NOT EVERY COUNTRY celebrates birthdays with presents and cake.
In China, birthday tradition dictates that you slurp down long noodles to represent longevity.
In Jamaica, your friends and family might chase you down and cover you in flour on your birthday.
With perhaps the strangest tradition of all, Swiss parents may hire a creepy clown to follow you around on your birthday. At the end of the ritual, the clown pies you in the face.
Of course, the U.S. is not without its share of unique customs. For instance, it’s become increasingly common for restaurants to treat you to free meals and other goodies on your special day. Track these awesome eateries down, and you can spend your birthday feasting on overstuffed burritos, towering stacks of pancakes and steak dinners.
To start off your search for the sweet and savory, check out these 10 restaurants where you can eat for free on your birthday.
Some restaurants are vague about what birthday gift they give customers, but there are rumors about what may be on the table. Keep in mind that many restaurants require that you sign up for their e-clubs in exchange for your natal day nosh.
Black Angus Steakhouse: Free Steak Dinner
Black Angus Steakhouse rewards Prime Club members with a free dessert – but the restaurant doesn’t stop there. The steakhouse also gifts birthday diners entire steak dinners. Visit the restaurant on your special day to get your fill of bone-in ribeye certified Angus beef. Take note that this offer is only available on your first birthday after joining the rewards club, according to the terms of the Prime Club membership. After that, you’ll receive a free cookie with the purchase of an entree on your birthday.
Buca di Beppo: Free Brownie Sundae
Email club members score a free “colossal brownie sundae” on their date of birth. To receive the offer, you’ll need to sign up for the email club.
Einstein Bros. Bagels: Free Egg Sandwich
On your birthday, Einstein Bros. Bagels will hook you up with one of their egg sandwiches. Stack your birthday bagel with a choice of bacon, turkey sausage or ham and Swiss cheese. Go for a plain bagel, or spice it up with a gourmet variety, like pretzel or pumpernickel. To qualify for this treat, join Einstein Bros. Bagels’ loyalty club, called Shmear Society.
Firehouse Subs: Free Medium Sandwich
Celebrate your birthday week by visiting Firehouse Subs. Receive a free medium sub within six days after your birthday by signing up for the Firehouse Rewards program.
Hooters: Free Wings
Hooters promises a free birthday gift to members of the Hooters loyalty program. Legend has it that this free birthday gift includes 10 of their wings. You may be able to commemorate your special day with a platter of Hooters’ wings, choosing from an assortment that includes bacon-wrapped or boneless.
IHOP: Free Pancakes
Sign up for the IHOP’s MyHop loyalty club to get a free full stack of any of IHOP’s pancakes on your birthday. These are the pancakes listed on the World Famous tab of IHOP’s menu.
Jersey Mike’s: Free Sub and Drink
On their birthdays, Email Club members can wash back one of Jersey Mike’s hot or cold subs with a drink. Take your pick from the menu’s array of ingredients, such as chipotle chicken, 99% fat-free turkey breast or the signature Philly cheesesteak.
Red Robin: Free Burger
Members of Red Robin’s Royalty club earn a free birthday burger during their birthday month. Choose from more than 24 gourmet burgers on the menu.
Spaghetti Warehouse: Free Meal
Pull up a chair at a Spaghetti Warehouse table, and you might score a free birthday meal. If you’re a member of the Warehouse Club, you can enjoy a free special birthday meal.
Texas de Brazil: Buy One, Get One Free Dinner
Texas de Brazil hints at a birthday gift for its email club members. In the past, the birthday gift has included a coupon for a buy one, get one free dinner. When your fellow diner orders one of their Brazilian-inspired meals, you can partake in a dinner of your own, with your pick of meats, like lamb chops, flank steak and chicken sausage.