Binghamton Eats: Sonic Drive-In

If you live in Western New York, it’s hard to watch TV and not come across a Sonic commercial. It’s a little surprising to learn that the closest Sonic is over 200 miles away. This constant exposure has lead to many Western New Yorkers thinking that Sonic could soon be joining Five Guys and Joe’s Crab Shack as the newest addition to our chain restaurant scene. This burning desire for our own Sonic location even lead to a pretty epic April fool’s joke by Kiss 98.5’s Shy Guy Shawn last year. I’ll admit that even Alli and I have been interested in seeing what the big deal is, so on our route to NYC last week we stopped by their Binghamton location and ordered lunch.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Drive Thru, Fast Food
  • Cuisine: Fast Food
  • Location: Binghamton
  • Prices: Almost everything is under $5

I can safely say that Western New York is not missing out on much. First of all, it’s pretty weird to sit in your car, order from a speaker and then watch other people eat food in their cars next to you. This particular location had no indoor seating whatsoever, there was a small patio but it was a little too chilly to sit outside.

When I pulled up to our speaker, I had a bit of stage freight and wasn’t sure what I wanted to order. Aside from tater tots and limeaide, I’ve never actually paid attention to their menu. So I ordered a Chicago dog with their tots and a cranberry limeaide. The Chicago dog was actually decent. The toppings (relish, tomato, pickles) and poppy seed roll were all spot-on but the beef dog had a weird flavor and no bite. The tots were incredibly greasy and tasted like they were literally rolled in salt, gross.

Alli ordered some spicy popcorn chicken bites, fried pickles and a strawberry limeaide. The popcorn chicken were really bad and I don’t think she even finished a quarter of the order. They had really thick breading, virtually no flavor (despite being ‘spicy’) and weren’t that warm. The fried pickles came with a side of ranch and were just terrible. There was basically no pickle flavor at all. Instead they tasted like crispy breading with a flavorless mushy center and were somehow even worse when dipped into their ranch. On the plus side, we both really liked our respective limeaide drinks.

I guess I’m glad to finally cross Sonic off my to ‘Restaurant Chain To Do List’ but it was definitely not worth going out of our way for and I don’t see myself going back anytime soon, or ever.

Photo Gallery:

Sonic Drive-In on Urbanspoon

3 thoughts on “Binghamton Eats: Sonic Drive-In

  • April 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. As someone who’s spent some time in other parts of the country, I’ve had to tell lots of local people who’ve seen the commercials that they aren’t missing anything—it really is just bad fast food that’s drive-up instead of drive-thru.

  • April 11, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Having lived in 2 states with a Sonic, I do have to say I miss Happy Hour. The cherry limeaid is really good and I really miss the ice..

  • May 2, 2013 at 9:02 am

    u r right. sonic food is terrible. it’s more of a ice cream treat place than a food place.
    DQ blows them away. but all their commercials made us try. ONCE.


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