Veterans and active military get free meals and more on Veterans Day! This list, freshly updated for Veterans Day 2018, includes restaurants and retailers that will give you tangible proof of their gratitude for your service. You can find free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks between. Or, get a free hotel stay, a free car wash, or a free wedding dress!
Here are a few essential things to remember:
- Don’t forget your ID! Some venues will accept photographs, DD214 forms or serve you if you are in uniform… but the best way to avoid the hassle is to bring your military or VA ID.
- Call ahead! Not all locations participate in this program so you’ll want to check ahead of time to make sure your local restaurant is participating.
- Prepare for a wait! For some restaurants, Veterans Day is the busiest day of the year… and most of these locations require you to dine-in to get the deal.
- Don’t forget to tip! When you’re visiting a dine-in restaurant, please tip your waitstaff based on the total amount of your bill regardless of your actual charges.
- Read the dates carefully. Keep in mind that some deals are offered for limited hours on Veterans Day, while others run for a few days or even all month.
This article will be refreshed for Veteran’s Day 2018 in October as more information about this year’s deals becomes available.
Get a FREE Meal before Veterans Day 2018!
Some restaurants provide free meals before the holiday, especially since Veterans Day falls on a busy Saturday this year. Enjoy a treat from these establishments before the big day!
BJ’s Restaurants & Brewhouse provides free meals valued up to $12.95 the day before Veteran’s Day! You may also be able to get a free beer.
Charlie Brown’s provides a free lunch from a select Veterans Day menu. The free meal is available between 11 am and 3 pm on the Friday before Veteran’s Day.
Chicken Salad Chick offers a free meal and drink in honor of Veterans Day! They are serving on Friday, November 10. This deal is valid at all locations.
Chipotle offers a free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos 0n November 7 after 5 pm. However, this offer is only valid with the purchase of an entree.
Country Kitchen invites you to enjoy a free Country Scramble on Friday, November 10!
Denny’s often gives all military personnel whether active or retired, a Free Bild Your Own Grand Slam for Veteran’s Day! Historically, this was only available from 5 am to noon so check with your store to see when it is available to you. See their deals for the rest of the year!
Farmer Boys gives out free Big Cheese Cheeseburgers to veterans and military.
IHOP offers a free stack of red, white and blue pancakes on the day before Veteran’s Day! These buttermilk pancakes are topped with strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream. They’re only available free between 7 am and 7 pm!
Pinaccle Entertainment Casinos provide free lunch buffets for veterans and those with valid military ID. There are participating locations in Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Baton Rouge and more. You must dine between 11 am and 2 pm to receive this offer.
Veterans Day 2018 Free Meals
54th Street Grill offers a free meal (up to $12 value).
Applebee’s provides a free meal from a special Veterans Day menu. In previous years, spouses and caregivers were also invited to get a discount but this year, it’s limited to veterans and active military only. The menu includes the following:
- Butcher’s Meat & Potatoes
- Oriental Chicken Salad
- Fiesta Lime Chicken
- Chicken Tenders Platter
- Double Crunch Shrimp
- American Standard Burger
- Three-Cheese Cavatappi
Bakers Square serves a breakfast. You can choose from three buttermilk pancakes, three slices of French Toast or one Belgian waffle.
Bar Louie is offering a free burger or flatbread.
Ben’s Soft Pretzels offers a free Jumbo Soft Pretzel.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse also offers their free $12.95 meal on Veteran’s Day! You may also be able to get a free beer. Contact your local restaurant for details.
Bob Evans locations are providing a free breakfast, lunch or dinner from a select menu of their most popular choices.
Bonefish Grill offers a free Big Bang Shrimp appetizer.
Bruegger’s Bagels offers a free small drip coffee for veterans and military.
Buffalo Wild Wings gives active and retired service members a free small order of wings and side of fries if you dine-in! You must present proof of service including an ID card, a DD214, veteran’s card, photograph of you in uniform, or wear your uniform to the restaurant.
California Pizza Kitchen invites military and former military to choose from a pizza, full-size salad or pasta from their special Veterans Day menu.
