25 Best Kids Eat Free Restaurants
Savvy parents are always on the lookout for a good deal, especially when it comes to dining out. Budget-conscious families will find just what they’re looking for at many of America’s restaurants where kids eat free offers abound. From toddlers to pre-teens, there are plenty of restaurants vying for families’ attention. These convenient franchise freebies mean nearly every family can find a kids eat free program near them. It’s always best to confirm that the restaurant participates in their franchise’s free kids’ meal deals. Checking on age restrictions and adult purchase rules is also recommended. Here’s the best collection of kids eat free deals across the country. Photo: Llstock/Fotolia
Pizza Hut’s kids eat free program is available at participating restaurants that offer Tuesday Night Dinner Buffet. When an adult purchases the Tuesday buffet, an accompanying child gets a free kids’ buffet. The offer is good for dine-in buffet nights only, and kids need to be 10, or younger. Tuesday Night Dinner Buffet includes unlimited pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert. Parents are encouraged to call Pizza Hut restaurants near them to verify their participation in the deal, as some don’t offer the Tuesday buffet at all. It’s also good to note that international Pizza Huts offer kids eat free programs too that aren’t connected to the buffet.
Another favorite of families with toddlers is Golden Corral. The restaurant offers free kids meals for little ones three and younger when accompanying adults purchase full buffet meals. The deal is available all day, every day. Parents will also want to check out the occasional kids eat free limited time offers. One of these limited offers provides kids age four to 12 with the Golden Corral Kids’ Nights dinner buffet for 99 cents Monday through Thursday. Mini steakburgers, fried cheese ravioli, mac & cheese, and a host of other kid-friendly palate pleasers are on the menu. Adults can indulge in over 150 buffet items for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Photo: Golden Corral
TGI Fridays may be all about working professionals on Friday nights, but kids rule on Mondays and Tuesdays when they get to eat free. The accompanying adult must order a full entrée. Their children’s menu includes grilled chicken with salad and fries or mashed potatoes, batter-fried chicken fingers with fries and salad, Coarralini pasta or fettuccine with marinara, or two mini-cheeseburgers with salad and fries. Kiddie desserts are ice cream sundaes. Diners should expect offers to vary by restaurant location, and call ahead. Adults won’t be at a loss for choice at TGI Fridays either with a variety of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, plated dinners, and desserts.
Ikea may be widely recognized for its sleek Scandinavian-style discount furniture, but on Tuesdays the store offers families a great deal on dining too. No hours limitations here – kids eat free all day when they’re 12 and under. Parents can take advantage of two free kids’ meals for every paid adult entrée. Delicious meals include Grilled Chicken with carrots, string cheese, and strawberries; Chicken Meatballs or Swedish Meatballs with mashed potatoes and vegetables; Chicken Tenders and Fries, or Organic Pasta with tomato sauce. Bonus – they even have free organic baby food on the menu. Parents can fuel the family with energy before taking home that self-assembly furniture project.
Select Applebee’s restaurants offer a Kids Eat Free or with a discount offer on Tuesday nights (under 12 years old). Participation varies nationwide, so please contact your local restaurant for availability. The deal is based on a full-price entrée for an accompanying adult. Parents will love the extensive children’s menu that includes the usual suspects – corn dogs, burgers, and chicken tenders, but also has plenty of nutritious selections. Side dishes like apples and yogurt, carrots, and broccoli accompany fun and tasty options like chicken quesadillas or fried shrimp. Sides and beverages are included in kids’ meals, and beverage selections go beyond the usual sodas. Of course, parents can enjoy Applebee’s famous expansive menu and adult beverages.
Photo: Brent Hofacker/Fotolia
Bennigan’s has been a popular choice for youth sports’ teams dining at the end of a tournament day across the country. It’s a classic family favorite. Parents can take advantage of the restaurant’s kids 12 and younger eat free offer on Tuesdays when Mom or Dad purchases accompanying adult fare. The children’s menu is as tantalizing as the adult menu at Bennigan’s. Kids can choose from classics like Nathan’s Slider Dogs, which is two mini hot dogs; Grilled Cheese; or Burger Bites and Cheese – two mini cheeseburgers. There are also healthier options like seasoned shrimp over rice pilaf with broccoli sauté, or Jr. Kilkenny’s Grilled Chicken Salad.
