7 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Muffins
Muffins are an undeniably classic baked good—and for good reason. They're pleasantly sweet, but not so sweet that it feels more like a dessert in disguise. They're a tasty and convenient choice for breakfast or a midday snack. They also come in a variety of tantalizing flavors, from classic blueberry to banana nut, so there's a high likelihood that you can find some type of muffin that suits your fancy.
There's a plethora of great recipes out there for whenever you're craving one of those fluffy, domed pastries. But let's face it—sometimes the muffin cravings are so intense that you simply can't wait long enough to bake up a batch at home.
Luckily, some national restaurant chains serve up fan-favorite, standout versions of those popular baked goods. So the next time you need to satiate your cravings ASAP, here are six chains that serve the absolute best muffins.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery boasts the unique title of being both a restaurant and bakery chain, so that should give you great confidence in the merits of its Mammoth Muffins. It offers not just one, but three flavor varieties of those sizable treats: blueberry, banana nut, and apple cinnamon.
You can order one of those baked goods by itself or as a sweet side for your Perkins breakfast dish. You can even ask your Perkins server to bring the muffin toasted so it's warm and golden brown, creating the perfect canvas for a generous pat of butter.
Customers evidently adore the chain's take on these classic baked goods. One fan went so far as to describe Perkins' muffins as "disrespectfully good" in a post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.
Nothing complements a cup of coffee more than a stellar baked good. And luckily for Starbucks customers, the coffee chain has fully stocked cases of sweet and savory pastries in shops throughout the country. Starbucks' blueberry muffin, currently the only muffin flavor available, is a tried-and-true classic among fans. It features sweet blueberries, a hint of lemon flavor, and a crunchy sugar topping.
"Starbucks blueberry muffins might be the best thing that's ever happened to me," a customer shared in an X post.
Fans are also already gearing up for the potential return of the ultra popular pumpkin muffin, which features warm spice flavors, a sweet cream-cheese filling, and a sprinkling of chopped, spiced pepitas. The pumpkin muffin is a mainstay on Starbucks' seasonal fall menu, which has returned to stores in late August for the past couple of years. This means that buzzing fans might see the popular baked good back on menus in the next couple of weeks, assuming that Starbucks sticks to the same schedule and doesn't change its fall bakery lineup.
"I cannot wait to stuff my face with a pumpkin cream cheese muffin from Starbucks," a customer wrote in an X post earlier this month.
First Watch is the most beloved restaurant brand in America in 2023, known for rotating seasonal menus and commitment to using high-quality ingredients in its creative breakfast dishes. While it currently only offers blueberry muffins, don't scoff at its comparatively small muffin selection until you've tried it. Some customers swear the breakfast chain's blueberry muffin is the best of the best.
"First Watch has the best blueberry muffin I've ever had," one fan raved in an X post.
"I'm addicted to First Watch blueberry muffins," another wrote.
Customers can order this fan-favorite baked good as a side for their breakfast or by itself.
Biscuitville has the best fast-food breakfast in 2023, per the annual USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, This is a prestigious title considering that the lesser-known regional chain beat out fast-food giants like McDonald's and Wendy's in the voting. While its biggest claim to fame is its namesake biscuits and Southern-style fare, the muffins are also a can't-miss item.
Biscuitville currently offers a classic blueberry muffin, plus a strawberry muffin that's unique both for its uncommon flavor and eye-popping pink hue. Customers have a particularly strong penchant for the strawberry variety, which one fan declared "ain't got no business being that good."
"Biscuitville has the best strawberry muffin!" another customer wrote in an X post.
While the variety of hot sandwiches, soups, and salads might pull your attention when you stop by Panera Bread, muffin lovers shouldn't ignore the chain's baked goods selection. Panera's bakery case boasts several classic muffin flavors, including a streusel-topped blueberry muffin and a powdered sugar dusted pumpkin muffin.
Fans of citrusy, tart flavors can opt for the cranberry orange variety, which is flavored with orange peel and whole cranberries and topped with crunchy turbinado sugar. Panera also isn't afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to muffin format. The chain currently offers a Chocolate Chip Muffie that's more akin to a wide, flat, muffin top packed with semisweet chocolate chips.
Whichever flavor you end up choosing, you can't really go wrong, at least according to customers.
"Panera muffins are the best…. Just an fyi," one fan raved in an X post.
Au Bon Pain
If you've ever stopped by an Au Bon Pain for a bite to eat, you probably know that this bakery chain means business when it comes to bread, pastries, and other craveworthy baked goods. The muffins, of course, are a shining example.
The chain currently offers chocolate chip, corn, and triple berry muffins, plus a classic blueberry variety that customers seem incapable of getting enough of. One customer declared in an X post a few years back that those berry studded muffins are "always on point."
"I will go to Au Bon Pain every day just to buy blueberry muffins," another passionate fan wrote in a post on the social media platform.
Donuts aren't the only popular baked good you can snag alongside your Dunkin' coffee. If you don't stop by the chain often for a bite, you should know that it offers more muffin flavors than you might expect, including blueberry, chocolate chip, corn, and coffee cake.
In great news for fans cravings more fall flavors as summer winds down, the chain also just brought back its selection of pumpkin coffee drinks and bakery items. This includes the popular Pumpkin Muffin, which has notes of sweet spices, a streusel topping, and a drizzle of white icing. Customers look forward to ordering this popular seasonal baked good all year—and they're ecstatic now that it has made its grand return.
"PUMPKIN SPICE DONUTS AND MUFFINS ARE BACK AT DUNKIN NOBODY MOVE," a customer wrote in an X post this week.