Late Night Fast Food: The 12 Best Places To Go To

Getting dinner at the end of the evening is, by far, the finest part of going out. The feast that you consume at the end of your night out is among one of the best foods you will ever consume.

There is simply something special about digging into some greasy fast food around midnight.

Late Night Fast Food: The 12 Best Places To Go To

Who knows if this is due to the late-night cooks’ superior talent, or if it’s the alcohol. Although, the alcohol may have some effect on how good it tastes.

Yet, eating fast food after dark is simply so much more enjoyable. The best thing about eating late at night is that you will probably order something you have never tried before.

You will frequently find yourself ordering far more than you normally would. This is because every item on the menu suddenly sounds appealing, including the things you wouldn’t typically like.

In this article, we have ranked the 12 best places to go for late night fast food (see also ‘The Best Fast Food Fried Chicken Restaurants You Need To Visit!‘). You should keep these places in mind when you next crave something to eat at midnight. 

What Does Open Late Actually Mean?

Let’s first explore a hotly contested question, “what is “open late,” before looking at the best places for late-night fast food.

The term “late” is debatable since it is subjective. This is because the term doesn’t actually specify a time. Therefore, as a result, what is deemed to be late hinges only on your personal preferences.

One might define late as anything that happens after 7 o’clock, or you might define it as the early hours in the morning.

In general, a fast food restaurant is considered to be “open late” if it continues to be open and serves meals after 12 a.m.

Due to the fact that many restaurants often close at midnight, this time can be used to tell apart between late-night eateries and those with conventional business hours.

For the sake of this guide and consistency, we will therefore interpret “open late” to be open after midnight.

Before we examine the eateries, it is important to note that a company’s opening hours are not always the same.

The franchise stores that are a part of many of the chains we shall examine are free to choose their own hours of operation.

Thus, in some states, a particular store that is part of a franchise may be open past 12 am. Yet in another state, it may close at 11pm. 

Therefore, simply because a chain is included in this list. That doesn’t necessarily mean that all of its locations are open past midnight. However, the bulk of their stores typically are. 

12 Best Late Night Fast Food Places

Without further ado, let’s get started. Below are the 12 best late night fast food places you should consider going to. All of them are typically open past midnight. 

White Castle

White Castle is the first place we would suggest for late-night fast food. We would suggest them, even if they may not be your first option for late-night fast food.

You should head straight for White Castle while everyone else heads to McDonald’s or Taco Bell to avoid the lines.

White Castle has almost 350 outlets in 14 states, the majority of which are centered in the Midwest and New York.

Even while a lot of these restaurants are open round-the-clock, those that aren’t stay open until pretty late, shutting down at 2 or 3 in the morning.

Billy Ingram started White Castle in 1921. At the first White Castle, Ingram created the hamburger slider. This was a square, miniature hamburger that was priced at $0.05.

White Castle was the first restaurant company to sell 1 billion hamburgers in 1961. Then, the White Castle slider was awarded the most influential burger of all time by Time Magazine in 2014. 

White Castle is not frequently the first pick for late-night nibbles because of its infamously small quantities of food they provide you with.

However, there is a simple solution to this issue—just place another order for food. Order your preferred slider, and then order another slider on top of that.

You should also consider ordering two portions of fries as well, as you are ordering two sliders.  

You will definitely be pleased with your purchase if you top it off with a milkshake as well.

Jack In The Box

Head over to Jack in the Box if you’d rather have a burger at the end of your night. Although this isn’t for everyone, Jack in the Box is known for its creative flavor pairings, and it has been a major hit with their most devoted customers.

This explains why so many people are at Jack in the Box at two in the morning.

Since Jack in the Box has well over 2,000 outlets in 21 states, there’s a high chance you can locate one close to where you live.

The menu of Jack in the Box offers a little bit of everything. Yet they offer a separate late-night menu section just for such cravings.

The fact that the menu at Jack in the Box appears to be created for folks who have spent the evening drinking is its best feature.

They recognized this market gap and set out to fill it by creating a menu exclusively for people who have consumed eight pints of alcohol.

There is a dish on the menu for everyone, including fried chicken wings, mouthwatering cheese sauce, and a variety of burgers. However, the Chick-n-Tater Melt Munchie meal and a large Coca-Cola are what we would advise.

They help to satisfy all the cravings you may be feeling, while also having a great flavor. It will become your new go to fast food meal when you are out late at night. 

Hardee’s/ Carl’s Jr

As an alternative to Jack In The Box, proceed to Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s (see also ‘12 Tasty Hardee’s Breakfast Menu Items‘). The name will differ, depending on how it is known and named in your local area and state.

The United States has about 3,500 Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, spread out over 44 different states. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are currently owned by the same business, yet they were once two distinct restaurant brands. 

Carl and Margaret Karcher launched Carl’s Jr. in 1941, and Wilbur Hardee opened the first Hardee’s in 1961. The menus of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are very similar.

Due to the fact that they were the first restaurant to popularize purchasing a burger as a side dish, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s is excellent for late-night ordering.

Therefore, you can order a cheeseburger at Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s with an extra cheeseburger on the side as well. 

At Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s, you can design your own meal. Although, it is worth noting that while you may create your own meal. The meals that this restaurant has already created are far superior choices.

This is just due to the pairings they have created and how well the meal works together. 

After you’ve had a few drinks, this is the simplest method to order. It is far easier to order a preconceived meal than create your own.

Especially, as there are so many options to choose from. These pre-decided meals are quite wonderful as well. 

If you want to satiate both your want for a burger and your desire for chicken, we advise choosing the Chicken All Star Meal and the Double Cheeseburger.


Denny’s (see also ‘The Top 19 Meals At Denny’s!‘) is another option that you may not have even considered. Nevertheless, here is yet another location that we always advise going to in the evening.

After a night of drinking, you might not feel like pancakes. However, Denny’s provides a ton of other alternatives, which is what makes them so great.

In 1953, Danny’s Donuts, a predecessor of Denny’s, opened its doors in Lakewood, California. Denny’s did not develop into the all-day breakfast restaurant we know today until 1961.

Breakfast favorites including eggs, toast, ham, sausage, pancakes, bacon, seasonal fruit, and English muffins are all available for you to select from.

While many Denny’s locations are open around-the-clock because of local laws and regulations, some have more limited hours.

We advise choosing their all-day breakfast if you’re looking for a heavy meal to help soak up the alcohol. Denny’s meant all day, when they added all-day breakfast onto their menu.

Yet it is available all night as well.  If you want to get yourself ready for the next day, eat it with a stack of waffles or pancakes and a huge cup of coffee.

There are a lot of options for you to choose from. Also, the queues won’t be too long, so you won’t have to wait too long to get your delicious meal either. 


Some restaurant brands, like Sonic, are just associated with late-night snacking.

However, they are fantastic if you have driven through the night and just want to stop for a snack. Since most Sonic restaurants are found off of major roads, they are not always convenient after a late night of consuming alcohol. 

Regardless of what time of day it is, if one is nearby, Sonic (see also ‘12 Of The Best Sonic Milkshakes That Will Go Great With Your Meal‘) is a great spot to go. This is due to the fact that they specialize in munchies and snacks.

Thus, if you aren’t after a whole meal but something small, they are a perfect option to consider.

On the menu there is something for everyone. They offer a wide range of choices, including Sonic’s gluten-free food items for those with dietary restrictions. If you’re looking for healthier options, consider the Sonic’s diet menu food items.

Plus, it is also famous for its refreshing Sonic slush flavors and indulgent Sonic blast flavors if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat. They specialize in munchies and snacks, making it a perfect option when you’re not in the mood for a full meal but something small and satisfying.

Although the cuisine at Sonic may not be the finest available, it is immensely tasty. Especially if you consume it early in the morning.

Hence, it definitely does the job when you are hungry and want something quick and easy, while you go home. 


IHop is a place which you can always count on to be open at 3 am. As a result, if you’re hungry in the very early hours of the morning and want to know that it’ll be open, here is the place to go.

There’s no disputing that IHop serves some fairly excellent items, and let’s face it, by 3 am you will most likely be happy to eat anything. However, IHop may not instantly be your go-to location for fast food.

At IHop, you could always get pancakes to be on the safe side. Although, in the early hours of the morning, we would advise choosing something meatier.

We especially suggest the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich or the traditional Steak burger.

It is usually a good idea to go to IHop at the conclusion of your night out because, in the early morning, your stomach craves nothing more than meat.

You can always rely on IHop being open and providing you everything that you need at those early hours of the day.

Dunkin’ Donuts

You might not think to go to Dunkin’, formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts, for a late-night snack. However, it is actually among the top destinations to visit.

Your body will be “waking up” for the morning, while your mind believes it is still nighttime. This is the perfect time to eat breakfast. Dunkin’ (see also ‘9 Best Dunkin’ Donuts Flavor Swirls You Have To Try In Your Coffee‘) is arguably one of the finest places to get late-night quick food because of this.

The very first thing you should order at Dunkin’ in the early morning hours is a huge coffee. This will help you get up and ready to consume the rest of your meal.

Ask whether there are any remaining doughnuts from the previous day. Then you can enjoy doughnuts with your choice of breakfast muffin. 

If there are any leftover doughnuts, you should always have them. The sugar will help you to wake up and start your new day.

Dunkin’ (see also ‘15 Tasty And Exciting Dunkin’ Donuts Flavors‘) are known for their doughnuts, so it would be silly not to ask for one. Include them in your order so that you may easily create the ideal late-night Dunkin’ order.

In addition to that, if you aren’t feeling very hungry and can’t consume a whole meal. Dunkin’ (see also ‘13 Must Try Drinks From Dunkin’ Donuts‘) is a great alternative as they have quite small, hand sized foods that are the ideal snack. 

Del Taco

Mexican food is undoubtedly one of the greatest for late-night munching, but not many Mexican fast food restaurants are open past midnight. Del Taco, however, does remain open.

What makes it even better is that their food is fantastic no matter what time you go in and order.

