National Coffee Day 2022: Where To Get The Best Food Freebies And Deals

You know what all-important American food holiday is coming up? We're not thinking of Thanksgiving — we've got a while to go before Turkey Day. We also don't mean our favorite candy celebration, Halloween, either. Thursday, September 29 is National Coffee Day! As we celebrate this incredible beverage, there are a host of opportunities for getting a little more pep in your step via your caffeine addiction. Since a decided majority of Americans report drinking coffee daily, we wanted to share some of the best places with special java offers to keep you awake all day long.

The good news? There are a lot of companies running specials in honor of coffee's special day. Many of these include free coffee, while others offer the possibility of bigger (though sometimes more elusive) prizes. Some are thinking outside of the mug, too: A significant number of restaurants and quick-service restaurants not known for their coffee are also serving up some extra joe (per WalletHub).

So where can you get an actual cup without paying for it? There are a host of opportunities for the thrifty out there, especially if you're willing to download an app or two to make it happen (per CNET).

Free (or very cheap) coffee

Dunkin' is celebrating National Coffee Day with free medium or hot iced coffee with any purchase. The catch? You need to be a DD Perks member. Peet's Coffee is likewise offering a free cup of coffee, but it's got to be a small and you'll need to purchase something else to qualify — so you'll want to find a pastry or something else to go with your morning brew. Tim Horton's coffee isn't quite free, but at 25 cents it's close enough, as long as you order it with their app. La Madeleine will also provide you with a free regular or large coffee provided you use their app. Dunn Brothers is taking the same approach with a free medium coffee via app (via WalletHub).

If you're not ready to go the app route, and you're in the right part of the country, you can take advantage of some true freebies. Southern coffeehouse Shipley Do-Nuts will give you a free hot drink with any purchase. Biggby Coffee offers a free 20-ounce brew, hot or iced and no strings attached. Santa Cruz chain Verve Coffee is giving away free coffee to all, with five lucky customers also receiving a year's worth of free joe. If you're in the northeast, Aroma Joe's has got you covered with a 16-ounce hot or iced beverage (per Food and Wine).

Coffee isn't just from coffee shops

The Colorado-based chain Ziggi is also celebrating National Coffee Day, but what kind of coffee you can get for free depends on the level you've risen to on their app. Insiders will need to check out the details, but every tier level has a free coffee reward (per Food and Wine).

Coffee specials aren't just for coffee chains. A hot or iced coffee from McDonald's will only set you back 99 cents when you use the McDonald's app for your purchase. Krispy Kreme is really sweetening the deal: free iced or hot coffee to all patrons, but members score a free, fresh donut as well (per Food and Wine). While Duck Donuts won't give you the free donut, if you buy one, they'll give you a free hot or cold brew coffee. Members of Burger King's Royal Perks will receive a small iced coffee when they buy anything that costs a dollar or more from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. all week long (via WRAL).

For those who prefer a to-go coffee, some gas stations are looking out for you. Wawa is offering a free any size coffee all day long to Wawa Rewards members. And Sheetz will give you a free cold brew with any purchase through their app. Starting at noon, Stewart's Shops will also give you a free hot, iced, or cold brew coffee to power you through your afternoon and evening.

Caffeine to go and other offers

EG America companies, including Cumberland Farms, Loaf N Jug, Turkey Hill, Tom Thumb, Minit Mart, Kwik Shop, Quik Stop, Certified Oil, and Fastrac, are all celebrating National Coffee Day. You can grab a cup of your favorite coffee for free through the company's SmartPay Rewards App. RaceTrac and QuickChek will also give their app users a free coffee when using the coupon "COFFEE" in their app, though QuickChek is only giving this gift to new app users (Per Food and Wine).

For all the bookworms, Barnes and Nobles cafes will offer a free tall hot or iced coffee when you buy any baked item from their stores. If you're more a smoothie person than a caffeine fiend, Smoothie King can take care of you with a 20-ounce espresso or Cold Brew blended smoothies for $5 before 11 a.m.

Over at Caribou Coffee, while you can't get a free cup of joe, they will hook you up with any medium handcrafted beverage for $3 if you're a member of Caribou Perks (new perks members score a free drink with their first visit). Blue Bottle Coffee will give you a free single origin pour over or cold brew when you purchase an 8-ounce bag of beans (per CNET).

More options and rain dates

Panera is recognizing both National Coffee Day on the September 29th and International Coffee Day on October 1 by offering a range of specials over the course of a week (via Thrillist). Anyone who signs up for their Unlimited Sip Club on the Thursday will get two months free; current members receive a $2 discount on all barista beverages, with more offers on the following days.

If you're looking for a bigger deal, Dutch Brothers is offering the chance to win a whole year of free coffee when you scan your Dutch Pass on National Coffee Day. And there are a host of discounts for those who like to order their beans and brew without leaving the house: La Colombe, Bulletproof, Death Wish, Peet's, and Cult Coffee are all offering sizable discounts for home shipments (via CNET). 

And if you miss the big day itself, don't despair! A number of places are ready to take care of you on International Coffee Day including Panera, Stan's (of Chicago), and many other discounted whole bean sellers (per Food and Wine). Tim Horton's will give you a cup of coffee for only 99 cents when you order through the app for the whole month of October. Free coffee and second chances: what more could you ask for?