I Tried the Breakfast Burrito From 8 Fast-Food Chains & The Best Was ‘OMG!’ Good

I Tried the Breakfast Burrito From 8 Fast-Food Chains & The Best Was ‘OMG!’ Good For many, the breakfast burrito is a quintessential hangover cure—a large and filling option when you need to refuel and recover from a late night or bout of overindulgence. But what used to be a delight you’d only find if you knew where to look is now more widely available. These days, you’ll find a breakfast burrito on the menu practically anywhere that serves breakfast. And we’re not complaining: Packing all that egg, protein, and cheesy goodness into a tortilla instead of a sandwich roll or bun is a delicious, less carb-heavy way to power your day. Plenty of loyalists will still be hitting up their local Mexican restaurant for a more authentic version—and that’s a good choice, too—but sometimes your only option is to swing by the drive-thru. From Taco Bell to Chick-fil-A, there are many fast-food chains serving breakfast burritos, so which one actually tastes best? I set out to answer that question by sampling the offerings at eight major national chains for the ultimate breakfast burrito taste test. Read on to discover which burrito stole the show, ranked in descending order from my least favorite to the absolute best. (See if the number one pick surprises you—it certainly wasn’t what I expected!) Jack in the Box Calories: 620 Fat: 37 g (Saturated Fat: 15 g) Sodium: 1,560 mg Carbs: 50 g (Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 4 g) Protein: 33 g Jack in the Box has always been well-known for its two tacos for 99 cents deal, but it doesn’t have a lot of other Mexican cuisine on its menu. The ingredients in its burrito lean toward the American breakfast: egg, sausage, bacon, ham, and cheese. As you might expect, its breakfast burrito is dubbed the meat lovers burrito. This is one of the few fast-food restaurants that offers breakfast all day. This burrito comes standard with a side of fire-roasted tomato salsa, which helps offset the salty meat. The burrito was $5.99. Not cheap, but not too expensive either. The look: Its substantial size helps to justify the price. The meat-heavy burrito comes wrapped in a flexible, nicely browned flour tortilla that goes more to the translucent side than pure white, so you know it was warmed up. This was the only size option, but I’d call it medium-sized. The taste: The tortilla is good and tastes like it was pressed before the burrito was assembled, which makes a huge difference. The egg and sausage have a nice flavor, but the hot sauce is essential as seasoning is lacking. There’s no salt, pepper, chili, or other spices—just the egg and meat patties. It’s like eating a sausage egg breakfast sandwich placed inside a tortilla instead of between two buns. Eventually, I tasted the bacon and the cheese, but bites with sausage and bacon were overwhelming. I’d prefer one or the other. The website says the burrito also includes ham, but mine didn’t have any. This could be a regional thing or a mistake. If it had ham on it, I think I would’ve liked it even less. Potatoes or some other vegetable for balance would’ve been nice. If you get this burrito, the salsa is a necessary edition—there’s a reason it comes standard. Burger King Calories: 462 Fat: 29.5 g (Saturated Fat: 11.1 g) Sodium: 1,294.7 mg Carbs: 29.8 g (Fiber: 2.2 g, Sugar: 2.5 g) Protein: 17.9 g Burger King is one of the biggest fast-food chains in the country, but it’s not swimming in breakfast burritos. The breakfast burrito comes in two sizes at my Burger King, which is the extent of the choice. The smaller one is $3.99. Paying less than $5 for a fast-food breakfast burrito sounds right. The look: This one is a Junior so it’s a bit smaller and has more of an open top. A layer of melty cheese and egg patty peek out attractively. Burger King’s two size options include the Eggnormous (829 calories) and the Junior (462 calories). For this tasting, I went with the smaller option. The taste: Similar to the Jack in the Box burrito, this wrap feels like breakfast sandwich ingredients got swapped into a burrito. After a few bites, I opened the burrito to take a look, and the meat was a round sausage patty cut in half. The tortilla was warm but stiff. There was a layer of cheese sauce on the bottom, a thick egg patty, and the sausage half-moon with a few tater tots thrown in for good measure. The tater tots had a good taste of fat, and the egg had a nice consistency. Biting into a sausage patty inside a burrito is an unexpected experience. The egg and sausage were not mixed at all. The cheese sauce was good, but it wasn’t enough of a presence to balance the sausage, egg, and potato in bites that had all the ingredients. Wendy’s Calories: 700 Fat: 40 g (Saturated Fat: 14 g) Sodium: 