»Chevy’s Fresh Mex
Tuesday is a popular day across the country for Taco Tuesday promotions, but Chevy’s Fresh Mex makes it extra special with their kids eat free offer. An adult who purchases a full entrée qualifies two kids 10 and under to eat free. Kid’s menu options include build your own tacos that are always a fun choice, kiddie cheese quesadillas, Fresh Mex chicken bites, and at some locations, even chicken or steak fajitas. Parents should check with their local franchise for both participation in Kids Eat Free Tuesdays and children’s menu options. Kid’s meals include sweet corn tamalito; a side of fruit salad, seasonal grilled veggies, apple sauce, or French fries; and dessert.
Photo: Chevy’s Fresh Mex
Tuesday is family day at Chick-fil-A where kids get a free meal with the purchase of an adult combo meal. Parents should keep in mind that this restaurant’s offer is for Tuesday Family Fun Night only, roughly 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Promotion hours may vary, so it’s good to check the local franchise location first. Also, some locations may offer the Family Fun Night on nights other than Tuesday. Chick-fil-A offers families countless reasons to choose their restaurant, including an indoor playground with a toddler zone, free Wi-Fi, high-chairs on wheels, kid’s meal bags that double as cow puppets, and kid’s meal prizes.
»Chili’s Grill & Bar
Home of their Texas-size smoked Baby Back Ribs, Chili’s offers families a complimentary children’s meal on Mondays whenever the accompanying adult buys a full entrée. Every entrée on the kids’ menu is typically $5, and includes a beverage and side dish. Pepper Pals kid-friendly options include all the classics – burger bites, chicken tenders, individual cheese pizza, and corn dogs. There are grilled options too like grilled chicken bites and grilled chicken platters. Nutritional information is printed on the menu to help parents guide their children’s choices. There are plenty of steak and ribs choices for parents to choose from, plus an array of adult beverages.
Photo: Chili’s Grill & Bar
Families with toddlers will love Cicis daily deal where kids three and younger eat free with paying adults. This American buffet-style restaurant specializes in pizza. They provide families with sumptuous daily buffets featuring pasta, pizza, soup, salad, and dessert. Parents will want to check with their local franchise before heading out to the restaurant to be sure they participate in the promotion. It’s wise to ask about other possible promotions too, like their 4th of July promo where kids dressed in red, white, and blue ate free when parents mentioned the promotion. Cicis also offers take-out, but kids eat free deals are dine-in only at the buffet.
Photo: Monkey Business/Fotolia
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Among Denny’s famously discounted meals is their Tuesday kids eat free special. Families can take advantage of the freebie every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Their popular breakfasts are served all day, so kids who want breakfast for dinner can choose from Jr. Strawberry Poppin’ Pancake Breakfast, Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Build Your Own Grand Slam, and Jr. French Toast. Other options include Grilled Chicken on a Stick, Spaghetti, Mac & Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, and a Jr. Cheeseburger. Milkshakes and other beverages are also available. As with all franchise restaurants, it’s best to check with local Denny’s locations to be sure they’re participating in Tuesday Kids Eat Free nights.
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»Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Sundays are traditionally family days and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit celebrates them with a kids 12 and younger complimentary meal deal. One kid’s meal is free with the purchase of each adult $10 entrée. The offer applies to families dining in only. Bonus – kids get a free ice cream item every day at Dickey’s. Kids’ meals include Kids Meat Platter, Kids Slider Plate, Chicken Nuggets, or Grilled Cheese Kids Meal. All are served with a side and a reusable Lil’ Yellow Cup that kids can take home. Adults will love diners’ favorites – slow-smoked meat plates, pork rib plate, and classic beef brisket sandwich.
Photo: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
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At Firehouse Subs, kids can get their grub on for free any given Sunday. Parents will appreciate the chance to get two free kids’ meals with the purchase of a combo meal. A couple with four kids can make out great with this offer – six meals for the price of two. Kids can choose from grilled cheese, hot meatball, hot turkey and provolone, or hot ham and provolone. Sandwiches come with a drink, Rice Krispy treat, and kid-size fire hat. Parents will want to check their local Firehouse Subs locations before heading out, as each restaurant chooses their own day and time for this offer. Firehouse Subs restaurants support local first responders.
