Let's be honest — fast-food restaurants haven't always had the best track record regarding eggs. From places using powdered egg formulas for their sandwiches to sourcing them from farms with sub-optimal conditions for chickens, there has been plenty of controversy to go around. In one investigation conducted by Forbes, Subway was found to have an extensive list of unnatural ingredients in its egg recipe — including things like propylene glycol (used in deodorant sticks), glycerin (found in soap and shaving cream), and calcium silicate (used as a sealant in roads and roofs). Even popular breakfast spots like Starbucks, Dunkin', and Burger King were found to have questionable formulas for their egg-related menu items.
Now more than ever, people are conscious about the foods they put into their bodies (even if they are eating at a fast-food restaurant on that particular day). Some fast-food corporations have stepped up to the plate to make sure their customers are consuming the highest-quality sustainable eggs. We've put together a list of the best and tastiest eggs you'll find at fast-food restaurants. Keep reading to find out if your favorite breakfast spot made it on the list.
Read more: 15 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking Eggs
Panera might not be the first place that comes to mind when talking about fast food, but it has become a staple in the fast-casual restaurant space. It began as a humble community bakery founded in the '80s and continued its trajectory with a focus on helping the community, treating the planet with respect, and welcoming customers with warmth and kindness. This philosophy shows in the food, as well. Panera's mission is to use the highest-quality ingredients while reducing environmental impact. Currently, the restaurant is in the process of transitioning to obtaining 100% of its eggs from cage-free sources.
When you order an egg sandwich from Panera, you're not getting a random egg mixture out of a bag — you're getting an egg that's freshly cracked and cooked to order. Panera's signature breakfast sandwiches, like a sausage, egg & cheese on asiago bagel or a chipotle chicken, egg & avocado on ciabatta, come with a freshly scrambled egg, but you can also request an egg that's fried or over easy.
When you go down the list of ingredients in the breakfast sandwiches (they're all transparently listed on Panera's website), it's obvious that the restaurant cares about using the best products for its menu items. It also has egg dishes you probably won't find at similar spots, like baked egg souffle. At Panera, you are guaranteed some of the best eggs around.
When you're scanning your brain for fast-food breakfast options, Wendy's probably isn't the first place that pops into your mind. That's mostly due to the fact that its breakfast menu was recently reintroduced in 2020 — right at the beginning of the pandemic. Although it might have been an unlucky time to launch the menu, the truth is that Wendy's killed it with its new breakfast additions.
You'll find items like breakfast croissants stacked with bacon, sausage, or chicken, English muffins, biscuits, and even homestyle French toast sticks dipped into maple syrup. The most popular and iconic option on the new menu is likely the breakfast Baconator, a monstrous morning sandwich that includes two layers of bacon, a fried egg, Swiss cheese sauce, and sausage. Another popular option is the maple bacon chicken croissant with juicy chicken, applewood smoked bacon, and maple butter on a croissant bun.
The best part? Wendy's uses real eggs. On its website, the company proudly states "Every breakfast sandwich that has an egg on it uses freshly-cracked, grade A, honest-to-goodness, from-an-actual-chicken egg." The only exception is the sausage and egg burrito. For everything else, the fast-food joint cracks the eggs straight on the grill and breaks the yolk, fries, flips, and fries it some more until the egg is ready to add to the sandwich. Don't doubt Wendy's breakfast prowess because it's relatively new — especially if you're looking for high-quality eggs for your breakfast sandwich.
If you happen to find yourself lucky enough to be in one of the 14 Southern states with a Whataburger location, you're close to some of the best egg-related menu items a fast-food restaurant offers. Yes, it's probably most popular for its namesake burgers, but true Whataburger fans know that breakfast is where it's at.
The restaurant has a wide variety of morning favorites, including its signature taquitos that come with scrambled eggs, American cheese, and your choice of breakfast sausage or chorizo. Other options include hash brown sticks, delicious biscuit sandwiches, breakfast bowls and platters, and, of course, burgers. The famous breakfast burger comes with a freshly cracked egg, hash brown sticks, bacon, American cheese, and beef patty, all neatly tucked between two buns and smothered with a creamy pepper sauce.
You won't find any "fake" eggs at Whataburger. If you order one of the breakfast burgers or sandwiches, you get a fresh USDA grade AA ex-large whole shell egg, cracked right on the grill. As for the scrambled egg dishes, they come in a simple mixture in bagged form that contains whole eggs, nonfat milk, citric acid, and a bit of water. However, you're apparently allowed to request a freshly cracked egg when you order if you have a dairy allergy or prefer it fresh.
If you only know White Castle from the popular 2004 comedy involving a hectic stoner-themed journey for fast-food bliss, you might think the restaurant serves burger sliders and only burger sliders. However, you would be sorely mistaken — White Castle has one of the most delicious breakfast menus around. You can opt for a breakfast slider, which contains hickory smoked bacon or sausage, a freshly cracked egg, and your choice of cheese, all stacked on top of a signature bun — or even get wild with the same ingredients sandwiched between Belgian waffles or French toast. If you want to stick to the original slider with a breakfast spin, you can get what the restaurant is most famous for — steam-grilled beef patties on a bed of onions and cheese, along with a freshly cracked egg to top it off.
