When my family packs up for a road trip, one of our big topics of conversation is where we’re going to eat along the way. If it is at all a possibility, Waffle House is right at the top of that list. We love waffles.
Though there are a couple Waffle Houses in the greater Baltimore area, sadly, none of them are terribly convenient for us – that’s why they’re a special road trip destination. Fortunately, Baltimore’s restaurants offer many other ways to get our waffle fix.
Though not every local breakfast joint serves waffles, plenty of them do. These are a few of our favorites – and we’re always hoping to add to this list, so if you know of a top-notch waffle that isn’t included, please share in the comments!
our favorite waffles in baltimore
Locations in Annapolis, Canton and Hunt Valley | website
Iron Rooster is one of a few local spots where you can order breakfast for dinner – that is always a popular option at our house.
When Dixon goes breakfast-for-dinner, what he really orders is dessert for dinner. Iron Rooster makes a nice waffle on its own – sweet with great crispy-on-the-outside-soft-in-the-middle texture – but if you ask Dixon, he’ll tell you his favorite part of Iron Rooster’s waffles are the toppings.
He goes crazy for the cinnamon roll sauce a blend of brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s sugary sweet and, unsurprisingly, is Dixon’s dream dinner.
Iron Rooster’s waffles extend beyond the “breakfast” menu, too. The chicken and waffles is popular among both kids and adults and I especially like the bacon cheeseburger that replaces buns with waffles.
Is taking a bite a little challenging? Well, yes, it is. Truth be told, for me, this is a deconstruction project; I eat it with a fork and knife. But braver diners (with bigger mouths) will eat it as it’s intended. And either way, it’s a tasty combination of slightly sweet, salty bacon and juicy meat.
5402 Harford Road, Baltimore | 410-444-1497 | website
When Clementine, the uber-kid-friendly Hamilton restaurant, briefly closed in 2016, we went into withdrawal. It’s one of our favorite spots for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Everything – from the bacon to the cakes – is made in house and the kitchen’s commitment to fresh, local ingredients shows in every dish.
Slightly sweet, with just the right amount of crispiness, Clementine’s waffles are a reliably tasty breakfast option. But my favorite version of their waffles comes at dinner time, when they’re paired with some sort of protein.
I recently had a duck-and-waffles dinner there that was spectacular. The waffle was a base for seared duck and charred green onions, all of which were topped with maple chile cream. The end result was a gorgeous mix of hearty and delicate. (Dixon liked it, too!)
Locations in Roland Park, the Inner Harbor and Annapolis | website
The menu at Miss Shirley’s is an embarrassment of breakfast riches – when I’m there, I always find it hard to decide between the savory and sweet choices. Do I go grits-omelet-Bloody Mary? Or specialty pancakes-mimosa? It’s a struggle.
Even if Dixon and I both go savory – he loves the grilled cheese! – we make sure someone at the table orders waffles, so we can snag a bite or two. Instead of one big plate-sized waffle, Miss Shirley’s sends out a plate of four smaller waffles, dusted in sugar with a smear of raspberry sauce and a pot of syrup.
We like the waffles plain, but also appreciate all the options available, from fresh bananas and chocolate to an apple strudel ice cream topping. There’s something for the savory-lovers, too – fried chicken paired with cheddar green onion waffles.
429 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore | 443-388-8576 | website
This new downtown breakfast and lunch spot is in the historic Charles Fish & Sons building – it’s recognizable by its striking black marble façade. Inside, the décor is more homey than sleek, with bookshelves along the wall and charming prints in the windows.
Dixon likes the waffles plain, with just butter and syrup, but I can’t resist New America’s warm fruit toppings – the bananas foster topping is terrific. Sweet, with a thin, crispy exterior and an astoundingly airy center, every bite of these waffles is a treat.
Order & Chaos
1410 Key Highway, Baltimore | 410-244-1111 | website
Order & Chaos, on Key Highway, is attached to and owned by the advertising agency Planit – as you wait in line to order at the counter, you can peer into the agency (where everyone’s desks are shockingly neat – there’s way more order than chaos there, apparently). It’s a small, casual spot serving really good coffee, a handful of baked goods and snacks, and killer Liege waffles.
The waffles, which arrive on a plate or in a paper bag for takeaway, can be topped with a few condiments, like fruit or Nutella. Before Dixon and I tried the O&C waffle, we thought the good waffles had to be airy.
O&C’s waffles made us reconsider. They’re not heavy or dense or undercooked, but inside the crispy exterior, they are, somehow, creamy. The texture is lovely, as is their sweet flavor.
Photos by Laura Black