Cheap Eats: Summer Restaurant Deals


Fear not, frugal foodie. There are some yummy alternatives to that $5 footlong you’ve been eating all week. In fact, you can still frequent your favorite eatery as long you know the right time to go. MainStreet has come up with some delectable deals that will keep you dining out all summer long.    


Nationwide chain On the Border is currently offering a combo meal. For only $6.99, you get your choice of two One the Border favorites. Choices include Chicken Tortilla Soup, House Salad, Soft or Crispy Tacos, Enchiladas, empanadas (beef or chicken), chicken flautas, chile relleno, or pork tamales. They all come with an order of rice and beans.  

If you’re really into Mexican food, you can visit North American chain Del Taco on Tuesdays when three regular beef tacos purchased from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. will only cost you $1.09. The chain has a very similar deal going on Thursdays when they offer three chicken tacos for $2.09 between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. Their breakfast burrito, however, is available for only 79 cents every day.

Friendly’s has a great meal deal going on right now also. You can get a drink, entrée and sundae for only $9.99. Beyond that, the chain will be giving away free ice cream scoops June 5 from noon to 5 p.m.

T.G.I. Friday’s also has a triple combo deal going. You can get a select appetizer, entrée and dessert for $12.99. No end date for the promotion has been set.  


This is the last week to take advantage of nationwide chain Benihana’s special Filet Mignon for Two deal. For only $39, daters can get two filet mignon tenderloins served with Benihana soup, salad, a shrimp appetizer, hibachi vegetables, steamed rice and hot green tea.

Carino’s, another national chain, currently offers half-price bottles of wine to diners on Wine Down Wednesdays. The chain also offers a monthly four-course dinner with wine pairings for $29.95 a person (May’s event just passed so you’ll have to visit the Web site to see when you can take advantage of this deal in June.)

Laudry’s Restaurants Inc. is offering 25% to 40% off at almost all of its corporately-held chains. Offers vary from chain to chain, so you should check out the corporation’s Web site to find what’s going on at your local Crab House, Meriweather’s or Grand Concourse (just to name a few) near you. The Southern-based Babin’s Seafood House, for example, offers a three-course meal for only $19.99 per person.  Almost all of the offers require that you print out the respective menus and are only available Sunday through Thursday.


Applebee’s is offering a $10 bonus card to anyone who buys $50 in gift cards at participating locations. Those interested in this deal can take advantage of it by buying the gift card online. Carraba’s is currently running the same promotion through June 1. You’ll receive a $10 Amore Card if you buy a $50 gift card in-store or online.

Now through June 20, IHOP is offering $5 off of your next visit if you purchase a $25 gift card. Bulk purchases of $100 or more are not permitted and you can only get these gift cards in-store. The $5 dollar coupon expires July 11. Uno Chicago Grill is also offering a $5 dollar bonus voucher when you buy a $25 gift card. Their gift cards can be purchased online. The $5 coupon is valid June 28 through Aug. 8.


Sometimes eating family style can be the best way to save money, since it’s like bulk shopping in restaurants. Luckily, we found a bunch of restaurants with deals throughout the week.

Carino’s is currently offering half-price family meals (serves two to three people each) every Monday.

Kids can eat for free at Smokey Bones Bar and Fire Grill every Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For every adult entrée you purchase, you get a kid’s meal for free, no coupon required. On Tuesdays, you can take your kids to Eastern and Midwestern chain Max & Erma’s, where kids 12 and under can get a free entrée if their parents are eating. On Wednesday, families in the western part of the U.S. can head over to Coco’s Bakery and Restaurant. After 4 p.m., the chain will feed children 10 and under for no charge. Thursday night those in the southwest can head over to Captain D’s. The restaurant actually offers two kids meals per adult entrée.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Washington, D.C. families can visit Chicken Out Rotisserie to enjoy one free kid’s meal per every adult meal for children 10 and under.

However, if you don’t want to keep track of that hectic schedule, at select Denny’s kids 10 and under can eat free every night from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Families can get up to two free kid’s entrées per adult entrée purchase of $2.50 or more. You can check the restaurant’s  Web site to see if your local Denny’s is participating.


Join Chili’s e-mail club and the chain will send you a coupon for free chips and queso within 48 hours of signing up. Fans of Captain D’s get a free order of fish and fries or chicken and fries when they sign up for the D’s Club. Nationwide chain Texas Roadhouse gives a free appetizer coupon to all new newsletter subscribers as well.

Carraba’s will send you a coupon for a free mini-dessert if you friend them on Facebook. Similarly, new fans who “like” Del Taco on Facebook will receive a coupon for a free Big Fat Crispy Chicken Taco.

You don’t need to friend, fan or subscribe to nationwide Chick-Fil-A to get its new spicy chicken sandwiches for free, but you have to be willing to wait for it. You can reserve your sandwich today … and then pick up the freebie during your allotted time. “Reservations” are being made for May 31-June 5.

Want to bring Grandma or Grandpa along for dinner one night? Here are 20 restaurant deals for seniors.

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