Tim Hortons is more than great coffee and bagels, but it’s been my go-to for years when in Canada: coffee with cream and sugar and a bagel with cream cheese. The Tim Hortons breakfast menu provides a simple variety of sandwiches and wraps, including the intriguing Bagel B.E.L.T. Read on for more on these morning choices, ranked from lowest in calories to highest.
Tim Hortons breakfast hours end at noon, so if you’re a late sleeper like I am, set your alarm to get there on time. But if you don’t rise until afternoon, you can get a limited breakfast menu until 5 p.m.
Hash Brown, 130 Calories
As a side to a protein-rich meal, or a quick morning bite, the Tim Hortons Hash Brown is a tasty handheld potato treat with its golden-brown slightly crunchy goodness. It has only 130 calories and 16g carbs, so if you’re counting calories you could easily throw in a Greek Yogurt Parfait for some fruit and protein.
Strawberry Cheese Strudel, 160 Calories
Is your heart set on a sweet treat for breakfast, but you don’t want to take in a lot of calories or carbs? Go for the Strawberry Cheese Strudel, which has only 160 calories and 18g carbs. This tasty pastry is flaky and filled with strawberry filling and cream cheese, and it’s well below the calorie and carb counts of other sweet items available.
The Tim Hortons Breakfast menu has a plethora of delightful baked goods, but for this list we’re sticking mostly with the basic bagels, muffins and donuts that are common breakfast items. I offer this strudel to show that you can have a treat without breaking your calorie budget for breakfast. If you pair this with a Hot Breakfast Sandwich, your total calories could be as low as 500.
Homestyle Oatmeal, 160-360 Calories
A bowl of warm oatmeal is a lovely way to start the day, and it’s even nicer when there’s some fruit in the mix. If you prefer your Homestyle Oatmeal plain, the calorie count is at just 160 calories for a small with 32g carbs, 5g protein and 4g fibre. For a large, the counts are 240 calories, 47g carbs, 8g protein and 6g fibre.
Tasty additions like fruit and maple will bump up these numbers. A small Homestyle Oatmeal with Mixed Berries has 210 calories, 44g carbs, 6g protein and 6g fibre; for Maple, it’s 220 calories, 49g carbs, 5g protein and 4g fibre. If you opt for the large size, it will be 320 calories, 71g carbs, 8g protein and 4g fibre for Mixed Berries and 360 calories, 80g carbs, 8g protein and 6g fibre for Maple.
Personally, I’d probably get the plain or Mixed Berries and ask for brown sugar on the side, along with a carton of milk, and factor in the extra calories.
Donut, 200-340 Calories
As delicious as they are, donuts can be ridiculously high in calories, but Tim Hortons donuts surprise with their range of 200-340 calories, and only a few are over 300 calories. At the low end of the calorie count are three 200-calorie varieties: the Chocolate Dip Donut and the Maple Dip Donut, both at 4g protein and 34g carbs, and the Strawberry Filled Donut, which has 5g protein and 34g carbs.
On the far end is the Caramel Apple Fritter Donut with 340 calories, 7g protein and 61g carbs (the Apple Fritter Donut has 310 calories, 7g protein and 53g carbs).
Some in-between donuts are the Old Fashion Plain Donut (210 calories, 3g protein, 25g carbs), Canadian Maple Donut (210 calories, 5g protein, 37g carbs), the visually spectacular Strawberry Shortcake Donut (255 calories, 5g protein, 38g carbs) and the Honey Cruller Donut (280 calories, 2g protein, 27g carbs).
What really stands out for me are the fancy donuts. The highest-calorie varieties of these will fulfill your chocolate cravings: the Chocolate Whoopie Pie Donut (300 calories, 5g protein, 41g carbs) and the Mint Fudge Brownie Donut (300 calories, 5g protein, 48g carbs). If my son and I were choosing between these, he’d pick the Whoopie Pie Donut, as he doesn’t like mint and chocolate together. But I love the combination, so I’d go for the Mint Fudge Brownie Donut.
Also impressive are the Raspberry Truffle Donut at 290 calories, 4g protein and 47g carbs and the Nanaimo Bar Donut at 280 calories, 4g protein and 41g carbs. I can’t turn down anything with “truffle” in the name, and I adore chocolate and fruit together. Then again, I’m not from Canada but have Canadian friends who have made me super curious about Nanaimo bars.
Somehow I managed spending considerable time over the years visiting my friend in Montreal and never had a Nanaimo bar, but he doesn’t have a sweet tooth and is 40 years old without ever having had a cavity, which says a lot. He lived four blocks from a Tim Hortons, but we never ate anything there except coffee and a bagel with cream cheese, and both were fabulous.
Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries and Almond Granola
Yogurt, fruit and nuts is a wonderful combination for a light meal with good protein. The Vanilla Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries and Almond Granola has 270 calories, 15g protein and 40g carbs. I don’t mind higher carbs when they come from fruit, and if you really hate the carbs, you could spoon out some of the granola but keep the almonds. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries provide color and a sweet tartness mixed with the crunch of the granola and the creaminess of the yogurt.
If plain Greek yogurt isn’t flavorful enough for you, you’ll be delighted to know that the Strawberry Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries and Almond Granola has the same calories, protein and carbs as the plain-yogurt variety. Both provide 40 percent of the daily value of iron and 35 percent of calcium.
