Olive Garden is one of America’s favorite casual dining locations, with more than 800 restaurants across the country that carry this celebrated American-Italian brand. One of the few issues that customers have with this chain is that the prices can be a little on the steep side. But if that’s the case then just drop by during Olive Garden happy hour, when there are a host of specials to enjoy, and there are big discounts across the board.
Olive Garden Happy Hour
Olive Garden hours run from around 11am to around 11pm. The majority of their customers drop by for a quiet evening meal and are there from early evening to just before they close. Olive Garden happy hour times are just before this, as they look to capitalize on off-peak times and get more customers through the door.
From Monday through to Friday Olive Garden happy “hour” actually lasts for three hours, beginning at 3pm and not ending until 6pm. During this time you can save big on their cocktail list, as well as a few light lunch options. These include:
Happy Hour Cocktails = $5
- Red Citrus Spritzer: A refreshing cocktail mixing Porta Vita Rosato with orange and cranberry juice.
- Berry Bianco Spritzer: This simple but delicious cocktail combines a fruity wine with a sweet berry puree.
- Long Island Limoncello: The traditional Long Island Iced Tea is a mix-match of spirits and mixers that shouldn’t work, but do. This one is a little simpler. It combines limoncello with vodka and rum.
- Mango Martini: This is a traditional Martini with a mango splash, which comes courtesy of flavored Malibu white rum.
Happy Hour Small Plates and Snacks = $5
- Tortellini al Forno
- Chicken Meatballs
- Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
You can also grab a bottle of beer or a glass of wine for the same price, and there are new tasting plates added to Olive Garden happy hour menu all of the time.
Olive Garden Happy Hour Weekends
Unfortunately, the Olive Garden happy hour does not extend into the weekend. After all, the restaurants tend to be full throughout most of the day on the weekend, attracting no shortage of crowds for both the lunch and dinner time rushes.
Still, if you can’t bring yourself to pay full price then there are other ways. Just take a look at the Olive Garden coupon and deals information we have listed below.
Olive Garden Coupons
Olive Garden coupons are fairly easy to come across. However, it’s also easy to get frustrated with what’s available. They release new coupons and promo codes all of the time, often invalidating the other ones when they do. They also cut off promo codes after they have been used a set number of times. This is not something that is restricted to Olive Garden coupons, it’s common with all casual dining chains.
They want coupon sites to help them out. They want the extra advertising and the extra business, but they don’t want everyone going through their doors to be holding a ticket to a cheap or a free meal. So, they throw some spanners into the works. They make those coupons available, but don’t always make them valid.
That’s the beauty of casual dining. You rarely get the coupon out until you’ve had your meal and you’re ready to pay. At that point, the only thing you can do if they tell you the coupons are invalid is pay full price. Hardly a losing scenario for them, is it?
Where to Find Valid Olive Garden Coupons
You can scour coupon sites and take your chances. But the best thing to do is to go direct to the source. Check with the Olive Garden social media pages. Check their promotions in newspapers. Make sure you have the coupon and details. If it’s online, don’t just print it out, make sure you get a screenshot of the Olive Garden page posting it.
That way, if they try and turn you down you can play holy hell, letting them know that they were the ones who offered you the promo code in the first place, so they better be the ones to honor it.
Olive Garden coupons and deals are also available during food holidays. They aren’t as closely tied to these as other casual dining and fast food chains are. However, there are some ones that they pay heed to. Such is the case with National Pizza Day. This is one of the biggest food holidays in the US, and one that everyone from Pizza Hut and Dominos, to Macaroni Grill will run promotions for.
Olive Garden Specials
Olive Garden specials attract a lot of interest during the week. For the most part, that’s well deserved. They fill this section of their menu with fresh, seasonal food and they are always experimenting with new dishes that you typically won’t find on the traditional menu.
However, as is the case with all specials, there are occasionally just times when they want to offload some ingredients they got cheap or ingredients that are on the turn. It’s not that the food is bad or overpriced, and it’s definitely not that it has gone off. It’s just occasionally uninspiring and better left alone.
In our opinion, the Olive Garden specials are never the best option in any case. There is a of great, fresh, Italian-inspired dishes on this menu. You can fill-up on handmade breads, freshly made pastas, hand-tossed pizzas and so many other foods that taste, smell and look like they could have been crafted in an Italian grandmother’s kitchen.
With all of that on the go, making your choice of dish and then enjoying what they bring out is all part of the experience. By ordering one of the specials you’re bypassing that.
Maybe we’re just sentimental. Maybe we’re just suspicious. Maybe it’s a bit of both.