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Waffles
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The best waffle restaurants in the U.S., from popular brunch spots to iconic diners

The best waffles in America come in all shapes and toppings—think pearl sugar, fried chicken and heaps of whipped cream

Clara Hogan
Written by
Lauren Rothman
&
Clara Hogan
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Crispy on the outside and pillow-soft on the inside, waffles are arguably one of mankind's greatest inventions. And they're as versatile as they are delicious. Have them piled high with fruit and syrup for breakfast or pair them with crispy chicken for a more filling dish. For dessert, choose your own adventure with toppings like Nutella, whipped cream or candy. If you want to stay true to the original style of Belgium (where waffles were invented), find a place that offers them to-go with a crispy sweet coating and pearl sugar inside. 

Across America, waffles are an excellent choice at the best brunch spots in America, best diners in America or the best breakfast restaurants in America. Whether you like them simple or loaded with toppings, these are the best waffle restaurants in the U.S.

Time Out Market United States
Clinton Street Baking Company in New York, NY
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

Whether you’re craving a seasonally flavored muffin or a cold treat from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, this stroller-friendly bakery-café has what you need. That’s especially true at breakfast when light-as-a-feather pancakes and crisp, golden waffles fly out of the East Village kitchen at an impressive pace. In the latter category, go all the way with the cafe’s special chicken and waffles: crisp-fried breast with honey-tabasco sauce piled atop a Belgian vanilla buttermilk waffle and finished with a knob of warm maple butter.

Best waffles in America

  • Restaurants
  • Fairfax District

This Fairfax “wafflerie” shows no restraint when it comes to its liege-style waffle, towering yeasted beauties studded with Belgian pearl sugar. Light and fluffy within while crisp on the outside, the plain waffle makes an excellent breakfast or snack all on its own—but where’s the fun in that? Better to load on plenty of high-quality toppings such as creamy speculoos, or spiced cookie, spread; melted milk chocolate; sea salt caramel sauce and, ok, fresh fruit if you want to be “healthy.”

  • Restaurants
  • Hawthorne

Like much of Portland’s best food, these genre-defining waffles are served to-go from, yes, a window (you can enjoy the buttery creations at some nearby picnic tables). The liege-style waffles, adapted from a classic Belgian recipe, come sweet (crusted with pearl sugar, chocolate-dipped) or savory (with accoutrements such as bacon, ham and cheese). We adore the spicy bacon cheddar jalapeño option, a golden waffle scattered with fresh chopped peppers, draped with thick-cut bacon, showered with grated cheddar and drizzled with house-made avocado-tomatillo salsa.

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  • Restaurants
  • Belgian
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

This Belgian-waffle eatery, beloved for its towering Belgian-style waffles, started as a food truck back in 2007 but soon expanded to multiple locations across New York City. Now there are even locations in Denver and at the Mall of America. Post up at the counter or at a table for savory offerings like the 2nd Street Salmon Special (capers, lemon dill sour cream) and Wake Up, Grumpy (egg, bacon and cheese), or stay classically sweet by loading your waffle with toppings such as speculoos, maple syrup and strawberries. Wash them down with a cup of Belgian hot chocolate.

  • Restaurants
  • Adams

This adorable breakfast is known for two things: fancy toasts (date jam, spinach pesto) and waffles. Happily, both items are rendered perfectly, mainly the wildly creative waffles available in flavors like the savory Washington, with baked-in pancetta, a cap of melty cheddar, plus apple butter and fresh sliced apples. We also love the sweet cobbler, scattered with fresh blueberries, homemade streusel, a dollop of whipped cream and maple syrup.

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  • Restaurants
  • Downtown

This spacious Austin cafe is the perfect place to while away an afternoon with a mug of strong Counter Culture coffee, preferably on the restaurant’s leafy patio. Its creative menu is stacked with hippie-influenced but deeply delicious fare, such as an indulgent chia pudding with coconut milk and maple syrup. As for the waffle, we recommend the waffle trio, which comes with three flavors: churro with carmel drizzle, maple peanut butter and chocolate, and cream cheese with mixed berries. If you're not done there, dig into the chicken and waffles, served with honey butter, pecans, maple syrup, and powdered sugar.

