The nation on Sunday will honor U.S. veterans, those who put their lives on the line to defend our freedom.

To recognize Veterans Day, local restaurants will offer free meals to active-duty members and veterans. Sunday is officially Veterans Day, but many people will celebrate through Monday. Listed below are some of the deals and free meals that can be found in the Panhandle. 


Veterans and active-duty members are invited to a free meal at Applebee’s on Sunday. They can choose from eight entrées, including the classic bacon cheeseburger, the 6-ounce top sirloin, fiesta lime chicken, chicken tenders platter, double crunch shrimp, Oriental grilled chicken salad, Oriental chicken salad and the three-cheese chicken penne.

“We offer a free meal and then a free Bud Light for all active duty or veterans,” said Andy Baxter, general manager of Applebee’s in Miramar Beach.

Applebee’s restaurants in Miramar Beach and Crestview will honor the free Veteran’s Day meals. The meal is dine-in only, and military members or veterans should be prepared to prove service with a valid ID or photograph of themselves in uniform. Applebee’s Destin is at 8670 U.S. Highway 98 W. Applebee’s Crestview is at 215 Rasberry Road. For more information, visit 

Olive Garden

Everybody loves the unlimited soup or salad and the garlic breadsticks at Olive Garden. For Veterans Day, military members, retirees and veterans can enjoy those and an entrée free of charge. A choice of five entrées will be available from the restaurant’s special Veterans Day menu.

Olive Garden locations in Fort Walton Beach and Destin are participating. Olive Garden Fort Walton Beach is at 216 Miracle Strip Parkway S.W., and Olive Garden Destin is at 34970 Emerald Coast Parkway. For more information, visit 


Chili’s will offer a special free meal menu for veterans and active-duty members on Veterans Day. The seven menu items include chicken crispers, Margarita grilled chicken, a bowl of chili or soup and salad, chicken bacon ranch quesadillas, just bacon burger, Oldtimer with cheese and Cajun chicken pasta. For more information, call 243-2019 or visit 

TGI Friday’s

All veterans and active-duty members can enjoy $12 off their meal at TGI Friday’s in honor of Veterans Day. Members can choose to use the offer on Sunday or Monday. Eligible customers can choose from a limited menu from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and receive their discount. TGI Friday’s is located at 547 Mary Esther Cut-Off N.W. in Fort Walton Beach. For more information call 244-0003 or visit 


Active-duty members and veterans can skip the Veterans Day rush and come in Monday for a free stack of Red, White and Blueberry Pancakes at IHOP. Locations in Fort Walton Beach and Miramar Beach are participating. IHOP Fort Walton Beach is at 348 Miracle Strip Parkway. IHOP Destin is at 10859 Emerald Coast Parkway. 

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Veterans and active-duty members can start their Veterans Day off right with a free doughnut and coffee at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is at 795 U.S. Highway 98 E. in Destin. For more information visit 

Golden Corral

Veterans, active-duty members, retirees, National Guard and reserve members can enjoy a free buffet and beverage at Golden Corral on Monday from 5-9 p.m. This is dine-in only. All Golden Corral locations will participate, including the one in Fort Walton Beach at 414A Mary Esther Cut-Off N.W. For more information, visit 

Chicken Salad Chick

On Monday, all active duty or military veterans can head to Chicken Salad Chick in Destin for a free Chick Special and regular size drink. Chicken Salad Chick in Destin is at 36150 Emerald Coast Parkway Unit 111. For more information, call 427-6426 or visit 

Tijuana Flats

Veterans and active military members can get a free meal at Tijuana Flats on Sunday. The no-strings-attached free meal includes any entrée and regular fountain drink. Military members must show a valid ID. Both dine-in and to-go orders are included. Online orders are excluded. Tijuana Flats is at 39 Eglin Parkway N.E. in Fort Walton Beach. For more information call 301-0002.