The Twin Cities’ Best Birthday Deals, Ranked

A putt-putt hole at Can Can Wonderland in St. Paul, who has one of the best birthday freebies in the Twin Cities area

It’s 2020, and you’re still paying for stuff on your birthday? Cut it out!

Due the hiatus I had taken, and then the hiatus to that hiatus thanks to COVID-19, this list is in dire need of updating and getting that information has proven difficult (I could just copy from someone else’s list, but homie don’t play that). Once businesses are back open, I’ll be pursuing information and updating this list.

There are so many companies offering birthday gifts to sign up for their e-clubs, you can easily make a list of 100 or more … but wouldn’t it be nice if someone listed ONLY the good ones? Well, here I am! This list offers only the best birthday discounts and freebies in the Twin Cities. No empty calories. I made this list with two key factors in mind:

Value Score: What do you get? We’re only interested in the big deals. Free appetizers and desserts aren’t enough.

Degree of Difficulty: Does it require a purchase? How much time have you got to redeem it? If it’s not worth the trouble, it’s not listed here.

This list is being constantly updated. If I’m missing a good deal, let me know and I’ll have a look! Thanks to everyone who has left comments on the site and on social media. Original post date: February 26, 2017. Last update: June 23, 2019

A woman holds a slice of birthday cake at a restaurant

1. ACME Comedy Company (Signup, Location)

What you get: Four free tickets!
Value Score: 20
Degree of Difficulty: 2
This is the best birthday freebie in the Twin Cities, and it’s not really close. I’ve never seen a bad show at this North Loop joint, and here you go getting $60 in tix. You can only cash it for Tuesday-Thursday shows, but you have all month to figure that out. While you’re at it, their Insider Club gets you into a free show once a month on top of that!

2. Tria (Website, Location)

What you get: A free dessert, and a killer discount on a bottle of wine!
Value Score: 9
Degree of Difficulty: 3
It’s a fancy restaurant in North Oaks, but the prices aren’t as bad as you’re probably thinking. Sweetening the deal: you’ll get a free dessert and a dollar amount equivalent to your new age off a bottle of wine! It’s good within three days before or after your birthday, and requires the purchase of two entrees (thanks Karen!).

3. CARA Irish Pubs (Signup, The Local West End location)

What you get: $25 in CARA Pub Cash
Value Score: 7
Degree of Difficulty: 1.5
Yeah, so $25 in CARA Pub Cash will buy you a burger AND leave you with enough to get a head start on your birthday buzz. The cash gets credited onto your CARA Pub Club card, which means you need a CARA Pub Club card. Check out what you get with it, though! The credit goes on a few days before your big day, and you have a week to spend it once applied. It’s good at any CARA pub, and you can see the locations on the CARA website.

4. First Avenue/7th St. Entry/Turf Club (Concert Calendar, First Ave. Location)

What you get: Two free tickets to a show
Value Score: 13+
Degree of Difficulty: 4
First Avenue offers a free concert ticket for you and a friend on your birthday, even if the show is sold out. On top of that, once you’re in, you’re given a ticket for a free bottle of champagne. If it was good enough for Prince, it’s good enough for you (thanks Alison!).

And hey: if you don’t like any shows that night on the main stage, don’t sweat. This deal works at the 7th St. Entry and Turf Club, too!

5. Can Can Wonderland (Website, Location)

What you get: A free round of golf and a free drink!
Value Score: 10
Degree of Difficulty: 3
Just head out to Midway St. Paul on any Thursday during the month of your birthday, have three paying friends handy, and you’ve got 18 free holes at Minnesota’s most unexampled golf course. As for your free drink, you don’t get to choose from every cocktail but I was told most of them are game. They have a cocktail called Happy Birthday. If you’re being indecisive, just get that one.

If you’re not into golf, you get two hours of arcade time for free, but come on. Play the golf.

6. Pizzeria Pezzo (Website)

What you get: A free pizza, up to $16
Value Score: 10
Degree of Difficulty: 3
Their tagline is “Pezzo per Pezzo.” I don’t know what that means, but who cares. You’re free on the Tuesday night of your birthday week, right? PERFECT. Just get three friends together and head out to Pezzo in White Bear Lake. They offer you a free coal-fired pizza (up to $16) for free! If you’d rather go deep dish, you get 40 percent off the price of that. That’s one hell of a deal per Pezzo.

7. Red Cow (Signup, Locations)

What you get: A free Ultimate Burger!
Value Score: 5
Degree of Difficulty: 1
Look in your inbox a few days before your birthday and BOOM! You’ve got three weeks after you receive the email to cash the coupon, and it’s good at any location (Uptown, North Loop, Cathedral Hill, 50th and France). The deal only covers the cost of their Ultimate Burger ($11.75), but you can put that credit toward a most expensive one if you wish. Me? I get the double-barrel.

You have to be a member of their e-club, but they toss you a free burger right away when you sign up! (Read my Red Cow review here)

8. Houlihan’s (Signup, Location Finder)

What you get: A free entree up to $15, or $15 off your entree
Value Score: 5
Degree of Difficulty: 1.5
For me, $15 was enough for a nice salmon BLT and a scoop of dirty mashed potatoes. What’ll it be for you? Heck, why wait for your birthday? Joining their email club gets you $10 off right away! That $15 you get for your birthday was good for two weeks once it landed in my email box, but be warned: it’s only good at the location you designate as “Your Houlihan’s.” Pick someplace close to you. Me, I like the Eagan location.

9. Lindey’s Prime Steak House (Signup, Location)

What you get: A gift certificate for $25
Value Score: 5
Degree of Difficulty: 3
That’s enough for a steak! Two things to consider, though: 1) the certificate comes in the mail, which leaves you SOL if the wind gets a hold of the mailbag on its way to your house; and 2) you’ve got a two-week time frame, within seven days before or after your birthday. You’ll want to sign up well ahead (the website says 4-6 weeks in advance) because again, it comes in the mail. (Read my Lindey’s review here)

10. Red Rabbit (Signup, Locations)

What you get: A free glass of wine
Value Score: 3-5
Degree of Difficulty: 1
Red Rabbit used to offer a free pizza. Whether you consider this a nerf depends on your perspective. The free glass of wine I got this year was more expensive than the pizza I would’ve ordered. I ordered that pizza anyway, so a lot of you might find this a “puh·tei·tow, puh·tah·tow” kind of change. (Read my Red Rabbit review here)

11. More Free Cheeseburgers (Sign up for Red Robin, Crooked PintRuby Tuesday)

Value Score: 2.5-3
Degree of Difficulty: 1-2
Red Robin burgers are perfectly fine, thank you very much, and did you know they offer unlimited French fries?! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! You get the coupon emailed to you toward the start of your birthday month (so, yep, more e-clubs) and you’ve got all month to use it. Same with Ruby Tuesday: their burgers are okay, and you’re emailed a voucher that covers your first $11. Crooked Pint e-mails you – not just a free cheeseburger – a free Juicy Lucy! Minnesota stand up!

12. Jersey Mike’s (Signup, Location Finder)

What you get: A free sub AND a free drink!
Value Score: 4
Degree of Difficulty: 1
From the site, “Every year on your provided birth date, we will send you a one-time use coupon for a free regular sub and 22oz fountain drink. The offer is valid anytime for the next year.(!!!) Your Email Club subscription must be confirmed at least 24 hours before your birthday to ensure your receive the offer.” Do it! Now! Jersey Mike’s makes a legit sub. Don’t be the idiot who has to wait another 300-some days.

