Where To Find The Best French Toast In America

Breakfast isn't just for breakfast anymore. After surviving actual decades spent restricting all the best foods to sometime before 11 a.m., the early morning menu has been released into the wild the rest of the day ... or night. Whenever you want that giant bowl of Fruity Pebbles, you can go get it.

Of course, we stick to a certain hierarchy of options when it comes to our favorite meal of the day. And at the tippy top of the sweet column, we're 100% ordering French toast whenever possible. Yes, we could make it at home, but why? Is this the apocalypse? Are zombies lurking in the streets? Is there a desperate need for one more soggy piece of bread barely holding it together after a too-eggy milk soak and burnt to a crisp on the edges while also underdone in the center? We can't bring ourselves to shame maple syrup like that. We're perfectly happy leaving the French toasting to the pros, especially if we're brunching at the joints on this list.

These chefs have got some serious game. Like your French toast with salted duck egg yolk? Billionaire's bacon? Crème brûlée? How 'bout challah, brioche, or sweet milk bread? We've also got key lime pie, Pocky, peanut butter, and juicy marionberries. From Briques to boats, and everything in between, we're piling on the toppings and diving into the best French toast in America.

Needle: Los Angeles, California

Maple syrup your way into guilty pleasure territory with the get-out-of-town Salted Egg Yolk French Toast at Needle in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Brave the random Sunday morning traffic that comes out of nowhere to snag a seat at the hip Hong Kong-inspired outpost by chef Ryan Wong, where sweet and savory meld into a mind-altering French toast nirvana.

So, what the heck is Salted Egg Yolk French Toast? Wong grabs inspo from Cantonese-Western style cafes in Hong Kong to craft a stateside menu fit for modern taste buds. Filling a glazed donut-like milk bread with salted duck egg yolk and vanilla custard, the dish gets a deep fry as well as a topping of sweetened condensed milk and, of course, maple syrup. Is there any other way to live?

With a perfect bite featuring a little heft and loads of creamy custard, this French toast has earned plenty of fans on Instagram and IRL. The restaurant even claims the bread will keep its crunch for hours, fully drenched in syrup and milk. That's cool, but we have a hard time believing anyone has tested this theory beyond 10 minutes.

Koko Head Cafe: Honolulu, Hawaii

Tipping the scales toward the spendier side of the brunch tab, Koko Head's crisp-ity crunch-ity Cornflake French Toast is worth every little penny. Omelet fans, step aside; this Honolulu favorite was born for the crowd with the sweet tooth.

Locally baked Punalu'u sweet bread takes a skinny dip in rich custard, followed by a rumble in a mess of crushed cornflakes. Then it hits the fryer before being topped with billionaire's bacon, frosted flake gelato, and a creamy black pepper maple syrup drizzle. Considering that this dish does, in fact, include billionaire's bacon (like normal bacon, but better because it's caramelized with brown sugar and possibly unicorn tears), the $24 price tag makes it a total steal. (Your secret's safe with us.)

You can definitely find cornflake French toast at plenty of restaurants within the continental 48. But you can't find cornflake French toast, get it to go, and then hoof it over to Waikiki Beach to watch the waves with your toes stuck in the sand and sticky corn flakes and syrup stuck to your face. It's simply the way this dish was truly meant to be eaten.

Eiffel Tower Restaurant: Las Vegas, Nevada

This is Vegas, so brunch ain't about to be boring. And since it's the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, this dish is primed to be the Frenchiest French toast on the strip. Say bonjour to your new go-to — the devastatingly delicious Crème Brûlée French Toast. It happily marries two of our favorite pastimes: bread and torching things.

Cutting the crust off of a hefty slice of brioche, chefs allow the bread to lounge in a plunge bath of crème brûlée custard. Then, the slice gets a dusting of sugar and a 30-minute spin in the oven. Post-bake, vanilla pastry cream is plunged into the center, and a second sprinkling of sugar feels the heat under a torch, just like the dessert version of crème brûlée. Final touches might include seasonal berries and fruit, whipped cream, and a side of their aromatic cardamom orange maple syrup. Our advice? Ask for two sides. It's always best to be prepared.

