There are many restaurants that will serve veterans who served their country.

They are offering free meals, treats and special discounts to show their appreciation to veterans and active-duty military personnel Thursday.

Veterans Day marks the date when Germany and the Allies signed a 1918 agreement to end World War I hostilities. The fighting ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. This day was established as Armistice Day for the first times in 1919.

The majority of discounts are valid only on the federal holiday at participating locations nationwide, with most applying to veterans and active-duty military.

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Most businesses require proof of service, such as a military ID. A few companies will also allow you to wear uniforms as identification. Discharge papers, VA cards and veteran organization membership cards also can be used to prove service at most businesses.

However, there are some restrictions and the offers may vary depending on where you live. For specials, make sure to check with your nearest restaurant.

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IHOP Veterans Day 2021: Free pancakes

IHOP will give away pancakes for military vets on Thursday. They also offer two limited-time menu options.

Red, White, Blue Pancakes and a Pancake Combo are available for Veterans from 7 am to 7 pm Thursday. Proof of service and military ID are required.

Buffalo Wild Wings Veterans Day Special: Fries and wings included

Buffalo Wild Wings is giving past and present armed service members a free order of 10 boneless wings and fries.

The deal applies to takeout or dine-in only. Proof of service must be provided. This deal can only be used once per customer.

Outback Veterans Day 2021: Free Bloomin’ Onion and more

Outback Steakhouse is giving military veterans and active personnel a free Bloomin’ Onion and Coca-Cola product Thursday.

A “daily hero discount” is also offered by the chain, offering 10% off whole checks for all military personnel, firefighters, and police officers who have a valid ID from a state or federal agency.

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Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day freebie: Free dinner vouchers

Texas Roadhouse will hand out dinner vouchers at restaurant parking lots Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the Veterans Affairs website, which notes veterans and active-duty military “can redeem their dinner vouchers when the restaurant opens for dinner, through May 30, 2022.” 

Olive Garden Veterans Day 2021 free meal

Olive Garden told USA TODAY that it is providing veterans and active-duty military a free entrée from a select menu Thursday. The offer can only be taken in.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, proof of military service is needed and entrées include breadsticks and choice of soup or house salad.

Dunkin’ Veterans Day Free Donut

A free Dunkin’ donut will be given to veterans and active service members on Thursday by participating restaurants across the country. You don’t need to purchase and you can get the donut in-store.

Only one can be given per person, while stocks last. No ID is necessary, according to the fine print.

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Veterans Day: Krispy Kreme coffee and donuts free

Krispy Kreme offers two complimentary treats for veterans on Thursday. Veterans can receive a small, hot or iced brewed coffee and a doughnut free of charge.

The promotion comes with a one-time limit. It is also available at drive-thru shops.

Are you not a veteran? You can still get a freebie. With a valid COVID-19 vaccination card, get a free glazed doughnut through Dec. 31 for showing the card.

Starbucks Veterans Day 2021: Get free coffee for the military

Starbucks will have its Veterans Day Special Thursday offer for military personnel, veterans and their spouses. They can get a free tall 12-ounce hot brewed coffee at participating U.S. locations.

The promotion is for café and drive-thru orders and is limited to one per customer.The coffee giant says it  will donate 25 cents for every cup of hot brewed coffee sold nationwide Thursday to military nonprofits Team Red, White & Blue and Headstrong to support military communities’ mental health and the wellbeing of military communities. 

Wawa Veterans Day Free Coffee

Wawa’s annual Veterans Day freebie is for veterans, active military members and their families Thursday: A free hot coffee in any size.

The convenience store chain has more than 940 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington DC.

Wawa offers free coffee for rewards members every Tuesday until the end. New members can sign up at

For active military personnel, more coffee free of charge

  • Biggby Coffee All active or retired military personnel must have ID to receive a free 16-ounce drink of their choice
  • Caribou Coffee:A small cup of coffee is free for active and retired military personnel, veterans, and their families on Thursday. When ordering, inquire about the special offer. 
  • Casey’s General Store Every service member, present and past, receives a complimentary cup of coffee on Thursday. USA TODAY was told by Casey’s that no proof of service is necessary and the deal will be honored on honor systems.
  • EG America Free coffee any size (hot or iced) for active military and veterans at all locations, including Cumberland Farms, Tom Thumb, Turkey Hill, Quik Stop, Kwik Stop, Minit Mart, Certified Oil, Fastrac Café and Loaf N Jug. You don’t need to purchase anything.
  • PJ’s coffee:Get a free 12-ounce cup of cold brew coffee or hot drip on Thursday 
  • Scooter’s Coffee: Free hot, iced or blended drink for veterans Thursday.
Dunkin' has a freebie for Veterans Day 2021.

