We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (2024)

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We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (1)

ByKristina Vänni

Updated: Jul. 01, 2024

    Which fast-food chain reigns supreme when it comes to the sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich?

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    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (2)

    ERIC KLEINBERG AND KRISTINA VÄNNI FOR TASTE OF HOME

    The Quest for the Best Fast-Food Breakfast

    Some days I’m running late, other days I don’t feel like cooking. No matter the reason, there are some mornings when a fast-food breakfast fits the bill.

    Even a quick breakfast should be tasty, so we embarked on a quest to find out which chain makes the best version of a classic breakfast item: the sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. We made the rounds and tested these fast-food joints in Chicago:

    • Burger King
    • Chick-fil-A
    • Dunkin’
    • McDonald’s
    • Panera
    • Starbucks
    • Wendy’s

    Let’s see who had the best fast-food breakfast sandwich!

    7. Burger King

    There’s no doubt that Burger King is a fast and convenient option when it comes to breakfast on-the-go. However, I found their croissant breakfast sandwich to be on the smaller side, and it came out quite squished in the to-go bag. The service was very speedy, but I felt the eggs lacked texture (possibly because most fast-food eggs aren’t made with whole eggs). Like many of the sandwiches we sampled, I felt the sausage patty needed additional seasoning.

    Bottom line: Burger King was definitely the fastest of the fast food breakfasts, but their sandwich wasn’t my favorite of the bunch.

    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (4)

    ERIC KLEINBERG AND KRISTINA VÄNNI FOR TASTE OF HOME

    6. Dunkin’

    The sausage, egg and cheese sandwich at Dunkin’ offers three options when it comes to the bun: croissant, bagel and English muffin. I liked having a choice in terms of the bread part of the sandwich. I opted for the croissant option, mainly because that’s what was pictured on the drive-thru menu. Mine seemed to come out a bit over toasted, with some of the thinner ends quite burnt. Maybe the bagel or English muffin options are stronger at Dunkin’ so I will keep that in mind next time. Overall, the sandwich wasn’t a standout among the group.

    Bottom line: I love Dunkin’ for their coffee and doughnuts, and will likely choose those options instead of their breakfast sandwich.

    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (5)

    ERIC KLEINBERG AND KRISTINA VÄNNI FOR TASTE OF HOME

    McDonald’s

    The McDonald’s breakfast sandwich tasted different to me than I remembered. I know they have adjusted some of their recipes over time and I seem to remember it being much more flavorful in the past. The main difference appears to be in the sausage patty. Just as we want the hamburger patty on a Big Mac to be flavorful, it’s important to properly season a sausage patty in a breakfast sandwich. I love the ease of swinging by McDonald’s and their prices are appealing, I just wish they would bring back the old recipe.

    Bottom line: McDonald’s offers convenience for breakfast, but you can also make an outstanding McDonald’s Egg McMuffin at home.

    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (6)

    ERIC KLEINBERG AND KRISTINA VÄNNI FOR TASTE OF HOME

    4. Wendy’s

    Like many fast-food joints, Wendy’s offers its sandwich on a biscuit bun. Looking at all three categories—the bun, egg and sausage patty—I didn’t find an element that was a standout in terms of flavor. Rumor has it Wendy’s is actively working to expand and improve their breakfast offerings, so I remain optimistic there is room for growth in the future.

    Bottom line: For me, Wendy’s is all about the great fries and the iconic Frosty rather than their breakfast sandwich.

    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (7)

    ERIC KLEINBERG AND KRISTINA VÄNNI FOR TASTE OF HOME

    3. Panera

    Panera offers fresh-tasting breakfast sandwiches served on either ciabatta bread or a brioche bun. I opted for the ciabatta bread for this taste test. The sandwich was hearty, but I’d say the choice of bread was not the best option here and next time I’d opt for the brioche bun. I should also note this was the most expensive breakfast sandwich of the group, but it was also quite large, so there was value if you are particularly hungry at breakfast time.

    Bottom line: While this was a tasty option, the ciabatta bread and cost kept it from being the highest ranked sandwich.

    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (8)

    ERIC KLEINBERG AND KRISTINA VÄNNI FOR TASTE OF HOME

    2. Chick-fil-A

    The Chick-fil-A breakfast sandwich is a standout when it comes to the bun. I really enjoyed the biscuit, which had a homemade texture and flavor. The eggs were fluffy and fresh, and the cheese felt real instead of processed. This one could have been the winner if the sausage patty had more seasoning and flavor. That one element made this sandwich the runner-up.

