The Best Things To Order Your First Time At Waffle House

Since 1955, Waffle House's bright yellow signs have been a beacon for breakfast enthusiasts, weary travelers, and nightly revelers. From the Florida Keys to Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains to pretty much every corner of Waffle House's home state of Georgia, the company has been providing quick and quality service for decades. Most importantly, it has been serving incredible food and drinks around the clock.

Author and historian Douglas Brinkley wrote in "The Majic Bus," his travel book: "Without a doubt Waffle House is the best franchise in America," (via Internet Archive). Many people tend to agree. The chain's fans include celebrities like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Bruno Mars. Waffle House has even inspired songs by the Jonas Brothers and Stephen Colbert. It has even been used as a backdrop for the films "ATL," "Due Date," and "The Mule."

But what if you've never had the pleasure of dining at a Waffle House? Where does one even begin to decide on an order from the chain's handy pictorial menu? We're here to help all first-timers, to set you on the path of deliciousness. While you're there, don't forget to play a song on the Waffle House jukebox, and ask for a paper cook hat to show off your newfound love for this legendary company.

Pecan Waffles

It would be blasphemous to enter a Waffle House and not order its namesake item – as an appetizer, a main course, or as a dessert. These waffles are so popular that the chain reportedly sells around 300,000 every day. Food celebrity Anthony Bourdain was at first skeptical of ordering one during his first visit (via YouTube). But a few bites in, he was won over. He even sarcastically declared that Waffle House was better than Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry.

There are many waffle options available, including plain or peanut butter — an option that comes topped with peanut butter chips. Chocolate chip waffles are also a crowd favorite. But the pecan waffle is the one to sink your teeth into. Like Waffle House itself, the pecan is an icon of Georgia. The pecan waffle is the breakfast of champions. That's part of what Jacksonville Jaguars NFL quarterback Trevor Lawrence ordered at Waffle House, when he made a celebratory visit to the chain after a particularly stunning playoff game win in 2023. 

The pecan waffle has been on the Waffle House menu since the company opened its doors. While it certainly doesn't cost 50 cents anymore, it remains priceless. Utilizing the fine flour of long-time partner C.H. Guenther & Son, the waffles are mixed, battered, and ironed on-site at a moment's notice. No need to order one until you're ready to coat it in butter and syrup, then dig in.


The Waffle House hashbrowns have fed approximately 65 million customers in the past year. According to a TikTok seemingly posted by a Waffle House employee, this menu item begins its life as a dehydrated mix. It is then brought to life, inside the restaurant, with the help of cold water. From there, it's up to you how you want your hashbrowns hashed out. The options — which come with their own code — are nearly endless. You can choose from Scattered (plain), Smothered (with diced onions), Covered (topped with a slice of American cheese), Chunked (filled with chunks of ham), Diced (mixed with grilled tomatoes), Peppered (with jalapeños), Capped (with grilled mushrooms), Topped (served with Bert's signature chili), or Scattered All The Way (hashbrowns made with all the above). That leaves as many as 1,572,864 hashbrown orders to try! 

Personalized hashbrowns are a staple of Waffle House. But the option for topping them only earned its permanent residency on the menu in 1984. Executive Vice President Jim Hosseini explained to Garden and Gun: "All of this grew organically in the restaurants by our cooks and our customers. There were no grand marketing plans that put it all in motion." He also revealed that the toppings are listed on the menu in the chronological order in which they were introduced. Once you nail down how you like them, on subsequent visits you can order using the fun Waffle House lingo. 

Texas Patty Melts

Breakfast is indeed the main draw at Waffle House, but you shouldn't overlook the chain's lunch and dinner options. Bacon, sausage, ham, and other breakfast meats are always at the ready. But why not consider eating a hamburger patty for breakfast? Not only are Waffle House's hamburgers incredibly delicious. They also don't leave you with that greasy feeling sometimes created by other breakfast meats. The one burger to get is the Texas Patty Melt.

Part of the menu since the 1980s, the item was originally known as Lib's Patty Melt. It was named after former Los Angeles Dodger Charles Lilburn "Lib" Julian, who served as Waffle House's director of franchise development. These days, Waffle House's patty melt consists of a quarter-pound of Angus beef, grilled onions, American cheese, and two large slices of Texas toast. This is how it gets its modern menu name: the Texas Patty Melt. We recommend really leaning into the spirit of Texas, by thinking big and getting two patties. Then, add bacon, extra pickles, and mayonnaise. Also, have the napkins ready.

Still not convinced? Waffle House's patty melts are downed by Super Bowl champions like Travis Kelce. They have even oozed their way into the lyrics of songs by rappers like 2 Chainz and hip-hop duos such as Outkast.

