Bigger, badder, more calorific, and totally worth it. If you’re all about the experience and not at all worried about the waistline, then the breakfasts you can find in USA are probably for you. Of course we could seek out the healthy options, but where’s the fun in that when you’re road trippin’ across state lines? If you want to feel like you’re in a movie sitting down in a diner with red vinyl seats, here are a few must-try classic breakfasts that the Americans got oh-so right.
Considered by some to be the Holy Grail of American breakfasts, there’s a reason they have a global chain like iHop (International House of Pancakes) with such a massive following. The classic choice would be a full stack of buttermilk pancakes, but hey, go wild! The menus are guaranteed to have far too many options to make this decision easy. But one thing is for certain: there will be syrup. Lots. Of. Syrup.
Fried Chicken and Waffles
It’s so wrong that it’s right. You might’ve seen this one around elsewhere, since it exploded in popularity over the last few years. But if you haven’t tried it yet – now’s the time! It may seem like a terrible combination to mix salty fried chicken with something as sweet as waffles and maple syrup – but trust us on this, it works! And being able to eat fried chicken in the morning? We’re all about it! Give this one a chance and you won’t regret it.
Donuts for breakfast… if cops do it, it must be ok. Whether it’s a Krispy Kreme, a Dunkin’ Donut or something you’ve spotted in a smaller bakery, you know it’s going to taste good. The fact that they come in an endless range of flavours with more fillings than you can imagine makes it even better. How about a Cronut? They were invented in New York City, so what better place to indulge with one of these treats and a strong cup of coffee. (I mean, if you have it with a coffee, that makes it breakfast, right?)
Hash Browns and Bacon
These might seem more like smaller ‘sides’ if you’re from somewhere outside of America. A tasty extra, but not the main event. Well, the USA knows how to get hash browns and bacon right. Their version of a breakfast fry-up puts a decent amount of priority on these two key players. Decent hash browns involve the potato being shredded up properly and fried in a pan, usually with some onion. You don’t want to see any of these perfectly rectangular McDonalds-style hash browns on your plate – go for the real deal! And bacon; it’s streaky, it’s delicious, it goes with everything, and you can order it by the plate. Nuff said.
Maybe you don’t have access to a toaster on the road, but grab a box of these bad boys anyway. You know you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t try them, so throw them in your checked luggage and give yourself something to look forward to! Again, if you’re not from the States, this will be something you’ve seen as a staple in movies and TV shows, and they may fill you with an odd sense of wonder. Does it taste like a cake? A biscuit? What IS it exactly? It’s a pre-baked pastry, with a very sweet filling, and to make it even better (or more sickly, depending on your view) they’re often frosted too. So these aren’t exactly gourmet, but it’s something you gotta tick off the American-food bucket list!
Hot and fresh from the oven; a proper bagel should be both crispy and crusty on the outside, while remaining soft, dense and chewy on the inside. Can you really beat that? Americans know what a good bagel should be, and as with donuts you’ll find a never-ending variety. Sure, go and grab one of those rainbow bagels for the ‘gram if you must – but to enjoy a classic, go for a cream cheese bagel and don’t overcomplicate it.
The range. Oh, the incredible range. If you head to any big supermarket you’ll be blown away by the aisle dedicated to breakfast cereals. Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Reese’s Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch… Sure, if you had it every single day your teeth might rot, but you gotta hand it to them for creativity. The colours, the shapes, the sugar; you’ll feel like a little kid again, and choosing a box or two will be a challenge.
A fine example of the way you can add the word “breakfast” in front of anything and totally get away with it. So what if it’s 8 o’clock in the morning? Time is a social construct, and I want a saucy, cheesy, meaty burrito. Look for one that is essentially a complete fry-up, rolled into one drool-worthy tortilla package; I’m talking scrambled eggs, bacon, potato, onions, chorizo, cheese and of course, sauce. God bless America.