Top 5 Sodas That Aren't Coke or Pepsi

Categories: Top Five

Sean Loyless
"No Coke...Pepsi!"

Belushi's classic SNL skit is actually an homage to The Billy Goat Tavern, a dingy burger place in Chicago where you will be yelled at for your order, where they really do only serve Pepsi, and there are no fries, only chips.

I've checked the place out and eaten a burger there -- it's a pretty crappy burger, admittedly, but you can share in the experience that's so well known in our popular culture.

I rarely drink sodas, but sometimes, even when we know they are terrible for us, we just want a damn soda. Choices can be limited due to corporate sponsorship. It's too bad, because there is a whole world of carbonated, high-sugar-content drinks out there.

Though many smaller-market brands have been bought out by Coke and Pepsi, they still qualify simply because they aren't the big two.

5. RC Cola

When's the last time you had an RC Cola? It's probably been awhile.

RC is certainly sweet, but it also has a unique caramel flavor that makes it stand out. RC Cola is the bastard offspring of Pepsi and Coke: sweet like Pepsi, slightly tart like Coke.

If you are wanting a little change of pace -- or maybe just to feel a little more Royal -- grab an RC Cola.

4. Dublin Cane Sugar Dr Pepper

What sort of Texan would I be if the good Dr didn't make the list? Granted, Dr Pepper is owned by Coca-Cola Snapple, but it makes the list due to A) Texan roots and B) unique taste. Twenty-three flavors, man. That's nothing to scoff at.

When Dr Pepper is flavored with pure cane sugar instead of nasty high-fructose corn syrup, the taste is that much better. Forget the Gene Simmons-freakshow flavor Cherry, or any of the other flavor additives, for that matter. Stick with the original 23 flavors. Hard to beat when the sweet tooth is upon you.

3. Blue Sky Soda

Blue Sky is one of those all-natural, organic brands that you can find in Whole Foods, or whatever, but it really is a good soda. I'm a sucker for any Black Cherry-flavored soda, and theirs is pretty good.

Again, an example of pure cane sugar trumping high-fructose corn syrup.

2. Jones Soda

Jones Soda has grown fairly popular. More likely than not, it is well known for the same reason your mom knows about Damien Rice or Ray LaMontagne: It's sold at Starbucks.

Jones produces a whole line of sodas, and even does funky, limited-edition varieties for holidays, like a Turkey and Gravy flavor for Thanksgiving and Candy Corn for Halloween.

With some tasty flavors and, again, no high fructose corn badness, Jones Sodas are a good -- if still unhealthy -- option.

1. Dr. Brown's

No, this isn't a last-name bias. Dr. Brown's are my favorite.

Dr. Brown's makes a great cream soda and a decent root beer, but the black cherry flavor is my all-time personal favorite soda.

You can usually only find Dr. Brown's in delis, but I've noticed it carried in certain grocery stores, too. If you've never tried one, give it a shot. You won't be disappointed.

Or, most likely, you will be disappointed. Either way, it'll give you something to talk about in the comments section.

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silent e
silent e

Ugh.  Dr. Brown's is highly mediocre and full of HFCS.  Jones soda, while sweetened with Cane, uses a LOT of sugar--check the calorie count compared to other brands--and is way too sweet for me. Virgil's is great, especially their root beer and cola.  Whole Foods' store brand used to be very good, especially for their Key Lime flavor, Orange Creme and Cherry Vanilla flavors.  Now they've rebranded or gone to a different supplier or something--only the Cherry Vanilla remains.

lauren covington
lauren covington

check out hansen's root beer. it's more of the 'natural' soda stuff.. and oh so good.

Mon Ica
Mon Ica

rc cola rules. i need to try dr browns cream soda


Vernor's sets the standard for the best "pop" you can get.  It is now readily available in Houston - I guess I don't have to move back to Michigan. I also like Dr. Brown's Celery Soda (i.e. Celery Pop) for it's unique taste.


My sister and I used to loved when they sold shasta drinks 5 for a dollar. We would spend a lot of time making our choices and get very angry with each other if we drank the others.


Gotta say Hansen's Ginger Ale is pretty pretty good... Most of their varieties taste good. Though none hold a candle to Club Rock Shandy which I have seen on occasion in the British Isles store in Rice Village. Other than Guinness its all I drink when back home in Ireland


Interesting. Dr Pepper Snapple owns many of the brands mentioned: RC, Diet Rite, Vernor's, Canada Dry, Crush, (major own/distributor:) Big Red. I also like their Sun Drop and Squirt sodas as well. Flavors rule.


Also no love for Big Red? 


We used to drink Shasta when we were kids. LOL


You're welcome and thank you for correcting it... otherwise, I don't think I'd have been able to get to sleep tonight! I know it's an oldie, but it's still a goodie...

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