The Ultimate Guide To Golden Corral's Breakfast Menu

Ah, good ole' Golden Corral. Known for its crunchy fried chicken, luscious scalloped potatoes, and an abundance of other homestyle comfort foods, it's no wonder why this popular restaurant has been deemed "America's #1 buffet and grill." But did you know that this well-known franchise also serves breakfast? It's true! Despite the restaurant's overwhelming popularity, not everyone is aware that Golden Corral offers breakfast fare to early risers.

So, what exactly should you know about Golden Corral's morning meals? A lot, as it turns out. Though Golden Corral might not be the first joint that comes to mind when scouting the next best place to score breakfast, some of its early offerings might be enough to pique your curiosity. From hours of operation to unique breakfast grabs, there's plenty to discover about Golden Corral's morning meals.

Ready to learn more? Join us as we take a closer look at the details surrounding Golden Corral's lesser-known breakfast shift.

Not all Golden Corral locations serve breakfast

Yes, you read that right. Despite how much you may be itching to try Golden Corral's unsung breakfast menu, you may not be able to find it at every Golden Corral venue. The reason? Chalk it up to differences in location. Though annoying, there seems to be no particular rhyme or reason as to why some locations serve breakfast and others don't.

If you do happen upon a Golden Corral that serves breakfast, don't be surprised if they tell you that it is only available on certain days. Sadly, many Golden Corral locations restrict early morning fare to the weekends. These locations often have variable hours that morph throughout the week to accommodate the restaurant's food offerings. According to workers we have spoken to, some locations open at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday but open earlier on Saturday and Sunday to serve breakfast.

Not knowing whether or not your Golden Corral dishes up the goods for the morning grind is indeed annoying. However, to know for sure whether or not the location nearest you serves breakfast, it's best to simply phone them ahead of time.

Keto-friendly options abound

Maintaining a strict keto diet can sometimes be difficult. This is especially true when dining out. Thankfully, a trip to Golden Corral's breakfast buffet might just offer the solutions you need to satisfy your hunger without violating your diet. Golden Corral has multiple choices for those following a stringent keto diet, and trust us, these grabs don't disappoint. Pick from low-carb favorites like bacon, sausage, eggs, and cheese to get your breakfast fix without feeling guilty afterward.

Looking for something a bit sweet? Golden Corral has got you covered there, too. Thankfully, Golden Corral offers a few keto options for toppings that are naturally low-carb. Ask for the sugar-free syrup which only has 6 grams of carbs per serving, or take a peek at keto-friendly seasonal fruits when they're available. Fresh blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe are popular keto favorites that are right at home on a breakfast plate. You can even top your fruit with a dollop of whipped topping as it only contains 2 grams of carbs per serving.

You can customize your eggs

It's not every day that you find customizable options at a hometown buffet. That's why we're stoked to report that you can get your eggs made-to-order when dining in for breakfast at Golden Corral. Having eggs made-to-order can be perfect for picky toddlers or those who prefer their eggs served contrary to your usual scrambled format. Whether you like 'em sunny side up, fried, or over-easy, you can count on having your eggs plated fresh and piping hot when stopping in for breakfast at your local Golden Corral eatery.

Craving something with a little more pizazz? Why not try building your own omelet? Golden Corral locations that offer breakfast also offer an Omelet Station. The Omelet Station allows you to pick from tempting toppings to build your own customary fluffy egg fold-over chock full of all your favorite fillings. Choose from sausage crumbles, diced peppers, mushrooms, onions, and of course, lots and lots of gooey cheese.

Chocolate is on the menu

Having chocolate for breakfast may seem bizarre to some, but, apparently, Golden Corral considers it the perfect breakfast treat. Many locations still have the beloved and oh-so-crave-worthy chocolate fountains running – even during breakfast hours. While most people are diving for sausage, eggs, hashbrowns, and biscuits, others are lurking in the aisles for something a bit sweeter. If you're one with a morning sweet tooth, you officially have reason to rejoice. Golden Corral offers several dippable options for this amazing fountain of decadence, most of which are available even during breakfast.

Known as the "Chocolate Wonderfall", this fondue fountain at Golden Corral spans multiple tiers. Most locations allow you to dip crispy rice treats, marshmallows, and other goodies in the chocolatey cascade using a long skinny skewer. Of course, exactly what you can dip will vary depending on availability at every location. Still, one thing's for sure: we love having the option of indulging ourselves with fondue-bliss first thing in the morning!

