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Waffle House: 5 Reasons to Love This Diner!

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I’d passed by plenty of Waffle House locations over years of traveling in the South. My cousins lauded them, but I just figured that these college guys would rave about any place that would feed them at 2:00 AM. I now have to confess that I hadn’t given them enough credit.

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Above: Clean digs at a Waffle House in Kansas City, MO.

(This is a non-sponsored review, and Waffle House was not notified that we would be reviewing their restaurant. As always, all opinions are our own.)

[This is part of an ongoing series about our family road trip from Oregon to Georgia and back. To start at the beginning, click here.]

After a full day at the Oceans of Fun Waterpark our family of eight needed a good dinner on the double. We took a gamble on Waffle House and it paid off.

Waffle House is worth the stop for five reasons: 

Real Service

First of all, it’s an unassuming sit-down restaurant that wants you to be comfortable. You’ll see yourself and your kids to a table, but not without a friendly hello and a sense that you’re welcome.

kids sitting at table in Waffle House
Above: Happiness is a good diner on a family road trip.

A friendly attitude should be a no-brainer when it comes to restaurants, but can be surprisingly hard to find especially when you’re traveling with kids. Waffle House was a breath of fresh air, our kids pulled up a diner seat and were treated like family. This was impressive, especially because this particular location was understaffed.

Waffle House Home Cookin’

Diners are fun, but diners don’t always serve real food. One chain is infamous for its rubberized cherry tomatoes.

Another chain was a model of good food in the eighties but is now known for cutting corners (Coco’s). I experienced Coco’s poor service personally when I ordered an omelette.

What arrived was a visual definition of “underwhelming”—literally nothing more than a circle of cooked eggs folded over a slightly melted block of cheese. I was so shocked that I didn’t even think to ask for my money back.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food was at Waffle House. My Texas Cheesesteak Melt with hash browns was more than satisfactory. Jennifer ordered a signature waffle with chocolate chips and enjoyed her meal as well.

But the question remained: Isn’t hunger the best sauce? We’d just come off of a full day of family fun at a waterpark—what would we not have eaten? 

Boy enjoying waffle at Waffle House
Above: Happy tummy, Happy Family.

So we gave Waffle House a second test. This time we stopped for lunch midway on our drive through Tennessee. Our tummies were fuller, and we’d spent much of the day in the car.

What hadn’t changed was the quality of the food. If anything, we enjoyed it more now that we weren’t so worn out.

Shell gasoline sign with Waffle House sign below, blue sky background
Above: Giving Waffle House another go.

I’m not sure why Waffle House makes such good food but my hunch is that they stick to what they’re good at. I don’t see them gallivanting into promotional meals or new menus.

While that won’t wow everyone, it certainly gains the praise of parents looking for reliable goodness at the end of the travel day. You rock Waffle House!

Waffle House hot signature waffle with melted butter, syrup and melted chocolate chips.
Delicious waffles served hot!

Clean and Bright

You can tell that Waffle House is built for road warriors. Every location is well lit and clean, exactly what you want when your bladder is full and your stomach is empty. This put Waffle House a step above your typical mom-and-pop shop (which can sometimes be a bit too homely). 

Easy In, Easy Out

Basic is a plus when you’re traveling with kids. I love the fact that I can see everything from my booth seat. Practically every inch of the restaurant—other than the restroom and staff room—are within my scope of vision.

Good times at a Waffle House diner in Tennessee.

Could there be a better set-up when you’re feeding kids who’ve been cooped up for hours? I don’t have to wonder or be told what my kids are doing because I can see it all and address it immediately. 

Everywhere & All the Time

Every parent knows that if something can go wrong, it will. Practically speaking, Waffle House is a rest stop resource for out-of-towners.

I’m not kidding! The options parents take for granted rapidly diminish once they pass the city limits. Restaurants and gas stations close early and even without warning in rural areas, leaving the traveler wondering about how to handle their current dilemma.

Waffle House provides a safe, dependable option for families, and that’s something worth writing about. 

Above: Easy to find, Easy to use!

A Final Word

We see value to reviewing places without their knowledge and involvement. Waffle House was not apprised of either of our visits or of the fact that we would be writing this post. 

What has your experience been with Waffle House? Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments. 

© Copyright 2021 Brian A. Warren

To continue reading about our epic road trip, check out the National World War 1 Museum post and then our visit to Slap’s BBQ and the Penguin Park.

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About the author

Brian Warren is a native of California and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and several other countries. He's husband to Jennifer, Dad of six children, and taught middle school history for several years. His special interests include craft beers, the American Old West, and geology. Brian is also an online marketing specialist and cofounder of Dinkum Tribe, a website dedicated to healthy, happy families. Feel free to send Brian a message at [email protected].


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