Many restaurant chains don’t advertise their deals for kids and many have age limits, but all require the purchase of an adult entree or combo meal, and nearly all require dine-in, not take-out.
Since some restaurants in a chain do not participate, it’s also smart to call ahead to check.
And some restaurants do not participate on holidays such as Mother’s Day, or on holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day or July 4th.
Our list of where kids eat free or cheap is in alphabetical order, because that’s the only fair way.
Our list includes national chains with locations in NYC and the Tri-State area, and also chains not represented here, for those of our NYC followers who travel beyond the five boroughs, and our followers nationally.
Everybody can save money with the NYCOTC list of where kids eat free or cheap.
Applebee’s: Every Applebee’s restaurant is a franchise and sets its own rules, so always call ahead to ask about deals on kids meals. Some locations offer free meals with purchase of an adult entree, special menus for kids, or other deals.
Bennigan’s: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree on a select day of the week. Valid at participating locations only, and the day of week can vary by location. So call your local Bennigan’s first and ask what the deal is, and when.
Back Yard Burgers: Kids eat free on Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult combo meal. The offer is good only for specific items on the kids menu. Good only at participating locations.
Bob Evans: Kids eat free on Tuesdays after 4pm with the purchase of an adult meal.
Carrows: Receive two free kids’ meals with the purchase of one regular adult entree. The offer is good only on Tuesdays, 11am to close. Kids must be 10 years of age or younger.
Chick-fil-A: Many locations offer a “kids eat free on Tuesdays” deal between 5:30-7:30 p.m. with the purchase of an adult combo meal. However, some locations may charge a small fee for the meal, and since some locations do not participate at all, it’s best to call ahead..
Denny’s: The Denny’s site states that Kids Eat Free Days may vary by location. Many restaurants offer the deal on Tuesdays from 4 pm to 10 pm, and some offer the same deal on Saturdays. The offer is valid for two free kids entrees from the kids’ menu with the purchase of an adult entree for $6 or more. Offer is for dine-in only.
Firehouse Subs: Kids eat free all day on one day of the week – the day may vary form restaurant to restaurant, so always call ahead. Many offer a free kids’ meal with the purchase of an adult meal.
Fuddruckers: On Mondays between 4 m to close, kids can eat for $1.99. The offer is good with an adult purchase, and only at participating locations.
Golden Corral: Kids three years of age or younger eat free every night of the week.
Holiday Inn: At locations with an on-site restaurant, up to four kids ages 12 and under can eat free any time of the day. You must be a guest at the hotel to get the deal.
Hooters: Kids eat free on Sundays from 11am to 11pm, at participating locations only, so call ahead.
IKEA: Free baby food for every adult meal at the food court on Tuesdays. There are also some specials throughout the year.
Wendy’s: For a limited time, kids’ meals are just $1.99 every day after 4 pm. Choose from several options.
NYC on the Cheap is a member of the Living on the Cheap network, which supplied research for this list.