Coca-Cola products with cherry syrup

Since Waffle House started welcoming customers, fellow Georgia legend Coca-Cola has flowed from the chain's soda fountains. Mugs of coffee and glasses of orange juice are naturally symbiotic compliments to Waffle House's breakfast menu. But the carbonation of Coke may also help settle your stomach, according to Live Science. On top of that, you make your Waffle House beverage of choice — be it Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, or Barq's Root Beer — taste even more refreshing with cherry syrup. Ask your waiter for a Cherry Sprite, for example. 

Cherry sodas are nothing novel, but a squirt of the flavoring in a Coke product is a throwback to a simpler time at the soda fountain where such mixology was practiced. Waffle House also carries vanilla syrup. Both the cherry and vanilla syrups are provided by Coca-Cola.

Thanks to this longtime partnership between Waffle House and Coca-Cola, the chain has been used as a great testing ground for the beverage company. Coca-Cola has rolled out many new flavors at Waffle House. Don't forget that at Waffle House, soda refills are usually free. Don't forget to take advantage of this deal.

Breakfast Melts

While Texas Patty Melts are the best choice for a sandwich at Waffle House, maybe hamburgers aren't breakfast-like enough for you. If this is the case, you can't go wrong with the other sandwiches and melts that are part of the chain's menu. Waffle House's eggs, cheese, and toast create an amazing combination. This trio stacks up well with meat options available: bacon slices, hickory smoked ham, or Jimmy Dean sausages.

Breakfast melts are the stuff of dreams — sometimes, even actual ones. One fan apparently dreamed that actor Hugh Jackman escorted her to Waffle House, writing on Twitter: "I woke up wanting a Texas bacon, egg and cheese melt." 

They weren't the only person to celebrate these melts. Documentary filmmaker Billy Corben invented his take on the melt, that he calls the "Corben" sandwich. It consists of bacon, eggs, and cheese placed between a waffle. He first mentioned it on Twitter in 2014. But since then, he's proven to be such a good brand ambassador that he claims to hold a Waffle House black card, helping him to enjoy his own invention whenever he stops by (via Twitter).

All-Star Special

Comedian and late-night host Stephen Colbert once complimented the simplicity of Waffle House's picture-filled menu, saying: "You don't have to read, you just go 'I'll take the pretty one,'" (via YouTube). It can still be daunting to decide what to order when seeing this menu for the first time. Luckily, Waffle House makes decisions even easier, with attractive-looking combinations on display.

One such combo, called the All-Star Special, puts some of the best menu items together. It includes eggs with toast and a side of grits. You have the option to choose between hashbrowns or sliced tomatoes. If that weren't enough, you get a waffle plus your choice of meat (bacon, sausage, or ham). For over two decades, the All-Star Special has been a go-to combination. We highly recommend it for first-timers.

This combo is also a perfect meal for actual all-stars. Its list of fans includes former NFL running back Josh Norman (via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Other inspiring figures are also fans of the All-Star Special. During 2012's Hurricane Isaac, the National Guard reportedly ordered 147 of the combination from a Waffle House in Mississippi. 


Waffle House's one-time midwestern rival was Steak 'n Shake — a burger chain known for its Steakburgers, even though it doesn't sell steak. Waffle House does, starting in the 1950s, when it peddled filet mignon for $1.50 and sirloin for $1.Steak still sizzles at Waffle House today, but with prices that are higher than they were almost seven decades ago. However, steaks sold by Waffle House are still very affordable. Plus, you can even order a plate of Steak & Eggs for breakfast.

Steak wouldn't seem like an obvious order choice at Waffle House, but the menu item's beauty lies in its uniqueness. You can enjoy having a nice slab of beef in a more modest setting than a stuffy steakhouse. No one at Waffle House will judge how you take yours. Employees or fellow patrons won't shame you for slathering your order in steak sauce, hot sauce, or any other kind of sauce. As writer Lewis Grizzard noted for the Asheville Citizen-Times, no one will bat an eye if you choose to pick up your waffle house steak with your hands and gnaw your way to the finish line (via

According to the Houston Chronicle, Waffle House once claimed to be the world's leading server of T-bone steaks. Even NBA star Dwight Howard may have helped them make this claim. Waffle House shared a Facebook post mentioning that the athlete stopped by, sharing a picture of a T-bone steak the brand implied to be Howard's meal. 

Hashbrown Bowls

At some point on the Waffle House menu, things just start repeating themselves. There are only so many things it sells with the basic ingredients it has on hand. Hashbrowns have been covered as a must-have for any trip to Waffle House, including a first-time trip. But a bigger — and perhaps more fulfilling commitment to their awesomeness — can be found in the form of a bowl.

Hashbrown Bowls are still relatively fresh menu items. The chain still considered them new in 2016 (via Twitter). But there's no shortage of ways to get creative with these bowls. There are reportedly 3,145,722 different Hashbrown Bowl combinations available, per Twitter

The bottom of each bowl is lined with a double order of hashbrowns. Then, the contents of the bowl are covered with two slices of melted American cheese. From there, your Waffle House Hashbrown Bowl can be topped with anything and everything. The chain's line of Signature Hashbrown Bowls Waffle House includes a Cheesesteak Melt, Chicken Melt, Sausage Egg & Cheese Melt, and a Bacon Egg & Cheese Melt. 

