Fast food breakfast has truly seen a revolution over the past few years. While the meal used to be a mere afterthought to some chains, it’s now commonplace across the industry. Chains are even trying to one-up each other by incorporating hot trends into their breakfast menus. Thus, you can find fried chicken, spicy items, and more. Between those and some fast food breakfast classics, there’s plenty of delicious morning bites to go around. Here, we’ll be breaking down some of the best for you.
For this list, we opted to select only ONE item to represent each fast food chain. Chains considered need to be major chains with more than 20 locations, all of which serve breakfast. To make this list, I looked at what both news outlets and the public think about fast food breakfast. Taste tests from Business Insider, Thrillist, and more were analyzed, as was an online fan poll and Reddit discussions on the subject. Compiling this data with what we’ve seen and eaten in the breakfast game has enabled us to craft a list that truly captures the glory of the morning meal.
10. Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed Donut
Kicking off our list is the undisputed king of fast food donuts. The Original Glazed easily tops the others when judged by both critics and fans. Krispy Kreme’s iconic hot sign draws us all in, even NBA superstar Charles Barkley, because we know that hot, fresh Krispy Kreme is the best mainstream donut treat out there. There’s no questioning how coveted this donut is, which is why it deserves a place on the list of top fast food breakfast items. Nowadays, though, savory breakfasts dominate the market, meaning the simple and sweet donut gets outshone by several others. If sweet breakfasts retake the industry, though, watch out for this original masterpiece.
9. Del Taco’s Chorizo Epic Scrambler Burrito
The breakfast burrito has become an icon across fast food. However, nobody captures the true essence of what one of these wraps are the way Del Taco does. Their Epic Scrambler burritos, especially when loaded with the chain’s Mexican chorizo, are to die for. Del Taco’s Chorizo Scrambler burrito is the most accurate breakfast burrito of them all, and belongs on the list specifically for that reason. Nobody does this California classic like Del Taco does.
8. Starbucks’ Bacon, Gouda, and Egg Sandwich
Bacon, egg, and cheese is the quintessential breakfast combination. Everybody’s got some version of this morning time staple, but nobody quite hits it on the mark like Starbucks does. This sandwich is the most recommended by baristas to order in the morning, and for good reason. The smoky gouda complements the bacon perfectly, creating a flavor contrast that cuts through the egg and makes you almost forget it’s there. Add on a ciabatta roll that has crunch and airyness, and you’ve got a bacon, egg, and cheese done right. This sandwich will make you not want to disrespect Starbucks’ food game, because it does a breakfast classic better than anyone else.
7. Jack In The Box’s Bacon, Egg, and Chicken Sandwich
Of course, what Starbucks doesn’t do is level up the classics with something extra. Jack In The Box has taken the bacon, egg, and cheese, slammed some fried chicken into it, and created an epic sandwich truly worth your breakfast calories. Jack’s new Brunchfast menu, which features this bad boy, has put it back on the fast food map as a go-to breakfast spot. Fans don’t really care for it as much, however, but fried chicken for breakfast is making some waves, and Jack is riding them to new successes.
6. Taco Bell’s Breakfast Crunchwrap
Taco Bell’s top fan-ranked breakfast fast food item is this one. Fans and columnists will tell you alike to get the Crunchwrap above anything else. It’s a complete on-the-go meal, and even has a hash brown-stuffed inside to give you an appetizer and entree all at once. Taco Bell changed the fast food game with their breakfast menu, and this Crunchwrap was the crown jewel amongst its revolutionary lineup. It’s not as popular as any of the top five by a long shot, though, but it is still a breakfast item to remember.
5. Chick-Fil-A’s Chick’n Minis
Oh man, if Chick-fil-A had only kept their Spicy Chicken Biscuit on the menu. If so, the chain would be a LOT higher up on this list. The combination of solid spicy fried chicken and the fluffy, buttery biscuit were true champions of breakfast. We can get some consolation with these Chick’n Minis, however, which were ranked by fans as the eighth most popular breakfast item. Honestly, though, we’re praying that they’re holdovers for the Spicy Biscuit’s return. One can only hope.
4. White Castle’s Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Sliders
Don’t sleep on White Castle. The slider icon makes a brilliant breakfast slider, and easily has the best egg out of any fast food chain. They actually cook up whole fresh eggs on the spot, and can come close to having a runny yolk at times. That simple combo of sausage, egg, and cheese is done perfectly by White Castle. Now if they only had a bigger version of it.
3. Bojangles’ Cajun Filet Biscuit
Bojangles specializes in the chicken and biscuits game, so you know their breakfast biscuits are gonna be fire. According to Business Insider, none of Bojangles’ sandwiches touches the Cajun Filet Biscuit, and we can see why. Spicy chicken biscuits, like Chick-Fil-A’s discontinued version, are always fire. Bojangles can give Chick-Fil-A a run for its money with their version, which is equally simple and equally tasty. While spicy chicken is always delicious, there’s one cult following for a sweet chicken biscuit that tops
2. Whataburger’s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit
Bojangles may have an amazing spicy chicken biscuit, but they don’t have an ode dedicated to it. Whataburger’s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit, however, has many, and for good reason. That combo of sweet honey, creamy butter, and crispy chicken is divine enough to cause priests to praise it. Show me another breakfast sandwich that can do that, and it could possibly top the glory of Whataburger’s sweet and savory masterpiece. It’s also consistently talked about for having the best fried chicken breakfast sandwich. Outlets have even received backlash for not respecting it properly. Trust me, it deserves the respect of having a top spot on this list. Only something truly iconic, delicious, and memorable could top what Whataburger has to offer.
1. McDonald’s Hash Browns
Underrated, perhaps, but when was the last time you got breakfast ANYWHERE without hash browns? Hands down, the best one belongs to McDonald’s. Ronald McDonald consistently pumps out the best breakfast in the game, and his hash brown was voted by fast food junkies as the BEST breakfast item of all time. Throughout time, their hash brown has been the side item of choice for fans, and it’s hard to leave McDonald’s without picking one up to go on the side. Because of that, its popularity among fans, and for McDonald’s dominance of the breakfast game, they rightfully deserve the title of best breakfast item. Thus the hash brown is justified in taking the crown of top fast food breakfast icon.