Top Restaurants That Accept Food Stamps: Where to Use SNAP Benefits

For those who rely on food stamps, dining out with loved ones can often be a luxury left to be desired. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of restaurants across the United States that are now accepting food stamps. Yes, you heard it right. Just like grocery stores and markets, several fast-food chains and restaurants have started to extend their services to accommodate EBT cardholders with dignity and respect.

From burger joints to Mexican restaurants, it’s good to see that businesses are making an effort to be inclusive of those who depend on food stamps. EBT cardholders can now enjoy their meals at their favorite eateries, including KFC, Subway, Church’s Chicken, Carl’s Jr., Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s, among others. This means you don’t have to miss out on your favorite foods or feel excluded from friends and family gatherings just because you’re on public assistance.

So, what spurred on this recent trend of restaurants accepting food stamps? After all, it wasn’t that long ago when using EBT to pay for food at restaurants was unheard of. The shift in attitude began with the realization that many low-income families often live in areas that have very few supermarkets but multiple fast-food restaurants. Restaurants accepting EBT could now provide a varied diet for those that cannot afford to purchase quality food, thus eliminating a contribution to food scarcity and health problems – opening a host of opportunities for all members of the community.

Definition and Eligibility of Food Stamps

Food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a government-funded program that provides individuals and families with financial assistance to purchase food. SNAP benefits can be used at participating retailers, including restaurants in certain circumstances. Eligibility for the program is based on income, household size, and other factors determined by the government.

  • Income: Your income must be at or below 130% of the federal poverty level.
  • Household size: The number of people in your household can affect your eligibility and the amount of benefits you receive.
  • Legal status: You must be a US citizen or legal non-citizen to receive SNAP benefits.

Additionally, individuals who receive other government benefits such as Medicaid or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) may be automatically eligible for SNAP. To apply for SNAP benefits, you will need to provide proof of income, residency, and identity. The approval process typically takes several weeks, and benefits are loaded onto an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card that can be used at participating retailers.

SNAP Program and its Benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, is a government initiative that provides food assistance to low-income individuals and families. This program helps millions of Americans access healthy and nutritious food, especially during difficult financial times.

  • SNAP benefits are issued through an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card, which works similar to a debit card, and can be used to purchase food at authorized retailers.
  • The program also provides nutrition education and job training for recipients to help them make healthy and informed choices and attain financial stability.
  • Eligibility for SNAP is based on income, household size, and other factors, and varies from state to state.

In addition to providing food assistance, the SNAP program has several benefits:

  • Improves Food Security: SNAP reduces hunger and improves food security for millions of low-income individuals and families by providing access to healthy and nutritious food. This, in turn, also helps improve their overall health and well-being.
  • Boosts Local Economies: SNAP benefits not only help individuals and families, but also boost local economies by increasing spending at grocery stores and other authorized retailers.
  • Reduces Poverty: SNAP benefits go a long way in reducing poverty and lifting people out of economic hardship. Research shows that SNAP benefits have a significant impact in reducing poverty and improving the quality of life for low-income families.

Overall, the SNAP program is a crucial safety net for millions of Americans, providing much-needed assistance to help them access healthy and nutritious food and improve their overall health and well-being.

Now that you understand the benefits of the SNAP program, you may be wondering which restaurants accept food stamps. While restaurants are not typically authorized retailers under the SNAP program, a few states have implemented programs that allow eligible seniors and disabled individuals to purchase meals at local participating restaurants. To find out if your state offers this program and which restaurants participate, check with your local SNAP office or visit their website.

StateRestaurant Program
ArizonaArizona Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)
CaliforniaCalifornia Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)
HawaiiSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Restaurant Meals Program
IllinoisRestaurant Meals Program (RMP)
MichiganFood Assistance Program (FAP) Restaurant Meals Program
Rhode IslandRestaurant Meals Program (RMP)

It is important to note that these programs are designed to help eligible seniors and disabled individuals who are unable to prepare meals themselves and is not a general restaurant voucher program.

