Perkins started as a family-owned and operated pancake house in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1957. Today, the Perkins menu features plenty of breakfast favorites.
Ironically, founders and brothers Matt and Ivan Perkins named their breakfast restaurant Smith’s. Only after their second franchise opened did investor and franchisee Wyam Nelson suggest they change the name to Perkins.
The brothers took Nelson’s advice along with a second suggestion to expand the menu. Today, Perkins has over 300 locations in the U.S. and Canada, offering traditional American, home-cooked meals.
Perkins is all about tradition, offering the same tried-and-true dishes from the original menu. However, Perkins also welcomes new concepts and recipes.
I’ve compiled a list of the best Perkins menu items that encompass traditional and innovative homestyle meals.
Whether you want a hearty breakfast or a comforting dinner, you’ll find a variety of sweet and savory meals on the following list of the best Perkins menu items.
The Everything is an omelet stuffed with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, American cheese, and diced grilled ham.
Expert cooks saute the veggies to a soft, flavorful medley before mixing in farm-fresh eggs and topping it all with a slice of American cheese.
The Everything Omelet is served with a tall stack of buttermilk pancakes. Perhaps it’s called The Everything because every food group is represented, from vegetables to protein to fluffy pancakes.
I love The Everything because I get to mix sweet and savory flavors for breakfast.
The American cheese creates a creamy binding for all the veggies that are cradled in the perfect folds of fluffy eggs.
Chicken Strips Melt
While Perkins may be known for their breakfasts, their lunch and dinner combos are as delectable.
An example is the Chicken Strips Melt meal, a fusion of some of America’s favorite sandwiches.
It starts with two thick-cut slices of sourdough bread toasted and gets filled with melted Pepper Jack cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, and crispy fried chicken strips smothered in Ranch dressing.
In my opinion, it’s a combination of a grilled cheese, patty melt, and a club sandwich. The combo comes with:
- French fries
- A soft drink
- A slice of house-made pie
The Applewood smoked bacon and ranch dressing add the perfect mix of creaminess and smokiness.
The Big Country
The Big Country Sunrise Skillet is one of the best Perkins menu items.
It’s a deliciously savory and hearty breakfast dish that will satisfy even the hungriest customer. It’s served in an iron skillet and has all your favorite breakfast ingredients.
The Big Country consists of skillet-fried pork sausage, smoked ham, Applewood smoked bacon, melted American cheese, creamy gravy, and two eggs over a mount of tater tots.
To finish this meal in one sitting is quite the feat!
I love to order The Big Country with two over-easy eggs so that the yolk creates another layer of creaminess in addition to the cheese and gravy.
The Tangler, also known as the BBQ Tangler Burger, is the perfect marriage of barbecue flavors and traditional burgers.
It uses a 100% Angus beef burger topped with:
- Cheddar cheese
- Applewood smoked bacon
- Crunchy onion rings
- Lettuce and tomato
- Sweet red onions
It’s then smothered in a sweet barbecue sauce and served on a toasted brioche bun.
The Tangler comes with a side of fries or a cup of soup.
I love the onion rings, which Perkins calls “Onion Tanglers.” They add a flavorful crunch and a sweet oniony taste that work well with the barbecue sauce and bacon.
Brioche French Toast Platter
Perkins became popular due to its griddled specialties and sweet baked goods.
The Brioche French Toast Platter continues its sweet breakfast legacy while also adding new popular ingredients.
Brioche bread is a rich and buttery-tasting kind of bread with a deep brown crust and a yellow, fluffy inside.
Similar in taste and texture to Challah, Brioche holds up well to heavy ingredients, and its rich flavor lends perfectly to sweet dishes like French toast.
The Brioche French Toast Platter comes with two thick slices of Brioche bread dipped in Perkins homemade batter, grilled on the griddle, then topped with powdered sugar.
I like to add butter and a hearty drizzle of maple syrup.
Country Sausage Biscuit Breakfast
An ode to the Deep South, the Country Sausage Biscuit Breakfast is a continental breakfast that contains two buttermilk biscuit sausage sandwiches smothered in American cheese and white gravy, scrambled eggs, and your choice of breakfast potatoes or hashbrowns.
The biscuits are perfectly fluffy, while the sausage has a crunchy outer layer and a juicy patty.
There’s more than enough food to save one of the biscuit sandwiches for lunch. I opt for their home fries, bite-sized chunks of crispy potatoes with pillowy insides.
I also like Cheddar on my biscuit sandwich instead of American cheese, as the sharper flavor complements the creamy gravy.
Hearty Man’s Combo
The ultimate continental breakfast, Hearty Man’s Combo features all your favorite breakfast meats, including smoked sausage, two strips of Applewood smoked bacon, and two sausage links.
The combo comes with two eggs of any style, hashbrowns or breakfast potatoes, and your choice of buttermilk pancakes, buttered toast, or a muffin.
To round it all out, you get a complimentary orange juice or beverage of your choice. I recommend the side of three buttermilk pancakes to get the best bang for your buck.
Plus, Perkins is famous for its pancakes. Two people could easily split the Hearty Man’s Combo and be completely satisfied.
The Works’ Frisco Burger
San Francisco is famous for its sourdough bread that vendors hollow out as a bread bowl for fresh seafood chowder.
Perkins takes San Francisco’s signature bread loaf and uses it instead of a bun on The Works’ Frisco Burger.
The Work’s Frisco Burger features two toasted slices of sourdough bread stuffed with:
- A thick Angus beef burger patty
- Melted Cheddar cheese
- Applewood smoked bacon
- A large onion ring
- Lettuce and tomato
- Onions and pickles
It also comes with French fries. I love the toasty sourdough bread that adds a strong flavor and crusty bite that doesn’t get soggy.
Honey Mustard Chicken Crunch
Honey Mustard Chicken Crunch is a hearty entrée salad that consists of a blend of garden greens topped with tomatoes, Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, red peppers, red onions, and crispy fried chicken strips cut into bite-sized pieces and drizzled with honey mustard dressing.
If you’re avoiding carbs or just trying to get a full serving of vegetables with every meal, this salad is a great choice. It has healthy veggies, decadent bacon and fried chicken, and a flavorful dressing.
I like to add hard-boiled egg and substitute American cheese for pepper jack to add more protein and a spicy kick.
This salad is a fantastic lunch option when you’re looking for something packed with protein and filled with flavor.