Veterans Day 2021 Free Meals | Discounts for Active Duty Military, Vets, Guard, Reserves, and Family

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Veterans Day 2021 free meals are a traditional way many restaurants honor and thank active duty and military veterans for their service. Veterans Day is celebrated on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

Veterans Day celebrates the service and sacrifice of all U.S. military veterans. Whether you are retired, separated, active duty, guard, reserves – this day is for you! Thank you for answering the call of a grateful nation.

Many restaurants and companies thank our veterans and actively serving military personnel for their service with a free meal or discounts. This year Veterans Day falls on a Wednesday and is a federal holiday.

This article contains several Veterans Day freebies and discounts I found:

Credit Cards that Waive Annual Fees for US Military

Did you know American Express and Chase waive the $550 annual fees on their best credit cards for US active duty servicemembers and military spouses? They do this every day, not just on Veterans Day.

If you're going out to dine out this Veterans Day, why not get a credit card that earns 4x points on restaurants, delivery, takeout, and groceries (including overseas Commissaries). The Amex Gold card usually has a $250 annual fee, but that fee is waived for active duty and their spouses.

Currently the Amex Gold card has the same 60,000 point welcome bonus as the Amex Platinum! This is a much better card to build points when travel is not happening very much.

American Express Gold Card military AMEX Gold Card Military No annual fee SCRA $250 annual fee waived
  • Learn how to apply for the American Express® Gold Card
  • $250 Annual Fee waived for US military and spouses (rates and fees)
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Reward Amex points after spending $4000 in the first 6 months of account opening
  • Rose Gold is back! Choose between the Gold or Rose Gold version when you apply.
  • 4x points on all restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • 4x points on US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) – includes OCONUS Commissaries
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or on
  • No foreign transaction fees – great for the 4x on restaurants when travelling for fun, OCONUS TDY, or PCS!
  • $120 annual Uber or Uber Eats cash. Earned as $10 per month.
  • $120 per year credit at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House or Shake Shack (enrollment required)
  • Read my full review of the Amex Gold card for military, terms apply

I can teach you how to maximize your military credit card fee waivers in my 100% free Ultimate Military Travel Hacking Course course.

Also check out the best credit cards for military veterans.

Best Veterans Day Free Meals for Active Duty Military

Many thanks to all the restaurants and companies who choose to offer free meals, discounts, and deals to America's veterans. On behalf of all US military servicemembers, thank you for your tangible support!

Here is a huge list of all the 2021 Veterans Day freebies I found.

Please share with your friends and family so they can enjoy a Monday Veterans Day free meal!

Applebee's Veterans Day Free Meals for Veterans

“We are proud to serve those who serve. Over the past 12 years, Applebee’s® restaurants nationwide have served free meals to veterans and active duty military on Veterans Day to honor them for their courage and sacrifice. We invite you to join us next year on Veterans Wednesday, November 11, 2020 to continue our tradition.”

Available on November 11, 2020 at participating Applebee’s® only. Beverages and gratuity not included. U.S. veterans and active duty military simply show proof of military service. Limit 1 meal per person. Dine-in only. Not valid with other coupons or discounts. Menu may vary. – More Info

Applebee's has served nearly 10 million fee meals to vets over the last 12 years. They have one of the longest running free meals for vets program.

Applebee's Veterans Day 2020 menu includes:

  • Classic cheeseburger
  • Chicken tenders plate
  • 6 oz select top sirloin
  • Double crunch shrimp
  • Fiesta lime chicken
  • Oriental chicken salad
  • Three-cheese penne

BJ's Restaurants


Valid for dine in Wednesday, 11/11/2020, only. Complimentary entree up to $14.95 and Free Dr Pepper beverage. Offer cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Must present Military ID or other proof of service. No cash value. Not valid toward the purchase of alcoholic beverages or gift cards. Tax and gratuity not included. Not valid for Take Out or Delivery.