Photo: Firehouse Subs
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Tuesdays mean kids eat free at Genghis Grill. A free kid’s meal (with soft drink) is available with each paid adult bowl entrée. At Genghis Grill, it’s understood that kids eat free on Tuesdays, so parents aren’t required to go online to snag a coupon. Keep in mind, however, that restaurants may want proof that the child is a qualifying age of 11, or younger. Kids can get as many free refills as they want. Meals come in three styles – Mighty Macaroni & Cheese, Teriyaki Fried Rice, and Chicken Lo Mein. Not all Genghis Grill restaurants participate in the deal, so parents will want to check their local franchise.
Photo: Slawomir Fajer/Fotolia
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No matter what the brand is going by this week – IHOP or IHOB – kids get to eat free on Tuesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Children need to be 12 and under to take advantage of the offer, and drinks aren’t included. Of course, there’s the requisite purchase of an adult entrée for each kids’ menu item. Whether it’s breakfast or dinner, kids have culinary options here. Meal choices include Jr. Chicken and Waffles, Jr. Cupcake Pancake Combo, French Toast with Nutella, Funny Face Pancake, Create a Face Pancake, Chicken Nuggets, Macaroni & Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, or Jr. Cheeseburger.
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»Lone Star Steakhouse
Lone Star Steakhouse has a sweet deal for families on Tuesdays. With every adult entrée, two kids’ entrées are complimentary – all day long. The only exception is Orlando, Florida, where the restaurants don’t honor the offer. Children can choose from five entrées on the kids’ menu, including breaded and fried chicken tenders, grilled chicken tenders, cheeseburger, Kraft macaroni & cheese, or you guessed it – Kid’s Sirloin Steak. This is a great deal for families raising steak lovers. Adults can look forward to an expansive steakhouse menu that includes their legendary steaks, burgers and sandwiches, soups and salads, appetizers, and desserts.
Photo: Alexander Lupin/Fotolia
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Families looking to save money dining out get twice the opportunity each week at Marie Callender’s. The restaurant offers their kids eat free meals with the purchase of adult entrées on both Tuesdays and Saturdays. It’s easy for kids to find something they like at Marie Callender’s. Items from the children’s menu include, slider burgers, chicken strips, grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, penne pasta, or the kid’s soup and salad bar. Free meals apply to children 12 and younger, and come with a piece of pie. Parents will definitely want to call the restaurant ahead of time to make sure it participates in the Kids Eat Free program, as some are not congruent with the website.
Photo: Marie Callender’s
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Every day is a good day for kids at O’Charley’s. With the purchase of each adult entrée, families get one free kid’s meal. The offer is good all day, every day for kids 10 and younger. Their children’s menu offers 12 meals kids can choose from with calories listed for each entrée, plus a list of healthy sides like fresh broccoli or Mandarin oranges beyond the usual French fries. For the adults, there is an array of American fare from seafood to steaks to burgers. There’s even a category of adult entrées priced under $10. Parents should note that kids’ beverages are not included in the deal, not every franchise participates, and the offer is for dine-in meals only.
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»On the Border
On the Border’s kids eat free offer isn’t something parents should count on being consistently available. The restaurant offers their kids eat free promotions throughout the year, so savvy parents will have to keep an eye out for participating times and locations near them. Offers are one kid’s meal for every paid adult meal for up to five free kids’ meals per table. To take advantage of the deal, adults need only mention the offer to their server once they’ve confirmed the restaurant is participating. No substitutions are allowed with the dine-in only freebie meals. The kid’s menu has fun choices like Cheesy Chicken Taquitos and Build Your Own Mini Tacos.
Photo: On the Border
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»Qdoba Mexican Grill
Families can indulge in kids eat free days at Qdoba Mexican Grill, although they’ll need to confirm the restaurant’s participation and day of the week. Not all locations offer free kids’ meals, and although many offer the promotion on Wednesdays or Sundays, it’s not a sure thing. Children need to be 12 years old, or younger to get one free meal with each purchased adult meal. Both nutritious and affordable, the kids’ menu has options like the Lil’ Chicken Naked Burrito where all the fixings are in a bowl instead of a tortilla. Meals come with choice of a single side like handmade tortilla chips or applesauce. Kid’s meals are assembled tableside for extra fun.
