Restaurants that Take EBT: A State-by-State Guide

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Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards have changed how people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) use food benefits. This change allows more food options for these individuals and families, as they can now use their benefits at selected restaurants, not just grocery stores. Adding restaurants to the EBT program shows a solid commitment to ensuring all Americans can access healthy meals regardless of income.

The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)

RMP is a facet of SNAP that permits eligible individuals—such as older adults, people with disabilities, and those without homes—to purchase hot, prepared meals at approved restaurants. This initiative recognizes specific individuals’ challenges in preparing meals at home and provides a practical solution to meet their nutritional needs.

How to Use EBT at Restaurants

Using your EBT card at participating restaurants is straightforward. After verifying that a restaurant accepts EBT, you can use your card as a debit or credit card at the time of purchase. It’s essential to be aware of your balance and ensure the establishment is part of the RMP.

Using Your EBT Card at Restaurants

Utilizing your EBT card at participating restaurants involves a few simple steps:

  • Verify Your Eligibility: Confirm that your state has the Restaurant Meals Program and that you qualify based on your status (elderly, disabled, or homeless).
  • Find Participating Locations: Not all eateries accept EBT. Look for establishments that showcase an “EBT Accepted Here” sign or refer to an updated list for specific locations.
  • Place Your Order: Some menu items may be tagged as “EBT-Eligible.” Ask the staff for guidance on what you can purchase with SNAP benefits. Certain places may offer discounted meals for EBT users.
  • Transaction Process: At checkout, use your EBT card like a debit card, entering your PIN to complete the purchase.
  • Keep Your Receipt: It’s wise to keep your receipt as it shows the meal’s cost and your card’s remaining balance.

Eligible Purchases at Restaurants

While the Restaurant Meals Program allows for the purchase of hot, prepared meals, there are restrictions. Items like alcohol, vitamins, or other non-food products remain ineligible for SNAP benefits. Always consult restaurant staff if you need clarification on what qualifies to ensure clarity during payment.

EBT Acceptance and Certification for Restaurants

Thousands of restaurants across certain states participate in the EBT program through the Restaurant Meals Program, undergoing a thorough approval process by local authorities. This initiative supports large chains and small, family-owned businesses, ensuring a wide range of dining options for eligible participants. For detailed information, including specific locations and offerings, it’s best to consult state-specific listings.

  Common Fast Food Chains Accepting EBT

Subway McDonald’s Burger King
Jack in the Box Pizza Hut Carl’s Jr.
KFC Cicis Pizza Denny’s
Golden Dragon Buffet Hometown Buffet Bob Evans
Del Taco Subway  Sonic Drive-In
Golden Corral Papa Murphy’s Panda Express
Country Buffet El Pollo Loco Taco Bell
Ponderosa Steakhouse Fire Mountain Grill Jersey Mike’s Subs

States with EBT-Friendly Restaurants

The number of restaurants accepting EBT through the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) varies significantly between states, mainly because states choose whether or not to participate in the RMP.


Arizona offers diverse restaurants accepting EBT, highlighting the state’s commitment to accessible nutrition. The options cater to various tastes and preferences, from Mexican eateries to pizza places.  (Blimpie, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Domino’s Pizza, El Pollo Loco, Jack in the Box, Subway, and Taco Bell.)

  • Family Assistance Administration (FAA) Systems


California boasts a comprehensive list of EBT-accepted restaurants, ranging from fast food to healthier dining options. The state’s proactive approach to integrating EBT into the food industry sets a precedent for others to follow, aiming to reduce food insecurity among its residents.  (Ameci Pizza and Pasta, Arby’s, Carl’s Jr., Domino’s Pizza, El Pollo Loco, Jack in the Box, Subway, and numerous local establishments across various counties​). 916-651-8047.

Cook and Franklin Counties Only


The state participates in the RMP and a few restaurants, such as: (BJ’s Market and Bakery and S2 Express Grill)


This program enables individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to utilize these funds at participating restaurants and delis. The beneficiaries of this program include older adults, people needing a home, and persons with disabilities. (Restaurants that take EBT are Burger King and CR Wings.)

Mischelle A. Williams Director


Massachusetts has implemented a program that permits qualified households to purchase food at designated restaurants using their SNAP benefits.  Restaurants that participate are:  (La Parada, El Taller, Faneek’s Coney Island, Fresh Food Generation, and Fritay Restaurant.)

