Restaurant Soda Selections… or lack thereof

Whenever I eat order soda at a restaurant, I get diet because I'll obviously have to take less insulin, but they almost always offer only 'diet Coke/Pepsi.' Now, it's my preference anyway to have the "regular," but I was just curious about everyone's experience with this. Don't you think, since so many people are diabetic, they should offer a variety?


I don't mind diet soda but i completly agree we need more selection. And to think with all the diets low carb and such diet is in, yet public places arnt conforming. It is a big bummer.

Since were on the comment of drinks. Has anybody found any good sugar free drinks lately?

My daughter Michelle likes to have Powerade Slush at Sonic, is only 14 carbs. At the store we buy her Fuse low carb which is only 2 to 3 carbs depending on the flavor.


Believe it or not - Wal-Mart has this sugar free Cranberry powdered stuff that I’m really enjoying (and it’s cheap). 

I would like to find something better to take out with me – but then, I don’t get out much…



I love Dr. Browns Diet Black Cherry Soda. Actually, Dr. Browns has like every flavor in diet you can think of. Their diet cream soda is really good too. I think you can get all the Dr. Brown flavors at any supermarket.

We usually take an assortment of powdered ready-to-mix drinks with us to restaurants.  If they don't have something that's good for our boy we just ask them to send out a water and we mix the drink there.

We've been asked not to do that at a couple of places, usually mid-meal, so we've responded by asking to speak to the manager and then explaining the situation which usually earns us an apology and has - ironically enough - landed us a free dessert or two!  You should see the look on the server's face when our kid's pounding back a big 'ole bowl of ice cream and we're shooting him up ehhehe...

On a more serious note, if you're calm and explain to them without being haughty or impatient most managers will let you do what you like.  There's even a local restaurant here (not a chain) that added three drinks to the menu that are "diabetic friendly".



I always hate that there isn't a large variety. But at the Country Kitchen in my town, they have sugar free syrup if you ask for it!

I drink crystal light quite a bit. I also drink more water that way. When I'm high I'll drink it so I get more water to help lower my bloodsugar.

I am about to use a word here: DUDE! We here in SC have a Dollar Store that sells the neatest individually-packaged sugar free Hawaiian Punch powder...there's Strawberry Lemonade (sugar free!) as well as Grape (sugar free as well), and these boxes of individual packets are only one dollar. I felt like I had hit upon some good karma's so wonderful to have sugarfree koolaid. I used to love Diet Coke, but I have been spoiled beyond redemption with all of the new diet stuff out there. I personally thank the low carb Atkins craze which really hit my town with a vengeance: all of a sudden, retailers' shelves were toppling over with sugar free items...some of them even edible! I save the Sobe bottles that my significant other drinks, which just so happen to be the perfect size, and I mix a few bottles of it to keep in the fridge. For a while there, I was very fond of this sugar free caffeinnated koolaid individual packaged drink mix, but then I started getting a little...bouncy, so I stopped them. Let's see...Diet Mountain Dew, hands down. I personally believe 2008 to be a fabulous year for vintage Diet Mountain Dew (kidding). There's a sandwich shop that I have frequented simply because the owners had, on tap, Diet Mountain, right? I avoid dark colored sodas except in emergencies, but that's due to some not perfect kidneys. Otherwise, hands down my favorite has to be the Dew. I could do an advertisement for them.

I actually work for a soda company, and I find the lack of diet drinks completely annoying!  Customers will ask to have their machines offer more diet selection because they sell out so quickly, but diet drinks also expire much faster than regular...which is part of the reason you don't see as many out there.  They just don't have the shelflife.  But I've even had to fight to get diet drinks in our machines downstairs, and there are at least two diabetics in the building, plus a bunch of people who want to lose weight.  I know they expire quickly, but we would drink them if you gave us the opportunity!

We have taken our own diet drink with us and then we ask what diet drinks they serve, in which they usually have pepsi/coke.  I ask them for a glass of ice and to please charge as a drink so that we can use our own diet drink.  They have never charged for a drink and always seem to be nice. Also, I usually don't need to explain that my son has diabetes if I just let them know that they have a very limited selection.  I believe they think the diet is for one of the adults.  Has anyone ordered a diet for their child and received a regular soda?  They seem to give me the diet and my son the regular. What about when they change the canisters and someone puts the diet with the regular they get mixed up. They just move the tags around and you wouldn't know. I believe some highs my son had could be contributed to such mistakes.

I agree that places should offer a better variety. There is one restaurant in my town that has the regular Diet Pepsi/Coke, but also Diet Dr. Pepper and Sierra Mist Free.

I tend to get headaches from caffine (although I drink it anyway), so I would like it if restaurants had caffine-free sodas.

I also like the low-carb Fuze, which has about two carbs per bottle. Crystal Light is really great too.

The Arby's restaurants here offer diet Mountain Dew (which makes my heart sing, since I don't like diet pepsi.. only diet coke.. hehe) and Super Targets have a kind of fizzy cherry flavored pop which is sugar free.

Sometimes I cheat and have a milkshake and just call (bolus) it dessert ;)


I am a little addicted to diet Red Bull.. I'm SO happy that there's a 'D' version of it!

I usually drink diet snapple. you can also get diet snapple powder to put in a water bottle

note: the powder is kinda hard to mix in :P

I'm always pleasantly surprised when I say "Diet...whatever you have" and the waiter doesn't respond with "coke?" or "Pepsi?". it's annoyingly rare, however. Diet soda is a good investment because it not only benefits us, but others as well.


The high school I graduated from was banned from serving regular soda. The vending machines had quite a variety of diet soda.
It was like a dream =)

Thank you, everyone, for all the help and the responses you've offered. They've been a great help, and I can see now that I'll need to get to the store so I can try some of these drinks out :)

Crystal Light! Hah, that stuff is heavenly! Personally, I like the blueberry green tea... I first had the mix in the Hospital, actually. Down in the cafeteria. Peach ice tea...

i am addicted to Fresca it's a coke product. most restaurants i go to have the coke or pepsi stuff. but a lot of times i find they even have fresca which is a diet but it doesnt say diet. other restaurants also have crystal light. yum.

A quick update on another option for carb-free drinks: crystal light in carbonated water. Tastes like a soda :) It's really good, I tried some with lemonade last night, and I also just checked the nutrition facts: no carbs, no sugars :) What could be better? :)

Not necessarily for restaurant scenes - I can only imagine seeing a waiter’s face when you pull out a 2 liter bottle of carbonated water, some Crystal Light, pour it in and then shake the bottle like the hurricane-simulator things (you know, the experiments in a water where it swirls and makes a sort of hurricane?) the restaurant like a mad man. That would be a good one to post :). But this does make a nice drink :)

Not the most exciting thing ever, but when I'm not in the mood for Diet Coke or Pepsi, I'll have iced tea or hot tea. Iced tea selections are pretty limited, but there are a lot of places these days that have a good selection of hot teas.

besides restaurants having very few diet choices... (I usually just say "I'll have diet" and if they give me a choice after that I am usually surprised...)

but my college campus.... only diet coke.... I should try to figure out who to talk to about that lol

I'm an iced tea nut. When I'm at home I make a pitcher of tea and for sweetness I buy the Torani sugar-free vanilla flavoring syrup that's made with Splenda. It's a nice way to have a cold, tasty drink without raising your bloodsugars.