From fluffy pancakes and spicy sausages to omelettes and stuffed oatmeal, going out for a hearty weekend breakfast has long been a family tradition across the country. And now there are many chain restaurants offering breakfast all day, seven days a week.
So it’s only natural to wonder about some of the best breakfast combos. Well, no more wondering because I’ve followed the breakfast trail and tried breakfast combos at five popular restaurants and ranked them based on quality, price, and value. food overall.
Ranked from least favorite to best, here are the restaurants where the popular breakfasts are worth getting out of bed and the ones you can skip in exchange for a little extra sleep.
And don’t miss the 4 most expensive fast food chains, according to customers.
Originally known as the International House of Pancakes, IHOP has been around for nearly 60 years and now has over 1,650 locations across the country and beyond. But being a key player in the all-day breakfast market, you’d expect it to be a stronger contender.
I tried IHOP’s breakfast sampler, which is one of the chain’s most popular combos, consisting of two eggs any style, two strips of bacon, two pork sausages, two small pieces of ham, two pancakes and hash browns. A bottomless cup of coffee was an extra $2.99.
At $15.99, the combo is a decent value, as all the items would cost around $18.00 if purchased separately. The plate is also a good representation of the chain’s staples, including its pancakes, eggs and sausages.
Surprisingly the pancakes were good, but not great. They were a bit mushy with a slightly overcooked exterior. The eggs were cooked to perfection, made to order, and the meats were all tasty. The hash browns were well cooked and took on the salty taste of the meats. The coffee was also ok, a strong Colombian blend.
Where IHOP loses points, however, it charges healthier substitutions, such as $1.99 for egg whites or $1.49 for turkey bacon. A side dish of fresh fruit was $5.49. In fact, the chain’s prices are higher overall than most other breakfast competitors. So, despite the name recognition and national presence, I rank IHOP’s breakfast as the least favorite on my list.
Denny’s is another strong contender with approximately 1,600 restaurants nationwide. I sampled a variation on the channel’s most popular grand slam combo, the French Toast Slam. Priced at $14.49, the combo includes two slices of French toast, two eggs any style, two strips of bacon, and two sausages. The combo saves you money, as it would cost you around $16 if these items were purchased separately.
All the combo dishes were tasty and expertly prepared, ranging from a good sized portion of well breaded French toast and well cooked over medium eggs to well cooked strips of bacon and hearty sausages. Denny’s unlimited cup of coffee was also a good blend of quality Colombian coffee, but it’s a bit more expensive than the one from IHOP at $3.69.
Although the meal was perfect, the value for money was not as good as expected: the combo plus coffee was nearly $20 plus tax and tip. So Denny’s, although a good option, ranks fourth on my list.
Fast-casual restaurant Panera may not be a breakfast priority, but with its healthier, high-quality breakfast options, it should be. With over 2,000 locations in the United States and Canada, chances are there’s one near you.
I tried two of the chain’s most popular breakfast options: the steel cut oatmeal with strawberries and pecans and the avocado, egg white and spinach sandwich.
The oatmeal, priced at $5.89 and made with fresh strawberries, glazed pecans, and a cinnamon crunch topping, was plenty filling, albeit slightly sweeter. Delicious steel cut oats have been cooked until creamy. Steel-cut oats are a hit with nutritionists because they’re widely considered the healthiest type of oatmeal you can eat.
The avocado, egg white and spinach sandwich, priced at $6.19, was equally satisfying with tomato, white cheddar cheese and a seasoned egg white on a bagel platter. with sprouted grains.
In terms of value, Panera isn’t great because it doesn’t sell combos and most of its offerings are a la carte. Even so, the two items I sampled were around $12 and change, and if you’re eating in, you can add an unlimited refill of coffee or a hot drink of your choice for just $2.69 more.
Another thing to remember is that breakfast items are only sold until around 11 a.m. every day, but this time varies by location, so be sure to check before ordering. Thanks to its healthy and quality options, Panera ranks third on this list.
Founded the same year as IHOP, Perkins is another all-day breakfast chain with 300 locations across North America. I tried one of the chain’s most popular combos, the Magnificent Seven. Listed as a Great Plate menu item and priced very reasonably at $8.89, the combo gets you two eggs any style, two strips of bacon or sausage, and a choice of three pancakes, toast or a freshly baked Mammoth Muffin from the restaurant’s on-site bakery.
The lower combined price already gives Perkins an edge over IHOP and Denny’s, and it still saves you money over buying the items separately, which would cost around $13. I opted for two eggs cooked medium rare, which came out exactly as ordered. Both sausages were very flavorful and all three pancakes were light and satisfying.
Perkins, who is known for his breakfasts, had plenty of other options, including French toast and build-your-own omelet combinations. And substitutes for healthier items, such as egg whites, turkey sausage and fresh fruit, were available at no additional cost.
Good value and great food on offer in many options made Perkins the second best breakfast destination on the list.
In business for over 80 years, East Coast restaurant chain Friendly’s and its 130 locations may be best known for their ice cream, but don’t sleep on the breakfast deals! I tried the chain’s most popular breakfast combo, the aptly named Big-Two-Do.
Priced at an affordable $8.49, the combo included two eggs of any style, two strips of bacon or two sausages, and two pancakes or slices of French toast. The combo would cost over $11 if purchased separately.
More importantly, the quality of the food was top notch. I rated the whole combo, start to finish, above average for taste and preparation. The eggs and sausage were excellent in flavor and texture, while the pancakes were, to my surprise, better than IHOP’s signature pancakes. They were lighter and fluffier with a detectable buttermilk taste.
I also had a great cup of Colombian coffee with free refills for just $1.99.
Other breakfast combos at Friendly’s include similarly priced specials, such as Lumberjack’s Breakfast and Country Fried Steak and Eggs.
Be sure to check before you go, as not all places serve breakfast all day, with some cutting the day off at 11am. While the chain recently announced new menu additions as well as a new concept for a fast-casual restaurant, it should definitely go further. promote its strong breakfast offerings. It’s a winner in my book.