Eat This, Not That!
Sure, you've had Eggos (and probably craved them if you've watched Stranger Things), but the classic brand is far from the only frozen waffle on the market these days. With so many options out there, we set out to find the best frozen waffles, once and for all.While our editors' palates vary, the top and bottom choices in this test were nearly unanimous. To calculate the list, we took the average score for each frozen waffle box, with 1 being the absolute best and 10 being the worst. Our test included three gluten-free brands, a few high-protein options, and some classic brands, too.The 10 frozen waffles we taste-tested were: * 365 Organic Homestyle Waffles * Birch Benders Buttermilk Toaster Waffles * Eggo Homestyle Waffles * Julian's Recipe Maple Belgian Pastry Waffles * Kodiak Cakes Homestyle Power Waffles * Market Pantry Homestyle Waffles * Nature's Path Organic Gluten-Free Homestyle Waffles * Off the Grid Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles * Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Toaster Waffles * Vans Gluten-Free Original WafflesNow, see which waffles our staff loved the most—and which ones we'd leave in the freezer. How we graded themTexture, Taste, and PresentationEven after being toasted, some of the waffles maintained a chewy texture without getting soggy. On the other hand, some of them were picture-perfect, boasting a golden hue before even hitting the toaster. While texture and taste are the main factors in this test, we couldn't help but notice the appearance of a few standout waffles, too.As far as taste goes, our testers favored waffles that tasted like they could have been used for ice cream waffle cones or ones that were delicious even without syrup. Less high-ranking are the brands that tasted more like toast than waffles and the ones with grainer textures. From Worst to Best…10 Kodiak Homestyle Power WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationUnfortunately, these waffles ranked ninth and tenth across the board for our five tasters. Their dry texture and the bland taste didn't win our staff over. "Way too dry," one taster described the Kodiak option. Another editor described the Kodiak waffles as having a "spongey texture."Still, one tester did note that the Kodiak waffles "look great." They're a nice golden color, and they don't look artificial. Eat This, Not That! VerdictIf you're looking for a complete breakfast, these waffles do contain 12 grams of protein per serving. One taster noted that the Kodiak waffles "tasted very filling," emphasizing the power of the additional protein. But our staff couldn't get past the dry, bready texture of these waffles, even with the protein boost.RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!9 Eggo Homestyle WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationThe Eggo waffles didn't maintain a crunchy exterior after toasting. One taster wrote that these waffles were "kind of rubbery," while another wrote that they were "very limp.""Honestly, I don't see the thrill behind this," one taster wrote of the Eggo waffles. "This has absolutely no flavor. It's soft at least? They look bleached and artificial."Echoing the flavor criticism, another editor wrote that the Eggo waffles were "fake-tasting." The Eggo box boasts "colors and flavors from natural sources," but our editors didn't get that vibe from the product. Eat This, Not That! VerdictDespite being arguably the most well-recognized toaster waffles on this list, Eggo didn't win our tasters' hearts. These waffles evoked nostalgia—one taster wrote that Eggo waffles "taste like childhood"—but that wasn't enough to earn them a higher spot on this list. We might have grown up eating these, but nowadays, there are better waffles out there.RELATED: 100+ healthy breakfast ideas that help you lose weight and stay slim.8 Off the Grid Vanilla Buttermilk WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationThe vanilla taste of these waffles was overwhelming for some of our editors. "Vanilla is overpowering," wrote one editor.Off the Grid's texture also didn't fare well in this test. "Grainy, not pleasurable," is how one editor described these waffles. "Tastes like mushy bread," another taster wrote.Still, not every taster was displeased with Off the Wall. One editor wrote that they liked the "strong vanilla flavor," and that she was "surprisingly pleased" by this brand. Eat This, Not That! VerdictThis was a divisive brand for some, with the vanilla flavor evoking both positive and negative reactions. We love that this brand includes 12 grams of protein per serving, but if you're not a huge fan of vanilla, you'd be better off with another one of the Off the Grid flavors.RELATED: Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!7 Vans Gluten-Free Original WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationThese waffles earned points with our tasters for their texture, but the taste still left something to be desired. One editor wrote that while the Vans waffles have "good texture