Craving a burger, but it’s after midnight? No problem! Some fast-food restaurants stay open late to serve you tacos, burritos, burgers, pizza or even dessert.
Below is a list of my favorite fast food destinations that stay open late (after 12 am!) so you know where to turn when those midnight cravings strike.
What Does “Open Late” Mean?
We understand that the term ‘late’ is subjective, but for the sake of the article, “open late” refers to any fast food place that’s still serving past 12 am. It’s important to remember that certain franchises within a chain will have different operating hours so treat the operating hours below as a detail that varies from location to location. It’s best to call or check the Google My Business listing to confirm they’re still open before heading out.
Best Fast Food Restaurants Open Late Night
Fast food has come a long way from just hamburgers and fries. That also means when the cravings hit past bedtime, you have more choices to choose from. Here we have a list of what we deem the best fast food restaurants that are open late at night for you to indulge:
Burger Joints Open Late
- In-N-Out Burger
- White Castle
- Jack in the Box
- Burger King
- Carl’s Jr.
When in California, one must try out one of the most visited and talked about burger chains in the U.S. With over 392 locations, In-N-Out is known for their burgers that are made with quality and fresh ingredients. They also have a fairly simple menu of hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and a not so secret menu of triple or quadruple patties. Aside from the fresh ingredients, they also hand-cut their potatoes for their fries and use 100% sunflower oil. So yes, they’re not your usual fast food and you can feel a little less guilty about wanting to eat a burger here around midnight.
Operating Hours: 10:30 am to 1:00 am
If the late night cravings hit, then it’s time to head off to Mickey Ds. McDonald’s is known as the world’s largest fast food chain and has over 40,031 locations. That means it’s not difficult to find a McDonald’s wherever you are especially when you’re out and about late at night. Most McDonald’s have a drive-thru lane so that you don’t even have to leave your car. But if you want to enjoy your quarter pounder with fries and a McFlurry inside the premises, then by all means, head inside those Golden Arches.
Operating Hours: 5 am to 11 pm (some locations open 24/7). More often than not you can only order drive-thru for late night.
So maybe you don’t want a really big burger for a midnight snack. Maybe something small. Well, White Castle is the place to go to for sliders. They have your regular burger sliders, bacon cheese sliders, crispy chicken sliders, and even veggie sliders. You can choose to get 2 sliders that come with a drink and a side of fries, or you can just get a sack of 10 sliders to eat and store the rest for some nights you want a White Castle at home.
Operating Hours: 6 am to 11 pm (Most stores open 24/7)
Jack in the Box
Let’s face it: cravings can be anything. Sometimes it’s a burger. Sometimes it’s tacos. But when you’re craving for the best of both worlds then there’s Jack in the Box to the rescue. You can get their cheeseburger and crunchy tacos if you’re absolutely famished from the day’s events. Jack in the Box also offers wraps, chicken strips, brownies, shakes and churros.
Operating Hours: 6 am to 10 pm (Some locations open 24/7)
Big burgers. That’s it. That’s what you want late at night and yes, you’ve had your dinner and yes, you’re in bed. And so what? You want a burger. A big burger. So where do you go for them?
Whataburger is where the big burgers are, big enough that you need two hands to hold them (bun size is 5 inches). You can have a double meat hamburger, a bacon cheeseburger, and even a triple meat burger. So if you’re looking to fill up before you hit the sack, Whataburger is the place for you.
Operating Hours: All locations are open 24/7 (except those in locations with limited hours. Ex: malls)
Meet The Whopper Melt.
Known as the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, Burger King has been serving up flame-grilled burgers since 1954. They’re known as the Home of the Whopper, their flame-grilled beef patty, topped with pickles, fresh tomatoes, onions, lettuce, ketchup and mayo. They also have bacon burgers, fish burgers, chicken burgers, and veggie burgers. Some stores and drive thrus open until 2 am so if it’s a classic and tasty burger you want, then Burger King is for you.
Operating Hours: 6:30 to 10 pm but some locations may close until 12 AM
If you’re on the hunt for juicy charbroiled beef burgers in the wee hours of the morning, then Carl’s Jr is the place for you. Known for their Famous Star, a charbroiled all-beef patty with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, onions, dill pickles, mayonnaise, and a special sauce, Carl’s Jr has grown to over 1,000 locations so it’s easier to spot them near you. Aside from burgers, you can also get chicken, sides, and desserts.
Operating Hours: 6 am to 11 pm (Some locations open 24/7)
Pizza Restaurants Open Late
- Pizza Hut
- Papa John’s
A typical American eats 46 slices of pizza per year on average. That seems a little low.
Domino’s Pizza is known as the world leader in pizza delivery. So if you’re in the mood for some good ol’ pepperoni pizza without leaving the comforts of your own bed then you can count on Domino’s Pizza for that. Their delivery service runs late till 12 am or even 1 am. You can also do curbside pickups or carside delivery too.
Operating Hours: 10:30 am to 12 am or 1 am (For delivery, carryout, and carside delivery)
With 19,000 restaurants all over the world, you’re bound to find a Pizza Hut near you. They might not stay open until midnight all days of the week but according to their website, they’re open late from Thursdays to Sundays. So if you’re craving for deliciously hot pan pizza, you know it’s the Hut to go to.
