It all started in 1970 with the introduction of the Egg McMuffin. Since then, we’ve been left trying to cram our fast food breakfast cravings into certain hours on the clock. But when exactly does McDonald’s stop serving breakfast nowadays, and what’s that All-Day Breakfast Menu about?

Can you guess the 10 oldest restaurant chains in America?

All-Day Breakfast menu

For decades, company policy insisted that breakfast hours end sharply at 10:30 a.m. One minute late and you would have to order from the main burger menu, as many late-to-rise fans found out.

But in 2016, McDonald’s decided to cut us some slack and started serving an All-Day Breakfast Menu. Sure, you can’t get the entire menu all day, but you can order staple items like hotcakes, hash browns, Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfaits, McMuffins, and Sausage McGriddles, 24/7.

When does McDonald’s start serving breakfast?

McDonald’s breakfast hours vary by location, but they begin serving breakfast when a restaurant opens for the day, which at most locations means 7 a.m. Locations that are open 24/7 could start serving breakfast earlier than that, typically about 6 a.m., but some even start at 4 a.m.!

When does McDonald’s stop serving breakfast?

The exact breakfast hours are up to the individual franchise owner, but most restaurants will serve a full breakfast menu until 10:30, at which time they switch to a limited breakfast menu, or the All-Day Breakfast Menu. That’s the time they’ll also start serving cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets.

So what items can you only get in the morning?

For those who remember the thrill of waking up early enough to actually catch a McDonald’s breakfast, there’s still a bit of thrill left for you. There are many items not included in the All-Day Breakfast Menu that you only have the opportunity to order before 10:30 a.m. According to McDonald’s website, breakfast-only items include Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, Egg White Delight McMuffin, Steak Egg and Cheese Biscuit, the Big Breakfast, and the Big Breakfast with Hotcakes.

So if you have your heart set on any of these favorites, you better rise and shine and still yourself to McDonald’s before 10:30 a.m.

For exact hours and information, check the McDonald’s restaurant locator and enter your zip. 

Also see, This is the fastest drive-thru in America.

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.