Here are this year's 16 finalists, which were narrowed down with the help of guest judges Anne Banas, Smarter Travel; Genevieve Shaw Brown, ABC News; Adrien Glover, Travel + Leisure, and Larry Olmsted, Great American Bites columnist.

Get the winning recipe:
Sweet Stuffed Crepe Cigars
Open Gates Bed & Breakfast - Darien, GA


"This dish takes me back to sailing the high seas of the Caribbean from Grenada, to the markets of St. Martin, and the cigar shops in St. Barts. The fresh spice markets providing the fat moist vanilla beans, and of course, the flavored rums made by the locals, and all the cigars anyone can ask for. I was fortunate to spend the last ten years working the winters in the Caribbean. As a chef for charter motor yachts, I was able to procure local ingredients right off the dock and incorporate them into my cooking especially the spices and rum. The origin of the recipe is about being able to produce a smaller sized version of the crepes found in Paris or St. Barts, for the Madame of a boat that I was working on. As she "only wanted a little taste".

This recipe is special to me because it brings back great memories of the travels I was so grateful to have. It's also shows that we're willing to go above and beyond to offer our guests the same amazing #sweetstobeat, and first class hospitality!"

-Zachariah Rath


Get the recipe:
Banana Stuffed Cinnamon French Toast
Marshall Slocum Inn - Newport, RI


"French toast is one of our favorite breakfast items at the Marshall Slocum Inn, and Chef and Owner Mark Spring has been making Banana Stuffed Cinnamon French Toast since 1997 when he first worked as a chef in Newport. Portuguese rolls are a great choice because of the Portuguese heritage found in Rhode Island. It's a simple recipe that is fun and packs a lot of flavor."

-Lauren Finnessey


Get the recipe:
Berry Breakfast Cobbler with Honey Ginger Cream
Chatham Gables Inn - Chatham, MA


"Our Berry Breakfast Cobbler is our signature breakfast appetizer. Many of our guests upon arrival ask if our cobbler will be served during their stay!

As a small child, I had a very Irish Aunt who went to The Fannie Farmer School in Boston, and on Sundays always presented us with a warm little "sweetie", sending our taste buds dancing. There was always some little sort of sweet cake with fruit sauce awaiting our visit...always warming our hearts and bringing a smile to our faces! This buttery cobbler recipe brought me right back to those days of Fannie Farmer baked goodness! A little tweak here and there, and served with heavy cream whipped with just the right touches of honey and ginger, and of course just the right berries ..... has become the CGI signature cobbler people come back for!"

-Andrea Smith


Get the recipe:
Blackberry Waffle Bread Pudding with Orange Blossom Crème Anglaise and Vermont Maple Syrup
The Inn at the Round Barn Farm - Waitsfield, VT


"We love this recipe (and so do our guests!). The Inn at the Round Barn has always served a different menu to our guests every morning for the past 25 years. Waffles have always been in the rotation, but we would always have leftover batter. We realized this recipe was the perfect use for the extra waffle batter.

Now, we cook off the batter after breakfast service and save the extra waffles for “bread pudding”. The waffles baked in the custard with the blackberries are rich, toasty and creamy, the top of the pudding retains its waffle crispy-goodness We serve it over our orange blossom crème anglaise which gives it a certain citrusy-floral note 'you just can’t put your finger on” that has guests asking for the recipe every time.'"

-Chef Charlie


Get the recipe:
Blueberry Stuffed Puffed Pastry
The Oaks Victorian Inn Bed and Breakfast - Christiansburg, VA


"There’s nothing better than farm-to-table fresh blueberries. Every summer I look forward to my weekly visits to our local U-Pick “3 Bird Berry Farm“. From mid-June until late September our breakfasts include dishes made from fresh blueberries picked and baked by me. I make blueberry buckles, breads, muffins, smoothies etc, but the guest’s absolute favorite is The Oaks Victorian Inn Blueberry Stuffed Puffed Pastry. I love working with puffed pastry and came up with dish when creating my blueberry syrup recipe. It’s quick, easy and plates always come back empty."

