10 Fast Food Restaurants That Serve Lunch During Breakfast Hours

As popular as fast food joints are in America, people can still get pretty particular about them. Maybe one person only gets chicken McNuggets at McDonald's and nothing else, or someone else only walks into a Shake Shack to dip those famous crinkle fries into their milkshake. Another particular preference people have is not standing the sight of the breakfast menu, no matter how early in the day, and that is the issue we're focusing on.

Indeed, what are some of the first images that come to mind when you think of fast food? Burgers and fries, no doubt. Maybe fried chicken. But probably not sausage patties. Those have long been the domain of diners, cafes, and Dunkin'. If we wanted a breakfast sandwich, we would go there, thank you very much. But whether we like it or not, many fast food joints today — at least those that open before 10 a.m. — only offer breakfast items until switching to lunch somewhere between 10 and 11 a.m., depending on the franchise. Given how ubiquitous fast food joints are, this can be convenient if you happen to be up and need breakfast. But if you're against this entire concept of only serving lunch items later in the day, the fast food industry hasn't forgotten you. To prove it, we've provided a list of fast food chains that will serve you lunch, no matter how early you happen to stop by.


Though Chick-fil-A serves breakfast items, typically from 6:30 a.m. until 10:30 am, you can also order some lunch items during this time if you're so inclined — that is to say that unlike McDonald's and some other chains, you won't be forced to order breakfast or bust. So even though you might not be able to order Chick-fil-A's entire lunch menu at 8 a.m., something is better than nothing, right?

In particular, you can order a spicy chicken sandwich and some other regular menu items, but you may have to wait some 15 to 20 minutes before it's ready. That's because the restaurant won't be set up to have lunch already on hand, so sandwiches are made to order. This may fly in the face of the whole point of fast food, but the tummy wants what it wants. That said, some items just won't be available until lunch hours, such as the soup, mac and cheese, and Maple Pepper Bacon Sandwich.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is associated with late-night munching and all-around revelry — certainly not with the discipline and rigor of rising early for a full breakfast. But it's also true that Taco Bell has a wide following, and not all its patrons will be showing up at unholy hours with the intention of ransacking the place of all remaining food. Indeed, people enjoy Taco Bell at all hours of the day, and in any state of mind, including bright and early.

This is why Taco Bell serves a comprehensive breakfast menu in the mornings, between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., but don't fret. Many locations also offer lunch items during this time, either for those who like to wake up early and skip straight to lunch or for those who are still up from the night before. That said, not all lunch items are available so early. For instance, a Reddit user has indicated that certain offerings, like the freezer options, are not ready for consumption in the mornings. But the main thing to note about Taco Bell is its menu items and hours can vary greatly across franchises. Just because one Taco Bell location serves lunch at breakfast doesn't mean they all will.

Burger King

Another fast food joint that sometimes serves lunch during breakfast hours, depending on its location, is Burger King. After all, how could it get away with having a slogan that says, "Have it your way," if it didn't allow you to have it your way and have lunch for breakfast at least on occasion? Indeed, it may have inspired the idea for the "Burgers for Breakfast" limited campaign in 2014, when customers could order any lunch item off the menu at any time, including in the early morning.

But 2014 is now in the distant past, and so is the "Burgers for Breakfast" campaign. Nevertheless, some Burger King locations still offer this lunch option, so if you have a hankering for a Burger King Whopper at 8 a.m., be sure to check your nearby Burger King franchises to see if any of them might offer burgers at that hour. You might just be in luck.

White Castle

One fast food joint where you can reliably get lunch for breakfast is White Castle. Although some locations are open 24 hours a day, not all are. Still, most will likely get started by 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., at which point you can order sliders and other lunch options right off the bat.

Though you may not be able to get a straight-up burger during breakfast here, White Castle's sliders are famous and plentiful, and in this case, quantity over quality might be just what you need to fulfill that craving. Other popular lunch foods include various flavors of chicken rings, onion rings, fish nibblers, mozzarella cheese sticks, and two types of fries. And if you're in the throes of a big craving for lunch, White Castle has just the thing: anything from a 10-sack of original sliders to a crave crate, which contains 100 original sliders. Lunch for breakfast has never been so thorough.


