All The Fast-Food Restaurants That Offer All-Day Breakfast

Breakfast is an important meal no matter what time of the day you eat it. According to Food Insight, 93% of people believe breakfast is at least somewhat important to a healthy diet. The science backs this up, as Fast Company and Massive Health report that breakfast eaters make 12.3% healthier food decisions throughout the rest of their day and night. Furthermore, people who eat breakfast eat 6.8% less food over the day than people who skip it.

But while most people eat breakfast in the morning, not everyone can. A July 2022 report by the U.S. Census Bureau found about one in four American employees have a nonstandard work schedule, which means they work evenings, nights, split shifts, or rotating shifts. Additionally, SWNS Digital notes that 69% of Americans like eating breakfast foods for dinner and want to be able to indulge in a stack of pancakes or a bagel sandwich whenever the mood strikes.

Whether your breakfast time is 7 a.m. or 7 p.m., you deserve something tasty. We're looking at the biggest fast-food and fast-casual restaurants that offer all-day breakfast for people who eat outside "normal" hours or just want to change things up.

1. Dunkin'

The Dunkin' behemoth is an obvious "fast-food breakfast all day" choice, but it still deserves a closer look. One of the reasons this chain has become so popular — with more than 9,500 U.S. locations as of October 2022 according to ScrapeHero – is that they offer the entire menu all day — and all night in the case of 24-hour stores and drive-thrus.

Founded in 1948 as Open Kettle, the Quincy, Massachusetts, restaurant was reborn as Dunkin' Donuts in 1950 (via Dunkin'). As reported by the Los Angeles Times, founder Bill Rosenberg's architect suggested the name, which comes from the idea of dipping donuts in coffee. To this day, the all-day breakfast giant is known for these staples. Beverages make up 60% of their revenue per the Associated Press, and Dunkin' famously offers more than 50 donut varieties.

However, the Dunkin' menu has expanded greatly over the decades. Now you also can order bagels, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, wraps, hash browns, and other treats whenever your day starts. To reflect its focus on more than just coffee and donuts, the company rebranded as Dunkin' in 2019. But its commitment to being an all-day breakfast restaurant hasn't changed one bit.

2. Jack in the Box

Believe it when we say a burger and taco chain named after a children's toy is a fast-food breakfast pioneer. In fact, according to Hatch, Jack in the Box was the first true quick-service restaurant to introduce a breakfast sandwich back in 1969. The original offering is still on the Jack in the Box menu along with many other sandwiches, croissants, breakfast burritos, platters, and mini pancakes served from open to close.

Interestingly, it's not clear exactly when Jack in the Box went to all-day breakfast. A 2014 Business Insider article says they'd been offering it for more than 20 years but doesn't give specifics. Regardless, fast-food breakfast connoisseurs are glad they did. And they do mean all day — many Jack in the Box locations have 24-hour drive-thrus and delivery service.

Breakfast isn't the only way the company has been a fast-food innovator, either. As detailed in the book "Orange Roofs, Golden Arches: The Architecture of American Chain Restaurants," Jack in the Box was an early experimenter with drive-thru windows. Among other things, they were one of the first drive-thrus to install two-way intercoms. The only downside? ScrapeHero data shows the 2,100-plus Jack in the Box U.S. locations are limited to 21 states and territories.

3. Waffle House

Maybe Waffle House isn't fast food in the traditional sense. But since the first Waffle House opened in Avondale Estates, Georgia, in 1955, this short-order restaurant has been synonymous with all-day breakfast. How did founders Joe Rogers Sr. and Tom Forkner come up with the name Waffle House? According to NBC News, the waffle was the highest profiting item on the original menu. It also set the restaurant apart from the carryout stands that were popping up left and right.

The Waffle House breakfast menu has grown by leaps and bounds since then. In addition to those waffles, the restaurant offers omelets, melts, hashbrown bowls, biscuits, and other breakfast standards. And famously, all Waffle House locations are open 24/7. It's not just breakfast, either — you also can get lunch and dinner anytime.

