Image of food pairings with OLIPOP Soda

6 min read

Food and Soda Pairings: What to Eat With OLIPOP

Posted Jul 01, 2022 Updated Apr 15, 2024

There’s no denying that food tastes great on its own. But when you find that perfect pairing of food and beverage, something special happens to your taste buds. The right glass of wine enhances the sharp, milky aroma of your favorite cheese. An ice-cold can of cola brings out a savory, umami flavor in your burger. A refreshing glass of milk makes the perfect complement to your chocolate cookie. Game-changing flavor combinations like these almost make you wonder if these foods and drinks were just meant to be consumed together.

But what's the key to discovering the next made-to-be pairing? And is there a match made in food heaven for your OLIPOP soda? You bet there is! Join us as we dive into all the fun you can have pairing food with your refreshing can of OLIPOP. (Because food and drink pairings aren’t just limited to beer and wine!)

Why Pair OLIPOP With Food?

The real question is… why not pair OLIPOP with your food?

Here at OLIPOP, it’s not just about keeping your gut happy with our outrageously delicious microbiome-supporting ingredients. Our functional beverages are meant to be enjoyed anywhere—whether that’s at the dinner table, while you’re working, or out on the town with friends. And the good news? Our bubbly sodas pair well with a lot of different foods. But let’s start with a few key things to remember…

Food & Soda Pairings: Important Elements to Keep In Mind

Drink What You’re Craving

We each have our own unique palette preferences. This means the biggest key to pairing food with soda is going with your gut (literally). Because what one person finds delicious, another might find questionable (think The Parent Trap’s unique Oreos and peanut butter combination!).

So when you’re browsing through our many delicious flavors, pick the one (or ones!) that call out your name. Which soda makes your mouth water just thinking about popping open a can? Because chances are, the soda you enjoy sipping is going to pair pretty well with the food you enjoy eating.

Contrast & Complement

The key to food and drink pairing is all about finding two flavors that go well together. And you do this in two main ways:

Contrast the flavors: This is when the flavors provide opposite experiences, bringing out the best in both. The key is to find food and drink pairings that don’t overpower each other or clash too hard. Examples include:

  • Vintage Cola and pizza (light bubbly carbonation enhances the heavy cheesy flavor)
  • An IPA and a curry dish (the bitter drink helps enhance the spicy flavor—without overdoing it and turning your mouth into a flaming pit!)
  • Ginger Lemon and seafood (acidic drinks help cleanse the palate for a richer dish)
  • Milkshake and fries (sweet and salty is the ultimate contrasting dream team!)

Complement like with like: This is when flavors mirror one another, so your drink enhances the quality of your food. Examples include:

  • Classic Root Beer with ice cream (the bubbly sweetness complements the creamy, rich dessert)
  • BBQ with bourbon (a smoky meat dish pairs well with the vanilla, caramel, and oaky smoke flavors in your bourbon)
  • Dessert wines with dessert (a sweeter drink helps bring out the extra sweetness in your dessert)


Part of complimenting like with like is matching ingredients across both your drinks and food. So if your recipe calls for a specific ingredient, try incorporating that same ingredient into your beverage. This helps bring out the flavors in both and enhances the experience. For example, having citrus in your soda could pair well with a citrus-heavy dish like an orange and grapefruit salad.

Focus On Texture

Carbonation and bubbles are a ton of fun to pair with all sorts of foods, especially crunchy, fried, salty, or heavy dishes. The bubbles help intensify the flavor, creating a delicious taste explosion in your mouth. Pop open a can of Vintage Cola or Doctor Goodwin while enjoying fried chicken, pizza, burgers, or any salty snack. Trust us, it’s a mouthwatering pairing!

And because the drink is your sidekick helping to enhance the flavors in your food, you won’t need to overdo it with adding salt, fat, or sugar. This means pairing foods with soda can make your dishes healthier without sacrificing flavor.

Tried & True Soda and Food Combos

Have some fun with your soda and food pairings, giving different dishes a try to see what you like best. But if you’re looking for some tried and true favorites from our team, you can’t go wrong with these pairings:

Classic Grape & Pizza

Our Classic Grape soda features real concord grape juice mixed with a hint of lime to create the perfect blend of sweet and tart. And this refreshing acidic sweet flavor pairs really well with heavy dishes like a cheesy slice of pizza. The fizzy carbonation cuts through the fat of the cheese, helping to cleanse the palate and enhance the rich flavors. So every time you take a sip, it’s like your mouth hits the reset button, making each new bite of pizza taste like the first.