for a GF version," they do "taste different from 'regular' ones." Another taster wrote that these waffles were "slightly grainy"—but that she'd still eat them. Eat This, Not That! VerdictWhile our tasters were pleasantly surprised by the Vans waffles' texture, the taste was still bland. One taster wrote that these waffles had "no flavor" whatsoever. "I'd need chocolate chips, butter, AND syrup to eat these," she wrote.6 365 Organic Homestyle WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationOne of our editors wrote that these waffles had a "spongey texture," but she liked that about them. Another wrote that this waffle "tastes and smells like a bland cake cone." The sentiment seemed to echo across the board—these waffles weren't bad, but they also weren't memorable. Eat This, Not That! VerdictThere's nothing wrong with these waffles, per se. And for a whole-grain option, they're definitely not bad. But if you're looking for the best frozen waffles on the supermarket shelf, these aren't it, which is why they ended up in the middle of the pack.And if you prefer homemade waffles, try one of these 20 Healthy Ways to Trick Out Your Waffles.5 Market Pantry Homestyle WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationThis was another divisive waffle contender for our editors. One staffer ranked this Target brand first, writing that she tried the waffle without any toppings and it "still had a buttery flavor." But another editor wrote that the Market Pantry waffles were "not that special in a lineup." Eat This, Not That! VerdictWhile some editors liked this waffle more than others, we all agreed it was better than Eggo. If you're looking for that classic taste, this store brand is more satisfying than its name-brand competitor.4 Nature's Path Organic Gluten-Free Homestyle WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationThese waffles were a bit sweeter than some of the other options, which gained favor in our editors' eyes. One taster ranked this one in first place, noting that it "tastes like a waffle cone" and that she would eat it plain. Another editor also compared this one to waffle cone batter but wrote that it was "a little too sweet" for her liking. As for the texture, one taster noted that she "wouldn't have known they were GF" if she'd tried these blind. Eat This, Not That! VerdictThese waffles are sweeter than some of the others, and they resemble a waffle cone batter in terms of taste. If you want a sweeter option that doesn't taste like vanilla, these are a safe bet.For a homemade waffle idea, Here's How to Make Tasty, Protein-Packed Waffles.3 Birch Benders Buttermilk Frozen Toaster WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationThese waffles earned points for their appearance and sweet flavor. The golden-brown treats look like they were just baked; one tester described them as "very pastry-like.""Even without toppings, these felt like a treat," one taster wrote. "It reminds me of a buttery croissant," another commented. "Great, fluffy, thick texture! Beautiful color." Eat This, Not That! VerdictThese round waffles were thicker than their competitors, and our tasters couldn't get over their "beautiful color." Plus, they tasted like an actual pastry, not like a frozen item.2 Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Toaster WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationEven though these were gluten-free, our tasters loved their texture, and of course their sweet taste. "Sweet and not grainy!" one taster wrote. "Have a great, sweet taste. Crispy level is perfect—toasts well.""They had an innate sweetness," another taster wrote. "Classic frozen waffle flavor." Eat This, Not That! VerdictThese waffles were sweet without being overpoweringly sugary. And even without syrup, they tasted like a true breakfast treat. "I wouldn't need syrup," one taster wrote. "Nice taste."And while we love the waffles, steer clear of these 22 Things You Should Never Buy At Trader Joe's.1 Julian's Recipe Maple Belgian Pastry WafflesTexture, Taste, and PresentationIf you're looking for a waffle that's more of a dessert than a breakfast, you can't go wrong with these thick, fluffy Belgian ones. Our tasters raved about the taste and texture, as well as the golden-brown appearance."Strong maple taste, buttery taste, fluffy texture," one tester wrote. "I loved the sugar crystals on top. Absolutely delightful.""I cannot stop eating this," another taster wrote. A third editor called these "a great weekend treat that's easy to make." Eat This, Not That! VerdictIf you're in the market for a frozen waffle, Julian's reigns supreme. These waffles look like they just popped out of an oven, not a toaster, and they taste just as fresh.Now that you know which toaster waffles rule the frozen aisle, you can make a more informed decision next time you're at the grocery store. And if you want to do a taste test of your own, we can't say we blame you. Prefer to make a homemade breakfast? Don't miss the 19 Non-Waffle Things to Make in a Waffle Iron.