Federal law and regulations for accepting food stamps

Accepting food stamps, officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a common practice among many restaurants in the United States. However, there are certain federal laws and regulations that these establishments must adhere to when accepting these benefits as a form of payment.

Rights and Responsibilities

  • Restaurants must be authorized by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to participate in the SNAP program.
  • Restaurants must have a designated point-of-sale device that can process Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) transactions and must submit regular reports to the FNS.
  • Restaurants must adhere to pricing regulations set forth by the FNS and cannot charge more for menu items purchased with SNAP benefits than if purchased with cash.

Food Requirements

Not all types of food are eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. The FNS has established guidelines for the types of food items that can be purchased using these benefits:

  • Any food item meant for human consumption, with the exception of hot foods or meals that are intended to be eaten on site.
  • Seeds and plants that produce food for households to eat.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages, including water, juice, and soda.

Retail Food Store Data

The FNS publishes an annual report that provides data on the number of authorized SNAP retailers and the amount of SNAP benefits redeemed at these establishments. According to their most recent report, there are over 250,000 authorized SNAP retailers in the US, including over 43,000 restaurants. In 2019, over $73 billion in SNAP benefits were redeemed at these establishments.

YearAuthorized SNAP RetailersSNAP Benefits Redeemed (billions)

Source: FNS Retailer Management

Types of processed and unprocessed foods covered by food stamps

Food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aims to provide financial support to low-income individuals and families to purchase nutritious food. The program covers both processed and unprocessed foods, with a few exceptions.

Here are some of the processed and unprocessed foods that are accepted under the SNAP program:

  • Fruits and vegetables: All fresh, canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables are covered under SNAP. This includes fruit cups, canned fruit cocktail, frozen vegetables and dried fruits like cranberries, raisins and prunes.
  • Meat, poultry and fish: All types of meat, poultry and fish are accepted, including beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish and shellfish. Processed meats like hot dogs and sausages are also covered.
  • Dairy products: SNAP covers milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. However, products that are not considered to be dairy like non-dairy creamers and whipped toppings are not covered.
  • Bread and cereals: Bread, tortillas, cereals, and pasta are all accepted under SNAP. Processed products like boxed macaroni and cheese and instant oatmeal are also covered. However, snacks like potato chips and pretzels are not eligible for SNAP benefits.
  • Seeds and plants: SNAP also covers seeds and plants that produce food for the household, such as tomato plants or cucumber seeds.

It’s worth noting that there are some exceptions to the types of food that can be purchased with SNAP benefits. Energy drinks, candy, and soft drinks are not covered under the program. Additionally, hot prepared foods or meals like from fast-food restaurants or deli counters are excluded as well.

Here is a table that summarizes the types of foods that are covered and excluded from the SNAP program:

Fruits and vegetablesEnergy drinks
Meat, poultry, and fishCandy
Dairy productsSoft drinks
Bread and cerealsHot prepared foods
Seeds and plants

Overall, the SNAP program covers a wide range of processed and unprocessed foods. This allows recipients to choose the food items that best fit their individual dietary and nutritional needs.

Importance of food access for low-income households

Access to healthy and affordable food is essential for low-income households. A lack of access to nutritious food can have a significant impact on an individual’s health and well-being. For those who struggle financially, food choices are often limited to low-cost, high-calorie, and nutrient-poor options. This lack of access to healthy and nutritious food can lead to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Restaurants that accept food stamps

  • Some fast-food chains, such as Subway and Taco Bell, accept EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards. However, not all locations accept food stamps, and the specific items that can be purchased are limited.
  • Many restaurants that serve hot meals also accept food stamps. Some examples include KFC, Church’s Chicken, and Boston Market.
  • In addition to national chains, local restaurants may also accept food stamps. These establishments often focus on using fresh and locally sourced ingredients, providing low-income households with access to healthy and nutritious food options.