Gluten-free dining is totally possible

If you're following a gluten-free diet, you'll be happy to know that Golden Corral has many glutenless items available for breakfast. Nevertheless, you should know that Golden Corral's allergen statement explicitly notes that its restaurant cannot be held liable for instances of cross-contamination during preparation. Therefore, though Golden Corral carries gluten-free breakfast food, the brand isn't quite willing to promise that those gluten-free items have never come in contact with other gluten-containing entities.

With that said, if you don't have severe gluten allergies or simply would rather avoid gluten for your own reasons, it helps to know that Golden Corral has several gluten-free offerings that make it possible for you to eat breakfast there. Choose from bacon, eggs, fruit, yogurt, and more to satisfy your hunger without the fear of violating your specialized diet.

The only downside? Golden Corral does not currently offer any substitutions for gluten-containing food items. This means that you likely won't be able to enjoy glutenless waffles, French toast, or pancakes any time soon. Still, with all of Golden Corral's current gluten-free offerings, we're certain that you'll be able to find something to suit your tastebuds ... and your diet.

Order breakfast online or to go if you're in a rush

Off to work and need breakfast quick? Thankfully, Golden Corral has several amazing options for getting your breakfast grabs without needing to dine in. Your first option is to place an order "to go" at Golden Corral instead of dining in. To do so, simply phone your local Golden Corral or place an order online. From there, choose to have your food brought to you curbside or walk in and grab it yourself.

Got the Golden Corral app? That's even better. Ordering over the app can be awesome when you're busy, on the go, or just want something fast. Simply whip out your phone and order breakfast with a few simple clicks. Select what you want to eat, how you want to pick it up, and when you want to grab your food. That's it!

Another great option for dining in a hurry is what Golden Corral calls "Weigh and Pay." With this option, you will need to come into the restaurant. But don't worry; you'll still be in and out quickly. To take advantage of this option, grab a container and stuff it full of all the sausages, hashbrowns, eggs, and other scrumptious breakfast goodies you can get your hands on. Bring this container to the register before paying per pound of food you've bought. Easy, right?

Some of the breakfast items aren't the healthiest

Yes, we know that Golden Corral isn't traditionally viewed as a health food joint, but it is still worth noting that some items may need to be avoided if you're particularly health conscious. Aside from the three slices of French toast that will add 610 calories to your diet when untopped, you should also note that the maple syrup adds 30 grams of sugar to your diet before it ever even touches a pancake.

Worried about cholesterol and fat? If so, then steer clear of the sausage, bacon, and breakfast casseroles served up by Golden Corral. These offerings are wonderfully appetizing but are also loaded with fat and grease. However, despite these facts, allow us to remind you that you can customize an omelet to only include veggies and cheese if you wish. This allows you to still get the succulent flavor of your favorite savory breakfast eggs while stuffing it full of good-for-you veggies like peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

Still not satisfied? Consider checking out the seasonal fruits, juices, and sugar-free options the restaurant has available. Pair these with egg whites or yogurt for a perfectly balanced and good-for-you morning meal!

When it comes to toppings, you've got options

We likely can all agree that buffet-style restaurants have some of the best toppings to drown your food in. Luckily, Golden Corral isn't any different. Whether you're looking for a strawberry topping to ladle over your French toast or a scoop of ice cream to accompany your fluffy waffle, Golden Corral has it all and then some.

Speaking of fluffy waffles, we'd like to note that Golden Corral features several wonderfully decadent syrups to top your pancakes, French toast, and other breakfast foods with. Check out the strawberry and sugar-free syrup when you're looking for something a bit outside the norm. Whipped cream and honey margarine are also welcome additions, as everyone knows a waffle is only truly complete when it has at least one of these toppings added to it.

Not big into fancy toppings? We get it. We're happy to report that Golden Corral also offers traditional garnishes for those of us who don't like to stray too far from the norm. Slather your waffles and pancakes in rich yet basic whipped margarine before drizzling them with classic maple syrup. No matter your preference, you're bound to find plenty of topping options for dressing up your breakfast when dining at Golden Corral.

