Up Early and Out Late: Exploring Business Hours Across the U.S.

Are you curious why your favorite sushi restaurant is packed Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm but practically deserted on Tuesday nights? Or why the famous bar that opened a few months ago is empty at 9:30 pm on a Friday night, yet by 11:15, so many people have arrived you could walk from end to end atop everyone’s head? The operating hours of restaurants vary as much as their menus. Fine dining establishments may only open after 5 pm while a local diner—sometimes referred to as “meat and three”—begins service before the sun rises and remains opens long after its gone down. Curiosity got the best of us, so we decided to research when our favorite restaurants and bars open and close on certain days. Whether it’s Austin, Atlanta, Seattle, or anywhere in between, sit back in your favorite restaurant booth while we examine several early and late-night dining options.

Early bird specials

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “the early bird gets the worm.” Not that you want to eat a slimy worm, but early risers who want the first helpings of Monday’s breakfast special are usually up and out before the rooster crows. Cities and businesses that open earliest If you live in or near the Dallas-Fort Worth area and want to enjoy breakfast while reading the latest Monday headlines, you’re in luck because restaurants in Arlington, Texas, tend to open early. Of all the restaurant types, diners usually flip on the neon “Yes, We’re Open” sign around 4:51 am. Most of us are accustomed to coffee shops such as Starbucks opening early, and 5:14 am is the average open time to order the day’s first shot of caffeine. Other restaurants that offer breakfast selections such as fast-food chains and bakeries also have early average opening times. Our data tell us that delis open later, maybe because most of their customers are interested in items consumed later in the day. Outside of the Lone Star State, eateries in Las Vegas are known to have ample early Monday opening hours. But hey, Vegas has a reputation for being a 27/7 city, so devouring a western omelet when most of America is sleeping isn’t unique. If you find yourself driving through Wichita, Kansas City, Tulsa, or Colorado Springs, your early morning cravings won’t be denied because these cities also have restaurants that have early morning opening hours. However, if you’re looking to top off your early morning breakfast with a double scoop from your favorite ice cream shop, you may be in for a wait because their average opening time isn’t until 8:27 am.

Late-night workweek munchies

Hours after early risers have retired for the day, others could be leaving work or getting their second wind as the clock strikes midnight. Luckily, there are late-night options in most cities and towns. types of businesses open the latest You might be hungry, in the mood for a cocktail, or just wanting to find some company. Those wishing to burn their midnight oil will find dance clubs have the latest average weekday closing hours at 1:14 am. Lounges, bars, and clubs—often used interchangeably for venues that serve alcohol—usually have early-morning closing times. Of course, closing hours for bars and such are often determined by local and state ordinances and laws. Entertainment venues of all types are known to close later than most businesses. The local theatre or ballet company isn’t going to schedule its most popular and profitable holiday performances at 10 am on weekday mornings. Instead, and to maximize ticket sales for the performance venues, showtimes are usually scheduled during evening hours, the only time most people have for weekday leisure activities. That’s why their average closing time is around 8 pm. For similar reasons, martial arts studios and other creative-minded activities are open later to maximize access and participation. Even art galleries remain open until at least 6:24 pm on weekday evenings.

Friday’s midnight dinner special

Let’s say you’re in charge of your best friend’s birthday celebration, and the only instructions given are to plan a late-night party for 10 people at an incredible eatery in a large U.S. city that is open past midnight on Friday. No problem. Which city would you select with restaurants that have late hours? Cities and the percentage of restaurants open late Fridays If you thought Las Vegas, New York, and possibly Chicago, your assumptions were correct because these are three of the top five cities whose restaurants are open after 12 am on Fridays. Would you like to guess which city has the most late-night restaurants? It’s Detroit, Michigan. At least 32 percent of its restaurants see the clock strike midnight. The cities we included in our survey were separated by 28 percentage points, with 32 being the highest and six the lowest. Metropolitan areas in the middle of the pack, from 22 to 15 percent include Washington, D.C., Memphis, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, and Austin. Surprisingly, cities such as New Orleans, San Francisco, and Colorado Springs—known for culinary talent—have a lower number of restaurants catering to the late-night Friday-night crowd. And scratch Oakland, California, from your list because only 6 percent of its restaurants are still open at midnight.