13. Cherokee Tavern (Website, Location)

What you get: Free 10-oz steak 5-oz filet mignon, or tuxedo chicken dinner
Value Score: 5
Degree of Difficulty: 4
This requires more premeditation than the other freebies, but you cannot miss it. The Thursday of the week of your birthday, bring a friend who’s willing to spend at least $15.95 and you get your steak or chicken on the house. No email club, just bring your ID and your most reliable friend/s. Take no chances. (Read my Cherokee Tavern review here)

14. Jersey’s Bar and Grill (Signup, Location)

What you get: A free lunch or dinner up to $10, or $10 off your purchase
Value Score: 4
Degree of Difficulty: 3
A few things with this one. First, the email tells you “Happy Birthday, Have Dinner or Lunch On Us!” While most of Jersey’s menu hangs around $10, it’s not a free meal precisely. You can cash this certificate up to 7 days before and after your birthday, but make sure you print it out. Showing the bartender your phone won’t cut it here. (Read my post-Twin Cities Burger Battle write-up of Jersey’s Bar and Grill here)

15. Pazzaluna (Signup, Location)

What you get: A free dessert, and a bottle of wine with your name on it! (Literally)
Value Score: 5
Degree of Difficulty: 3
Pazzaluna alerted me recently of a change in their celebration methods. Instead of a $25 gift card, now you get a personalized bottle of wine! Just fill out the form (link above) and head in within three days before or after your birthday. You can choose from cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and prosecco. It requires the purchase of two adult entrees, and it’s for dine-in consumption only. Come thirsty and ready to rock!

Last. Wild Bill’s (Website with Locations)

What you get: Ten minutes hunched over a toilet and a brutal hangover, most likely.
Value Score: Oh boy.
Degree of Difficulty: I don’t even know how to score this.
Bring four friends to Wild Bill’s on the Friday of your birthday week and be showered in free drinks, a free boot mug, a free birthday shot, and a birthday toast! They call it “Buck Wild Birthday Fridays” but we’re a little too old for this, right?


(Unsettling silence)

A breakfast meal with hashed browns, eggs, bacon, ham, and toast
Grand Slam, Denny’s, made grander


The Comments Section of This Post

I’ve had some great readers post links to other birthday freebies and discounts. Many of them didn’t make the cut, but it doesn’t hurt to have a look since you’re already here. Big shout out to Mark, who left some highlight-worthy deals down there.

Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room (Signup, Location)

What you get: A free entree (up to $13)
Value Score: 5
Degree of Difficulty: 2
Allegedly, you get a gift from Craft and Crew Hospitality on your birthday, and you get another one on your half-birthday. And don’t sleep on that 5 percent cash back you get on every dollar spent at their locations. Craft and Crew Hospitality has a few restaurants under their umbrella, but I’m pointing you specifically to Stanley’s for their tap list and dog patio. Don’t forget to grab a drink up at Al’s Place. (Read my Stanley’s review here)

Denny’s (Website)

What you get: Free grand slam!
Value Score: 4
Degree of Difficulty: 2
You just need your ID and it needs to be on your birthday. If you’re just waking up and you’ve a Denny’s nearby, aces. Order extra stuff. Pay $4 and get a table of food. Drink their glorious tar-coffee until you’ve got lightning coming out of your fingertips. Denny’s.

Caribou Coffee (Sign up here)

What you get: Free coffee! 
Value Score:
Degree of Difficulty: 1.5
Caribou Coffee’s birthday program is straightforward: sign up for the club and get a free coffee in your email.

Grizzly’s (Signup, Location)

What you get: A free entree, up to $12.99
Value Score: 4
Degree of Difficulty: 7
There’s only one Grizzly’s in the metro area, though, and it’s in Plymouth. To complicate matters, this offer is only good on your birthday. If you’re in the west ‘burbs and you’ve got a meal slot free that day, killer burgers and a criminally-underrated tap beer list await you at Grizzly’s. (Read my Grizzly’s review here)

CRAVE (Signup, Locations)

What you get: $25 $15 off a $50 meal
Value Score: 3
Degree of Difficulty: 10
Is $15 off a $50 tab worth it? Depends on how much you CRAVE. Me? I’m most interested in the ANY-versary 15-percent discount. That could be a more worthy reward in the long run.

