When you’re looking to enjoy breakfast outside your own kitchen, navigating restaurant menus can get pretty daunting—especially when you’re watching your weight.
But just because you’ve decided to dine out doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to downing an entire day’s worth of calories before noon. To help streamline your choices, we’ve rounded up the 14 best chain restaurant breakfasts that round out under 500 calories. What’s more, most of them feature our 37 Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss.
If you’re starting your day at America’s Diner, choose the Fit Slam over the Grand Slam. The former packs in protein-rich egg whites scrambled with fresh spinach and grape tomatoes and served with a side of lean turkey bacon strips, an English muffin, and seasonal fruit. Love dining at Denny’s? Then you won’t want to miss our exclusive story: 16 Things You Don’t Know About Denny’s.
For just 400 calories, you can dig into an omelet dish studded with crunchy applewood bacon, creamy cheddar, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and avocado. Bonefish Grill’s breakfast packs in just three grams of net carbs and 26 grams of metabolism-spiking protein.
If you’re one to always pick at your friends’ food, look no further than Friendly’s versatile breakfast sampler. It features two made-to-order eggs (we recommend keeping the yolks!), your choice of either two bacon strips or sausage links, and a mini fruit and granola parfait. If you’re looking to lighten up this meal even further, ask for the parfait without the granola. Bonus: You’ll cut back on added sugars, too.
A veggie omelet is almost always a safe bet, especially when you’re dining at Shoney’s. This rendition is folded with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes for a healthy dose of plant-based vitamins and nutrients. The eggs are then topped off with a generous helping of cheddar cheese.
When you don’t have much time to sit down to a meal, Au Bon Pain’s superfood oatmeal is the perfect pick to grab on the go. It’s stuffed with heart-healthy flax seeds, almonds, and whole-grains such as oats, quinoa, and puffed amaranth—all of which lend this hearty bowl a healthy dose of fiber, protein, and healthy fats that’ll keep you satiated past lunchtime.
Although we love our egg yolks for their slimming choline and mood-boosting B vitamins, the egg white veggie omelet is a smart choice at IHOP. Skip the toast and spoon into some seasonal fruit for added fiber.
The homey scent of baked waffles and fresh maple syrup wafting through the booths at Huddle House will definitely deter your plans to order the omelet, which is why we included this French toast option. As long as you refrain from drizzling syrup or sprinkling powdered sugar, these battered slices make for a solid low-cal breakfast that’s sweet on its own. If you get the chance, sneak in some berries or veggies once you get home to get in a bit of produce for your morning meal.
Who knew you can eat pancakes without breaking your calorie budget for the day? Perkins’ hot cakes are packed with blueberries and topped with fresh banana slices and accompanied with scrambled Egg Beaters for added protein. We recommended leaving the sausage on the side and be sure to drink lots of water (or save half for later) to offset the higher-than-average amount of sodium in the buttermilk pancake batter.
Rather than opting for your usual bagel and schmear, go for a heartier breakfast that will prevent awkward midday tummy grumbles. Einstein Bros’ Nova lox bagel is a solid choice—albeit one that is pretty high in sodium. Clocking in at just under 500 calories, this sandwich manages to provide you with heart-healthy omega-3s and 22 grams of protein—two macros essential for healthy hair. Although those with high blood pressure or people watching their sodium intake should be weary.
What’s a trip to the iconic pancake house without a fluffy short stack? Although a plain stack of empty-calorie pancakes isn’t our first pick for a morning meal, if you HAVE to have them, Original Buttermilk Pancakes will satisfy your flapjack cravings while keeping your breakfast under 500 calories. Considering the buttermilk batter contains quite a bit of sodium, you may want to nag the wait staff to continue refilling your water glass.
Break your night-long fast with Denny’s slimming vegetable omelet topped with melted Swiss. We love that this pick is cooked with sautéed zucchini and tomatoes—two fresh ingredients that can fight off the flu thanks to their superb vitamin C content.
You don’t always have to opt for the omelet. Perkins’ oven-baked veggie frittata offers a delicious twist on your average egg and comes loaded with broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers, onions, Mediterranean Feta cheese, and served with fresh fruit for a balanced breakfast.
We love Starbucks’ hearty blueberry oatmeal option because it’s made with cholesterol-lowering whole grains and sweetened with dried fruits and fresh blueberries. To skip the added sugars, we suggest doing without the agave syrup altogether.
Chick-fil-A is notorious for its satisfying, juicy chicken sandwiches—so why not start your day with one? The Egg White Grill stacks lean grilled chicken, egg whites, and American cheese on a toasted multigrain English muffin that’s sure to kickstart your appetite and metabolism bright and early. Want to see how the rest of your chicken chain favorites stack up? Don’t miss Every Item on the Chick-fil-A Menu—Ranked!