Believe it or not, buying fast food with EBT and SNAP benefits is possible. In fact, many of the top national fast-food restaurants gladly accept EBT and SNAP benefits.
Let’s dive into my list of the 22 most EBT-friendly national fast-food restaurants of 2023 below. I also cover the best sit-down restaurants where you can order hot food and offer a few pointers on using EBT or SNAP benefits to pay for the meal including how to use coupons to stretch your benefits even further.
- 22 EBT-Friendly National Restaurants
- What Restaurants Serving Hot Food Accept EBT?
- How Do You Use EBT or SNAP Benefits to Pay for Food at a Restaurant?
- What Is the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program?
- Can You Use Coupons when Paying with SNAP or EBT?
22 EBT-Friendly National Restaurants
If you find yourself craving a great fast-food burger, make your way to Burger King. This reasonably priced fast-food restaurant is a national favorite for a reason. Considering this is one of the only restaurants serving chicken fries, it’s hard to pass up on a BK meal. Their food is hot and ready, and their burgers are so crave-able; we won’t blame you for returning for seconds (or thirds). View Burger King menu prices here.
Rain, shine, or snow, it’s hard to pass up on a Blizzard from DQ. However, they offer much more than just ice cream. Dairy Queen provides hot Americana food, including chicken baskets, sandwiches, and more, making it an excellent stop for lunch, dinner, or a treat between meals. So if you’re craving tasty fried food and fantastic ice cream stop by Dairy Queen.
If you want warm and ready pizza, Domino’s is an excellent option for you and your household. Delicious pizza, amazing breadsticks, cinnamon sticks, and, in many cases, a restaurant where you can sit down and enjoy your pizza all come together for a great meal option for anyone looking to use SNAP/EBT benefits. Another benefit of Domino’s is a full-size pizza goes a long way, making it perfect for seconds later.
Burgers, fries, chicken products, salads, and of course, the iconic Frosty, Wendy’s is an excellent fast-food choice for anyone looking for a wealth of options. Wendy’s is constantly innovating their fast-food options to be even more decadent, a good example being their line of mouthwateringly good pub burgers. They also offer great salads, making this a healthier choice for fast-food restaurants.
This sit-down dine-in restaurant offers classic Americana fare, from burgers and fries to pasta, full meals, and even salads. Of course, don’t forget dessert, as this restaurant is jam-packed with delicious sweets that are sure to please. Applebee’s is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a restaurant that gives you the whole dine-in experience. View the Applebee’s menu prices here.
McDonald’s is a truly national and international food chain and can be found in every state across the United States. Classic burgers, fries, and milkshakes make up this fast food restaurant and breakfast options. When you think of fast food, you probably think of McDonald’s, which is why it’s extra helpful that this restaurant often accepts EBT/SNAP benefits depending on the state. View the McDonald’s menu prices here.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re craving delectable, crispy chicken fingers. Raising Cane’s takes Louisiana chicken to the next level, offering incredible meals at affordable prices. Their restaurant also accepts EBT/SNAP benefits if your state takes advantage of the RMP, so stop in and stock up on delectable chicken fingers while you’re here. View the menu prices at Raising Cane’s here.
Jack in the Box
Who can pass up tasty Jack in the Box burgers and fries at an affordable price? This burger chain is located on the West Coast and offers regional burgers, fries, and delicious meals. Incredibly popular, Jack in the Box is a fast-food staple for everyone on the pacific coast. With select locations participating in the RMP, you can get their burgers using EBT/SNAP benefits. View the Jack in the Box menu prices here.
Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, lives up to its name with incredible fried chicken made with select herbs and spices for meal combos you want to take advantage of. From their classic bowl meal to family buckets of chicken, there’s something here for the whole family. But, of course, you can’t miss out on the biscuits and butter. No KFC meal is truly complete without them. Check out the latest menu prices at KFC.
