25 Places to Get Veterans Day Free Meals in 2022

Find out where our 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

Each year, America celebrates Veterans Day on Nov. 11, honoring both veterans and those actively serving in the military. In 2022, this federal holiday falls on a Friday, and before you book your end-of-week meal, consider this: Many restaurant chains pay homage to these brave individuals by offering up Veterans Day free meals. Similarly, many retail stores also offer Veterans Day sales.

Use this roundup of eateries to find out where you can order a complimentary dish as a thank-you for your service. In most cases, all you need is some form of military ID. You can also honor veterans with a Veterans Day quote—just make sure you know the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day before you do.

Think you don’t know any veterans? Think again. You might be surprised to know there are a lot of famous veterans. For example, legendary actor Humphrey Bogart enlisted in the Navy and served in World War I.

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Where to get Veterans Day free meals

It’s impossible to adequately compensate our veterans and active military for everything they have done for us, but Veterans Day free meals are certainly a sweet and delicious nod to America’s troops. So prepare for the holiday by browsing our list of restaurants offering free meals on Veterans Day. And remember to bring proof of military service before you head out to grab some complimentary grub.


Applebee’s has proudly served up 8.3 million Veterans Day free meals since 2008! The chain is continuing the tradition this year by offering different options that vary across the country (they must adhere to different local guidelines), so check with your local restaurant for details.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Veterans and active-duty military can head to Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar for an All-American Burger with a choice of cheese and a side—for free—on the holiday. Members will have to bring proof of service.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bob Evans

There’s plenty to look forward to if you’re near a Bob Evans location on Veterans Day, and that should come as no surprise. Bob Evans himself was a military vet! The chain is offering a special homestyle menu of items for Veterans Day free meals. It includes breakfast, lunch and dinner options available with proof of military service.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings is offering a free order of 10 boneless wings and fries for all America’s troops—both vets and current armed services members—this Veterans Day. The offer is available for dine-in or takeout (but excludes online orders). You’ll need to show proof of service in order to redeem the freebie.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

California Pizza Kitchen

Veterans and active military (with a valid ID) can grab a free entree and nonalcoholic drink from a pre-selected menu at California Pizza Kitchen for dine-in only. Past options have included the infamous Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad and Kung Pao Spaghetti with Chicken, among other delectable offerings.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Cattlemens Steakhouse

If you’re a current or former service member, you can get a free sirloin steak dinner at Cattlemens Steakhouse. Yes, you read that right: You’ll get an 8-ounce steak, with sides, for no cost! Just check to be sure your local Cattlemens is participating and make sure you’ve got your military ID on hand.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11, after 4 p.m., which is when the restaurant opens


Chevy’s locations owned by Doherty Enterprises across Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and New York are offering a free entree to military veterans. The restaurant serves up delicious Mexican fare, including enchiladas and burritos.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11, at participating locations

Chicken Salad Chick

Is there anything more comforting than the taste of homemade chicken salad? Chicken Salad Chick is offering a free Chick Special and drink at its locations across 17 states for active military. Having trouble locating a spot to chow down? Put “free Veterans Day meals near me” into your search engine for help.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11


Head on over to Chili’s, which is saluting veterans and active military members with a choice of meals from the special Veterans Day menu (dine-in only). Options include the Just Bacon Burger, Margarita Grilled Chicken and Cajun Chicken Pasta. Invite the whole family and reminisce over the triumphs and tragedies of your military peers.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Cotton Patch Cafe

Cotton Patch Cafe, the Texas-inspired, scratch-made restaurant, pays it forward annually by offering service members a free chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken when they visit any location on the holiday. These delicious meals will be available to any veteran or active member of the military with a military ID.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Denny's American restaurant chain...John Greim/Getty Images


You could stay home for a military movie double feature, but here’s a better idea: Head to Denny’s on Veterans Day. Active and inactive military personnel are invited nationwide to participate in Build Your Own Grand Slam, a Denny’s Veterans Day tradition. Pick your four favorite foods from more than 10 menu options, such as buttermilk pancakes and eggs cooked to order. It brings new meaning to hitting it out of the ballpark!