Breakfast at Golden Corral isn't 24/7

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but all good things must come to an end, and this certainly is the case with Golden Corral's breakfast. Though breakfast generally starts around 7:30–8:00 a.m. for most locations, you only have until 11 a.m. before all your favorite breakfast foods go into hiding. Just be sure to set your alarm and get out of the house on time if you plan to make Golden Corral your morning wake-up call. There's nothing worse than showing up to the breakfast buffet with only 10 minutes to spare. 

Still, this at least gives you a good three and half hours or so to get your grubs in before time is up. Honestly, 11 a.m. is a pretty standard cut-off time for most restaurants serving breakfast. Nevertheless, we can't help but mourn the fact that Golden Corral isn't serving up breakfast 24/7 for those of us who love the taste of waffles and sausage at 11 p.m. But hey, you take what you can get!

Dessert isn't only for after dinner

Want vanilla soft serve before clocking into the office? Golden Corral can make it happen. That's right. Golden Corral has shocked us with the restaurant's awkward placement of dessert items on its breakfast menu. Interestingly, you can find this homestyle buffet restaurant offering dessert, even on its online breakfast menu. At Golden Corral, cakes, pies, and vanilla soft serve are considered just as worthy of a chow-down as any other breakfast staple. This means you can load your breakfast plate with an assortment of tempting candies, puddings, and more if you choose.

Not into all the sugar? Be sure to take peek around for the sugar-free options available for the day. Though Golden Corral doesn't exclusively state what these options are, if they taste anything like their "normal" desserts, we're sure they'll be scrumptious. Simply ask the manager or another staff member to direct you to the sugar-free items and you're all set!

Allergy-prone breakfast enthusiasts beware ...

We've mentioned it once, but we'll mention it again. If you have an allergy that is severe, it may be best to skip Golden Corral for the time being. Unlike other restaurants that follow specific protocols to ensure that those with food allergies are safe from cross-contamination, Golden Corral reiterates that its procedures aren't exclusively allergen-friendly. This means there may be times when something containing a food allergen may come in contact with another item that doesn't contain that allergen.

Golden Corral explains in its allergen statement that the cross-contamination of products can happen naturally as part of its "handcrafted" preparation process. The restaurant also attributes these risks to its partnership with external suppliers as well as the buffet-style set up that organically lends itself to the possibility of contaminated food.

Though we'd hope everyone would keep the same serving spoon at its original location when scooping up their food, accidents happen and people can be strange at times. Thus, it's best that if you have severe allergies that you bypass Golden Corral for breakfast ... at least for now.

Dining in for breakfast means you'll need to tip

If you've ever thought, "Do I really need to tip a buffet waitress?" this one's for you. Despite what many believe, a tip is actually expected at Golden Corral, and no, that doesn't mean a measly couple of bucks on a $50 bill. In reality, the tipping at Golden Corral should resemble a percentage rate very similar to that of a "normal" restaurant.

Surprised? Don't be. Though you technically serve yourself when visiting a buffet-style eatery, you also have waiters and waitresses to help you along the way. They'll take your drink orders, ensure you enjoy your visit, and clean up that soggy leftover pancake you didn't finish.

Yes, the waiters and waitresses at Golden Corral only serve drinks and offer refills, but they also take on other responsibilities you aren't privy to. Remember that waiters and waitresses are often paid below minimum wage, and thus, rely on your tips to round out their income. Without tips, servers can go home making significantly less than the amount of work they put in. Thus, despite not handling the responsibilities of your traditional wait staff, make no mistake that your Golden Corral server is putting in hard work for which they deserve compensation. For reference, tips that range between 10-15% at buffets like these usually suffice.

The breakfast offerings garner split reviews

No restaurant is complete without a laundry list of customer reviews that range from glowing to scathing. Thankfully, most reviews pertaining to the Golden Corral breakfast shift are pretty stellar. People seem to be impressed with the variety of options, especially given the budget-friendly pricing. From pancakes to omelets and even dessert, Golden Corral offers plenty of delicious breakfast grabs to help you face the day.

The cons? According to a few reviews, some breakfast items may be better than others. For example, the YouTuber known as Food Traveler in the I.E claims the breakfast to be great but states that the tater tots are overcooked. Still, despite these minor tiffs, people seem to be generally well-pleased with the menu. In fact, the most consistent complaint we've found amongst avid breakfast enthusiasts is that they can only enjoy Golden Corral's breakfast on the weekend or not at all at some locations. 

We agree. That is a total bummer.