For many consumers, waffles are about as American as a food gets. But Belgian waffles, the kind featured these days at many restaurants across the country, are a relatively new phenomenon, having debuted at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City, where they were greeted with gusto. Today, restaurants across the nation take pains to concoct gourmet versions of Belgian and other types of waffles -- with delicious results. These 25 restaurants from all corners of the U.S. have been lauded in reviews and voted local favorites for creating unique waffles.
25 Places to Enjoy Great Waffles Across the U.S.
Aptly named, the Waffle Window features a walk-up window serving a wide variety of waffles including Walkin' Waffles, which are wrapped and ready to be eaten on the move. If time permits, take a seat and enjoy a one-of-a-kind waffle creation, including a granola and fruit waffle, a spicy bacon cheddar jalapeño waffle, or a seasonal offering. Summer offerings included the Blueberry Lime Sensation. Waffle Window also features waffle sundaes. The chain has four Portland locations.
Los Angeles, CA
Bru's Wiffle has no shortage of tasty varieties of waffles, but the Waco may be the way to go. Covered with grilled or crispy chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheddar, mozzarella, jalapeños, sour cream, and salsa, the Waco is just what it sounds like -- a waffle taco. Bru's also flaunts a complete list of dessert waffles, including banana pecan, banana split, and churro waffles. Chicken and waffle specialties and waffle scrambles round out the affordable menu. Bru's has locations in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.
Niagara Falls, NY
The Griffon's chicken and waffle sandwich is what put this pub on the map for amazing waffles. A sliced Belgian chive waffle is paired with a traditional Southern buttermilk-battered piece of fried chicken. It's served with jalapeño coleslaw, thick-cut apple wood-smoked bacon, cheddar, and spicy maple mayonnaise. The Griffon has three locations, all serving the sandwich.
Los Angeles, CA
Famous for its Red Velvet Waffle, The Waffle has quickly become a Hollywood tradition since opening in 2008. Its other signature waffles include smoked salmon, hash brown, cornmeal jalapeño, strawberry cheesecake, and sticky bun. Vegan and gluten-free options are also available. Waffle plates are priced at $9 to $14 and can be customized with an extra scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or a sprinkle of chocolate chips.
A Carrot Cake Waffle sets this restaurant apart from the rest. Shredded carrots, chopped walnuts, raisins, and cream cheese make for a complete breakfast at Tasty Waffle. Other sweet-style waffles on the extensive waffle menu include Caramel Apple, Black Cherry Bliss, Raisin Walnut, and many more.
San Diego, CA
Unlike other waffle joints that serve omelets, sandwiches, and other fare, Wow Wow Waffle serves strictly waffles. From a fresh and light waffle topped simply with homemade whipped cream and fruit ($5.50) to the Number Seven topped with bacon baked in brown sugar, avocado, and goat cheese ($8.50), there is no question waffles are the specialty.
Waffle Way features Belgian waffles -- "a local favorite" -- including pecan and banana pecan varieties, as well as a Chicken Waffle entree, a waffle served with "chicken fried chicken" for less than $8. Customers can also make their own, with a choice of fruit, whipped cream, or chocolate chips, then add a side of bacon, ham, or sausage.
The Nest has no shortage of options for those hankering for all manner of breakfast food, but when it comes to waffles, there's a singular, fabulous offering: the Bacon Waffle, a Belgian-style waffle with bacon pieces in the batter, served with homemade bacon whiskey syrup. Who needs more?
Maxine's claim to fame is a plate of three jumbo chicken wings and its signature waffle. Or, opt for the Max Waffler, which is not one but two waffle sandwiches with a fried egg, topped with American cheese and turkey bacon or sausage, served with grits or potatoes. More traditional offerings include Dusty's Waffles, a signature waffle served with two eggs and a choice of chicken or beef sausage.
Unique toppings combined with creative waffle flavors are the hallmark of the Waffle Experience. The Jimmy's a Greek, for example, starts with a fresh herb waffle piled high with a cage-free egg, feta, kalamata olives, savory onion jam, dolmades, arugula, tomatoes, basil pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, and a balsamic drizzle. It's like a salad on a waffle. Or maybe try the Pig Latin, with spicy carnitas, fontina, sautéed peppers, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, and chipotle aioli on a jalapeño-infused herb waffle. Two hands are required. Still hungry? Try the Bananarama for dessert.
Connoisseurs in the mood for something hearty will want to give Chicago Waffles' Cheddar and Short Rib Waffle a try. A cheddar waffle served with braised short ribs and topped with two eggs, cheddar cheese, and chives, it's bound to satisfy any appetite. Or try a take on the soul food classic, chicken and waffles -- except this version features bacon, chicken tenders, and spicy syrup. Waffle lovers can also enjoy a "flight" of waffles, which includes red velvet, chocolate, liege, and green tea mini waffles topped with blackberries, strawberries, bananas, and hazelnut chocolate ($14).
