10 Restaurant Chains With the Best Combo Platters
If you're the type of diner who loves to start browsing a menu days before your actual meal time, then you know that decisions are hard, especially when it comes to food. Enter combination meals, or "combos," which are a popular way worldwide to enjoy several different dishes at one meal.
In Spain, they're called plato combinado, and it's a way to enjoy meat, a salad, a side, and sometimes a fried egg at a restaurant. In the United States, they were called "Blue Plate Specials" through the years, but that term has evolved to calling them combo platters or plates.
The good news is, platters that include a mix of foods that pair well together are still widely available in many of your favorite restaurants. Not only can you try several menu items, the combined price is usually lower than ordering two individual entrées. And at many restaurants, there's usually at least one side included, too.
Ahead, find some of the best combo platters available right now from America's major restaurant chains. But don't forget to check all prices before heading out, as they may vary by location.
This chain is known for always having great combo deals, and they're currently running a promotion for all-you-can-eat boneless wings and fries for just $12.99. The chain tosses its boneless wings with six different sauces like classic Buffalo, honey pepper, sweet Asian, and more. You don't have to pick just one, you can switch sauces with every order, which also comes with unlimited French fries.
Applebee's also offers a two-for-$25 deal, where you and your dining partner choose an appetizer from the menu to split, and then each get an entrée from a list that includes pasta, chicken, and even steak, all for $25.
With about 170 locations around the U.S., Bonefish Grill is a popular spot for creative, fresh seafood dishes—who doesn't love the brand's Bang Bang Shrimp? The restaurant offers a Perfect Pairings menu which offers seafood combos, along with combos of fish and meat. There's the Mahi-Mahi and Shrimp plate, which comes with wood-grilled mahi-mahi, paired with five jumbo shrimp brushed with a light citrus herb marinade. There's also the Chicken and Shrimp with jumbo shrimp, brushed with a light citrus-herb marinade, paired with a wood-grilled chicken breast. Prices range around $25 but vary by location.
Carraba's Italian Grill
This cozy neighborhood chain delivers on a combo platter with its Chicken Trio. This medley includes a small portion of three of the chain's best chicken dishes: Chicken Bryan, Pollo Rosa, and Chicken Marsala. The Johnny Trio, meanwhile, features more Italian style favorites, like the Chicken Bryan, but it's paired with a seven-ounce Tuscan Grilled Sirloin Marsala, as well as the chain's Mezzaluna—half-moon-shaped ravioli with chicken, ricotta, Romano, and spinach in tomato cream sauce. Both come with a soup or side salad for under $29, which is a delicious deal.
The Cheesecake Factory
Believe it or not, this chain makes everything on its enormous menu from scratch daily, which is why it's such a favorite with so many diners. You'll also never leave with an empty stomach, especially if you order a Factory Combination. This combo pairs the restaurant's signature Steak Diane with shrimp scampi, herb-crusted salmon, or Chicken Madeira. All come with a hearty side of mashed potatoes, for around $28.
The country-style chain offers incredible deals on its Family Meals, which consist of a main and several sides that are meant to serve five. One favorite is the Chicken & Dumplings meal, where for just $39, you'll get chicken tenderloins and scratch-made dumplings simmered in rich chicken stock along with a choice of two sides. Some of the included sides are coleslaw, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and green beans, so there's really something for everyone.
This steakhouse is legendary for its big, satisfying portions and its Grillmaster Combos, which deliver a lot of meal for the money. There's a hearty six-ounce sirloin steak, paired with grilled shrimp and served with rice for under $23. There's also a nine-ounce parmesan crusted chicken and a half rack of ribs for under $26. Additionally, the chain offers a six-ounce center-cut Flo's Filet that's seared to lock in all the buttery flavor and paired with a seasoned cold-water lobster tail and melted butter. All come with your choice of two sides, including crispy Brussels sprouts, loaded baked potato, corn on the cob, and even French onion soup.
With over 600 locations around the country, Outback is a popular choice for many diners, and its Steak 'N Mate combos are a delicious deal. You won't leave hungry after pairing the house's signature center-cut sirloin with its famous Alice Springs chicken for around $27, and it comes with a steakhouse potato and a side of your choosing. There are also plates with sirloin and grilled or coconut-style shrimp, also with a potato and a side.
The popular seafood chain has always offered amazing combo meals, such as the crowd-pleasing Admirals Platter, which features shrimp, scallops, clams, and a filet of white fish, all fried and served with French fries for around $27. Or, splurge on a classic surf and turf combo of Maine lobster tail and a seven-ounce sirloin steak with a side for around $37.
Can't choose between steak, ribs, and shrimp? At this chain, you don't have to, with the Ribeye, Ribs, and Crispy Shrimp combo, which includes a six-ounce serving of ribeye, a half rack of baby back ribs, and crispy shrimp, served with fries. Or, try the Triple Play, with crispy shrimp, two hand-breaded buttermilk chicken tenders, and a half-rack of barbecue ribs, with your choice of side. Both come in under $27, which is a lot of meal for the money.
You'll feel deep in the heart of the Lone Star State in this steakhouse, from the laid-back style to the Texas-sized portions. Texas Roadhouse has a deep offering of combination plates, giving you the option to make your own surf and turf with its 12-ounce ribeye, paired with large shrimp that are seasoned, grilled, and drizzled with garlic lemon pepper butter. Or, munch on the chain's famous crispy Chicken Critters paired with a six-ounce sirloin steak. All of the combos come with two sides and are priced under $30.