Chains With Free Drink Refills
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25 Chains Where Drink Refills Are Free

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Chains With Free Drink Refills
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Drink Up!

Soft drinks, coffees, and teas get marked up significantly to maximize revenues, making them key moneymakers for most restaurants but draining customers' wallets. That's why most cheap guides to dining out recommend that you stick to tap water — but if you're at an establishment that offers free refills, this relatively pricey order turns instantly into a value buy.


Note: In some cases, the availability of free refills may be at the franchise owner’s discretion and may vary by location, especially during the pandemic when dine-in may be closed or self-serve fountain machines may not be available.


Lacey Muszynski contributed to this report.


Related: Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Denny's
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Denny's

Calling itself "America's Diner," Denny's is among the most ubiquitous restaurants chains in the country, serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at more than 1,700 locations in the United States and more than a dozen other nations. Thirsty diners here can get free refills on coffee and sodas.


Related: Most Popular Family Restaurants Across America

McDonald's
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McDonald's

For years many McDonald's stores were known for unlimited free fountain drink refills, even after leaving but presenting a McDonald's cup on a return visit. The policy on freebies is always up to the discretion of the franchise owner, but free refills on soda now seem contained to one visit. Ditto for coffee, and some customers have reported bans on breakfast-hour refills.


Related: Surprising Things You Didn't Know About McDonald's

KFC
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Taco Bell
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Taco Bell

In the 1970s Taco Bell was bought by PepsiCo, and by the 1980s the chain had announced it would offer free soda refills. That made it the first eatery to declare an official bottomless beverage policy, according to some sources. Today, diners can refill fountain drinks an unlimited number of times while inside one of the chain's outlets. Drive-through customers are not eligible for no-charge refills, and once dine-in customers leave, they forfeit the right to more.


Related: Spicy Secrets Behind Taco Bell's Success

Chipotle
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Starbucks
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Starbucks

This is a bit of a secret perk: If you join (for free) the Starbucks loyalty program, refills of hot coffee, iced coffee, or tea are free as long as you're in the store. The loyalty card must be used to be eligible. To join the rewards program, pick up a Starbucks card in a store or download the Starbucks app, free for iPhone and Android.

TGI Friday's
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TGI Friday's

This casual, sit-down restaurant is generous with the freebies, especially for members of its loyalty program and social media followers. Fountain drinks are no exception: Expect free fill-ups for soft drinks, iced tea, and coffee throughout the meal. Sometimes TGI Fridays runs promotions for refills on other beverages, too, such as fruit slushes.


Related: Popular Restaurant Dishes You Can Find in the Freezer Section

Buffalo Wild Wings
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Buffalo Wild Wings

Fans of chicken wings and sports know that the two come together perfectly at this popular hangout. "B-Dubs" is the place where the brave can try eyelash-curling, mouth-igniting chicken wings with the signature "Blazin'" hot sauce, so it's probably a good idea they offer free refills on soft drinks such as Coke and Sprite.


Related: The Best Chicken Wings in Every State

Red Lobster Restaurant exterior
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Red Lobster

One of the big fish in the casual, sit-down seafood restaurant space, Red Lobster has more than 700 restaurants worldwide, and it's generous with its beverages. Diners can enjoy refills on sodas and lemonades, iced tea, hot tea, and coffee.


Related: Eat These Gut-Busting Appetizers at Your Own Risk

The Cheesecake Factory
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The Cheesecake Factory

Now more than 40 years old, this popular chain of some 200 sit-down restaurants has expanded well beyond its starting place in Beverly Hills, California. The Cheesecake Factory menu features full dinners, pizza, and numerous other dishes, and, of course, free refills on soft drinks such as Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Barq's Root Beer, and Dr Pepper.


Related: Cheesecake Factory Dishes With More Calories Than the Cheesecake

Longhorn Steakhouse
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Longhorn Steakhouse

After starting in Atlanta in the 1980s, Longhorn Steakhouse now has about 550 restaurants and has certainly put its brand on steak eating in America. The casual, sit-down restaurant features a wide array of steaks, ribs, shrimp, and chicken dishes. Free refills are offered on lemonades, teas, and Coca-Cola products such as Sprite and Pibb Xtra.

Cracker Barrel
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Cracker Barrel

With 660 locations in 45 states, Cracker Barrel is a familiar sight along America's interstate highways. Based in Lebanon, Tennessee, the restaurant offers hearty, down-home meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with free refills on soda, iced tea, and lemonade.


