The Best Mozzarella Sticks In The US, According To Online Reviews

mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce
mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce - heathenphotog/Shutterstock

It's definitely possible to make your own mozzarella sticks at home, and frozen takes on the classic snack are entirely legitimate. In fact, we have a definitive ranking of frozen mozzarella sticks here. But neither of these takes measures up to mozzarella sticks served at restaurant -- particularly a restaurant that takes pride in turning out crispy breading and ooey, gooey, oh-so stretchable cheese. This introduces a question: Which spots turn out the very best mozzarella sticks around?

We wanted to find out where U.S. customers go for the greatest-ever versions of this classic snack. Fortunately, people don't hold back on social media and travel sites -- plenty of folks love to give their favorite hot spots a shout-out. While there were a lot of contenders, some clear winners soon emerged; check the end of this article for more info on our methodology. After much consideration, we narrowed the pack down to these 13 spots. There's a good chance at least one of these places isn't too far from where you're sitting right now, but if you just can't wait, check out our 30-minute mozzarella stick recipe.

Read more: The Best Wings In Every State

Milk Drunk, Seattle

Milk Drunk mozzarella sticks cheese stretch
Milk Drunk mozzarella sticks cheese stretch - themilkdrunk / Instagram

You probably expect to see a bar or pizza place serving up some incredible mozzarella sticks. This makes Milk Drunk a bit of an odd entry. Take a look at the menu for this eclectic Seattle restaurant and you'll see a delightfully motley collection of soft serve, cocktails, and chicken sandwiches. That's not all that's on offer, though: A ton of customers have taken to social media to rave about the spot's mozzarella sticks.

"Insane cheese!!!" wrote one reviewer on Yelp. They continued, "The mozzarella sticks are massive and have an insane cheese pull!" "The mozzarella sticks were huge and gooey and divine," wrote another, while another customer added that they're pretty much a meal on their own. A Reddit thread asking after the best mozzarella sticks in Seattle echoed this sentiment. Some considered it a bit of flaw, actually: "I love cheese but I have my limits, and 3 mozzarella sticks each the size of a stick of butter is apparently one of them," one Redditor wrote. Still, they added a helpful tip: These sticks are pretty perfect when reheated in an air fryer.

If you're down with that kind of size, you're in for a good time. Photos from social media invariably show the aforementioned epic cheese pull, with customers eagerly tagging friends and family. The love here is practically tangible.

Alphonso's, Milwaukee

Alphonso's mozzarella stick broken
Alphonso's mozzarella stick broken - alphonsostheoriginal / Instagram

There are mozzarella sticks, and then there are Mozzarella Sticks with capital letters. And then? Then, there are mozzarella sticks that have their own unique name, like Alphonso's Lightning Rods. These sticks aren't named for the lightning rods that are mounted on buildings, but for 1980s-style custom racing shifters. The original Alphonso bonded with the restaurant's founders over a love of food and cars. After his death in 2005, said friends decided to open a spot that honored the things he treasured most.

Although the restaurant has weathered some difficulties, its massive, rave-worthy mozzarella sticks are still crossing the counter. Reviewers on Yelp say that they're a must-try, and that's high praise: Wisconsin is, after all, the heart of cheese-land. "Super great pizza, cheese bread, and the mozzarella sticks are absolutely bananas!!!" wrote one reviewer. Another added, "[The mozzarella sticks] were amazing ... The breading was nice and thick and the cheese ooey gooey."

Others initially balked at seemingly high prices, but once they saw what they were getting with a single half-order, realized it was absolutely worth it. "I think it's worth the hype!" one reviewer wrote, adding, "The breading was perfectly crunchy and the cheese was ooooh so gooey! ... So so good!" Pro tip? Order ahead, because this kind of perfection takes time.

Tune Inn, Washington, DC

Tune Inn mozzarella sticks with sauce
Tune Inn mozzarella sticks with sauce - tuneinndc / Instagram

There's something to be said for adapting to customer demands, but sometimes, there's just no need. Washington, D.C.'s Tune Inn gets this. Its approach is perhaps best summed up by one Yelp reviewer who wrote, "Nothing has changed since the 1980s. Mozzarella sticks are to die for. Everything is good ... make time to try this place."

