What to Eat at Waffle House: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

waffle house

Getty Images / Christian Petersen

The ubiquitous Waffle House—home of Sunday brunches, late-night eats, and family gatherings around stacks of breakfast foods—is a popular American restaurant with more than 2,100 locations in half the states. Set up reminiscent of a diner, this establishment remains an icon in the country for its famous waffles and popular carb-loaded entrees for the most important meal of the day.

For those who don’t prefer breakfast foods, Waffle House offers a varied menu that includes burgers, garden salads, and chicken sandwiches. You won’t, however, find a number of healthy options at this establishment, and you should consider this place somewhere to visit on special occasions rather than often.

What Experts Say

"The Waffle House may have good tasting food, but it doesn’t offer a variety of allergen-friendly, nutrient-dense dishes. Choices lower in calories and fat may include a small serving of grits, a small chili, or a grilled chicken sandwich. If you eat here regularly, make sure your other food choices are lower in calories and fat to balance your daily intake."

Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

With its staple option in its name, Waffle House offers an abundance of, you guessed it, waffles. But you will find other entrees and sides on the menu ranging from beloved breakfast choices to hamburgers to garden salads.

If you’re looking for healthy foods, you won’t have a large number of choices. You should stick to Waffle House's salads or remove the buns from the chicken sandwiches to eat fewer carbs.

Most Nutritious Options
  • Classic Waffles (Waffles)

  • Ham Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Bowl (Breakfast Hashbrown Bowl)

  • 2 Egg Breakfast: 2 Eggs - Scrambled (Egg Breakfast)

  • Tomatoes (Breakfast Sides)

  • Grilled Biscuit (Grilled Biscuits)

  • Egg Sandwich (Breakfast Sandwiches and Melts)

  • Kid's 1 Egg Breakfast with Bacon or Sausage: 1 Egg Scrambled (Kids Meals)

  • Chicken Dinner (Classic Dinner)

  • "Original" Angus Hamburger (Hamburgers)

  • BLT Sandwich (Sandwich)

  •  Small Slice Southern Pecan Pie (Pies)

  • Garden Salad (Salads)

Least Nutritious Options
  • Peanut Butter Chips (Waffles)

  • Sausage Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Bowl (Breakfast Hashbrown Bowl)

  • T-Bone & Eggs: T-Bone Steak and 2 Eggs - Scrambled (Egg Breakfast)

  • Biscuit & Sausage Gravy (Breakfast Sides)

  • Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Grilled Biscuits)

  • Texas Sausage, Egg & Cheese Melt (Breakfast Sandwiches and Melts)

  • Kid's Cheeseburger with Hashbrowns (Kids Meals)

  • Meat Lovers Pork Chop Dinner (Classic Dinner)

  • Double "Original" Angus Cheeseburger (Hamburger)

  • Texas Bacon Lover's BLT Sandwich (Sandwich)

  • Regular Slice Triple Chocolate Pie (Pies)

  • Grilled Chicken Salad (Salads)

Waffles

The most ordered option on the Waffle House menu is obviously the humble waffle. You won't find a wide variety of waffle choices, however. You can choose from the Classic Waffle to waffles with different toppings, such as pecans, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips.

To stay low in calories when ordering waffles, avoid the syrup and toppings, and stick to a small pat of butter or jam.

Most Nutritious Option

Classic waffles don't include any toppings; all other waffle menu choices do. If you avoid slathering the waffle with syrup and butter, you can keep the calorie count low. One order contains 410 calories, 18 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 55 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, and 870 milligrams of sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

Peanut butter chips contain the highest amount of carbs and sugar of any of the waffle toppings. If you need something crunchy on your waffle, ordering the pecan topping can perhaps fulfill that craving. Although higher in fat than peanut butter chips, these nuts do offer a healthy fat. For those who prefer a topping sweeter than pecans, the chocolate chip waffles have half the fat of peanut butter chip waffles and no sodium.

The Peanut Butter Chips topping contain 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 17 grams of carbs, 3 grams of protein, and 95 milligrams of sodium. These nutritional values include ONLY the topping. You must add the Classic Waffle nutrition counts on top of these numbers.

Breakfast Hashbrown Bowl

The hashbrown bowls include a large order of hashbrowns, along with a protein of your choice, two scrambled eggs, and two slices of American cheese. Your choices for protein are sausage, ham, or bacon. If you leave out any of these ingredients, you can reduce the dish's calories.