Bob Evans

On Veterans' Day, we're honored to provide a comforting meal to veterans and active duty military. On November 11, we'll be offering a special menu of seven homestyle favorites available to veterans and active duty miltary FREE* at their local Bob Evans Restaurant.

  • Crispy Fried Chicken
  • Country Biscuit Breakfast
  • Brioche French Toast
  • Mini Sampler
  • Stack of Hotcakes
  • Country Fried Steak Savor Dinner
  • Soup and Salad Combo

More info on Bob Evans Veterans Day deal.

Bone Fish Grill

No update for 2020

Boston Market

No update for 2020

Bruegger's Bagels

No update for 2020

Buffalo Wild Wings

Free order of 10 boneless wings and a side of fries to veterans and current military members. Dine-in or take out. Bring proof of military service. More info here

California Pizza Kitchen

Choose a pizza, full-size salad, or pasta from the special Veterans Day Menu. Participating locations with proof of service; dine-in and walk-in takeout only. More info.


All veterans & active military members can get a free meal on Veterans Day November 11, 2020 at all participating Chili's Grill & Bar restaurants. Available for in-restaurant only. Please call ahead to your local Chili's restaurant if you have any questions about your Veterans Day meals. 

Choose a free meal from the following list. Dine in only and participating locations only. – More Info


No update for 2020.

Cici's PIzza

Free adult pizza buffet with Military ID. Dine-in only. More info.

Cracker Barrel

Wednesday, November 11, Cracker Barrel will thank the brave men and women who have served our nation by offering all U.S. military veterans a complimentary slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake when dining at any Cracker Barrel location nationwide. 


Free Build Your Own Grand Slam® from 5 a.m. to noon for all active, inactive, and retired military personnel. Participating locations only.

Dickey's BBQ Pit

On November 11, veterans can stop in-store at their local participating Dickey's for a free Pulled Pork Classic Sandwich. To redeem, a guest must present a military ID or valid proof of service.


Free donut to Veterans and active duty military at participating restaurants nationwide. More info

Famous Dave's

All day November 11, 2020 | Dine-In & To Go Free Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich + Side for all Military Personnel. More Info

Fogo de Chao

50% all Veterans Day for veterans and active military. Plus an additional 10% off for up to three guests.

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers

No 2020 update.

Freedbirds World Burrito

No 2020 update.


Free All American Burger (fries and a beverage) during lunch or dinner. Valid military ID or honorable discharge card required. Dine-in only. Participating locations only.

Golden Corral

Military Appreciation Night – free meal for anyone who served in the US Military (retirees, veterans, active duty, National Guard or Reserves). More info

Military Appreciation Event will run from November 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021. Promotional cards for one FREE “Thank You” Meal will be distributed during the month of November, and can be redeemed November 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021.


10 free boneless wings with the purchase of any 10 wings. Only valid at participating locations. More info.


Houlihan's will honor America’s veterans, active-duty military, and our military families on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2020 with $10 off a $30 food purchase.


Free Red, White and Blue pancakes from 7 am – 7 pm. Due to current events, not all locations are participating. Please call ahead to verify participation.

Joe’s Crab Shack

20% Off on Veterans Day, applies to parties up to 4 or less with valid ID. More info.

Kirspy Kreme

 Free donut of choice and small brewed coffee for current and former military members. 


No update yet

LongHorn Steakhouse

Free app or dessert.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants

Nov 8 2020: Half-price meal from a special menu for U.S. military veterans, Gold Star Parents, and Gold Star Spouses. Participating locations only. Space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. ID or proof of service required.

McGrath Fish House

Free meal from Veterans menu.

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub

No update yet

Olive Garden

Free breadsticks and entree in on Nov 11, 2020.

On the Border

No update yet

Outback Steakhouse

Free Bloomin’ Onion and your choice of any Coca-Cola® product. Offer available for dine-in or to-go (call-in orders only, not available online). Also available: 10% OFF Heroes Discount is open to servicemen and women, police officers, firefighters, and first responders, with corresponding state or federal service ID. More info.

