Free meals and more on Veterans Day

Houlihan's Brentwood chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 24, 2019

There are many ways to honor former service members on Veterans Day — parades, salutes, all-you-can eat pancakes or a free cup of (G.I.) joe.

To mark Veterans Day on Monday, Nov. 11, restaurants around the country are offering free or discounted food. Some offers are strictly for vets; others include active-duty and retired troops. Call ahead to make sure your local places are participating, especially at overseas locations — and ask what you need to bring to identify yourself. Many will ask for a DD-214 or other proof of service — or you can come in uniform!

Check to make sure what exactly is included in the offers. For example, beverages and gratuities are often not covered at eateries.

Here’s a look at a few meals and deals. All are good Nov. 11 unless otherwise noted. And don’t forget the waitstaff — tips are a good thing every day of the year.

Applebee’s — Veterans and active duty military receive a free meal from among eight entrees.

Bakers Square — Free meal for vets and active duty.

Bob Evans Restaurants: Free meal for veterans and active duty on Nov. 11. Choices include Breakfast (served all day) or Bob Evans Dinner Bell Plates.

Bombshells Restaurant & Bar — Free meal and soft drink for veterans and active service members and 20% discount for accompanying family members.

Buffalo Wild Wings — Free order of small boneless or traditional wings and fries.

California Pizza Kitchen — Free pizza, pasta or full-size salad and beverage Nov. 11 for active military or veterans. Participating guests will also receive a card for a buy one, get one free pizza, pasta or salad during a return visit Nov. 12-20.

Chili’s — Active duty and veterans can choose a free dine-in meal from a select menu including Cajun chicken pasta and chicken bacon ranch quesadillas.

Chop House — 50% off any dine-in lunch or dinner entree to all active-duty and retired service members with military ID or in uniform.

City Barbecue — Free sandwich platter with two sides and beverage. Dine-in and carryout.

Connors Steak & Seafood — 50% off any dine-in lunch or dinner entrée. Active duty and retired.

Cotton Patch Café — Free chicken-fried steak or fried chicken.

Country Cookin — Free salad bar or $5 off any entrée for vets and active duty.  

Country Kitchen — Free Country Scramble with pancakes and eggs.

Country Pride — Free meal from a special menu for veterans and active duty. At TravelCenters of America.

Cracker Barrel — Free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake or pumpkin pie latte to all dine-in veterans.

Crooked Pint Ale House — Free meal for veterans.  

Dunkin’ Donuts — Free doughnut for active duty and veterans. One per person.

54th Street Grill — Free entree (up to $12) for veterans and active duty.

Friendly’s — Free Big-Two-Do breakfast and coffee, or free burger, fries and beverage (lunch and dinner) for veterans and active military.

Golden Corral — Free buffet dinner and beverage from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 11 for retirees, veterans, active duty, National Guard and Reserves.


Houlihan’s — Free meal from a special menu, including its Brentwood chicken sandwich, fish and chips and chicken fettuccine Alfredo, for vets and active duty. Beverages and tips not included.

Huddle House — Free sweet cakes from Nov. 8-11.

Hurricane Grill and Wings — Free entrée from menu of seven items, including Yuengling beer-battered fish and chips or chicken BLT tacos.  

IHOP — Free breakfast combo or a free stack of Red, White and Blueberry pancakes for vets and active duty.

Iron Skillet — Free meal from a special menu for vets and active duty. At TravelCenters of America.

Joe’s Crab Shack — 20% off food for vets, active duty.

Kolache Factory — Free sausage and cheese kolache and coffee.

Krispy Kreme — Free doughnut and small coffee to active duty and veterans. No ID required.

Little Caesars — Free lunch combo 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; includes 4 slices of deep-dish pizza and a beverage. Vets and active duty.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que — Free dessert Nov. 11 and 20% discount all month.  

Luna Grill — Buy one, get one free offer for signature plate, wrap or salad from Nov. 9-11 for active duty and veterans. 

Manhattan Bagel Co. — Free bagel and cream cheese to vets and active duty.

Max & Erma’s — Free cheeseburger, endless fries and beverage for vets and active duty personnel.

Mission BBQ — Free sandwich and cake to vets and active duty.

Nektar Juice Bar — Free 16-ounce smoothie or juice.

O’Charley’s — Vets and active duty get a free meal from select menu.

Olive Garden — Free meal from limited menu for vets and active duty. Includes unlimited soup or salad, plus breadsticks.

Otter’s Chicken — Active duty, Guard/Reserve, retirees and veterans get a free combo meal and drink. Also free for active-duty spouses with military dependent ID.

Outback Steakhouse — All active and former service members receive a free Bloomin’ Onion and a beverage on Nov. 11. Outback is also offering active and former service members and first responders 20 percent off meals Nov. 8-11.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea — Free coffee or tea on Nov. 11. For veterans.

Pilot Flying J — Free breakfast Nov. 8-11 for veterans, including coffee of any size and choice of one free PJ Fresh® breakfast sandwich, breakfast pizza or breakfast grill item.

Red Lobster — Veterans, retired and active-duty military personnel receive a free appetizer or dessert from a limited menu that includes lobster pizza and Brownie Overboard.

Red Robin — Free Tavern double burger with Bottomless Steak Fries for vets and active duty.

Scooter’s Coffee — Free drink of any size to vets and current military. 

Sheetz — Free 6-inch turkey sub sandwich and a regular-size fountain drink at any Sheetz location. Plus, get a free car wash Nov. 11.

Sizzler — Active duty and veterans get a free meal and beverage from a limited menu through 4 p.m.  

Starbucks — Free coffee to veterans, active duty and military families.

Tap House Grill — Free dine-in meal.

TCBY— Free 6-ounce frozen yogurt for vets.

Texas Roadhouse— Free meal Nov. 11; hours may vary. Choose from 10 options, from country fried chicken to sirloin steak. Offer is good for active duty, retired or former military.  

Tuscan Kitchen (Boston’s Seaport, Burlington, MA, Portsmouth, NH, Salem, NH) — Will be closed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11 to serve active military and veterans and a guest a complimentary lunch.

Village Inn — Free breakfast for vets, active duty.

White Castle — Free breakfast combo or Castle combo meal for veterans and military.

Yard House — Free appetizer for vets, active duty.

Veterans will receive a choice of a free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake or pumpkin pie latte on Nov. 11 at all Cracker Barrel locations.