IHOP Vs Bob Evans: Which Is Better?

According to a study by Better Health Channel, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, so there's no reason to skip out on it. There are many breakfast chains across the U.S. that provide well-made morning meals for you to enjoy, with IHOP being one of the most popular. Known for its tall stacks of pancakes, omelets, and other morning food, the restaurant has been around since 1958 (via IHOP), so it knows what it's doing when it comes to breakfast food. While many adore the food that IHOP brings to the table, it isn't the only breakfast chain out there.

Another line of restaurants you may have heard about is Bob Evans. While the founders originally featured mainly steaks and sausages, the chain is now known for having a variety of foods, including an extensive list of breakfast and brunch items. There are a lot of similarities that can be made between the IHOP and Bob Evans menus, from the omelets, the entrées, and the pancakes that many love and enjoy. But which one is better? We're here to take a look at everything both IHOP and Bob Evans have to offer and issue our verdict. So let's figure out which is better: IHOP or Bob Evans?

One chain has a greater variety of pancakes than the other

At the forefront of any breakfast chain is the pancakes. If a restaurant offers breakfast and brunch, then its pancakes need to taste amazing. IHOP's name quite literally stands for International House of Pancakes, so regardless of the omelets, French toast, or other menu items you can get, the pancakes — in all of their variations — are really the star of the show. At Bob Evans, you can also get a decent assortment of pancakes that satisfy many diners. But in terms of variety and taste, IHOP takes the (hot)cake.

At Bob Evans, you'll find all of the standard flavors, like chocolate chip, blueberry, and buttermilk. Its restaurants also have seasonal flavors, like banana nut (via Fast Food Post). IHOP, on the other hand, takes pancakes to a whole other level. Sure, you can get large stacks of classic buttermilk or chocolate chip pancakes — but you can also get double chocolate chip pancakes, New York cheesecake pancakes, cupcake pancakes, and even a stack of Mexican Tres Leches pancakes. Many of the flavors begin to fall more into "dessert" territory, but even their standard flavors taste great and merit return trips to the chain to experience more than once (via Yelp). Both restaurants pull through with solid pancake offerings, though IHOP wins due to the extra variety you can get there.

Even without milkshakes, Bob Evans' desserts are great

Many of the items on IHOP's menu come close to being desserts, even if they aren't branded as such. Beyond its sweet pancakes and crepes, though, the most notable treat IHOP has for dessert is its milkshakes, which come in the flavors of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and Oreo. Usually, you pair milkshakes with burgers, though IHOP has those, too. Many enjoy the frozen treats the pancake house sells, with some adding that they wish that the milkshakes were bigger than what they already are (per Twitter).

It's hard to beat a good milkshake, though at Bob Evans, there's a lot more to its dessert menu. The restaurant chain has a bakery and desserts section, with items such as banana bread, cakes, and cinnamon biscuits. The most notable baked treat at Bob Evans, however, is its pies, which come in a variety of flavors, like pecan and pumpkin. You can even order some of this pie a la mode, and get some ice cream alongside the flavorful dessert. Bob Evans diners love these pies quite a bit, with some recommending others to try them out the next time they visit the chain (via Tripadvisor). Both restaurants offer some great desserts, though with a wider variety of pies and cakes, Bob Evans gets a point here.

IHOP's omelets are more flavorful than those at Bob Evans

Another great dish to have for breakfast comes in the form of an omelet. Making an omelet at home is no easy task, and mistakes are bound to happen — so it's a good thing you can find omelets at both IHOP and Bob Evans. The latter chain carries several options, including a Western Omelet, a Three Meat & Cheese Omelet, a Southwest Avocado Omelet, and a Build-Your-Own Omelet (via Bob Evans). This offers a decent lineup for those who want an egg-based breakfast, and while many find them good, others find them a little bland (via Yelp). Some aren't a big fan when their omelets come out greasy, which distracts from the flavor of the eggs.

IHOP's menu includes a Spicy Poblano Omelet, a Big Steak Omelet and a Spinach & Mushroom Omelet. With that in mind, we have to give this one to IHOP. The pancake house's omelets are heavier than what you might find at Bob Evans, and there's a lot more creativity with the combinations, too. As opposed to Bob Evans, more diners seem to enjoy the omelets at IHOP, claiming them to be "excellent," alongside the other foods they can get from the pancake house. Even if you don't like the existing omelets on IHOP's menu, you can customize your own with all the toppings you could possibly want. We're going to give IHOP the point here, for its hearty, filling omelets.

