OPINION: The best (and worst) breakfast options in Bowling Green

5th Street Diner is located at 430 Center St. and is open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day.

College is filled with late nights of studying, hanging out with friends, and regretting the decision to go to cookout at 1 a.m. when you have to be up for class in 7 hours.

However, in the off chance that you’re feeling inspired to start your day earlier than 15 minutes before your first class, here are some great (and bad) options for a hearty meal to spark your hopefully productive day.

Worst Option #1: Fresh Food Company

I don’t necessarily have anything against Fresh breakfast, however there are so many other better options that are worth the drive off of campus.

If you want convenience, then Fresh is the way to go, but the only thing I truly enjoy from their breakfast selection are their tater tots.

The tots aren’t “Napoleon Dynamite, put them in your pocket to save for later” good but they still have some decent flavor.

Regardless, save a meal swipe and treat yourself to a bigger meal for lunch or dinner.

Worst Option #2: McDonald’s

Hot take: McDonald’s breakfast isn’t THAT good.

It’s alright, it’s kind of hard to mess up breakfast food, but it should be absolutely no one’s first option for breakfast.

The only thing that it has going for it is that it’s very cheap, which is good considering the fact that this is college and there’s a common stereotype about us all being broke.

Nonetheless, there are still cheap options that are miles ahead of McDonald’s, and to deny that is treason against the art of breakfast food.

Worst Option #3: Wild Eggs

I personally think that the amount Wild Eggs charges for their meals is a crime against humanity.

It can be upwards of $14 for a meal BEFORE the tip, which is absolutely absurd considering the fact that breakfast is one of the cheapest meals to make.

Not to mention the fact that it’s not even that good! All three of my best option picks are like the Beatles compared to Wild Eggs – who are the equivalent of some guy playing “Wonderwall” completely unsolicited at a house party – while being $4-$7 cheaper.

Save some money, avoid mediocre food and don’t go to Wild Eggs

Best Option #1: Waffle House

One of the things that I miss most about the pre-covid world is late night Waffle House runs, which are usually filled with camaraderie, good conversation and most importantly great food.

Waffle House does cheap breakfast right, while bringing a wonderful environment that has a complete melting pot of college students, blue collar Americans, and the elderly all in one place.

The food is spectacular, cheap, and in my experience is always served by kind and charismatic workers.

The fact that it is 24 hours adds another powerful dynamic, making it a very strong entry on this list.

Best Option #2: Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A breakfast is as good as fast food breakfast will ever get in my humble opinion.

I know it’s something that we rarely think about, due to the fact that the on campus Chick-Fil-A doesn’t serve breakfast, but I urge everyone to go to one of the standalone locations in Bowling Green and be reminded of chicken biscuits and minis.

Like McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A breakfast is surprisingly cheap, but lapping the golden arches in the race for delicious breakfast.

Keep in mind that Chick-Fil-A doesn’t serve breakfast after 10:30am, so you’re going to have to get there early to experience it.

Best Option #3: Lisa’s 5th Street Diner/Teresa’s Restaurant

You have to save the best for last, and it’s common that local places are usually the best.

I put 5th Street Diner and Teresa’s in the same entry, and that’s because despite some minuscule differences in menu items, they are very similar.

Both places have a homey environment, both are cheap and both serve fantastic breakfast food.

Both locations also sell a grilled honeybun for dessert, which is exactly what it sounds like but, my goodness, it tastes way better than you’d think.

Teresa’s has exponentially more seating than 5th Street, so if 5th Street is your first option and you find that they’re at capacity, head over to Teresa’s for an equally delicious start to the day.

Shane Stryker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @shanestryker.