2,210 mg Carbs: 53 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 4 g) Protein: 32 g Launched in January 2024 (in select regions), Wendy’s brand-new breakfast burrito is potential proof the dish is gaining traction as an alternative to breakfast sandwiches or plates at fast-food restaurants. This bacon-heavy sandwich has the same amount of bacon as the Baconator sandwich, so fans now have a morning option. This was the only breakfast burrito option at my location, and it was priced at $5.99. The look: The tortilla is a nice rectangular shape. There are some brown spots, but it’s not too grilled. Some egg and cheese peek out of the corner, and it’s a great size. The taste: Even on the first bite, there’s a lot of bacon. This is chewy bacon, not crisp, along with a cheese sauce. A couple of hashbrown slabs inside are soft and not crispy, but they have good potato flavor and aren’t overly greasy. This burrito needs hot sauce on the side (Cholula packets are on offer), as it has solid ingredients but not much to tie them together. The egg is in a patty on the outside of the burrito in a single layer, which works, but it would be better if it were mixed more. Taco Bell Calories: 350 Fat: 17 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g) Sodium: 770 mg Carbs: 38 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g) Protein: 10 g While I expected this to be one of the top-ranking burritos on the list, I was disappointed. Since Taco Bell is well-known for its bean burritos, I was shocked they didn’t take this opportunity to offer an egg and bean option—something that no one on the list has done! But instead, they stuck with a much more standard egg and sausage option. The choices for the regular breakfast burrito are sausage, bacon, or potato (nice that they include a vegetarian option), plus a level-up in price and size, such as a grande burrito with steak. My location was out of the steak, so I tried the sausage. The look: This burrito is grilled with a pleasing brown stripe, so you know it has some heat. The grill also helps keep it in a tight cylinder. This was the only burrito I tried that looked like it had been grilled. This one is a medium size, maybe a little smaller. The taste: I was looking forward to tasting this one a lot, as I thought Taco Bell would do more justice to the breakfast burrito concept, but the sausage tasted metallic. Cheese sauce instead of grated cheese was a good choice here to give it a better mouthfeel because the eggs were also a little rubbery. I added some mild sauce after a few bites, which helped. But the best elements were the tortilla, which was thick, crisp, and nicely grilled, and the cheese sauce. I liked how the egg and sausage were mixed; many of the other burritos had these elements very separate, but it could’ve used some veggies, salsa, beans (come on!), or other elements to help spice it up. Chick-fil-A Calories: 700 Fat: 40 g (Saturated Fat: 12 g) Sodium: 1,770 mg Carbs: 51 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 2 g) Protein: 34 g One major drawback of the Chick-fil-A breakfast options is that they’re not available on Sundays! If you’re looking for a hangover cure, remember that this menu is off the table for half the weekend. Still, this is one of the most interesting options because it’s a breakfast burrito with Chick-fil-A chicken alongside cheese, potatoes, and eggs. They carry many other options, too—bacon, sausage, grilled chicken, spicy chicken, and an option sans meat. Since regular nuggets are Chick-fil-A’s original specialty, I decided to order them. There was a nice jalapeno sauce on the side, and it came out to $7.05. The look: A few brown spots on the tortilla show that it was heated up. It was flexible and not so thick that you only taste the tortilla in spots. This one was a great size and felt like a substantial portion, which is nice since it was more expensive. The taste: There was a nice crispness on the potatoes, and at first, the main flavors were the crispy hashbrowns and scrambled eggs inside. The eggs were OK; not the rubbery, powdered kind, but not very fresh. The lower half of the burrito is where the chicken and cheese were. There were so many potatoes that it could’ve used more of the other fillings (or fewer potatoes) for better balance. The burrito comes with a packet of jalapeno salsa on the side (adding only five calories), and the whole thing was much better with some heat. This was another burrito where the ingredients felt like disparate units stacked inside a tortilla instead of mixed—the nuggets were whole, the hashbrown was one thick patty, and so on. McDonald’s Calories: 310 Fat: 17 g (Saturated Fat: 7 g) Sodium: 800 mg Carbs: 25 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2 g) Protein: 13 g I never thought I’d