McDonald's All-Day Breakfast Donut Is... Fine [Updated]

All-day breakfast sandwiches like the McMuffin and McGriddle haven't been available since March 2020.

McDonald's all-day breakfast menu hasn't been the same since March 2020, when America's favorite fast food chain announced that breakfast would only be available in the morning in order to streamline kitchen operations during the pandemic. Since then, McDonald's has reintroduced all-day breakfast, but not with a menu full of McMuffins and McGriddles—instead, a line of breakfast pastries and coffee is available all day, and the hot sandwiches are only served until roughly 11 a.m. at each location.


But when will McDonald's all-day breakfast return to its former glory? We will continue to keep you updated on this situation as it develops. For now, the most updated information we have is below.

Update, September 1, 2021: Today marks the release of McDonald's new Glazed Pull Apart Donut, the latest pastry to join its utterly sandwichless all-day breakfast menu. We had the chance to review it before it rolled out nationwide (it arrived early in Chicago), and our thoughts were... middling. It's fine! This donut is fine. In fact, if you let it sit on the counter for a while, it gets pretty good. But it doesn't quite hit the spot like a midday McGriddle. Read our full review here.

Update, August 18, 2021: Rather than bring back all-day breakfast favorites like McMuffins, McGriddles, and the Sausage Biscuit, McDonald's seems to be doubling down on its plan to serve only sweet pastries as its all-day breakfast option. As we shared yesterday, McDonald's will begin serving the Glazed Pull Apart Donut on September 1 at locations nationwide. The pastry joins McDonald's roster of all-day breakfast pastries introduced late last year: the Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, and Cinnamon Roll.


The Glazed Pull Apart Donut is described in a press release as "airy," "delightful," and "sharable," and it's described as pairing well with a cup of coffee. That all sounds great, but what about customers who crave more savory breakfast options in the middle of the afternoon? Might McDonald's consider some kind of cheddar and chive scone, or a bacon-bit-loaded biscuit?

McDonald's has stayed tight-lipped about the possibility of restoring the all-day breakfast menu to its former glory, so in the meantime, we might just have to rally for the pastries we wish to see, if not the sandwiches. And, of course, we'll be on the lookout for rogue locations serving breakfast after 11 a.m.

Update, February 7, 2021: It's been months since McDonald's put the kibosh on its popular all-day breakfast menu in an effort to streamline kitchen operations amidst the pandemic. And it's been a while since the chain offered up a subpar alternative in the form of all-day breakfast pastries (which The Takeout found mostly lackluster).

But ever since the Sun-Sentinel got wind back in November that many McDonald's franchises in Florida were still selling McMuffins and McGriddles around the clock, other eagle-eyed reporters have tried to figure out how widespread the rogue breakfast items are. And Eat This Not That recently clued readers in on some stats about where breakfast is still being served past 11 a.m. each day.


"We decided to investigate by conducting a phone canvas of McDonald's locations across the country," Eat This reports, "And our hopes were up as soon as the information started to pour in from the West Coast restaurants, confirming that Florida isn't the only place you can still get a McMuffin in the afternoon."

Not all of these franchises are serving breakfast all day, but many are serving it until mid-afternoon, which is a vast improvement for those who like to indulge in some lunch pancakes. It sounds like if you're an eager customer willing to do the sleuthing, you've got a good shot at finding a McDonald's location where your eggy needs are met. Good luck to those of you tirelessly pursuing your dreams.

Update, November 9, 2020: While America grapples with the reality of only having pastries to satisfy their McDonald's breakfast craving for the majority of the day, Florida's Sun-Sentinel has revealed a major scoop: Some rogue McDonald's franchisees are still selling the all-day breakfast menu items we know and love, from hash browns to burritos.

"We're not supposed to sell them all day long," a McDonald's employee at a location in Broward County, Florida told the Sun-Sentinel, "but the Hotcakes, we can just slap on the grill, and the Sausage Burritos are pre-made so we just have to heat them up. And the hash browns, we just put in the fryer."


So, barring more complex breakfast orders like scrambled eggs or bagel sandwiches (which are made to order), a lot of customer favorites can be purchased any time of day, whether McDonald's corporate gives it the formal green light or not.

Brent Upchurch, whose family operates 30 McDonald's locations in Florida, pointed out that franchises aren't breaking any strict rules by serving all-day breakfast; it's just that they don't get to promote it with signage, advertising, and the like. Nor would they want to, in fact, because as the Sun-Sentinel puts it, all McDonald's franchisees must adhere to "tight standards of uniformity that are intended to ensure a consistent and predictable experience across its 14,000 U.S. locations." To that end, breakfast items are being treated sort of like a secret menu: you won't find it on the menu board, nor on the mobile app, nor any third-party delivery apps. You just have to ask when you get there, and see if you get lucky.

If the Sun-Sentinel was able to find over 20 Florida locations serving breakfast favorites on the sly, then surely some of the locations where you live might be doing the same. Start doing some reconnaissance, readers, and let us know what you turn up.


Update, November 3, 2020: ICYMI, we recently got our hands on the new McDonald's breakfast pastries—Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, and Cinnamon Roll—for a comprehensive Taste Test. See how they fared by reading our full review.

Original post, October 8, 2020: One of the early casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic was the McDonald's all-day breakfast, a fan favorite since 2015. In the interest of "streamlining" its menu, the chain put an end to midnight biscuits and dinner McMuffins. But now, as restrictions have lifted and happier days are here again (really?), McDonald's has announced that it will be serving breakfast all day again!

But wait. Nothing is ever as great as it seems. Because by "breakfast," McDonald's doesn't mean hash browns and McGriddles and all the other menu items Americans have grown to know and love and depend upon at all times of day. No, it means that it's introducing three new pastries: the Apple Fritter, Blueberry Muffin, and Cinnamon Roll. None of these require cooking, which presumably makes things easier for employees, particularly those working the drive-thru. As one employee told Business Insider, "I absolutely do not think we should bring [all-day breakfast] back."


Higher-ups in the chain remain noncommittal. "We know our customers deserve a break now more than ever, and are excited to give them another reason to visit their favorite breakfast destination by offering delicious flavors they crave, any time of the day," Linda VanGosen, the vice-president of brand and menu strategy, in a statement. And those flavors are sweet McPastries. Understood?

The new items launch October 28.