Carlo’s Bakery provides a free large cannoli to customers with a veteran or military ID. You can choose plain or chocolate.
Carrabba’s provides a free appetizer!
Carrows provides a free slice of pie! No purchase necessary but you will need to have photo ID.
Chevy’s Fresh Mex invites veterans and military to enjoy a free three-item combo meal between 11 am and 10 pm. The combos include enchiladas, soft or crispy tacos, tamales, flautas, or chile relleno. You can also choose from a side of homemade beans, refried beans or vegetarian black beans. Corn tamalito is included.
Chili’s provides a free meal from a special Veterans Day menu. The selections are limited to these five options:
- Chicken Crispers
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas
- Oldtimer with Cheese
- Classic Bacon Burger
- Chili or Soup & Salad
Chuck E Cheese’s has in the past given a free one-topping personal pizza to all military members for Veteran’s day. See their deals for the rest of the year!
CiCi’s Pizza provides a free buffet, including pizza, salad, desserts and more, to customers with a military or veteran ID.
City Barbeque offers a free sandwich platter and drink.
CoCo’s Bakery offers a free slice of pie!
Cotton Patch Cafe offers a free chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken to qualifying guests.
Cracker Barrel offers a free Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert at all 640+ locations! I wish I lived near a Cracker Barrel because I really think I need to try one of these. See their deals for the rest of the year!
Dickey’s BBQ Pit participating locations usually offer a free sandwich, side and drink on Veteran’s Day!
Dunkin’ Doughnuts has given veterans a free donut in the past for Veterans Day, so check with your location to see if they are participating this year!
Famous Dave’s offers a Veteran’s Day deal for all military personnel of a free two meat combo.
Fazoli’s provides a free spaghetti to customers with a military or veteran ID. You can choose a marinara or meat sauce.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers provides a free combo meal card. The card must be picked up by an eligible veteran or active duty military member but the card can be redeemed by anyone.
Friendly’s provides a free breakfast, lunch or dinner to customers with a military or veterans ID. The free breakfast is a Big-Two-Do meal with coffee. The free lunch and dinner is an All-American Burger with fries and a beverage.
Glory Days Grill provides a free appetizer or order of wings (boneless or regular).
Green Mill provides a free lunch or dinner for veterans and active military. You can choose from the menu, although pizzas are limited to one small one-topping deep dish pizzas.
Grub Burger Bar provides a free meal. If you wear combat boots, you’ll also get a free milkshake!
Hooters invites veterans for a free meal on their special Veterans Day menu.
Hy-Vee grocery stores with in-store dining are offering a free breakfast buffet for veterans.
IKEA does free entrees for veterans with military ID.
K&W Cafeteria invites veterans and military to enjoy a free meal via dine-in or take-out. You’ll receive a meal, two vegetables, bread, and a refillable drink!
Krispy Kreme gives a free doughnut and small coffee to veterans, no military ID required!
Krystal offers a free sausage biscuit during breakfast hours (6-11 am). You can pick it up in-store or in the drive-thru!
LaMar’s provides free coffee and a donut to customers with ID who arrive between 5 am and 3 pm. The coffee is 12 oz size.
Little Caesars Pizza does a free hot-n-ready lunch combo for Veteran’s Day. In the past, the deal is only available from 11am-2pm.
Main Event in addition to a free meal, you’ll also receive a free $10 FUNcard that can be used for their Main Event games. The meal is your choice of a grilled top sirloin, teriyaki salmon, southern fried chicken sandwich, Cobb salad, bacon cheddar burger, wings or chicken tenders. The deal is only valid till 5 pm!
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant gives veterans and active duty members AND their significant others complimentary entrees!
Max & Erma’s provides a free Best Cheeseburger in America, Endless Seasoned Fries, and a fountain drink. You’ll need to dine-in for this deal.
McCormick and Schmick’s honors veterans and Gold Star families with a free lunch or dinner on Veterans Day. Some of the menu options include salmon rigatoni, buttermilk shrimp, chicken fettuccine, and tender beef medallions. Valid on Veterans Day.