White Castle is dedicated to producing high-quality food for its customers (despite its late-night-food-run reputation). Even the batter used for the Belgian waffles gets imported all the way from Brussels, Belgium. Every single egg-related sandwich on the menu comes with an egg that's cracked right on the grill when ordered. That's quality breakfast dedication.
Over the years, McDonald's hasn't had the best reputation when it comes to the quality of its food. From accusations of making McNuggets out of pink slime to having burgers that never go bad, it isn't a stranger to controversy. It has also been accused of not using "real eggs" for its popular breakfast menu items — but that's not true. For anyone willing to do a bit of research, McDonald's is fully transparent about what the egg dishes contain and how they are prepared. When it comes to round eggs for the iconic Egg McMuffin, you'll get a freshly cracked, USDA Grade A egg made in an egg ring, producing a perfectly round shape for the sandwich.
However, other egg dishes from McDonald's are cooked differently and mostly use liquid eggs. Folded eggs, for example, are pre-cooked with the liquid mixture and flash-frozen, then prepared on the grill with real butter when ordered. The restaurant's scrambled eggs are made with liquid eggs and finished on the grill with real butter. Lastly, McDonald's sausage burrito uses pre-cooked liquid eggs mixed with sausage, tomatoes, onions, green chilies, and other seasonings that are flash-frozen before they are prepared.
Bottom line? All of the breakfast menu items are made with real eggs — but if you want a freshly cracked egg, opt for an Egg McMuffin, as it's the only breakfast option on the menu that gets this treatment.
Chick-fil-A isn't only known for having some of the best fried chicken in the fast-food game — it has some of the best breakfast options around as well. If you can manage to make it to your local Chick-fil-A before 10:30 in the morning (not on Sundays, of course), you're in for a treat. It's no wonder people go crazy for the restaurant's spicy chicken biscuit, but the chicken joint also has great egg-related options, such as the egg white grill sandwich, the hash brown scramble burrito, and the chicken, egg, and cheese biscuit. The restaurant even had a chicken, egg, and cheese combo served on a toasted sunflower multigrain bagel at one point.
Although Chick-fil-A, like many other fast-food restaurants, doesn't crack its eggs straight on the grill to order (they arrive pre-packaged), the chicken joint has committed itself to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs by the end of 2026. This goes in line with the company's decision to only serve chicken that has "no antibiotics ever" — the first quick-service restaurant to do so. It's no wonder why Chick-fil-A's breakfast sandwiches consistently show up as #1 on the best breakfast sandwich lists. The biscuits are perfectly buttery and crumbly, the sausages and chicken are incredibly tasty, and the eggs are light and fluffy.
If you're from the Deep South, you're likely no stranger to Bojangles. This restaurant chain might be most known for its fried chicken, but real fans know its breakfast menu is amazing (and served all day). Pretty much all of the breakfast options are served on its famous made-from-scratch biscuits. There are plenty to choose from, like sausage, egg & cheese, Southern gravy biscuits, country ham, or even the very Southern pimento cheese biscuit.
Following the suit of several other fast-food establishments, Bojangles is also transitioning toward using only 100% cage-free eggs for its breakfast menu by 2025. "We understand that social issues like the humane treatment of animals are important to many of our customers, and causes that improve the communities we serve are important to us as well," said Clifton Rutledge, President and CEO of Bojangles, in a press release. The change continues in the path of the restaurant's dedication to quality and freshness. Just about everything is made fresh in the kitchens at Bojangles — you won't find a microwave or frozen ingredients. In fact, the recipe for the freshly-made biscuits includes 49 steps to make sure they come out fluffy and golden every time.
Jack In The Box
For the uninitiated, finding Jack In the Box on a list of fast-food restaurants that serve the best eggs might be a bit surprising. But veterans know that not only are its breakfast options high quality, but you'll also find items you can't get at other fast-food chains, like croissants, sourdough toast buns, and even sandwiches that come with two eggs (such as the ultimate breakfast sandwich).
The sheer number of different breakfast options is fantastic — stacked croissant sandwiches, meat lovers burritos, breakfast tacos, jumbo breakfast platters, mini pancakes ... the list goes on. One of the best morning meals at Jack In the Box might be the simplest though. The Breakfast Jack comes with a freshly cracked egg, melted cheese, and grilled ham, stacked neatly on top of a toasted buttery bun.
But the best part is Jack In the Box is clear that there are no weird extra additives when it comes to its eggs; it's simply a USDA Grade AA medium egg grilled with butter-flavored vegetable oil, made fresh to order. However, if you're wary of the bagged egg mixtures that many fast-food franchises seem to use, stay away from menu items that contain scrambled eggs, like the breakfast burrito or breakfast platter, which contain other additives. With that said, Jack In the Box is one of the heavyweights when it comes to high-quality breakfast meals served at fast-food chains.
Read the original article on Mashed.