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CONTROVERSY: Which Fast Food Chain Has the Best Breakfast?

CONTROVERSY: Which Fast Food Chain Has the Best Breakfast?

Which fast food chain has the best breakfast? Some people are loyal to one chain, while others switch it up depending on their mood or where they are.

So, we decided to look at all the major fast food chains and see which ones come out on top. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t easy. But after careful consideration, we’ve crowned a winner.

Read on to find out who it is!

Which Fast Food Chain Has the Best Breakfast?

Mcdonald’s reigns supreme when it comes to fast food breakfasts. It has several breakfast choices, with its iconic McMuffin sandwiches, piping hot hash browns, and fluffy pancakes smothered in syrup.

The variety of options McDonald’s provides allows customers to choose what they want, from something steaming hot like a sausage and egg McGriddle or a cold smoothie.

Many say the chain’s meals have a great taste at a great price, with most items costing less than $4 per item. And with thousands of locations, you can find a Mcdonald’s anywhere. It’s the go-to fast food chain when hunger strikes in the morning.

How McDonald’s Revolutionized Breakfast? 

McDonald’s revolutionized the fast food industry when it launched fast food breakfast with the Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich in 1972. It proved a successful move for McDonald’s, which soon had a full breakfast menu. And it created the fast food breakfast segment, with the rest of the industry following the lead.

America’s single favorite breakfast item overall is hash browns. McDonald’s was early to that party as well, creating its crispy, crunchy, triangular-shaped portable hash browns in 1977. 

McDonald’s hash browns are perhaps the most versatile breakfast item around. Its portability instantly led to people not only treating it as a side to the Egg McMuffin, but many put it on their breakfast sandwiches.

Others douse the hash browns in maple syrup or slather them with jelly. You may even know about the McDonald’s hash brown hack to make them even crispier. Order them well done. 

So when you try to nail down exactly what America’s favorite fast food breakfast is, you’d have to say an Egg McMuffin and McDonald’s hash browns.

Pro Tip: In need of some caffeine? We uncovered What Fast Food Chain Has the Best (and Worst) Coffee?

Woman ordering McDonalds breakfast at ordering station
McDonald’s ranks high above the rest for best fast food breakfasts.

Breakfast Menu

The Egg McMuffin started the fast food breakfast craze and remains one of the most popular breakfast items around. But the McDonald’s breakfast menu quickly filled out with other items, and today includes a full slate of breakfast items.

McDonald’s now has a variety of McMuffins, biscuit sandwiches, and McGriddle sandwiches.

The McDonald’s breakfast menu also offers hot cakes, a breakfast burrito, hash browns, fruit and maple oatmeal, and various breakfast combination meals featuring multiple items and drinks.

The McCafe Bakery even offers some sweets for breakfast, including apple fritters, blueberry muffins, and cinnamon rolls.

Breakfast Beverages

In addition to food items, the McDonald’s breakfast menu also includes a slate of beverages. Of course, it’s centered around America’s breakfast beverage: premium roast coffee.

McDonald’s didn’t stop there with its McCafe offering several coffee drinks ranging from cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos to an Americano. 

On the non-coffee side, McDonald’s also offers its full slate of sodas and more breakfast-minded options such as smoothies, teas, orange juice, apple juice, and regular and chocolate milk.

Of course, McDonald’s rocketed to popularity well before it created the fast food breakfast craze, and it has continued to add incredibly popular menu items.

McDonald’s Big Mac and its famous french fries sit at the top of the fast food chain. McDonald’s also became famous for its Happy Meals for kids, Chicken McNuggets, double cheeseburger, and individual baked-apple pies.

In addition to the classics, the franchise added a couple of popular, more modern items, including premium salads and snack wraps.

Pro Tip: Grab a burger and fries at The World’s Largest McDonald’s.

Bllurry McDonalds sign at night
From hashbrowns to hot cakes McDonald’s breakfast has many delicious options.

Is McDonald’s Breakfast All Day? 

McDonald’s started serving breakfast all day in 2015. It was rather successful, but the chain stopped the practice in the early days of the pandemic. They haven’t served breakfast all day since.

McDonald’s now serves breakfast from 5 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., although some locations still serve up until 11 a.m. depending on how many breakfast items they have left at 10:30. However, you can get the McCafe coffees and bakery items all day.

What Fast Food Chains’ Breakfasts Rank Close to McDonald’s?

So who has followed in McDonald’s footsteps for the number two and three in the fast food breakfast world? Different sources have varying results based on the area of the country. But here’s what we’ve found.

It might be a bit surprising, but Taco Bell holds the number two spot behind McDonald’s as America’s favorite fast food breakfast. Although, maybe it shouldn’t be too surprising, as there’s nothing like a good breakfast burrito, and Taco Bell has several to choose from.

Like McDonald’s, they didn’t stop there. Taco Bell also serves breakfast quesadillas, their popular crunch wraps, hash browns, and cinnamon and sugar-dusted Cinnabon delights. They also serve hot and iced coffee.

Following close behind in third place, we have Chic-fil-A’s breakfast menu. Heavy on items with chicken, Chic-fil-A’s breakfast items include biscuit sandwiches, hash brown scramble bowls and burritos, muffin sandwiches, buttered biscuits, English muffins, Greek yogurt parfaits, and fruit cups.

Is McDonald’s Breakfast Worth It?

All in all, McDonald’s breakfast is one of the most iconic and beloved things about American culture. It has a long and storied history and popular items like the Egg McMuffin and crispy hash browns.

And while you’ll find many other excellent options for fast food breakfast, McDonald’s still reigns supreme. So if you’re ever in the mood for some hearty pancakes or a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich first thing in the morning, swing by your nearest Mickey D’s.

Is McDonald’s breakfast worth it? You tell us! Who has your favorite fast food breakfast?

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