Best Fast Food Breakfast: Top 5 Drive-Thru Meals, Most Recommended By Food Experts

Picture this: you miss your alarm, you’re running out the door and you soon realize you completely forgot to eat breakfast. Sounds familiar, right? Maybe you pass by a few drive-thru options on your way to work, or maybe there’s a shopping complex across the street. Regardless, when you’re short on time and energy, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with unnecessary choices. Knowing which chains have the best fast food breakfasts can get you eating and satiated in no time at all, and save you from the disappointment that comes with the many subpar fast food options out there.

Research suggests that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s also the one most often skipped by Americans. Breakfast refuels the supply of glucose to boost energy levels and alertness, while also providing other essential nutrients required for good health.

Another recent study found that people who wait too long to have their first meal of the day may be at greater risk of diabetes. The study by Northwestern University researchers shows that people who eat breakfast before 8:30 a.m. have lower blood sugar levels and less insulin resistance. A survey of 2,000 Americans even found that your career may even benefit from starting the day off with the proper nutrition. The poll, split between 1,000 breakfast eaters and 1,000 who don’t eat breakfast — reveals that those who have a morning meal are more likely to receive a promotion at work.  

All this to say, of course choosing a grab-and-go option like fast food is something you don’t want to make a habit of. The healthiest choice is often found right at home, but if you do find yourself wanting a treat or short on time, fast food breakfast can be a quick, cheap, and absolutely delicious option. 

StudyFinds sought out to find the best fast food breakfasts in the U.S. For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which fast food breakfast menu items were rated the best. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended items across these sites. Make sure to leave your favorite picks in the comments below!

The List: Best Fast Food Breakfast, According To Experts

1. McDonald’s Egg McMuffin

The perfect trifecta, McDonald’s Egg McMuffin is one of the most beloved menu items of all time, combining a perfectly cooked English muffin, fluffy egg, and melty cheese.

“It was McDonald’s humble Egg McMuffin that went down in history for getting the country addicted to breakfast sandwiches and paving the way for the entire fast food breakfast industry,” Mashed writes.

And it might be surprising, but the Egg McMuffin is also one of the healthiest fast-food options out there, loaded with a healthy balance of carbs, proteins and fats. 

Sausage Egg McMuffin with hash browns from McDonald's.
Sausage Egg McMuffin with hash browns from McDonald’s. (Photo by Albert Lynn on Flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“This McD’s classic features a hot egg on a steamy English muffin. But the simple breakfast sandwich also comes packed with 17g of protein, a boon for any breakfast lover,” Good Housekeeping writes.

2. Chik-fil-A’s Chicken Biscuit 

Chicken for breakfast may not seem like an obvious choice, but devotees of Chik-fil-A would argue otherwise. 

“The Chicken Biscuit is a special thing. Does it help that every location continually bakes biscuits all morning long, ensuring that you get one that emerged hot and fresh from the oven that morning? Yes. The Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit is adorned with nothing. It doesn’t have to be when all you need is perfectly fried chicken and a buttery biscuit for a couple bucks. Sometimes a chain doesn’t need a breakfast item with bells and whistles when the breakfast item is one giant bell and whistle,” Thrillist writes.

Perfectly seasoned fried chicken on a flaky biscuit, what’s not to love?

“To me, it tasted like something you would order from a sit-down restaurant rather than a fast-food place. The breading on the fillet was extra crispy, and the chicken meat was tender and juicy,” Insider writes. “This sandwich is worth waking up early for.”

3. Taco Bell Breakfast Crunchwrap

If you want to kick it up a notch and deviate from your classic American breakfast, Taco Bell’s line of breakfast items is the way to go. 

“The Breakfast Crunchwrap is required ordering thanks to its warm, inviting Creamy Jalapeño Sauce and a crispy hash brown wedged inside to provide the crunch in the name,” Thrillist writes. 

The crunchwraps are also made-to-order, so feel free to put your own spin on it depending on your cravings. 

“The best part about Taco Bell is that everything on the menu is customizable. You can order bacon, sausage, or steak in your Breakfast Crunchwrap,” Eat This Not That writes.

4. Wendy’s Honey Butter Chicken Sandwich 

Fans of Wendy’s were ecstatic when the fast-food chain decided to launch its line of breakfast items, and its Honey Butter Chicken Sandwich was a stand-out for many.

“Looks like we have another contender for best chicken biscuit. Last year, I had Wendy’s new-ish breakfast and it’s amazing. The maple bacon chicken croissant and the honey butter chicken biscuit are seriously worth it,” Delish writes.

Additionally, Wendy’s offers a highly-rated Hot Honey Chicken Biscuit, which adds a bit of heat to your breakfast routine.

“The Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit is one of the latest additions to the menu and nobody seems to be mad at it. The biscuit is soft and flaky, unlike some of its competitors, and the overall experience is a great combination of sweet and savory,” The Daily Meal writes.

5. Starbucks Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap

For our top-rated healthy choice of this list, Starbucks’ Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap will leave you feeling satisfied and full, without the fast-food hangover that usually comes from a greasy breakfast.

“One of the healthiest chain breakfast options available, this veggie-packed wrap is a top choice from Starbucks thanks to its significant protein content and punch of fiber, too. The protein count is impressive, and I love that you’re still getting satisfying cheesy egg in each bite,” Good Housekeeping writes. 

The health-foodie favorite comes in at  290 calories, 8g total fat and 20g protein.

“This toasty whole-grain wrap delivers nearly half your daily recommended vitamin A and a quarter of your calcium needs. Plus, thanks to the spinach and tomatoes, you score some veg, too,” Women’s Health Magazine writes.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About the Author

Meaghan Babaker

Meaghan Babaker is a journalist and freelance writer previously based out of New York City while working for CBS New York, CBS Local and MSNBC. After moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, she went on to write for Digital Luxury Group, The Travel Corporation and other international publications before joining the editorial team at StudyFinds.

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