Bob Evans' kids menu has an advantage

Most restaurants you go to have pretty similar kids menus. If you go to a chain like Bob Evans or IHOP, you'll find pancakes, waffles, and other great dishes for younger kids to enjoy while they're out and about. IHOP's kids menu includes chicken and waffles, Kraft mac and cheese, and chocolate happy face pancakes, topped with whipped cream and extra chocolate chips (via IHOP). Not only are the portion sizes great for kids, but the chain sometimes has limited time offers where kids eat free (via TrustPilot). What could top that?

At Bob Evans, you'll find pancakes shaped like the face of a cute pig (as per Bob Evans), along with French toast sticks, grilled cheese, and mac and cheese. Kids eat free every Tuesday here, but that's not what sets the Bob Evans kids menu above IHOP. The mac and cheese at IHOP comes from Kraft, which you could just make at home and spare the hassle of going all the way to the pancake house to get. The Bob Evans mac and cheese is creamy, and not overly cheesy, making for a well balanced dish. It all depends on what a child may want off of the kids menu, but we're going to have to give it to Bob Evans here.

Both chains are on par with each other in terms of burgers and sandwiches

IHOP is a restaurant mostly known for its breakfast foods. That doesn't mean that's all the restaurant does, however. Not only can you find pancakes at IHOP, but you can also get burgers, chicken sandwiches, and even a Philly cheese steak (via IHOP), all perfect to pair with the milkshakes the chain has. At Bob Evans, you can also find a variety of burgers and sandwiches (as per Bob Evans), like a BLT and a bacon cheeseburger. Each chain offers a hearty variety, but neither of the two restaurants really stands above the other.

The burgers you can get at Bob Evans have been described as delicious by some customers who have tried them out (via Yelp). Unfortunately though, not everyone has enjoyed their Bob Evans burgers. One reviewer on Tripadvisor claimed that they could only get their burger well done, which they didn't appreciate. Some of the reviews for sandwiches aren't any better, with some claiming customers should stick to breakfast items. The sentiment is similar at IHOP. One reviewer who tried all of the pancake joint's burgers wrote that IHOP should, "... stick to the rivers of syrup and lakes of melted butter that you're used to" (via TheTakeout). If you're looking for some good burgers, we suggest you go someplace like In-N-Out instead.

IHOP has some fruity drinks that makes its beverages more enticing

Most people can't dine out at a restaurant without ordering some sort of beverage to go along with the meal. If you're having a stack of pancakes from either Bob Evans or IHOP, your beverage might come in the form of a hot chocolate or coffee, as both restaurants carry them. If you're craving something cooler, like a lemonade or juice, then both breakfast joints have those, as well. What we're trying to say is that when it comes to drinks, both Bob Evans and IHOP are nearly evenly matched. Some people love the coffee you can get at Bob Evans (via Yelp), while others adore the unlimited coffee available at IHOP.

Once again, it's not easy to pick a favorite between the two chains, though IHOP carries a line of beverages that take its menu to a whole new level. The Lemonade Splashers come in three flavors: Blue Raspberry, Wildberry, and Mango (per IHOP). Each of these offers a sweet, flavorful experience, and many IHOP diners enjoy these drinks quite a bit (via Tripadvisor). We can see why diners would be drawn to IHOP for its fruity drinks, and even if you don't like lemonade, you can still get sodas and hot beverages to go along with your pancakes. This category goes to IHOP.

Both restaurants have pretty tasty sides, though Bob Evans' options are a bit healthier

No meal is complete without the perfect side to complement whatever entrée you've ordered for yourself. IHOP's burgers are nothing without the French fries, and who can resist having some fruit alongside a stack of pancakes? You can find all sorts of sides at IHOP, such as bacon, toast, and even a bowl of mac and cheese (via IHOP). You can choose from similar sides at Bob Evans, too, from hickory smoked ham to sausage turkey links to mashed potatoes and gravy. Both offer delicious additions to the main dishes each restaurant serves, though Bob Evans' sides are a bit healthier than IHOP.

Don't get us wrong: at either restaurant chain, you'll find pretty solid sides. Some customers who have ordered bacon from IHOP claim that it's the best bacon they've ever had (via Tripadvisor), while others have a lot of positive things to say about the Bob Evans sides. For us, this category comes down to the nutritious options available. Most of the sides at IHOP are fried, made up of meat, or potato based. At Bob Evans, however, you can also get green beans, corn, and carrots — along with the sausage. Just be careful of the gravy biscuits — that side has enough calories to be considered an entire meal (via Bob Evans). Either way, there's a bit more of the healthy variety in the sides you can find at Bob Evans.