Benefits of restaurants accepting food stamps

Restaurants that accept food stamps can provide low-income households with access to healthy and nutritious food options that might otherwise be impossible. For some individuals and families, eating out may be the only option due to a lack of cooking facilities or time constraints. Others may not have access to quality grocery stores or fresh food items, making it difficult to prepare healthy meals at home. By accepting food stamps, restaurants can help to bridge this gap and provide low-income households with affordable and nutritious food options.

There are also potential benefits for local economies. Restaurants that accept food stamps may see an increase in business, which can help to boost the local economy. Additionally, these establishments may be able to work with local farmers and suppliers to source fresh and locally grown ingredients, further supporting the local community.

Limitations of restaurants accepting food stamps

While restaurants that accept food stamps can provide many benefits, there are also some limitations. For example, there are certain restrictions in place regarding what can be purchased with food stamps. Additionally, not all locations of chain restaurants accept food stamps, which can make it difficult for low-income households to find accessible and nutritious food options. There is also a concern that relying too heavily on restaurants for food could lead to increased consumption of high-calorie and unhealthy options, which could exacerbate existing health issues.

RestaurantLocationEBT Accepted?
Taco BellNationwideYes
KFCNationwideSome locations
Church’s ChickenNationwideYes
Boston MarketNationwideSome locations

Overall, restaurants that accept food stamps can provide low-income households with access to healthy and nutritious food options. While there are some limitations to consider, the potential benefits can make it a valuable option for those who struggle to access affordable and healthy food options.

Restaurant Participation in SNAP and EBT Programs

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) are federal assistance programs that provide financial aid to low-income families for purchasing food. As of 2021, over 42 million individuals receive SNAP benefits in the United States. The program enables the recipients to use a special card to purchase food items at participating retailers, including grocery stores and restaurants.

  • Not all restaurants participate in SNAP or EBT programs. The participating restaurants must apply and meet specific eligibility criteria to be authorized to accept the benefits. Some fast-food chains that participate in the SNAP program include Subway, Jimmy John’s, and Domino’s Pizza.
  • Although the program covers food items such as vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein products, the restaurants can only serve particular items and restrict the purchases to a certain value per meal. For example, in 2021, the maximum value per meal that a restaurant could charge was eight dollars.
  • The restaurant’s application process for accepting SNAP and EBT programs includes submitting an application and participating in a certification process to ensure that they comply with the program’s guidelines. These guidelines include providing a nutritionally balanced meal that meets the minimum dietary requirements.

Although the participation of restaurants in SNAP and EBT programs is limited, it does provide additional options for low-income families to access healthy meals. The programs’ guidelines ensure that the meals provided are nutritious, and the participating restaurants benefit from additional customers and revenue. However, due to the stringent guidelines and application process, many restaurants find it difficult to participate in the SNAP and EBT programs.

Below is a table of selected fast-food chain participants in the SNAP program.

Restaurant ChainEBT AvailabilityMaximum Value per Meal
SubwayYesEight dollars
Domino’s PizzaYesFive dollars
Jimmy John’sNoN/A

It is important to note that restaurant participation in SNAP and EBT programs varies by state and is subject to change. It is recommended to check with the local or state government agencies before using your EBT or SNAP benefits at a restaurant.

Fast-food chains accepting food stamp benefits

Food stamp benefits, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), help millions of low-income Americans purchase food each month. While fast-food chains are not typically associated with healthy eating, they do offer affordable and convenient options for those on a tight budget. Here is a closer look at some of the fast-food chains that accept SNAP benefits:

  • Subway – known for their customizable sandwiches, Subway accepts SNAP benefits at participating locations.
  • Papa Murphy’s – this take-and-bake pizza chain allows customers to purchase with SNAP benefits in-store or over the phone.
  • Taco Bell – while not all locations accept SNAP benefits, some do offer this option for those in need of a quick Mexican-inspired meal.
  • Burger King – while not all locations accept SNAP benefits, Burger King does have a partnership with DoorDash to offer delivery for SNAP customers in certain areas.
  • Domino’s Pizza – this pizza delivery chain allows customers to use SNAP benefits online or over the phone for delivery or carryout orders.
  • Church’s Chicken – this southern-style chicken chain accepts SNAP benefits at some locations.
  • Quiznos – known for their toasted sandwiches, Quiznos allows customers to use SNAP benefits at participating locations.

