Why Waffles are One of the Most Versatile Foods Of All Time

The other day my roommate decided to make waffles for breakfast. She got a mini waffle maker for Christmas and so for a few breakfasts she has been putting it to use. It was such a treat to wake up to, motivating enough for me (who sleeps in very late) to get up early for them. We didn’t have any toppings, but they were just as good plain. 

That brought me to the realization that waffles have so many toppings that can be put on them (even though we had no toppings)! From sweet to savory, from loaded to plain, from a whole meal to a delicious dessert, waffles have so many options. That’s why I think waffles are one of the most versatile foods of all time! Here I’m going to talk about some of the many options that come with waffles, including some I had never heard of until looking them up! 

The Lalaguy Hands On Breakfast Date Waffles And Hashbrowns Her Campus Media

I’ve broken the categories into four sections: spreads, syrups, savory, and sweet toppings. 


The first amazing thing that waffles do is hold spreads very well. It might be hard to spread them on top, but the end product is always extra spread in the holes of the waffle. There are so many different kinds of spreads that can go on a waffle, from the classic butter to the chocolatey Nutella. My favorite spread is peanut butter! It’s a go-to classic for a sweet, protein-filled waffle breakfast! My roommate loves cream cheese on her waffles, which is not something I’ve tried before. Seems amazing! The last spread is jam or jelly, which makes for a sweet and sour topping for your waffle!

All of these spreads are common items that people have tried before (besides maybe cream cheese). Spreads are thicker than syrups, and they sit on top of the waffle in the hole, giving you huge portions if that’s what you prefer. They also are able to be mixed together, like peanut butter and Nutella. This list of spreads is just a few, but I’m sure there are many more out there I didn’t list. It helps show just with these few how diverse waffle toppings are!

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The most classic option, used on both waffles and pancakes! There are many different flavors of syrups. From the most used classic maple to other unique flavors. Just go to any iHop and see the different syrups on the table. There are fruit syrups, like strawberry, peach, blueberry. There are chocolate syrups, from dark to milk. There are even caramel or butterscotch syrups! The list is endless honestly. 

But the real debate is not the flavor of syrup (to each their own) but if you like real vs fake maple syrup. Real maple syrup is actually from maple trees, collected, and boiled down until the syrup is made. It ranges from colors to viscosity to flavor as well. Fake maple syrup is just maple-flavored sugar. Both are good in my opinion. Real maple syrup is more expensive but worth the investment. 

Whichever way you take your maple, you have to agree that it’s the perfect topping for a warm waffle. The pockets catch the maple syrup on top, carrying it until you are ready for the first bite. Not only does the category of syrup add to the diversity, but all the flavors and types of syrup as well!

bottle of maple syrup Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

Savory toppings:

I did not realize when I was making this list how many savory options there are with waffles. At first, I thought it was pretty limited to maybe chicken and waffles, and the only other one I knew was pizza waffles. Everyone knows chicken and waffles, and pizza waffles are taking waffles and putting cheese, sauce, and pepperoni on them which can be made in a waffle maker. Pretty classic, easy things to make. 

But there were some surprising savory ideas that popped up in my research. Those included waffles topped with eggs, chili topped waffles, and sausage and gravy waffles. They all make sense, as the waffle is the perfect device to hold the toppings, but never have I heard of chili topped waffles. Maybe it’s a regional thing. 

There are many other options, but the last savory waffle idea that really stuck out to me is grilled cheese waffles. I love grilled cheeses, especially dipped in sriracha ketchup (don’t judge). But with waffles as the bread? That sounds like heaven! I might have to give it a try the next time I have waffles and cheese available!

chicken-and-waffles-dog-toy Chewy

Sweet toppings:

The final category is sweet toppings. There were a bunch that I didn’t know how to group, so sweet toppings are a range of items that can be put on top! The first item is chocolate chips, a classic as well! They are also used in pancakes a lot, but on waffles, they are used differently. Many people cook the chips into pancakes, but on waffles, you can put them on the top. The holes catch the chocolate chips and melt them into perfect, gooey sweetness. 

Some other sweet toppings are candy (like M&Ms), whipped cream, and fruit. I’ve already talked about fruit syrups and spreads, but you can also put whole pieces like bananas on top! The best combo is peanut butter with bananas on waffles, it’s to die for!

You can also go all out and do an ice cream sundae on top of a waffle. Ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, candy, and sprinkles all onto a waffle. There is a reason why such a thing as waffle cones exist, as they make the perfect pairing with ice cream!

Courtesy of Baskin Robbins via DoorDash

As you can see, there are many different ways to have waffles. I just talked about a few options, and there are many more out there in the world. Waffles are one of my favorite foods of all time, especially for breakfast. From all the toppings and ways to make them, waffles will never let you down. 

Of course, you can get into the waffles vs pancakes debate: which is better? But I won’t do that here. I think my list above is enough reason to show that waffles are superior. From the way they are built to the unlimited ways to make them, waffles beat pancakes for sure. 

But I hope I’ve inspired and made people hungry from my list of waffle toppings. I know I’m hungry for some waffles now. They are one of the most diverse foods of all time, and that is why I think they might be one of the best foods ever invented! Maybe you can use my list to try new toppings, or just go grab your classic syrup and make yourself a batch of waffles. I think I’m going to try the grilled cheese waffles the next time I can! What topping or style of waffle will you try next?