IHOP has more French toast options

French toast may not actually be French, but it's a staple breakfast food that has been around for hundreds of years and enjoyed by many (via Food and Wine). Both Bob Evans and IHOP have French toast offerings on their menus. At Bob Evans, you can order two slices of Brioche bread that have been griddled in vanilla, egg batter, and cinnamon, then topped with powdered sugar. It's also served with some syrup and butter, making for a pretty solid plate of toast that many enjoy (as per Tripadvisor). In terms of French toast, that's all you can find at Bob Evans. At IHOP, however, you have a little more to work with.

Unlike Bob Evans, IHOP has an entire section dedicated to French toast. A Thick and Fluffy Classic French Toast will get you two slices of thick bread dipped in vanilla and cinnamon, then topped with butter and powdered sugar. You can also get a fruity Lemon Ricotta Mixed Berry plate of French toast or a Strawberry Banana French toast. One is topped with cheese, while the other is topped with more fruits. Either way, they provide a unique, sweet spin on your regular French toast. People find these flavors to be solid additions to IHOP's French toast menu (via YouTube), which is why IHOP gets a point here.

IHOP has fewer entrée options, but they are tastier

The next category we'll be reviewing from IHOP and Bob Evans are the dinner plates. We stand by that fact that each restaurant's breakfast dishes are the peak of the menus, but the entrees aren't half bad, either. At Bob Evans, you can find meals ranging from grilled chicken breast with mashed potatoes and broccoli to a Lemon Pepper Sole Fillet (as per Bob Evans). These sound like pretty appetizing dishes, but not everyone seems to think that way. One reviewer notes that when they ordered some of the chicken for curbside pickup, they only really received what looked like half a piece, and it was cold (via TrustPilot). These dishes range from 270 to nearly 1,000 calories, not including the sides, according to the restaurant's nutrition guide.

IHOP's dishes are a bit lighter in terms of nutrition, ranging from 250-680 calories per main entrée (via IHOP). So even if you order one of these plates, you can still get a shake or a side without feeling too stuffed by the entrée alone. You can get Sirloin Steak Tips, Salmon, and All-Natural Turkey should you be craving some dinner instead of breakfast. Even though IHOP's specialty is its pancakes, the entrées aren't half bad, either. One IHOP diner claimed that they couldn't have had anything better than the steak tips (via YELP). Between these two chains, IHOP is where we'd go for dinner dishes.

Bob Evans has more salad options than IHOP

If you're going to IHOP or Bob Evans, then eating healthy is probably not your top concern. You want to be mindful of what you're putting into your body, but it's all right to splurge on a stack of pancakes every once in a while. That being said, having healthier options when you dine out is always a good thing. It comes as no surprise that you can find salads on both the Bob Evans and IHOP menus.

At IHOP, you're able to get a Chicken and Veggie Salad, topped with grilled or crispy chicken breast, along with various vegetables tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. It comes it at between 630 and 810 calories. This sounds delicious — but that's all you can get from IHOP. At Bob Evans, however, the salads can be more substantial, and you have more than one option. You can get a Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad, a Farmhouse Garden Salad, a Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad, or a hearty Bob Evans Wildfire Chicken Salad. Each of these dishes come with its own variety of toppings, but can range from 110 calories to 910 calories per serving. For this category, it all depends on what you like to see on a menu: a few salad choices or one choice. If you're dining at IHOP or Bob Evans, you likely aren't too worried about the latter, though.

Both have decent to-go deals -- for different meals

The last category we have on this list is catering. While it's not a dealbreaker, good catering can elevate a restaurant to a whole other level. We could see large families wanting to order from IHOP or Bob Evans for a large breakfast gathering — though which restaurant offers the better catering? Once again, the answer is "it depends." If you're looking for a more dinner-focused catering, then you'll want to go with Bob Evans, since they actually offer more dinner-like meals, such as grilled chicken and turkey dishes (via Bob Evans). If you like Bob Evans dinners, then you'll like this catering. The chain also has breakfast too, but for that, we'd prefer IHOP.

IHOP has many different family meals that can be catered, most made up of its delicious breakfast foods (via IHOP). You can find stacks of buttermilk pancakes, waffles, and even large servings of French toast, typically served alongside bacon, eggs, and hash browns. IHOP definitely seems to have more in regards to its breakfast items — which makes sense, considering it's the International House of Pancakes. Like the rest of the menu, it mostly depends on what you're craving. 

Our final verdict: If you want to go to IHOP, go to IHOP, and if you want to go to Bob Evans, go to Bob Evans.