While the availability of SNAP benefits at fast-food chains may not be the ideal solution for healthy eating, it does offer a way for those in need to purchase a hot meal at an affordable price. It is important to note that not all locations of each chain may participate in the SNAP program, so it is important to check with individual restaurants before making a purchase.

Local and Independent Restaurants Accepting EBT Payments

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards local and independent restaurants accepting EBT payments. This is due to the increasing awareness of food insecurity in our communities and the need for access to nutritious food for all individuals, regardless of their income level.

Fortunately, there are many restaurants across the country that are now accepting EBT payments. These restaurants are not only helping to combat food insecurity, but they are also providing an opportunity for individuals and families to enjoy a meal out and socialize in a comfortable environment.

List of Local and Independent Restaurants Accepting EBT Payments:

  • The New Roots Cafe in Louisville, KY
  • The Patio on Goldfinch in San Diego, CA
  • The Good Truck in New Orleans, LA
  • Soul Vegetarian in Atlanta, GA
  • The Little Grill Collective in Harrisonburg, VA
  • The Silly Goose in Nashville, TN
  • Hungry Heart Cafe in Seattle, WA
  • The Eating Well Cafe in Bloomington, IN

The Impact of Local and Independent Restaurants:

Local and independent restaurants accepting EBT payments are making a significant impact in their communities. They are providing access to healthy food options and reducing the stigma associated with food insecurity. These restaurants also play a vital role in supporting local farmers and suppliers, which helps boost the local economy and promote sustainable agriculture.

Additionally, many of these restaurants offer job opportunities for individuals who may face barriers to employment, such as those with a criminal record or a history of substance abuse.

The Importance of Supporting Local and Independent Restaurants:

By supporting local and independent restaurants that accept EBT payments, we can help to strengthen our communities and promote social justice. These restaurants are providing access to healthy food for all individuals, regardless of their income level, and are helping to reduce food waste by sourcing ingredients locally. Supporting these businesses also helps to promote sustainable agriculture, boost the local economy, and create new job opportunities for marginalized communities.

Restaurant NameLocationEBT Accepted?
The New Roots CafeLouisville, KYYes
The Patio on GoldfinchSan Diego, CAYes
The Good TruckNew Orleans, LAYes
Soul VegetarianAtlanta, GAYes
The Little Grill CollectiveHarrisonburg, VAYes
The Silly GooseNashville, TNYes
Hungry Heart CafeSeattle, WAYes
The Eating Well CafeBloomington, INYes

Let’s support these local and independent restaurants that are making a difference in their communities and helping to build a more just and equitable society.

Online food ordering and delivery services accepting SNAP benefits

Thanks to the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, low-income individuals and families can purchase food items from authorized retailers. While users can use their benefits at grocery stores, many online food ordering and delivery services now accept SNAP benefits making it easier and more convenient for SNAP beneficiaries to purchase food without leaving their homes. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of these online food ordering and delivery services that accept SNAP benefits.

  • Amazon Fresh: Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service that offers a wide selection of fresh produce, meat, seafood, and everyday essentials. Amazon Fresh accepts SNAP EBT as a payment method and offers a discounted membership fee for SNAP beneficiaries. Customers can also avail of free two-hour delivery on orders above a certain amount.
  • Walmart Grocery is a pickup and delivery service offered by Walmart stores that allow customers to shop for groceries online and pick them up at the store or opt for home delivery. SNAP beneficiaries can pay for their orders using their EBT card, and the service is available in nearly all Walmart stores across the United States.
  • Instacart: Instacart is a grocery delivery and pickup service that partners with various grocery stores, including Kroger, Aldi, and Publix. SNAP beneficiaries can pay for their orders using their EBT card and avail of same-day delivery or pickup at the store.
  • These are just a few examples of the online food ordering and delivery services that accept SNAP benefits. So, if you’re a SNAP beneficiary, you now have many options to purchase food items conveniently without leaving your home.

