Special Report

Fast Food Chains With the Best Breakfast Menus

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Breakfast burritos in four variations — including the Ultimate Meat & Cheese Breakfast Burrito (bacon, sausage, potato tots, scrambled eggs, and cheddar) — are the big thing here. Filling out the menu, which is served all day, are breakfast sandwiches on Texas toast or brioche rolls, French toast sticks, and Cinnabon Cinnasnacks with cream cheese frosting.

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First of all, needless to say, there’s that endless array of coffee- and tea-based beverages, some of them caloric enough to satisfy your morning energy needs in themselves. Then there’s always a selection of pastries, brownies, cookies, and the like. But Starbucks really goes to town with its breakfast sandwiches, most of them very much out of the ordinary. Some examples include smoked shoulder bacon on toast; chicken sausage and bacon on a biscuit; reduced-fat turkey bacon and cage-free egg whites on an English muffin; spicy chorizo, Monterey jack, and eggs on a roll; and spinach, feta, and cage-free egg whites in a wrap. Add in classic and blueberry oatmeal and sous-vide egg bites in four flavors, and it’s enough to make you forget your Frappuccino.

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People are sometimes surprised to learn that breakfast is served at this sandwich-and-salad operation — the largest fast food chain in the world, with about 43,000 units around the globe (McDonald’s is in second place, with a mere 37,200). Not all locations do the morning meal, but it’s worth looking for one that does. The variations on the breakfast sandwich here involve unusual folded-over, slightly spongy squares of flatbread, enclosing egg and cheese; bacon, egg, and cheese; Black Forest ham, egg, and cheese; or (thin-sliced) steak, egg, and cheese.

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Taco Bell

The morning motto at this never-in-Mexico Mexican chain might well be “Think outside the breakfast sandwich.” The extensive a.m. menu includes various egg-filled burritos and “Crunchwraps” (hexagonal flour tortillas wrapped around a tostada shell, with various fillings), eggy tacos and quesadillas, doughnut-hole-like Cinnabon Delights, and a Mini Skillet Bowl of potatoes, eggs, nacho cheese sauce, and pico de gallo.

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Tim Horton’s

Famed Canadian hockey player Tim Horton opened his first coffee and doughnut shop in 1964. It grew into a chain, merging with Wendy’s International in 1995 and subsequently expanding into the U.S. Though the menu has grown to include sandwiches, bowls, Cold Stone ice cream, and more, breakfast is still key. The menu covers lots of bases: various combinations of meat, cheese, and egg on biscuits, English muffins, toasted bagels, or croissants; grilled wraps with four different breakfasty fillings; “homestyle” oatmeal, plain or with maple or mixed berries; doughnuts, muffins, and yogurt.

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