Related: Places Where Diabetics Can Safely Eat Out

Pizza Hut
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Olive Garden
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Olive Garden

Another dine-in chain that boasts about never-ending appetizers and pasta entrées, Olive Garden servers offer complimentary refills on soft drinks, raspberry lemonade, teas, fruit juices, and "Caffè la Toscana" when requested.


Related: Olive Garden Copycat Recipes

Red Robin
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Red Robin

Red Robin is a Seattle startup that's gone nationwide to boast more than 500 locations, though its headquarters are now in Colorado. Known for big, hearty burgers and appetizers such as fried pickles, Red Robin offers free refills on lemonades, signature beverages, iced tea, soft drinks, and cream sodas — and steak fries for good measure.


Related: These Gut-Busting Cheeseburgers Have More Than 1,000 Calories

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen
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Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

Cheddar's got its start in 1979 and has grown to at least 160 locations, mostly in Texas, the Midwest, and the East. The Arlington, Texas, based casual-dining spot emphasizes its made-from-scratch approach and features favorites such as country-fried steak, "scratch burgers," and made-from-scratch sides including Southern green beans and mac 'n' cheese, as well as free refills on lemonade, iced tea, sodas, and coffee.

Texas Roadhouse
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Texas Roadhouse

Despite its name, Texas Roadhouse has Hoosier roots and Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters, with 580 locations across the country and 22 locations in nine other countries. It was started in Clarksville, Indiana, in 1993. With an emphasis on burgers, steaks, and Texas-size combos, the restaurant offers free refills on sodas, iced teas, coffee, and lemonades.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
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Five Guys Burgers and Fries

This fast-food chain mushroomed over the past several years and now boasts almost a cult following and some 1,600 locations in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Europe, and the Middle East. Go for the food, which consistently ranks among the best in its class, but stay for the unlimited beverage refills from the Coca-Cola Freestyle Soda Fountain, which offers more than 100 options including hard-to-find flavors of Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Dasani, Minute Maid, and Powerade.


Related: How Did Your Favorite Burger Chain Fare During the Pandemic?

Panera Bread
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Panera Bread

This national chain offers bakery items as well as salads, soups, and sandwiches, and has garnered praise from Zagat and other critics. Dining in (free Wi-Fi makes Panera a popular place to work) means just one size of drink, but Panera Bread offers free refills on all fountain beverages, including lemonade, iced tea, and coffee (but not cold brew and espresso).


Related: Panera Merging With Two Other Fast-Casual Brands

Friendly's
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Friendly's

A chain of family-friendly diners famous for ice cream and ice cream concoctions, Friendly's operates around 200 locations throughout the East Coast. The menu promises free refills on Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Barq's Root Beer, Minute Maid Lemonade, and iced tea.

Chili's Restaurant
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Chili's Grill & Bar

Chili's casual dining restaurants advertise bottomless drinks on the house, including fountain drinks, brewed tea, flavored teas, regular and flavored lemonades, the lemonade-and-iced-tea mix known as the Arnold Palmer, and coffee. No dice on complimentary refills on alcoholic beverages.


Related: Restaurants and Retailers Offering Curbside Pickup

Fuddruckers
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Fuddruckers

Diners at this custom-burger chain enjoy unlimited refills on a fountain drink or tea. The policy doesn't apply to coffee, milk, or beer. All-you-can-eat fries are sometimes on offer, depending on the franchise owner and individual store policies.

AMC
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AMC Theaters

Here is another under-the-radar freebie: Buy a large fountain drink (or a large popcorn) at an AMC movie theater and get one free refill at the concession stand.


Related: AMC Will Sell Its Popcorn Away From Theaters

Chick-fil-A
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Chick-fil-A

Founded in 1946, this fast-food restaurant specializing in chicken sandwiches and waffle fries has more than 2,000 locations in 47 states. Here, you might not even need to ask — employees are encouraged to roam the restaurants and ask customers if they'd like a refill, at least before the pandemic. 


Related: The Best (and Worst) Fast-Food Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

Perkins Restaurant and Bakery
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Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

Founded in Ohio in 1958, this breakfast-all-day sit-down chain and bakery — which still has locations in 32 states despite filing for bankruptcy in 2011 — offers bottomless sodas, coffee, and tea. 


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