Food options after midnight

A part of your job is complete. Travel arrangements for Detroit are confirmed, and your next decision is deciding the type of restaurant to book for the party. Percentage of restaurant types open past midnight When people think of favorite late-night eateries, places like IHOP, Waffle House, or a specific diner at a truck stop may come to mind. For this example, we took a look at restaurants that stay open past midnight. Diners definitely top the list, with 43 percent having operating hours past midnight. Coming in second at 39 percent are burger joints. Krystal, White Castle, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Whataburger, Jack’s, and the list goes on depending on your location. You can even find a list of food items that are the most popular at some of these chains. A nose behind at third were Tex-Mex restaurants. Americans in almost every region of the country have access to tasty, south-of-the-border dishes. If you’re craving a bottomless basket of tortilla chips or margarita Mondays, this might be an option. Our survey results show only 29 percent of fast-food restaurants are open late, so don’t forget to confirm their hours if you’re looking to satisfy late-night hunger pains with fast-food fare. When it comes to pizza and hot dogs, well, the options may be limited, because only 24 percent of pizza joints and 22 percent of hot dog spots are open past midnight.

Cities where bars close latest on Friday and Saturday

After an incredible five-course meal at a Motor City diner, it’s time to find some live music at an after-hours bar. Detroit bars have an average closing time on Friday and Saturday nights of around 1:17 am, making them 12th on our list. But don’t worry, some hot-spot bars in a handful of other cities are hopping long after midnight. Closing time of bars by city on weekends Let’s say your options expand, and you are now looking for the cities with the absolute latest bar closing times. If you’re winning to bet any future lottery winnings that New York City has the latest average bar closing times, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Big Apple bars close around 2:08 am. Moving down the list, you may think to look at popular West Coast cities for your next options. However, capturing the second spot in this category is Louisville, Kentucky, whose bars close around 2:03 am. That’s good information if you are planning a trip to Kentucky’s famous Bourbon Trail or the Kentucky Derby, one of the three thoroughbred races that comprise the Triple Crown. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is better known as a blue-collar, beer-drinking city, yet our survey shows its bars average a closing time of 1:48 am. Exploding metropolitan areas like Nashville, Austin, and Fort Worth have bars that typically remain open slightly later than 1 in the morning. While communities like Arlington, Texas, have a lot of diners that open early, people looking to stay up with the owls will find limited options since the average bar closing time is around 11:22 pm.

Sunday home shopping options

The party you planned was a terrific success. The chartered private jet zoomed you across the country and had you eating and dancing in several cities into the wee hours. Thankfully, you and your friends are safely home. But it’s Sunday, and you need to purchase some home decor and building supplies for your new place. Are any of these businesses open on Sunday? Sunday operating hours of home good stores You’re in luck because retail building supply shops have the most extended Sunday opening hours, averaging just under 10 hours. Finding the right tools and accessories for projects, and getting tips for floor lamp styles should be easy on the weekend’s last day. You’re also in luck if what you need isn’t on aisle nine at the building supply store because stores that specialize in hardware supplies stay open an average of almost 11 hours. No home would be complete without the right decorations for whatever holiday is around the corner. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa…whichever holidays you celebrate and are in need of festive decor, thankfully, stores specializing in holiday items average opening hours in excess of seven hours on Sundays. Other types of home decor places such as arts and crafts, furniture, home and garden, carpeting, and paint stores also have convenient Sunday hours.

Extended hours for your home needs

Finding late-night dining spots should be a breeze now that you know more about what foods are available in many major U.S. locations. And knowing you can shop for home decor items on Sunday should put you at ease when completing weekend home projects. The better news is the information you need on Porch is available 24/7 and is just a click away. Go ahead and admit it: Learning more about home projects while sipping a double cappuccino in your pajamas at 4:30 am is a welcome convenience. Whether it’s a handyman, painter, or electrician, Porch helps you find the right ideas, understand costs, and locate solutions for all your home repair needs. What are you waiting for? Using Porch is simple, free, and fast. However, finding the best Tex-Mex all-night diner in Austin is your job.


To compile the data shown above, we used 2016 U.S. census estimates to determine the 50 largest cities by population. We used Yelp’s Fusion API plus ZIP codes found in those cities to compile more than 120,000 restaurants, shopping, and nightlife venues with their ratings, pricing, and categories designated by Yelp. For clarification, we did not exclude any restaurants due to multiple tags but omitted restaurants that only had designations as bars in our analysis of restaurants. All instances of bars were included in the bar asset. Additionally, we made every effort to include all instances of the categories mentioned (restaurants, shopping, and nightlife) as we could; however, omissions may have been possible and may have included places that recently closed or otherwise have inactive Yelp profiles.


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