Cook Out is a fast food chain that can be found throughout the South and has held a special place in the hearts of many since it opened in 1989 in Greensboro, NC.

Whether you’re in a rush and need to grab a quick meal, or you’re on the way back from a night out, Cook Out is the perfect option. I have personally forced many an Uber driver to wait in the thirty-plus car line at midnight on a Friday in order to get my late night fix of hush puppies and a cheeseburger.

In my Cook Out experience I have learned to navigate the menu pretty well and I have discovered a few favorite items along the way. Here are 5 items on the menu that you may not have thought to try, but are total game changers.

1. Hush Puppies, Hush Puppies, And More Hush Puppies

Cook Out

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If you’ve never tried these delicious cornbread balls, you truly have not lived. Although the nutritional value is minimal, if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, I would without a doubt choose Cook Out’s hush puppies. I won’t lie though, these puppies do come at a bit of a price. No, not an actual dollar amount, as they’re only $.99 at my local cookout in Richmond, VA. The price you pay when eating an order of Cook Out’s hush puppies is the price of empty calories. Honestly, though, they’re totally worth those extra cal’s!

2. Cheesy Fries

Cook Out

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Listen, I know that the cheese on them is likely the kind that comes out of a portable nacho machine, but if you’ve had a few drinks, these fries are the absolute best. Officially named the “Cookout Fries,” for only a few extra cents, these regular fries are transformed into a bite of cheesy deliciousness. Not a warm cheese kind of girl like myself? Then check out the other Cookout Fry option, the chili fry. Another great Cook Out french fry hack: ask for cajun seasoning, it’s no extra charge and adds a burst of flavor!

3. Milkshakes, Obviously

Cook Out

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Best milkshakes in the country? I think so. Cook Out has over 40 milkshake flavors that can also be combined at no extra cost. Ever had a HiC Punch milkshake? You can at Cook Out. Try all 40 flavors to decide which one you like best, My personal favorite is a plain and simple caramel milkshake. It’s pretty unbeatable and is great paired with Cook Out’s signature cheeseburger.

4. Cheerwine

Cook Out

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If you’re not from the South you may have never experienced the refreshing, bubbly, cherry drink that is Cheerwine. Unfortunately, not many restaurants sell Cheerwine. However, luckily for all of us below the Mason-Dixon line, who have grown up enjoying this fabulous cherry drink, Cook Out is one of the few places that we can purchase a Cheerwine! Another bonus at Cook Out is that they have Cheerwine floats, which make for an awesome dessert.

5. The Cook Out Tray

Cook Out

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It’s simply not fair that you have to choose just one item on the menu when there are so many delicious options. So, don’t. Check out the Cook Out tray. No matter which Cook Out you go to, the sign advertising the Cook Out tray will say, “Best Combo in (insert city here),” so you know it must be a pretty damn good combo (since false advertising isn’t a thing at al)l. But trust me on this one, it is a pretty damn good combo. When ordering your Cook Out tray, you can choose one entrée, two sides, and one beverage. All for less than $5! 

Now get out there and enjoy the Cook Out experience.