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2018 Power Rankings: Fast Food Chains (Breakfast Edition)

Let’s settle this.

Taco Bell Is Taking National Taco Day Global Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Taco Bell

Welcome back for some more 2018 Power Rankings! So yesterday, we talked about fast food restaurants. Well, that started a little discussion about fast food breakfasts. Today, I’m here to set the record straight on which fast food restaurant has the best breakfast and which only dreams they could.

Honorable Mention: Zaxby’s

I’m not including Zaxby’s here because they have a good breakfast. This is just a reminder that this beloved restaurant actually attempted this, and well, let’s just say it wasn’t great. It’s kind of funny. It did not perform well at all and just disappeared without anyone noticing. I legitimately did not notice for a few months. Anyway, let’s get on with the actually power rankings.

10. Cracker Barrel

So, this isn’t going to be just fast food chains, mostly because I don’t know of 10 fast food chains that serve breakfast that I’ve eaten at. The ones that would have taken that spot: Burger King, Sonic, Krystal, and probably some others that I’m forgetting. Instead, I’m going to include a few other popular breakfast chains.

Cracker Barrel is not as good as it used to be. For starters, the grits are quite possibly the worst grits I have ever eaten, and quite frankly should never see the light of day. On top of that, the biscuits are decent, but there isn’t anything special about them. Overall, it’s an okay option for breakfast, but just be careful what you get, because it probably won’t be great.

9. Krispy Kreme

I love Krispy Kreme, but they get a knock here for not offering more than just donuts. I absolutely prefer Krispy Kreme’s donuts, but I do give a slight edge to Dunkin’ for the coffee and variety on the menu.

8. Dunkin’ (formerly Dunkin’ Donuts)

Speaking of Dunkin’, they have a decently underrated breakfast menu. The hash browns are pretty onion-heavy, but the breakfast sandwiches are actually pretty good. I got a chicken biscuit there once, and it was actually really good. Good job Dunkin’, for showing that you can do more than make decent donuts.

7. McDonald’s

I’m not gonna lie. I was actually surprised that McDonald’s ranked this low for me since it is actually one of my go-to breakfast options when I’m in a hurry. That is mostly because of convenience and cost, though. I can get two sausage biscuits, two hash browns, and a large coke for $4, and be a happy man. The food itself is good, but I think there are definitely better options.

Also, I have never tried the hot cakes, because I refuse to get pancakes at a McDonald’s. It just seems wrong to me.

6. Bojangles’

I go to Bojangles’ mostly for breakfast, or if not for breakfast, I’ll order from the breakfast menu. The Cajun Filet Biscuit is absolutely incredible. My biggest complaint here is that outside of that, there isn’t much the menu has to offer. The steak biscuit is okay, but I don’t really like any of the rest of them. Also, Bo Rounds >>>


Here’s chain No. 2! Despite the weird attempt to dive into burgers, IHOP is great, and you will be hard-pressed to find a better variety of pancakes. The flavored pancakes are easily the best thing that IHOP has going for it, with my favorite being the Cinnabon Pancakes. What I’ve learned recently, though, is that they have some other really good things on the menu too! Their omelettes? A lot to eat, but they are great! You can get the country omelette that comes filled with ham, cheese, AND HASH BROWNS!! Top that with some sour cream, and good grief that is incredible. The French toast is also really great (I personally recommend the bananas foster brioche French toast).

4. Carl Jr.’s/Hardee’s

Hardee’s in general is underrated as a restaurant, in my opinion. The breakfast in particular is really good. Of the restaurants on this list, I would argue that Hardee’s has the best or second-best biscuits. Just the sheer variety of things you can get on a biscuit is incredible: country fried steak, loaded omelette, it’s all great! And while their hash browns are kind of a cheap knock-off of Chick-fi-A’s, they’re still pretty good.

3. Waffle House

The last of the non-fast food chains, Waffle House is just incredible. From drunken adventures in the middle of the night to going for brunch on a Sunday morning with your parents, everybody has good memories about Waffle House. And really, what else can you say, the food is great. The atmosphere is incredible and one-of-a-kind. Overall, it’s a phenomenal sit-down breakfast place.

2. Taco Bell

Don’t @ me. Taco Bell’s breakfast is criminally underrated. The breakfast crunchwrap with steak is probably my favorite breakfast item to get at a fast food restaurant. It takes all of the good things from breakfast, all wrapped together. Plus, you can get a Mountain Dew Baja Blast with it.

Fun story, I went to Taco Bell the first day they ever served breakfast, and pretty much tried everything. And man, I am so happy they got rid of the waffle taco. That thing was not good. Steak crunchwrap, though? That [Styx] is GOOD.

1. Chick-fil-A

Did anyone not see this coming? In addition to being one of the best fast food restaurants around, they also have the best breakfast, period. End of story. Whether you’re a Chick N Minis person, or more of a classic chicken biscuit person, it’s all great. There is no beating God’s chicken.

Bonus: Brunch time!!

So, you’ll notice above that I mentioned brunch in the section about Waffle House. Well, let me give you a tip to improve your Waffle House brunch. Stop by your chicken restaurant of choice (Chick-fil-A is my preference here), and get some chicken tenders. Take the chicken and go to Waffle House (because they don’t care about you bringing food in), and order a waffle. That will be some of the best chicken and waffles you’ve ever eaten. You’ll thank me later.