That's just part of why Waffle House has become a Southeast icon. As the Georgia Historical Society writes, Rogers and Forkner — who were neighbors before going into business together — wanted to create a restaurant that had both great food and great service. That concept has led Waffle House to nearly 2,000 locations in 25 states where people can tuck into breakfast whenever they like (via ScrapeHero).

4. Starbucks

When most people visit one of the nearly 34,000 worldwide Starbucks locations (via Statista), they typically have coffee on their minds. But the Starbucks menu also includes plenty of breakfast and bakery items that are available all day. Although the exact offerings depend on the location, options can include breakfast sandwiches, wraps, egg bites, oatmeal, bagels, muffins, and donuts — all of which, as noted by Breakfast Offers, are served as long as the doors or drive-thru window are open.

It's been a long journey for Starbucks to become a coffee and breakfast household name. When the company opened its first store in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1971, it was simply a coffee bean roaster that also offered tea and spices. It was after New York businessman Howard Schulz became involved — first as director of marketing in 1982 and then as CEO in 1987 per The Guardian — that Starbucks transformed into a coffee house and expanded around the globe.

5. IHOP

They no longer go by "International House of Pancakes," but IHOP is still a king of all-day fast-casual breakfast. The IHOP menu includes more than a dozen ways to enjoy pancakes and crepes, including original buttermilk pancakes, blueberry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, and even cheesecake pancakes. There are also Belgian waffles, French toast, omelets, and breakfast burritos. And no matter what entrée you order — even if it's a cheeseburger — you can get pancakes as a side.

There's plenty of time to grab breakfast, too. IHOP mandates all franchises keep "minimum hours" of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Some IHOP restaurants are open 24/7 — and if the lights are on, everything on the menu is available.

Ironically, IHOP has long tried to be about more than just breakfast. The restaurant has offered lunch and dinner fare since opening in 1958, and in 2018, it temporarily went by "IHOB" to promote its burgers (via CNBC). But even though the International House of Pancakes has just been IHOP since 1973, people still associate them with anytime breakfast. We'd like to think this is why, in 2019, they were America's biggest casual dining chain (via FSR).

6. Sonic Drive-In

If you want to experience fast-food breakfast all day with classic car-hop service, Sonic Drive-In has you covered. While Sonic was founded in 1953 as Top Hat Drive-In — the name was changed to Sonic in 1959 — it's a relatively newer player in the breakfast arena. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, Sonic began offering breakfast items as part of the "Sonic 2000" 5-year plan introduced in 1995. This was part of a larger initiative to unify the restaurant chain, whose franchises had become fractured with inconsistent menus and branding.

Whatever the reason for it, breakfast enthusiasts can order their favorites anytime Sonic is open. That means customers can try an assortment of breakfast burritos and Breakfast Toaster melts along with French toast sticks, bagel sandwiches, and hot or cold brew coffee whenever their body clock says it's breakfast time. Conversely, since the entire Sonic menu is served all day, you can have a hot dog and milkshake at 8 a.m. if you like. This versatility has made Sonic a major player in U.S. fast food with more than 3,500 locations as of October 2022 (via ScrapeHero).

7. Bojangles

Some fast-food restaurants offer breakfast simply because everyone else does. At Bojangles, though, it's been a central part of the brand's business model since it first opened in 1977 (via QSR magazine). You can credit the chain's famous biscuits for this — as chief marketing officer Jackie Woodward told QSR, "Biscuits are an all-day staple in the south...but where biscuits really begin is at breakfast." Today, the Bojangles all-day breakfast menu includes more than half a dozen biscuit meals, including the sausage egg & cheese biscuit, the cajun chicken filet, and even biscuits smothered in sausage gravy — all of which come with hash brown bites and a coffee.