  • Restaurants
  • SoMa

This classic San Francisco spot is well hidden down an alley in SoMa that you’d almost miss it—that is, if it weren’t for the scent of waffles wafting through the air and the constant crowds lined up outside the window waiting to get their fried chicken fix. Two pieces of crispy chicken and two smaller Belgian waffles make for a perfectly filling (if not slightly indulgent) weekday lunch. The good news for those who don’t want to eat chicken and waffles while sitting on a loading dock is that you can now order and eat your grub at Victory Hall & Parlor, right next door.

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  • Restaurants

This Wynwood staple is a favorite among Miami brunchers and lunchers for its filling but wholesome family-friendly fare, like omelettes, french toast and a selection of sandwiches. The chocolate-dipped waffle is the way to go at breakfast and brunch: an indulgently cocoa-lacquered waffle topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and mounded with fresh whipped cream and tart strawberries. The chicken & waffle sandwich is another great (very filling) way to get your waffle fix. 

  • Restaurants
  • Gracy Woods

Chef Andrew Curren, the genius behind local favorites Irene’s and Italic (now closed), and his team consistently deliver elevated comfort food using top-notch ingredients at this classed-up diner. Open around the clock, the restaurant serves an all-day breakfast—like any self-respecting diner should. We heartily endorse the chicken and waffles: marinated boneless, skinless fried chicken breast and thigh, glossed with brown sugar butter and drizzled with Grade A Michigan maple syrup.

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  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Hollywood

This homey Hollywood cafe is beloved for its huge, breezy patio, best enjoyed while sipping on The Waffle’s signature double-sized mimosas. The comforting menu offers a full more than a dozen varieties of sweet and savory Belgian-style waffles: choose from a milky Tres Leches waffle made with yellow cake batter, a bacon-laced Applewood Smoked variety and more. We’re partial to the relatively simple but satisfying pecan waffle, studded with baked-in toasted pecans and topped with addictive candied pecans.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Downtown

Now a household name, Blue Bottle started as a small, independent coffee roastery in the Bay Area in the early aughts. Today, the chain counts locations in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, where it brews its signature strong, fresh-roasted java. But in-the-know breakfasters flock to BB’s Ferry Building Cafe for a hot ticket item that has nothing to do with beans: the kitchen’s made-to-order caramelized Belgian waffles. Deeply burnished and buttery, they’re studded with Liege pearl sugar and go great with a cup of joe.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • West Loop

This storied West Loop diner has been open since 1923 and, over the decades, it has become a beloved Chicago spot known for its fresh, lovingly prepared takes on classic luncheonette fare like fluffy omelettes and griddled patty melts. At breakfast and brunch, the way to go is the Belgian-style waffle, golden-brown and made with a malted batter. We like to split the difference between sweet and savory with Lou Mitchell’s special pecan and bacon specimen, shot through with savory bacon bits and crispy nuts.

  • Restaurants
  • Midtown

This perennially popular Midtown restaurant specializes in elevated Southern fare, like fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and lump crab cakes with a harissa cream. At brunch, the must-order is the malted buttermilk waffle, a towering and golden Belgian-style specimen lavished with Vermont maple syrup and nutty toasted pecans.

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This beloved Colorado café has served Western-influenced diner fare for over 30 years with two locations in the Boulder area. As at any café worth its salt, the griddle options of pancakes and waffles run long, with creative flavors like banana walnut and blueberry cornbread. We’re partial to their seasonal waffles, such as the fall concoction, topped with pecans and fresh apples and drizzled in caramel.

  • Restaurants
  • Squirrel Hill North

A compound word representing “waffles” and “Wallonia,” a southern region of Belgium, Waffallonia serves authentic liege-style yeasted waffles that are tall, golden brown and full of deep craters for sopping up toppings like whipped cream, chocolate sauce and fruit. When your sweet tooth is particularly demanding, go for a waffle sundae heaped with local Dave and Andy’s ice cream.

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15. Early Bird Diner in Charleston, SC

This early-to-open, late-to-close diner is an all-day favorite in Charleston, where hungry early birds and buzzed night owls alike can load up on from-scratch Southern fare such as biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits and country-fried steak. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes—and deservedly so—is its exemplary chicken and waffles, a pinnacle of the form that pairs perfectly golden waffles with juicy, pecan-encrusted fried fowl, finished with a sweet-savory drizzle of honey mustard and maple syrup.

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