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The Waffle House Hashbrown Code

a sign in front of a building

Those of us that grew up with Waffle House recognize it as something more than a restaurant. It’s the South’s Everyman sit-down, 24-hour yellow glow of homey, affordable, comfort. You’ll find the tables inside populated by high-schoolers sipping on cheap coffee refills, touring musicians wolfing down Texas Melts, post-bar college kids loudly joking over waffles while their DD wearily throws back an orange juice, or senior couples splitting a T-bone. When my younger brother visits from Brooklyn, it’s one of the first places he wants to go post up for a Southern breakfast. In recent years, the Waffle House Emergency Index has become internet famous across a hurricane-washed South and beyond, and my own local WaHo has played host to such highbrow trappings as Charleston Wine + Food events and the late foodie superstar, Anthony Bourdain. Waffle House has captured the world’s interest, but to us, it’ll always be one of our favorite laid-back spots for a mug of joe and plate of hashbrowns.
In celebration of National Waffle Day and our favorite Southern highway breakfast stop, we asked the Charleston Culinary Tours team to share their standard Waffle House hashbrown order. If you’re unfamiliar with Waffle House menu shorthand for their signature hashbrown additions, here’s a helpful key:

Smothered = grilled onions
Covered = cheese
Chunked = ham
Diced = grilled tomatoes
Peppered =  jalapeno peppers
Capped = grilled mushrooms
Topped = Bert’s chili
Country = sausage gravy
All The Way = all of the above

Dana Levine: “Triple, ALL THE WAY! go big or go home!
And that would be 950 calories, I just did the math
And I would add A LOT of hot sauce.”
John Mulherin: “I always want to overtip the Server. They hustle all day for small check averages.
Cheese and onion (smothered and covered) for me.”
Hoon Calhoun: “All the way – ham (he prefers it on the side) + ketchup + mayonnaise.”
Allison Tomarchio: “Regular smothered covered and country :).”
Mimi Whaley: “Scrambled eggs, toast w/butter, sausage & GRITS”
Sommer Pendergraft: “Peppers! Peppers, onions, and gravy… but I forget what that is.” (Smothered, peppered, and country.)
Guy Hollowell: “Smothered peppered & covered.”
Charley Smith: “All-Star Breakfast with grits BUT I suppose I would order hashbrowns covered and peppered.”
Palmer Stowe:  “Smothered and covered. Peppered, too,  if I’m in the right mood. Ketchup on the side.”

Interested in hearing more about iconic Southern foods from our spectacular guides? Book your Downtown Charleston Culinary Tour, and get an earful of knowledge along with a bellyful of Charleston’s best bites!
– Palmer Stowe
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