Looking for places to eat for free in 2022? Many restaurants, fast food chains, and ice cream shops across the U.S. offer free eats to celebrate national food days. Use our list of food holidays to find out when and where you can eat for free! Then, visit a participating location during a free food day to nab treats, like donuts, Slurpees, bagels, pizzas, and more! What are you waiting for? Mark your calendars, get set, and go eat!
1/4 (National Spaghetti Day):
Start your New Year’s exercise regimen off by carbo-loading on the cheap. On National Spaghetti Day, the popular Italian food chain Carrabba’s generally offers a steep discount on some of their most popular dishes (creamy alfredo, anyone?). Also, check out other chains (like Maggiano’s and Olive Garden) and your favorite local Italian restaurants for potential deals.
1/15 (National Bagel Day):
Previously celebrated in February, National Bagel Day is something everybody can get behind! Bagel chains like Einstein Bros and Bruegger’s have run promotions in past years, like a free bagel with a qualifying purchase, so be sure you follow them on social media or stop by on this big day for the tasty breakfast staple. Your neighborhood bagel shop or bakery may also have deals on bagels.
1/19 (National Popcorn Day):
Stop by your local movie theater to discover deals on popcorn for National Popcorn Day! Typically, you can find coupons online for free or discounted popcorn. Run a search for Regal, AMC, Alamo Drafthouse, or whatever cinemas are in your area. Additionally, check out snack delivery services like Mom & Popcorn or Garrett Popcorn for BOGO deals, free shipping, and more savings on National Popcorn Day.
2/9 (National Pizza Day):
Pizza lovers, rejoice! On National Pizza Day, follow your favorite pizza restaurants like Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Chuck E. Cheese, California Pizza Kitchen, and Sbarro to get special deals, coupons, and freebies. Don’t miss out on your slice of the pie! Additionally, visit your favorite frozen pizza brand’s social media for coupons and offers on bake-it-yourself pies. If you have a local pizzeria you love, see if they’re serving up a special deal on slices or whole pies.
3/14 (International Pi Day):
Math fans celebrate 3.14 (π) on Pi Day, but pastry and pizza fans celebrate a different kind of pie! A number of punny restaurants, pizzerias, and bakeries use the play on words to offer deals and freebies. In years past, BJ’s Restaurant, Boston Market, Blaze Pizza, and many more offered great deals on pies of all kinds and sizes. So be sure to see what your favorite restaurants are doing when Pi Day approaches. Also, check grocery stores like Kroger and Whole Foods because they’ll sometimes mark pies down to $3.14.
3/20 (First Day of Spring):
On the first day of spring, there’s nothing better than soaking up the sunshine. Well, on second thought, enjoying the sunshine with free ice cream or shaved ice might be better! Historically, Dairy Queen has offered free soft serve cones and Rita’s Italian Ice has held a Free Ice Giveaway. While these popular promos were put on hold during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s major hope they’ll return in 2022. Be sure to check out these two on social media for updates. Also, see if your favorite frozen treat providers are running similar specials to celebrate the arrival of spring.
4/15 (Tax Day):
For some, Tax Day can be painful. However, free food could help lift your spirits! Cash in on Tax Day by following your favorite restaurants like Hardee’s, Arby’s, Cinnabon, Boston Market, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Quizno’s, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop which have been known to offer free food or discounts on this day. You could score a free sausage biscuit, slider sandwich, or something else to excite your taste buds! Once you download their app or follow them on social media, you should be able to see what deals they’re offering.
4/26 (National Pretzel Day):
What better way to celebrate National Pretzel Day than by eating a freshly baked pretzel? The famous pretzel maker Auntie Anne’s is known to offer customers free or discounted treats on this day. Wetzel’s Pretzels is also recognized for giving away free pretzels without requiring coupons or app downloads.
5/8 (Mother’s Day):
Take your mother, or mother-figure, out for a day of free food to celebrate Mother’s Day! In the past, TCBY has offered free frozen yogurt, and Wienerschnitzel has served up complimentary chili dog meals. But because moms are so special, the list of restaurants lining up to treat mothers to free or discounted food is long. Be sure to run a Google search for a complete list of Mother’s Day options when we’re getting closer to the holiday.