Pilot Flying J

Pilot Co. also will celebrate Veterans Day with a week-long special offer for all U.S. military veterans. From Nov. 9-15, all veterans are invited to enjoy a free Pilot Coffee of any size and one free breakfast offering, such as the french toast sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. The Veterans Day Breakfast Combo offer is available through the Pilot Flying J app and is redeemable at participating U.S. Pilot and Flying J travel centers. More info

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Active military and veterans get 50 percent off any entree on Veteran’s Day, November 11.

Red Lobster

In honor of Veterans Day, and to thank veterans, active duty military and reservists for their service, Red Lobster®is offering dine-in guests a free appetizer or dessert on Wednesday, November 11. Guests only need to show a valid military ID or proof of service to redeem this offer.

Red Robin

All Red Robin Military Royalty members can receive a Free Red’s Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries, available for dine-in or take-out. You must register for the Red Robin Royalty® Program by Thursday, Nov. 5 at to be eligible for this offer.

Romano's Macaroni Grill

Free Mom's Ricotta Meatballs and spaghetti for current and former soliders, sailors, airmen, and marines.

Ruby Tuesday’s

Free appetizer up to $10.


Veterans who come into participating locations can enjoy a free classic double Smashburger with any other purchase.

Sonny's BBQ

On Nov. 11, veterans and active duty military with valid ID will receive a free Pulled or Sliced Pork Big Deal combo; dine-in only.


Starbucks is treating veterans, active duty service members, and spouses to a free tall (12oz) hot brewed coffee. Starbucks is also donating 25 cents for every cup of hot brewed coffee sold nationwide on Nov. 11 to be divided evenly between Team Red, White & Blue and Headstrong to support the mental health and the wellbeing of military communities. More info.

Tap House Grill

Complimentary meal on Veterans Day, November 11th. For servicemembers and veterans with proof of service. Dine-in only. More info.

Texas de Brazil

25% off. Offer valid for up to 6 veterans or active-duty military per table/reservation. More info here

Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse will hand out Free dinner vouchers to current and former military members at their stores’ parking lots on Wednesday, November 11, from 11 am – 2 pm. Military ID or proof of service required. Dinner voucher which will be redeemable for a free in-store meal through June of 2021. Dinner vouchers are being offered this year due to the pandemic and capacity restrictions. Contact your local Texas Roadhouse for details.

TGI Friday's

No update yet.

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill

Everyday American Soldier special – active duty military can get a free cheeseburger, fries, and drink.

Twin Peaks

Corporate-owned locations are offering current and former military members a free meal from these options: chicken tenders, Carolina pulled pork sandwich, cheeseburger, and the wedge. More info.

Village Inn

No 2020 offer.


FREE small breakfast combo at participating locations. Offer valid in-restaurant or at the drive-thru. Not valid for mobile orders or at kiosk. Proof of service required.

Yard House

To honor and celebrate those who have served our country, we invite veterans and active duty military to join us for a complimentary appetizer on Veteran's Day.

More info on Yard House 2020 Veterans Day deal.

7-11 Convenience Store

Get a free coffee or Big Gulp® on Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day.

How to Get Veterans Day Free Meals Deals

Before you go, remember four things.

  1. You will need some form of ID. Most companies require some form of military ID before giving you the discount. Usually a military ID card (Common Access Card, or CAC), Retired ID card, VA ID Card, current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) pay stub, drivers license with veterans designation, DD214, discharge paperwork, veterans organization card (i.e., American Legion, VFW), photograph of yourself in uniform, a citation or commendation, or going in uniform while be sufficient.
  2. Not all locations participate. While the overall franchise or corporation may offer a Veterans Day free meal or discount, a specific location may not participate. It never hurts to call ahead and ask before you're seated so you are not surprised when the check comes.
  3. Leave a nice tip! Tipping is the worst and tipping culture is sexist, racist, and classist, but that's an argument for another day. Until I complete my life long goal to get rid of tipping in the US, it's important to tip based on what the meal would have cost you before the discount.Don't stiff your waitress or waiter, they're still working just as hard whether your meal cost $100 or $0. Thank them with a nice tip!
  4. This isn't a right or a privilege, but a gesture of thanks. Yes, we're all thankful for your service. If a corporation or restaurant chooses not to participate in the Veterans Day discounts or doesn't have the item you wanted available, don't throw a hissy fit. Please act like an adult. Be gracious and thankful that some organizations and companies are giving you a discount and celebrating your service on Veterans Day.

