We Tried And Ranked All 5 Of Panera's New Breakfast Sandwiches

Bakery-cafe chain Panera Bread has continued its menu revamp with a new range of breakfast sandwiches. These early-morning offerings tick both the savory and sweet boxes, so there should be something for everyone there. Two of the new sandwiches are seemingly here to stay, while the other three are listed as limited-edition offerings which could eventually drop from the menu.

As far as fast food breakfasts go, Panera's latest menu items are entering a very crowded market. McDonald's is often seen as the standard, but pretty much every chain has its own take on the breakfast sandwich. This includes the likes of Chick-fil-A, Wendy's, and even Taco Bell. Panera tends to be a little more on the artisanal side, so there's every chance it could be aiming to take customers from the likes of Starbucks, which has its own new menu items, with these new offerings.

If you're wondering whether Panera's new sandwiches are worth a try, I've saved you some trouble and sampled the new breakfast menu. I've rated each sandwich and listed them in order of preference from my least favorite to the best. Breaded breakfast connoisseurs will also know that the ability to pair with black coffee can make or break a sandwich, so I made sure to note each bite's interaction with America's favorite source of antioxidants.

What are Panera's new breakfast sandwiches?

Panera has come up with five new breakfast sandwich combos as part of its menu revamp. The bakery and cafe chain is hoping that the new sandwiches will manage to cover plenty of breakfast bases, and they do seem to tick a lot of boxes.

The Ham Egg & Cheese consists of ham, eggs, and white cheddar cheese in a ciabatta roll. The CinnaScramble puts egg and cheese in the center of a cinnamon roll for a sweet and savory treat, while the Sausage CinnaScramble does the same thing but with an added sausage patty. The Steak & Wake features marinated shaved steak, egg, and cheese in a section of ciabatta, and the Bacon Double Take combines bacon, egg, and two kinds of cheese inside a chunk of black pepper focaccia bread.

None of the sandwiches come with any kind of sauce as standard, and there doesn't appear to be any kind of promotion running, so you're likely to be paying for things like coffee and hash browns separately should you want to add them to your breakfast. If you really want sauce, there are some limited customization options — or you could just start carrying your favorite hot sauce on a key chain like the truly dedicated do.

Availability and cost of Panera's new breakfast sandwiches

If you want to get your hands on one of the new breakfast options, get yourself to Panera Bread in the morning. As with many fast food breakfast menu items, the new sandwiches are available from when a Panera branch opens through 10:30 a.m. each day. Two of the five sandwiches, the Bacon Double Take and the Ham Egg & Cheese, are seemingly here to stay. The other three, the CinnaScramble, Sausage CinnaScramble, and the Steak & Bake, are only available for a limited time — though Panera doesn't seem to have specified how long that limited time is.

In terms of price, all of the sandwiches are similar, and not a million miles away from what Panera's competitors are pricing breakfast sandwiches at. In Upstate New York, the cheapest option is the CinnaScramble at $5.89, followed by the Ham Egg & Cheese, which is priced at $6.59. The Sausage CinnaScramble, Steak & Bake, and Bacon Double Take are priced at $6.99. These prices do not include tax, and the cost of each sandwich may vary between locations.

5. Ham Egg & Cheese

Last, and admittedly least, on our list, is a pretty classic breakfast pairing. The Ham Egg & Cheese didn't have an ingredient breakdown on the table's menu card because its name basically says it all. It's Black Forest ham, scrambled egg, and white cheddar in between two pieces of the chain's ciabatta.

The choice of ham may have let Panera down here. The company has gone for Black Forest, while the sandwich itself is crying out for some smokiness or even the kind of sweetness a honey glaze would provide. As it stands, the ham just adds a bit of texture and very little else. There's nothing offensive about Panera's Ham Egg & Cheese sandwich, and it will definitely do its job if you order one. But there are better options on the menu, and each bite will just make you think it could be so much more. The borderline blandness also messes up the coffee pairing. It's almost begging for something, anything, even a slight overtoasting of the bread, to give it that kick of extra flavor. The ciabatta itself is pretty good, and arguably the best part of this sandwich. The Ham Egg & Cheese is also the least substantial new item on the menu, so you may find yourself a bit hungry when all is said and done.

As far as nutritional information goes, you're looking at 410 calories, 17 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, and 25 grams of protein. The sandwich also has 870 milligrams of sodium and 300 milligrams of cholesterol.

4. CinnaScramble

Ticking the sweet box and essentially serving as an upmarket version of the McGriddle is the CinnaScramble, which is a creative way of saying scrambled egg and cheese inside a cinnamon roll. Unlike the McGriddle, it's not as gooey, sugary, or intense; it's a lot more refined in many ways.

The cinnamon flavor initially takes a back seat but comes on strong in the middle and then fills your mouth toward the end. It builds very nicely, but you can't help feel there's something missing. (That something is present in another menu item.) The CinnaScramble is one of the limited-edition offerings on Panera's new breakfast menu, but it seems good enough for a permanent spot. While there are options that place higher on the list, it fills a definite gap in the menu and fills that gap very well. The CinnaScramble is one of the larger sandwiches on offer, and its ingredients make it quite filling. If you're particularly hungry or have a long wait until lunch, then this is likely a solid option.

