Last year, I got all contemplative over turning 25 years old, exploring some of the common issues associated with a quarter life crisis. Now that I’m another 365 days older, I’m not completely sure if those issues have been resolved, but I’m certainly getting more comfortable with my lot in life and I’m happier than ever that I can run my own freelance writing business and make a decent livable income from it.

Yup, today is my birthday and I’m turning the ripe old age of 26. It’s one of the stranger times in your life where everyone who is older than you sees you as “just a kid”, but teenagers and kids see you as a grumpy old “grown up”. Then again, some people never really grow up. I also learned the other day that my birthday is only a couple days after that of Zac Johnson. Happy belated birthday, Zac!

The best way to celebrate a birthday is with good food, good booze, and good company. You’ll have to provide the latter two items yourself (though the good company will probably supply the good booze too), but I can help you out with the first one. Well, it’s arguable whether it’s good food, but at least it’ll be free. Get ready to gorge yourself.

Free Breakfast

First, you’ll want to get your free breakfast at Denny’s Restaurants. All you have to do is show up with valid identification and they’ll supply you with a meal on the house. The catch is that you have to come with someone else (who orders a meal of their own) and both of you have to get a beverage of some kind (like coffee). Alternatively, you can scarf down on two meals and two drinks yourself, but that’s pretty gross. A Grand Slam breakfast with pancakes, bacon, and sunny side eggs really hits the spot.

Free Lunch

After letting that breakfast digest, you can go to Red Robin to get a free gourmet burger and fries. This requires pre-registration with their online eClub, but the process takes all of 30 seconds and you’ll get an email voucher every year for your free burger. Although you won’t find a $60 foie gras burger, you will be able to find ones with bacon, cheese, mushrooms, guacamole, fried onions, guacamole, and other interesting toppings. Better still, there is no obligation to get a drink or to force your companion to buy a meal of their own. The burger is straight-up free.

Free Dinner

Before you party hard for the rest of the night, Boston Pizza could be the place to go. Again, if you sign up online with their (free) birthday club, you will be sent a coupon that treats you to either a free gourmet pasta or a free dessert. If you don’t sign up beforehand and just show up, they’ll still give you a free cake on your birthday. Personally, I’d rather get some baked lasagna or jambalaya fettuccine than a slice of chocolate cake.

I also hear that you can get a free Blizzard from Dairy Queen if you join their online birthday club, so you can just head there afterwards. Also, the free vouchers from Boston Pizza and Red Robin last for about a week, so you don’t have to go on your actual birthday. If you’re feeling a little evil, it probably isn’t hard to redeem multiple certificates at multiple locations too.

Do you have any favorite birthday freebies that you’d like to share with the Beyond the Rhetoric community? Let us know through the comment form below!