Most Nutritious Option

The ham, egg, and cheese hashbrown bowl has 780 calories, 39 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 66 grams of carbs, 40 grams of protein, and 2,110 milligrams of sodium. To remove some of the sodium, skip the ham and order an egg and cheese hashbrown bowl (although you might still get charged the same). The ham contains 1,000 milligrams of sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The sausage, egg, and cheese hashbrown bowl has 920 calories, 60 grams of fat, 22 grams of saturated fat, 63 grams of carbs, 32 grams of protein, and 1,620 milligrams of sodium. If you skip the two slices of cheese, you can reduce the sodium count by 500 mg.

Egg Breakfast

Waffle House offers a number of egg breakfast choices. They include an egg-only or egg and cheese option, as well as protein offerings such as T-Bone and sirloin steak with eggs. All egg breakfasts come with your choice of toast (white, wheat, or raisin) and a side (grits, hashbrowns, or sliced tomatoes). To keep your order as healthy as possible, stick to wheat toast and sliced tomatoes for your sides or skip the sides altogether.

Most Nutritious Option

The two-egg breakfast with two scramble eggs contains 180 calories, 14 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of carbs, 12 grams of protein, and 120 milligrams of sodium. This option skips the toast and sides. If you order wheat toast and sliced tomatoes (the healthiest sides), you'll add 220 calories for the toast and 10 calories for the tomatoes.

Least Nutritious Option

The popular t-bone steak and two scrambled eggs has 1,230 calories, 73 grams of fat, 23 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of carbs, 139 grams of protein, and 1,835 milligrams of sodium. Low in carbs and high in protein, this option can fit a Keto-friendly diet if you eat a quarter of the steak. The healthiest side is sliced tomatoes with 10 calories. The grits or hashbrowns, adds 240 or 300 calories, respectively.

Breakfast Sides

Rather than order a large entree, you can choose a few sides when you're not exceptionally hungry.

Most Nutritious Option

You can order the sliced tomatoes as a side, and get a strong dose of vitamin A and C at the same time. The tomatoes contain 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of carbs, 1 gram of protein, and 0 milligrams of sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The biscuits and sausage gravy has 470 calories, 30 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 44 grams of carbs, 6 grams of protein, and 1,810 milligrams of sodium, and it is more like an entire meal than a simple side. You're better off ordering a grilled biscuit and a side sausage than this side.

Grilled Biscuits

As one of the most popular items after waffles, grilled biscuits are ordered more often than toast in a number of Waffle House locations.

Most Nutritious Option

One grilled biscuit contains 380 calories, 25 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 34 grams of carbs, 5 grams of protein, and 900 milligrams of sodium. If you must add a condiment to the biscuit, skip the butter and jam and opt for honey instead for natural sugar.

Least Nutritious Option

The sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit has 650 calories, 48 grams of fat, 22 grams of saturated fat, 35 grams of carbs, 19 grams of protein, and 1,470 milligrams of sodium. For meat lovers, you should order the bacon biscuit instead of this option to stave off extra calories and fat.

Breakfast Sandwiches and Melts

If you want a grab-and-go option at the Waffle House, the breakfast sandwiches and melts work well. However, anyone with food allergies should skip these sandwiches, as they contain wheat, egg, and soy.

Most Nutritious Option

The egg sandwich has 220 calories, 8.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 27 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein, and 320 milligrams of sodium. This is also a good vegetarian option for breakfast.

Least Nutritious Option

The Texas bacon, egg, and cheese melt contains 730 calories, 51 grams of fat, 20 grams of saturated fat, 39 grams of carbs, 26 grams of protein, and 1,680 milligrams of sodium. If you prefer meat, switching to the grilled ham sandwich lessens your intake to 240 calories and only 1 gram of saturated fat.

Kids Meals

Waffle House is kid-friendly, with a breakfast menu for children that includes kid-size bacon and sausage. The establishment also offers a kid-size cheeseburger and grilled cheese, and both come with a side of hashbrowns instead of the traditional fries.

Most Nutritious Option

The kid's breakfast with one scrambled egg contains only 90 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of carbs, 6 grams of protein, and 60 milligrams of sodium.

