7 Fast Food Chains That Use 100% Real Eggs

As fast food chains have endured, the restaurants are easily available nationwide. Over the years, we've seen the expansion of breakfast menus in particular, with most chains now offering some sort of savory morning sandwich or platter. Some of these items are delicious, and others are horrifying, but it's hard to deny the popularity of fast food breakfast. 

The heart of a good breakfast sandwich is, of course, the eggs. But recently, there has been more concern about what fast food restaurants are putting in our eggs. People reported that the eggs at chains like Dunkin Donuts and Subway contain over a dozen ingredients when in reality, only a couple are required to fry up some eggs. 

The eggs you get for breakfast from these chains could contain coloring and flavoring additives such as citric acid, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, and tocopherols. These are just a few of the curious things these restaurants could be putting in your eggs. Thankfully, there are a handful of fast food establishments that use freshly cracked eggs. 

1. McDonald's

The egg options you'll find under the golden arches may very well have the tone for many of the rest of the fast food establishments, given the legendary status of McDonald's breakfast. That is to say that most of the breakfast items with eggs in them don't use freshly cracked eggs. The only "real" fresh cracked eggs that can be found at McDonald's are the ones that are used for the Egg McMuffin and other McMuffin sandwiches.

According to the chain, the Egg McMuffin consists of a Grade A egg on an English Muffin. The other breakfast sandwiches on the menu use an egg, but this mixture also includes milk, modified food starch, and citric acid. The scrambled eggs that are served with the Big Breakfast meals at McDonald's only contain one extra ingredient, which is citric acid.

All in all, McDonald's doesn't put too much extra in its eggs, even the folded egg. But if you want to get the freshest egg sandwich possible, we recommend you stick to the McMuffin.

2. Panera Bread

Panera might not immediately jump to your mind when you think of fast food, but the chain's service model and prices are in line with many of the others here. Panera, like McDonalds, offers multiple egg preparations for its breakfasts, and yes, some of them are objectively fresher than others. 

At Panera locations, you can get scrambled egg, egg white, or over-easy eggs depending on which sandwich you choose from the menu. While all the egg options at the chain are relatively untouched, the scrambled eggs do contain citric acid as an additive. However, if you order any sandwich with egg whites or over-easy eggs (just listed as egg on the menu), you will be getting just pasteurized eggs and the canola oil that is used to cook them.

Over-easy items like the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on Brioche feature a freshly cracked egg, which make them the freshest option. Anything with egg whites, like the Avocado, Egg White, Spinach & Cheese on Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat, is also an option if you want to avoid extra additives and preservatives in your fast food eggs.

3. Jack in the Box

There's a few cool things that are special to breakfast at Jack in the Box. For starters, the chain offers options that many other competitors don't, including croissants and sourdough toast as bun offerings for sandwiches. The best part is that all the breakfast sandwiches at Jack in the Box come with a freshly cracked egg on top. Many of them even give you two eggs, another option rarely offered at fast food breakfast.

Items like the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich come topped with two freshly cracked eggs as well as the other listed toppings. The Jack in the Box ingredient and allergen list tells you exactly what is in the chain's fried egg: It is an AA medium egg grilled with butter-flavored vegetable oil. And that's all there is to it.

Note that if you are getting a breakfast burrito or a breakfast platter from Jack in the Box, you will be getting the chain's scrambled eggs. These are not the best option, as Jack's scrambled eggs include additives such as xanthan gum, citric acid, and annatto.

4. Whataburger

This U.S. burger chain found exclusively in the Southwestern United States has fans all over the country, and for good reason, too: Whataburger offers one thing most other fast food chains don't, which is a burger for breakfast. At Whataburger, you can get a burger topped with an egg, three hashbrown sticks, American cheese, and bacon. The best part is that the egg is a fresh fried egg with nothing funky added to it.

If you are eating the Breakfast Burger of the fan-favorite Breakfast on a Bun at Whataburger, you are getting a real egg. According to the chain's nutritional information, the egg that tops every breakfast sandwich at Whataburger has only one ingredient: A Fresh USDA grade AA whole shell egg. 

If you are by chance thinking about getting the scrambled eggs in the form of the breakfast bowl or breakfast taquitos, just know that water, non-fat milk, and citric acid are all extra ingredients added to this item. That's not a red flag, necessarily, but it's good to know what you are getting before you spend the money.

5. Wendy's

Wendy's is probably not the first restaurant you think of as your go-to for fast food breakfast, but honestly, we might have some information that could change your mind about that. To be fair, there aren't a ton of breakfast sandwich options on the Wendy's menu. However, they all come with a freshly cracked egg instead of a pre-made mixture. At Wendy's, the Breakfast Baconator is the best egg-based option.

This is to say that Wendy's only has one option for its egg preparation. The only information listed about the item under the ingredients tab on the chain's website is that it is made from a free range egg. There is nothing else that Wendy's uses in its eggs. So if you don't want to fuss and worry about getting the wrong egg, there is no better fast food breakfast than Wendy's. At least all the eggs are fresh and good quality. 

6. Tim Hortons

While it may still seem like you can only find Tim Hortons in Canada, there are actually currently over 600 locations open in the U.S. (via Tim Hortons). The majority of these are located in New York, Michigan, and Ohio. The chain is best known as Canada's superior alternative to Dunkin Donuts for a quick pastry and coffee. 

Tim Hortons also serve breakfast sandwiches. And unlike Dunkin, the eggs are Tim Hortons are fresh and don't have an overwhelming amount of added ingredients and preservatives.

Each breakfast sandwich and wraps at Tim Hortons are made with a freshly cracked egg. In 2021, the company tweeted that the sandwiches and wraps are made with fresh, 100 percent Canadian eggs

This marked a change from the egg options that were previously offered at Tim Hortons. And while some people, in the replies to the company tweet, insist that it brings back the mysterious "yellow patties," the chain's new options almost certainly have fewer secret ingredients snuck in.

7. White Castle

You may be surprised to hear that White Castle doesn't just offer sliders for breakfast, it also serves breakfast all day. The menu is pretty robust, too, and the sliders are served with fresh eggs and proteins, as well as toast sandwiches and Belgian waffle sliders.

Each of these breakfast sandwiches at White Castle comes with what is listed on the menu as a freshly cracked egg. According to the White Castle ingredient list, there are two ingredients to the single egg offering served for breakfast. One of them is eggs. The other is the oil that the eggs are cooked in. 

Now, this is the caveat: This oil contains many of the ingredients you are likely trying to avoid at other fast food joints, including soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, TBHQ, and citric acid. So yes, technically, White Castle uses fresh eggs, but this is not the chain to visit if you are looking to avoid these artificial enhancers in your food.