Hot Breakfast Sandwich on English Muffin, 280-440 Calories
For the heartier appetite, the Hot Breakfast Sandwich provides a decent amount of protein without too many carbs. You’ll get by with fewer calories if you choose an English muffin as the base for your sandwich, which starts off with a seasoned egg omelette and cheese on the muffin for 280 calories, 14g protein and 29g carbs. Add bacon for 330 calories, 14g protein and 29g carbs, or try sausage for 440 calories, 19g protein and 29g carbs.
Classic Bagel, 280-330 Calories
Now we come to my favorite Tim Hortons offering (along with the coffee, which I also drink at home): the simple, unassuming bagel. While I’m happy with all types of bagels, I usually go for a Plain Bagel (290 calories), although I’d probably also go for a 12-Grain Bagel, which has the highest calories at 330. The lowest in calories is the Blueberry Bagel at 280. The bagels range from 9-11g protein and 55-63g carbs.
Bagel toppings include mustard spread (60 calories), margarine (50), strawberry jam (60), butter (70), light cream cheese spread (97), peanut butter (110), light strawberry cream cheese spread (130), cream cheese spread (my pick at 140) and herb and garlic cream cheese spread (140).
Specialty Bagel, 310-350 Calories
If simple bagels aren’t enough for you, Tim Hortons offers several Specialty Bagels. The lowest in calories are the Roasted Garlic & Cheese Bagel (310 calories, 13g protein, 54g carbs) and the Jalapeno Asiago Mozzarella Bagel (310 calories, 12g protein, 58g carbs). At the other end is the Maple Cinnamon French Toast Bagel, which has 350 calories, 10g protein and 67g carbs.
Muffin, 340-440 Calories
You’ll find some really creative muffins at Tim Hortons. It’s interesting that we tend to think of donuts as off-limits but consider muffins a healthier and lower-calorie alternative. Muffins do often offer some healthy fruit and nuts that aren’t generally included in donuts, but I think we often forget how much calories can be stuffed into a muffin, even if it includes words like “bran.” It’s just something to keep in mind when choosing what to eat in the morning.
Two muffins are available that have 340 calories: the well-packed Fruit Explosion Muffin, which has 5g protein and 58g carbs, and the super-fruity Wild Blueberry Muffin, with 5g protein and 57g carbs. At the high end is the rich Chocolate Lava Muffin at 440 calories, 6g protein and 55g carbs. Two more 400+ varieties are the Chocolate Caramel Muffin at 410 calories, 5g protein and 64g carbs; and the Chocolate Chip Muffin with 420 calories, 6g protein and 66g carbs.
So it looks like a good rule of thumb is to look at fruit varieties more than chocolate!
Hot Breakfast Sandwich on Biscuit, 340-500 Calories
If you prefer a Hot Breakfast Sandwich on a biscuit rather than an English muffin, which we looked at earlier, the calorie counts rise a little, but the difference isn’t remarkable. A seasoned egg omelette and cheese on a biscuit provides 340 calories, 15g protein and 32g carbs. With bacon, you’ll get 400 calories, 18g protein and 33g carbs, and with sausage, 500 calories, 20g protein and 33g carbs.
Grilled Breakfast Wrap, 470-500 Calories
Get a little spice to wake up your morning self with a Grilled Breakfast Wrap. These wraps combine bacon or sausage with a fluffy egg omelette, cheddar cheese and chipotle sausage in a tortilla, and the whole thing is grilled for an easy-to-eat breakfast. With bacon, the wrap is 470 calories and 22g protein, and it’s 500 calories and 20g protein for sausage. Carbs are at 39g for either.
Bagel B.E.L.T., 530 Calories
The Bagel B.E.L.T. is a pretty cool fusion between breakfast and lunch. Served on a fresh 12-grain bagel, this egg-added version of a BLT features three strips of bacon, an egg omelette patty, cheddar cheese and fresh lettuce and tomato. The sandwich has 530 calories, with 24g protein and 61g carbs.
Only in Quebec
Tim Hortons customers who live in Quebec have access to a few breakfast items the rest of Canada doesn’t get. The most interesting to me is Cretons, a spread with pork, pork fat and spices, served on sliced white or whole-wheat bread. Cretons is traditionally cooked in lard. The Tim Hortons Cretons has 90 calories, 5g protein and just 2g carbs. A slice of white bread has 140 calories and 24g carbs. I tend to eat whole-wheat bread, so I was buoyed to see that while the white bread has no protein, the whole-wheat bread has 5g to go with 130 calories and 26g carbs.
Jean-Luc, my Montreal friend, would often order what he simply called “lard” with bread when we ate at Planete Oeuf, our favorite breakfast place, in the Rosemount neighbourhood. It tasted delicious. I assumed it was quite fatty and unhealthy, but the counts are really not high at all: 7g fat, 2.5g saturated fat and 15g cholesterol. I’m sure that’s much healthier than poutine, which I also love!
A sweet Quebec-only treat is the Raspberry White Chocolate Scone, which has 360 calories, 7g protein and 53g carbs. It looks delicious with the raspberries peeking out.
Tim Hortons Breakfast Menu: On the Lighter Side
Although Tim Hortons is a chain that’s known for coffee and things to eat with coffee, the Tim Hortons Breakfast Menu has a handful of savory breakfast items featuring eggs and meat, along with a large variety of the expected baked goods.
The highest in calories of the savory foods is the Bagel B.E.L.T at 530 calories, which is cool to see. When you’re piling meat, eggs and cheese on bread items, the calories can really add up, and they really don’t here. Nor do they with the bagels and muffins, which top out at 350 calories and 440 calories respectively.
Kudos for keeping it on the lighter side, Tim Hortons. I plan to visit next year on my first trip back to Montreal since 2009.