A Ranking of FREE Restaurant Bread

Is there anything better than the complimentary bread you get at a restaurant? Honestly sometimes it’s the entire reason my wife will choose one restaurant over another. Not for their entree’s, or specials for that night but rather the free bread.

And with today being Friday, the introduction to the weekend, some of you, states restrictions due to the pandemic pending, might be going out to a similar restaurant this weekend for the free bread.

But whose is better? What chain restaurant has the best free  bread? Here are the rules.

The bread has to be free: I mean duh, come on people that’s the point of this entire blog.

Has to be a well known chain restaurant: The mom and pop restaurant in the town next over that you swear by and is your go to first date place does not count. And regional restaurant chains do not qualify. So for my fellow Rhode Island natives, I’m sorry but Gregg’s delicious rolls, albeit with their frozen, un-spreadable butter, is not acceptable for this list. I am going with restaurants that in living in New England, the mid west and my travels as a minor league radio broadcaster are found far and wide.

Has to be a sit down restaurant: So no fast food, or even faux fast food. Apologies to Popeyes and KFC biscuits or Raising Canes’ Texas toast, but you do not get to participate.

Outside factors DO come into play: Meaning, are there free re-fills? Are dipping sauces/butter for them free? How good are said dipping sauces and butter? The better the situation, the better the ranking.

8) Longhorn Steakhouse

Longhorn Steakhosue

Coming up first is Longhorn Steakhouse. I don’t go to Longhorn very often, which should tell you everything you need to know about how good this bread truly is. I am not a fan of bread you have to cut yourself, that’s not my job. Some of you may think that’s awesome, it’s fun. But why should I have to do the job of the restaurant? Let’s not debate the bottom of the barrel here folks, we have larger loafs to bake.

7) Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory

This is me officially calling out the Cheesecake Factory. I’ve only eaten there a couple of times but they are so overpriced for what? Nothing stands out about this place, it’s just fancy for fancy sake. And when it comes to the bread, I’ve seen other websites rank this higher, but I have this low because who the hell puts nuts on bread? Bread is bread, it’s fine and glorious on it’s own. What sort of hipster crap is this? Take your nuts off my bread Cheesecake Factory! That came out sort of weird.

6) Outback Steakhouse


The bread itself is delicious. Some of you might have Outback’s iconic brown wheat honey bread a little higher on your rankings, but if I tore down Longhorn Steakhouse, I gotta do the same here. Why am I cutting my own bread? Not to mention but the picture above is ridiculous. Has anyone cut their Outback bread into perfect slices like that? I know I sure as hell haven’t. It always comes up a mangled mess when I’m done with it. It’s delicious, but could be better.

5) Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel

This ranking might surprise some folks but hear me out on this one. Cracker Barrel has the absolute best corn bread in the world. It’s not up for discussion, it’s the best corn bread I’ve ever had. The biscuits themselves are so, so. Nothing to write home about. But I could eat a whole plate of Cracker Barrel corn bread EASY. Sadly it always comes out like two minutes before the rest of your food, so you never get to truly enjoy it.

4) Carraba’s Italian Grill

Carraba's Bread

Oh man is this good bread. Fresh and sliced mind you, Italian bread, crisp and crunchy crust, soft inside and to top it off the oil dip along with it. You feel classy, you feel like you’re in an Italian mafia movie when you’re eating this. But it is not the top Italian restaurant on this list…

3) Red Lobster

Red Lobster

Alright, we have officially entered the elite company of free restaurant bread. The other choices were nice, thanks for the free calories but the big boys have shown up. Some of you might be shocked Red Lobster’s iconic “Cheddar-Bay” biscuits are ranked behind anything at all. I’ve had them, delicious, I’ve even bought a box of the ingredients at a grocery store and made them for a family Easter meal and was basically the MVP of the holiday.

But does it sway people enough to choose Red Lobster as the place to eat dinner at? Seafood is a very divisive meal choice, you either love it or hate it, not much in between. I love seafood but I can’t say I’ve ever picked Red Lobster strictly because of their biscuits. I may be in the minority here and I am willing to accept that but this is my list, go make your own if this offends you so much.

2) Olive Garden

Olive Garden

Oh man you just got hungry didn’t you. Just looking at these breadsticks makes your mouth water. Especially when you get some fresh warm ones, oh my god. I mean sex is good and all but a fresh, warm Olive Garden breadstick is just too much to handle sometimes. If you are a high roller and pay the extra like $4 for Alfredo dipping sauce you’ve just went to breadstick heaven. Not only that but they’re unlimited. And Olive Garden desperately promotes that fact.

Sign me up for a place that promotes “bottomless breadsticks” and top it off that they are so damn good makes it a dangerous combination. And you get to take them home! Olive Garden knows they are addicting and that they have you hooked. And I for one am ok with that.

1) Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse

We’ve made it, our top spot. Congratulations to Texas Roadhouse for having the best free bread. They check every single box here. They are delicious, soft, and unlimited. Seriously my wife will have us strategically eat these rolls so that we can get more and get some to go home with. And you get the free cinnamon butter with them, it’s soft and spreadable and instantly melts into the roll as soon as it touches it. It’s easily the best butter or dipping sauce on this list. And there is no waiting for them, you literally get seated with your rolls. It is the MVP of these rankings and doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses, I will gladly die on this hill that Texas Roadhouse has the best bread around. Come and fight me.

Connor Ryan (@connoryan68/@PodVerbalCommit)

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