Photo: Qdoba Mexican Grill
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Tuesday is family day at Ruby’s Diner where kids can eat free from 4:00 p.m. to close when they’re 12 and younger. Ruby’s has an expansive kid’s menu, but keep in mind breakfast items won’t be included in the choices, since the restaurant stops serving breakfast before noon and the offer is 4:00 p.m. and later. There are ten kids’ entrées available here from peanut butter & jelly to barbecue chicken breast to a kid-sized turkey burger. All entrées are served with zero grams trans-fat fries, sliced apples, or applesauce. They also include a drink. Upgraded shakes, malts, and floats are extra.
Photo: Ruby’s Diner
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»Steak n’ Shake
Steak n’ Shake is an American classic with a dine-in only kids eat free offer parents can’t refuse. Each kid’s meal deal is available on the weekends when accompanying adults choose an entrée of $9, or more. Deals are dine-in only, and don’t include beverages. Kids Plates for 12-year-olds and younger include mini corn dogs, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, and steakburgers. Plates come with applesauce or fries, but kids can choose banana, baked beans, or mac & cheese sides for a fee. Drinks are extra and include milk, juice lemonade, punch, soda, and milkshakes. There are also ice cream treats for after dinner.
Photo: Steak n’ Shake
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Families who love a good barbecue line up at Tony Roma’s on Tuesdays where kids 12 and younger eat free when the accompanying parent buys a full adult entrée. This deal is limited to two kid’s meals per table. Young diners have choices here. Each kid’s meal comes with a veggie and dip appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Entrées include Heidi’s Hamburger and fries, Round the Globe cheese pizza and fries, Round the World Tony Roma ribs and fries, Kaleb’s chicken strips with plum sauce and fries, El Greco’s grilled cheese and fries, or Jason’s Favorite Kraft Dinner – mac & cheese and toast. Dirt Cup or Sprinkle Sundae top off meals with a sweet treat.
Photo: Tony Roma’s
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»Uno Chicago Pizzeria & Grill
Pizza lovers rejoice, Uno Chicago Pizzeria & Grill has a kids eat free special every Tuesday where little ones get a free meal with the purchase of an adult entrée. The restaurant goes the extra mile to present tantalizing choices to little diners. From Baked Kids Safari Nuggets in the shape of animals to a bowl of spaghetti with a giant meatball to the fixin’s for a make-your-own pizza, this kids’ menu is impressive. Mac & cheese, thin crust individual pizza, cheeseburgers, and chicken pops are also on the menu. Sides include lots of good-for-you choices like red grapes, roasted vegetables, steamed broccoli, and brown rice. For dessert, kids make their own sundaes.
Photo: Uno Chicago Pizzeria & Grill
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25 Best Kids Eat Free Restaurants
- Pizza Hut, Photo: Courtesy of zozankeskin - Fotolia.com
- Golden Corral, Photo: Golden Corral
- TGI Fridays, Photo: Courtesy of Jag_cz - Fotolia.com
- Ikea, Photo: Courtesy of iamgiltine - Fotolia.com
- Applebee's, Photo: Courtesy of Brent Hofacker - Fotolia.com
- Bennigan’s, Photo: Bennigan’s
- Chevy’s Fresh Mex, Photo: Chevy’s Fresh Mex
- Chick-fil-A, Photo: Chick-fil-A
- Chili’s Grill & Bar, Photo: Chili’s Grill & Bar
- Cicis, Photo: Courtesy of Monkey Business - Fotolia.com
- Denny’s, Photo: Denny’s
- Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Photo: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
- Firehouse Subs, Photo: Firehouse Subs
- Genghis Grill, Photo: Courtesy of Slawomir Fajer - Fotolia.com
- IHOP, Photo: IHOP
- Lone Star Steakhouse, Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Lupin - Fotolia.com
- Marie Callender’s, Photo: Marie Callender’s
- O’ Charley’s, Photo: Courtesy of chas53 - Fotolia.com
- On the Border, Photo: On the Border
- Qdoba Mexican Grill, Photo: Qdoba Mexican Grill
- Ruby’s Diner, Photo: Ruby’s Diner
- Steak n’ Shake, Photo: Steak n’ Shake
- Tony Roma’s, Photo: Tony Roma’s
- Uno Chicago Pizzeria & Grill, Photo: Uno Chicago Pizzeria & Grill
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Llstock - Fotolia.com
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