12 Most Popular Breakfast Items at Panera Bread

There’s nothing quite like the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread that permeates the surroundings of a neighborhood bakery, beckoning every passerby to stop in for a fresh loaf or pastry.

panera breakfast bakery items

Panera Bread started as one of those beloved independent neighborhood bakeries in St. Louis in 1987.

Thirty-five years later, Panera Bread remains a friendly and delicious beloved bakery in neighborhoods across the U.S, Canada, and Mexico.

Panera sells fresh, scratch-made loaves of bread, from baguettes to sourdough loaves, that use the same starter as the original St. Louis bakery.

Additionally, Panera offers a vast menu of breakfast foods that utilize its freshly baked creations along with fresh, clean, and sustainably sourced produce, meat, and cheeses.

Whether you want a decadently frosted cinnamon roll, a savory breakfast sandwich on brioche, or a light and healthy fruit salad, Panera’s breakfast menu has something for everyone.

The following list I have compiled of the best Panera Bread breakfast menu items will ensure that you start your day energized and content after a wonderful and freshly baked meal.

Check out the most popular breakfast foods at Panera Bread with our list below.

Bagel With Cream Cheese

If you’re a bagel lover, you know that you order a baker’s dozen bagel selection so you can fish a hot fresh one out of the bag to enjoy right then and there.

Whether you’re picking up your weekly dozen or need a quick and easy breakfast to go, Panera has nine different bagel flavors and six cream cheese flavors.

With all the different flavors, you can create a different bagel and shmear combo for every day of the week.

I opt for the blueberry bagel with plain cream cheese if I have a sweet tooth. My favorite bagel and cream cheese combo is their Everything Bagel with chive and onion cream cheese.

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese on Brioche

The rich brioche flavor mixed with its light and airy texture is a winning combination and current trend for sandwiches and burgers.

Panera has caught onto the trend with this delicious brioche breakfast sandwich.

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They use a lightly toasted brioche bun layered with a farm-fresh scrambled egg, Applewood smoked bacon, and sharp white cheddar cheese.

I love how the smokiness of the bacon and the solid, strong cheddar flavor combine with the buttery brioche bun and fluffy scrambled egg.

The flavors and textures are a marriage made in heaven.

Avocado, Egg White & Spinach

The thing I love about this sandwich is that it is entirely customizable.

Panera offers the Avocado, Egg White, and Spinach sandwich on the menu with two scrambled egg whites, aged white cheddar cheese, thick slices of avocado, fresh baby spinach, tomato, salt, and pepper on a sprouted grain bagel flat.

However, you can modify it to your liking by switching the bread, adding a spread or sauce, or nixing the cheese.

I like my avocado egg white and spinach sandwich with extra avocado instead of the cheese on thick slices of tomato basil bread to add some flavor to the mix.

Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries Parfait

If you’re trying to avoid a sugary breakfast pastry but still want a sweet, indulgent breakfast, the Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries Parfait is nutritious and delicious.

The Greek yogurt is packed with protein, while the mixed berries will give you immune-boosting antioxidants.

Their house-made maple butter pecan granola adds a rich flavor and perfect crunch. Plus, the Greek yogurt gets a honey drizzle to cut the acidity.

For a healthy option, I find this parfait to be exceptionally luxurious. It tastes great with a cup of Panera’s 100% Colombian Dark Roast coffee.

Steel Cut Oatmeal

Another delicious and nutritious breakfast to satisfy your hunger while nourishing your body is Panera’s steel-cut oatmeal is not your average bowl of oats.

They top their steel-cut oatmeal with strawberries, toasted pecans, and a cinnamon crunch topping. This delicious bowl of oats, nuts, and berries only has 370 total calories.

In my opinion, the cinnamon crunch topping and a hearty helping of strawberries throughout the oatmeal make it taste like a fruit crumble.

I love that they cook the oats al dente, so it’s not mushy or watery. I also like to add a serving of soy or coconut milk to turn the bowl into a creamy porridge.

