20 Restaurants Where Kids Eat For Free

Because why not score a free mini-quesadilla or plateful of chicken fingers for the kids while you still can?

by Emily Kelleher
Originally Published: 
Father and young daughter smiling as they eat together in a restaurant
Getty/Tang Ming Tung

Looking for a break from food prep but don’t want to break the bank with a family meal out? Plenty of restaurant chains still offer deals where kids eat for free on certain days. The only qualifications required are that the child is under 12 years of age, and in some cases, the purchase of an adult meal. The days of the week that kids' meals are free may vary regionally, so it’s best to check with your location before committing. But options abound. From fast-casual restaurants like Applebee’s and Red Robin to more regional chains like Moe’s Southwestern Grill, here are 20 restaurants where kids eat free. Because why not score a free mini-quesadilla or a handful of chicken fingers for the kids when you can?

1. Applebee’s

Kids eat free on certain days of the week based on location. The menu includes a range of classic kids’ favorites and moderately more adventurous dishes, from mac-and-cheese and chicken fingers to chicken tacos, pizza, and corn dogs.

2. Bob Evans

On Tuesdays after 4 p.m., when parents order an adult entrée, kids under 12 eat free. Parents will appreciate the family meals to go, which can be customized for whatever size family you have.

3. Cafe Brazil

For those in Texas, this eclectic cafe offers free meals to kids under 12, with the purchase of an adult entrée from Sunday through Thursday. The menu has Tex-Mex favorites like tacos and empanadas, plus classic brunch picks like waffles. Kids will get a kick out of the “pancake tacos.”

4. Cafe Rio

With the purchase of an adult entrée, you can snag a free kid-sized quesadilla.

5. Chili’s

MyChili’s rewards members get a free kid’s meal as long as they spend at least $5 every 60 days. The kids’ menu includes favorites like sliders, chicken fingers, pizza, pasta, grilled cheese, and quesadilla, so there’s bound to be something for everyone.

6. Denny’s

At this beloved breakfast-heavy joint, kids eat free when adults order an entrée that costs $6 or more. It’s limited to two free kids’ meals per adult, and may apply to different days according to location.

7. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Kids under 12 eat free on Sundays for each adult that spends at least $10. With the hearty portions offered at Dickey’s, nobody will be left hungry.


At the International House of Pancakes, there are certain days and times kids eat free. It varies based on the restaurant location. IHOP also provides a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée. Check your local restaurant for specific times and days.


Everyone’s favorite Swedish home store offers free baby food with each entrée purchased. Plus, certain locations offer free meals for bigger kids on special days of the week.

10. Johnny Rockets

At select locations of this old-fashioned diner and burger joint, kids eat free on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the purchase of a regular entrée and drink.

11. Marie Calendar’s Restaurant and Bakery

Kids under 12 eat free on Saturdays with the purchase of an entrée at this regional chain with restaurants in California, Utah, and Nevada.

12. Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

Kids eat free on Saturdays and Sundays at participating locations of this New England chain.

13. Moe’s Southwestern Grill

At participating locations, kids eat free on Tuesdays. Plus, all entrées come with free chips and salsa, and kids’ meals also include a drink and cookie.

14. Qdoba Mexican Grill

Kids eat free on Wednesdays and Sundays when adults order an enchilada entrée.

15. Red Robin

The savings varies by location, so check with your local franchise. But popular deals include “kids eat free” one night of the week and $1.99 kids’ meals. At all locations, kids can get a free sundae on their birthday, and royalty rewards members get a free burger during their birthday month as well as every 10th item free.

16. Ruby Tuesday

This national chain lives up to its name. Kids eat free every Tuesday after 5 p.m. with the purchase of an adult entrée.

17. Sweet Tomato

This buffet-style restaurant is perfect for the kids who can never seem to answer the question, “What do you want for dinner?” The 50-foot salad bar might even entice them with some veggies. Rewards members get a free kid’s meal on Mondays and Tuesdays.

18. Tony Roma’s

Kids eat free all day, every day at the largest ribs joint in the country. Participating locations only.

19. Uno

Kids eat free every Tuesday at participating locations of this famous Chicago pizza joint. For the more sophisticated palette, Uno offers a surprisingly wide-ranging menu, from classic deep dish to vegan and gluten-free pizzas, seafood options like lemon basil salmon, pastas like buffalo chicken mac-and-cheese and even the buzzed-about Beyond Burger. Plus, they have $6 margaritas. Amen.

20. Kona Grill

This upscale chain features an eclectic menu of steak, seafood, sushi, and more. On Sunday’s kids eat free from 2pm until close, with a purchase of an adult entreé.

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