El Pollo Loco
As the restaurant name would imply, El Pollo Loco offers some crazy good chicken and other standard Mexicana food that will have you craving seconds or even thirds. However, unlike other options on this list, El Pollo Loco offers dine-in options, allowing you to have a nice, quality meal in a restaurant using your EBT/SNAP benefits at participating locations. Get their well-seasoned, crave-able chicken using your benefits if you live in a participating state.
Panda Express is a fast Chinese food staple. You’re missing out if you have yet to try their orange chicken. They offer favorite American Chinese food classics, including lo mein and other tasty meals. Stock up on their perfectly sticky white rice whenever you visit this location. It makes excellent fried rice the next day and pairs with their meals perfectly. Their General Tso’s chicken is perfect for fans of a little extra spice, and just like all Chinese food, Panda Express leftovers are even better the next day if you have any leftovers. Find the Panda Express menu prices here.
We don’t blame you if you’ve made it this far and run to your favorite Carl’s Jr. location to get a burger. Their food is delicious, crave-able, and convenient, making it a famous fast food restaurant for countless states across the US. From burgers and fries to chicken, this traditional fast-food restaurant is an excellent option for anyone craving a classic, no-frills meal at a reasonable price. Check your state guidelines to see if a participating RMP Carl’s Jr. is near you, and make sure to pick up extra fries.
We say Pizzza, you say Hut, ready? That old chant holds for anyone craving pizza. Pizza Hut has great meal deals that are sure to please. Their $10 dinner box is especially a favorite of college students and anyone looking to get the most out of their meal. The dinner box includes a large cheese pizza, breadsticks, cinnamon sticks for dessert, and all sauces you could want for only $10. Who can pass up that deal? In addition, their restaurants usually offer dine-in experiences and salad bars for those looking for a healthy lunch alternative.
Subway is the most customizable of the fast food options on this list. Their handcrafted sandwiches are perfect for those looking for an on-the-go lunch alternative without partaking in even more fried food. In addition, subway’s sandwich deals are cost-saving and delicious, and their footlongs are perfect for eating half now and the other half for dinner, meaning you can split things up over a couple of meals. Find the menu prices at Subway here.
A distinct lack of breakfast fast food locations makes Denny’s diners stand out on this list. If you want a classic diner experience, visit Denny’s. Their hashbrowns are a favorite, but everything on this traditional American diner menu is worth ordering. Get a large stack of pancakes, sausage, toast, and more, washed down with coffee or cocoa, all for an affordable choice. Check your local guidelines to see if a Denny’s near you takes EBT/SNAP benefits.
Similar to Denny’s, this pancake restaurant offers diner food and American breakfast staples at their dine-in restaurant locations. IHOP is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast all day with countless pancake varieties, bacon, pancakes, hashbrowns, and even burgers. If you’re craving well-cooked breakfast food at fast-food speed with restaurant dining, you want IHOP.
If you want Louisiana chicken anywhere, get to your local Popeye’s. This restaurant specializes in chicken in all its forms, giving you a delicious, deep-fried, breaded chicken every time. You’ll find yourself craving their chicken sandwiches after just one bite. Their chicken tastes best fresh from the frier, but no one can turn down their food even the day after ordering. If you’re a fan of chicken, you’re a fan of Popeye’s.
If you want fast Mexican food, you’re heading to Taco Bell. Jokes about this restaurant aside, Taco Bell’s tacos are unlike any other food out there, and there’s something about their box meals that hit just right late at night. From crave-able combos to the confusing but delicious naked chicken chalupa, Taco Bell is the perfect stop for anyone feeling snackish late at night or anytime. View the Taco Bell menu prices here.
Another pizza place, Papa Murphy’s, offers delicious New York-style pizza. If you’re craving a pie, head to their location for incredible meal deals. Their dough is made from scratch, giving it a unique taste compared to other fast pizza restaurants. In addition, their fresh ingredients elevate each pizza to a heavenly combination of flavors you crave for days afterward. View the Papa Murphy’s menu prices here.
