The Best Side At Cracker Barrel Might Surprise You

It's hard to not like Cracker Barrel with its Southern-style comfort food and its old school charm. According to Taste of Home, the brand takes itself quite seriously. Essentially, every Cracker Barrel restaurant that you visit gets its ambience from local decor, historic objects, and authentic antiques. If that isn't dedication, we don't know what is!

Cracker Barrel's interior decorating may be the real deal, but are you wondering what the ultimate menu selection is? Well, according to Fox Business, one of the best-selling menu items is Grandma's Sampler. This customer-approved dish offers up buttermilk pancakes, bacon, two eggs, smoked sausage, maple syrup, and ham. You can also choose to add on either a hashbrown casserole or feast on fried apples if you come especially hungry.

While Cracker Barrel's most popular main dishes include homestyle breakfast staples and Southern fried chicken, you might be surprised by what's actually the chain's best side dish. Here's what you should know.

Don't overlook the broccoli at Cracker Barrel

While this may not be the first thing that you think of when it comes to the best dishes to order at Cracker Barrel, the side of broccoli at the restaurant is a salty, savory treat. Not to mention, opting for this veggie is one of the healthier picks on the menu. You'll be doing yourself a favor by treating yourself to a good dose of vitamins A, C, and K, potassium, folate, and fiber (via Healthline). Plus, you get to feast on Cracker Barrel's broccoli, which the chain describes as steamed broccoli tossed with "savory seasoning." It's a blend that is guaranteed to please your tastebuds, especially if you're a fan of garlicky foods.

Additionally, this side dish is only 40 calories, so you still have room to sample other classic Cracker Barrel menu items like the Chicken n' Dumplins or roast beef. It's a healthier option than other popular veggie sides, like a baked potato with butter and sour cream, which adds up to 470 calories (via Verywell Fit). Surprise yourself when you visit Cracker Barrel next and feast on a bit of broccoli.

Cracker Barrel's broccoli will leave you feeling wholesome

The steamed broccoli comes highly recommended from Eat This, Not That!, as well. Per the website, steaming ensures that you will not miss out on any of the dish's key nutrients. But it's also recommended that, if you are trying not to increase your calorie intake, you should avoid butter — even if it's tempting to add some to your veggies. The last thing you need is to feel uncomfortably full, right?

Add a serving of fresh broccoli to your plate with a serving of grilled pork at Cracker Barrel, as recommended by Eat This, Not That! You are guaranteed to feel good about your food choices after enjoying a hearty restaurant meal that does not make you feel guilty about indulging on good food. Who said broccoli has to be boring, huh? When paired with other options, it makes for a great side dish that you can enjoy to your heart's content.

Plus, the dish is actually delicious, in case you are still feeling a bit dubious. TripAdvisor once wrote a review on Cracker Barrel and specifically mentioned the eatery's steamed broccoli. They wrote, "[I]t was the broccoli that made my day – I've never had such perfectly steamed broccoli in a restaurant – ever! Menu has lots of healthy choices as well as good comfort food." That sounds undeniably tempting.

You can even opt for Cracker Barrel's special broccoli dish

Beyond the standalone side, Cracker Barrel also features broccoli in one of its most delicious dishes, the Broccoli Cheddar Chicken — a dish that promises to deliver a plethora of tastes in one meal. In fact, the dish is so popular that there are several recipes online that promise to duplicate the taste of the beloved dish, allowing you to recreate the Cracker Barrel experience right at home. One of these recipes comes from Spicy Southern Kitchen, which features succulent meat with broccoli and other delicious ingredients, like cheese and Ritz biscuits.

Another TripAdvisor user seriously vouches for this meal and the fact that it lives up to all your expectations. They wrote, "If you haven't gone on a Wednesday night and had their special, Broccoli Cheddar Chicken, then I highly recommend it. My favorite Cracker Barrel meal!" Pretty tempting, isn't it? However, it's important to note that Cracker Barrel's Broccoli Cheddar Chicken is only available on Wednesdays. Now you know that saying no to broccoli is not always such a good idea, huh? Give it a shot — you won't regret it later!