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The Soda Wars: Which Utah soda shop is the best?

Sodalicious, Swig, FiiZ and many other soda shops line the streets of Utah. Here’s the winner

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Jennifer Huntington, general manager of Swig in Millcreek, cleans off a customer’s order.

Jennifer Huntington, general manager of Swig in Millcreek, cleans off a customer’s order on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Dirty sodas have been hitting TikTok: the nation has been fascinated with how Utah chooses to drink soda. Some Utahns will pour half and half and flavored syrups into their soda, and soda shop devotees will go to their favorite shop to get their caffeinated pebble-iced soda.

With so many options, I wanted to know: what’s the difference between these shops? And who makes the best soda?

To figure it out, I went to Sodalicious, Swig, FiiZ, Thirst, Twisted Sugar and Quench It. At each of these shops, I’ve ordered as close of a variation on the same drink as possible: Coke Zero, half and half and vanilla syrup.

Which shop soda had the best soda?

I went into this review as a self-proclaimed Utah soda connoisseur. I have a familiarity with many of the soda shops in Utah, so to do this review as fairly as possible, I ordered the same drink at every place. It goes without saying that all of these soda shops are phenomenal, but there was a winner here.

Best ratio of ice to soda: I love pebble ice — I think it could make or break a soda. I like my ice to soda ratio at a Goldilocks level, not too much and not too little. I think that Swig nailed the ice to soda ratio. My drink stayed cold throughout the couple hours it took me to finish it, and my drink wasn’t diluted as the ice melted.

Best ratio of cream to soda: The cream or half and half in the soda can make or break the soda. I think Sodalicious has the best ratio here. My drink had just a splash in it, which was perfect. Other soda shops put a little too much half and half or cream in the soda, but not Sodalicious — which nailed it.

Best ratio of syrup to soda: When I order a soda with syrup, I want to be able to taste the flavor without only tasting the flavor. I have to be honest here — Sodalicious yet again performed the best here. While all the other soda shops did undeniably give me a good soda, I think that Sodalicious’ ratio of syrup to soda was the best.

What makes the soda shops different? While drinking my concoction from each of these places, the drink tasted very similar — that makes sense because it was the same base ingredients. The snacks here are what is different about all of them. While Swig does not have popcorn, Sodalicious does. Twisted Sugar has amazing cookies and Quench It has gourmet popcorn. Thirst has beignets, but FiiZ has nachos.

Best overall soda shop: I have to hand it to Sodalicious. Not only does it have the best soda in my opinion, but it also has the best treats. But most of this will be about your personal taste and in Utah, there’s somewhere for everyone.