The Bojangles breakfast legacy actually pre-dates the restaurant. INC magazine notes that co-founder Jack Fulk was previously a Hardee's franchise owner, and he perfected the fabled biscuit recipe during this time. Fulk even got in trouble with Hardee's for adding breakfast biscuits and other unauthorized items to his restaurant's menu. That maverick spirit and a pledge to great food are now found at nearly 800 Bojangles locations in 15 U.S. states (via ScrapeHero). And as detailed by Business Wire, Bojangles is expanding into new markets such as Ohio, meaning more people can appreciate their anytime breakfast.

8. White Castle

White Castle is widely credited as America's first fast food chain (via Smithsonian Magazine). But while this burger icon has been serving lunch and dinner since 1921, The Columbus Dispatch observes they didn't start offering breakfast until 1986. It quickly became a hit, though, and in 2015, White Castle made all-day breakfast standard. Even back when it stopped serving breakfast at 10:30 a.m., it made up 15 to 20% of total sales, so it's easy to see why it's now available all the time — which means 24/7 at most locations according to Finding Hours.

What can you order off the White Castle breakfast menu? Not surprisingly, there are several variations on the restaurant's ubiquitous sliders — including breakfast sandwiches that use mini Belgian waffles as buns. You also can get toasted sandwiches, standalone wafflers, hash brown bites, and other goodies.

Unfortunately, with only 342 locations in 14 U.S. states as of October 2022, the chances to enjoy White Castle breakfast are limited (via ScrapeHero). This low number is because, as Franchise Help notes, all new restaurants must be located near the supply facilities. Although this maximizes food quality and per-store profits, it makes it much harder to find a chicken and waffle slider.

9. Au Bon Pain

If you believe there's more to restaurant breakfast than pancakes and sausage, a visit to Au Bon Pain is in order. The All Day Breakfast menu features gourmet food ranging from egg white bagel sandwiches to its unique smoked salmon avocado on ciabatta bread. Simple food like hot oatmeal and yogurt parfaits are other breakfast treats.

Baking and breakfast go hand in hand, so it's no surprise the bakery section of the menu is also a go-to for anytime breakfast goodies, including bagels, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and croissants. This commitment to breakfast is even less surprising considering the company's origins. As the story goes, in 1976, French company Pavallier created Au Bon Pain in Boston's Faneuil Hall to demonstrate the company's ovens to American customers (via Funding Universe). Then in 1978, businessman Louis Kane caught a whiff of the baked goods, and by year's end, he had purchased the store.

The rest, as they say, is history. Now Au Bon Pain has more than 250 locations worldwide, which includes a large presence in Thailand. Restaurant Business reports that, after some lean years, the company is opening new locations again for people who prefer a more sophisticated breakfast.

10. Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons is more than just a coffee and donut shop. As described by the British Sociological Association, the brand is part of Canada's national identity. The real-life Tim Horton was an Ontario native named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players." In 1963, he partnered with Montreal businessman Jim Charade, and while the duo opened several restaurants together — including several hamburger joints — it was Tim Horton Donuts that caught on (via "The Donut").

As of 2022, there are nearly 5,400 Tim Hortons franchises worldwide (via Restaurant Brands International). At all these shops, you can savor a fast breakfast anytime. The Tim Hortons spread features sandwiches, wraps, hash browns, and homestyle oatmeal. Or check out baked goods such as muffins, bagels, pastries, donuts — and, of course, their iconic Timbits donut holes.

Although Tim Hortons is building a profile in the U.S., with ScrapeHero reporting more than 600 stores in 10 states, Canada is where their all-day breakfast truly flourishes. In fact, according to ScrapeHero, Tim Hortons is Canada's largest restaurant chain, beating out global giants such as Subway, McDonald's, and Starbucks. With approximately 3,600 Canadian locations, it's easy to spot north of the border.

