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The Best & Worst Food at Cracker Barrel

It’s hard to think of a more iconic road-trip restaurant than Cracker Barrel. This is the place to get down-home country cooking just about anywhere in the US.

However, not every menu item is a hit. In fact, some are downright dangerous if you indulge too often.

Today, we’re highlighting the best and worst options on the menu to help you decide what’s worth it. 

Let’s dig in!

Plate of crispy fried chicken like they might serve at Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel Draws the Crowds

The RV community already knows why Cracker Barrel restaurants are so popular among travelers. For decades, the Old Country Store has been a safe haven for weary drivers to park overnight and catch some shuteye. The next morning, you can grab a hearty meal, restock your candy stash, and hit the road refreshed. 

All but a handful of unfortunate US states have at least one location. 

This ubiquitous establishment is famous for its homestyle cooking. It usually hits the spot when you’re craving some deep-fried goodness. But despite its wholesome reputation, many dishes on the menu are flat-out bad for you. 

Don’t place your next order before checking out the best and worst items at this family favorite. 

The Worst Menu Items

If you’re watching your weight or trying to keep your cholesterol in check, think twice before ordering any of these dishes. Your doctor will thank you!

#1 Southern Fried Chicken

According to at least one dietitian, Southern fried chicken is the least healthy item on Cracker Barrel’s extensive menu. Sure, the entree packs a protein punch with a whopping 108 grams. However, you’ll also consume over 1,600 calories. And that doesn’t include either of your two sides. 

It also has 100 grams of fat and 4,730 milligrams of sodium, which is well above the recommended daily allowance. Ouch!

Check out The Best (and Worst) Fast Food Fries!

#2 Stuffed Cheesecake Pancake Breakfast

When your sweet tooth starts to holler, you might be tempted to splurge on the Stuffed Cheesecake Pancake Breakfast. This meal comes with two pancakes with a creamy filling, two eggs, seasonal fruit, powdered sugar, strawberry syrup, and your choice of bacon or sausage. 

The main plate contains 1,250 calories, 54 grams of fat, 2,240 milligrams of sodium, and 73 grams of sugar. But that’s not all. Depending on the protein you choose, you’ll tack on an additional 210 to 240 calories. 

We’ll pass on this option and save those calories for a real piece of cheesecake. 

#3 Sunday Homestyle Chicken n’ French Toast

Cracker Barrel’s take on chicken and waffles might be delicious, but it’s hard to justify the stats when you break them down. 

This dish includes 1,500 calories, 96 grams of fat, and over 2,000 milligrams of sodium. And while you might expect a ton of protein to make up for some of those numbers, you’ll only get about 54 grams of the good stuff. 

Considering this is a basic meal of chicken, French toast, powdered sugar, and syrup, the nutritional price tag doesn’t seem worth it. 

Here’s How to Legally Camp at Cracker Barrel!

The Best Menu Items

Not every item at Cracker Barrel will blow your macros for the week. Several sensible dishes won’t leave you feeling food-drunk. Here are some healthier options to try. 

#1 Grilled Chicken Tenders

The grilled chicken tenders are a reasonable choice when you’re watching what you eat. The entree alone has only 140 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 310 milligrams of sodium. You’ll also get a modest 24 grams of protein. Pair them with a side of seasonal fruit and green beans, and you’ll make it out for 400 calories. 

That’s pretty hard to beat at any restaurant, let alone Cracker Barrel.

Cracker Barrel serves grilled trout with lemon - some of the best food there

#2 Lemon Pepper Grilled Rainbow Trout

Cracker Barrel’s lemon pepper rainbow trout is another great menu item to consider. The entree will only set you back 330 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 610 milligrams of sodium. The dish’s 43 grams of protein will also keep you feeling full for longer. Order steamed broccoli and their famous pinto beans on the side for a tasty meal that won’t require cheating on your diet. 

#3 Homestyle Grilled Chicken Salad

Our final Cracker Barrel menu item is their grilled chicken salad. It features smokey grilled chicken breast on a bed of lettuce with Colby cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons, and a hard-boiled egg. Pair it with balsamic herb vinaigrette, and it’ll add up to 640 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 46 grams of protein.

At 1,390 milligrams of sodium, it’s still pretty heavy on the salt. But the other numbers help balance it out. All things in moderation, right? 

Make it at home (and maybe leave out some of the salt!) Cracker Barrel Recipes: Unlock the Secrets for the Best Copycat Cracker Barrel Dishes

Cracker Barrel Continues to Satisfy!

Cracker Barrel is a well-loved stop for many travelers throughout the US. It can be a sight for sore eyes when you’re on the road and missing home. Whether you need a place to park the RV and catch some sleep or you just want to fill your rumbling stomach, it’s a reliable choice in unfamiliar territory.

Just like any other restaurant, some menu items are better for your waistline than others. It’s okay to splurge every once in a while, but try to save the dessert pancakes for a special occasion!

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