Mimi’s Cafe offers a free meal with the purchase of a nonalcoholic beverage. Meal choices include pancakes, french toast, tacos, turkey, salads and cheeseburgers.
Mission BBQ provides free sandwiches and cake for military and veterans. The event kicks off with a live performance of the National Anthem at noon on Veteran’s Day.
Nekter Juice Bar provides a free 16oz smoothie or juice to veterans and military.
O’Charley’s offers veterans a free meal from their $9.99 menu. The selection includes Famous Chicken Tenders & Fries, Honey-Drizzled Southern-Fried Chicken, Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie and more. Remember, Veterans get a 10% discount all year round!
Olive Garden provides a free meal that includes unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks. Some locations may limit your selection to a menu of popular options.
On the Border invites veterans and active military to enjoy a free Create Your Own Combo meal. You’ll get to choose 2 or 3 selections of soup, salad, tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and other delicious treats. You’ll also get to choose black beans, refried beans or rice for no extra charge. Drinks are not included.
Outback Steakhouse gives a free Bloomin’ Onion and beverage on Veterans Day and for a few days after, military members also get 20% off their check. Plus, a few days after that Military, Fire, and Police get 10% off.
Peet’s Coffee & Tea invites veterans and military to select a free coffee or tea of any size.
Perkins restaurants will give both past and present service members a free magnificent seven meal, which includes eggs, pancakes and a side of bacon or sausage.
Pizza Factory provides a free mini one-topping pizza and a regular soda. The locations in San Juan Bautista and Patterson California are offering free lunch buffets instead. The Anacortes WA location is also providing a free buffet.
Primanti Bros. provides a free sandwich. No sides, desserts or beverages are included.
Quaker Steak and Lube provides free or discounted meals, depending on their location and preference. The discount is capped at a certain dollar amount ($10 or $12.99, depending on the location), so depending on your preference your meal may merely be discounted by the value of the free meal.
Red Lobster provides a free appetizer or dessert on Veteran’s Day. According to an email I just received, “Red Lobster will be offering a free appetizer or dessert to veterans, active-duty military and reservists with a valid military ID on Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12.
Guests may choose an item from the following special menu:
- Sweet Chili Shrimp
- Mozzarella Cheesesticks
- Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp
- Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms
- Lobster and Langostino Pizza
- Signature Shrimp Cocktail
- Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
- Key Lime Pie
- Warm Apple Crostada
- Chocolate Wave
- Brownie Overboard”
Red Robin offers a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries.
Rock & Brews will serve you a free pulled pork sandwich to all veterans, active military members and first responders!
Romano’s Macaroni Grill offers a free Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti meals. The meal includes house-made beef, veal, pork and ricotta meatballs sprinkled with romano cheese and crushed red chiles. It is topped with imported Pomodorina sauce and served over imported, bronze-cut spaghetti. All 93 locations are participating.
Ruby’s Diner will give you a free meal on Veterans Day!
Sagehouse Steakhouse provides one free non-alcoholic beverage and a free meal from a limited menu, including:
- Grilled Chicken House Salads
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads
- Hand Breaded Chicken Strips
- 6oz Texas Sirloin
- Fried Tilapia
- Super Cheezy Chicken
- Steakhouse Burger
- Shaved Steak & Cheddar
Sizzler provides free meals from a limited menu until 4 pm. You’ll also get a free coffee, tea or soda. The menu includes:
- 6 oz Tri Tip Steak
- Single Malibu Chicken
- Half Dozen Fried Shrimp
Subway restaurants have historically offered free 6-inch subs to servicemembers for veteran’s day! See their deals for the rest of the year!
Tap House Grill provides a complimentary meal to all veterans and active/inactive military members.
Texas Corral offers a select Veterans Day menu for those who qualify. All meals include iced tea, lemonade or coffee. You can choose between these entree options:
- 6 oz sirloin
- Country fried chicken
- Cowboy pork chop
- Smokey Roasted Chicken
- BBQ Pulled Pork
- Bacon Cheddar Burger
- Fried Catfish
Texas Roadhouse provides a free lunch also including a beverage and sides. Hours vary by location.