This savory experience might be why we love this pairing so much. Or it could be the nostalgia factor, with each sip bringing us back to our childhood. But unlike the sugary grape soda you enjoyed as a kid, our Classic Grape features 9 grams of gut-boosting fiber, only 4 grams of sugar, and is just 45 calories!

Classic Root Beer & Ice Cream

Our botanically driven Classic Root Beer marries the classic taste you know and love with the microbiome-supporting nutrients you need (like prebiotics, plant fibers, and botanicals). We recommend pairing it with your favorite ice cream. Not only do we love it for triggering old memories of sharing ice cream floats with friends, but because it’s the ultimate complementary flavor experience. Name a more iconic dessert duo. Seriously try–don't worry, we’ll wait...

The rich, sweet, and creamy flavor of the soda enhances the rich, sweet, and creamy flavor in your ice cream. And it only adds 2 grams of sugar using smooth vanilla bean, sweet birch, and naturally sourced burdock root.

Looking for the perfect root beer-inspired dessert? Check out pastry chef Daniel Skurnick's OLIPOP Root Beer Float Gelee recipe.

Orange Squeeze & Chicken Fingers

Our Orange Squeeze reinvents orange soda with a fruity, vitamin C-rich blend of natural ingredients (supplying a whopping 160% of your daily Vitamin C intake!). Clementine and mandarin juices collide with a hint of lemon to produce a bright twist on the nostalgic classic.

You might be thinking that Orange Squeeze and a plate of chicken fingers are an odd pairing. But trust us, this is a serious taste-bud pleasing match. The citrusy orange and lemon flavors of the soda will heighten the finger-licking fried flavors of your plate of chicken fingers. That’s because the acidity in the soda doesn’t compete with the richness of this dish. Instead, it balances it out, allowing the taste to grow in your mouth instead of diminishing.

Not only that, but Orange Squeeze's hint of fizz and delicious citrus flavor help wash down the spices and bold flavors of your chicken fingers and their accompanying dipping sauces. It's the perfect way to get your taste buds refreshed and excited for your next big bite!

Vintage Cola & Tacos

Our prebiotic Vintage Cola strikes a delicate and delicious balance between healthy and crave-able. It has the same old-fashioned taste you grew up loving, only our version has significantly less sugar at only 2 grams per can. And it swaps artificial flavors and ingredients for plant-based ingredients like real fruit juice, cassava root, and nopal cactus.

The distinct notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and caramel in Vintage Cola will complement the savory, smokey meat in your taco. A can of crisp, refreshingly acidic soda will also bring out the bright, citrusy flavors of your taco toppings like its tomato, lime, and spicy peppers. With just the right amount of sweetness, our Vintage Cola won’t overwhelm or overpower the seasoning in your taco. Instead, it’ll draw out the flavors, and it will offer a refreshing, thirst-quenching reprieve from a heavier (or maybe spicier) dish. What a pairing!

You can also use OLIPOP Vintage Cola as a braising liquid, marinade, or glaze! Check it out in our Vintage Cola Roast Turkey recipe or chef Mei Lin’s Vintage Cola BBQ Sauce Char Siu Ribs recipe.

Where to Buy OLIPOP

Ready to give these soda and food pairings a try?

You can buy all our flavors at a variety of retailers and locations. To find a store near you, use this nifty tool that lets you search by location. And don't worry if you can’t find anything close, because we can come to you! Head to our shop page to order your favorite flavors, and they'll be on your front doorstep (and enhancing your meal!) before you know it.

Cheat Sheet
  • The key to pairing food and drink is finding two flavors that go well together by either contrasting or complementing the flavors. Like acidic Ginger Lemon with seafood or sweet Root Beer with ice cream. 
  • Other great tried and true food pairings include Classic Grape and pizza, Orange Squeeze and chicken fingers, and Vintage Cola and tacos.
We make refreshing emails, too.

Add some pop to your inbox when you sign up to receive OLIPOP Digest emails!