The best aspect of Del Taco is that they offer both authentic Mexican cuisine and American fare like hamburgers.

Therefore, even if you have picky eaters among your company, they will undoubtedly like the cuisine at Del Taco. Everyone will be able to find something that they would like to eat. 

The majority of Del Taco locations stay open late, which makes them a good choice if you want to satisfy your early morning hunger.

However, it can be challenging to decide just what to order from this establishment due to their extensive selection. We would always choose a taco with a packed quesadilla, loaded nachos, and a big Sprite. 

Following your evening out, you should certainly think about stopping by a Del Taco if you’re passing one.


If you happen to be in the mood for roast beef, Arby’s is the only place you need to go. Arby’s (see also ‘The Best Healthy Options To Try At Arby’s‘) has built their entire business around the modest food of roast beef sandwiches and is a restaurant totally devoted to them.

You already know what to get because Arby’s has managed to focus their whole business on this sort of sandwich. Yet there are a ton of various versions for you to choose and pick from.

Arby’s offers a wide variety of roast beef sandwiches along with other goodies like chicken wings and chicken pieces. They have some of the best mozzarella dippers out there.

Regardless of how it is served, cheese is delicious, but these mozzarella dippers are top-notch, which is why so many people adore them. 

So for the perfect late-night supper at Arby’s, get some mozzarella sticks and a classic roast beef sandwich. Don’t forget to explore the wide-range of Arby’s menu items to find your favorite late-night snack.

Burger King

You should definitely visit Burger King if you’re in the mood for a hearty burger. There is no doubting that the flame-grilled burgers served at Burger King are among the best available.

Burger King is a terrific place to go because many of its locations are open early. However, not all of them are. 

Thus, you may have to look in advance whether your chosen Burger King will be open at a time that you will want to eat it. 

The Whopper is the only burger you need if you’re in the mood. It is understandable why this burger is Burger King’s most well-known because it is wonderful.

You may decide to order some standard fries with your burger, but we advise you to order the chicken fries from Burger King.

In the early morning, there isn’t anything finer than a beef burger with a portion of chicken, which is why this order is so amazing.


With that being said, you really should look out Whataburger if you’re not a great supporter of the burgers from Burger King.

The majority of the country’s over 900 Whataburger restaurants are found in the Southern states, particularly Texas. In Corpus Christi, Texas, Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger in 1950.

Dobson’s goal was to deliver enormous burgers that were too excellent to eat with one hand and so delicious that they’d make people say, “What a burger!”’ Whataburger makes some excellent burgers, but they also produce a wide range of other fantastic foods.

You can also order chicken strips, salads, and breakfast sandwiches.

In particular, their taquitos are a fantastic choice. If you haven’t already, you should try these, since they are bursting with flavor and take Whataburger burgers to a whole new level. They are tortillas filled with egg, chorizo and cheese.

The simple taquito’s history only requires a brief glance in order to appreciate how fantastic it is. These foods were initially added to the Whataburger menu as a limited-time special.

However, they quickly gained popularity and were made permanent additions. Thus, a great option to consider for your late night fast food meal. 

Waffle House

The fact that not each of these businesses will have every single restaurant open late at night was highlighted at the start of this article.

Except with Waffle House, you can count on all of their locations being open round-the-clock. The chain will stop at nothing to keep their doors open and available for clients at all times. 

In addition to that, they have even been known to face the weather to keep them open. Thus, you can always rely on the Waffle House to have their doors open any day at any time, no matter the weather or conditions. 

The Waffle House menu has a vast variety of options, which is perfect if you’ve been out drinking all night. Whatever you’re craving—a huge steak or an all-day breakfast—Waffle House has it on the menu. 

Their hospitality is even better than their fantastic meal. Hence, despite the time you decide to go to Waffle House, you can be sure that Waffle House will treat you like royalty.

Therefore, you may even want to go there just to speak to a friendly face. 


McDonald’s is the best and well known fast food restaurant in the world. Therefore, it would be wrong to leave it off of our list. 

They have a strong reputation and are totally to blame for the current state of fast food. McDonald’s always has excellent meals, regardless of what you buy, which is why going there early in the morning is so pleasant.

However, what makes McDonald’s such a wonderful spot for late-night fast food isn’t the quality of their offerings.

Instead, the flavor of the food that they supply is what makes them so great. You can guarantee it always tastes good, and gives you your greasy mix that you were craving. 

McDonald’s has proclaimed itself the finest spot for eating out after midnight since they added its 20 chicken nugget sharing box to the menu.

Now you can order this combo along with a McFlurry, a large Coca-Cola, and large fries, and then dig in. You won’t be let down by this meal combination. 

Final Thoughts

When you are hungry in the early hours of the morning, whether from drinking or traveling, these establishments will offer you something delicious to eat.

Every restaurant that we have mentioned in this article will remain open either 24/7 or to the very early hours of the morning.

Thus, whether you are after a delicious meal or a quick snack, there is an establishment that will fulfill your cravings. 

We hope this article has been insightful. Now you know the 12 best late night fast food places you should next consider. Yet, it is important to remember that restaurant opening times can differ depending on their location.

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