Expand Your Soda Horizons with the 5 Best Colas

I love soda the way other people love coffee: It tastes great, I crave it, and I get headaches if I don’t have it. Some people might say I’m “addicted,” and to that I would sigh heavily and then agree with them.

While I consider myself a soda connoisseur, cola is not my specialty. I love Coca-Cola, but my experience with other colas is limited. I was excited to sit down and try all these cola-flavored drinks to see if my favorite, Coca-Cola, is really the best, and to find out what other colas are not getting enough credit.

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Best of the Best

Coca-Cola

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more delicious than an ice-cold Coca-Cola. It’s so crisp and carbonated and sweet and refreshing. My mouth salivates when I hear a can of Coke open. I wish we still lived in a time when people believed Coke was medicine. I can’t say enough good things about Coca-Cola. Now that I’ve tried the others, I can say it truly is the best cola on the market. I am a diehard Coke lover and this taste test only confirmed it more.

Credit: Merc / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Budget

Sam’s Cola

As much as I am a diehard Coca-Cola fan, I must admit that this Sam’s Cola from Walmart gets eerily close to tasting like Coke. If you’re having a huge pizza party and want sodas on the cheap, this would be a great option. Or if you’re using soda in something where it won’t be the solo star, like a rum and coke or a coke float, this would be a great, cheaper swap for the OG Coca-Cola.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Cult Favorite

RC Cola

RC Cola (or Royal Crown Cola) has such a fun, vintage aesthetic. That’s what initially drew me to the can. I feel like I should be wearing bell bottoms and feathering my hair while I drink it. Or at least having a That ’70s Show marathon. Other than Sam’s Cola, RC tastes the most like regular Coca-Cola out of everything we tried. The flavor is great, the packaging is cool, and it’s affordable: What’s not to like?!

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

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Most Unique

Shasta Cola

Shasta Cola has a delicious, indescribable taste to it. It’s similar to Coca-Cola so it feels familiar, but it has its own little twist that makes it unique. There’s a very light fruitiness that is extremely intriguing. Tasting Shasta Cola felt more like tasting a fine wine than a canned soda. I hate to admit it, but I’ve been sleeping on this Coca-Cola alternative. It’s actually really good and I would absolutely buy it again!

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

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Best Sugar-Free

Diet Coke

I’ll be honest with you, I do not like Diet Coke. I think it tastes very, very bad. That being said, I admire Diet Coke. It has such a unique flavor that has captivated millions. The Diet Coke fan base is loyal and committed and, to be honest, terrifying. I knew I had to put Diet Coke on the list before I ever tasted it because I was scared that Diet Coke fans would burn my apartment down if I didn’t.

Credit: Merc / Target

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Boylan Cane Cola, Zevia Zero Calorie Cola, Poppi Classic Cola, Virgil’s Real Cola, Olipop Vintage Cola, Pepsi, Coca-Cola (bottled), Fentimans Curiosity Cola

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About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • Have you all done the old age Coke vs Pepsi? Pepsi is horrible FYI

    Reply
  • I think Coke Zero is better than Diet Coke. Surprised to see it wasn’t even tried.

    Reply
    • They’re very different in profile – apparently Diet Coke is closer to “New Coke”- but yeah, if you love Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is the next best thing in a zero calorie offering.

      Reply
  • Pepsi will forever be my favorite. This list makes me shake my head and weep.

    Reply
  • Surprised you didn’t even try diet Pepsi. Was this a blind taste test, as the single taster seems very Coca Cola biased.

    Reply
  • I want to like RC, but it is more acidic and gives me the heartburn. 🙁

    Reply
  • The fact that you didn’t include Pepsi makes me trust you and says all I need to know about your judgement.

    Reply
  • One Cola I bet you never had and that is Polar unless your from New England than I guarantee you would think it’s different. Connecticut has their own soda brand too, Foxon Farms. Birch beer is a thing in New England as well. Think rootbeer with a milder rootbeer flavor.

    Reply