One might also be tempted to order a bowl with more than just a single meat choice. Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal apparently does so. His special menu item made for Waffle House, called the Shaq Bowl is Smothered & Covered (meaning it's made with onions and melted cheese). The Shaq Bowl also comes with grilled chicken and ribeye (via Twitter). 


For a Southern food institution like Waffle House, it would be disappointing if grits weren't a breakfast option. Grits are ground, dried corn that comes alive when prepared like porridge. This traditional Southern side dish can be enlivened even further with the help of butter, salt, sugar, and melted cheese. Waffle House offers grits by the bowlful. At Waffle House, grits can be topped with whatever your stomach desires, including foods like eggs, meat, or jalapeños. At some locations of Waffle House, grits are even more popular than the chain's hashbrowns.

Author Josh Dinar praised Waffle House's grits in his book, "Good Better Best Dining Out," saying: "This chain knows its grits. They aren't soupy, and they aren't too dry," (via Google Books). This menu item has even inspired country music songs. In his ode "Waffle House Christmas," country star Bill Anderson sings about the Waffle House grits, while fellow musician Kid Rock plays a grill cook (via YouTube). 

Waffle House takes its grits pretty seriously. Waffle House diners take their grits seriously, too. Actor and singer Demetria McKinney told Atlanta tourists: "If you come to Atlanta and you don't have them grits at the Waffle House you've Messed. Up.," (via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

Biscuits & Gravy

Toast is a popular carbohydrate of choice at Waffle House. But we recommend not sleeping on a less famous bread option sold by the chain: biscuits. These delicious goodies taste just like they were taken straight from grandma's oven. Waffle House's biscuits can be used as meaty sandwich bookends, enjoyed by themselves, or topped with a delicious helping of sausage gravy.

Such heapings of this white-gray substance are poured over Waffle House's open-faced biscuits that it's sometimes hard to find the biscuits themselves. While it may look like a blessed mess on a plate, Biscuits & Gravy is one of Waffle House's strongest pairings. However, we do think this pairing ranks slightly behind the chain's Eggs & Cheese and Steak & Eggs. 

Musician Kelis is certainly a fan of Waffle House's Biscuits & Gravy. Her three Great Pyrenees dogs are named Biscuit, Gravy, and Grits. The singer implied in an Instagram post that their names take inspiration from Waffle House.

Grilled Cheese

Anyone can make the best grilled cheese sandwich in the comfort of their own home, but is your house as comforting as Waffle House? Grilled Cheeses have been on the Waffle House menu forever. In 1955, they cost around 30 cents each. Today, Waffle House's Grilled Cheese is an ideal option for anyone with kids, but anyone can take part.

Several bread options are available. You can even order a grilled cheese made with waffles. But the standard bread choice is plain white. Additionally, this menu item is made with butter and American cheese. For extra fun, consider adding bacon. You could even dip your grilled cheese in other Waffle House favorites, like sausage gravy, a bowl of chili, a sunny-side-up egg, or even grits. Hopefully, you'll be as lucky as another North Carolina eater who received their grilled cheese as a pyramid-shaped work of art (via Facebook).

After winning his second Masters tournament — the famous golf competition where winners are awarded coveted green coats — golfer Bubba Watson went to Waffle House to celebrate. Pat Warner, then Waffle House's vice president of culture, told the Oakland Tribune: "It's a testament to Bubba's character that even though he has two green jackets he still comes to us for his grilled cheese and hash browns," (via Meteorologist Matthew Cappucci also flocks to Waffle House for its grilled cheeses. He says these sandwiches conjure up happy memories of the past (via YouTube).


No stop at Waffle House is complete without a cup of coffee. According to Waffle House's Twitter, the beverage is the most ordered item off the entire menu. Minister and author Sammy Rhodes, in his book "Broken and Beloved," called the Waffle House beverage: "aggressively average coffee that makes everyone feel welcomed," (via Google Books).

Since 1971, the coffee being served up at Waffle House has been supplied by Royal Cup Coffee & Tea. While its Arabica beans are cultivated in Central and South America, they are roasted in Alabama. During the 50th anniversary celebration of the brand's partnership, Royal Cup President and CEO William L. Wann, Jr. said: "We believe that Waffle House coffee has earned its place as the natural complement to these world-famous waffles. We are committed to the Waffle House team and all Waffle House Customers to remain your trusted partner for the next 50 years and beyond," (via PR Newswire).

Once you get a taste of Waffle House coffee, it's hard to let it go. Remember to ask for a cup as well. Plus, if your return trip to Waffle House is too far off into the distance, you can buy some Waffle House coffee online, along with other products.