Others rave about everything from the service and the drinks to the mozzarella sticks, the mozzarella sticks, and, oh, did we mention the mozzarella sticks? "Best mozzarella sticks we have ever eaten," one wrote, adding, "This is a bar! Nothing fancy ... no problem. The mozzarella sticks will blow your mind." Still other customers rave about the perfect breading, the stellar dipping sauce, and the Tune Inn's commitment to serving fresh, definitely not frozen, sticks.

One customer even hinted at a secret recipe involved. Those in-the-know apparently declined to share the secret seasonings that made the entire meal shockingly delicious, but one bite is all you need to know that it's working.

Carne Mare, New York City

Carne Mare mozzarella sticks with caviar
Carne Mare mozzarella sticks with caviar - CarneMareNYC / Facebook

New York City's Carne Mare elevates mozzarella sticks into something completely different with a unique addition: caviar. This might seem strange, but customers on Yelp rave about them so passionately it's impossible not to leave any doubts at the door. "We had the mozzarella and caviar stick and seriously could have just had that -- BEST THING EVER," wrote one diner. Many reviews praise the caviar for bringing a saltiness to the dish most mozzarella sticks just don't have. Some say they weren't sold on the idea at first, but were impressed by just how well it all came together. The message is clear: Come to Carne Mare and get the mozzarella sticks.

Unique pairings have been suggested for this spectacular dish. "Spumoni for two & the mozzarella with caviar are a must!" one raved. That might sound odd, but it really can't be beat -- there's something irresistible about mellow ice cream and salty caviar. Love eating out, but feel like you need something truly unique for an extra special occasion? Carne Mare is a total win.

Twisted Sourdough Pizza, Las Vegas

Twisted Sourdough mozzarella sticks pizza
Twisted Sourdough mozzarella sticks pizza - twistedpizzalv / Instagram

Twisted Sourdough Pizza is known for its incredibly cool pizza cones. Also on the menu? Mozzarella sticks, which have gone similarly viral. Such craze-inspiring food doesn't always live up to the hype, but the general consensus here is that these mozzarella sticks definitely do. As one customer who headed to Twisted Sourdough Pizza after seeing a viral video reported on Yelp, "Totally was worth it! Definitely recommend trying it!" Others were similarly enthusiastic, writing, "Loved the giant mozzarella stick and pizza in a cone!," and, "Mozzarella. Stick. Need I say more?" Fortunately, they did: "Breading is deliciously seasoned and goes perfectly with the marinara sauce. Salivating thinking about it." Another said, "it did NOT disappoint ... was absolutely perfect."

Customers also say that Las Vegas is pretty much the perfect place for this type of restaurant: It's fun, over-the-top, and a little bit weird. Heading to the Strip? It's about 20 minutes away by car, and more than worth the drive. As one person explained on TripAdvisor, "I don't know how else to tell you to go to this place other than to say: GO!!!! ... The mozza trees (I refuse to call them sticks, they are huge) are next level."

Cosa Buona, Los Angeles

Cosa Buona pizza and mozzarella sticks
Cosa Buona pizza and mozzarella sticks - cosabuona / Facebook

Cosa Buona serves up dishes from Los Angeles chef Zach Pollack, who developed his love of Italian cuisine while studying in and around Italy's various food-centric regions. Were mozzarella sticks on the menu? Well, all that matters is that they're on his menu in L.A. Customers can't get enough of them.

Scores of reviews on Yelp give the mozzarella sticks a shout-out. One diner summed up the hype by noting, "They were one of the best mozzarella sticks I have ever had." One repeat customer wrote, "We always get the smokey mozzarella sticks, crispy and gooey and irresistible with the accompanying marinara sauce." "Smoked mozzarella sticks were also an amazing appetizer you need to order," opined another.

Even The Los Angeles Times agrees. In a 2017 review, food critic Jonathan Gold wrote that the food in this upscale place is deliciously down-to-earth. He specifically praised the mozzarella sticks, and gave Pollack serious kudos for opting for smoked cheese. "You have never had mozzarella sticks this crunchy or this good," he raved.