It's a crème bru' with a view from high atop the Paris Hotel, featuring a stellar panorama of the Bellagio Fountains. But with a crackly, springy, sweet, and creamy dish like this easily stealing all of our attention, we don't notice anything beyond the tip of our fork.

Miss Worcester Diner: Worcester, Massachusetts

Miss Worcester might sound like the top award at the world's most awkward beauty pageant. In fact, it's home to the World Famous Crunchy French Toast. And as the diner tells it, they've been doing it "since forever." Upon further inspection, it looks like "forever" means they've been around since the late '40s. So, they don't mean "forever" literally — just almost literally. 

This crunchy French toast situation is game on when it comes to the filling line-up. Choose one, two, or three slices, and dive into toast stuffed with creamy strawberry cheesecake, Nutella and banana, apple pie, coconut custard, Boston cream pie, sticky bun, birthday cake, or Reese's peanut butter cup, to name a few of the 20-something options. Go sweet and savory with their homemade hash and cheddar or meat and cheese, along with a generous pour of syrup on top. Hey, it's breakfast — we're putting syrup on it.

Tucked into the working-class town of Worcester, Massachusetts, the diner features a '50s vibe, set inside an old lunch car, right by the train tracks. Train-sized booths make for a tight fit for the crowds who flock to the joint to get their French toast on, but it's a worthy journey. Food & Wine even named Miss W the best diner in Massachusetts.

Flour & Branch: San Francisco, California

Flour & Branch French toast isn't for weenies. It's so legit, it even features instructions for "Caring for your stuffed French toast" as if the dish is an actual food baby.

Mashugana (a Yiddish term for craziness) is basically a heavenly chocolate babka disguised as French toast. It's phenomenal and appropriately named. Both challah bread and chocolate babka are dutifully soaked in cream, then stuffed with cookie butter and peanut butter chips for a perfectly gooey center and topped off with a crunchy brown sugar cocoa crumble. Knock yourself out with that dusting of powdered sugar and dig in.

Beshert (Yiddish for something akin to a soulmate ... in this instance, a soulmate for your belly) tames it down ever so slightly with simple challah drowned in whiskey (not enough for a buzz) and cream and then packed to the max with blueberries, cream cheese, and honey, topped with a crusty brown sugar pecan crumble. Does it even need syrup at this point? Do you put ice cream on it? What kind of brunch fever dream is this? Well, we've got a fork and a bottle of Crown Maple Syrup. We're ready to take on the world.

Mama's Boy: Athens, Georgia

We could tell this was going to be good just by the name of the restaurant. And, lo and behold, the Georgia Peach French Toast at Mama's Boy in Athens, Georgia, lives up to its iconic reputation ... y'know, without its mom calling 40 times a day just to check in.

Mama's does it up with Luna Baking Co. sweet bread, soaked in a beautiful custard made with warm vanilla and cinnamon. Then, it hits the frying pan for a quick minute and gets a generous topping of whipped cream, peach compote, crunchy candied pecans and a final dusting of powdered sugar before it heads out the door.

If there's any way to better celebrate Georgia's official state fruit, we don't want it. Just give us all the Peach French Toast from Mama's, a bottomless ramekin of syrup, and someone to carry us home after we eat our weight in French-fried sweet bread.

Surrey's Cafe: New Orleans, Louisiana

If you're down with dessert for breakfast, this one's for you. Surrey's Cafe in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana, serves up the best Bananas Foster French Toast this side of the Mississippi. The outpost slings what's called New Orleans-style French toast, also known as pain perdu. The classic French dessert of thick, custard-soaked baguette that's then baked and dusted with powdered sugar gets an early-morning makeover to become a brunch favorite in the States. Surrey's adds its signature flair by stuffing Leidenheimer Baking Company French bread with velvety banana cream cheese, and dousing the entire plate with a decadent bananas foster sauce made of brown sugar, butter, and rum. But to be honest, this dish had us at "bananas."

