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7 Restaurant Chains with the Best Lunch Deals Right Now

From soup and salad to so much more, here's where to get cheaper midday eats.
FACT CHECKED BY Meaghan Cameron

A healthy lunch is necessary to keep energy levels up and our bodies fueled and healthy. But sometimes cooking lunch at home or bringing a paper bag to work isn't going to cut it. And while there's nothing wrong with treating yourself to a meal at one of your favorite restaurant chains every once in a while, daily lunches out begin to add up. But getting a healthy lunch at one of your favorite restaurants doesn't have to be expensive, you just have to know where to look for the best midday deals.

Whether you favor a quick sandwich at Panera or want full-on table service at a place like Olive Garden, there's a lunch deal out there for you. After all, what's better than getting your money's worth on food, especially in the current inflation climate?  We gathered together all the best lunch deals at ten popular restaurant chains that you can get right now.

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Cracker Barrel

cracker barrel fish sampler
Courtesy of Cracker Barrel

For an array of midday lunch deals, head over to Cracker Barrel. Not only does the restaurant chain have specials that run every weekday, but there are also a few extra offers you can find on Fridays and weekends (which is highly unusual since those are the busiest business days).

Monday through Friday after 11 a.m., there are three different lunch combos to choose from starting at $8.99 (prices may vary by location). Fish Fridays at Cracker Barrel includes either a plate of Fried Cod Fillets or the Country Coastal Sampler for just under $15!


Olive Garden

olive garden
Olive Garden/ Facebook

Olive Garden is known for its homestyle pasta dishes and Italian-inspired picks, but the restaurant chain also serves up some great lunch specials. For starters, you can get all the classics—soup, salad, and unlimited breadsticks—for under $10. Plus, lunch-sized favorites of Olive Garden classics, such as the Fettuccine Alfredo and Lasagna Classico, start at $8.99 and are available anytime before 3 p.m.


Panera Bread

panera duets
Courtesy of Panera Bread

While Panera Bread offers a Pick Two meal deal option all-day every day, there's another choice that's new to the mix and some might say perfect for a light midday bite. The bakery cafe now sells Panera Duets, starting at $6.99, which are select combinations at an even steeper discount. You can choose four to six different versions and each comes with a half salad or sandwich, plus, a cup of one of Panera's buzzworthy soups.


TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays grilled chicken pecan blue cheese salad
Courtesy of TGI Friday's

TGI Fridays celebrates lunch with a side of free food! If you're out for lunch, stop by and take advantage of the restaurant's saver deal of a free soup or salad with the purchase of a main entree. This deal is available Sunday through Thursday, starting at 11 a.m. and running until 5 p.m. TGI Fridays has a ton of mains to choose from and a good portion for your starter on the house.



chilis soft tacos
Courtesy of Chili's

Craving Tex-Mex for lunch? Chili's has lunch specials starting at $10—including fan-favorite entrees, as well as fresh soups and salads—that can be right at your fingertips Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (at participating locations). While these dishes come in smaller portions, suitable for a midday fix, there's a range of options from the chain's Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadillas or Boneless Buffalo Wings, to a Chipotle Chicken Fresh Mex Bowl or a Double Cheese Burger and fries.


Longhorn Steakhouse

parmesan crusted steak
Longhorn Steakhouse / Facebook

"Lunch like a legend" is how Longhorn Steakhouse advertises its money-saving afternoon menu deals. Entrees and small plates, such as the Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich and a Parmesan-Crusted Steak with a side of your choosing, can be ordered Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and start at the slim price of $8.99.

RELATED: 16 Old-Fashioned Lunch Recipes That Will Save You Money


P.F. Chang's

sesame chicken from pf changs
Courtesy of PF Changs

When you sit down for lunch at P.F. Chang's, you can expect the same luxurious and delicious dishes offered all day but they're perfectly sized for the midday meal. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, customers have their pick of 10+ lunch bowls with all of the chain's best Chinese, Japanese, and Korean flavors coming together in harmony (and for a portion of the regular price!).

Jordan Summers-Marcouillier
Jordan Summers-Marcouillier was born and raised in San Jose, California and now works as a writer in New York, NY. Read more about Jordan