    It’s important to note that SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items and cannot be used to pay for delivery fees or other non-food items. Additionally, several other food delivery and grocery services are in the process of accepting SNAP benefits, and we can expect to see an increase in this trend soon.

    If you’re interested in learning more about SNAP benefits, eligible food items, and participating retailers, visit the USDA website for more information.

    Overall, online food ordering and delivery services that accept SNAP benefits have made life easier for low-income individuals and families. With just a few clicks, customers can order fresh produce, meat, and other essentials and have them delivered straight to their doorstep, ensuring that everyone has access to healthy and affordable food.

    Online Food Ordering and Delivery ServicesAccepting SNAP Benefits
    Amazon FreshYes
    Walmart GroceryYes



    Barriers and challenges to restaurant acceptance of food stamps.

    While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, has been instrumental in ensuring low-income households have access to food, the program is not without its limitations. One such limitation is the lack of restaurant acceptance of food stamps. Here are some of the barriers and challenges that restaurants face when it comes to accepting food stamps:

    • Equipment and system upgrades: Accepting food stamps requires restaurants to have point of sale (POS) equipment that can process Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) transactions. This can require costly upgrades or even a full replacement of existing systems.
    • Bureaucratic barriers: The SNAP program involves significant bureaucracy, including certifications, approvals, and inspections. These requirements can be challenging for restaurants to navigate, particularly small businesses that do not have dedicated staff for these tasks.
    • Tax implications: Restaurants that accept food stamps are required to pay sales tax on the value of those transactions, which can create additional accounting and reporting burdens.

    Despite these challenges, increasing restaurant acceptance of food stamps could have significant benefits for both low-income households and the restaurant industry at large. To facilitate greater acceptance, policymakers and stakeholders will need to work together to address these barriers and incentivize restaurants to participate in the program.

    What Restaurants Accept Food Stamps?

    Q: Can I use food stamps at any restaurant?

    A: No, not all restaurants accept food stamps. Only certain restaurants that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are authorized to accept food stamps.

    Q: What are some restaurant chains that accept food stamps?

    A: Some of the restaurant chains that are authorized to accept food stamps include Subway, Domino’s, Papa Murphy’s, and Chuck E. Cheese.

    Q: Can I use food stamps for delivery or takeout orders?

    A: Yes, as long as the restaurant is authorized to accept food stamps, you can use them for delivery or takeout orders.

    Q: Can I use food stamps to purchase hot, prepared food at a restaurant?

    A: Yes, if the restaurant is authorized to accept food stamps, you can use them to purchase hot, prepared food.

    Q: Are fast food restaurants allowed to accept food stamps?

    A: Yes, some fast food restaurants are authorized to accept food stamps, but it depends on the specific restaurant and whether they choose to participate in the SNAP program.

    Q: Can I use food stamps at locally-owned or independent restaurants?

    A: It depends on whether the restaurant participates in the SNAP program or not. If they do, they are authorized to accept food stamps.

    Q: How do I know if a restaurant accepts food stamps?

    A: You can search for SNAP retailers near you on the USDA’s website or contact your state’s SNAP agency for a list of authorized retailers.

    Closing Thoughts

    Thank you for taking the time to read about what restaurants accept food stamps. It’s important to know that not all restaurants are authorized to accept them, so it’s important to do your research before trying to use them. Remember to check the USDA’s website or contact your state’s SNAP agency for a list of authorized retailers. We hope this information was helpful and invite you to visit us again for more useful tips and advice.