5/28 (National Hamburger Day):
Most restaurant chains that are known for their hamburgers — like McDonald’s, Shake Shack, Smashburger, TGI Fridays, and Wayback Burgers— have offered deals on burgers and fries in previous years. Typically, the burgers aren’t actually free, but you could save some money or get free sides. Promotions change from year to year, so follow your favorite restaurant to stay in the loop.
6/3 (National Donut Day):
On the first Friday of June, donut shops like Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Shipley celebrate everyone’s favorite fried dough by offering free donuts, or a deal! Don’t forget to pair that free donut with a piping hot cup of coffee! Yum!
6/17 (National Flip-Flop Day):
Tropical Smoothie Cafe started National Flip-Flop Day in 2007 to celebrate its 10th anniversary and donate some proceeds to charity. It has continued ever since. All you have to do is wear flip flops to one of their participating locations on the third Friday in June to get a free 24oz. smoothie!
6/19 (Father’s Day):
Did you take your mother to TCBY for free frozen yogurt in May? Well, for Father’s Day, you can treat your dad, or father-figure, to a free TCBY frozen yogurt, too! Also, be sure to look at other restaurants you love to see how they’re rolling out the red carpet for fathers.
7/11 (Free Slurpee Day):
On 7-Eleven Day, also known as Free Slurpee Day, 7-Eleven convenience stores around the country give away a free small Slurpee to each customer.
7/13 (National French Fry Day):
Crinkle-cut, curly, waffle, or steak-cut? That’s right, on National Fry Day, you can take your pick and save some cash! Follow McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Wayback Burgers, Steak ‘N Shake, and other burger places or sandwich shops for special offers.
7/12 (Cow Appreciation Day):
Chick-Fil-A created Cow Appreciation Day to show appreciation to their customers and their “Eat Mor Chikin” Cows. The special day has been canceled due to COVID-19 the past two years, but it’s typically held on the second Tuesday of July. There are hopes it will return in 2022, though! All you have to do is visit a participating Chick-Fil-A dressed up as a cow to receive a free entree.
8/6 (Root Beer Float Day):
From a burger and fries to peanut butter and jelly, some combinations are simply classic. And root beer with vanilla ice cream is certainly one of them! On Root Beer Float Day, A&W Restaurants are known to hand out free small Root Beer Floats. Don’t let this deal float away!
8/24 (National Waffle Day):
Did you know the first U.S. waffle iron patent was issued on August 24, 1864? Well, now you know why you can get free (or deeply discounted) waffles on that day. Follow Huddle House, White Castle, Denny’s, Bob Evans, and Waffle House to discover each restaurant’s waffle offers.
9/16 (National Guacamole Day):
Guac lovers can’t seem to catch a break—the delicious smashed avocado dip is almost always extra! However, on National Guacamole Day, avo-lovers can rejoice with some savings on their favorite craving. In years past, Chipotle has given away free guacamole on mobile orders. There’s a good chance the burrito-behemoth will do something similar again this year, so call your local store and double-check. Additionally, check El Pollo Loco, Freebirds, and any other places you frequent for this delicious dip.
10/1 (National Coffee Day):
Raise your mugs to coffee! To celebrate National Coffee Day, many coffee retailers offer freebies and discounts on java. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts often have yearly coffee promotions, and your local coffeehouse may have one as well! If you’re on the road, stop by your nearest 7/11 or Circle K and ask about their National Coffee Day deals, which have included BOGO free coupons and rebates in the past.
10/4 (National Taco Day):
You may already participate in Taco Tuesday deals, but National Taco Day is the whole enchilada of taco savings. Follow your favorite taco restaurants like Taco Bell, Chipotle, or a local establishment to learn about taco promotions to take advantage of!
11/3 (National Sandwich Day):
What’s better than a sandwich? How about a free or discounted sandwich? On National Sandwich Day, scope out deals from your favorite spots like Subway, Schlotzsky’s, or Potbelly. Whether it’s a buy-one-get-one-free deal, a free sandwich with purchase, or steeply discounted six-inch sub, your sandwich will help you fill up without emptying your wallet.
11/16 (National Fast Food Day):
On National Fast Food Day, restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Arby’s, Subway, Taco Bell, Krystal, Sonic, White Castle, and others typically celebrate by offering free or discounted deals to customers. You might even be able to score free delivery with certain apps. Visit your favorite restaurant’s website to learn about offers.
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