[This is an old story. Click here for an updated post about where veterans can eat for free on Veterans Day this year.]
Restaurants all over the country are thanking veterans and active members of the military with free food and special deals on Veterans Day 2017—which falls on Saturday, November 11—and sometimes on the Friday beforehand as well.
It's become tradition for restaurants to give veterans free meals around Veterans Day, and the deals arrive in abundance this week. Restaurants with Veterans Day freebies include Applebee's, Denny's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters, IHOP, Chevy's, Shoney's, and many more.
We've compiled a list of more than 40 restaurant chains with free food offers and other special Veterans Day discounts that we could verify. In addition to what's below, some major restaurants like Olive Garden, Chili's, and Panera Bread may also have Veterans Day deals—but they either haven't been officially announced or may be valid only in certain regions and not available nationally, so check your local eatery to see if it's participating. We'll update our list as we get more information.
Unless otherwise stated, all of the deals below are good for veterans and active-duty members of the military. Customers must show proof of military service or dine in uniform to be eligible for the deals, which are valid at participating locations only around the country.
Enjoy, eat up, and thank you for your service. Happy Veterans Day!
Offers That Begin on Friday, November 10
Boston Market: From November 10 to 12, customers can show this coupon to get a free individual meal with the purchase of another meal and a drink. Note that this promotion is for all customers—so no proof of military service is required.
BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse: With military ID, customers get a free entrée worth $12.95 or less on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11.
Denny's: From 5 a.m. to noon on Friday, Denny's customers with military ID can order a free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast.
Farmer Boys: Veterans and active duty military personnel get a free Big Cheese cheeseburger from this fast-casual burger chain on Friday, November 10.
Fogo de Chao: Customers with military ID will get 50% off their entire meal at this Brazilian steakhouse chain from November 10 to 12. Up to three guests dining with the veteran or active-duty service member can get 10% off their orders too.
IHOP: Retired and active-duty military with ID get Red, White & Blue pancakes for free on Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Deals on Saturday, November 11
Applebee's: Veterans and active-duty military get a choice of seven different entrées free of charge on Veterans Day. The options include the American Standard burger, Oriental Chicken Salad, and Double Crunch Shrimp.
Arooga's: All customers with military ID get a choice of specialty pretzels, including the Arooga's Crab Pretzel or the Arooga's Buffalo Pretzel, for free on Saturday.
Back Yard Burgers: A Classic Burger is free on Saturday for all customers with military ID.
Ben's Soft Pretzels: Eligible customers get a free jumbo soft pretzel on Veterans Day.
Bob Evans: All day on Saturday, veterans and active-duty members of the military can choose among six free entrées, including a stack of hotcakes, country biscuit breakfast, country fried steak dinner, or the Farm Boy sandwich.
Bonefish Grill: Active and retired service members with ID receive a complimentary order of Bang Bang Shrimp when dining at Bonefish Grill on Saturday.
Bruegger's Bagels: Show military ID and you'll get a free small cup of drip coffee on Saturday.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Veterans and active-duty military can get a small order of traditional or boneless wings, with a small fries, for free on Saturday.
California Pizza Kitchen: Customers in uniform or with military ID on Saturday have a choice of free entrées, including select pizzas, salads, and pasta dishes.
Chevy's: Customers in military uniform or with proper ID get a complimentary Fresh Mex 3-Item Combo on Saturday. You can choose among enchiladas, soft or crispy tacos, tamales, flautas, or chile relleno, and all combos come with rice, corn tamalito, and a choice of three different kinds of beans.
Chuck E. Cheese: Show proof of military service and you'll get a free personal one-topping pizza on Saturday.
Cici's Pizza: The pizza buffet is free with military ID on Saturday.
Cracker Barrel: Get a free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake on Saturday if you're eating at Cracker Barrel and show proof of military service.
Dunkin' Donuts: Show military ID and you can choose a free doughnut in any flavor on Saturday.
Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers: On Veterans Day, all veterans and members of the military with ID who are dining at Freddy's get a card for a free combo meal, which can be redeemed later.
Freebirds World Burrito: For Veterans Day, all customers with military ID get a buy-one-get-one-free deal on any size adult entrée.
Friendly's: Customers with valid military ID are welcomed to a free breakfast, lunch, or dinner from a select menu at Friendly's on Saturday.
Hooters: On Saturday, veterans and active-duty military can enjoy a free entrée such as a 10-piece order of wings (boneless or traditional), a Hooters Burger, or buffalo chicken salad.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar: All active-duty military and veterans with ID have their choice of any burger on the Hopdoddy menu, free of charge on Saturday.
JJ's Red Hots: Show proof of military service on Veterans Day and you get a free meal that includes unlimited hot dogs, sausages, sides, and non-alcoholic drinks.
Little Caesars: Veterans and active military get a Hot-N-Ready lunch combo free of charge between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on November 11. The combo includes four slices of pizza and a 20-ounce Pepsi beverage.
Macaroni Grill: All veterans and active-duty military get a free order of Mom's Ricotta Meatballs & Spaghetti on Saturday.
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant: All day on Veterans Day, customers with military ID can order two free entrées—one for the veteran or active-duty military individual, and one for a "significant other" at the table.
Mimi's Café: With proof of military service and the purchase of a drink, customers get a choice of entrées for free—with options including brioche French toast, farmhouse tacos, and Asian chicken chopped salad.
Native Grill and Wings: Customers with military ID get one free item off the menu worth $11.99 or less on Saturday.
99 Restaurant & Pub: Show military ID, and when you purchase any entrée between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, you'll get a second meal from the $9.99 menu for free.
On the Border: With military ID, you can mix and match a choice of tacos, enchiladas, and other items in a free Create-Your-Own-Combo Meal on Saturday.
Outback Steakhouse: With military ID, you'll get a free Bloomin' Onion appetizer and a free beverage on November 11, and all veterans and active-duty military get 20% off their checks from November 12 to 16.
Quaker Steak & Lube: Veterans Day deals vary based on location, but include free meals from a special menu and 50% off orders for veterans and active members of the military.
Red Lobster: Veterans and active duty military get a choice of a free appetizer or free dessert on Saturday. Appetizer options include mozzarella cheesesticks, seafood-stuffed mushrooms, and sweet chili shrimp, while desserts include vanilla bean cheesecake, key lime pie, or warm apple crostada.
Red Robin: Show military ID and you'll get a free Tavern Double Burger and bottomless steak fries on Saturday, November 11.
Ruby Tuesday: Get a free appetizer worth up to $10 on Saturday if you dine in and have military ID.
Shoney's: From 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Veterans Day, veterans and active-duty military get a free all-you-can-eat breakfast.
Sizzler: Anytime from opening until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sizzler customers with military ID get a free lunch, including options like a 6-ounce sirloin steak or jumbo crispy shrimp, plus a side dish and coffee, iced tea, or a fountain drink.
Texas Roadhouse: With proof of military service, you can select among of a choice of free lunch orders on Saturday, including burgers, sandwiches, pork chops, or fried chicken, plus a choice of sides and a free non-alcoholic beverage.
TGI Fridays: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, customers with military ID can order a free lunch menu item worth up to $12. You'll get a $5 coupon off your next meal at TGI Fridays too.
Tijuana Flats: Customers with military ID get a choice of a free entree on Saturday.
White Castle: Veterans and active military get a free breakfast combo on Saturday.
Wienerschnitzel: Enjoy a free chili dog, small fries, and small Pepsi on Saturday if you present your military ID or show up in uniform.
World of Beer: Show military ID and you'll get a free draught beer or $5 off your bill on Saturday.