Frozen Waffles, Ranked From Worst To Best

Move over, Eggo—there are lots of other brands on the market worth trying.

As a teenager, I ate a lot of frozen waffles, the easiest food option my mind could handle. This is because my mom, being a Vietnamese mother, did not know how to make pancakes, and she hardly had time to make me eggs. Most mornings, my parents were heading out the door to work by the time I trundled down the stairs.

These days, as a working mom, I alternate between serving cereal, waffles, and toast. My kids do not mind at all, as anything drizzled with butter and/or maple syrup wins them over. Even if you don't have kids, frozen waffles are one of those things that really do save a lot of time in the morning. But which ones are the best?

Frozen waffles have an interesting backstory, and while Eggo has long held an apparent monopoly on the frozen breakfast aisle, there are plenty of other contenders on the shelves. Along with my team of excellent test tasters (also known as my kids, along with my partner), I tried out ten different brands of store-bought frozen waffles.

I should disclose here that when you judge food products with children who can never stop eating, you're bound to get some honest feedback. (See breakfast sausages). That said, we evaluated the following ten brands according to very basic criteria:

  • Fluffiness. Does it look fluffy in its frozen state and cooked state? This was very important to my kids—don't ask me why. But I'd have to agree with them. Biting into a quality waffle should present you with the feeling of sinking your teeth into a mound of cheesecake or a stack of perfect French toast.
  • Crispness. This goes against what I'd just said above, but bear with me. The waffle's exterior should be in sharp contrast to its fluffy innards. Does it have a nice crisp to it? Is there a distinct golden color? Both textures should be accounted for.
  • Flavor. For the purposes of this test, we tried only homestyle or buttermilk waffles without maple syrup (I was given a lot of guff for this, but I stood firm). I wanted to make sure we were all judging the product itself, not any additions that might take away from or distract from its true taste.
  • Without further ado, here are the waffles, ranked from worst to best.

10. Van’s Gluten Free Original Waffles

Van's started out as a California beachside restaurant in 1968, and today its waffles and pancakes can be found at grocery stores nationwide. Longevity aside, our tasting team agreed that the chain's Gluten Free Original Waffles are completely flavorless. Like Eggo, this product was very pale and bland, making me question whether I'd cooked it at all; I realized that five minutes in the toaster oven wasn't enough. These waffles simply do not conjure up any images of children (or adults) eating breakfast happily. Perhaps the best that can be said about Van's waffles is that they contain 22 grams of whole grains per serving (about two waffles). They're also gluten free, cholesterol free, dairy & egg free, and corn free, a good choice for someone with these particular allergies.


9. Eggo Homestyle Waffles

At first, I felt slightly guilty about placing Eggo waffles so low in the rankings. However, for a brand whose marketing catchphrase ("L'Eggo my Eggo!") implies we'll all be fighting over this product, it sure turned out to be disappointing. Everything about its composition was subpar, particularly its flat, ivory color, which, in my opinion, a waffle should not have. If there was any crispness at all, it sure didn't last two minutes out of the toaster. Perhaps Eggo's redeeming quality is its participation in the Feeding Reading program, a partnership with Penguin Random House that lets families trade in proof of purchase of Kellogg products for a free book.


8. Birch Benders Keto Toaster Waffles

Birch Benders was founded in Boulder, Colorado by a couple named Lizzi Ackerman and Matt LaCasse in 2011, who grew the brand into a multi-million-dollar company within a few short years. They literally got "lucky" when a grocery chain in Boulder named Lucky's agreed to sell their product. But impressive stats aside, I found these waffles to be on par with Eggo. Not in color, though—they were dark. So dark, in fact, that when they came out of the toaster I was accused of burning them. (I replied, perhaps more firmly than gently, that I did not.) The waffles had a hint of cinnamon, which was nice. Birch Benders claims that its waffles are "fluffy on the inside," but I did not find this to be the case. Its insides resembled a sponge—not terrible, just not what I was expecting.


