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THE DISH: Dining deals abound for Veterans Day

The Bakersfield Californian - 11/5/2023

Nov. 5—This week, we will honor those who have served their country. For many restaurants and businesses, that recognition extends to offering free or discounted meals to veterans and active military.

Along with local spots, this list includes chain restaurants participating as compiled by The Military Wallet, a personal finance website for military, veterans and their families, and

Unless noted, these deals are for dine-in meals Friday for veterans and active-duty service members with military ID or proof of service. Always call ahead to confirm participation at specific locations.

Applebee's Grill + Bar (9000 Ming Ave., Suite M): Free dine-in meal from a special menu, which includes options like a 6-ounce top sirloin, double crunch shrimp, fiesta lime chicken, classic bacon cheeseburger and Oriental chicken salad. Veterans will also receive a $5 Bounce Back Card for a future visit within a three-week redemption window.

"Veterans Day is the busiest day of the year in our restaurants," Tony Moralejo, Applebee's president, said in a news release. "When you walk through the doors of an Applebee's on Veterans Day, you can feel the neighborhood coming together. ... We're proud to welcome our heroes and offer them each a complimentary and delicious entree as a small token of our thanks for their service and sacrifice."

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse (10750 Stockdale Highway): Veterans can receive a complimentary Chocolate Chunk Pizookie with any purchase over $9.95 while dining at the restaurant. If they spend over $14.95 on dine-in or takeout, they will receive a coupon for a free appetizer, redeemable between Nov. 12 and Dec. 31.

Black Angus Steakhouse (3601 Rosedale Highway): On Friday, veterans and active personnel can receive a free steak dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturday, they can also enjoy a free 6-ounce top sirloin, served with mashed potatoes and broccoli with garlic butter. Offer good for dine-in or takeout orders (call 661-324-0814 to order).

The steakhouse also offers a "Heroes Discount" offering a 15% discount year-round for police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses and educators.

Buffalo Wild Wings (3316 Coffee Road, 5677 Gosford Road): The chain is offering an order of boneless wings and a side of fries while dining in.

California Fish Grill (5601 California Ave., Suite 100): On Saturday, the chain will offer veterans and active-duty military personnel a complimentary taco and soft drink or iced tea. Taco options include battered fish, Cajun shrimp, Cajun salmon, Cajun fish, grilled chicken or the new mahi Cali-style taco. The value of this offer is up to $8.

"We are deeply grateful for the sacrifices made by our veterans and active-duty military members. Offering them a free taco and a soft drink on Veterans Day is a small gesture of our immense appreciation for their service and dedication to our country," Mark Hardison, chief marketing officer at California Fish Grill, said in a news release.

California Pizza Kitchen (10150 Stockdale Highway): Veterans and active-duty military members can choose a free pizza, full-size salad or pasta from a special menu along with a beverage. Options include Hawaiian, pepperoni, cheese and original barbecue chicken pizzas; Thai crunch, classic Caesar and Italian chopped salads; garlic cream fettuccine with chicken, kung pao spaghetti with chicken and bolognese spaghetti.

All veterans who dine at CPK on Veterans Day can pick up a buy-one-get-one-free voucher for any pizza, pasta or salad good between Nov. 12 and 21.

The chain will also hold a fundraiser in support of Disabled American Veterans. From Monday through Wednesday, the restaurant will donate 20% of all food and beverage sales from diners who mention you are there to support Disabled American Veterans by mentioning or showing the flyer (available on social media and

Those making online orders on those days can use promo code DAV at checkout to aid the fundraiser.

Chili's Grill & Bar (8950 Rosedale Highway, 5443 Gosford Road): On Saturday, the chain will offer veterans and active personnel a free entree from a special menu (oldtimer burger with cheese, six boneless wings, salad and bowl of chili or soup, or chicken bacon ranch quesadillas).

Dickey's Barbecue Pit (3505 Coffee Road): Last year, the chain offered veterans a free pulled pork sandwich.

Farmer Boys (4920 Gosford Road): On Saturday, veterans and active-duty military personnel can receive a free Big Cheese cheeseburger.

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (2649 Calloway Drive): Veterans and current military personnel can pick up a Freddy's original double combo meal card, good for a cheeseburger along with a choice of side and medium drink. No purchase is necessary to receive this special offer, which can be redeemed through Nov. 30.

Customers can also donate to Folds of Honor when dining at the restaurant. The fundraising partnership with the nonprofit, which provides scholarships to spouses and children of America's fallen or disabled service members and first responders, is running now through Nov. 30.

Golden Corral (5001 Ming Ave.): The restaurant will offer a free meal for veterans and active military starting at 5 p.m.Nov. 13 for its Military Appreciation Night. Visit for more information.

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt (4560-B Coffee Road): Veterans can enjoy a free 6-ounce serving of frozen yogurt on Saturday.

Nekter Juice Bar (10424 Stockdale Highway, 4420 Coffee Road): Veterans and active duty military members can enjoy a free 16-ounce juice or smoothie from Nekter Juice Bar on Saturday.

New Vintage Grill (9901 Hageman Road and 3320 Truxtun Ave., Suite 150): Last year, the local spot offered a free order of biscuits and gravy for veterans and active military.

Pilot Flying J (17047 Zachary Ave.): From Friday to Sunday, service members and their families verified through in the myRewards Plus app will receive a free meal credit valued up to $12. The offer can be claimed Nov. 10 to 12 through the myRewards Plus app and redeemed at participating Pilot, Flying J and One9 Fuel Network travel centers.

Red Robin (2701 Ming Ave.): On Saturday, the chain will serve veterans and active-duty military a free Red's Tavern Double burger, which comes with endless refills of bottomless steak fries.

Sizzler (900 Real Road and 2650 Mount Vernon Ave.): From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the steakhouse will offer a free lunch to any active-duty military or veteran. Options include the Malibu chicken, 6-ounce tri-tip steak or half-dozen crispy shrimp entree.

Starbucks (multiple locations): Veterans, active service members and their spouses can receive a free tall hot or iced coffee on Saturday.

Travel Centers of America (Buttonwillow at I-5 and Highway 58; Wheeler Ridge at I-5 and Laval Road West): A free meal will be available on Saturday for all active-duty military personnel, veterans and reserves.

Wendy's (multiple locations): Free breakfast combo offer from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Wienerschnitzel (multiple locations): The world's leading hot dog chain is offering a free chili dog meal with a small order of fries and small beverage.

If you know of any other dining deals for Veterans Day, send them to

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter: @realstefanidias.


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