Surrey's also happens to be the longest-surviving organic juice bar in all of New Orleans since it opened in 2001. So, if the bananas foster French toast breakfast gets the best of you, there's always a carrot-apple-ginger fresh-squeezed juice waiting to balance yourself out.

Harpoon Harry's: Key West, Florida

We're all in on key lime everything in Key West, Florida. And thanks to Harpoon Harry's, we get to put our key lime where our toast is, with their jaw-dropping Key Lime Pie French toast. What's so key lime about it? Well, probably the slice of key lime pie sandwiched in between the two slices of French toast. Luckily, our diet doesn't start until Monday.

Harry's knows what we want, and that's breakfast served all day, and two signature dishes for the price of one: the key lime pie of our dreams, and the French toast of our bleary-eyed sleepwalks. But while you can definitely keep it simple with a dusting of powdered sugar, a raspberry sauce drizzle, and a side of syrup, there are options — lots of 'em. Add bacon to your order and crumble it on top, or go for sliced bananas, chocolate chips, fresh berries, or pecans. Whatever suits your toasted fancy. You're on freakin' vacation; you do what you want.

Located a block from the water, you'll have plenty of time to walk yourself back into beach body condition by the time you're ready to fling off your flip flops. And by "beach body condition," we mean working up an appetite for more snacks by the beach. Piña colada anyone? We don't want to have to chew.

Brique French Toastery: Los Angeles, California

Not even joking — you could build a legit fort with this stuff if it wasn't so tempting to eat. And make no mistake, at Brique French Toastery in Los Angeles, we're here to eat Briques — all of the Briques. As Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson always said, "Blood, sweat, and respect. First two you give, last one you earn." Wait; no, no, no. We want this quote: "Don't cheat yourself, treat yourself." That's more like it.

Brique French Toastery would have never been a thing without Johnson, who basically started the XL breakfast trend with his famously bonkers cheat meals. After cooking up gigantic Rock-sized French toast for the star every weekend, personal chef Racquel "Rocky" Rockquemore-Breiz opened her own outpost to share it with the rest of us. And while we don't work out like Johnson, we'll gladly shovel down his off-duty calories.

The menu leaves nothing to chance, offering a single original brioche Brique. But no matter how hard you're planning to go, each Brique comes with three life-giving sides: peanut butter coconut maple syrup, vanilla bean whipped cream, and toasted coconut chips. Boom. It's up to you as to whether or not you want to go for the Rock's raised eyebrow from his WWE days as you serve up your own People's Elbow for breakfast.

Sadelle's: New York City

The vibe here is "been around since way back" even though Sadelle's first launched in SoHo back in 2016. Apparently, it doesn't take centuries in business to craft the perfect deep-fried French toast. Twenty-four bucks gets you some of the best toast in the biz with syrup on the side. Pony up, baby.

With such a simple dish, stellar execution is clutch, which Sadelle's seems to manage. One redditor guessed that the secret ingredient "must include either one human soul or a feather plucked from an angel's wing, within 16 hours of harvesting." So, what's the deal? As it turns out, deep-fried things are delicious. And if you're near one of Sadelle's eight locations around the globe, y'all have got to try it.

Pillowy loaves of buttery brioche are cut thick and left to dry out for 24 hours. Then it takes another 24 hours for the slices to soak up the in-house custard. A whopping 48 hours after they began their journey, each square is then deep fried, cut into triangles, and caramelized on the griddle. Even the freshly sliced side gets a hit of heat, because everything must be fried — no doughy bits. After that, a dusting of powdered sugar. Your first bite is perfectly crusty and custardy, moist without feeling heavy, and totally worth the cash.

