MISSION VIEJO, CA — As a Veterans Day 2022 “thank-you” to U.S. vets and current military, restaurants in Mission Viejo and across Orange County are offering freebies and special dining discount deals.
This year, Veterans Day falls on Friday, Nov. 11. In honor of the holiday, Patch has gathered these 11 local deals for veterans and a full list of California restaurants giving back to veterans in Orange County and beyond.
The holiday originated in 1919 as Armistice Day to mark the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I. The date of Nov. 11 is significant because fighting between Allied nations and Germany ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month in 1918, according to the American Legion Auxiliary.
In 1954, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day. And not to be confused with Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all veterans — those who have served and are currently serving, along with those who have passed.
Peruse our annual Veterans Day dining guide, and scroll through the images above, to find deals near you. Don’t forget your military ID or proof of service to redeem the eatery offers.
And to all former and active duty servicemen and women, thank you from Patch!
If you know of other restaurants in your neighborhood offering Veterans Day specials, share with readers in the comment section.

ACAPULCO RESTAURANT & CANTINA: Veterans & active duty military, with valid ID, can receive a free meal on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov 11 — a three-item combo with selections of tacos, enchiladas, chicken taquitos, chicken tamale or chile relleno. Website info. Locations in Costa Mesa, Downey, Glendale & Long Beach.

APPLEBEE’S: Continuing its 15-year, Veterans Day tradition, the chain offers active duty military, veterans, reserves & National Guard a free full-size entrée from an exclusive menu Friday, Nov. 11. These special guests also receive $5 Bounce Back Card to redeem for dine-in, to-go or delivery. Meal options include: 6-ounce sirloin; Double Crunch Shrimp; Fiesta Lime Chicken; chicken tenders; bacon cheeseburger; Oriental chicken salad; & Three-Cheese Chicken Penne. Info. Location finder.

BAR LOUIE: Cocktail for a Cause special running through Jan. 3, the Blood Orange Snow Bird, supports Folds of Honor. For every Blood Orange Snow Bird sold — up to 10,000 cocktails — Bar Louie will donate $1 to the national non-profit that provides educational scholarships to family members of fallen & injured military veterans. The drink features Espolón Reposado, Aperol, vanilla syrup, Monin Blood Orange, pineapple juice, lime & dehydrated blood orange slice garnish. Find more info here. Locations at Northridge Fashion Center, District in Tustin & Promenade at Downey.

LAS BRISAS: Veterans and active duty can receive 20% off their meals on Nov. 11. The coastal eatery specializes in sea-to-table California cuisine infused with traditional Mexican flavors. Must show military ID. Reservations. Location: 361 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

SOL MEXICAN COCINA: To honor the men and women who currently serve and have served our country, the Baja-style Mexican eatery will offer 20% off to veterans & active duty. Website. Restaurants in Playa Vista, Newport Beach & Irvine. Military ID required.

SOLITA TACOS & MARGARITAS: Veterans & active service members are offered 20% off on Veterans Day at the eatery known for its Baja-style Mexican food & hand-crafted margaritas. Locations in Huntington Beach, Valencia & Long Beach. Must show military ID. Reservations.

BUCA DI BEPPO: Veterans & active duty military receive complimentary lunch-size entrée all day Nov. 11. Valid ID for active military or veteran status required. Find locations throughout California.

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN: On Friday, Nov. 11, veterans & active military are invited for a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage & entree from prix-fixe menu with salads, pizza & pasta. Upsells & additions may not be included, and not valid at franchise locations in stadium, university & airport locations. Bring valid ID. Details here. Restaurant finder here.

CLAIM JUMPER STEAKHOUSE & BAR: The tradition to celebrate vets & active duty with a free dine-in meal on Veterans Day continues Nov. 11. Meal options include BBQ chicken salad, classic cheeseburger, Black Tie Pasta, meatloaf & mashed potatoes, grilled shrimp, country fried steak or southern fried chicken. Verification ID required. Locations: Buena Park; Costa Mesa; La Mesa; Palmdale; Rancho Cucamonga; Roseville; San Bernardino; San Diego.

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT: On Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, the BBQ chain is giving away a free Pulled Pork Sandwich all day to military vets & active duty in-store for carryout, in the Dickey’s app, or online at Dickeys.com using code VETFREE. Limit one per customer. Details. California location finder here.

DUNKIN‘: Vets & military can get a free doughnut of choice on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11 at participating shops in California.

FARMER BOYS: On Friday, veterans & active duty military can receive a free Big Cheese, a ¼ lb beef patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, yellow onion & house-made thousand island dressing on a toasted bun. At participating locations. Proof of service required. Follow this link for info & participating sites.

IHOP: Red, White, & Blueberry Pancakes are free for veterans & active duty Friday, Nov. 11 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dine-in only, one order per guest & military ID or proof of service required. Details. Confirm participation with your local IHOP. Location finder here.

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