If this isn't enough for a hungry child, this menu item also comes with toast (wheat, white, raisin, Texas, or a grilled biscuit) plus your choice of grits, hashbrowns, or sliced tomatoes, and your choice of kid's-size bacon or sausage. The healthiest choices are wheat toast, sliced tomatoes, and kid's-size bacon.

Least Nutritious Option

The kid's cheeseburger contains 705 calories, 44 grams of fat, 17.5 grams of saturated fat, 59 grams of carbs, 17 grams of protein, and 1,010 milligrams of sodium. Instead of fries, the meal comes with a side of hashbrowns. The healthier choice, however, is a kid's grilled cheese instead with a side of hashbrowns.

Classic Dinner

You can find protein-based traditional dinners on the menu that come complete with greens and carb side. The dinners include a choice of chicken, country ham, and pork chops.

Most Nutritious Option

The chicken dinner contains 565 calories, 21.5 grams of fat, 7.5 grams of saturated fat, 56 grams of carbs, 37 grams of protein, and 1,490 milligrams of sodium. The dinner includes a garden salad, hashbrowns, grilled chicken, and Texas toast. If you skip the toast, you can reduce the carb content. If you need a carb option, asking to substitute the Texas toast for wheat toast will make this entree healthier.

Least Nutritious Option

The meat lovers pork chop dinner has 1,295 calories, 64 grams of fat, 22 grams of saturated fat, 55 grams of carbs, 122 grams of protein, and 2,150 milligrams of sodium. Although this dinner contains a high amount of protein, the calorie and sodium content doesn't make consuming this entree worth the risk to your health.

Hamburgers

With its diner-like environment, Waffle House is also a favored joint for late-night hangover eats, such as hamburgers and non-stop cups of coffee and Coca Cola beverages. All the hamburgers contain 100% Angus beef.

Most Nutritious Option

The "original" Angus hamburger contains 465 calories, 33 grams of fat, 12.5 grams of saturated fat, 30 grams of carbs,11 grams of protein, and 520 milligrams of sodium. This hamburger competes with the nutritional value of other fast food establishments with hamburgers on the menu. But you do get a nice sit-down environment at the Waffle House.

Least Nutritious Option

The double "original" Angus cheeseburger contains 625 calories, 46 grams of fat, 18.5 grams of saturated fat, 30 grams of carbs, 21 grams of protein, and 800 milligrams of sodium. If you must have meat, you should stick with the single original and skip the cheese.

Sandwich

The ingredients on several sandwiches include a mix of grilled cheese, chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and/or country ham. Waffle House also offers its own waffle sandwich with ham and cheese. Although it's not the healthiest sandwich option, you will get a filling 26 grams of protein.

Most Nutritious Option

Waffle House's BLT Sandwich has 275 calories, 13.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 27 grams of carbs, 12 grams of protein, and 780 milligrams of sodium. For anyone following a vegetarian diet, the next healthiest option is the grilled cheese sandwich.

Least Nutritious Option

The Texas bacon lover's BLT sandwich adds extra bacon to the dish, as the name suggests. This sandwich contains 635 calories, 44 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 39 grams of carbs, 19 grams of protein, and 1,470 milligrams of sodium. Bacon lovers should stick to the classic BLT and skip this option.

Pies

Waffle House offers more than breakfast foods and sandwiches; you can order a classic Southern slice of pie as dessert. Options include the popular pecan, as well as the triple chocolate pie. The restaurant has two sizes: small and regular. You will eat half the calories in a small size.

Most Nutritious Option

A small slice of southern pecan pie contains 260 calories, 13 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 32 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, and 140 milligrams of sodium. Anyone with food allergens should skip this pie, as it contains soy, wheat, egg, milk, and tree nuts.

Least Nutritious Option

You should order a small slice if you must eat the chocolate pie. A regular slice of triple chocolate pie has 880 calories, 42 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 120 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, and 660 milligrams of sodium.

Salads

The healthiest option on the Waffle House menu is the salad. The restaurant only offers two choices: the garden and grilled chicken salad. You can ask for the salad dressing on the side and no croutons for a lower fat and carb salad.

Most Nutritious Option

The garden salad doesn't have any allergens for even the most discerning eater, and it only contains 35 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 7 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, and 20 milligrams of sodium. If a garden salad won't fill you up, ordering a side of sliced tomatoes and a side sausage can create a heartier meal.

