We tried breakfast from McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, and Wendy’s — here’s who does it best

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A Burger King breakfast spread, ready for battle.
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Hollis Johnson

The fast-food breakfast wars are upon us.

With McDonald’s starting all-day breakfast, Burger King responding in kind, Wendy’s flailing in the breakfast arena, and Taco Bell revamping its morning menu, the competition is more intense than ever.

But in the midst of the battle, some weaknesses are rising.

We tested three main breakfast items from the major fast-food chains.


Here’s the lineup for our breakfast taste test: Taco Bell, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burger King.

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Hollis Johnson

First we tried the breakfast burritos. We tried four sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast burritos — each had their own unique qualities. Wendy’s take on the breakfast burrito looks sad and flimsy upon unwrapping.

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Hollis Johnson

The crumbly sausage bits mixed into the scrambled egg makes for a very salty burrito. It’s not too cheesy, but it didn’t have anything special to it. Yawn. For $0.99, you get what you pay for.

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Hollis Johnson

Next, the Burger King sausage breakfast burrito. At first look and touch, it’s soggy and greasy and is already falling apart. But perhaps we judged too early. After taking the first bite, the peppers and sausage mixed well with the eggs and light layer of cheese.

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Hollis Johnson

Yet the surprise didn’t last. After a few more bites, nothing else happened. Another boring burrito — this time, for $2.19.

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Hollis Johnson

Taco Bell’s grilled breakfast burrito looks nice, but … cheese. A tremendous amount of cheese, and not in a good way. Everything about this breakfast burrito is wrong. The cheese tastes like a molten mess of melted Kraft singles and it was way too overpowering.

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Hollis Johnson

We couldn’t even taste the questionable sausage patty or the soggy scrambled eggs that were rolled into it. Not a pleasant experience — easily the worst of the group. At $1.69, don’t bother.

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Hollis Johnson

The McDonald’s sausage burrito. The peppery sausage mixed together with cheesy, scrambled eggs wrapped in a tiny burrito looks small on the outside, but it was just simple enough to make for a light and easy breakfast.

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Hollis Johnson

Although its looks are deceiving, this is a good breakfast item because it isn’t heavy or greasy, yet it’s still tasty — and cheap at $1.99. Ultimately, this is the best of the worst, and McDonald’s wins the breakfast-burrito battle royale.

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Hollis Johnson

However, McDonald’s sausage McMuffin is no winner. This classic breakfast sandwich is dry overall. The English muffin is too thick and conquers the essence of the egg, sausage patty, and thin layer of cheese. It isn’t too greasy, but for $3.79 it isn’t that spectacular.

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Hollis Johnson

First off, Burger King’s sausage and egg “Croissan’wich” looks nothing like the advertisement — very misleading and disappointing for the same price as the McMuffin. Smushed and flattened, its appearance is far from appetizing. After the first bite, however, we were intrigued. The buttery croissant saves the soul of this sandwich, which is otherwise bland.

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Hollis Johnson

Taco Bell’s comparable offering is the biscuit taco, at $3.49. The biscuit looks and feels dry and stale. The sausage looks burnt and the cheese is not fully melted. Our first bite brings silence — not an enjoyable breakfast item. It’s too heavy for breakfast, and its validity as a food item is questionable.

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Hollis Johnson

And at the best of the breakfast sandwiches, Wendy’s artisan egg sandwich. The cheese is not the fake orange “cheese” like all the other breakfast sandwiches, and there’s an actual fried egg in it. The bread is fluffy and not heavy. The fried egg is flavorful and the sausage isn’t overpowering. For $2.89, definitely the winner here.

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Hollis Johnson

Burger King’s tater tots are cute, but soggy. They were too chunky to get a proper crispy outside, which is a little disappointing. And for $1.39, there are better options.

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Hollis Johnson

Taco Bell’s hash brown looks similar to McDonald’s, but it lacks in taste and crispiness. One hash brown costs $1.25. It’s bland and lacks originality — from the same company that birthed the waffle taco, one expects more.

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Hollis Johnson

McDonald’s hash browns are a classic of fast-food breakfasts. Crispy, greasy, and hot — what else can one say? At $1.39, it’s a greasy slab of heaven.

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Hollis Johnson

However, from Wendy’s comes a surprise: the seasoned home-style potatoes. While not a traditional hash brown, these seasoned potato slices are worth a measly $1.29. They’re crispy and perfectly seasoned with black pepper, and aren’t greasy at all. These beautiful little potato wedges are a strong competitor to even the best hash brown, bringing about a tie between them and McDonald’s.

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Hollis Johnson