Sonic trusts customers to choose the meal that best fits their needs at that moment, no matter the hour. As such, Sonic offers lunch at any time of day, including in the morning well before 10 a.m., which is around the time many other fast food restaurants switch over from breakfast to lunch.

So if you wake up early one day and can't stand the thought of waiting until lunchtime for a burger, head to Sonic. You will also be able to order hot dogs, a crispy chicken sandwich, and even Sonic Blasts and Master Shakes. Many Sonic locations are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., giving you ample time to enjoy lunch in the morning or whenever you so choose. Just bear in mind that, like many fast food restaurants, Sonic is a franchise, which means that different people manage different locations and may choose to vary their opening hours according to different factors.

Jack in the Box

With locations mostly on the West Coast and some southern states, Jack in the Box may not be accessible to all, but if you happen to be near one, it may help to know that it does serve its lunch menu all day and night, especially via its drive-thru, which is open 24-hours a day. So feel free to rock right up at any time to order a taco or burger, and you won't be laughed out of the room.

If it's a taco you're after, Jack in the Box might be one of the few locations where you can order a regular taco — meaning one that hasn't been modified for breakfast purposes — even at 6 a.m. Don't linger too long on the question of why anyone might want that. As long as everyone can get everything they want when they want, so it shall be.


It may seem odd to categorize what is essentially a sandwich shop as a fast food joint. After all, how long does it really take to put together a sandwich? It's going to be fast, no matter what. Indeed, this may be one reason why Subway is able to serve lunch during breakfast hours. Because much of the material consists of cold items, like deli meats, very little preparation is necessary to get it ready for serving.

As for the hot ingredients, like Subway's meatball marinara, they are typically prepared ahead of time and kept cold, ready to be simply heated as orders come in and slapped onto your choice of bread. Because Subway is a franchise, you can expect to find lunch there 24 hours a day or starting from 8 a.m., depending on the location. Unlike Chick-fil-A, where ordering lunch during breakfast might lead to a longer wait time, Subway will have your order prepared in the same time it takes them to do it any other time of day.

Hardee's / Carl's Jr.

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's may have started out as two different restaurants, but over the years, they've blended into one big happy family. Carl's Jr. was founded in Los Angeles in 1941 as a hot dog stand, while Hardee's began its story as a fast food restaurant in 1960s North Carolina. The two places remained completely separate entities until 1997 when the group that owns Carl's Jr. purchased Hardee's and began to mold it to its image. Hardee's slowly but surely began to resemble Carl's Jr. in every way, from signage to menu, which are now exactly alike wherever you go.

This includes how both restaurants will serve you lunch for breakfast if you so choose. However, a Quora user noted an exception for Carl's Jr. chicken tenders. But if you're after a charbroiled burger or a hand-breaded chicken sandwich, you should be good to go.

Del Taco

At Del Taco, a fast food chain that specializes in — you guessed it — tacos, you can order many of the lunch items during breakfast hours. A Reddit user who allegedly has worked at Del Taco shared, "If you order a fiesta box, or any copious amounts of food before 10 a.m., it annoys us. Especially before 8 a.m. But lunch items on their own don't bother us."

Despite lunch offerings being available all day, you may get a dirty look if you order too many tacos and shakes in general. As the Reddit user notes, shakes are "annoying all day [to make], but especially so in the morning." So when it comes to Del Taco, some of which are owned by Jack in the Box, you just have to decide whether to keep it light and breezy with your order in the morning or go overboard and risk making a Del Taco employee disgruntled.

El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco, a chain only found in seven states, mainly on the West Coast, has some locations that open as early as 9 a.m., at which point they will serve lunch offerings. The restaurant doesn't serve breakfast items at all, so the only issue you may come across is that some locations open later, around 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m., so if you want a super early lunch, that won't always be possible.

But at locations that do open early, you can get your fix of lunch burritos, including the chicken avocado burrito, family meals, and even tostada salads. If breakfast just isn't your thing, it's nice to have a varied and even somewhat nutritious option of ordering lunch as soon as you leave the house in the morning. This means you can also get dessert for breakfast, after your meal of course, so don't forget to pick up a pair of scrumptious cinnamon churros.