What To Know About Popeyes' Breakfast Menu

Not to be confused with the spinach-fueled sailor, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has been feeding our souls for, as of 2022, half a century (via Nation's Restaurant News). The fried chicken empire specializes in all things Cajun, with spice-inflected fare that's welcoming, yet not afraid to crank up the heat. Artery-clogging abundance is, more or less, the perception most of us have of Popeyes' food, and one look at its sprawling menu does a good job of establishing that fact.

Breaded chicken and buttery biscuits are what get customers flocking day and night, but there's another aspect of the fast food chain's lineup that's been criminally overlooked, and that's the breakfast menu. If this is your first time hearing of Popeyes' breakfast menu, you're definitely not alone. In some pockets of the country, Popeyes restaurants rise and shine with a host of early morning staples that follow the template of its standard menu with heaps of Southern flair. Think sturdy biscuit sandwiches, crisp hash browns, and regional novelties most major drive-thrus sleep on (hello, biscuits and gravy!).

From what's on it, to where to find it, and how it stacks up to its competitors, we've gathered everything there is to know about Popeyes' breakfast menu, so that you can get busy doing the most important thing, which is eating it. 

Popeyes' breakfast menu was first tested in North Carolina

Louisiana is central to Popeyes' history and brand image. Founder Al Copeland was born in New Orleans, and the first restaurant to open under his watch was in a suburb of the city, Arabi, according to Popeyes' website. So it might seem strange that the location chosen for the breakfast menu's trial run wouldn't be in NOLA, but North Carolina (via Nation's Restaurant News). 

HuffPost reported in 2013 that the chain was testing items like grits, country fried steak biscuits, and breakfast sandwiches at a restaurant in Mooresville, a suburb of Charlotte. The pilot didn't last long — only two days between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. — but those eight fleeting hours gave locals something they had never gotten before: a southern-fried breakfast from the fried chicken empire itself.

Testing out new products is a great strategy for businesses looking to shake things up, and to save money should the idea flop. Whether or not Popeyes decides to make the morning menu permanent has yet to be seen. At the time of publication, then-Vice President of Communications and Public Relations Alicia Thompson emphasized that the morning items were being vetted "in one market" exclusively, not necessarily hinting at any nationwide rollout. And as to whether the chain would put breakfast on the menu in the future, Thompson couldn't make any promises, saying, "We do not want to speculate as to future plans for the menu" (per HuffPost). 

It's not available nationwide

With a franchise numbering in the thousands per ScrapeHero, you'd think a basic breakfast menu would be available at all of them, right? Not so fast. Popeyes appears to serve breakfast in a limited capacity, with no national campaign in sight. In fact, it takes a bit of searching to track down where exactly Popeyes serves its morning menu, as the chain doesn't offer explicit advertisements for it, save for a select few locations scattered around the country. 

So where exactly can you purchase a biscuit sandwich from the chicken chain? HuffPost writes that the most likely place you'll be able to find Popeyes' breakfast is at airport locations, and a little digging showed this was accurate. Major travel hubs such as Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport all house the Louisiana franchise, featuring early opening hours, and by extension, some super-exclusive morning offerings. 

Raleigh-Durham Airport's website, whose outpost opens at 5 a.m. sharp, brags of the franchise's spice-fueled take on breakfast as well as its self-service checkout kiosks to order its customizable biscuit concoctions hot and ready. Fueling your day on Popeyes' breakfast might require a plane ticket, but what if the chicken chain is the destination you've craved all along? In that case, you're in luck. Otherwise, you might need to give your local restaurant a ring to find out if breakfast is on the menu. 

Breakfast classics are given a deliciously southern twist

Southern cooking is all about sticking to the ribs and stealing your heart. It's a thrifty, economical cuisine, and Popeyes shows off its pride by inflecting its menu with the spices and flavors of the region. You see this in the macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes, but it's also found beyond the lunch options. Unlike the typical fast food breakfast, customers at Popeyes can start their day with some pretty unique offerings that, depending on your location, aren't always accessible. 

