Some of your favorite local restaurants may even be open!

At long last, we can finally say goodbye to 2020. We've all got pretty big hopes for 2021 and will no doubt be celebrating (safely at home) as we ring in the new year. Whether you celebrated a little too hard or you're just sick of cooking at home, you might want to order some food the next day. Luckily for you, plenty of chain restaurants, fast food joints, and cafes will be open on New Year's Day.

You can even order from delivery services like GrubHub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash—but make sure to tip your driver well! It's a holiday, after all, and it doesn't hurt to kick the year off with some good karma. You should always call your local store to double-check their hours, but these 16 restaurants will be open nationwide to satisfy your cravings. 


Courtesy of Quan Le (Unsplash)

Thank goodness. If you plan on keeping any of your resolutions, caffeine is a must. Unless your resolution is cutting caffeine out of your diet, in which case ... you should get a decaf iced tea to treat yourself for the good work. 

Dunkin Donuts

If you're more of a Dunkin person, there's good news for you too! Most locations will be open, but be sure to double-check with your local store before heading out. You'll most likely be able to get those donut holes and hash browns, though.


Who doesn't love pizza? If you're trying to cut back on the gluten, don't worry, because Domino's has gluten-free crusts too. Since many are locally owned, you definitely have to check your store's hours on New Year's Day. 


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Okay, hear us out. It may not be the healthiest option but just think about those fries. Plus, if you had a little too much fun ringing in 2021, there's nothing better than a deliciously greasy McDouble the next day. Like Domino's, some franchisees may have adjusted hours, but most locations should be open. 


Speaking of deliciously greasy, if you want to get your fix of finger-licking good fried chicken, you're in luck. Most stores will be open for regular business hours to satisfy your Kentucky-fried cravings. We are talking about chicken, in case the spicy Colonel Sanders movie gave you any other ideas. 

Taco Bell

Taco Bell may honestly have McDonald's beat as the best fast-food joint for a hangover cure. Get yourself a Crunchwrap Supreme or a couple of Cheesy Gordita Crunches, and you'll be as good as new—though we'll never totally forgive them for doing away with the Mexican Pizza.

Hardee's/Carl's Junior

Courtesy of Hardee's (Facebook)

Four words: beer-battered onion rings. When you get 'em piping hot, they're pretty much perfect. Hardee's and Carl's Junior are both heavily franchised, so you should call ahead to check the hours, but odds are they'll be open.


If you aren't looking for something super heavy, you can probably pick up a $5 footlong on New Year's Day. All stores are locally owned, which means hours will vary, but you should be in luck. 

Panda Express

No doubt about it, Panda Express will be open nationwide on January 1. If you haven't tried their Honey Sesame Chicken, you're missing out. 


The neighborhood grill will be open for business, even if hours are reduced. Did you know they offer their signature cocktails to-go? Just putting that one out there.

Panera Bread

panera bread
Courtesy of Panera Bread (Facebook)

Did someone say bread bowl? If you're looking to carbo-load, you can definitely head down to the nearest Panera and get your fix. They do have some healthy stuff on their menu too — but let's be honest, we're getting the bread bowl. 


Denny's is open 24/7, 365 days a year, which means you'll definitely be able to get that Grand Slam Breakfast on New Year's. 


Most IHOP locations will also be open on the first day of 2021. You can even order online for curbside pick-up if you're determined to stay in pajamas. 

Waffle House

waffle house
Courtesy of Waffle House (Facebook)

Just like Denny's, Waffle House never closes—which is good, because we could eat smothered, covered, and scattered hashbrowns every day.

Olive Garden

Endless breadsticks equal endless happiness. Olive Garden even has entire, bake-at-home family meals you can pick up if you aren't feeling like cooking on January 1 (yes, it comes with salad and breadsticks). 

Buffalo Wild Wings

Last but certainly not least, Buffalo Wild Wings will be open on New Year's Day for all of your chicken wing and college football desires. 

Since independent restaurants have been struggling throughout the pandemic, some local places may decide to open on New Year's Day in hopes of bringing in more business. If so, they'll likely be offering special promotions, so you can save some money while helping out a small business. Check with your favorite local restaurants to see if they'll be open!

Which restaurant on this list is calling your name? Let us know in the comments!