I taste-tasted the signature breakfast sandwiches from 6 major fast-food chains, and the winner was clear

I ate the signature breakfast sandwiches at McDonald's, Starbucks, Burger King, Wendy's, Dunkin', and Chick-fil-A to see whose was best.

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I ate the signature breakfast sandwiches at McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King, Wendy’s, Dunkin’, and Chick-fil-A to see whose was best.
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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

The world isn’t what it used to be.

Cars can drive themselves, Saharan heat traveled all the way to Paris, and Wendy’s serves a Breakfast Baconator.

But some things will always stay the same: humans will always need to eat. And while breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day, it certainly is a meal. And personally, I never skip one of those.

The seemingly infinite number of fast-food breakfast choices might be befuddling.

Where can you get a filling, tasty, and reasonably nutritious breakfast sandwich? Where can you get one for under five bucks? Who will save the day and eat several thousand heart-stopping calories’ worth of bacon, chicken, egg, sausage, cheese, croissants, biscuits, muffins, and ciabatta bread – for the greater good, of course?

Read more: I ate the bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits from 4 major fast-food chains, and the winner surprised me

I tried the signature breakfast sandwiches from Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ in order to find out which chain makes the best morning-meal-in-a-bun.

I judged the sandwiches based on their buns, filling, and overall taste. I rated them from one to five in each metric to reach a completely scientific, objective, definitive, and quantitative conclusion totally not just based on my personal experience and preferences.

Prices reflect the items’ cost at Manhattan locations of each chain.

Here’s what I found:


WENDY’S — BREAKFAST BACONATOR, $3.99: Dressed in the only brioche burger bun of the lineup, Wendy’s sandwich stands out for its unabashed burger-ness. The sunny-side-up egg and square sausage patty are so on-brand.

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BUN: 3 — A burger bun on a breakfast sandwich isn’t exactly creative, but it’s also not bad. FILLING: 5 — It has everything you could possibly want on a breakfast sandwich: bacon, cheese, egg, and sausage — and plenty of it.

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OVERALL FLAVOR: 4 — Everything works really well together, and as always, Wendy’s delivers on slightly higher-quality ingredients. However, the brioche bun isn’t exactly thrilling breakfast material.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Read more: I tried the signature burgers from 5 major fast-food chains, and the winner was obvious


CHICK-FIL-A — CHICKEN BISCUIT, $3.59: This small but tall biscuit is so beige it makes me nervous.

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BUN: 4 — The biscuit is too big and doughy for its meager contents. FILLING: 3 — The chicken gets a 5/5. It’s moist, crispy, and flavorful. But there’s no other filling to keep it company.

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OVERALL FLAVOR: 3 — There just needs to be more breakfast in this biscuit. Something to make it less blindingly pale.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Read more: I tasted french fries from 8 major fast-food chains, and the winner surprised me


MCDONALD’S — EGG MCMUFFIN, $3.99: McDonald’s exec Herb Peterson changed the world when he created the Egg McMuffin in 1971.

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Source: McDonald’s


BUN: 4 — The McMuffin is strong and chewy. You feel safe in its arms even though it’s spent a little too long in the tanning bed. FILLING: 5 — Why doesn’t McD use the McMuffin egg in everything? It’s perfect, a soft yolk in a circular white. The cheese and ham are oh-so-flavorful and salty.

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OVERALL FLAVOR: 5 — I’m going to go ahead and assume that the slightly burnt McMuffin was a fluke, because everything else in this just worked so well. Great work, team!

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BURGER KING — SAUSAGE, EGG, AND CHEESE CROISSAN’WICH, $3.79: My arteries constrict when I look at this big, buttery bad boy.

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BUN: 3 — Can I really call this a croissant? Kind of. It’s soft, flat, and not flaky at all, but it practically oozes butter. FILLING: 4 — The juicy, juicy sausage is the star of the show. The egg is surprisingly decent, but the cheese went out for a pack of cigarettes and never came back.

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OVERALL FLAVOR: 5 — BK’s fatty beast of a breakfast sandwich is greater than the sum of its parts. My body says no, but my mouth says yes. I’m disgusted, but I also can’t deny my heart what it wants, even if what it wants is probably bad for it.

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Read more: I ate the same meal at both Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse, and one was the clear winner


STARBUCKS — BACON, GOUDA, AND EGG SANDWICH, $4.15: This sandwich is just a little smaller and fancier than all the others, like a handbag Chihuahua.

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BUN: 4 — It’s a crunchy, toasty ciabatta, but just because it’s fancy doesn’t mean it’s flavorful. FILLING: 3 — The bacon and Gouda are impressively flavorful, but the egg is especially meh. It has a frozen-then-heated texture: mushy, gritty, and bland.

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OVERALL: 3 — Even though this sandwich has potential, it never works hard enough to reach it.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

DUNKIN’ — SAUSAGE EGG AND CHEESE CROISSANT, $4.29: This sandwich is so built it makes you wonder how it got that way.

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BUN: 4 — This croissant is fluffy, flaky, and hot, but also very sweet. FILLING: 3 — There is lots of everything, but everything is very odd. The egg yolk is concentrated in one corner, and the sausage is thick and juicy but tastes off.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

OVERALL TASTE: 3 — This sandwich goes for quantity over quality. The good news is you could probably split it with a friend and both be full.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Read more: I ate everything at Costco’s food court, and there was one item I’d absolutely never order again


Spin the wheel of breakfast sandwiches! Round and round and round it goes! Where it stops, nobody knows — except you, after you read the next slide.

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Congratulations! You’ve won the jackpot: the Egg McMuffin. At a relatively low 290 calories, it’s also the tastiest sandwich. And it makes sense: McDonald’s has had nearly half a century to perfect it.

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But I might cheat on the McMuffin once or twice with the gut-churning greaser that is Burger King’s Croissan’wich. What’s love but a secondhand emotion?

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

And if none of these catch your fancy, there are always more sandwiches in the sea of fast-food breakfast options.

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Irene Jiang / Business Insider

Fast-food fans, we want to hear about your favorite chains and menu items. Tell us what you think.