If you’re a fan of meaty sandwiches, visit Arby’s. Their sandwiches are piled high with quality cuts of meats, making it a great deli sandwich alternative if you’re sick of Subway. In addition, their milkshakes pair perfectly with their meat-heavy offerings, giving you the perfect balance of sweet and savory for your meal. And, of course, who could pass up Arby’s curly fries? View the complete Arby’s menu here.
Another sub sandwich joint, if you’re going to Jersey Mike’s, you have to try their meatball sub. It’s incredible. This restaurant offers quality subs at fast-food speeds, making it an excellent option for anyone looking for lunch on the go. Thankfully, Jersey Mike’s accepts EBT/SNAP benefits at participating locations, making it a great go-to lunch for anyone looking for a satisfying lunch, dinner, or anytime meal. See the updated Jersey Mike’s menu prices here.
Last, Jamba Juice accepts SNAP/EBT benefits in certain states, making it a great place to grab a healthy, fruit-filled smoothie. Their recipes use fresh ingredients to craft powerful, delicious smoothies that are sure to please. So, if you’re craving fruits and veggies, you must get to the nearest Jamba Juice for a smoothie to knock your socks off.
What Restaurants Serving Hot Food Accept EBT?
Most of the restaurants in the above list serve delicious, hot food. Here is an itemized list of which EBT-friendly restaurants serve eat-in meals and which fast food restaurants serve hot food.
EBT-Friendly Eat-in Restaurants:
- Domino’s Pizza
- El Pollo Loco
- Pizza Hut
- Papa Murphy’s
EBT-Friendly Hot Fast Food:
- Burger King
- Raising Cane’s
- Jack in the Box
- Panda Express
- Carl’s Jr.
- Taco Bell
- Jersey Mike’s
How Do You Use EBT or SNAP Benefits to Pay for Food at a Restaurant?
If you qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), you can pay for your food at a restaurant using your EBT or SNAP card, like a standard credit, debit, or gift card. Swipe the card when prompted, and the correct prompts should appear on the point of sale (POS) system. Sometimes, you may need to tell an employee you’re paying with SNAP/EBT benefits, as they may need to start a specific program on the POS before you can swipe.
What Is the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program? How Can You Qualify?
According to the USDA, The SNAP Restaurant Meals Program (RMP): “is a state option to allow certain SNAP clients, who might not be able to prepare meals for themselves or who do not have permanent housing for storing and preparing food, to be able to buy prepared meals at restaurants with their SNAP benefits.” To be eligible for the RMP, you must be in a state that participates in the RMP, and all members of your household must be at least one of the following:
- Elderly (60 years or older)
- Disabled (and receiving disability/blindness payments or disability retirement benefits for a permanent disability)
- A spouse of a SNAP-approved individual who is eligible for RMP
Unfortunately, you only qualify for the RMP program in these situations. However, you may still be eligible for EBT and SNAP benefits at participating grocery stores offering warm, pre-made meals.
Finally, don’t be fearful to use EBT benefits at restaurants when you’re allowed to do so. Some people feel ashamed or worried that they will be judged when using EBT or SNAP benefits to purchase food. But you should not feel this way! In fact, restaurants are compensated in the exact same way as if you paid with cash. You are a valuable customer that helps support these establishments. EBT and SNAP benefits are simply another way to pay for food at a restaurant similar to cash, debit or credit cards.
IMPORTANT: SNAP and EBT benefits vary by state. It’s always a good idea to check your state and local laws to determine which restaurants accept SNAP/EBT. Also, check your state guidelines to determine what meals are covered under the Restaurant Meals Program.
Can You Use Coupons when Paying with SNAP / EBT Benefits?
Yes, you can take advantage of restaurant coupons and other discounts when you pay with EBT or SNAP benefits. The USDA.gov officially says on their website that consumers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can use coupons to save on each purchase when available.
The only catch is that you may need to cover the tax of the coupon out of pocket. So for example, if you had at coupon valued at $5.00, you would need to come up with whatever taxable amount your city / county / state requires on a restaurant purchase. Make sure to check out our menu prices above where we always look out for special discounts or coupon codes you can use to save money on each visit.