-Linda Wurtzburger


Get the recipe:
Breakfast S'mores
Cocoa Cottage Bed and Breakfast - Whitehall, MI


"Louie and Jeri, Lisa's parents, were the inspiration for the Cocoa Cottage Breakfast S'mores recipe! Family vacations usually involved camping and the pristine Lake Michigan beaches. Of course, summer fun ALWAYS included S'mores! Larry and Lisa had enormous fun researching and testing graham cracker recipes, then converting them into this delicious and nutritious waffle recipe. We combined nostalgia and fun then added high quality chocolate and roasted homemade marshmallows. Our guests all laugh and smile when we present this dish and then, ooh-and-aah, and reminisce their favorite campfire 'S'mores Story'. Thanks Mom and Dad!"

-Larry Robertson and Lisa Tallarico


Get the recipe:
Caramel Apple Bacon French Toast
Farmers Guest House - Galena, IL


"Before Don and I bought the inn two years ago, I would practice potential breakfast dishes on Don, who would reply, “It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!” I would think about breakfast all the time, even in my sleep. After we were innkeepers for a few months I dreamed this up. I woke up one morning inspired, went in to the kitchen, and made this for a houseful of guests. It has been on the menu ever since.

Caramel Apples and Bacon are icons of the Midwest so this French Toast dish is a natural centerpiece for our sumptuous breakfast. Return guests ask for it when making their reservation; maybe it is because Caramel Apple Bacon French Toast is something we always wanted when growing up; dessert with our breakfast!"

-Don & Susan


Get the recipe:
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cheesecake Bread Pudding
Brayton Bed and Breakfast - Oshkosh, WI


"If I could spend all day in the kitchen, I would. I love creating new recipes and tweaking some of the classics. This chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bread pudding came about in a few different ways. I do a food blog where I post a recipe once a week. In my blog in February I talked about only doing chocolate recipes for Valentines day or month is how we celebrate it. I also love doing single serve bread pudding recipes because they turn out so beautifully when baked correctly.

When coming up with this recipe, I wanted something that signified the holiday and I felt like all these ingredients did that. Chocolate for my blog, something red for valentine's Day and something that made a big impression when serving to someone. The chocolate covered cherry cheesecake bread pudding was born."

-Nicole Brayton


Get the recipe:
Country Pancakes with Orange Cardamom Syrup
By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages - Harrisonburg, VA


"Always striving to provide culinary surprises, innkeeper/owner Janice Fitzgerald developed our Orange Cardomom Syrup recipe to please the sophisticated and diverse palates of the many guests who come from the Washington, DC metro area. With a wink of her eye, Janice suggests that the “aphrodisiac” qualities of cardamom may even enhance the romantic experience of a stay at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages. This recipe is consistently one of our most requested."

-Dennis Fitzgerald


Get the recipe:
Fried Chicken and Waffles with Rosemary Infused Maple Syrup
Seal Cove Inn - Moss Beach, CA


"When we first served our Fried Chicken and Waffles with Rosemary Infused Maple Syrup for breakfast at the Inn, I was accused of letting my 'Southern Roots' show here on the Northern California coast! We moved to the Half Moon Bay area in May of last year from Houston where we had certainly explored some wonderful southern flavors. But the reality is that it was inspired by legendary California Chef Thomas Keller’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken dinner that is served at his Yountville restaurant, Ad Hoc, every other Monday. I’m not embarrassed to admit that it is my favorite restaurant meal – hey, it’s Thomas Keller!