TGI Fridays will provide a free lunch between 11 am and 2 pm for all veterans and active duty military. The value of the meal is capped at $12 and the menu varies by location.
Tijuana Flats offers a free meal for veterans, also!
TooJay’s provides a free meal from a special limited menu, which features:
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Chopped Sirloin
- Choose Too Half Sandwich and Soup
- Fish & Chips
- Atlantic Cod with Lemon Dill Butter
- Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich
- Create Your Own Omelette
Uno Pizzeria & Grill provides a free meal or individual pizza with the purchase of another meal or pizza. You will need to show a valid ID.
Vitality Bowls is offering free smoothies to veterans on Veterans Day at participating locations.
Wienerschnitzel gives veterans and military a free chili dog, small drink and fries!
Get free meals and discounts after Veteran’s Day 2018!
Some restaurants provide their free meals and perks on other days. Grab your free grub on Veterans Day – and then come back for more at these locations!
CentraArchy Restaurants provides a free meal for veterans on Sunday, November 12! This company owns restaurants like New York Prime, California Dreaming, The Tavern at Phipps, Chophouse New Orleans, Carolina Roadhouse, Joey D’s Oak Room, Chophouse 47, Burro Loco and more.
Country Cookin provides a free Veteran’s Day meal on the Tuesday after Veteran’s Day! Orders can be taken from a special, limited Troop Appreciation Tuesday menu that features Wrangler Sirloin, Pub Style Fish & Chips, and Famous Chicken Strips. You’ll also get a choice of potato, Endless Salads & Sides and a beverage.
Golden Corral provides a free buffet and beverage on the Monday after Veteran’s Day (November 12th)! Anyone who is serving or has served in the military, including National Guard or Reserves, are invited to participate. Their offer is only valid from 5 pm to 9 pm.
Hoss’s Family Steak and Sea House will offer their soup, salad and dessert bar for free to veterans and active duty members. Their offer this year is for Monday, November 12, 2018, from 11 am to 9 pm. Must show proof of military status and valid I.D.
Outback Steakhouse is offering a 15% discount off the total check for active duty military between November 12 and December 31. Since this discount does not take effect until after Veteran’s Day, it cannot be combined with your free Bloomin’ Onion offer.
White Castle provides a free Breakfast Combo or Castle Combo Meal.
Plus, there are SO many restaurants that offer free meals to veterans before, during and after Veterans Day! We’ve got an everyday epic list for you right here.
Pick up Extra Veterans Day Deals at these stores!
Bass Pro Shop offers 10% off with military ID on Veterans Day. They also offer 5% off on any given day!
Bed and Breakfast Inns for Vets will give veterans at least one night free on or around Veterans Day. Participating locations in the U.S. and Canada.
Bed Bath & Beyond often does 25% off to military members November 9th through the 12th.
Commissary stores on base also often have Veterans Day deals! Check with your local commissary for more information.
Free Hair Cuts may be available in your area. Many salons and barbers offer free haircuts to Veterans and Active Duty members. Simply call stores in your area to find participating locations. A few salons that typically offer deals are Great Clips and Sports Clips
Goodwill offers all those with a valid military ID 50% off all donated apparel on Veterans Day.
Grace for Vets, a non-profit organization, organizes car washes in 3,484 locations across the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia to provide a free car wash to veterans and service personnel. Find a car wash near you online.
Home Depot offers a year-round discount and on Veterans Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, they also offer a 10% discount.
QuickTrip (QT) does a free fountain or hot drink on Veterans Day! You must show your military ID.
Starbucks offers all military members and their spouses a free tall brewed coffee on Veterans Day
TOPS Market is offering an 11% discount this Veterans Day to veterans and active duty personnel.
US National Park Service will waive fees for day-use recreation sites for the entire Veterans Day weekend. Also, check out deals you can get for state and national parks year-round as a veteran.
Westgate Resorts is going to give away 1,500 free vacations! The first 1,500 eligible service members who complete the online form will receive a free vacation to either Orlando, Florida or Las Vegas, Nevada! November 9th is the first day to register for the vacation in May.
Did we miss anything? Comment below with other Veterans Day deals for 2018!
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