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22 Places Where Veterans Can Eat for Free on Veterans Day

Find out where current and former service members can score Veterans Day free meals as a small thank-you for all they’ve done to fight for and protect our freedom.

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Veteran flag armyShutterstock / Daniel Chester

Annually, Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 to honor both our veterans and those who are actively serving in the military. In 2018, because this federal holiday falls on a Sunday, many schools, businesses, and government agencies will observe Veterans Day on Monday, November 12. There are a slew of restaurant chains that pay homage to these brave, selfless individuals by offering up Veterans Day free meals on either the actual holiday or the day it is largely being observed. Use this roundup of eateries to find out where you can order up a complimentary dish as a thank-you for your service. In most cases, all you need is some form of military ID.

Check out how Dryhootch, a grassroots organization and coffee shop, is helping veterans bridge the gap between active duty and civilian life.

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Famous Dave’s

Head over to this barbecue joint on either November 11 for what Famous Dave’s Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich + Side, available for dine-in and takeout. Take a look at these simple ways to support veterans that everyone can do.

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Bob Evans

There’s plenty to look forward to if you’re near a Bob Evans location on Veterans Day. The chain is offering seven homestyle menu items for veterans for free on the 11th, including country fried steak and crispy fried chicken. Take a look at these veteran-owned businesses to support.

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Applebee's casual dining family restaurant logo signShutterstock / QualityHD


Applebee’s has proudly served up 8.3 million Veterans Day free meals to vets and active-duty military since 2008! The chain is continuing the tradition this year by offering a free meal to these folks on Wednesday, November 11. Find out 40+ things America’s troops wish you knew.

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Chili's exteriorChili's


Head on over to Chili’s, which is saluting veterans and active military members on Wednesday, November 11, with a choice of meals from the special Veterans Day menu (dine-in only). Options include Chicken Crispers, Margarita Grilled Chicken and Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas. Call ahead or check the website to make sure your local Chili’s is participating in the Veterans Day free meals promotion. Take a look at these spot-on Chili’s copycat recipes.

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Smoothie King

Head to a participating Smoothie King location on November 11 for a free 20-ounce smoothie with proof of service. This offer is good for current, veteran or retired military service members, and is in-store only.

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Rock & Brews

Owned by rockers Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss, Rock & Brews salutes veterans, active service members and first responders with a meal on the house, according to their Instagram page. Choose from the pulled-pork sandwich with a side dish or a “Strawberry Fields” salad. The offer may differ, depending on the location, so be sure to reach out or visit their website. This American wagyu producer helps veterans transition following military service.

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Exterior sign and logo of the Red Lobster Seafood RestaurantGeorge Sheldon/Shutterstock

Red Lobster

Stop by Red Lobster on Wednesday the 11th to get a free appetizer or dessert off of a special menu. You’ll need your military ID or proof of service, and the offer is for dine-in only.

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Golden Corral Buffet and Grill.Shutterstock / Jonathan Weiss

Golden Corral

In years past, Golden Corral has hosted Military Appreciation Night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Veterans Day. This year, rather than holding a single night that threatens to pack their restaurant, they’re offering promotional cards for one free “Thank You” meal for veterans. They’re distributing the cards in November, and you can redeem them for lunch or dinner on Mondays through Thursdays, starting on November 1 and going all the way through May 2021, so that veterans can dine whenever they’re comfortable.

As of last year, Golden Corral had served almost six million Veterans Day free meals to active-duty and retired military heroes, and the folks there are excited to serve up more complimentary dinners in 2020. Here are 9 things you probably didn’t know about Golden Corral.

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Red Robin restaurant exterior and logo.Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

Red Robin

Grab a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries by showing your proof of service at the nearest Red Robin on Thursday, November 12, through Monday, November 30. The offer is available for dine-in and takeout. Yum! Red Robin has repeatedly offered Veterans Day free meals year after year.

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Exterior of Texas Roadhouse restaurant location.George Sheldon/Shutterstock

Texas Roadhouse

According to, Texas Roadhouse is having a pandemic-friendly Veterans Day deal this year. On November 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can drive into the parking lot and pick up a meal voucher with a valid military ID or proof of service. Use it at your leisure, through June of 2021, for a free dinner in the restaurant.

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sweet Krispy Kreme donuts and drinksShutterstock / MILKXT2

Krispy Kreme

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a doughnut and small coffee on the house at Krispy Kreme for veterans and active service members (no purchase required) on November 11. Krispy Kreme’s new Caramel Glazed Doughnuts are everything we love about fall.

For another free coffee option for veterans, Starbucks is giving out free coffee on Veterans Day.

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Cool off with a free six ounces of frozen yogurt when you present your military ID on Wednesday, November 11, at any Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt location. Get as much as you want and the first six ounces are on the house!

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White CastleKen Wolter/Shutterstock

White Castle

Veterans Advantage reports that White Castle has a smattering of options for Veterans Day free meals on November 11 for those with a military ID, including a Free Breakfast Combo or Castle Combo Nos. 1 to 6.

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California Pizza Kitchen sign and logo.Shutterstock / Ken Wolter

California Pizza Kitchen

On Veterans Day, veterans and active military receive a complimentary entrée at CPK. The options include a selection of pizzas, pastas and salads chosen specifically for the holiday.

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What’s better than a buffet? A complimentary pizza buffet! CiCis is comping military folks on Veterans Day and its all-you-can-eat buffet is not to be missed if you love pizza, salads, dessert and more. Here are the thinks you shouldn’t touch at a buffet.

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Little Caesars

Little Caesars has honored servicemen and servicewomen in the past, and 2020 will be no different. Qualifying customers can receive a free $5 Lunch Combo at participating stores nationwide on Veterans Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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A Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Jacksonville, FlRick Wilson/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Buffalo Wild Wings

Try the pregame offerings on Veterans Day at a participating Buffalo Wild Wings, where they will offer ten free boneless wings and fries for all veterans and active-duty service members. To take advantage of the offer, you can dine in or get takeout, and a military ID is required, according to

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WienerschnitzelShutterstock / Supannee_Hickman


It’s the perfect reason to enjoy fair food in November. Wienerschnitzel is offering a complimentary chili dog, small fries and a 20-ounce drink at participating locations on Veterans Day. Simply remember to bring your valid military ID or wear a military uniform.

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Friendly'sFacebook / Friendly's


If you’re a veteran or active military, allow Friendly’s to treat you to some grub, on the house and in the house. The chain is serving a free All-American Meal on Veterans Day; dine in for lunch or dinner you’ll get the All-American Burger, fries, and a drink. (You can even upgrade it to a cheeseburger for free, according to RetailMeNot!)

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Kolache Factory

Start your Veterans Day off right with a free breakfast compliment of Kolache Factory at one of its 57 locations nationwide. Just present a government-issued military photo ID to snag one free kolache (any kind) and one cup of freshly brewed coffee (any size).

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Perkins exteriorShutterstock / Jonathan Weiss


If you’re near a Perkins, check out its Veterans Day free meals on November 11, for former and active military members. The chain is offering a free Magnificent Seven meal, according to their Facebook page.

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Get your deli on with a free entrée from the special Veterans Day menu at Toojay’s on November 11. Items include shepherd’s pie, chicken Caesar salad and a create-your-own omelet.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest