During most of my 30s, I haven’t been big on celebrating my birthday, but the number of freebies available has given me a good excuse. Many local establishments offer free dessert, but there are a few other treats to enjoy. And of course, there are chains with vegan options.
For many of these, you have to sign up for a newsletter or rewards program so keep this in mind as you’ll want to get on board well before your birthday so you receive notice about your perks in time. I’m focusing on places that I feel have at least somewhat substantial freebies and not something like Chipotle who gives you free chips & guac. Not dissing anyone who likes chips and guac, but it’s not like they’re giving you a burrito.
Note that some are valid only on your actual birthday, some are good within a week, some within a month. Triage what to use first so you don’t lose a reward. There may also be stipulations, like purchasing an entree for a free dessert, so check ahead if you need to. This is by no means a comprehensive list, so if you have a favorite spot that’s not mentioned on here, you should ask if they have something (and then come back here and drop a comment about it!). Also keep in mind these freebies are subject to change.
Twin Cities Independent Businesses
Craft & Crew restaurants: Sign up for their loyalty program for a free entree on your birthday (up to $13) at The Howe, Stanley’s, or Pub 819.
Fig + Farro: free dessert
First Avenue: two free tickets on your birthday to any show (even if it’s sold out) at First Ave, 7th St Entry, Turf Club, or Fine Line. Stop by The Depot Tavern for dinner beforehand, or enjoy vegan options at Turf Club.
J. Selby’s: free soft serve
Pizza Luce: free dessert
Red Cow: free burger
Red Rabbit: free pizza
Trio Plant-Based: free dessert
Baskin Robbins: free scoop of ice cream
Ben & Jerry’s: free scoop of ice cream
Bruegger’s Bagels: free bagel which is supposed to come with cream cheese, so make sure to specify
Caribou Coffee: free drink
Naf Naf Grill: free entree
Starbucks: free drink
I’ll keep this list updated as I’m able, but hopefully this gets you off to a good start. Happy birthday!