Benihana (Sign up here)

What you get: A $30 gift certificate!
Value Score: 5
Degree of Difficulty: 10
Thanks to Carrie Moritz for pointing this one out. Members of Benihaha’s Chef’s Table club get a $30 gift certificate emailed to them during the month of their birthday, which is awesome … but there are so many restrictions on it that GETTING the certificate and USING the certificate have their own separate FAQs on the sign-up page. How complicated is this deal? I made this article almost 10 percent shorter by deleting my explanation. I ain’t typing that shit again.


  1. Glaring omission: First Avenue will let you and a friend get into any show in “the main room” ON YOUR ACTUAL BIRTHDAY (((EVEN IF IT IS SOLD OUT))). And, they’ll give you a drink ticket that is good for a well drink, or a bottle of champagne (albeit a cheap champagne). Just show your ID at the door on the day of show to redeem the offer.

  2. Point of clarification: the offer is only good for shows in the main room AT First Avenue- not just any First Ave booked show at other locations.

  3. Unfortunately the Downtowner car wash has been bought out by Mister Carwash recently, and no longer offers birthday washes. That was the best part of driving home from work on my birthday :(

  4. I’ve been collecting birthday freebies for years, here are some additional Birthday Freebies that you missed:

    Au Bon Pain – Free Sandwhich
    Bruegger’s Bagels – Free Bagel
    Sbarro – Free Slice of pizza
    Chammps – Free Mile High Ice Cream Pie
    Kona Grill – $15 Gift Certificate
    Panera Bread – Free Pastry
    Jamba Juice – Free Medium Drink
    Perkins – Free Magnificent Seven
    Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – Free Pretzel
    Hooters – 10 Free Boneless Wings
    Ben & Jerry’s – Free Scoop of Ice Cream
    Firehouse Subs – Free Medium Sub
    Country Kitchen – Free Meal up to $10
    Houlihan’s – Free Entrée up to $15
    Green Mill – Free 1-Topping Deep Dish Pizza
    Stanley’s/The Howe Kitchen/Pub 819/The Bar Draft House – Free Entrée at any of the 4 restaurants up to $13 (works on your half birthday too)
    Crooked Pint Ale House – Free Jucy Lucy

  5. The carwash deal is back on! It is now called Waterwerks and the Golden Valley location at 901 Louisiana Ave S gives a free basic carwash on your bday when you show your ID

  6. A fun night for your birthday at Skinners’s Pub and Eatery: Come in the day of your birthday with 3 other guests and you (the birthday boy/girl) will receive: Free tap (non-craft) beer from 4-8 pm, free T-Shirt, free appetizer for your party. You must be 21 or older, show valid ID and not be driving. Each guest must order at least one beverage.

  7. Buca sends a $20 off $40 coupon plus a free giant brownie sundae. Portillos gives a free piece of their chocolate cake. My birthday is tomorrow, time to gorge!

  8. Pizzeria Pezzo… Need 4 people in your party for this deal. Come in the Tuesday of your birthday week with three of your friends and get a FREE coal-fired pizza [$16 max] or 40% off your favorite deep dish pizza

  9. Bingo is free all the sessions on your birthday at all the local bingo places and you can go to one session or all the sessions on your birthday plus most bingo places have a party for all the birthday people Durning the month of your birthday

  10. Thanks for your suggestions for birthday deals! Here’s a new one for you:
    Baldamar –
    Address: parking lot of Rosedale Mall at 1642 County Road B2 West in Roseville
    What you get: A free dessert, and a coupon for $15 off during your next visit

    This is a new steakhouse for fine dining (go during lunch to save money). Also has a nice bar area. Serves a buffet on Sundays. Make reservations if going at peak service times.

  11. Thought I’d contribute… Was at Top Golf today and received a free Cookie Sunday- It was huge and awesome! Only reason not to finish is it was a little cold, ya know.. Being February in Minnesota and all haha. Thanks to all that made the list. Happy Bdays all!!


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