Chain Restaurant Eggs Benedict Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers

Eggs Benedict on wooden surface
Eggs Benedict on wooden surface - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Our appetite for brunching is routinely at a fever pitch. Spiked orange juice, normally not tolerated during the week, is socially acceptable at 1 p.m. come Saturday, as are dishes inflected with indulgence and elegance in equal measure (after all, you're not the one laboring in the kitchen). In this case, a true knife-and-fork affair like Eggs Benedict will fit the bill. Creamy Hollandaise on an English muffin sporting Canadian bacon and poached, runny eggs -- though it oozes with luxury, the offering is beyond accessible, given that most chain restaurants will make it for you.

For first-time samplers, let alone any egg fanatic, knowing what places crack them correctly is super important. Nobody, and we mean nobody, wants to waste any dollars on curdled cream sauce and chalky, sulphuric yolks. Given the stakes, ranking the big-name franchises on its brunch bonafides was necessary. To conduct this task fairly and democratically, we sought out consumer reviews, ranking them from worst to best using criteria that we explain in more detail at the end. So grab a mimosa and get to reading!

Read more: 15 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cooking Eggs

14. Denny's

Eggs Benedict with hash browns
Eggs Benedict with hash browns - Merrilyn Lewis / Facebook

Denny's might be home to some iconic morning platters, but not every offering can necessarily be a Grand Slam. The Classic Benny Breakfast is a case in point. Because most reviews expressed disgust towards this dish, ranking it any higher than dead last would have been wrong -- perhaps even malpractice. Let the customers do the talking: "Maybe my expectations were too high for Denny's but this was beyond gross and not traditional eggs Benny."

Much can go awry when cooking Eggs Benedict, and this diner chain does a great job showing us what not to do. The eggs are advertised as over-medium, but when visitors order a plate, they're usually hard or alarmingly liquid-y. Meanwhile, the Hollandaise, as any foodie knows, is defined by its buttery richness thanks to egg yolk, lemon, and an assortment of robust spices. So why, according to grim reports from consumers, is the 24/7 outlet drizzling its eggs with (supposedly) canned cheese? We've also received word from Reddit that the viscous goo comes from a bag, which doesn't surprise us given the revolting state of its sauce to begin with.

13. Flying Biscuit Café

Eggs Benedict fresh fruit side
Eggs Benedict fresh fruit side - Flying Biscuit Café / Facebook

Most breakfast-eaters won't be near a Flying Biscuit Café, given the micro-chain is scattered across a handful of states (Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Texas, and both Carolinas). Still, foodies should be aware of the carb haven's Classic Benedict, which earns second-to-last place due to some non-negotiable errors. Complaints run the gamut from undercooked eggs to gluey Hollandaise, and these issues meet in the middle to demonstrate an overarching plainness reserved for run-of-the-mill establishments. Reviews also voiced grievances over the sauce's lackluster character, seemingly working overtime to obscure the rubbery Canadian bacon and rock-hard bread hidden underneath.

Per one diner, Flying Biscuit's dish was "dreadful ... the worst I've ever eaten." Echoing this sentiment, another commenter couldn't find much else to praise other than the grits. $11.99 is a steal for a brunch staple of this caliber, knowing (compared to a stack of pancakes) how much more labor-intensive Eggs Benedict can be to assemble. However, maybe there's a case to be made that you're getting what you pay for, since, for a couple of dollars extra, other eateries will prepare it to perfection.

12. IHOP

Eggs Benedict white ceramic plate
Eggs Benedict white ceramic plate - Peter Beckman / Facebook

Scoring a decent Benny at the International House of Pancakes isn't in the cards either. The Classic Eggs Benedict with Black Forest Ham and a side of one's choosing shouldn't set off any alarm bells presentation-wise. Quickly though, you'll see from patron accounts that IHOP fail to deliver some of the dish's crucial details, disqualifying it from the brunch-worthy rotation our round-up is searching for.

For starters, the subpar ingredients largely bring down the eating experience. What worsens the situation though are the improperly cooked eggs. On more than one occasion, restaurant-goers have pointed to eggs boiled solid that don't resemble the poached pillows you'd expect.

