Most people would agree that their birthday is the best day of the year. People shower you with attention and give you free stuff for something you had very little to do with; it wasn't like it was your idea to be born. But hey, that's the way the world works, and we're certainly not complaining. In fact, we want to help make your special day even better!
To help you cash in on some of the best free grub the month, week, and day of your bday, we've dug up the best birthday deals in restaurant land. We've even chimed in with some suggested orders on the off chance you're sticking to your diet on your special day. If you're not, take the suggested orders with a grain of salt. It is your birthday, after all, so if you're in the mood to treat yo self, you totally should! And after the cake eating and celebrating has come to an end, be sure to get back on track with your healthy eating plan with the help of these 20 Weight Loss Tricks You Haven't Tried!
Listen up, Applebee's fans: Joining your favorite eatery's EClub entitles you to a special bday present! All you need to do is visit Applebees.com, plug in your email address, and you'll receive an email on your special day with a coupon for a free dessert.
Eat This: Blue Ribbon Brownie Bite (380 calories)
Not That!: Blue Ribbon Brownie (1670 calories)
NOODLES AND COMPANY
After signing up for emails, Noodles and Company, (one of the 35 Hottest Healthy Restaurants in America), customers can score a free bowl of noodles on their day of birth. We love that they offer every dish is two sizes: regular and small. That means if you're craving something more indulgent like Pad Thai, you can get the 550 calories version instead of blowing your diet on a dish that would normally serve up over 1,000 calories
Eat This: Whole Grain Tuscan Fresca (small, 350 calories)
Not That!: Spaghetti & Meatballs (small, 680 calories)
What's better than a refreshing smoothie on your bday? Not much, except maybe getting one for free! Sign up for Planet Smoothie's Official Birthday Club to get your hands on a complimentary sweet treat!
Eat This: Planet Pro Lite Cocoa & Banana (22 oz, 350 calories)
Not That!: Chocolate Elvis (22 oz, 540 calories)
If you're not already a Starbucks card holder, we suggest you sign up ASAP. Insiders get tons of rewards and it's free and easy to get started. Not only will you receive a 15 percent off coupon for any online purchase after you've enrolled, you can collect points, redeemable for free treats throughout the year. Oh and, you'll also get a free drink on your bday—can't forget that part!
Drink This: Grande skim unsweetened iced coffee with two pumps caramel syrup (65 calories)
Not That!: Grande whole milk Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee with whipped cream (470 calories)
AU BON PAIN
Put your wallet away and get a free salad or sandwich on your birthday. To score the freebies, sign up for Au Bon Pain's email club.
Eat This: Tuna Salad Sandwich (450 calories)
Not That!: Newport Turkey Sandwich (730 calories)
After you sign up for BFG emails and become a special insider, you'll be able to score delicious freebies throughout the year, including a free appetizer on your birthday. (Drool!)
Eat This: Ahi Tuna Sashimi (regular size, 359 calories)
Not That!: Mussels Josephine (regular size, 1019 calories)
Heck, yeah you can still be healthy on your birthday! Whether you're trying to stick to a diet or don't want to be bloated later in your bday dress, you can head to Jamba Juice and enjoy a free, low-cal smoothie—guilt free!
Drink This: Orange Carrot Karma Smoothie (small, 180 calories)
Not That!: Strawberry Surf Rider (small, 320 calories)
When you join Subway's Eat Fresh Club you'll get a free lunch on your special day. Fun fact: The sandwich chain just announced that calorie counts will soon be on display in all 27,000 of its U.S. stores by mid-April! We're loving their healthy initiative!
Eat This: 6" Subway Club with Avocado (370 calories)
Not That!: 6" Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt (610 calories)
Sip on a free, beverage of any size to celebrate your birthday when you're a "DD Perks" member. Can't make it to DD on your actual birthday? No problem. You can cash in anytime during your birth month.
Drink This: Unsweetened iced tea (medium, 20 calories)
Not That!: Minute Maid Orange Coolatta (medium, 330 calories)
EINSTEIN BROS BAGELS
After joining The Einstein Bros "Shmear Society," you can enjoy a free egg sandwich with any purchase on your big day!
Eat This: Asparagus and mushroom egg white sandwich (390 calories)
Not That!: French toast egg sandwich (740 calories)
When you participate in McDonald's Birthday Club Program, your little one can receive a meal on his or her special day at participating restaurants! And speaking of Ronald's greasy grub, check out our exclusive guide, Every Menu Item at McDonald's—Ranked!
Eat This: McNugget Happy Meal with a low-fat milk jug, a cutie, and fries (440 calories)
Not That!: Cheeseburger Happy Meal with a chocolate milk, fries, and strawberry Go-GURT (590 calories, which is nearly half the recommended intake for a 4-8-year-old)
When you sign up for a MyPanera card, you can enjoy a free pastry, coffee, or another treat on your special day. Freebies vary by location.