Right away, the southern twists Popeyes infuses into all of its food is evident in dishes like biscuits and gravy and grits. This classic southern breakfast staple is a creamy porridge derived from coarsely-milled corn. The dish was traditionally prepared by poorer families across the South, although the concept can be traced back farther than modern records show, according to NPR. Biscuits and gravy, The Columbian writes, emerged in the 19th century as a byproduct of the impoverished conditions of Appalachia. Ingredients such as flour, water, and pork sausage were inexpensive and could produce a filling meal for rural laborers. 

Erin Byers Murray, who wrote Grits: A Cultural and Culinary Journey Through The South, describes southern cuisine as "a food born of poverty," via NPR, so seeing traditional mainstays on the menu of a major fast food restaurant like Popeyes is nothing short of transformative. Just another reason to love Popeyes' breakfast menu — it pays tribute to its cultural legacy. 

Breakfast sandwiches feature Popeyes' signature biscuits

One thing's for sure — no Cajun spread from Popeyes is complete without one of its famous buttermilk biscuits. Flaky and buttery with a pillowy center, it's always a treat to pull apart one of these fluffy delights. While biscuits normally appear on the sidelines in a basket of tenders, Popeyes' signature roll takes center stage at breakfast time. How so? In a genius twist, Popeyes uses the biscuit in place of a bun, muffin, or croissant, to hold its breakfast sandwiches together. And the results are as delicious as you'd imagine. 

Al Copeland's biscuit recipe came from a place of innovation, InsideHook writes, as the Popeyes founder sought to create a bread side dish to pair with chicken that was heartier than the traditional yeast roll. This approach checks out. Biscuits are filling, and can withstand a glob of jam just as much as eggs, bacon, or even a breaded tender, which makes them the ideal vehicle for a morning bite that's portable yet easy to eat.

Looking at the menu provided by Popeyes Full Menu, it's clear that Popeyes' breakfast sandwich lineup predominantly leans on the biscuit. There's simple offerings like the chicken biscuit sandwich and a biscuit with tenders, as well as heftier styles boasting bacon, sausage, cheese, and even country-fried steak. Heck, even the non-sandwich items incorporate the biscuit, like the breakfast plate served with sausage gravy. 

Hash Rounds are a morning exclusive

French fries, tater tots, potatoes Au Gratin — there's really no limit on what you can whip up with a spud. But the humble root vegetable, in our view, assumes its tastiest form when fried into hash browns for breakfast. Unlike the shredded spuds that restaurants traditionally char on the griddle, Popeyes' are formed into tiny circular patties called Hash Rounds (per Popeyes Menu Price). 

Hash Rounds, which contain only four ingredients (flour, egg, onion, and potato via Restaurant To Me), share similarities with the potato side order found at drive-thru chains like Carl's Jr. or Burger King. Crispy and disc-shaped, the spuds are served in a thin paper sleeve that immediately soaks your fingers in grease the moment you grab one from the bag. Napkins are definitely necessary here. Also similar to those fast food restaurants we mentioned? At Popeyes, Hash Rounds are only served at breakfast time and not a moment later than that. When it comes to the menu schedule, Popeyes operates a tight ship. So the ability to experience deep-fried goodness falls within a limited time frame.

Breakfast can be ordered as a combo

Craving a quick bite during your work commute, or a sit-down spread on Sunday morning? However you like to wake up in the morning, Popeyes' breakfast is set up to accommodate a variety of preferences thanks to its customizable format. Per Popeyes Menu Price, breakfast items are served in two ways: as is, or in a combo meal featuring a small beverage and Hash Rounds. In other words, customers can build a breakfast that's as small (or large) as their stomachs can capably handle. 

Having options is always good in fast food and Popeyes' breakfast gives you plenty of delicious ones to choose from. As far as deals go, however, the combo meal is definitely the superior offer. When you go off the prices listed on Popeyes Menu Price, a Chicken Biscuit sandwich costs $1.99 on its own, or $5.39 in the combo. If you ordered the Hash Rounds and small coffee outside the deal (that's $1.69 and $1.79, respectively), you would pay $5.47 for the exact same thing. Eight cents isn't a huge savings, we admit, but considering drink prices can vary — $1.79 for orange juice, $2.29 for soda — it's actually worth purchasing for the sake of landing a killer value. 