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11, from 5 a.m. to noon

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

The restaurant honored veterans last year, and it’s at it again! Head to Freddy’s this Veterans Day and get a meal card good for a free Freddy’s Original Double Combo. Both former and current military members can redeem the card through Nov. 30. There are 380 Freddy’s locations across the country, so find one near you.

When to go for a free meal: Freddy’s will distribute meal cards on Friday, Nov. 11.

Golden Corral

Golden Corral will be hosting its annual Military Appreciation Night—the 21st year in a row. As of 2020, the restaurant had served almost 6 million Veterans Day free meals to active-duty and retired military heroes (alas, not the heroic military cats), and the folks there are excited to serve up more complimentary dinners for both current and former service members.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11, from 5 p.m. to close

Hard Rock Cafe

Grab a meal with a side of rock ‘n’ roll history. Like last year, both active and retired military members can receive a free Legendary Steak Burger for Veterans Day. They can also take advantage of the Hard Rock Cafe’s year-round military discount of 15% off food and nonalcoholic drinks.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11


Serving up free Veterans Day meals is a time-honored tradition at IHOP. As a yearly initiative, the restaurant chain offers members of the military free Red, White & Blue Pancakes or a Pancake Combo for dine-in service. Make sure you have your military ID or proof of service to score the deal, then bring the whole military family for a breakfast feast at any time of day.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Kolache Factory

Start your day off right! Kolache Factory offers free kolache (a Czech pastry with savory fillings) of any kind and one cup of freshly brewed Katz coffee of any size to veterans and active military on Veterans Day.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Little Caesars

As in past years, this Veterans Day, retired and active military can get a free Lunch Combo from the pizza chain. Only select Little Caesars are participating, so make sure you call your local restaurant before you head over.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ

On Veterans day, military service members and veterans will receive a complimentary pulled pork sandwich with a side at Lucille’s. Military ID is requested, however. In addition, any veteran who takes advantage of the offer will receive a $10 Thank You for Your Service card, which they can use between Nov. 25 and Dec. 4.

When to go get a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11


Whether you’re a current member of the U.S. Army, a retired airman or any other type of active or inactive service member, you can get a free meal (a $10 value) at participating O’Charley’s locations if you visit on Veterans Day and show your military ID. The restaurant offers a special Veterans Thank-You Menu for vets to order from. Just check beforehand to see if your local O’Charley’s is participating.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Olive Garden restaurant signUCG/Getty Images

Olive Garden

In the mood for Italian? You’re in luck. Olive Garden offers veterans a free meal from a predetermined Veterans Day menu. You’ll have to dine in, but that just gives you more time to enjoy those famous breadsticks. Proof of military service is required.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11


Veterans are eligible for a free Magnificent Seven breakfast at Perkins, which includes two strips of bacon and three pancakes. Check with your local restaurant before making the trip—not all are participating in the promotion. Then keep yourself busy while you wait for your meal by entertaining your pals with military jokes.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Red Lobster

Start or end your meal with a little something extra, courtesy of the folks over at Red Lobster. As in past years, when service members purchase an entree at participating locations, they can choose from either a free appetizer (including Signature Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail or Lobster and Langostino Pizza) or dessert (Key Lime Pie, anyone?). This is dine-in only—and don’t forget to bring proof of service! If you miss the Veterans Day free meal, no worries: All active-duty military members get 10% off their Red Lobster meals on Mondays.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11


Not only is convenience chain Sheetz offering a free 6-inch turkey sub and a regular-size fountain drink to active military and veterans, but it’s also throwing in a bonus: These brave men and women can also get a free car wash. Don’t forget to bring proof of military service!

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Smokey Bones

Smokey Bones is offering free meals (dine-in only) from a special menu to active and retired military for Veterans Day. Choose from eight-piece boneless wings, pulled pork sammies or four whole wings, each served with a side. When you’re done, head home to watch some of these great movies that feature members of the military.

When to go for a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11

Smoothie King

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

When to get a free meal: Friday, Nov. 11