bread crumbs and spices to coat the onions before baking or air frying them. Experiment with different recipes to find the method that works best for you.

How do you reheat onion rings?

To reheat onion rings, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the onion rings on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until they are crispy and heated through. You can also reheat onion rings in an air fryer or toaster oven. Avoid microwaving onion rings, as this can make them soggy

Onion rings in a basket on Dark Brown surface

Key Takeaways

  • Onion rings are a popular snack among fast food lovers due to their crispy coating and flavorful onion.
  • Not all fast food onion rings are created equal, with some being soggy and greasy while others are perfectly crispy and flavorful.
  • We’ve researched and taste tested to bring you the top fast food chains for onion rings, so you can indulge in this tasty treat without any guesswork.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.