Eat This: Pastry Ring (220 calories)
Not That!: Cinnamon Crunch Scone (550 calories)
Join "My Chili's Rewards" and blow out your candles with a free (but very caloric) dessert on your birthday. Bonus: After signing up, reward members also get free chips and a choice of guac, salsa or queso with a purchase of an adult entrée.
Eat This: Cheesecake (760 calories—we suggesting splitting this guy with a few friends!)
Not That!: Skillet Toffee Fudge Brownie (1,240 calories)
Create a P.F. Chang's Preferred account to get your hands on a complimentary appetizer or dessert of your choice during your birthday month.
Eat This: Jicama Pork Tacos (320 calories)
Not That!: Crispy Green Beans (small, 690 calories)
Drop by any Denny's Restaurant on your birthday and they'll treat you with a free Grand Slam breakfast. A valid ID with your date of birth is required in order to receive this, so don't leave home without it!
Eat This: Grand Slam with two eggs, two strips of turkey bacon, an English muffin, and seasonal fruit (510 calories)
Not That!: Grand Slam with buttermilk biscuit, chicken sausage patty, two eggs, hash browns (775 calories)
Register a Pinkcard, Pinkberry's loyalty and gifting program, or download the Pinkberry app to get a free yogurt on your birthday.
Eat This: Green tea froyo (110 cal/1/2 cup)
Not That!: Peanut butter froyo (160 calories/1/2 cup)
It's a special day, so you should indulge in something you wouldn't normally eat. And if you're a breakfast fan, the best place to really wile out is at iHop. When you join iHop's "Pancake Revolution" not only are you rewarded with free birthday pancakes, you'll get free pancakes every year on your anniversary of joining, too!
Eat This: Original Buttermilk (3 pancakes, 410 calories)
Not That!: Harvest Grain 'N Nut (3 pancakes, 660 calories)
First, the good news: When you join the Smashburger's SmashClub, you'll receive a shake free of charge on your birthday. The bad news: None of them carry fewer than 810 calories (!!!) and many of them are made with heart-harming hydrogenated oils. This is definitely a once-a-year- indulgence, and one you should share with a friend or two.
Eat This: Strawberry shake (810 calories)
Not That!: Chocolate peanut butter shake (936 calories)
CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN
After you've signed up for CPK Pizza Dough Rewards, you'll be eligible to get a free dessert during your bday month
Eat This: Salted caramel pudding (530 calories)
Not That!: Butter cake with ice cream (1,280 calories)
When you're part of Dairy Queen's Blizzard Fan Club, you'll get an extra-special coupon on your birthday. Though DQ doesn't reveal what it is, rumor has it that will entitle you to a free medium Blizzard. If you're trying to shrink your love handles but still want to indulge on your special day, ask if you can size down to a mini or a small.
Eat This: Banana Split Blizzard (medium, 580 calories; small, 450 calories)
Not That!: Oreo S'mores Blizzard (medium, 1,140 calories; small, 830 calories)
JERSEY MIKE'S SUBS
Once you've signed up for Jersey Mike's email club, you can get your hands on a free sub and drink the week leading up your candles and cake day.
Eat This: Turkey breast & provolone wheat mini (405 calories)
Not That!: Chicken club wheat mini (600 calories)
STEAK 'N SHAKE
As long as you include your birth date when you sign up for the ultra-exclusive Steak 'n Shake eClub, you'll get a little something extra on your special day. Though they don't reveal what's up for grabs on their site, our top-secret source says most locations dole out free burgers.
Eat This: Single Steakburger with cheese (330 calories)
Not That!: Grilled portobello 'n swiss Steakburger (770 calories)
CUPS FROZEN YOGURT
Join the VIP list to get a free cup of Cups Froyo on your birthday. The flavors vary at all locations but be sure to add some toppings like walnuts, raspberries or unsweetened coconut sneak in some extra nutrition!
Eat This: Euro tart froyo (90 calories/0.35 cup)
Not That!: Low-fat milk chocolate (130 calories/0.35 cup)
Sign up to receive exclusive emails from Ruby Tuesday and get a free burger on your b-day.
Eat This: Ruby's Classic Burger with fries (1,062 calories)
Not That!: Colossal Burger with fries (1,697 calories)
Get a free milkshake on your birthday when you register for Arby's emails—just stick to the small; they aren't quite as bad at Smashburger's but they're still pretty caloric and sugary!
Drink This: Vanilla shake (small, 380 calories)
Not That!: Chocolate shake (small, 440 calories)