A mini guide to Waffle House: Everything you need to know about the iconic Atlanta chain

Fans of Waffle House show up at all hours to get their fill. We dive into what fuels such loyalty. TYSON HORNE / TYSON.HORNE@AJC.COM
Fans of Waffle House show up at all hours to get their fill. We dive into what fuels such loyalty. TYSON HORNE / TYSON.HORNE@AJC.COM

Waffle House is more than a place to fill up on hash browns scattered, smothered and covered, a patty melt or Cheese ‘N Eggs in the wee hours of the morning when sensible people are snoozing. It is part of the fabric of American culture.

What Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner started in Avondale Estates in 1955 has grown to more than 1,900 units across 25 states. Yet, Waffle House is not just a beacon of hope for the hungry and a gathering space for the masses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on the company's disaster management index to determine the effect of a storm and the assistance required for recovery. If Waffle House is closed, you know things are bad.

In this mini guide to Waffle House, we dive deeper into what makes the 24/7 chain restaurant so endearing to regular folk and the rich and famous alike. You’ll find plenty of fun facts to improve your WaHo IQ. You’ll read about classic menu items and the real people who inspired them, as well as Atlanta chefs so smitten with the restaurant of their youth that they created dishes in homage and put them on their own menus, even getting a cease-and-desist letter in the process.

The Waffle House Museum, the Waffle Records label and its Tunie Awards … This guide, dear readers, is not a tour. It’s a pilgrimage.

YOUR GUIDE TO WAFFLE HOUSE:

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ExploreWaffle House menu items pay homage to employees
ExploreWaffle House has a record label -- listen to songs like “Waffle Do Wop” here
ExploreTimeline: Waffle House didn’t cook up an empire overnight
ExploreWaffle House by the numbers

VIDEO: Learn more about the Atlanta-based institution in the AJC's "5 things to know" series.

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ExploreA brief history of celebrities eating at Waffle House

PHOTOS: 

ExplorePhotos: Waffle House Museum
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VIDEOS:

Explore5 things to know about Waffle House
ExploreWhat is the “Waffle House index?”
Explore12 things you didn’t know about Waffle House
ExploreSuper Bowl 53: What’s your Waffle House order? Celebs on Super Bowl red carpet answer
ExploreRead the AJC Spring Dining Guide: The Atlanta barbecue issue

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