Big Mozz, New York

Big Mozz mozzarella sticks plate
Big Mozz mozzarella sticks plate - bigmozz / Instagram

Working on a food truck can be tough, but some foods make it worth it. That's the case with mozzarella sticks, and Big Mozz knows it. Yelpers say that they're absolutely worth the trip on their own. "BEST MOZZARELLA STICKS," wrote one person, who continued, "These were darker and mastered the perfect balance between having a crispy outside, but soft melted cheese on the inside ... Pairing these with their mozzarella sauce created the best cheesy experience I've ever had." Another reported making the trip up from New Jersey just for these mozzarella sticks and deemed them absolutely worth the drive. One customer raved, "This is one of my favorite places in the Chelsea Market! The mozzarella sticks are easily the best I've ever had."

In addition to the truck and the Chelsea Market location, Big Mozz apparently offers mozzarella stretching classes, which sounds like an amazing way to spend an evening. One customer said that it wasn't just fun to participate in -- they got to take the leftovers home. Sign us up.

Roots Handmade Pizza, Chicago

Roots Pizza mozzarella sticks
Roots Pizza mozzarella sticks - RootsPizza / Facebook

Yelpers rave about Roots Handmade Pizza's mozzarella sticks. Uniquely, the business' owner often replies to these reviews, thanking them for their kind words and noting that the sticks are perennial favorites. It's no wonder why -- just look at them.

One customer summed it plainly, writing, "The mozzarella sticks are to die for." Although they're a little on the expensive side, many claim they're absolutely worth it, given the amount of cheesy goodness each order provides. "The mozzarella sticks were my favorite," one reviewer wrote, and noted, "definitely shareable portions." "Mozzarella sticks were [the] best I've had in the city!" another said. The owner chimed in to confirm that they're very proudly made from scratch.

Reviewers on TripAdvisor agree, saying that not only are the mozzarella sticks a total win, they're a must-have when visiting Chicago. "Sinfully good," read one review. This is a huge compliment anywhere, but in a city that has a style of pizza named after it, it means even more.

Fixture Pizza Pub, Milwaukee

Fixture Pizza Pub mozzarella sticks
Fixture Pizza Pub mozzarella sticks - fixturepizza / Facebook

It makes absolute sense that Wisconsin would have amazing mozzarella sticks. Customers on both Yelp and TripAdvisor agree that one of the best places to go for them in the cheese-centric state is Milwaukee's Fixture Pizza Pub. They're done a little differently here: Instead of breading, these sticks come clad in egg roll wrappers. Pretty brilliant, right?

"I will be dreaming about those mozzarella sticks," wrote one Yelper. "They are wrapped in an egg roll shell and are very good ... I could have eaten all of them." Some said that while they hadn't been expecting wonton-style mozzarella sticks, they were the opposite of disappointed. Nothing illustrates this better than the sheer number of review photos taken of mozzarella sticks that are already partially eaten; even camera-ready customers couldn't resist immediately digging in.

Fixture Pizza Pub gets extra points from many customers for affordability. This is a big deal, given how good these sticks are. It just goes to show that a restaurant might be upscale, but its prices don't have to be.

The Butcher's Son, Berkeley

fried mozzarella sticks sandwich
fried mozzarella sticks sandwich - vegandelicatessen / Facebook

We're not just including vegan restaurant The Butcher's Son for the sake of inclusivity -- we're including it because, according to customers, it offers some truly incredible plant-based mozzarella sticks. That's right: The cheese is vegan. It's also utterly delicious. One reviewer over on Yelp described their go-to order: "[The] Parmesan chicken sandwich which had their battered mozzarella sticks n a very savory marinara, I was obsessed!" Another said the mozzarella sticks don't even need the sauce to be amazing. Still another diner noted that their non-vegan friend loved the sticks too: "He even said the fried mozzarella tasted like real mozzarella!" Many people get an extra order to take home for leftovers, and really, what could be more of a recommendation than that?