7. 365 Whole Foods Organic Homestyle Waffles

I generally like Whole Foods' 365 brand, but it depends on the product. Its frozen pizza, for example, has a delightful flavor. But I'm afraid I can't say the same for its frozen waffles. According to my kids, these waffles looked like a sugar cookie that's been sitting out on the counter for almost two weeks: dry and bland. While the color is nothing to scream about, neither is the taste. These waffles reminded me of a mud-colored pair of flats, certainly nothing that I would eat or feed my kids on a regular basis. Be prepared to douse these in a lot of syrup and butter. Sorry, Whole Foods, but you're going to have to do better than this.


6. Simple Truth Organic Homestyle Waffles

Simple Truth Organic is a brand that you can find at any Kroger brand store—in my case, a local Fred Meyer. At first glance, I found the package design for these waffles beautiful and inviting. It comes at a reasonable price for an organic product, and the waffles themselves have a very nice color and a hint of sweetness, but not a whole lot of other redeeming qualities. "Why does it look like a dark brown wafer cookie?" my son asked me. I could see his point. The color of waffles says a lot, and this was misleading, as the waffles were three shades darker than the glossy picture on the package. These waffles would fulfill your basic needs for breakfast, but if you're looking for a waffle that's fluffy on the inside while crisp and golden on the outside, this is not the one for you.


5. Kodiak Protein-Packed Power Waffles

I love Kodiak's founding story, for it is as heartwarming and familial as the waffles themselves. Kodiak waffles are no joke: they're 100% whole grain, packed with 12 grams of protein per serving, and two of these waffles will get you 240 calories, which should do you well in the wilderness called life and work. I loved its thick, fluffy texture and its highly fragrant vanilla and buttery taste, the kind that doesn't require any syrups or butter because it's good enough on its own. However, I should warn you that this is the most expensive brand of the bunch; be prepared to spend at least $4 per box.


4. WinCo Homestyle Waffles

These waffles were the most affordable of the bunch. At $1.99 for a box of 10 waffles, it's one heck of a deal. But here's the biggest bummer: You can only get them at a WinCo Foods, an employee-owned discount grocery chain with many locations on the West Coast, including some in Texas and Oklahoma. That being said, I have to give these waffles high marks not just for affordability but for their nice golden color and size—they exceeded my expectations across the board. My taste testers agreed that this waffle tasted very "homestyle," meaning that you can eat it plain just fine but it tastes better with a little bit of syrup.


3. Nature’s Path Organic Gluten Free Homestyle Waffles

Let me state up front that if you're price conscious, these waffles may not be for you. After Kodiak, Nature's Path was the second most expensive brand on our list ($4.39 for a box of 6 waffles). Nonetheless, this brand is great for vegans and non-vegans alike. It featured a beautiful golden sheen and tasted like a classic American waffle that you'd get at a diner, which is quite an achievement for a gluten-free product. There was a slight hint of sweetness that my kids and husband noted in these waffles, and upon research, I found that they were sweetened with pear juice. What a delight!


2. Kroger Homestyle Waffles

As far as store brands go, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Kroger's waffles really earn their "homestyle" description. This brand scored high marks on taste and affordability. If you want a true buttermilk taste that lingers on your tongue after you're done, then this is the one to try. My tasters and I were also blown away by the waffles' crispness and fluffiness. They hold their shape very well after several minutes of being out of the toaster, unlike Eggo. At $2.19 for 10 waffles, it's one heck of a deal too.


1. Annie’s Organic Homestyle Waffles

Full disclosure: My kids love Annie's products, especially the mac and cheese, because of the bunny on the package. But beyond this effective branding, Annie's waffles lived up to our high expectations on the basis of texture and flavor. They were so beautiful when they came out of the toaster oven. "So tasty, you could skip the syrup!" the box proclaimed, and I'd have to agree. Does it help that they're organic? Sure, but what makes Annie's waffles so unique is that they hit all the markers of fluffiness, crispness, flavor, shape, and color. With just a slight hint of sweetness, these waffles are perfect on the go.