April 23, 2024


Free For All Food

30 Restaurants Open on New Year’s Day 2021

New Year’s can be an exciting holiday. It can be full of new beginnings, which we’re all looking forward to seeing after 2020! (Can you blame us?) However, with all the stress that this year has brought, we don’t blame you one bit if you want the first meal of 2021 to be made by someone else.

But are restaurants open on New Year’s day 2021? Lucky for us, yes—lots are!

These 30 restaurants have managed to keep their doors open for the new year (most of them being open on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!). So, if you want to leave the cooking to the professionals and spend more time with your family on January 1st, use this guide to plan your celebratory meal to kiss 2020 goodbye!

What is open on New Year’s day, you ask? Just check out this list of 30 restaurants that are open on January 1st, 2021.

Keep in mind: Some of these locations may have different hours or have budget constraints, thanks to COVID-19. Make sure to call your local franchise or restaurant to double-check before heading out!

Related: 50 Fun New Year’s Trivia Questions and Answers to Keep Your Guests Impressed Long After Midnight

30 Restaurants Open on New Year’s Day

1. Panera Bread


After the year we’ve had, a bread bowl full of comforting soup is exactly what we need to welcome 2021. Luckily, many Panera Bread locations will be open on New Year’s Day!

2. Applebee’s

Welcome in the New Year by sipping on Applebee’s Neighborhood Drink of the Month! Many Applebee’s locations will be open on New Year’s Day although hours vary upon location so make sure to call ahead before you venture out!

Related: Virtual New Year’s Eve Games

3. Taco Bell

This year, live mas! Most Taco Bells will be open on New Year’s Day to get your taco fill.

4. Buffalo Wild Wings

Start this year with a spicy kick! All Buffalo Wild Wings locations will have their doors open on New Year’s Day this year.

5. Panda Express


Some say that eating Chinese food on New Year’s Day brings good luck and fortune! Luckily, Panda Express will be open on the holiday and operating under normal hours.

6. Carl’s Jr.

Sometimes, all you need is some onion rings. Carl’s Jr. locations will be open on January 1, though hours will vary by location so make sure you call ahead!

Related: Virtual New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

7. Chili’s

If you need your chips and salsa fix after a long night out, Chili’s will be there for you this New Year’s Day. Hours will depend on location so make sure you do your research!

8. Cracker Barrel

Bring in 2021 with some good old fashioned American homestead cooking! Cracker Barrel will be operating under normal hours so you can get all the biscuits and gravy you want and feast to your heart’s content.

9. Domino’s

Sometimes, pizza is the best cure for the champagne blues. Make a call to your local Domino’s for a truly indulgent 2021 meal!

Related: See Ya, 2020! 27 Things to Do on New Year’s Day to Welcome in 2021

10. Dave & Busters


Keep the New Year’s party going with fun arcade games at Dave & Busters! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some locations may be temporarily closed so make sure to call ahead to find out.

11. Fogo De Chão

If you’re looking to start 2021 with an array of different flavorful meats, head on over to Fogo De Chão. Most locations will be open on New Year’s Day and most will be offering to-go meals and curbside pickup!

12. Denny’s

Get yourself a giant Grand Slam after a long night of partying. Denny’s will be open on New Year’s Day and operating 24/7.

13. Chick-fil-A

If a chicken sandwich is just what you need after your New Year’s festivities, head on over to Chick-fil-A. Holiday hours vary by location so make sure to call ahead and double-check!

14. Dunkin’ Donuts

Start the first morning of 2021 right with some piping hot coffee and a fresh donut! Most Dunkin’ locations will be open on New Year’s Day.

15. Noodles & Company


Give 2021 a healthier kick by starting off with some zucchini noodles at Noodles & Company! Most locations will be open on New Year’s Day but it’s best to give this family-friendly restaurant a call to double-check.

16. Hardee’s

If you’re looking to get your morning biscuit to soak up some of the party from the night before, Hardee’s will be open. However, since most locations are franchises, the hours are usually up to the owner.

17. Olive Garden

Eat like family or fill up on unlimited breadsticks and salad at Olive Garden! This Italian food chain will be operating under normal hours on both New Year’s Eve and Day. Every location also has curbside pickup if you don’t feel comfortable dining-in.

Related: Ring in 2021 with 100 of the Best New Year’s Quotes

18. IHOP

Celebrate the end of 2020 with a massive stack of chocolate chip pancakes at IHOP. This famous breakfast stop will be open both on New Year’s Eve and Day!

19. The Cheesecake Factory

Ring in 2021 with a scrumptious dinner and top it off with a slice of vanilla bean cheesecake! All Cheesecake Factory locations will be open on New Year’s Day.

20. KFC


If you want good finger-licking food this January 1st, look no further than KFC. The majority of this fried chicken establishment should be open on New Year’s Day but since the hours are up to the franchisees, be sure to check your local listing for hours!

21. Starbucks

Looking to get your coffee fix this New Year’s Day? Luckily, you’ll still be able to get your latte or macchiato at Starbucks! Be sure to double-check your local one as hours may vary due to business and customer needs.

Related: Let’s Kick off the New Year Right—Here Are 55 New Year’s Resolution Ideas for 2021

22. Maggiano’s

If you prefer lasagna or carbonara, you’ll be able to get your Italian food fix at Maggiano’s this New Year’s Day! This food chain will be open for both lunch and dinner on January 1st.

23. McDonald’s

Craving a Big Mac and fries on the first day of 2021? We don’t blame you. Luckily, the golden arches will be open on New Year’s Day but be sure to call and double-check as most McDonald’s are franchises!

24. Morton’s The Steakhouse

Cheers to the New Year with a refreshing glass of bubbly and an exquisite steak dinner! Morton’s The Steakhouse is currently taking reservations for both New Year’s Eve and Day.

25. Smith & Wollensky


America’s steakhouse will be open for New Year’s Day and will be offering their exclusive Fall and Winter menu! Be sure to act quickly as Smith & Wollensky is already taking reservations.

26. Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Ruth’s Chris Steak House will have its doors open this New Year’s Day to help you ring 2020 goodbye! Their dining room is open but curbside pickup is available at every location if you don’t feel comfortable sitting indoors.

27. Sonic

Most Sonic Drive-Ins are open this year on New Year’s Day! However, many of them are franchised and don’t have set holiday hours. Make sure you call ahead of time to find out!

28. TGI Fridays

Ring in 2021 with potato skins and green bean fries at TGI Fridays this New Year’s Day! However, most locations are franchised so hours are set by the owner so make sure to call and double check to see if your local one is open.

29. Wahlburgers

If you want to squeeze in one last holiday treat before they are officially over on New Year’s Day, head on over to Wahlburgers to try their ‘Tis The Season burger before it’s gone! This restaurant will be open both New Year’s Eve and Day with all their burger goodness.

30. Waffle House

Unlike an ex-boyfriend, Waffle House will always be there for you in your time of need. Famously open 24/7, this chicken and waffle hot spot will be open on New Year’s Day for all your breakfast needs.

Next, check out the best New Year’s Eve songs to ring in 2021 with a bang!