People have strong opinions about the best iced tea to be found in Champaign-Urbana and beyond
Love iced tea? So do we!
We carefully bypassed the age-old question “Sweet or unsweet?” and simply asked our readers who has the best iced tea in the Champaign-Urbana area. (These recommendations were given by our readers on social media and are not an endorsement by Chambanamoms.com.)
The Overwhelming Favorite Iced Tea Among Our Readers: McAlister’s Deli
July 21, 2022 is McAlister’s Deli’s annual Free Tea Day: “one free tea per guest in-store or a maximum of four free teas per online order placed through the McAlister’s app.”
Here are some of our team’s favorites:
Cafe Kopi, downtown Champaign: The blackberry iced tea is hands down one of the best in town. I’m not typically a fan of flavored coffee or tea, but this flavor is rich yet subtle. I’m not a big fan of sweet in my tea, but this flavoring adds something that doesn’t make me miss the sugar at all. It’s definitely refreshing on any day but especially a hot summer day.
Caribbean Grill, S. Neil St., Champaign: If you love sweet — like really sweet — then you’ll love the mango sweet tea at Caribbean Grill. Caribbean Grill is closed just for this summer, but make sure you go grab some for those muggy September days (or for any day!). Real brewed tea, natural mango, and cane sugar make this delightful island iced tea perfect for any sweet tea lover.
More Iced Tea Favorites
- Aroma Cafe
- Brown Bag (Monticello): “The best iced tea — and sport tea — plus it has the best 1/2 and 1/2 aka Arnold Palmers.”
- Columbia Street Roastery: “Their iced tea mixes!!!”
- Cracker Barrel
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Einstein Bros. Bagels: “Nice and strong!”
- Espresso Royale: “Iced green tea!”
- Geschenk Boutique: “Great little shop in St. Joe carries a huge selection of tea.”
- Haymakers Gas Station: “The best brewed iced tea. I like unsweet but they have both.”
- McDonalds: “Sorry … McD unsweet iced tea rocks my world.”
- Mia Za’s
- Olive Garden: “Raspberry Peach Bellini! It’s so good!”
- Outback Steakhouse
- Panda Express: “They have Panda Passion from China Mist teas”
- Seven Saints
- Sonic: “Love the tea, ice, generous amount of lemons added if you are into that kind of thing. Love that it is drive-thru!” “I like Sonic’s tea (half sweet/half unsweet).” “Can’t beat the price!”
- Starbucks: “Love the iced passion tango tea! So tart and refreshing.”
- Steak ‘n Shake
- Thorntons: “The unsweet with the chewy ice!”
Sweet Tea specifically
- Apple Dumplin
- Captain D’s
- McDonalds: “As a southern girl … I love a great big McDonalds Sweet Tea occasionally”
- El Toro Loco
Sweet Tea recipes from readers “because the best sweet tea comes from the pitcher in your fridge”
- “I use 4 family size tea bags (Luzianne or Lipton) and 1 cup of Splenda to make 1 gallon of tea. Also, I’m a steep till it cools kind of girl.”
- “You can take a huge glass container with a spout and put 3 tea bags in it and put it in the sun all day. It’s called sun tea and add sugar and get cold at end of day. Love me some southern sweet tea!”
- “Dissolve a little honey (to taste–we use about 2 Tbsp for a 2 qt pitcher) in boiling water, then steeping 2 large tea bags for about 5 minutes. Add enough cold water to fill your pitcher and chill! It’s not super sweet, but it’s delicious!”
- “We use 1/3 cup of powdered stevia and some honey to sweeten our tea, which I make in an enormous stock pot with 4 big tea bags and 2 gallons of water.”
Finally, here’s a Southern Sweet Tea recipe from The Kitchn. Cheers!
Looking for boba tea instead? Click here.