To ease up on the pancake joint just a bit, the creamier Hollandaise isn't too shabby. We're sure tweaking its recipe last year, as Brand Eating reports, ushered in some noticeable improvement. Regardless, there's more to Eggs Benedict than the velvety-smooth sauce. If the rest of the plate, in all of its ho-hum glory, is built off of mystery pork and bone-dry yolks, there's just no point stomaching it, especially at almost $15.

11. First Watch

Eggs Benedict roasted breakfast potatoes
Eggs Benedict roasted breakfast potatoes - Becca Malburg / Facebook

A morning-oriented café franchise, First Watch dishes up delightful breakfasts for rising and shining until 2:30 p.m. The artisanal Classic Benedict is an open-face affair, but instead of toasted muffins, it uses a plank of ciabatta bread. Pictures show the loaf houses jiggly eggs, tomato, and ham with a light ladling of Hollandaise alongside a pile of citrus-tossed greens. 

Diners express mixed opinions on this option, leading us to peg it as a gets-the-job-done option that won't take home any trophies. While the ciabatta offers a welcome deviation from the norm, admittedly straying from the orthodox bread was a bit problematic. How so? Well, the carby slab is quite brittle and requires laborious sawing to fully split it in half, at least when put to the test by one patron. In their words, "The flavors are right but the huge bread is hard to cut." Skimpy sauce fails to exude any decadence, and frankly, cracking some unevenly prepped eggs just isn't a good look for this egg entrée.

10. Marie Callender's

Close up Eggs Benedict plate
Close up Eggs Benedict plate - Dan Kerr / Facebook

Marie Callender's is a rare sight in the realm of chain restaurants, but as a dine-in destination, it's still kicking. Wake-up grub is available around the clock, tackling savory standards like omelets and quiche along with your pancakes and fluffy waffles. There is a California-style Eggs Benedict but otherwise, the default formula -- eggs, Canadian bacon, and an oozing Hollandaise -- is on the table at $15.49, counting a crispy serving of shredded hash browns.

Once again, the divergent reactions on display suggests it's a matter of luck whether this version sticks the landing. That's why we've graded it just above the worst offenders, but lower on the scale to make room for the truly excellent examples. If, like some guests have attested, the brunch standard is mastered to a tee, then you'll be in for a good time -- a choice to keep in mind whenever the comfort chain is near. But if you're one of the unlucky ones that doesn't receive this royal treatment -- say, finding "dry and powdery" yolks on a stale muffin like one unfortunate Yelp reviewer -- it'll be a bummer.

9. Cracker Barrel

Eggs Benedict brunch plate
Eggs Benedict brunch plate - Kimberly Johnson / Facebook

Hitting Cracker Barrel's lineup in Spring 2023, the Biscuit Benny promises a revelatory twist on eggy decadence. The rustic joint swaps English muffin rounds with a buttery biscuit, and lays them down with eggs done over-easy plus whatever protein you like. Country or cured ham are the closest alternatives to fit Canadian Bacon, but options like Impossible Sausage or bacon allows one to forge a customized breakfast benediction.

On YouTube, The Southern Snack was quite underwhelmed by the dish. He cited the middle-of-the-road taste that echoed similar quibbles over the generically-nondescript flavor, particularly out of the Hollandaise. And knowing that egg sauce is a much different ball game than sausage gravy, the choice to use a biscuit rather than a toasted muffin proved polarizing. Some enjoyed it -- others didn't. "I'm sure it's a good product, just not for me," one patron admitted, claiming the Southern theme didn't mesh well with the brunch mainstay.

Putting a spin on beloved menu items is something we'd never frown upon. Potentially though, this could be a let-down if you're after an authentic eggs Benedict.

8. Eggs Up Grill

Person eating Eggs Benedict breakfast
Person eating Eggs Benedict breakfast - Eggs Up Grill / Facebook

Eggs Up Grill steps up to the plate, bearing an approachable offering that won't feel like you had your pockets picked. The eggs are (usually) poached well, the Canadian bacon is faintly sweet, and the muffins are slim, yet sturdy enough to support the torrential pour of rich Hollandaise. Nailing these essential elements puts the breakfast franchise at an advantage above its lesser compatriots -- which is a tricky undertaking in the breakfast business.

Having established the positives though, the chain could make some tweaks to turn this entry into something beyond "acceptable." The main issue that popped up again and again, from customer reviews, involved the plain flavor profile. The bland egg sauce was the most glaring offense we tracked down, with one discerning palate assessing Eggs Up's specialty "lacked character."

