25 Places Across the U.S. to Enjoy Great Waffles

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WAFFLES DONE RIGHT

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 online reviews and voted local favorites for creating unique waffles starting at just $5.

WAFFLE WINDOW, PORTLAND, OREGON

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. The Luck of the Irish Waffle is all dressed up for spring with fresh red berries, Irish cream chocolate mousse, and more. Waffle Window also features waffle sundaes. The chain has three Portland locations with a fourth planned to soon open at Bethany Village Centre.

BRU'S WIFFLE, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

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.

THE WAFFLE, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA

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 $13 and can be customized with an extra scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or a sprinkle of chocolate chips.

WOW WOW WAFFLE, SAN DIEGO

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) to the Number Seven topped with bacon baked in brown sugar, avocado, and goat cheese ($7.50), there is no question waffles are the specialty.

GRIFFON GASTROPUB, NIAGARA FALLS, NEW YORK

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 also has a second location in Clarence, New York.

THE NEST, BELLFLOWER, CALIFORNIA

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?

TASTY WAFFLE, ROMEOVILLE, ILLINOIS

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.

WAFFLE WAY, GRAPEVINE, TEXAS

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.

MAXINE'S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES, INDIANAPOLIS

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.

THE WAFFLE EXPERIENCE, SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA

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.

CHICAGO WAFFLES, CHICAGO

Waffle connoisseurs in the mood for something hearty on National Waffle Day will want to give this eatery's 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 Belgian mini waffles topped with blackberries, strawberries, bananas, and hazelnut chocolate ($14).

OMELETTE AND WAFFLE RESTAURANT, HOUSTON

This home-style diner does waffles right, according to numerous customer reviews on Yelp. Patrons call the waffles "soft yet crunchy" and "phenomenal." They enjoy the ambiance as much as the plates of traditional, fruit-topped, syrup-drowned waffles.

WAFFLE WAGON, CAÑON CITY, COLORADO

Readers of the local newspaper have 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 that Grandma used to make. With options such as chocolate, blueberry, and flavored syrups, the Waffle Wagon may just have a leg up on Grandma.

TOM'S, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

Tom's is known for its hearty, Belgian-style waffles, including cranberry and pumpkin walnut. Tom's also serves waffle sundaes made with ice cream, whipped cream, and fruit, as well as meatier waffle sundaes with bacon, ham, sausage, or salami. Prices for these menu items start at $7.

GUENTHER HOUSE, SAN ANTONIO

The Guenther House is more than just a traditional breakfast spot. Packed with mill history and Southern charm, the waffles will definitely not disappoint. To stick with tradition, the Guenther features a Southern Sweet Cream Waffle smothered in strawberries and whipped cream. Waffle mix is available for purchase in the restaurant gift shop.

BELGIAN WAFFLE WORKS, LAKE ARROWHEAD, CALIFORNIA

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.

WAFELS AND DINGES, NEW YORK CITY

New Yorkers eager for a waffle fix can call up the "Hot Wafeline" to locate the nearest canary yellow Wafels Dinges truck on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. (There's also a storefront in the East Village.) The curious name marries the Dutch words for waffles (wafel) and, loosely, toppings (dinges). Among the mobile waffle-maker's more interesting offerings are BBQ Pulled Pork and Smoked Salmon waffles. Or walk away with just a taste -- grab a Mini Wafelini for just $4.

WAFFLE CHAMPION, OKLAHOMA CITY

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 or Belgian-style liege waffle. Other sandwich options are bacon, egg, and cheddar and ancho BBQ pulled pork. The menu also offers waffle croutons and waffle fries.

MY WAFFLE CRUSH, PHOENIX

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 $7, or create your own from the waffle up.

LA WAFFLETZ, TACOMA, WASHINGTON

Yelp reviewers are gaga for this waffle specialist. From Banana Split to Taste of Belgium to Nutella Banana -- each with a side of macaroons -- the waffles yield 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."

CAFÉ RUE, FORESTVILLE, MARYLAND

Reviewers can't stop talking about the sweet sriracha chicken and waffles from Café Rue on Yelp, gushing over the sweetness of the syrup paired with the heat of the sriracha. Other indulgences include Classic Chicken Waffles and Pulled Pork Cheddar Cornbread Waffles.

POCAHONTAS PANCAKE AND WAFFLE SHOP, VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

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.

OFF THE WAFFLE, PORTLAND, OREGON

Like any good waffle joint, Off the Waffle offers traditional liege waffles, which are normally served without syrup or butter, for just $3. If traditional doesn't cut it, choose from a variety of sweet, savory, and "in between" waffle options that top out at $12, with many plates in the $5 to $8 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.
Photo credit: BTElgin/facebook.com

BURNT TOAST, ELGIN, IL

Diners in suburban Chicago with serious appetites will want to head to this popular breakfast spot known for its "really large portions." Burnt Toast's waffle offerings include a unique Taffy Apple Waffle, a cinnamon waffle topped with cinnamon apples and drizzled with caramel sauce, as well as a seasonal pumpkin waffle in the fall.
Photo credit: Nana-Gs-Chik-n-Waffles/facebook.com

NANA G'S CHIK-N-WAFFLES, ATLANTA

Nana G's tasty waffle recipe has been around a long time -- 75 years to be exact. Today, two "rolling kitchens" offer Atlantans 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).