If you look closely at restaurant menus, great waffles are a little harder to find than pancakes. Perhaps it's because they're a bit fussier to make, or require a special piece of equipment. Still, when it comes to breakfast treats, there are few we love as much. Not only can the waffle's batter vary wildly, but its crispy crenellations make a natural home for a seemingly unlimited variety of toppings and condiments. While hitting the open road, tasting and gathering recipes from iconic diners and local mom & pops for our new book America's Best Breakfasts (out now with Clarkson Potter), Lee Schrager and I came upon some of the country's most delicious iterations of this classic morning staple.
Here are five of our favorites:
- Video: How to Make Incredible Fluffy Waffles
- The Best Chicken and Waffles in the US
- 7 Savory Waffles You Can Eat for Dinner
1. The Griddle Cafe, Los Angeles: At this classic Los Angeles joint, proprietor Jo Kimberley (thankfully) doesn't know how to under-accessorize her food. That's certainly the case with her Strawberries & Cream Waffle: a crispy, airy waffle topped with fresh berries and a brown sugar-sour cream topping.
2. Little Goat Diner, Chicago:
Stephanie Izard's perennially packed spot features the Fat Elvis Waffle, a hearty, crispy-dense waffle doused in maple-infused syrup, topped with bananas and lavished with a peanut butter-infused butter.
3. Buttermilk Channel, Brooklyn, New York:
Their fried pork chop, served alongside a super crisp waffle, is a fresh take on chicken & waffles. Dip the pork chop in the syrup, chase with waffle, or eat it all in one sweet-savory bite for a brunch bite that's sure to become a classic.
4. Lucky's Cafe's, Cleveland, Ohio:
Lucky's airy lemon waffles are topped with blueberries, honeyed whipped cream and a decadent baked lemon curd.
5. Jack Flaps, Cleveland, Ohio:
Jack Flaps is an award-winning Cleveland breakfast and lunch joint, and it's easy to see why with their crisp Graham Cracker Waffles, smothered in Nutella sauce and topped with toasted marshmallows and graham cracker bits. It's s'mores in sit-down, knife-and-fork form.