There are two legitimate reasons to eat fast food for breakfast: 1) you’re on a coming-of-age, cross-country road trip with your best friends and stuck eating on the road with minimal funds, and 2) you eat whatever the hell you want for breakfast “because it’s your body and you do what you want with it, thank you very much.” Fine.
In either scenario, if you don’t have a game plan, you’re going to be stuck staring slack-jawed at a menu board while the queue behind makes passive-aggressive comments about your indecision. Have a game plan. Know the best stuff. We did the dirty work and loaded our guts with every variety of fast-food breakfast, so you can reap the greasy, bacon-bedecked benefits. No need to thank us. Just pay our inevitable hospital bills, OK?
1. Burger King: French toast sticks
Availability: Until 10:30am
Burger King manages to separate itself from the glut of nondescript breakfasts with a novelty item that actually doesn’t suck. What it’s got going here is just stupid enough to be brilliant (if that makes sense): it chops up French toast into convenient little strips and pairs them with a steaming cup of (something like maple) syrup. It all comes down to banking on customers who don’t care that “the most important meal of the day” is composed of fried dough and fructose, not any actual food groups. We don’t care, so neither should you.
2. Del Taco: Chorizo Epic Scrambler
Availability: 11pm to 11am
Nothing says Cali-Mex cuisine like an overloaded breakfast burrito. Del Taco’s heavyweight scrambler lives up to its name with a pound of decently fluffy eggs, two fresh and tangy handmade salsas, hash brown sticks (!!!), spicy chorizo crumbles, and a heap of gooey cheddar. Stashing the potatoes inside is Del Taco’s standout move here. Unlike many of its fast-food burrito compadres, this is no dinky breakfast wrap dressed in some cheesy (see what I did there?) Lucha Libre-like disguise. It’s legit burrito-sized and a single one of these filling puppies is all the breakfast your sleepy ass needs. Even better, they’re sold from 11 pm to 11 am at DT’s 24-hour locations, ensuring California munchie-questers have a full night of crispy tortilla-wrapped bliss.
3. Wendy’s: Honey butter chicken biscuit
Availability: Until 10:30am
To be fair, Wendy’s breakfast menu is quite limited. The usual suspects are accounted for, including a just-fine sausage biscuit, nicely seasoned potato wedges, a decent, palm-sized sausage burrito, and an admittedly gelatinous bowl of steel-cut oatmeal (really, Dave?). But while morning meals might not be Mr. Thomas’ strong point, the insanely moist, impeccably crisp chicken is a lesson in fast-food greatness. And the honey butter chicken biscuit? No exception. The sandwich features Wendy’s crack-like chicken breast, fried to succulent, juicy precision, drenched in sweet honey butter, and then stuffed inside a velvety buttermilk biscuit. If you order anything else before 10:30 am you played yourself.
4. Subway: Steak, egg, and cheese
Availability: Until 10:30am
As someone who’s tried more than their fair share of disgusting things from Subway, it’s a breath of fresh, Subway-smelling air to be able to actually enjoy the sandwich juggernaut, for once. This flatbread sandwich with thick cuts of steak, surprisingly tasty eggs and melted cheese is a solid breakfast analog to the packed-lunch-with-a-cookie stalwarts, and it’s a different look than most other fast-food fodder. Overall, it’s one of the more solid choices on this list, for a real-deal breakfast in a pinch. And if you make a joke about that Jared guy, you get 50% off! (No you don’t, don’t do that.)
5. Taco Bell: Breakfast Crunchwrap
Availability: Until 11am
Taco Bell has blasted into the fast-food breakfast world like theKool-Aid man busting into your ’90s living room — bringing some of the most intriguing, borderline egregious breakfast alchemy this side of a cereal bowl. The Breakfast Crunchwrap has a lot going for it. It’s massive, for starters — often requiring both hands (especially if you have Trump vulgarian hands or are a carnie). And in the middle, it’s all that messy, hot, indescribable Taco Bell fillin’, set to breakfast mode: sausage, bacon, eggs, cheese. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, you’re reading the wrong list, cowpoke.
6. Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits: Cajun Filet Biscuit
Availability: All day, darlin’
Spend a handful of weeks touring around the American South and you’ll become real, real tight with this Charlotte-based chain — and for good reason. Don’t tell your meemaw, but Bojangles’ flaky, handmade biscuits might just be Dixieland’s best. The buttermilk number is consistently light and fluffy, as soft as Carolina cotton, and as soul-quenching as strawberry wine. Slide a piece of Cajun-battered (translates to smoked paprika, a little chili), tender-AF fried chicken between those butter-buns and get ready to straight-up melt into the 100+ degree sidewalk. If you don’t turn right back around for seconds, you’re a monster.
7. Sonic: Breakfast Toaster
Availability: All day
Breakfast Toaster may seem like a term of affection for a wake-and-bake enthusiast — and that’s not too far off. It’s easy to imagine Sonic’s prime demographic being thoroughly stoned by the time they order this Texas toast sandwich packed with eggs, American cheese, and your choice of bacon, ham, or sausage. The egg- and sausage-packing burritos are tasty, too, they just lack the substance and girth (hehe) of this sandwich. Does breakfast taste even better when a teenager on roller skates shimmies it out to the window of your Camry? Yes, yes it does.