Please don't abuse this great benefit of military service that private organizations, companies, and business owners choose to give to us.

If you act entitled to perks like this, people will soon sour on giving them away. Be grateful, kind, and generous when you tip!

Veterans Day 2021 Freebies

Besides free meals on Veterans Day for military servicemembers and retirees, you can also get many other Veterans Day freebies. These free military perks include:

  • Free admission for military to many museums and attractions
  • Military discount tickets to World of Coca Cola in Atlanta
  • Military discount hotel rooms at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and other Caesar's properties around the US
  • National Parks pass military discounts (no fee annual pass)

See below for details on all of these Veterans Day 2019 freebies.

Veterans Day Free Attractions and Museums

Caesars Palace 40% Off Veterans Day Discount

In honor of Veterans Day, Caesars Entertainment is offering up to 40% off for veterans and active duty military who book future travel on from 11/4/20 to 11/15/20.. Learn more about this great military discount here.

Eligible categories for the Caesars Palace military discount are active duty military, veterans, and military spouses.

You can get a military discounts on Veterans Day at Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas at the following locations:

  • Bally's Las Vegas
  • Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
  • Flamingo Las Vegas
  • Harrah's Las Vegas
  • NOBU Hotel, Las Vegas
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas
  • Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
  • The Cromwell, Las Vegas
  • The LINQ Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

Other Caesars Entertainment resorts with the military discount include:

  • Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Stateline
  • Harrah's Laughlin
  • Harrah's Reno
  • Harveys Lake Tahoe
  • Bally's Atlantic City
  • Caesars Atlantic City
  • Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
  • Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, Cherokee
  • Harrah's Cherokee Valley River, Murphy
  • Harrah's Ak-Chin, Maricopa
  • Harrah's Resort Southern California, Funner
  • Harrah's Joliet
  • Harrah's Metropolis
  • Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Elizabeth
  • Harrah's Council Bluffs
  • Harrah's New Orleans
  • Horseshoe Bossier City
  • Harrah's Gulf Coast, Biloxi
  • Horseshoe Tunica, Robinsonville
  • Tunica Roadhouse, Tunica Resorts
  • Harrah's North Kansas City

Go here to book this Caesar's Palace Veterans Day military discount!

World of Coca Cola Veterans Day 2020 Deal: Family and Friends

The World of Coca Cola in Atlanta, Georgia offers military servicemembers (active duty, reserves, and retirees) free entry to the World of Coca Cola year round. Normally this offer only applies to the servicemember, not their family or friends.

As a Veterans Day special deal, from Nov 2 – Nov 12, 2020, military servicemembers can purchase up to 4 half price tickets for their family and friends in addition to their own free ticket. Here are the full details:

Military members (active duty, reserves and retirees) can enjoy a visit to World of Coca-Cola free of charge year-round, but Veterans Day is extra special. To show World of Coca-Cola’s gratitude to the men and women who serve our country, the attraction is extending a special offer to their loved ones as well. Monday through Thursday from Nov. 2 to Nov. 12, members of the Armed Forces may purchase up to four general admission tickets at half-price for their friends and family to join them on a memorable visit to the attraction. Tickets must be purchased online using promotional code “vets2020” and members will be asked to present their valid Armed Forces ID when they arrive at the attraction.

Veterans Day Free Haircuts for Vets and Active Duty

Both Great Clips and SportsClips are offering free haircuts for military veterans and active duty servicemembers.

Great Clips Free Veterans Day Haircut 2020


Visit a U.S. Great Clips salon on Nov. 11 and receive either a free haircut that day or a free haircut card to use at a later date.


