September 11

Chick-fil-A Ice – How to Get it and How to Make it at Home

Written by: Michael

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Chick-fil-A is known for many things. Chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, and…well, you get the picture. What you may or may not have been paying enough attention to is the quality of their ice. Chick-fil-A’s ice may even feel a bit familiar to you. 

Ice comes in many forms, some restaurants use cubes, some use crushed, but everyone knows that there’s no substitution for gorgeous little nugget ice. There’s only one question - how can you get that perfect nugget ice at home without having to make the trip to Chick-fil-A?

What is Chick-fil-A Ice?

Chick-fil-A Ice is more commonly known as nugget ice or Sonic ice (named after the restaurant). These little chunks of icy gold don’t deserve to be hidden under a lid; instead, they deserve to be munched, crunched, and enjoyed by everyone. 

Simply put, nugget ice is the gold standard of not only fast food ice but chewable ice in general. If you’ve been to Chick-fil-A and never paid attention to what was beneath that translucent lid, then you’re in for a treat.

Can I Buy Chick-fil-A Ice?

Of course! Some people would much rather make the trip and pick up a bag of their fabulous ice. If you’re one of the ones who might need a bag of Chick-fil-A nugget ice in a pinch, you’ll be able to head to any Chick-fil-A and purchase a 5-pound bag for $1.59

While not every location sells ice, Sonic is also known for selling their popular nugget ice, usually $2.00 for a 10-pound bag.

How do I Make Chick-fil-A Ice at Home?

Making Chick-fil-A Ice at home is easier than you think. Maybe you aren’t close enough to a Chick-fil-A restaurant to justify picking up a 5-pound bag of delicious nugget ice. In that case, you have a couple of options that vary in simplicity and price.

Do it Yourself

Sometimes the best solution to all of your problems is to break out the gloves, get down to business, and do it yourself. To make that a little easier,

here’s a video that explains the pros and cons of several different methods for making your very own nugget ice at home.

Keep in mind that all of these methods are going to require some sort of tool or product to help you get the job done.

Get a Nugget Ice Maker for Home

As you might have seen from the video, there is more than one way to fill a glass with tasty little nugget ice. The preferred, restaurant-approved method, that will get you as close to a Chick-fil-A cup of ice as possible, is to purchase a nugget ice maker. 

Nugget ice makers come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. There are nugget ice makers that can be built-in under your counter, free-standing, or even small enough to fit on a countertop. 

We did a ton of research and found the best-reviewed nugget ice machines available today. Here are a few of our top picks: 

1. GE Profile Opal Countertop Nugget Ice Maker V1. GE’s Opal nugget ice maker is our highest-rated overall ice machine for a reason. We have the confidence in this machine that has over 12,500 reviews on Amazon, 4.5 stars, and a capacity to deliver you 24-pounds of perfect nugget ice per day. It’s stylish, functional, and relatively affordable too.

2. KBIce Self Dispensing Countertop Nugget Ice Maker. While both this nugget ice machine and the previously mentioned one are both countertop units, this ice maker has something very unique. Instead of using an ice scoop or your hands, this device comes equipped with a self-dispensing mechanism that makes things a bit easier (it’s also slightly cheaper than the Opal). 

3. GE Built-In 56 Lbs Freestanding Nugget Ice Maker. This nugget ice maker was made for more than hobbyists. This is a serious ice machine, intended for serious ice connoisseurs, that comes with a serious price tag. Reviewers have labeled this machine the definition of quantity and quality. 


These nugget ice makers all get you the same results - delicious nugget ice. While they provide functionality, simplicity, and a great talking point for your kitchen, they also come with a couple of drawbacks. 

You have to maintain any nugget ice maker even more than you do with most small to medium-sized appliances. You have to worry about cleaning, filters, storage, and repairs.

However, don’t let that scare you off because we believe it’s (usually) more than worth the price. Perfect nugget ice in the comfort of your own home. No driving. No melting or ripped bags. No ice trays. Only the most exquisite icy treat. 

Be sure to check out our full list of the best nugget ice makers. You won’t regret it.

Chick-fil-A Ice vs. Sonic Ice 

Maybe after reading this, you’ve become emotionally torn trying to decipher what the difference is between Chick-fil-A Ice and Sonic Ice. We spent hours of valuable time and money researching and even driving to both restaurants and getting nothing but ice. 

Simply put - Chick-fil-A Ice is the exact same thing as Sonic Ice. They’re both just nugget ice (also known as pellet ice or pebble ice).   

To our knowledge, they’re identical, but you can do your own research to validate this. 


Some people are “do it yourself-ers," some people live close enough to keep buying ice a few pounds at a time, and others would just rather buy the machine and have nugget ice available all of the time. 

Whichever camp you find yourself in - when you’ve satisfied that craving for crunchable, munchable nugget ice, you’ll be thanking us later.



Founder of Robust Kitchen


nugget ice, nugget ice maker, pellet ice, pellet ice maker, sonic ice, sonic ice maker

About the author

Michael spends his days eating, drinking and studying the fascinating world of food. He received his Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis and spent much of his time at the school brewery. While school proved to be an invaluable experience, his true passion lies in exposing the hidden crannies of food for the cooking laymen.

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  1. Great article and thank you for it! As an AVID ice eater, Sonic ice and Chickfila ice are small and chewable but they are different. Sonic ice is smaller cubes and sometimes have a harder crunch. Chick fil a ice is more like compacted snow. Especially if you dont put any liquid over it. Chick fil a ice is a lot softer. Chick fil a ice is also more consistent as far as softness. Sonic is hit or miss. Sometimes they are a hard crunch and sometimes the crunch is comparable to CFA. You can tell by how clear the ice is. Really clear equals a harder crunch. Cloudy means it will be a softer crunch.

    1. Hey Angel,

      Great feedback! Love hearing things like this because it offers a vote so we can get a consensus on the general differences between the two. For data purposes, was this between just one Chick-Fil-A and one Sonic location?

      Thanks again for the intel!


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