The sweet treat has 580 calories, 31 grams of fat (17 of which are of the saturated variety), 58 grams of carbohydrates (with 21 of those from sugar), and 18 grams of protein. Also present are 840 milligrams of sodium and 325 milligrams of cholesterol. With regards to the coffee pairing, the CinnaScramble leaves you with that strange aftertaste that sweet things often do when combined with black coffee. You're probably better off picking one of the sweeter options Panera offers if you're looking to pair this one with a caffeine fix.

3. Sausage CinnaScramble

Remember how the regular CinnaScramble had something missing? Turns out that something is a sausage patty. The patty itself in the Sausage CinnaScramble seems of very high quality. It has a perfect level of spiciness and stands alone quite well. It deserves to be in more breakfast items. A plant-based sausage should make an appearance, too, so vegetarians won't miss out on this perfectly balanced version of the CinnaScramble.

As it stands, if you're comfortable eating pork and want a breakfast treat that is both savory and sweet, then the Sausage CinnaScramble is the obvious choice. The spiciness and saltiness of the sausage provides a nice counter to the sweetness of the cinnamon roll. The sausage's texture is also very welcome alongside the soft egg, gooey cheese, and flaky roll that make up the rest of the sandwich. As a bonus, the sausage's presence makes the whole thing pair better with a dark roast. Just like its meat-free sibling, the Sausage CinnaScramble is a fairly substantial sandwich and is likely to fill most people on its own.

At 790 calories, the Sausage CinnaScramble is the most energy-dense sandwich of the bunch. The sandwich contains 51 grams of fat, with 25 grams of that being saturated fat. You'll also get 58 grams of carbohydrates including 21 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein, 1,240 milligrams of sodium, and 360 milligrams of cholesterol.

2. Steak & Wake

There's an easy way to tell if the Steak & Wake will be your Panera breakfast sandwich of choice. Do you like Philly cheesesteaks? I mean, do you really like Philly cheesesteaks, as in enjoy them to the point where you'd want to start your day with one? That's basically what the Steak & Wake is: shaved steak with white cheddar cheese on an artisanal Ciabatta, with some egg in there, too, because it's breakfast.

The marinated steak, which — let's be honest — is the main reason you're ordering this, is very flavorful. Unfortunately, as with many of these offerings, the cheese and egg doesn't have that much of an impact. A sharper cheese would have made a difference and may well have been enough to propel the Steak & Wake to the top spot. Were I not intent on ordering everything as-is, there's a chance I could have had an enhanced version of the sandwich. Though it isn't advertised, Panera's staff told me a garlic or spicy aioli can be added to the Steak & Wake on request.

This is the most protein-heavy breakfast option, with 33 grams of the nutrient on offer. Only 24 grams of fat, 10 of which are saturated, also makes the Steak & Wake one of the leaner options on the menu. Other nutritional stats include 41 grams of carbs, only one of which is from sugar, 900 milligrams of sodium, 330 milligrams of cholesterol, and a total calorie count of 510.

1. Bacon Double Take

On paper, this is a pretty classic egg sandwich. You're getting bacon (or double bacon according to Panera), cheese, and egg wrapped in bread. While the definition of double bacon may be up for debate, Panera really knocked it out of the park with this one.

The applewood-smoked bacon adds a distinct flavor and texture, which balances well with the flavor of the egg and pairs with black coffee as only crispy bacon can. The cheese blend, which is listed as American and provolone, isn't overpowering and provides that warm hit of gooey goodness, and the real star is the black pepper focaccia that encases the whole thing. The bread making these sandwiches special is a running theme in this list, and the fluffy yet just firm enough loaf that the bacon, egg, and cheese fits in is an absolutely perfect choice on Panera's part.

This is also the most substantial sandwich of the bunch — it's genuinely filling. If you grab one of these and a black coffee, you should be more than comfortable until lunch. Getting the basics right is often a clear route to success, and that's exactly what Panera has managed with the Bacon Double Take.

It packs 560 calories, with 32 grams of fat (15 grams of that being saturated fat). Other nutritional info includes 37 grams of carbs (though only 3 grams of that are sugar), 30 grams of protein, 1,680 milligrams of sodium, and 330 milligrams of cholesterol.


This list is a review at its core, so I taste-tested each sandwich on the menu. To keep things fair, all five sandwiches were ordered in their standard configuration. No special requests were made, though options were noted in the review when available.

The final ranking was based primarily on each sandwich's flavor and texture. I looked at how the ingredients interacted with each other, and how well each sandwich was balanced. How substantial each sandwich was also played a part. A filling breakfast sandwich is ideal, as you'll want something that tides you over until lunch, rather than a breakfast that essentially acts as an appetizer and leaves your stomach rumbling. All of the sandwiches were sampled at the restaurant, so they were as hot and fresh as possible. All of the sandwiches used for this review were paid for by Tasting Table, and Panera Bread was not involved in any part of the review process.