Egg: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Dear Mrs. A, who are you, and what did you put in your famous Mrs. A's Peanut Butter French Toast? Is it illegal in some states? Because it's good enough to be against the law. 

The brainchild of Melissa Postles, Egg restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, slings some serious breakfast. And we came for the most peanut butter thing on the menu: Mrs. A's Peanut Butter French Toast.

This crowd pleaser turns a regular ol' peanut butter sandwich into a French-fried delicacy, meant to satisfy your hangriness any time of day. Creamy peanut butter gets sandwiched between two slices of bread, fried, dusted with powdered sugar, and plated up with butter, maple syrup, and your choice of bacon, sausage links, cherrywood smoked ham, or scrapple. But the perfect bite might just involve a little PB French toast, a bit of crispy bacon, syrup, and a slice of banana from someone else's plate.

After a little recon, we still can't uncover the true identity of the mysterious Mrs. A. But, considering this dish's warm, gooey peanut butter center, and the toasty, sweet, and syrup-drizzled crust, it's clear that the A can only stand for Awesome.

El Huevo Mexi-Diner: Norman, Oklahoma

El Huevo Mexi-Diner takes the sliced bananas on cereal tradition and gives it all kinds of Mexi-Cuban breakfast energy. With a crunchy, caramelized bite drizzled in chocolate sauce, we're all about their frosted flake French toast.

The Cuban vibe comes from the Cuban bread, a local favorite — even in the middle of Norman, Oklahoma — sliced on the bias, and rolled in crunchy corn flakes. It's then topped with a dollop of whipped cream on each slice, and a serving of caramelized bananas swimming in a deeply sweet sauce that you could pour on anything. A warm swirl of Mexican chocolate sauce finishes the plate. That unadulterated fresh fruit that comes on the side will have to wait its turn, or maybe take a plunge into the banana pool. This dish begs to become a finger food-friendly treat, easily hand-dunked into the caramel sauce.

Fishtales Cafe: Newport, Oregon

We embark on a love story about a humble berry and its ultimate destiny: From farm to fame, the iconic Oregon marionberry takes a starring turn in Fishtales Cafe's Marionberry Stuffed French Toast. You're going to have to push people out of the way to get this one.

This Fishtales favorite offers pure pleasure with a few beautiful ingredients done right. Two slices of fresh, homemade bread are packed with sweet cream cheese, dunked in cream and eggs, and grilled to perfection. Then, the toast is topped with the pièce de résistance: warm, scratch made marionberry sauce. It's a sweet and tart berry that finds a welcome home as part of a beloved breakfast treat, along the Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon. The Fishtales blueberry pancakes will do in a pinch, but we'd rather hold out for the really good stuff — true berry love.

Double Chin: Boston, Massachusetts

French toast norm-core is so 1999. Another droopy slice of white bread dissolving in butter and syrup? Pass. Sick of the same old flat thing? Join in on the cube toast craze at Double Chin in Boston, Massachusetts.

Technically, this is French toast. Not so technically, it's a spectacular French toast boat that floats anything from ice cream to candy, French macarons, cereal, or fruit straight to your mouth. Syrup? Who's she and why is she even here? This is a monster of a plate and should be managed accordingly ... with the focus of an international eating contest, and a ton of extra napkins. House rules: It's got cereal in it, it's breakfast.

Square loaves are hollowed out, fried, and then put back together with the whimsy of a 5-year-old on a sugar high. The Muddy Madness cube piles on the chocolate ice cream, fruit, mochi, Frosted Flakes, Pocky, M&M's, chocolate sauce, and condensed milk. Macaron Musketeers hits the mark with most of the same toppings as the Muddy Madness, plus three French macarons. Then there's the Berry Healthy cube which features strawberry ice cream, strawberry purée, fruit, mochi, Pocky, Frosted Flakes, and sweetened condensed milk. If strawberry ice cream is a health food at Double Chin, we're in.