How to Get Waffle House Without Walking Out Your Door

Make your house Waffle House any day of the week.

Getty Images/Allrecipes
Getty Images/Allrecipes

Like the late, great Anthony Bourdain, I too was new to the wonders of the Waffle House. That is, until recently.

With almost 2,000 pylons shouting Waffle House in bright yellow rectangles all across the country (1,980 locations as of this year), I'd have to have been living under a rock to not see one, but the catalyst for finally going inside and cozying up to the counter to feast my own eyes on the famous flat tops and stacks of chunky mugs came in the form of a small white box.

Waffle House re-released a boxed mix for their signature sweet cream waffles—a development imparting such glee upon this diner's devoted, it has a tendency to sell out.

The Original Waffle House Waffle

It would be a fair assumption that a place with "waffle" in the name (not to mention a place that also cranks out 145 of them a minute) would make a good one. And now, with the new option of having them at home, I had to see for myself what makes this waffle so iconic.

Unlike the box that boasts "original sweet cream waffle," the menu simply states "classic waffle" but it sure tastes of sweet cream, similar to fried sweet cream ice cream, really. One bite and I completely understood the nostalgia and glorification. This is diner food at its finest—a delight for sporadic drop-ins or, as many might agree, an intoxicated impulse.

Though wary at first about a waffle so thin, the Waffle House waffle manages to be extremely fluffy in its thinness. The lack of bulk also makes finishing one much easier, or fitting in a mound of hash browns a possibility. Quite genius on the brand's part, if you think about it.

Waffle House Waffle Mix

Having sampled the original, I headed home to begin my comparison. The side panel of the boxed mix explains that these are "best if prepared one day ahead and refrigerated overnight." Like many people, I imagine, I didn't see this part until I had the waffle iron heated and my whisk in hand. In other words, I was waffle ready. So, I made the batter using the whole box but refrigerated half in order to compare and contrast taste, appearance, and texture the following day.

Making the batter is as simple as whisking 1 egg with 2 cups half and half before adding the powdered mix. The result is a fluffier waffle than the diner serves. The thickness, however, appears greater but is actually comparable when placed side by side. The texture and the look of the mix after overnight refrigerating seemed closer to the buckets of batter within Waffle House and the taste showcased a bit more of the "sweet cream" (aka half and half) component so prominent in the real thing.

But the good news for my fellow impromptu waffle-makers is that the difference in making the mix à la minute versus the night before wasn't great enough to deem it a necessity. If you wake up with that unwavering waffle hankering, forge ahead, my friend.

How the Waffle House Boxed Mix Stacks Up

In all honesty, like so many things made by companies with a successful in-house signature item, the sparkle doesn't quite translate. It tastes quite like any other boxed waffle mix. It's sturdy, it fits the bill, it does its job. But for $8 a box at or $28 for two boxes on Amazon, I'd rather go with another brand. It all comes down to how much the name means to you.

Tips for Serving

In honor of the pecan waffle served at Waffle House, beloved by so many—including Southern chef Sean Brock—I added some chopped pecans to the mixed batter I let sit overnight. Then I took it one step further and sprinkled in some unsweetened coconut flakes. This was a great decision, indeed. If you choose to buy this mix, I heartily recommend going this route.