This home-style diner does waffles right, according to customer reviews. Patrons call the waffles "soft yet crunchy" and "phenomenal" on Yelp and urge newbies not to let the hole-in-the-wall ambiance distract from delicious plates of traditional, fruit-topped, syrup-drowned waffles.
Cañon City, CO
Readers of the local newspaper voted the Waffle Wagon "Best Breakfast" in Cañon City nine years in a row. No fluff here. Reviewers on TripAdvisor claim these are the kind of waffles Grandma used to make. With options such as chocolate, blueberry, and flavored syrups, the Waffle Wagon may just have a leg up on Grandma.
San Antonio, TX
The Guenther House, packed with mill history and Southern charm, is more than just a traditional breakfast spot. But the waffles will definitely not disappoint. To stick with tradition, the Guenther features a Southern Sweet Cream Waffle smothered in strawberries and whipped cream ($8.25). Its waffle mix is available for purchase in the restaurant gift shop.
Lake Arrowhead, CA
Patrons of Belgian Waffle Works can get a waffle with a view. This eatery, overlooking Lake Arrowhead, boasts a Belgian S'more waffle complete with chocolate ice cream, marshmallow, chocolate sauce, and graham cracker crumbs. On the savory side of things, how about the Benedict Belgian? Customers can substitute gluten-free waffles for any of the combinations.
New York City, NY
New Yorkers eager for a waffle fix are used to scouting for the nearest canary yellow Wafels Dinges truck on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, though there are also storefront locations, and recently Pennsylvanians have joined the hunt. The curious name marries the Dutch words for waffles (wafel) and, loosely, toppings (dinges). Among the mobile waffle-maker's more interesting offerings have been BBQ Pulled Pork and Smoked Salmon waffles. Or walk away with just a taste -- grab a Mini Wafelini.
Oklahoma City, OK
With its craft waffle sandwiches, Waffle Champion soars to the top of the waffle category. If pizza grilled cheese sounds amazing, imagine it on a choice of classic buttermilk, Belgian-style liege waffle or waffle fries. Other sandwich options are bacon, egg, and cheddar and ancho BBQ pulled pork. The menu also offers waffle croutons.
A waffle food truck found in and around Phoenix, My Waffle Crush serves waffles topped with just about anything -- cinnamon sugar, Nutella, Biscoff, fresh fruit, homemade cream, or ice cream -- or stuffed with chocolate. With all that, who needs syrup? Walk away with the Nana (Nutella, bananas, and cream) or maybe the Berry (Biscoff, strawberries, and cream) for about $8, or create your own from the waffle up.
Yelp reviewers are gaga for this waffle specialist. From Banana Split to Taste of Belgium to Nutella Banana -- each with a side of macarons -- the work of La Waffletz yields gushing reviews, such as "the best waffle ever" and "a hidden treasure." One reviewer says, "The waffle was crunchy and sweet and a perfect bite every time."
Virginia Beach, VA
Featured on Food Network's "The Best Of" for its pancakes, Pocahontas Pancakes is also a destination for waffle lovers. Try blueberry, cherry, apple, "succulent" chocolate chip, banana, or pecan waffle. Or grab the traditional fried chicken and waffle special.
Like any good waffle joint, Off the Waffle offers traditional liege waffles, which are normally served without syrup or butter, and for just $3.50. If traditional doesn't cut it, choose from a variety of sweet, savory, and "in between" waffle options that top out at $15, with many plates in the $6.50 to $10.50 range. Specialty waffle highlights include Goat in Headlights, topped with goat cheese, avocado, basil, and two sunny-side-up eggs, and the Wiffle, topped with Nutella, organic banana, and powdered sugar.
Diners in suburban Chicago with serious appetites will want to head to this popular breakfast spot's two location for "really large portions." Burnt Toast's waffle offerings include a unique Taffy Apple Waffle, pecan or salmon waffles, as well as a seasonal pumpkin waffle in the fall.
Nana G's tasty waffle recipe has been around a long time -- more than 75 years. Today Atlantans can spot a restaurant food truck for a chance to try her legendary maplewood smoked bacon-infused Belgian waffles, served simply with syrup and powdered sugar, or topped with "top-secret" 48-hour fried chicken or bananas (with or without Nutella and peanut butter).
If the chicken and waffles combo has lost its zing, Charm City Wings & Waffles has some solutions: fish and waffle ($9) and shrimp and waffle ($10) platters to tempt diners alongside more traditional waffles in original or red velvet favors for as little as $4.50 and a waffle with fresh fruit for only a dollar more.
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