I’ve worked over the years to create my version of the perfect fried chicken and wanted to figure out how to bring that juicy delicious chicken to breakfast at my inn and this was the result. We brine the chicken overnight and fry it up to order while our fluffy buttermilk waffles are cooking with a sprinkling of prosciutto for added flavor. The rosemary for our infused syrup comes from the garden right outside our kitchen door. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory - our guests love it and we couldn’t possibly be more excited to be included in’s Sweet 16!"

-Kelly Dayan


Get the recipe:
Individual Baked French Toast
Albemarle Inn - Asheville, NC


"Our baked French Toast has always been a big hit with guests here at the Albemarle Inn! I used to make it in one large baking dish, and portion it out individually. But recently I decided to change it up a bit and give it just a bit more of an elegant presentation in the Individual Ramekins. And who can’t resist ice cream at breakfast? One of our guests said it was like eating dessert first! Another said they were in 'Sweet Heaven'."

-Rosemary Chiariello


Get the recipe:
Salted Caramel & Banana French Toast with Toffee
Glenlaurel Inn & Cottages - Rockbridge, OH


"Salted caramel is all the rage but rarely seen at breakfast. We are in the backyard of the famous Columbus Ohio based Jeni’s Ice Cream whose signature flavor is Salty Caramel. Many of our guests know the brand so that, combined with my passion for bread making (the brioche) and Executive Chef Josh’s creative flair, inspired this decadent breakfast dish for our guests delight!"

-Sabrina McCartt


Get the recipe:
Stuffed French Toast
Meyer House Bed and Breakfast - Davis, WV


"Have you ever eaten a stuffed french toast that is grilled and baked? That is the secret to this recipe. Crispy and fluffy at the same time. This is a continuous guest favorite at the Meyer House B and B. It always pleases. Paired with crisp thick cut bacon and pure local maple syrup, what could be better? Enjoy!"

-Cindy Robeson


Get the recipe:
Sweet Potato Pecan Waffles with Praline Sauce
Decker House Bed and Breakfast - Mason City, IA


"The Sweet Potato Waffle recipe was created at The Decker House Bed and Breakfast after a Farm to Fork event last fall that featured my mother’s recipe for Sweet Potato Pecan Pie. The pie sold out immediately! I wanted to translate that delicious dessert into a breakfast entrée. By adding sweet potatoes and spices to my Buttermilk Waffle recipe and finding the recipe for a long forgotten Praline Sauce I once used on a cheesecake 20 years ago- the Sweet Potato waffle was created. Guests and staff tested it and rave reviews inspired us to enter it in the breakfast contest.

We take great pride in providing fresh, delicious food for our guests. But my greatest joy as an innkeeper is the laughter we hear in the kitchen as strangers become friends and families reconnect over our breakfast table."

-Sally Pressly


Get the recipe:
Wedding Crepes St. Germain
Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast - Lititz, PA


"Guests won't waffle on how yummy this breakfast dish is! Aargauer Ruebli Torte is the Swiss patisserie known as one of the best and an all-time favorite, Arrgau being the area of Switzerland that is home of this carrot cake.

Not overly sweet but rather loaded with healthy nutrients, these waffles embody all the good things this cake has to offer, carrots, almonds, lemon, eggs. Pair with the not-overly-sweet mascarpone and the oh-so-good roasted pineapple, and you have a breakfast guests will rave about for years! Oh so fitting for a morning at Swiss Woods. Life is short -- start your day with dessert!"

-Debbie Mosimann


Get the recipe:
Swiss Carrot Cake Waffles with Roasted Pineapple and Mascarpone Cream
Lyttleton Inn - Littleton, MA


"All of our recipes are based on the changing seasons and build on the wonderful culinary heritage of New England. This is a celebratory recipe for early spring, based on the flavors of St Germain, an elderflower liqueur from France. The airy vanilla pear souffle is baked within a crepe and served with a crème anglaise sauce that is infused with St. Germain liqueur. In the end, we are completely inspired by our guests and their trust in us to help create a memorable occasion. They are unique, so the recipes created for them are unique as well! "

-Mary Dugan