Least Nutritious Option

The Grilled Chicken Salad is still a healthy option and even adds extra healthy protein to your meal, although this option comes with a hefty amount of cholesterol and sodium. The salad provides 175 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 8 grams of carbs, 31 grams of protein, and 950 milligrams of sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

Waffle House offers choices for low-fat, low-carb, and vegetarian diets, but doesn’t have many gluten-free and diabetes-friendly menu items. You can find items that follow these diets:

  • Low-carb
  • Low-FODMAP
  • Low-fat
  • Low-sodium
  • Vegetarian

Low-carb

The majority of the items at Waffle House contain carbs, such as the waffles, hashbrown bowls, and breakfast specials that come with your choice of toast or grilled biscuit. To keep your meal low-carb, the following are compliant with this specific diet:

  • 2 Egg Breakfast: 2 Eggs Scrambled, skip the toast and order the side of sliced tomatoes
  • T-Bone & Eggs: T-Bone Steak and 2 Eggs - Scrambled, skip the toast and order the side of sliced tomatoes
  • Country Ham & Eggs: Country Ham and 2 Eggs - Scrambled, skip the toast and order the side of sliced tomatoes
  • Fiesta Omelet Breakfast: 2 Egg Fiesta Omelet
  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Garden Salad

Low-FODMAP

The low-FODMAP diet removes foods that can trigger certain digestive symptoms. Foods with high FODMAP are avoided, which makes eating out challenging. To stay with low-FODMAP foods, especially for anyone who experiences irritable bowel syndrome, you can order the following at the Waffle House:

  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Garden Salad
  • Hashbrowns
  • Hashbrown Bowls
  • Wheat Toast

Low-fat

Although Waffle House entrees come with a number of sides, including toast, grits, and hashbrowns, you can follow a low-fat diet if you order strategically and skip the sides (with the exception of sliced tomatoes). These items could be suitable:

  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Garden Salad
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • 2 Egg Breakfast: 2 Eggs Scrambled
  • Country Ham

Low-sodium

Staying away from sodium can feel quite challenging with breakfast, as most items come loaded with salt to add flavor to batter and eggs. But to keep your sodium intake down, the following Waffle House items don't have added sodium:

  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Garden Salad
  • 2 Eggs Scrambled
  • Hashbrowns

Vegetarian

With the amount of eggs and dairy on the menu (as batter for breakfast foods often includes milk), you will find following a vegan diet almost impossible at the Waffle House (with the exception of the two salad options). But you can keep to a vegetarian diet. The egg choices don't include meat and the only allergen in hashbrowns is soy.

For vegetarians, the Waffle House offers a number of choices, such as the following:

  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Garden Salad
  • 2 Egg Breakfast: 2 Eggs Scramble
  • Fiesta Omelet Breakfast: 2 Egg Fiesta Omelet
  • Hashbrowns

Food Allergies and Safety

The Waffle House menu options include the following allergens: milk, gluten, tree nuts, soy, egg, and wheat. The waffles, pies, beverages, sandwich melts, and hashbrown bowls could have more than one allergen in an item. Non-allergen items are protein-based, such as bacon, sausage, and grilled chicken. The best entree option for anyone with a food allergy is the garden salad, which doesn't include milk products.

Anyone with severe food allergies might want to avoid Waffle House, as the restaurant can't guarantee that its cooking environment is free from any specific allergen. People with strict food allergies should be aware of any cross-contamination. This is especially true for those with eggs, dairy, and gluten allergies, as most popular breakfast foods include these ingredients in some form.

A Word From Verywell

Waffle House is an enjoyable place to eat when craving breakfast foods and wanting a lively environment when dining out with friends and family.

Because Waffle House is named after its most popular food, you will not be surprised that the majority of menu items contain a high number of carbs, calories, and sugar. Anyone watching their carb intake, staying away from gluten, or avoiding sugar will struggle to find any item to eat. To make sure you don't consume any allergens, read the menu and nutrition facts ahead of time. You can find this information online in Waffle House's full nutrition information graphic.

If you have any concerns, you should stick with ordering a salad, or only make a trip to the Waffle House on special occasions to get your fill of waffles and maple syrup.

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