For those of you that missed me on the NBC4 news today, here are the places that I mentioned where you can get free food.
The first things that come to mind when I think of free food deals are "Kids Eat Free" deals. The Argonaut Tavern in the H Street Corridor lets kids under 12 eat for free on Wednesday nights. That's better than your average kids eat free deal (where the age limit is usually 6) as an 11 year old has a much bigger appetite than a 5 year old. Also, the Chinatown location of La Tasca and Madam Tousauds Wax Museum are offering a special right now. If you pay for a child admission to the Museum, you get a free kids meal at La Tasca or visa versa.
Many restaurants offer free appetizers and hors d'oeuvres at their bars to lure people in during happy hour. Two places give away a nice food offering during happy hour. Every weekday Vidalia in downtown DC has a free wine tasting and complementary hors d'oeuvres from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Dino in Cleveland Park also does this from 5:30 to 7, minus the wine tasting.
Of course, we all know that local grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes give away free samples of food, however, people forget that your local farmers market is a much better place to get free samples. Nearly every booth has free samples. I make no promises as to whether or not you'll end up spending some money after you try the samples though.
Finally, check your local market or Williams Sonoma for free cooking demonstrations. Williams and Sonoma has frequent cooking demonstrations every month and your local DC, MD, or VA Whole Foods will have an occasional cooking demonstration as well.