Denny’s Veterans Day – Free Grand Slam until noon

Denny’s Veterans Day Offer is available from 5 a.m. until noon on Thursday. You can receive a “Build Your Own Grand Slam” free meal for active or inactive military personnel if you have a valid military ID/DD 214. The hours may vary. 

Denny’s also said it will have its second annual “Heroes Tour” to deliver free, hot meals to veterans and active military through its Mobile Relief Diner. Twitter is revealing the dates and exact locations. @DennysMRD

Applebee’s Veterans Day free meals

For the 14th year, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar is giving active military, veterans, Reserves and National Guard a free meal Thursday from a special menu with proof of military service. This offer is dine-in only at more than 1,500 restaurants nationwide and hours vary by location.

The chain said in a news release that it will also give “these special guests” a $5 bounce back card to redeem for dine-in, To Go or delivery within three weeks.

According to the promotion’s fine print, beverage and gratuity are not included and there’s a limit of one meal per U.S. veteran or active duty military.

Wendy’s Veterans Day Breakfast Free 

Wendy’s will offer a breakfast combination for veterans and active duty military from 6:30 to 10:30 AM Thursday. Hours can change depending on the location.

Valid military IDs or Veterans Advantage cards are required. The offer can be redeemed in restaurants or at the drive-thru.  


Sheetz Veterans Day: Free sub, drink, and car wash

Sheetz offers a couple of Veterans Day discounts for active-duty military personnel and veterans on Thursday. They can get a free half turkey or ham sub and a regular-size fountain drink at any of the chain’s 633 locations with military ID or proof of service.

Sheetz locations that offer car washing will provide free service to active-duty and veterans.

Do McDonald’s, Chipotle, Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A have Veterans Day deals?

USA TODAY spoke with some national chains, stating that they do not have any nationwide Veterans Day promotions. There may be discounts at some Taco Bells and Chick-fil-A locations, however.

Taco Bell told USA TODAY that customers should call local restaurants to ask if they have a deal. Chick-fil A also stated that some restaurants may offer specials. Participating McDonald’s restaurants in Ohio were among those that have offered veterans free meals over the holidays. 

Subway, Chipotle and Burger King are some of the major chains that didn’t share national Veterans Day offers with USA TODAY.

Additional Veterans Day Deals and Free Food

These offers, unless noted otherwise, are only available on Thursdays. Some are only available for dine in, while others require an app on your mobile device. All require proof of military service, and all are limited in supply.

Arby’s RBA location: Free classic roast beef sandwich for veterans and active-duty military at Arby’s largest franchisee, RB American (RBA), a subsidiary of Flynn Restaurant Group. Find locations at

Au Bon Pain Veteran and active-duty personnel receive a small soup pot at no cost.

Bertucci’s: Free entrée for veterans and active-duty U.S. military members. Only available for dine-in

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: All current and ex-military personnel receive a free meal and Dr Pepper beverages.

Bob EvansEnjoy a free meal with a specially prepared menu 

Bonefish Grill For veterans, service personnel and first responders: Ongoing 10% Discount

California Pizza Kitchen: For veterans only, a free meal and a drink will be provided. For veterans dining in on Thursday, a BOGO coupon will be available for November 12-20.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: For veterans, service personnel and first responders: Ongoing 10% Discount

Chicken Salad ChickVeterans and Active-duty personnel get a complimentary Chick Special, and a drink.

Chili’s Grill & Bar: Special menu available to veterans and active members of the military.

Restaurants including Chili's Bar & Grill will be honoring active and former military members for Veterans Day 2021.

Cicis Pizza:Veteran’s receive a complimentary adult meal.

Cotton Patch Cafe Free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken with proof of military service at all locations.

Cracker Barrel With any purchase made in-store, online or otherwise, veterans get one free piece of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola cake For online orders, use promo code VETSDAY21.

D’Angelo Grilled sandwiches: For active and retired military, 50% discount on the total order for Thursday.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit For veterans, get a free Pulled Pork Sandwich when you use the code VETFREE. This applies to both in-store orders and online orders that are for takeout or pickup.

Einstein Bros. Bagels:For veterans, you get free iced or hot coffee in any size. Excluded from the list are license stores in hospitals, hotels, airports, and colleges.

Famous DaveFor active and inactive military personnel, we offer a free lunch Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich.

Farmers BoysAll active and retired military personnel are eligible for a free big cheese

Fazoli’s: Every Wednesday and Thursday: Free regular spaghetti, with or without meat, in any recipe

Fogo de Chão: 50% off meals for veterans and active-duty personnel plus 10% off for up to three guests’ meals.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers:Freddy’s offers free combo meals to veterans and active-duty troops who come in for a Freddy’s visit on Thursday. The cards are good through Nov. 30 and no purchase is “necessary to receive or redeem the card,” the chain said.

