- Not all breakfasts are created equal, so I tried the same breakfast at Cracker Barrel, Waffle House, Denny’s, and IHOP.
- At each restaurant, I ordered eggs, bacon, and hash browns.
- Here’s how each restaurant stacked up.
If you’re looking for restaurants that serve breakfast all day, you definitely have options, especially if you’re in the United States. While some restaurants specialize in certain fare – IHOP is, obviously, all about the pancakes -others are about speedy, no-frills service, like Waffle House.
As part of an ongoing INSIDER taste test series, I put four popular breakfast restaurants to the test to see which one satisfies your craving best. In the past, we’ve sampled everything from breakfast sandwiches to doughnuts to orange juice.
The restaurants I went to were:
- Cracker Barrel
- Waffle House
I tried the same breakfast meal at Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, IHOP, and Waffle House: Bacon, eggs cooked sunny side up, and hash browns. The offerings were relatively similar at each restaurant – and, surprisingly, so were the prices – but the food definitely varied in quality and portion size.
Here’s how the meals stacked up, judging by how much value you get for the price, freshness, and taste.
Denny’s served the perfect bacon with a meal costing $US7.78
The closest Denny’s to me was attached to a gas station, but you’d never know it based on the quality of food we were served. Here, the bacon was more evenly cooked and less greasy than at other places I tried. The hash browns (which can come cheesy but I opted to get plain) were a bit less crispy than I’d like, but the portion sizes were much larger than at the other restaurants – a major plus. The eggs were a little runny for my taste, as well.
Cracker Barrel served the most unique breakfast for $US8.49
At Cracker Barrel, the bacon was thicker than at the other places I ordered from, which will definitely please people who prefer it that way. The cheesy hash brown casserole is also a nice change of pace from the more traditional potatoes that are served everywhere else, (the restaurant does not serve plain hash browns), and the eggs were cooked just fine.
Everything was fresh and hot, which I definitely appreciated.
IHOP had a bit smaller portion sizes at $US8.79
At IHOP, the portion sizes seemed to be a bit smaller, only serving two pieces of bacon rather than the three that were served at Cracker Barrel, Dennys, and Waffle House. But the hash browns were thicker and crispier, cooked perfectly to my taste. The eggs were a bit more well-done than I’d prefer but they were still tasty.
Waffle House is the winner for a cheap, quick meal at $US6.50
I ordered the standard breakfast for this taste test, and I wasn’t disappointed. Although Waffle House famously offers up hash browns “scattered, smothered, and covered,” I opted to order mine plain for comparison’s sake.
They were a little crispy for my taste but packed plenty of potato-y goodness. The bacon was good if not cooked a bit unevenly, but where this meal really shines is the eggs, which were cooked perfectly. None of the edges were burnt and neither was the bottom, which can be almost impossible when it comes to sunny-side-up eggs.
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