There's a lot going on right now but we can take a needed break to remember those who have (and continue to) serve our country. Veterans Day falls on a Wednesday this year, offering a midweek break from the everyday for us to come together as a community. 

The annual parade is being held virtually this year, but veterans can still stop in to any number of restaurants on Wednesday for free or discounted treats and meals.

Along with local specials, this list contains offers compiled by The Military Wallet, which is a personal finance website for military, veterans and their families. Unless noted, these deals are for dine-in meals for veterans and active-duty service members with military ID or proof of service on Wednesday. Always call ahead to confirm participation at specific locations and to see if takeout deals are available.

American Legion Post 26 (2020 H St.): Free drive-thru lunch for veterans, choice of hamburger or tri-tip sandwich, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests pay $5/$10 respectively.

Elks Lodge 266 (1616 30th St.): Free tri-tip barbecue lunch for veterans and first responders at 11 a.m. in the parking lot; $8 for others

7-Eleven (multiple locations): Free coffee or Big Gulp for active duty service members, veterans and family members. Note that 7-Eleven app may be required at some locations.

Applebee’s Grill + Bar (9000 Ming Ave., Suite M): Free meal from special menu. Last year's menu included hamburger, sirloin steak, chicken tenders platter, double crunch shrimp, Oriental chicken salad and more.

Bakersfield Pizza Co. & Bar (4105 Ming Ave.): Free large pizza slice with purchase of a beverage.

Better Bowls (1818 G St.): Free mini signature bowl for veterans. The vegan restaurant also offers a 10 percent discount for military and first responders year-round.

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse (10750 Stockdale Highway): Free entree (up to $12.95 value) plus a free Dr Pepper beverage. 

Black Angus Steakhouse (3601 Rosedale Highway): All day, enjoy an all-American steak plate ($10.99), which includes an 8-ounce top sirloin, mashed potatoes, broccoli with garlic butter (other sides may be substituted) and nonalcoholic beverage.

Buffalo Wild Wings (3316 Coffee Road, 5677 Gosford Road): Free 10-piece boneless wings and a side of fries.

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill (200 Coffee Road, Suite A-100): Veterans receive 50 percent off their order.

Camino Real Kitchen & Tequila (4501 Stine Road #304): Free chile verde burrito with purchase of a beverage.

California Pizza Kitchen (10150 Stockdale Highway): Choose a free pizza, full-size salad or pasta from the special menu. 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, bolognese spaghetti; and more.

Chili’s Grill and Bar (8950 Rosedale Highway, 5443 Gosford Road): Free entree from a special menu (just bacon burger, oldtimer burger with cheese, chicken crispers, margarita grilled chicken, salad and bowl of chili or soup, chicken bacon ranch quesadillas or Cajun chicken pasta).

Chipotle (multiple locations): Buy one, get one free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos. Offer only valid on in-restaurant orders.

Cornerstone Bakery (2100 19th St., Suite D): Veterans and active military receive 10 percent off their purchase. 

Covenant Coffee (1700 N. Chester Ave.): From 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 20 percent off purchase for veterans.

The Crest Bar and Grill (5025 Wible Road): Free cup of chef's signature scratch-made navy bean soup and 10 percent off their meal.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (3505 Coffee Road): Free pulled pork sandwich.

Dunkin’ (1800 23rd St., Suite D; 1211 Allen Road, Suite 300): Free doughnut of their choice. People can also show support for veterans crafting digital letters via Dunkin’s Instagram story on Monday. Letters will be printed and mailed to active military members within the A Million Thanks community.

Famous Dave’s (7777 Rosedale Highway): Free Georgia chopped pork sandwich and side dish. Good for dine-in or to-go orders; use code VETERAN for online order.

Farmer Boys (multiple locations): Free big cheese cheeseburger.

Firehouse Subs (3700 California Ave., Suite 300): The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation is allocating all in-restaurant donations from Monday through Nov. 15 to support its military fund. Previous military fund grant awards include all-terrain wheelchairs to injured veterans and grant funding to support Wounded Warriors Project, K9s for Warriors and The Independence Fund.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (2649 Calloway Drive): Free combo meal card, which may be redeemed through Nov. 30.

The Green Frog Meat Co. (5848 Comanche Drive) / The Butcher Shop (20601 Highway 202, Tehachapi): Veterans and active military receive 25 percent off their entire order

Guild House (1905 18th St.): From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., veterans can receive lunch (choice of choice of Bombay chicken entree salad or chicken, barley and lentil soup, carbonnades of beef, cowboy potatoes glazed carrots and cranberry apple pie) for $16, including tax. Call 325-5478 for reservations.

Little Caesars Pizza (multiple locations): Free $5 Hot-N-Ready lunch combo (four slices of Deep! Deep! Dish pizza and 20-ounce beverage) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

New Vintage Grill (9901 Hageman Road): A free order of biscuits and gravy for veterans, active military, firefighters and law enforcement.

Outback Steakhouse (5051 Stockdale Highway): Free bloomin' onion and Coca-Cola beverage for veterans and active service members.

Pilot Flying J (17047 Zachary Ave., 20404 Taft Highway): Free breakfast (including coffee) from its app from Monday through Nov. 15.

PorkChop & Bubba's BBQ (1230 H St.): Free pulled pork or pit beef sandwich with choice of side.

Rancho Grande Mexican Grill (6023 Coffee Road, 12926 Brimhall Road and 5432 Stockdale Highway): Veterans receive a 20 percent discount off meal (excludes alcohol).

Red Lobster (8180 Rosedale Highway): Enjoy a free appetizer or dessert. Guests can choose from starters such as sweet chili shrimp, mozzarella cheesesticks, Parrot Isle jumbo coconut shrimp, crab-stuffed shrimp rangoon, seafood-stuffed mushrooms and signature shrimp cocktail; and desserts including vanilla bean cheesecake, Key lime pie, warm apple crostada, chocolate wave and brownie overboard.

Red Robin (2701 Ming Ave. #G15): Free Red’s tavern burger and bottomless steak fries for veterans and active military who are Red Robin Royalty members (sign up at from Nov. 12 to 30.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill (8850 Rosedale Highway): Free Mom’s ricotta meatballs and spaghetti.

Rubio's Coastal Grill (9200 Rosedale Highway, Suite 200): Free entree with purchase of another entree for veterans and active military.

Sonder (9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 100): Receive 50 percent off bill for veterans.

Starbucks (multiple locations): Free tall (12-ounce) hot brewed coffee for veterans, military service members and military spouses. The chain is also donating 25 cents for every cup of hot brewed coffee sold 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.

Sweet Beast Desserts (600 Coffee Road): Veterans receive 25 percent off purchase.

Sweet Surrender (6439 Ming Ave.): Free cupcake of their choice for veterans.

Yard House (10308 Stockdale Highway): Free appetizer.

Vida Vegan (4530 Stine Road): Two free crispy tacos and fries with purchase of a beverage.

Wienerschnitzel (multiple locations): A complimentary chili dog, small fries and 20-ounce drink.

Know of any other local Veterans Day dining deals? Let us know at

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