You’re turning a year older and as the years start piling up you realize birthdays become a bittersweet occasion: it’s a time to celebrate but also to get just a little bit older with each passing year.  So what better way to celebrate yourself and see the positive side of the occasion than with a free meal?  You see, what you save on a good meal you can add to what you’ll spend on yourself later… it’s a win-win! And so, I’ve compiled a list of places where you can be fed for free so you can do some extra shopping for that little something you really want that day.

Chatterpaul’s Restaurant (3500 Brock St. N.) in Whitby will give you a free lunch on the day of your birthday, provided you bring ID and call ahead to make reservations.  This promo is available Monday through Friday from 11:30 to 3:30 p.m. Buen provecho!

Imperial Buffet
in Ajax (and other locations in the GTA) has a “Free Meal on your Birthday” promotion as well.  You must bring a valid government photo ID and must also be accompanied by a paying adult.  You can’t combine this offer with coupons or a VIP pass.

Oh, and a tip: Let them know in advance you’re celebrating a birthday and try to mention it a couple of times throughout your stay, otherwise your waitress will forget, and at the end when you remind her, she’ll call the painfully shy busboy whose voice is barely a whisper and who is one vocal chord short of being a mute, and he’ll sing a version of Happy Birthday that only dogs and bats can hear. That’ll make for one chuckle-worthy memory, though.

Tucker’s Marketplace (with locations around the GTA)  also has a free birthday buffet meal on the day of your birthday.  Bring ID and eat to your heart’s content, as their buffet is quite extensive.

Milestone’s: Bring 3 paying patrons and you get your birthday meal for free.  You must sign up for the Milestones Newsletter, include the date of your birthday and they’ll send you the coupon (which must be presented to your waiter) along with valid ID.  This offer is valid not just on the day of your birthday but you can use it any day within that week. Join Milestones Club here

Casey’s Bar & Grill will give a free entree (up to $15) and a free beverage on the day of your birthday.  Must present ID.

Boston Pizza: Join Boston Pizza E-mail Club and receive a free gourmet pasta or a free dessert on your birthday.  You’ll receive an email one week before your birthday, which you can use any day up to the day of your birthday.

Benihana’s Japanese Restaurant: Get a free Teppanyaki style dinner or a free dessert when you bring 3 paying guests.

Tony Roma’s (One location in Toronto) Sign up to receive their newsletter and you’ll receive a coupon for $15 off your entree and get a mini dessert as well.  They’ll send you an email with the coupon, which must be presented to be validated within a week of your birthday.

Elmwood Spa in Toronto: Visit the Elmwood Spa, either on your birthday or within 4 days of the actual date, and receive a complimentary 3-Course Lunch in the 4th Floor Terrace.  You’ll also receive a Surprise Birthday Gift.  This complimentary birthday lunch is available for 1 guest with a minimum regularly priced spa package or retreat expenditure of $100 p/p (before taxes).  Available only Monday to Friday and cannot be combined with any other offers. You must register online (Birthday Registration) to receive your voucher, and this must be presented at the time of validation with proof of your birthday.