Yes, there are plenty of self-proclaimed fast-food experts online who will offer you advice on what to order at IHOP. You can also always ask the actual IHOP devotees, but nutritionists and other health experts may also offer tips on which IHOP items are the healthiest (and the unhealthiest).
But then we asked chefs, who should be regarded as the high arbiters when it comes to delicious food. When it comes to IHOP, they gave us these tips on what to order.
We put this first on the list since everyone mentions it. All the chefs we talked to said that the pancakes are terrific. They said the same things as the various fast-food experts and avowed IHOP fans.
It’s not a coincidence that IHOP stands for International House of Pancakes. The brand built its reputation on its reliably fluffy and always yummy buttermilk pancakes. It’s as if these pancakes were cooked to meet your specific preferences. They’re always hot and fluffy, and your mouth just waters when you see them.
The most dependable item is the Original Buttermilk Pancakes. A full-stack gets you 5 of these yummy things, though your doctor might ask you to limit it to a short stack of 3 pancakes.
There are other variations as well, though people are divided as to how good they really are. There are fans for the Triple Chocolate Stack and the colorful Cupcake Pancakes, but some say that these things are just too sweet. Nutritionists will also object to their ridiculously high sugar content—a single order goes way past the recommended sugar DV.
In any case, it’s always up to you. In fact, you can always go with the Build Your Own Pancake option. You get 2 pancakes, along with 2 eggs, either 2 bacon strips or 2 sausage links, and some hash browns.
The chefs say the omelettes are great, especially if you’re looking for a lot of protein. They’re made to order and you have plenty of fillings and mix-ins to pick from.
The main problem is that if you’re trying to lose weight, omelettes may not be the right choice. Most of these options total up to more than 840 calories. Some go over a thousand calories.
The Colorado Omelette is quite tasty, though, according to our chefs. It features bacon, ham, shredded beef, and pork sausage, along with chopped onions, green peppers, and plenty of cheddar cheese.
If you want something vegetarian, then go with the Spinach and Mushroom Omelette. You have sautéed fresh spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, hollandaise and a blend of jack and cheddar cheese. But this can still go past 900 calories.
But there’s an option to reduce the calorie content significantly, by opting for the egg white omelet with avocado, pepper-jack cheese, and tomatoes. That combo only has 370 calories. One of the chefs also mentioned the Egg White Omelet w/ Swiss Cheese and Turkey Sausage, though you should check if your location offers the Turkey Sausage option. This particular omelette is only 380 calories, but gets you up to 41g of protein.
Simple and Fit
Another option for those who want a lighter breakfast is the Simple and Fit item. It’s considered one of the healthiest breakfast options here, totaling only about 410 calories. You get scrambled egg whites, 2 slices of turkey bacon, seasonal fruit, and whole-wheat toast. You still get a bit of lots of things.
The chefs who are trying to stay fit tend to order this when they’re at IHOP as well.
IHOP offers several ways to prepare your eggs. You can have them sunny side up, scrambled, over easy, over medium, or over hard. But the truth is, according to the chefs, the IHOP cooks probably know a lot more ways of preparing the eggs. And if you ask nicely, they say, then the cooks may accommodate your egg preparation preferences.
The chefs attest to this since one of the chefs confirmed that the IHOP cooks can prefer his basted egg favorite. They can make the egg specifically to your taste. They can make poached eggs that are extra-runny, or fried eggs that are slightly firmed up.
It’s all up to you, but you should ask very nicely. Ask the server if it’s okay to specify how the eggs are made.
Sirloin Steak Tips
This is rather controversial since IHOP isn’t exactly a steakhouse. In fact, plenty of IHOP fans warn about IHOP steak in general, saying that it’s like eating leather shoes. The general rule for restaurant steak is that if you want a good steak, you go to a good steakhouse. You don’t go to a pizza parlor, a burger joint, or a diner that specializes in breakfast fare.
But the sirloin steak tips at IHOP are the exception to the rule. According to a couple of the chefs we talked to, IHOP uses a nicely sweet, savory, and tangy sauce to marinate the steak tips. The marination period can run from at least 8 hours up to 24 hours. Then IHOP adds caramelized onions.
These tips are then pan-seared perfectly, and they’re very tender when they’re served. It’s a great choice, and it comes with 2 sides.
Are these tips on the money? Try them yourself and see if these chefs are right!