Sausage, Scrambled Egg, and Cheese on Ciabatta

If there’s an ideal locale for a sandwich, it’s a bakery because you have artisanal bread baked fresh by the hour to take any hand-held meal to the next level.

This incredible sandwich uses airy and crunchy artisanal ciabatta bread stuffed with a fluffy scrambled egg, a seasoned sausage patty, and aged white cheddar.

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I like to add tomatoes and onions for added flavor. The Ciabatta bread is so crunchy and flavorful that it’s the highlight of this sandwich, in my opinion.

If you have a leftover crust, I recommend asking for olive oil and salt and pepper as a dipping sauce to finish off the ciabatta like an Italian.

Chipotle Chicken, Scrambled Egg, and Avocado Wrap

This scrumptious Southwestern-inspired breakfast wrap has the biggest, brightest flavor profile on my list and is full of fresh veggies and clean ingredients.

Panera uses antibiotic-free chicken, smoked and pulled to a perfect shred to combine with a fresh scrambled egg, smoked Gouda cheese, sweet Peppadew peppers, avocado, and cilantro, seasoned with salt and pepper, doused with chipotle aioli, and wrapped inside a thick whole grain tortilla.

I’m a fan of smokey and spicy flavors, so this wrap is one of my go-to orders.

The mayonnaise, avocado, and creamy cheese complement the smokiness and spice of the chipotle peppers, so even sensitive palates can enjoy the spice without suffering the heat.

Vanilla Cinnamon Roll

If you’re feeling extra indulgent, the Vanilla Cinnamon Roll will exceed your expectations.

You won’t have to wait until Christmas morning to enjoy a special baked treat pulled right out of the oven.

Head over to your local Panera and let the expert bakers serve you a giant, perfectly fluffy iced cinnamon roll.

Panera’s Vanilla Cinnamon Roll uses their signature sweet dough coated in a thick layer of sugar and cinnamon, then rolled and baked.

Their luxurious icing is infused with vanilla and poured over the rolls when they’re fresh out of the oven. I like to pair this delicious pastry with a fresh cup of dark roast coffee. 

Blueberry Muffin

I guarantee that Panera’s blueberry muffin can beat out any standard coffee shop muffin.

I always pick a bakery with an espresso bar over an espresso bar that offers baked goods. Panera’s blueberry muffin is perfectly cakey and full of plump, juicy blueberries.

The best part is the crunchy cinnamon and sugar streusel topping.

If you’d rather have a different muffin flavor, they have chocolate chip, pumpkin, and cranberry-orange muffins, as well.

Blueberry is my favorite, and I like to savor each bite with a creamy hazelnut latte on a leisurely Sunday morning.

Bacon, Scrambled Egg, and Cheese on Ciabatta

The Bacon, Scrambled Egg, and Cheese on Ciabatta is prepared with the same ingredients as the Brioche breakfast sandwich, using Applewood smoked bacon and aged white cheddar.

The difference lies in the bread choice, and ciabatta significantly changes the texture and flavor profile, adding a bigger crunch and more olive oily flavor.

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I like to dress my ciabatta sandwich up with a spread of basil pesto to enrich the olive oil flavor.

If you’re more of a southwestern flavor fan, you could always add avocado and chipotle aioli. 

Fresh Fruit Cup

Whether you’re eating light or want a fresh accompaniment to a savory breakfast dish, Panera offers a delicious fresh fruit cup using the best fruits of the season.

Since the fruit cup changes with the season, you must ask your server what comes in it.

I went for the summer, and they had fresh cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple on the menu.

The fresh fruit cup is a great side dish to pair with a breakfast sandwich or a buttery croissant. 


Perhaps the most classic of all bakery breakfasts, the croissant is a Panera mainstay executed to perfection with buttery, flakey layers that you never want to end.

Their selection of croissants is on par with any French patisserie. They offer plain butter croissants, chocolate-stuffed croissants, and my personal favorite, almond croissants. 

If you’ve come to enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Panera, you could always order a variety for the table to enjoy with coffee while you wait for the main event.

I always end up getting a few to-go for my mid-afternoon coffee break as they crisp up so well in the toaster oven.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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