Competence can only go so far towards unlocking that special feast you'll ravenously hunger for every weekend until the end of time. Though there isn't much that's wrong with the way it's cooked per se, responses are tepid enough to warrant second thoughts.

7. Black Bear Diner

Eggs Benedict with fruit
Eggs Benedict with fruit - Haleigh Earnest / Facebook

Skimming the grease-heavy specialties sizzling out of Black Bear Diner, diners will be met with two choices for Eggs Benedict. In this case, we examined The Classic Benedict, topped with folds of smoked ham and accompanied by either grits, red potatoes, or hash browns. The consensus, we found, was largely favorable! One patron declared that the eggs "had just the right amount of ooze," while other commenters lauded the nicely-smoked ham. With portions seemingly engineered for mountain-dwellers, crawling out the door with a full belly is the cherry on top.

Compliments aside, a couple of restaurant-goers have doled out criticisms that suggests how the eatery could fine-tune its breakfast offering. Take the poached eggs. In occasional circumstances some orders will arrive solidified as opposed to softened, resulting in none of that gushing golden yolk. "The poached eggs were poached hard," recalled one reviewer who personally disliked the firm texture. "I like them medium so the yellow is runny." Our verdict? Keep the diner at an arm's length. Like other picks in limbo, it might take a first-hand taste to see how the restaurant chain stacks up.

6. Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

Eggs Benedict breakfast on plate
Eggs Benedict breakfast on plate - Jeff Roush / Facebook

In contrast to poaching, Perkins goes the yolks-up route by basting its eggs. This technique involves sizzling the eggs in butter, and it's an ultra-indulgent step that enhances the velvety pool of Hollandaise. Parading such luxury, on top of carved ham and crisped muffin halves, reflects a greater standard compared to other big-box chains. The dine-in institution seems to cover the bases needed out of the brunch staple, considering patrons tend to refer to it as a frequent favorite for breakfast.

At the same time, feedback wasn't universally glowing enough to award Perkins' the top title for our round-up. How so? Despite the impressive flourishes, we discovered the entrée carries a pre-packaged essence that, to some, infiltrates the meal. Take it from a low score on Yelp. They called the meat "mystery ham" and described the smooth cream sauce like "something out of a box," which is a complaint we find concerning.

Given these mixed signals, we won't promise that it'll blow you away but it'll at least scratch the itch when needed. Not to mention getting hash browns or fruit with your order is nice (and not too pricey).

5. Original Pancake House

Eggs Benedict with potatoes
Eggs Benedict with potatoes - The Original Pancake House / Facebook

Clearly a name like Original Pancake House signals great things are happening at the griddle. But The Classic Benedict, while not the reigning champion, is at least a solid contender for brunch-goers. What makes this entrée sing is the dependability. It truly is the ideal form of breakfast decadence. Letting the ingredients shine by the virtues allowed to them translates into a morning treat clearly rousing guests from the comforts of bed.

Now, the slapped-together appearance doesn't exactly scream "fancy," while the rudimentary prep can be potentially underwhelming if you're used to the "spicier" sprinkled in heavy paprika. From our research however, it seems the complimentary accounts far outweigh the faults as seen by the stream of positive reviews. The excellent Hollandaise, for example, came up multiple times, as did the plump eggs that were perfectly cooked for that drizzly yolk breaking free onto the plate.

"I was skeptical of the eggs benedict, but they exceeded my expectations," a delighted visitor exclaimed. "The sauce was delish, the eggs was just right, the muffin and ham were good as well."

4. Egg Harbor Café

Close up of Eggs Benedict
Close up of Eggs Benedict - Donna Gardner / Facebook

We've witnessed establishments charging premium for hard-boiled mounds and yellow slop. But The Barrington Benedict ($14) is different. Sourcing cage-free eggs for the wake-up staple, Egg Harbor Café also dusts the muffins in a bright dash of paprika and serves it with roasted potatoes on the side. These strengths, In addition to the slew of high scores by thrilled clientele, ended up cracking the top five of our curated Benny bonanza.

"Unapologetically elevated" is how we would describe this breakfast, even if it wasn't quite divine enough to score number-one. The feedback was mainly positive, as accounts pointed to the spread of harmonious textures and flavors. One patron, who assigned the plate a whopping five stars, gushed, "the ham was thick, the eggs were cooked to perfection, the Hollandaise was creamy." A different guest gave the oozing Hollandaise and pillowy eggs a massive thumbs up as well.