rank a breakfast burrito at McDonald’s higher than one from Taco Bell, but that’s why taste tests are useful! At just $2.99, this one is a steal, even if it’s on the smaller side. It comes with sausage, egg, chilis, onion, and real cheese, making it more authentic than the Taco Bell option. The look: Small and tightly rolled, the meal option comes with two, which seems like a realistic serving size, but if you eat both, keep in mind that you’re doubling all the nutritional values above. The taste: The tortilla was pretty stiff, not soft and flexible, and it probably wasn’t warmed before assembly, but the green chile and onion are fabulous. The pork sausage also has a sharp spice that I wasn’t expecting. It was a much higher quality than the sausage used by Taco Bell, or at the very least, it tasted better. Melted American cheese blended in well with the soft and fluffy eggs. The eggs weren’t in one big patty slab from a sandwich like Burger King and Jack in the Box. The sausage and the eggs mixed well, and adding the chiles and onions elevated it way above the options that didn’t have any veggies. Del Taco Calories: 450 Fat: 19 g (Saturated Fat: 8 g) Sodium: 1,290 mg Carbs: 38 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 1 g) Protein: 25 g As it was another Mexican-leaning fast food option, I had high expectations for Del Taco, too—and this time, I wasn’t disappointed as it is easily one of the best options on the list. Two main things set this one apart from those that didn’t score as high: The use of hot sauce inside the burrito to add flavor and the way the steak and the eggs were scrambled together. Del Taco’s additional steak option instead of just bacon or sausage immediately gave the burrito an edge. Del Taco’s three choices were bacon and egg, egg and cheese, or egg and carne asada, which I chose for $5.14. All the options were around the same price, within 20 to 30 cents of each other. The look: This tortilla has latent grease, probably from the steak, which I take as a good sign. The tortilla is thin and flexible, and like the Jack in the Box burrito, it has that translucent quality that shows it’s been warmed before assembly—unlike some other places that use a brittle or dry flour tortilla. The taste: The steak in this burrito tasted great and was the most dominant flavor. There was hot sauce inside already, and the egg consistency was good. The fillings were mixed well between the steak and eggs, and the meat didn’t taste tough. My expectations can be low for fast-food beef, but this one tasted good. I could see a decent amount of cheese but couldn’t taste it until I was pretty far down in the burrito. My one quibble is that the burrito was not quite balanced because of all the hot sauce. I wished it had some peppers, onions, or chilis like the McDonald’s burrito, but I loved the thin, chewy tortilla and how well the different filling ingredients were mixed. Despite liking the additional flavor, I could’ve done with slightly less hot sauce inside. Another plus is that this was real cheese, not cheese sauce, and it melted really well. Carl’s Jr. Calories: 650 Fat: 36 g (Saturated Fat: 14 g) Sodium: 1,750 mg Carbs: 43 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g) Protein: 41 g Carl’s Jr. has never been a favorite of mine across the board, but they do have a substantial breakfast burrito menu, so I had higher hopes for this category. There are three options: a steak and egg burrito, a loaded breakfast burrito with sausage, bacon, eggs, and potatoes, and a bacon, egg, and cheese burrito. I asked the cashier which was the most popular, and she said steak and eggs, so I decided to try that one. It was $6.29, and the higher price felt justified because of the steak. The look: Honestly, this one is a nice size. It’s more oblong than round or square, which is a good sign that the tortilla is flexible and not too stiff. Not a lot of browning on the tortilla, and it was very soft. The taste: After my first bite, I literally said, “Oh my God!” out loud. That was a first and only for me during this taste test. The steak was well-seasoned, with the onions and tomatoes from the pico de gallo salsa meshing perfectly. The eggs were smooth and creamy, and the cheese popped up over the next few bites for a salty, creamy addition. I would order this again! Steak and eggs with salsa differ from a breakfast burrito with lots of bacon and hashbrowns, so it could come down to subjective tastes. But this didn’t taste like a fast-food burrito; it tasted more like restaurant quality. It immediately shot up to the top of the list and remained there. Carl’s Jr. beat out Del Taco, Taco Bell, and even Chick-fil-A with this excellent option.

This content was originally published here.

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