Operating Hours: 10 am to 11 pm but on Thursdays to Saturdays they open till midnight or later
Papa John’s Pizza
Considered as one of the largest pizza delivery chains in the world with over 5,000 locations worldwide, Papa John’s Pizza is a great place to satisfy your pizza cravings. You can get a pizza there until one or two in the morning or you can also get their famous cheese sticks or stuffed crust.
Operating Hours: 11 am to 1am or 2am
Late Night Mexican Restaurants
Sometimes burgers or pizzas just won’t cut it. You need the hot stuff and by that, you need Mexican food. Luckily, Taco Bell is one place where you can get your taco, burrito or quesadilla fix past bedtime. You’ll have to call the nearest location to confirm whether or not you can drop by or have them deliver your order to you.
Operating Hours: This varies from store to store but typically from 8 am to 12 am or 1 am
Order Taco Bell menu items late.
Fancy a freshly grilled taco pack that comes in 3? Or maybe just a beef and bean burrito. Whatever it is, if it’s fresh Tex Mex you want, Del Taco has it. Del Taco boasts about using fresh ingredients such as making their pico de gallo in-house and marinating their own carne asada and chicken. From tacos, to burritos, and tortas, they have it. They also have an 8-layer veggie burrito for the vegans. You definitely need to have Del Taco on your midnight snacking hotline.
Operating Hours: 7 am to 12 am (Some locations open 24/7)
Late Night Restaurants for Dessert
- Insomnia Cookies
While Sonic is the place to go to for some burgers and hotdogs, they’re also known for their Sonic Blasts and Cherry Limeade. There’s a bunch of other flavors of course and there’s a whole menu for them (Oreo, Butterfinger, Reese’s Sonic Blasts or Strawberry and Cranberry Limeades). It’s time to consider Sonic as your next go-to place to satisfy your sweet tooth at night (or early morning).
Operating Hours: 6 am to 12 am (some locations have different hours so please check before ordering)
Got Cookie Cravings?
There’s always something so delicious about a warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookie at night right before you sleep. Good thing Insomnia Cookies has this covered. They have Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Double Chocolate Mint and so much more. They also have loaded brownies in case you want more than just cookies. Get them in a box of 6, 12, 50, and even 100. They’re also available to ship nationwide.
Operating Hours: 10 AM to 3 AM Monday – Friday, and 12 noon to 3AM on weekends.
There are no limits when it comes to satisfying those midnight cravings. So if you find yourself hungry for a fresh donut or even a bagel at 11 in the evening, check out Dunkin’. Some stores are open 24/7 so if you need a dozen donuts and even an iced coffee, drop by Dunkin’ or call them to deliver.
Operating Hours: Standard hours is 5 am to 10 pm but there Dunkin stores that are open 24/7. Use this search option and filter by checking the open 24/7 option.
Heading to 7-Eleven for your midnight sweet fix is a no brainer. They’ll mostly have your favorite retail snacks but they also have packaged apple pies, ice cream by the pint, mini donuts and muffins, and Big Gulp or a Slurpee.
Operating Hours: 24/7
Diners Open Late
- Waffle House
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Panera Bread
Maybe you need more than a midnight snack. You can get an entire sit-down meal and at Waffle House, no matter what time of day you walk through the doors. Yes, you can get a Sausage Egg & Cheese Hashbrown Bowl at any time of the day. And yes, they are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Operating Hours: 24/7
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At Denny’s, you can get a Bacon Loaded Pancake Breakfast or a lasagna any time you want. That’s because this diner with over 1,500 locations is mostly open 24 hours. So if the midnight cravings hit at odd hours, then you can trust Denny’s to fill you up real good.
Operating Hours: 24/7
There’s always room for pancakes whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or later. And the place you want to go to for your pancake craving woes? No other than IHOP – the International House of Pancakes. You can try their World Famous Buttermilk Pancakes or go for their melts or chicken sandwiches. IHOP’s menu has everything you’re looking for and the best part? They’re open late!
Operating Hours: Thursday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 12 midnight
Buffalo Wild Wings
Cravings know no bounds and if your stomach hungers for some wings, you might want to check out Buffalo Wild Wings. There are many sauces to choose from such as their original buffalo sauce, mango habanero, spicy garlic, lemon pepper, and more.
BWW’s is open late.
Operating Hours: Hours vary from store to store but regular ones are usually 11:00AM to 1:00AM or 2 am.
If it’s a warm and hearty midnight meal, Panera Bread is for you. You might be surprised to see this one on the list but some Panera stores are open all day. Just be sure to check the location near you if you want to have that delicious Panera flatbread or a bowl of their onion soup past your bedtime.
Operating Hours: Store hours vary by location but there are some that open 24/7.
Are there any Restaurants open 24 hours a Day, 7 Days Per Week?
There sure is! You might be surprised to find that there are a lot of fastfood places and restaurants that are open all day. We mentioned a few of them above but here are some of them once more for you to check out (please note that it hours vary from location to location):
- White Castle
- Jack in the Box
- Carl’s Jr.
- Del Taco
- Waffle House
- Panera Bread
I hope this guide helps satisfy your hunger anytime of the day or night.