If you own any small kitchen appliances such as waffle makers, panini presses, and food processors, you may have heard the name VillaWare. However, the chances are just as likely that you’ve never heard of the VillaWare waffle maker (or any of their other appliances) before.
That’s because, while their products were popular at the turn of the century with the widespread surge in small kitchen appliances, VillaWare has since dropped off the map.
That’s not to say that their products are inferior – some internal problems with the company were the primary contributors to VillaWare’s downfall.
In the paragraphs below, we’ll go over just what happened to VillaWare, some of their better products, and our top choice alternatives from different brands.
What Happened to VillaWare?
Several of VillaWare’s food products, especially their VillaWare waffle maker models, are still on the market today.
However, these products were produced in the early 2000s before Tilia, a vacuum-packaging brand, acquired the company. Some of them remain, but only in minimal numbers.
VillaWare started way back in 1906 with the introduction of a patented hand-crank pasta maker by the CEO Bob Vitantonio’s great-grandfather. Since then, the Vitantonio family has continued to produce small kitchen appliances, especially those that fit into the Italian home kitchen.
This means that, unless you work in one of these specialty food chains and gourmet stores, you’re unlikely to see any new VillaWare products. While it’s a shame that they will no longer be bringing their products to bear at the consumer level, it’s nice to know that Villaware is still active in the food world.
In its heyday, VillaWare didn’t just release waffle makers. VillaWare also released its own panini presses, crepe makers, pizzelle makers, smoothie makers, food processors, and much more. However, they did have an impressive line of different types of VillaWare waffle iron cookers at one point in time. Some of these specialty waffle makers included:
- VillaWare Belgian waffle maker
- Mickey Mouse waffle maker (which VillaWare had a special agreement with Disney to produce)
- Krumkake baker
- Stick waffle maker
- Waffle boat maker
- Heart waffler
- Gravity waffle maker
- Disney princess waffle maker
- And many more
As you might have guessed, VillaWare had a few unique waffle maker offerings back in the day that made them stand out. One was their notable Disney-themed waffle makers, which not every company has permission to sell.
Additionally, VillaWare sold waffle makers in lots of fun shapes and designs, such as hearts and farm animals.
However, VillaWare’s Krumkake maker, or Scandinavian waffle maker, is one of their most unique offerings. Krumkake, or Scandinavian waffle cookies, are thin, delicate cookies that are very different from our traditional idea of waffles.
Villaware Waffle Maker Alternatives
If you’re looking for a waffle maker that’s similar in quality to the old VillaWare waffle maker models, you’re in luck! We’ve picked out a few of our top picks to include in this article for you. You can find them in the sections below.
1. Cuisinart Waffle Makers
Our Top Choice: Cuisinart WAF-F20 Double Belgian Waffle Iron
Cuisinart is a popular and well-respected appliance brand that crafts everything from air fryers to food processors. If it exists as a small kitchen appliance, the chances are that Cuisinart makes one (and it’s probably a quality product, too).
While Cuisinart has hundreds of waffle makers for you to choose from, our favorite is their Double Belgian Waffle iron. This waffle maker is solid with an attractive metal body that makes cleanup easy. It looks modern and beautiful in any kitchen, and – the most critical part – it does its job well, too.
What sets the Cuisinart WAF-F20 apart from VillaWare waffle makers? While both are similar in quality and appearance, the Cuisinart has modern amenities that Villaware simply cannot compare to. This waffle maker actually cooks one waffle on each side of the unit, meaning you can make two full waffles at the same time while still preserving counter space.
Our favorite is a built-in browning dial that lets you control the texture of your completed waffles. Rather than choosing between undercooked and overcooked, you get direct control over the outside’s crispiness while still ensuring the doneness of the inside.
However, in the end, you can’t go wrong with any of Cuisinart’s waffle maker offerings. They have as many styles on offer as VillaWare had in its heyday, if not more, and they’re all full of the convenient quality-of-life features that we’ve come to love from Cuisinart.
2. Hamilton Beach Waffle Makers
Our Top Choice: Hamilton Beach 26030 Flip Belgian Waffle Maker
Hamilton Beach has been a longtime manufacturer of small kitchen appliances. Like Cuisinart, they offer thousands of products across many categories, but they excel in the breakfast food categories. Some of their most popular devices are things like breakfast sandwich makers, coffee makers, and electric griddles.
Hamilton Beach is a brand that specializes in convenience features. Their breakfast sandwich makers, which are some of their most popular products, are designed to create a complete breakfast for you in one go. Similarly, many of their products feature removable and washable plates, such as this Flip Belgian Waffle Maker.
This waffle maker only cooks a single waffle at a time, but the removable, non-stick heat plates make it incredibly easy to clean and maintain. When you finish cooking your waffles, all you need to do is disconnect the plates and put them in your dishwasher. This saves your time and effort, and it means you never have to work to get grease and dough out of the crevices in your waffle maker ever again!
Finally, this waffle maker also has a browning dial to make cooking your favorite waffles easy. It’s inexpensive, too.
3. Black & Decker Waffle Makers
Our Top Choice: BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Waffle Maker with Reversible Plates
One of the best new technological advancements that has come to small kitchen appliances in recent years has been reversible plates. Not only are most reversible plates completely removable, making them easy to wash, but this means you get two configurations for the price of one, too.
When it comes to this model from Black & Decker, you really do get three appliances in one. Firstly, you get the standard waffle maker, of course. This particular model lets you cook four waffles at once. However, those same waffle irons flip over into a flat top surface, which enables you to cook eggs, bacon, pancakes, omelets, or anything else that’s compatible with a flat top.
Additionally, when you fold this unit flat, it actually turns into two flat top surfaces, or you can use both flat tops together as a sandwich press. And finally, like many waffle makers with removable plates, you can buy additional plate options for this unit, too. For example, if you want your waffle maker to function as a panini press or grill, you can – just buy the matching plates for the job.
Like the other two models above, this waffle maker also has a temperature dial to control your products’ doneness. However, since it’s designed to handle more than just waffles, it has a few other convenience features, too. For example, the flat plates have special grease channels along the plates’ edges to make cleanup easier.
In the end, While VillaWare isn’t really relevant today, it’s one of the brands that helped make today’s waffle makers as good as they are. Without the reliable technology that made VillaWare waffle makers and appliances dependable and effective, today’s products might not be entirely up to snuff.
It’s a testament to VillaWare’s quality that some of their VillaWare waffle maker models are still for sale today. After all, there wouldn’t be any on the market at all without demand discontinued or
While we again can’t recommend purchasing a VillaWare waffle maker unless you find it for cheap, the function of any waffle maker, new or old, is the same: to provide you with a delicious, golden, fluffy breakfast quickly and efficiently every time.