Dairy Queen was first founded in 1940 and has grown into one of the biggest fast food chains in the US since then. It boasts a vast lineup of delicious iced treats known as Blizzards. On top of its arsenal of sweet treats, DQ offers succulent burgers and sides, with an assortment of frozen, grilled and fried options.
As we shall discover, there is also a Dairy Queen secret menu to uncover, and one that might just surprise you.
Year Founded: 1940
Headquarters: Edina, Minnesota
Locations: 4,800+ (US)
Dairy Queen History
Dairy Queen were the first to think up the “Soft Serve” ice cream concept, and it’s something that has carried this brand from those early years in 1940 right through to now. The first Soft Serve was created in 1938, with the first Dairy Queen launching a couple years later.
This new iced treat proved to be a huge success and within just two hours of opening they had sold over 1,600 servings to eager customers.
Dairy Queen were one of the pioneers of the food franchise model, effectively creating the fast food chain. It was this model that helped them to expand to 10 locations within their first year of operation, and by the time Dairy Queen was just 10 years old it had close to 1,500 locations across the United States.
The famous DQ logo was not created until 1959. Prior to that, Dairy Queen had used a simple text logo. The logo created in 1959 was actually phased out in the early 2000s, with Dairy Queen adopting the “DQ” name full-time and using this on their new logo (displayed at the top of this page).
Still, because of their history, because of that famous sign and because of the generations that have been raised on these iced treats, “DQ” are still, and will always be “Dairy Queen” to the majority of Americans.
Dairy Queen Menu
One of the most popular items on the Dairy Queen menu is known as a Blizzard. This is a Soft Serve ice cream that is blended with a number of ingredients, including broken bits of brownie, candy and chocolate. This has been a staple for Dairy Queen since the 1980s.
These are very similar to the McFlurries found at McDonalds. This much-loved McDonalds dessert was launched some 12 years after the first Blizzard was served at Dairy Queen. We’re not implying that they copied from them. But well, they clearly did.
Some of the most popular Blizzard flavors include Oreo and Cookie Dough, but there are a number to choose from.
DQ sell a selection of other frozen treats. They also own the Orange Julius chain, which allows them to sell this popular drink on their menu. It’s not just cold drinks and frozen treats either, as DQ also sell a host of hot snacks and foods, including burgers, hotdogs, fries, wraps and sandwiches.
Dairy Queen Secret Menu
The Dairy Queen secret menu is one of our favorites. If you’re anything like us, you will know the standard menu like the back of your hand. You know what you like and you know what’s available. So, it’s refreshing to discover a secret menu hidden underneath the one you have always known.
Many of the secret menu hacks revolve around their drinks, adding different combinations of flavors to create delicious concoctions. In this way, it’s not unlike the Dunkin’ Donuts secret menu or the Starbucks secret menu. But there are also food hacks, hidden items and much more to discover.
So, check it out, you might just discover a new favorite treat or snack.
Dairy Queen Nutrition and Calories
Some of the DQ menu items pack a punch. Their 1/2 lb Flamethrower Grillburgr, for instance, clocks in at over 1,000 calories, a lot of which comes from fat. This is a big burger, but there are smaller options with fewer calories available, including a 1/4 lb Grillburger which has nearly 1/4th of the calories.
Most of their shakes and malts are between 500 and 900 calories, while their Blizzards begin at just 380, with a Mini Banana Cream Pie, and go all of the way to 1330 for the Large Turtle Pecan Cluster.
To learn more about Dairy Queen nutrition, read our guide. There are a lot of items to uncover and a mass of calories to try and avoid (if you’re that way inclined, although we’re definitely not) and the guide is updated regularly.
Dairy Queen Menu Prices
You can get a Mini Blizzard for less than $3 at DQ, with many of the Large ones coming in at around $5 (a Large is $4.69, but you can add extra toppings for $0.69 a go). As is usually the case, you get more bang for your buck if you go big, and there are plenty of supersize options here.
Most of their popular treats are less than $5 for the biggest ones available, and the only things that go beyond this amount are their meal deals (which are substantial) and their Chicken Strip Baskets. But in both cases, you’re still getting a lot of food for your money.
To learn more, read our guide on Dairy Queen menu prices.
Dairy Queen Location
Dairy Queen may be a brand that is firmly rooted in American culture and in America’s past, but it is one that can be seen in many other countries as well. There are locations everywhere from Bahrain to Vietnam and from Saudi Arabia to Singapore.
Including the United States, DQ can be found in 30 countries around the world. Strangely, there is no location in the United Kingdom, where many American brands have flourished in the past. In fact, despite performing very well on most continents, they just haven’t been able to tap into the European market.
They added locations to Austria, Slovenia and Hungary only for them all to shut by 2000; they withdraw from Poland in 2016; and they have also been forced to withdraw from Italy and Cyprus in the past.
There is certainly potential there. Maybe it just takes one plucky, adventurous franchisee to try their luck and create a trend that other Europeans follow. Any takers?
Dairy Queen Store Hours
DQ opens at 11:00am on most days and in most locations. It is usually closed by 10:00pm. These times may differ depending on your location (and certainly will if you are outside the United States). They tend to open a little later and shut a little earlier on Sundays and holidays.