Purchase a service at a U.S. Great Clips salon on Veterans Day and get a free haircut card to give to a military service member you know.

Haircut cards are redeemable until Dec. 11 2020.

At participating U.S. salons, while supplies last.

SportsClips Veterans Day Free Haircut 2020

Be sure to drop in on Monday, November 11, Veterans Day, when participating locations will donate $1 from every haircut service as well as provide free haircuts for veterans. To find a Sport Clips store near you that is offering free veteran haircuts on Veterans Day, visit this page and search by zip code.

History of Veterans Day Free Meals

Veterans Day meals started as a tradition shortly after September 11, 2001 as a way to directly support, honor, and say “thanks” to America's military veterans.

Now, every November many companies and resturant offer freebies to active duty military and veterans. Free food for active duty, veterans, and military retirees is an easy way restaurants can give back to the military community. Enjoying a free meal on November 11th was a nice treat when I was a young lieutenant not making very much money.

Companies other than restaurants often offer a special early November military discount or freebies around November 11th. Veterans Day falls just a few weeks before Black Friday and only 6 weeks before Christmas. Companies are getting ready for the end of year sales.

A full list of the restaurants that give veterans free meals on Veterans Day 2021f include

  • Applebee's
  • BJ's Restaurants
  • Bob Evans
  • Bone Fish Grill
  • Boston Market
  • Bruegger's Bagels
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Chili's
  • Chipotle
  • Cici's Pizza
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Denny's
  • Dunkin'
  • Famous Dave's
  • Fogo de Chao
  • Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers
  • Freedbirds World Burrito
  • Friendly's
  • Golden Corral
  • Hooters
  • Houlihan’s
  • IHOP
  • Joe’s Crab Shack
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Krystal
  • LongHorn Steakhouse
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants
  • McGrath Fish House
  • Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub
  • Olive Garden
  • On the Border
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Pilot Flying J
  • Red Lobster
  • Red Robin
  • Romano's Macaroni Grill
  • Ruby Tuesday’s
  • Sonny's BBQ
  • Starbucks
  • Tap House Grill
  • Texas de Brazil
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • TGI Friday's
  • Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill
  • Twin Peaks
  • Village Inn
  • Yard House

National Parks Service (NPS) Free Annual Military Pass

Grand Tetons National Park

When is the last time you went to America's greatest natural asset? The US National Parks are some of the greatest natural beauty and wonder available and you don't even need to fly to get to most of them.

Active duty, Guard, and Reserve US military personnel are entitled a free annual pass. You can pick up your pass wherever you pay entrance fees to a National Park. We've had a free pass for the past ten years. Dependents can also use the pass without the military servicemember present, which is handy when the SM is deployed.

This deal is available year round and not just on Veterans Day, so take advantage of America the Beautiful and visit the National Parks for free. The National Park System is amazing and deserves a visit. Spend your three day weekend visiting a National Park!

Which restaurants give free meals on Veterans Day?

Some of the restaurants that give veterans free meals on Veterans Day 2021 include: Applebee's, Chili's, Buffalo Wild Wings, TGI Friday's, Longhorn Steakhouse, and many others.

Where can I get free meals on Veterans Day?

Some of the restaurants that give veterans free meals on Veterans Day 2021 include: Applebee's, Chili's, Buffalo Wild Wings, TGI Friday's, Longhorn Steakhouse, and many others.

Does Chick Fil A have a Veterans Day special?

Individual franchises might offer a free chicken sandwich, but there is no broad corporate policy.

Does McDonald's have a Veterans Day special?

Usually no, but individual franchises might offer something on Veterans Day.

Do military spouses get free meals on Veterans Day?

Usually restaurants only give the active duty servicemember or military veteran a free meal on Veterans Day, but sometimes spouses and families are invited to join as well.

1 thought on “Veterans Day 2021 Free Meals | Discounts for Active Duty Military, Vets, Guard, Reserves, and Family”

  1. As A Vet, I think it a wonderful and generous accommodation to honor our men and women who have and are serving. Thank you so much!


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