The omelet—or omelette if you prefer the French version—is a food stretching back to ancient Persia, according to "Breakfast: A History," and it has been part of breakfast spreads around the world since. In the dish's most basic form, it consists of beaten eggs and is cooked in fat.
However, you could say Americans have taken their omelets to new heights. Primarily a breakfast food (that makes an excellent lunch or dinner as well), omelets in America are big, hearty, fluffy, and filled with just about any ingredient you could want. We love ham and Swiss cheese between freshly cracked eggs, veggie-stuffed versions, and creative takes, such as a Philly cheesesteak omelet (yes, it exists, and it's fantastic).
While cracking a few fresh eggs at home is a treat, not everyone has the time or skills to make a perfectly fluffy omelet packed with their favorite fillings. Egg lovers, we've got you covered with the best chain restaurants serving omelets around the country.
This midwestern chain with locations in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio, is known for its tasty baked goods and excellent breakfast served all day long. Get the signature omelet with ham, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and cheddar, or try the smothered meat lovers version that has ham and onions inside and is covered with country sausage gravy and chopped bacon. All are served with seasoned hash browns or fresh fruit and a choice of toast, buttermilk pancakes, English muffin, bakery muffin, or biscuit, to make it a hearty start to the day.
Beginning with a humble sausage shop in Ohio, Bob Evans' titular founder emphasized a focus on hearty, homestyle cooking and expanded that to more than 400 restaurants across the U.S. As farm-fresh breakfasts almost always include eggs, it's no surprise that the chain makes a mean omelet. Like most restaurants, it offers a build your own, with hearty fillings, or you can try the three meat and cheese omelet or the western omelet, filled with hickory-smoked ham, sautéed onions, red and green bell peppers, and cheddar cheese. All are served with hash browns or home fries and freshly baked biscuits.
The Cheesecake Factory
Given its incredibly diverse menu, it's not surprising that the Cheesecake Factory offers several signature omelets, including its spinach omelet with fresh spinach, smoked bacon, sauteed mushrooms, green onions, and loads of melty cheese. Or, start your day your way, with a create-your-own version, where you pick four fillings from options including bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, and more to build the fluffy omelet of your dreams.
Founded as a donut shop in 1953, this diner-style chain has a rich history with breakfast, and most of its restaurants serve it all day and night. From traditional to creative styles, Denny's has you covered with omelets such as the Moons Over My Hammy, made with three eggs and filled with ham, Swiss cheese, and American cheese. All of the chain's hearty omelets are served with toast and hash browns.
This growing chain's name is a nautical reference to the first work shift on a ship. First Watch only serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays and brunch on the weekends (including tasty brunch cocktails). Its omelet options—and there are a few—are indulgent with fillings such as ham and Gruyère, and bacon and avocado in the Bacado. Guests can add toast or mixed greens to this egg-tastic meal.
Primarily based in the Southeast, this chain founded in 1963 has more than 200 locations. The name is a reference to a football huddle. The chain focuses on homestyle cooking the whole family can huddle up and enjoy. Huddle House serves "fluffed and stuffed" omelets, packed with prime rib tips, ham, cheese, and a Western-style with ham, cheese, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. All are served with a choice of homestyle grits, crispy hash browns, or seasonal fruit, and buttery toast or biscuit.
IHOP stands for International House of Pancakes, and the restaurant has been a standard stop for breakfast in the U.S. since its founding in 1958. IHOP doesn't just deliver fluffy pancakes. It also serves omelets that are both fluffy and hearty. Meat lovers should head straight to the big steak omelet, while healthy eaters will enjoy the pesto veggie egg white version. All are served with a choice of one side, including three pancakes, hash browns, toast, or fresh fruit.
Original Pancake House
Another popular pancake chain that nails the omelet recipe, Original Pancake House, was founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1953. It has more than 100 locations today. The cozy chain has some of the fluffiest pancakes you'll find, but it's got eggs, too. Its "direct from Barcelona" Spanish omelet features fresh mushrooms and is smothered with a spicy, peppery, tangy sauce. All fluffy omelets are served with three buttermilk pancakes, so come hungry.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Established in Cincinnati in 1958 as a pancake house, Perkins expanded quickly to franchise across the U.S. As with many other restaurants on this list, the chain makes amazing and hearty breakfasts, including fresh-cracked classic omelets. You can build your own, but Granny's Country omelet is a stomach-filler with diced grilled ham, onions, green peppers, American cheese, cheese sauce, and crispy hash browns.
The Village Inn, or VI as it's known to many, was founded as the Village Inn Pancake House in Denver in 1958. The iconic orange sign and hearty country-style cooking have stayed mostly the same since, and that includes the three-egg omelets. You can always build your own, but the restaurant offers a changing menu of specials. At the moment that includes the Country Music Star omelet, made with house-made sausage, diced ham, and onions, and topped with cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, country sausage gravy, and bacon. Yeehaw!