Waffle House is a popular chain of restaurants known for serving breakfast favorites like waffles, pancakes, eggs, and hashbrowns 24 hours a day. Their classic waffles are a customer favorite, but many wonder just how many calories are in one of these indulgent treats.
A Brief History of Waffle House
Waffle House was founded in 1955 in Avondale Estates, Georgia by Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner. The original restaurant was inspired by Rogers’ experience visiting a restaurant in Illinois that served quick meals 24 hours a day. He wanted to create a similar concept in the South.
The first Waffle House menu featured simple fare like burgers, fries, eggs, and of course, waffles. Over the years they expanded their menu but remained committed to serving freshly cooked meals round-the-clock.
Waffle House became popular with late night and early morning diners. Their iconic yellow sign became synonymous with tasty food served up at all hours. The chain expanded across the South and Midwest and today there are over 1,900 Waffle House locations in 25 states.
Waffle House Waffle Nutrition Facts
So what’s the calorie damage for one of Waffle House’s famous waffles?
According to the Waffle House nutrition information, a standard waffle without any toppings contains:
- 330 calories
- 13 grams of fat
- 45 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of saturated fat
- 0 grams of trans fat
- 260 mg of sodium
- 1 gram of fiber
- 7 grams of protein
A plain Waffle House waffle contains 330 calories before any syrup or butter is added. While certainly a treat, this is a comparable calorie count to other popular waffle brands. For example, an Eggo waffle contains 160 calories.
What About Waffle House Waffle Toppings?
Waffle House is known for letting customers customize their waffles with delicious toppings like:
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate chips
- Blueberries, strawberries, or pecan pieces
These tasty toppings will add additional calories to your waffle. Here’s a breakdown of how many calories common Waffle House waffle toppings contribute:
1 pat of butter: 36 calories
2 oz syrup: 200-220 calories
2 oz whipped cream: 105 calories
1/4 cup chocolate chips: 220 calories
1/4 cup blueberries or strawberries: 16 calories
2 tbsp chopped pecans: 93 calories
As you can see, topping choices like syrup, chocolate chips, and whipped cream can significantly increase the calorie count of your waffle. To keep your waffle around the 330 calorie mark, opt for lower calorie toppings like berries or pecans.
How to Order a Lower Calorie Waffle
If you love indulging in Waffle House waffles but want to make slightly healthier choices, here are some tips for ordering a lower calorie waffle:
- Ask for whole wheat waffle – This option cuts calories by using whole grains
- Go light on the butter
- Choose lower calorie toppings like fresh fruit, pecans, or a light drizzle of syrup
- Skip the whipped cream
- Order a single waffle instead of a double or triple stack
- Ask for sugar free syrup options
- Share your waffle with someone
- Take leftovers home instead of feeling compelled to finish
Making customizations like these can help reduce the calorie count while still letting you enjoy the classic Waffle House taste.
Nutrition Facts for Other Waffle House Menu Items
In addition to waffles, Waffle House serves up many other comfort food favorites. Here’s a look at the nutrition facts for some of their most popular menu items:
1 order scrambled eggs (3 eggs): 300 calories, 21g fat, 2g sat fat, 810mg sodium
4 slices bacon: 260 calories, 20g fat, 7g sat fat, 580mg sodium
Scattered smothered covered chunked hash browns: 720 calories, 51g fat, 10g sat fat, 1770mg sodium
Bowl of cheddar cheese grits: 440 calories, 20g fat, 12g sat fat, 1110mg sodium
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Short stack (2) chocolate chip pancakes: 470 calories, 17g fat, 7g sat fat, 730mg sodium
As you can see, many classic Waffle House menu items are high in calories, fat, and sodium. Focus on customizing orders to be healthier by requesting things like egg whites, dry hash browns, or fruit pancakes.
Waffle House Waffle Calories Compared to Other Chains
|Restaurant||Waffle Calories (plain)|
Waffle House waffles contain around 330 calories, which is in the middle range compared to waffles from other popular breakfast chains. Denny’s offers a slightly lower calorie option at 260 calories per waffle, while Cracker Barrel’s are significantly higher at 420 calories. The calorie count can vary based on specific toppings and customizations as well.
Should You Be Concerned About Waffle Calories?
Are 330 calories for a waffle bad for you? The answer depends greatly on your specific calorie needs and diet. Here are some factors to consider:
- A 330 calorie waffle represents about 16% of a standard 2,000 calorie daily diet. For some, this is a perfectly reasonable breakfast treat. For others trying to closely manage calories, it may be too high.
- The government recommends limiting saturated fat to 22 grams per day. Waffle House waffles supply 2 grams saturated fat per serving.
- There are 45 grams of carb in one Waffle House waffle. If you are managing carbohydrate intake, be mindful of this.
- Be reasonable with toppings. Going overboard with butter, syrup, etc can turn a 330 calorie waffle into a much higher calorie treat.
As with any food, waffle calories should be balanced within your overall daily calorie goals. An occasional indulgence in a restaurant waffle is unlikely to be harmful, but daily waffle breakfasts could make it trickier to manage your weight and health.
Healthier Waffle Alternatives
If you want to indulge in waffles but are concerned about calories and fat, there are some healthier baking options to consider making at home:
- Whole Grain Waffles: Choose a whole grain flour and add nuts, seeds, or bran for more fiber and nutrients.
- Oatmeal Waffles: Add rolled or steel-cut oats to the batter for a heartier, more filling waffle.
- Protein Waffles: Add an egg white or protein powder to boost protein.
- Yogurt Waffles: Substitute plain Greek yogurt for some of the butter or oil to cut fat.
- Fruit Waffles: Fold fresh or frozen berries into the batter for added flavor and nutrition.
Baking your own healthy waffle versions at home can provide a lower calorie option with higher nutritional value.
The Bottom Line
Waffle House’s standard waffle contains about 330 calories before toppings. While not outlandishly high in calories, the waffles do lack nutritional value beyond carbohydrates. An occasional waffle treat is unlikely to be detrimental, but regular waffle breakfasts could contribute empty calories and fat.
Customizing your order with lower calorie toppings or selecting healthier alternatives like fruit can allow you to enjoy Waffle House waffles while paying attention to your daily calorie goals.