Friendly’s Free cheeseburger, fries and soft drink “to those who have honorably served.”

Golden Chick:Active-duty and veteran military personnel with ID receive a 10% ongoing discount

Golden Corral: Free dinner buffets and drinks from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday for “active duty, military personnel, retirees, National Guard, reserves and veterans of all branches of service.”

Graeter’s Ice Cream: Veterans and current military personnel receive a free sundae

Hard Rock Cafe Active and retired military members get a complimentary Legendary Steak Burger. Military members can also use the chain’s 15% off military discount on other items.

Hooters Enjoy a free meal on a specially prepared menu and proof of service.

Huddle House For active-duty service members or veterans, a free MVP breakfast platter is available.

Insomnia cookies:Purchase includes a six-pack of cookies free to veterans and active military personnel. 

You can juice it up!You can find this information here: A 20-ounce free classic smoothie for active-duty soldiers and veterans

Kolache Factory: Veteran and active military personnel get a complimentary cup of coffee, kolache, and free kolache

Ledo Pizza: With a valid ID, active military personnel and veterans receive $5 off any order greater than $20

Little Caesars: Veteran and active military personnel receive a complimentary lunch from 11 to 2 on Thursday

Logan’s Roadhouse: Get a free American Roadhouse dinner between 3 and 6 p.m. on Thursday

It’s Love’s Travel Time: Veteran and active duty military receive an additional roll grill with the purchase of one.

Metro Diner: Active and Retired Military with Valid Military IDs get 50% Off and 10% All Year. 

Mission BBQ Free sandwich for veterans.

Nekter Juice Bar: Get a 16-ounce free Superfood Smoothie or Fresh Juice.

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub: From 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, receive a free meal from the Veterans Day special menu.

O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar Special menu available for active-duty and veterans.

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom: Free starter up to $11.99 with the purchase of an entrée for veterans.

At The BorderFor veterans, get a complimentary Pick 2 Combo

Papa Gino’s: 50% off whole pizzas for dine-in and carry-out orders for retired and active military. Online orders not valid

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery: For active-duty service personnel and veterans, Magnificent Seven offers a free breakfast menu.

Pilot Flying J Retired and active duty military personnel can receive a $10 meal credit in any of the more than 750 U.S. travel centres that includes One9 Fuel Network, Pilot and Flying J centers. Veterans must verify their account in myRewards PlusTM to get the deal.

Pollo Tropical:All active duty and veterans receive a free quarter chicken meal with 2 side dishes.

Qdoba Mexican Cuisine: 50% off any entrée in-store for active military and veterans.

Red Lobster Veterans, active-duty military personnel and reservists get a free appetizer or dessert

Red Robin Through Nov. 14, Red Robin Military Royalty members get a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger, available for dining in or to go. Active military and veterans must sign up for the loyalty programme by Nov. 1 to get this offer.

Ruby Tuesday For active service members and veterans, get a free Garden Bar Entree 

Schlotzsky’s: Free small drink and chips with entrée purchase for veterans and active-duty military. You will receive $5 off your next purchase if you are the first 50 people to redeem this deal at any of these locations.

Shoney’s: Enjoy a free breakfast from 10 o’clock to 11.

Smashburger Veteran’s: Free Single Classic

Smoothie King:For all active-duty military personnel and veterans, a free 20-ounce smoothie.

Sonny’s BBQ:For veterans and active members of the military, get free pork big deal combo when you order take-out or dine in.

Stewart’s shops:For everyone on Thursday, the chain will offer 50c ice cream cones.

Taco John’s: Use the code VETERAN to get a free small beef combo meal for veterans.

TGI Fridays Enjoy a free select meal between 11 and 2 pm

Torchy’s Tacos:For veterans who order take-out or delivery, there is a complimentary taco and nonalcoholic beverage.

Travel Centers of America Veterans get free meals at participating restaurants within TA, Petro, and TA Express

Twin Peaks: For active or retired military personnel, a free meal is provided from a specially prepared menu.

WaBa Grill On Thursday, the chain offers a Buy-One-Get-One deal for all WaBa bowls to veterans and active-duty troops online and in store.

Wienerschnitzel:Veterans and active duty military receive a free Chili Dog, small fries, and small Pepsi if they show their U.S. Military ID or wear their uniform.

Yard House Enjoy a free appetizer

Follow Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY’s reporter on Twitter @KellyTykoYou can find more information at www.. For shopping news, tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group. 



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