11. Einstein Bros. Bagels

Bagels have become a hugely popular breakfast food, with more than 200 million Americans chowing down on them every year (via Statista). Naturally, a bagel shop is a great choice to get breakfast all day. Einstein Bros. Bagels is perhaps the best-known bagel café, serving nearly 20 signature and gourmet bagels plus cream cheese — or shmear as they call it. Want to get more creative? The breakfast menu ranges from classic egg and cheese bagel sandwiches to the All-Nighter that piles cage-free eggs, bacon, American cheese, and spicy garlic aioli on a cheesy hash brown bagel.

Of course, Einstein Bros. is far from the only all-day bagel shop — even under its own corporate umbrella. According to Funding Universe, the brand was founded in 1995 when several regional bagel stores with similar concepts were merged into one national entity. Nowadays, the Bagel Brands canopy includes Einstein Bros. Bagels, Bruegger's Bagels, Manhattan Bagel, and Noah's NY Bagels. Einstein is easily the largest of the quartet with 683 shops in 44 U.S. states per ScrapeHero. In 2020, the brand announced its first convenience store locations, giving customers another way to get an anytime bagel breakfast (via Baking Business).

12. Denny's

The road to Denny's becoming "America's Diner" and a short-order, all-day breakfast stalwart had several twists and turns. It began life in 1953 as a chain called Danny's Donuts in Lakewood, California (via Denny's). After co-founder Richard Jezak left in 1956, the remaining founder Harold Butler changed the name to Danny's Coffee Shops. Then in 1959, Butler pivoted to Denny's Coffee Shops to prevent mix-ups with another restaurant named Coffee Dan's. Finally, in 1961, he switched to a diner format and shortened the name to Denny's, which now has nearly 1,600 worldwide eateries as of 2021 (via Statista).

Two things haven't changed in all that time. One is their commitment to breakfast. The flagship of the entire Denny's menu is the Grand Slam, a baseball-themed breakfast that was created at an Atlanta location in 1977 (via GoUpstate). The restaurant also serves omelets, grilled sandwiches, steak and eggs, and other diner favorites. And since the days of Danny's Coffee Shops, everything on the menu has been available 24/7/365. Denny's is so synonymous with around-the-clock service that, when corporate decided to close for Christmas Day in 1988, most franchises needed to get locks installed for the first time (via The Morning Call).

13. Panera Bread

Technically, the official Panera Bread breakfast menu is only available until 10:30 a.m. However, as a bakery-café, they also have an all-day bakery offering nearly a dozen bagel varieties along with croissants, muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, and other breakfast staples. Plus, unlike some other bakery-restaurant hybrids, you also can order fresh-ground coffee and tea anytime. That's more than enough to enjoy a filling breakfast at sunrise or sunset.

The Panera Bread roots trace back to a bakery-café founded in 1987 called the St. Louis Bread Co. After it had grown to 20 locations, Au Bon Pain purchased the chain in 1993 and eventually renamed it (via Investor's Business Daily). The acquisition went so well that by 1999, the entire company had changed its name to Panera Bread and sold off Au Bon Pain! Today, Panera Bread has more than 2,100 U.S. locations covering all the lower 48 states (via ScrapeHero).

14. Caribou Coffee

To its loyalists, Caribou Coffee is where to get a specialty breakfast all day with personal service. It was founded in 1992 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Caribou Coffee headquarters and roasting facilities are still located in the area. You need more than just coffee and tea to get you going, though, which is why the Caribou Coffee all-day menu also includes alluring creations such as the maple waffle sandwich, breakfast burritos, souffles, bagels, muffins, donuts, and even apple fritters.

With a concept inspired by a backpacking vacation in Alaska, per Funding Universe, Caribou Coffee Company has established a worldwide presence. The gourmet breakfast brand now has nearly 500 U.S. locations according to ScrapeHero, and also claims franchises in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Bosnia. In fact, company spokesperson Kayleen Tecker tells CCX Media that Caribou Coffee is the number one coffee shop in Kuwait. The company initiated a new U.S. franchising program in 2021 to further grow the brand (via Franchise Wire). And if you're not located near a Caribou Coffee shop, you can still get their coffee in all 50 states everywhere from grocery stores to hotels.