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

Waffle House

Verywell / Christian Alzate

The ubiquitous Waffle House—home of Sunday brunches, late-night eats, and family gatherings around stacks of breakfast foods—is a popular American restaurant. 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 first 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 find a number of low-calorie, low-fat options at this establishment, so it may be better for special occasions rather than regular visits if you're watching your diet.

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, MS, RD, CDCES, CDN

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 nutrient-rich foods, you won’t have a large number of choices. Waffle House's salads are options if you're looking for foods with more nutrients and fewer calories or fat. You can also remove the bun from the sandwiches if you're trying to eat low-carb.

What to Order & Avoid at Waffle House
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Classic Waffles (Waffles) Peanut Butter Chips (Waffles)
Ham Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Bowl (Breakfast Hashbrown Bowl) Sausage Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Bowl (Breakfast Hashbrown Bowl)
2 Egg Breakfast: 2 Eggs - Scrambled (Egg Breakfast) T-Bone & Eggs: T-Bone Steak and 2 Eggs - Scrambled (Egg Breakfast)
Tomatoes (Breakfast Sides) Biscuit & Sausage Gravy (Breakfast Sides)
Grilled Biscuit (Grilled Biscuits) Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuit (Grilled Biscuits)
Egg Sandwich (Breakfast Sandwiches and Melts) Texas Sausage, Egg & Cheese Melt (Breakfast Sandwiches and Melts)
Kid's 1 Egg Breakfast with Bacon or Sausage: 1 Egg Scrambled (Kids Meals) Kid's Cheeseburger with Hashbrowns (Kids Meals)
Chicken Dinner (Classic Dinner) Meat Lovers Pork Chop Dinner (Classic Dinner)
"Original" Angus Hamburger (Hamburgers) Double "Original" Angus Cheeseburger (Hamburger)
BLT Sandwich (Sandwich) Texas Bacon Lover's BLT Sandwich (Sandwich)
Small Slice Southern Pecan Pie (Pies) Regular Slice Triple Chocolate Pie (Pies)
Garden Salad (Salads) 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 a Classic Waffle or order a waffle 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.

✓ Classic Waffle

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, 18g fat, 10g saturated fat, 55g carbs, 8g protein, and 870mg sodium.

✗ Peanut Butter Chip Waffle

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 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 contains 150 calories, 8g fat, 7g saturated fat, 17g carbs, 3g protein, and 95mg sodium. These nutritional values include only the topping. You must add the Classic Waffle nutrition counts on top of these numbers.

Breakfast Hashbrown Bowls

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.

✓ Ham, Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Bowl

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

✗ Sausage, Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Bowl

The Sausage, Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Bowl has 920 calories, 60g fat, 22g saturated fat, 63g carbs, 32g protein, and 1,620mg sodium. If you skip the two slices of cheese, you can reduce the sodium count by 500 mg.

Egg Breakfasts

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.

✓ 2 Egg Breakfast: 2 Eggs - Scrambled

The two-egg breakfast with two scramble eggs contains 180 calories, 14g fat, 4g saturated fat, 2g carbs, 12g protein, and 120mg 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.

✗ T-Bone & Eggs: T-Bone Steak and 2 Eggs - Scrambled

The popular T-bone steak and two scrambled eggs has 1,230 calories, 73g fat, 23g saturated fat, 3g carbs, 139g protein, and 1,835mg 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 and hashbrowns add 240 or 300 calories, respectively.

Breakfast Sides

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

✓ Sliced Tomatoes

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, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 2g carbs, 1g protein, and 0mg sodium.

✗ Biscuit & Sausage Gravy

The biscuit and sausage gravy has 470 calories, 30g fat, 16g saturated fat, 44g carbs, 6g protein, and 1,810mg sodium, and it is more like an entire meal than a simple side. If you want a side, you may be better off ordering a grilled biscuit and a side of sausage.

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.

✓ Grilled Biscuit

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

✗ Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit

The sausage, egg & cheese biscuit has 650 calories, 48g fat, 22g saturated fat, 35g carbs, 19g protein, and 1,470mg sodium. For meat lovers, ordering the bacon biscuit can 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.

✓ Egg Sandwich

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

✗ Texas Bacon, Egg & Cheese Melt

The Texas bacon, egg & cheese melt contains 730 calories, 51g fat, 20g saturated fat, 39g carbs, 26g protein, and 1,680mg 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.

✓ Kid's 1 Egg Breakfast

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.

✗ Kid's Cheeseburger with Hashbrowns

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 Dinners

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

✓ Chicken Dinner

The chicken dinner contains 565 calories, 21.5g fat, 7.5g saturated fat, 56g carbs, 37g protein, and 1,490mg 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 entrée healthier.

✗ Meat Lovers Pork Chop Dinner

The meat lovers Pork Chop Dinner has 1,295 calories, 64g fat, 22g saturated fat, 55g carbs, 122g protein, and 2,150mg sodium. Although this dinner contains a high amount of protein, the calorie and sodium content may not make consuming this entrée 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.

✓ "Original" Angus Hamburger

The "Original" Angus hamburger contains 465 calories, 33g fat, 12.5g saturated fat, 30g carbs, 11g protein, and 520mg 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.

✗ Double "Original" Angus Cheeseburger

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

Sandwiches

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.

✓ BLT Sandwich

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

✗ Texas Bacon Lover's BLT Sandwich

The Texas Bacon Lover's BLT Sandwich adds extra bacon to the dish, as the name suggests. This sandwich contains 635 calories, 44g fat, 16g saturated fat, 39g carbs, 19g protein, and 1,470mg sodium. Stick to the classic BLT if you want to save calories and fat.

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 Pie, 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.

✓ Southern Pecan Pie 

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

✗ Triple Chocolate Pie

If you must eat the chocolate pie, order a small slice. A regular slice of triple chocolate pie has 880 calories, 42g fat, 14g saturated fat, 120g carbs, 8g protein, and 660mg sodium.

Salads

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

✓ Garden Salad

The Garden Salad doesn't have any allergens for even the most discerning eater, and it only contains 35 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 7g carbs, 2g protein, and 20mg 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.

✗ Grilled Chicken Salad

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, 2.5g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 8g carbs, 31g protein, and 950mg 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.

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 entrée 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, 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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Article Sources
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