One hilarious reviewer on TripAdvisor wrote that they stopped while they were traveling along the coast, and ordered mozzarella sticks as part of a lunch they were going to eat along the way. "Ok, we ate some of [the mozzarella sticks] right as we were walking back to the car," they admitted. Another described the experience with genuine rapture, opining, "Oh. My. God. I haven't had mozzarella sticks since I was about 12, but let me tell you -- the fried mozz here brought me straight back to my pimply, dairy-filled pre-adolescence."

Copperhead Grille, Allentown

stretching cheese mozzarella sticks
stretching cheese mozzarella sticks - CopperheadAllentown / Facebook

Some orders are safe bets. Get the steak at a steak house, for example, or lobster at a seafood place in Maine. So it goes with getting mozzarella sticks at a sports bar. They're always good -- but those who've been to Allentown's Copperhead Grille say the mozzarella sticks being served there are utterly above and beyond.

"My personal favorite is the mozzarella sticks as they are house-made and huge!" raved one customer on Yelp, while another added, "I think they have the best mozzarella sticks and wings!" Mozzarella sticks are a regular feature on customer's recommendations, and those on TripAdvisor agree. "The mozzarella sticks and nachos are to die for!" said one diner. Over and over, people emphasize their size. Here's a particularly vivid description from an enthusiastic review: "They are HUGE ... hulking, homemade monstrosities coated in bread, fried to perfection, and then filled with molten cheese. One was almost a foot long, and nearly two inches thick, and they brought out five at least." When mozzarella sticks are so good that you forget exactly how many you were given, you know they're top tier.

Denino's, New York City

Denino's mozzarella sticks cheese stretch
Denino's mozzarella sticks cheese stretch - deninosnyc / Facebook

Denino's has a few locations, though you're going to have to go to New York City to visit them. Customers say that it's definitely worth the trip. Let's put it this way: As of this writing, it's ranked third out of 518 Staten Island restaurants listed on TripAdvisor.

Customers adore the mozzarella sticks, and basically say you can't go wrong ordering them. Why? In large part, it's because the entire process starts with high-quality mozzarella. That makes all the difference in the world. Those over on Yelp agree: "Fried calamari and mozzarella sticks are always on our table," said one reviewer. "Crispy, fresh, and never too greasy or oily. I can say with distinction Denino's serves the best mozzarella sticks on the face of the Earth." "You don't leave disappointed," said another guest. While some reviews note that customers can expect a crowd, it's absolutely worth it.


Arby's mozzarella stick on carboard
Arby's mozzarella stick on carboard - Arby's / Facebook

Not going to Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., or New York City anytime soon? That's fine -- we have one recommendation that most people are likely to be able to access, no matter where they live. We are, of course, talking about Arby's, which is always worth a visit.

Arby's took the top spot in our own ranking of chain mozzarella sticks, beating out heavyweights like Applebee's and TGI Friday's. We're not the only ones who love Arby's mozzarella sticks, either: When a post on Reddit kicked off a discussion about who's top dog in the mozzarella stick game, many, many, many people agreed that it was definitely Arby's. Here's a scattering of opinions shared on that thread: "Gotta go with Arby's," "Arby's are hands down the best," "Arby's all the way!" One Redditor pointed out that Arby's Canada has different mozzarella sticks, but they're no less tasty. They went on to laud the fast food giant for consistency. Craving mozzarella sticks now? Go take a trip to Arby's!


steamy mozzarella sticks on a plate
steamy mozzarella sticks on a plate - Dmitry Lobanov/Shutterstock

We were faced with quite the challenge in creating a list of the best mozzarella sticks in the U.S. To determine an accurate ranking, we scoured social media and sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. We looked for restaurants with a loyal fan base that consistently recommend the mozzarella sticks. We also looked for places that got out-of-town visitors to go out of their way for the sake of their mozzarella sticks. If these restaurants had gone viral, we asked ourselves, did reviews back up this sudden surge in popularity? Was there consistency of ingredients and flavor? Was the quality still high? In the case of these restaurants, customers agree that the answer is an enthusiastic "Yes!"

Read the original article on Mashed