    Bottom line: A solid option for breakfast if you like your sandwiches made with a biscuit bun. You can also order a chicken, egg and cheese biscuit from the Chick-fil-A secret menu.

    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (9)

    ERIC KLEINBERG AND KRISTINA VÄNNI FOR TASTE OF HOME

    1. Starbucks

    In the end, the Starbucks sausage, egg and cheese breakfast was head and shoulders above the rest. This came as a huge surprise! For a place known for its beverages, I always figured that Starbucks food options were, well, not so good. The real standout here was the sausage patty, the element that put this sandwich over the top. In a sea of lackluster sausage options, this one was well-seasoned with the herbs we associate with breakfast sausage.

    Bottom line: You’re already there for coffee. Be sure to pick up this winner for breakfast!

    Originally Published: April 25, 2022

    Author

    Kristina Vänni

    Kristina has been in the food-writing space for more than a decade. Apart from freelancing for food and lifestyle sites like Taste of Home and The Kitchn, she’s also working on her first cookbook. She is the owner and on-air host of Cooking Contest Central, an online community for cooking and recipe contests.

    Read More

    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (10)

    We Ordered 7 Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches to Find the Best One (2024)

    FAQs

    What was the first fast food breakfast sandwich? ›

    From the day in 1955 that Ray Goad opened his first restaurant in Pinnacle, N.C., his Country Ham and Biscuits were featured. When he opened Rays Starlight Restaurant in Mount Airy in 1962, and it became known far and wide for Ray's Country Ham and biscuits.

    What is McDonald's most popular breakfast sandwich? ›

    The sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich is arguably considered the ultimate breakfast classic, and I can see why it's a fan favorite at McDonald's, in particular.

    What is the oldest sandwich chain? ›

    The oldest fast food chain is White Castle, founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson. White Castle was opened in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. It sold small hamburgers called sandwiches (sliders) by price 5¢.

    When did breakfast sandwiches become popular? ›

    What would later be known as "breakfast sandwiches" became increasingly popular after the American Civil War, and were a favorite food of pioneers during American westward expansion. The first known published recipe for a "breakfast sandwich" was in an 1897 American cookbook.

    What's the unhealthiest food at McDonalds? ›

    The Worst McDonald's Menu Items Health Experts Say You Should Never Order
    1. Big Mac. The Big Mac is perhaps the most iconic item on the McDonald's menu. ...
    2. Caramel Frappe. ...
    3. Sausage Egg & Cheese McGriddle. ...
    4. Breakfast With Hot Cakes.
    Nov 3, 2023

    What is the number one selling item at McDonald's? ›

    #1: French fries

    They've been a staple of McDonald's since its very first menu, and people have been asking for fries with that—or just fries—ever since. And yes, there is a secret ingredient that makes McDonald's fries so addictive.

    What is the healthiest breakfast at McDonald's? ›

    The Sausage or Egg McMuffin, a Sausage Burrito, or the Maple Fruit & Oatmeal are among the healthier options available on the McDonald's breakfast menu. Avoid sugary drinks like orange juice, and opt for black coffee, hot tea, or water.

    Which fast food chain was the first to begin serving breakfast? ›

    McDonald's was the first fast-food restaurant to offer breakfast. Its iconic breakfast menu, which at one point was served all day, all started when someone pitched the Egg McMuffin to the CEO of McDonald's in the early 1970s. Burger King was the second chain to attempt breakfast, in 1979.

    When did Wendy's start breakfast? ›

    Breakfast joined Wendy's menus nationwide in March 2020, and over the past four years, we've remained focused on serving up breakfast favorites the Wendy's way.

    What was McDonald's first breakfast item? ›

    McDonald's introduced its breakfast menu in 1972. The launch of the Egg McMuffin marked the beginning of McDonald's breakfast offerings, and since then, the breakfast menu has expanded to include a variety of items such as hotcakes, sausage McMuffin, and hash browns.

    When did McDonald's start serving breakfast sandwiches? ›

    The sweet and savory approach did not catch on (at least in the US), although a packet of strawberry preserves will still be provided upon request. The first McDonald's corporate-authorized Egg McMuffin was served at the Belleville, New Jersey, McDonald's in 1972.

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