While McDonald’s breakfast is good, sometimes it is the lunch you want. To make sure you don’t waste a drive and find yourself disappointed, you need to know what time breakfast ends and lunch starts, as well as when lunch is considered done for the day.
While not every McDonald’s restaurant looks the same, there are some general guidelines you can follow to answer the questions, “what time does McDonald’s serve lunch” as well as what food you can get at lunchtime.
What Time Does McDonald’s Start Serving Lunch?
McDonald’s is considered a franchise. That means that, technically, every restaurant can run a little differently, despite having the same name. So each restaurant can run at different times and change meals at different times of the day.
For the most part, McDonald’s does run on a fairly similar timeframe across all restaurants. In general, you can expect to start getting lunch from McDonald’s around 10:30 AM on weekdays. On weekends, it is usually pushed back to 11 AM.
Again, this isn’t guaranteed. Each restaurant can be a little different, so always call or check beforehand with your local McDonald’s, just to verify.
When Does McDonald’s Stop Serving Lunch?
Though it is called lunch, McDonald’s lunch and dinner are the same, and there is no time difference between them. This means that McDonald’s only has periods for breakfast and then lunch/dinner.
What this means is that McDonald’s will continue to serve lunch/dinner until they close. Every restaurant has very different closing times, so you may be able to get McDonald’s lunch until only 5 PM, or it may last until 11 PM.
Additionally, some McDonald’s close their indoor area several hours before they close their drive-through, so you may still be able to get dinner for a couple more hours as long as you don’t mind just using the drive-through window.
What About at 24-Hour Locations?
You may be wondering how lunch and breakfast work in McDonald’s that are open 24 hours. The good news is that breakfast usually ends around the same time, making it easy to remember no matter which McDonald’s you happen to pick.
However, when it comes to when they start serving lunch, the time gets a bit different. Since they serve food all day, most of the time, McDonald’s decides to switch over to breakfast at 5 AM.
So they will serve breakfast from 5 AM until 10:30 or 11 AM and then serve lunch from then until 5 AM again.
Does It Change on the Weekends?
For most McDonald’s, the hours do change on the weekends. They often decide to extend breakfast by about thirty minutes, so you won’t be able to get lunch until around 11 AM on average.
Additionally, some McDonald’s may have extended hours around closing time, and stay open an hour or two longer in the evenings.
The exception to this is Sunday, when they may close earlier. But for the most part, all McDonald’s are open every day of the week.
Is Every McDonald’s the Same?
Not every McDonald’s is the same. Since it is a franchise, every McDonald’s location gets a certain amount of freedom. This means that prices, hours, and menu items can all differ slightly.
There are certain standards, like in quality, product, and the franchises usually can’t create their own recipes, but when it comes to when they are open, and when they close the inside of their building, every franchise has a little bit of freedom.
So while you should expect some similarities between McDonald’s, don’t be too upset if the menu or the hours are a little different from what you expect.
What Items Are Served on the Lunch Menu?
Everything except what is on the breakfast menu is available for lunch and dinner. Note that a lot of these menu items are available throughout various franchises, as long as they are located in the United States. Other countries and locations often have some signature menu items, but also have some local items.
◦ Big Mac
◦ Quarter Pounder with Cheese
◦ Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
◦ Quarter Pounder with Cheese Deluxe
◦ Quarter Pounder with Cheese Bacon
◦ Double Cheeseburger
◦ Crispy Chicken Sandwich
◦ Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich
◦ Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich
◦ Spicy Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich
◦ Chicken McNuggets
◦ 10 Piece Chicken McNuggets
◦ Apple Slices
• Happy Meals:
◦ 4 Piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal
◦ Hamburger Happy Meal
◦ 6 Piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal
◦ Hot Chocolate
◦ Strawberry Banana Smoothie
◦ Orange Fanta
◦ Dr. Pepper
◦ Diet Coke
◦ Hi-C orange
◦ Sweet Tea
◦ Unsweet Tea
◦ Mango Pineapple Smoothie
◦ Oreo McFlurry
◦ M&M McFlurry
◦ Vanilla Ice Cream Cone
◦ Chocolate Shake
◦ Vanilla Shake
◦ Strawberry Shake
◦ Hot Fudge Sundae
◦ Hot Caramel Sundae
◦ Chocolate Chip Cookie
◦ Baked Apple Pie
◦ Caramel Macchiato
◦ Iced Caramel Macchiato
◦ Caramel Cappuccino
◦ French Vanilla Cappuccino
◦ Iced Mocha
◦ Iced Latte
◦ Caramel Latte
◦ Iced Caramel Latte
◦ French Vanilla Latte
◦ Iced French Vanilla Latte
◦ Premium Roast Coffee
◦ Iced Coffee
◦ Iced Caramel Coffee
◦ Iced French Vanilla Coffee
◦ Caramel Frappe
◦ Mocha Frappe
• Bakery Items:
◦ Apple Fritter
◦ Blueberry Muffin
◦ Cinnamon Roll with Cream Cheese Icing
• Value Menu
• Seasonal Items
What Can’t I Get During McDonald’s Lunch?
Unless you are in a location that offers an all-day breakfast, you can’t get anything that is on the breakfast menu after 10:30 or 11 AM.
This includes things like:
• Biscuit Sandwiches
• Big Breakfast
• Hash Browns
• Breakfast Meals
• Bakery Goods
Some locations are starting to offer all-day breakfast if they have the space for another griddle, so you may be able to get any of these items throughout the day, but it still isn’t common.
If you want to know if your local or nearby McDonald’s offers breakfast all day, you should either go in or call to ask.
The breakfast items, like sausage and eggs, have to be cooked at a different temperature than the burgers and chicken, so for some locations that only have one griddle, it just isn’t practical to serve both breakfast and lunch.
This is also why breakfast usually solidly ends at the time listed, and there isn’t much wiggle room, even if you are just a minute past the time. They have to clean the grill and change the temperature.