Chicken Waffle Tenders combine two dishes in one

Chicken and waffles is a culinary combination of the highest order, the epitome of sweet-and-savory indulgence. It's a meal that truly knocks out any and all hunger pangs. In other words, the perfect menu item for Popeyes. The chain has never offered the dish in the United States (Popeyes Singapore got a chicken and waffle sandwich) but it came pretty close in 2013 with Chicken Waffle Tenders (via Brand Eating)

The limited-edition entree, which made an additional appearance four years later, as Brand Eating writes, was more of a clever spin on the southern specialty than an exact replication of the breakfast favorite. For starters, the chicken strips are coated in waffle batter versus the spiced breading of the regular tenders. And instead of dunking them in BBQ sauce or ranch, it's a sugary-sweet honey maple sauce, per Thrillist. 

Fusing two dishes in one — that is, chicken and waffles with classic fried tenders — naturally makes sense for the chicken joint's brand. Yet if we're being absolutely honest, it only makes us yearn for the real thing. Even though Brand Eating was satisfied with the hybrid, Thrillist was sorely disappointed by the lack of seasoning, on top of the dipping sauce's undesirable texture. We would love to see Popeyes roll out a proper chicken and waffles entree on the breakfast menu, if only to see the already-saturated fried chicken market implode from the flavor wave. 

Popeyes' breakfast menu is high in calories

There are many words out there to describe the wonders of Popeyes' food. Mouthwatering? You bet. Gut-busting? For sure. But healthy? Absolutely not. The breakfast menu is without a doubt delicious, but far from nourishing in the traditional sense. After all, the chicken chain is a fortress of carbs and fat, and that's before we even account for the sodium lacing every mouthful. 

To be fair, some items are on the tamer side of what you'd expect for a fried chicken franchise. For one, there's only 310 calories in the Breakfast Wrap, and 400 calories in the Bacon Biscuit, according to Restaurant To Me, so calorie counters won't exactly be stuck for options if they find themselves at Popeyes in the morning. Otherwise, most of the menu is as greasy as ever. We found the Egg and Sausage Biscuit sandwich to be one of the worst offenders, saddled with 690 calories, 45 grams of fat, 43 grams of carbs, and 1,520 milligrams of sodium, according to Popeyes Full Menu. 

Not only does the Egg and Sausage Biscuit contain about half a day's worth of recommended fat, per Healthline, but the amount of calories is astonishingly close to the infamous Chicken Sandwich, which has 700 grams to be exact (per Popeyes). We're not saying fast food breakfasts elsewhere are much better, but thinking about waking up with a fried chicken sandwich. Well, that could almost send some people crawling back into bed.

Fluffy pancakes are served in the Philippines

We've covered the appetizing array of breakfast bites Popeyes' serves in America, but not the intriguing menu options found at international locations. Yummy reported in the Spring of 2022 that restaurants in the Philippines started serving Fluffy Pancakes, the franchise's interpretation of the viral-worthy Japanese souffle pancake. According to the press release (via Rappler), the jiggly stacks can be ordered with syrup, as an ice cream sundae, or in true Popeyes fashion, with a side of fried chicken for salty-meets-sweet bliss.

Minus dunking them in saccharine sauces, souffle pancakes are quite different from traditional American flapjacks. The confection is puffy and custard-like as a result of its mixing technique, per NYT Cooking, and the shape is almost cylindrical, lending them a striking appearance on the plate. Although the delicacy became a mass phenomenon in its namesake country around 2016, Honolulu Magazine alleges that the confection actually took root earlier than that, and not even in Japan. Some of the most notable trend-setters of the fluffy pancake originate from Hawaii, including Waikiki-based restaurants Eggs 'n Things, established in 1974, and Cream Pot, which was founded in 2008. 