The appeal of a solid Eggs Benedict is the simplicity, and a different account was content with how every component came accurately cooked. They added "what I'm describing might not sound amazing but it definitely tasted good."

3. Broken Yolk Café

Eggs Benedict close up
Eggs Benedict close up - Broken Yolk Café (Meridian) / Facebook

If Eggs Benedict is your favorite indulgent breakfast, you'll be in heaven at Broken Yolk Café. The menu features a half-dozen combinations, and what's more, patrons can even mix-and-match their order to feature different styles. Pairing a chicken-and-waffles situation with a Mexican sope? Don't mind if we do! Still, as far as we're concerned, what matters most is how the traditional recipe holds up to scrutiny.

A guest who frequently orders the entrée picked up on some less-than-stellar patterns. In their experience, "the muffin is small and often over toasted," while "The Canadian ham tends to be charred a bit and the Hollandaise sauce minimal." Yet among a majority of customers it's fairly well-received, even when flashier renditions could hog the spotlight. The ingredients are well-assembled without any glaring mistakes that all too often plague this breakfast. Generally speaking, over-cooking the eggs or breaking the Hollandaise sauce doesn't seem to be a common occurrence -- to us, a good sign it's consistently made, and delicious. A diner found the entire dish "excellent," echoing another favorable response declaring the creamy sauce "amongst the best around."

2. Eggspectation

Eggs Benedict with potatoes fruit
Eggs Benedict with potatoes fruit - Carroll Hogan / Facebook

Expecting a mouthwatering eggs Benny shouldn't be a tall order for a chain centering everything cracked, fried, and scrambled. But Eggspectation, the Canadian-based brand, understood the assignment: this is a banger of a brunch that takes home the prize. Beautifully-cooked eggs, carved Applewood ham, and a muffin drizzled in oodles of Hollandaise (simmered from scratch with real butter, no less) makes it an easy pick for visitors only seeking the best. In terms of taste and quality, in fact, you won't find a tastier indulgence to post on your Instagram feed. "If you like Benedict, stop in," urged a TripAdvisor review. 

It's understandable that prospective customers might scoff at the $17 price -- it is a few dollars above the average price-range we've spotted among other breakfast-styled joints. Yet from our perspective, this is where shelling out the extra bucks is called for. Simply put, the execution is incredibly high-end for what's normally churned from a chain establishment. Patrons remain struck by the culinary expertise the chain displays on the regular. One spellbound reviewer said "I still think about those Bennies." You'll probably think about them too!

1. Another Broken Egg Café

Eggs Benedict on white plate
Eggs Benedict on white plate - Eric Kirchhoff / Facebook

Regret won't be sitting at your table if you visit Another Broken Egg Café. Although the down-home chain hawks a tempting carousel of variations, patrons find the regular Eggs Benedict hard to turn down. Ultimately, the elite nature of the ingredients and sizable portions draws patrons from all over the world wide web to applaud the dish. The star of the order might be the Hollandaise, though the eggs, ham, and muffin hold their own weight; this is because, rather than pouring it from a jar, the franchise crafts a luscious sauce directly out of its restaurants.

"It is very hard to get a good poached egg, but I had two!" pronounced a thrilled patron, and they weren't alone. Separate commenters were similarly bowled over by the consistency, the fundamentals not only present but pulled off well. A glowing write-up on TripAdvisor wholeheartedly recommended the offering, calling it "culinary heaven." In another assessment, a diner remarked that the meat (in this case, grilled ham and not Canadian Bacon) was portioned on the lighter side, but altogether rose to delectable heights anyway.

Our Methodology

Eggs Benedict restaurant platter
Eggs Benedict restaurant platter - Mgturner/Getty Images

A dish like Eggs Benedict is open to experimental interpretations. In this case, comparing eateries in good faith required us to narrow our scope to exclusively "traditional" recipes. From there, we pulled reviews from platforms spanning Yelp, TripAdvisor, YouTube, and Reddit to see which chain restaurants sported the ultimate version associated with diners and greasy spoons nationwide. Though price and value played a part, consumer satisfaction ultimately took precedence in the final round-up.

Read the original article on Mashed