Lorraine Ward & Deborah Grace 

Michigan’s EBT-Friendly Establishments

Michigan’s participation in the RMP allows SNAP recipients to enjoy meals at local favorites and national chains. This initiative supports those on SNAP and stimulates local economies by driving traffic to participating businesses.  (Foundry Bakehouse and Deli, Emma’s Coffee House, Just Munchies, Wing Heaven Sports Haven, and more.)

Email: mdhhs-restaurantmealprogram@

Rhode Island

  • Subway restaurants and the Federal Hill Pizza Restaurant in Providence.

Providence and Washington Counties Only
Bethany Caputo
Phone: 401-559-7077

New York’s Participation in RMP

While New York’s engagement with the RMP is growing, it exemplifies the potential for expansion and the positive impact on SNAP recipients’ lives.  New York aims to provide nutritious meal options for all EBT users.  (Lakeside Haven Family Restaurant in Rochester is an approved participant in the program.)


EBT Retailer Search tool:

Tainesha Crute
SNAP Program Consultant Sr. 

Locating Additional EBT Retailers

However, there are alternative resources that can help you find restaurants accepting EBT in your area:

  • Contact your local SNAP office: They can provide information on participating restaurants.
  • Use the USDA’s SNAP Retailer Locator:  Locate retailers that accept SNAP (including restaurants) by state and zip code. You can access it here:
  • Check restaurant websites or call individual restaurants: Many restaurants will list their EBT acceptance information on their website or answer your questions over the phone.

It’s important to note that individual locations may not be authorized even when a restaurant chain participates in an EBT program. Always confirm with the specific restaurant before going.

Understanding EBT and SNAP

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is a digital system used by people in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to buy food with their benefits.

Initially created to help lower-income families buy groceries more easily, EBT has expanded to include various food places like certain restaurants through the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP). This broadens where SNAP benefits can be used, giving more food-purchasing options.

What is the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)?

The About the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is a state-optional program that allows eligible Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase prepared meals at authorized restaurants using their EBT cards.

About the RMP

  • The RMP helps specific SNAP recipients who might need to prepare meals or lack permanent housing for storing and preparing food.
  • Eligibility:  SNAP households must include at least one person who is:
    1. Elderly (60 years or older)
    2. Disabled
    3. Homeless
    4. The spouse of an eligible SNAP recipient
  • State-Based: Not all states offer the RMP. States decide whether to adopt the program.
  • Restaurant Requirements:  Restaurants participating in RPM must offer meals at discounted prices. In some cases, the program allows the purchase of hot foods from grocery store deli sections.

Benefits of the RMP

  • Access to Prepared Food: It provides a vital service to eligible individuals who may otherwise struggle to obtain nutritious meals.
  • Increased Food Security: The RMP helps ensure food security and reduces hunger in vulnerable populations.
  • Support for Local Businesses: Participation in the program can benefit local restaurants.

Where to Find Out More

How Do I Find Restaurants that Accept EBT?

To find out if a restaurant accepts EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer), you can take these steps:

  • Explore Official Listings: Look for a compiled list of restaurants that accept EBT benefits. This list is usually sourced from state websites to ensure accuracy and is updated frequently. Find the section dedicated to your state for local options.
  • Spot Signs and Stickers: Restaurants participating in the EBT program might display signs at their entrance or windows indicating their acceptance of SNAP benefits.
  • Make a Direct Inquiry: If in doubt, a straightforward approach is to call the restaurant and inquire if they accept EBT as payment.
  • Reach Out to EBT Customer Service: Your EBT card has a customer service number on the back. Use this to get information on restaurants in your vicinity that accept EBT.

It’s important to remember that not all states have the Restaurant Meals Program; among those that do, not all restaurants are participants. This program primarily serves the elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals who may find it challenging to prepare their meals.


Pamela Lipscomb

We understand that finding financial assistance can be overwhelming and stressful. Our site provides information on potential programs, eligibility guidelines, and more. Please remember that this information is for guidance only, and we cannot guarantee assistance. For personalized advice and support, we strongly encourage you to consult with financial advisors, legal professionals, or the program providers directly.

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