While most of the items Popeyes sells for breakfast can be purchased in the U.S., fluffy pancakes are one exception that American consumers will sadly go without, short of nabbing a plane ticket to try them first-hand. 

Customer responses are mixed

The thought of Popeyes' breakfast menu sets our mouths to watering. Who could turn away fried chicken and a steaming plate of hash rounds in the morning? Well, that very much depends on who you ask. Contrary to our assumptions, the consensus on Popeyes' morning lineup seems to be a mixed bag. Customers have either expressed delight or dismay towards the franchise's take on breakfast, and there's not much sentiment in between. 

Take this account from TripAdvisor, where a traveler stopped by the Atlanta airport Popeyes restaurant in the early hours. The review happily reported that "breakfast was fast, fresh, hot, and delicious." On the other side of the coin, commenters reacted negatively to the excess amounts of grease and fat. Although one Yelp reviewer didn't mind the biscuit sandwich they ordered at the Dallas Fort-Worth airport, they were turned off by the overall oiliness of the experience, offering this counterpoint in return: "If Popeyes offered a combo with some packaged fruit to offset the heavy fried-ness of the breakfast sandwich, I might go for it next time."

Matters of personal taste and franchise-specific factors do come into play here, therefore it's not surprising customer opinions are all over the place. Our takeaway? If greasy food makes your stomach turn, particularly in the wee hours, it's probably not for you. Hopefully anyone going into a Popeyes at dawn knows exactly what they're getting into. 

Breakfast isn't served all day

The general public has widely accepted eating breakfast foods beyond breakfast time. And to our luck, restaurants have sometimes obliged in giving it to us (looking at you McDonald's all-day breakfast). Despite Popeyes' ties with the nightlife paradise that is New Orleans, the fast food institution does not participate in this trend, much to our dismay. As a matter of fact, the only time you'll find Popeyes' breakfast goodies will be at its proper time — in the morning. 

The franchise only serves breakfast until 10:30 a.m., per Popeyes Menu Price, and that's with the caveat that you're at an establishment that serves breakfast to begin with. That means no biscuit sandwiches for lunch, no hash browns for an afternoon snack, and definitely no runny platters of biscuits and gravy for dinner. As far as when Popeyes opens its kitchen in the morning, business hours largely depend on the location in question.

 Some restaurants begin serving breakfast before sunrise, while others take a slower pace in getting things running. Raleigh-Durham International Airport, for example, opens bright and early at 5 a.m., per the airport's website. And at a Popeyes restaurant residing at Kaiserslautern Military Community Center (KMCC) in Germany starts serving up breakfast at 7:30 a.m on weekdays, leaving less time for diners to snag a biscuit sandwich.

It's easy to build your own Popeyes breakfast

Seeking out Popeyes' breakfast menu might feel like a fool's errand, but don't feel discouraged. The good news is, it's actually pretty easy to build your own Popeyes breakfast at home. All it will take is a few ingredients and some minimal effort on your part to make the breakfast of your dreams, with most of the work done for you just by heading to the drive-thru. Did we mention that it was easy?

First off, the easiest hack — the chicken biscuit sandwich. Request a 3-piece tenders meal and stuff the chicken between the biscuit that comes with your meal for free. As for the breakfast sandwiches, make your own decadent version by topping a Popeyes biscuit with some bacon, an egg, and a melty slice of American cheese. Plenty more ideas are out there, even from the source itself. Amy Alarcon, Popeyes' Vice President of Culinary Innovation, gave Thrillist some creative Mother's Day brunch recipes made with — what else — Popeyes' fried chicken and biscuits. Using a waffle iron, one of the most common of household kitchen appliances, the head chef managed to elevate buttermilk biscuits into impressive culinary wonders, such as grilled waffle sandwiches filled with chicken, goat cheese, and jam. 

Let yourself get creative and put your own spin on the Popeyes breakfast menu. You'll not only spice up your morning, but your imagination might even cook up something headquarters would love to hear about.