Chain restaurants have the best vibe. It's a great place for cocktails, to throw a birthday party, or to just load up on appetizers. There are a lot of determining factors on if your meal at a chain restaurant is going to hit or not. The number one is the chain’s starter bread. There’s nothing like being seated and a warm basket of bread is placed right in front of you. I sometimes leave the restaurant thinking about the bread instead of the actual meal. As an avid chain restaurant lover (Applebee’s will always be number one for me, sorry not sorry), I have no choice but to give a ranking of free bread at restaurant chains.

8. Longhorn Steakhouse 

Even though Longhorn Steakhouse gives a huge loaf of bread, there’s not much to it. The bread’s still good, but it’s just there — I cut myself a slice and that’s about it.

7. Outback Steakhouse

I just don’t like honey wheat bread. I like the sweetness here, but Outback’s warm, unsliced loaf just doesn’t stand out to me.

6. Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse is known for its bread. Many of my friends rave about it, but the times I have gone, the bread wasn’t that great. Don’t get me wrong the bread is super soft with a nice sweetness, but I find it to be your standard dinner roll. These rolls are ranked higher just for the butter — the cinnamon butter is the star here. 

5. The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory is all about options. Its complimentary bread basket comes with two bread loaves: a crusty sourdough and an oat-flecked brown wheat bread. And while I’m figuring out what I’ll be eating, I will be munching on both breads with a slab of hard-to-spread butter. I don’t have a favorite here, but the brown bread has a sweeter taste than the sourdough.

4. Panera Bread

I don’t care if I’m already having a sandwich. I will always choose a piece of baguette as a side over a bag of chips or an apple. However, sometimes the bread will be nice warm or a bit on the harder side. It’s a mid-ranking bread that I’m still going to eat.

3. Olive Garden

Olive Garden breadsticks just give childhood nostalgia. Don’t cancel me for placing this cult-following bread third. I just find this bread to be a bit too salty. Despite that, I also don’t notice how many I eat so it’s only right for these breadsticks to be in third place.

2. Red Lobster

I am not a biscuit person, but Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits?? I’ll eat the whole basket and take some home. The cheesy biscuits are always warm and just like Olive Garden, the basket is always refilled. The best part? You can make them at home

1. Carmine’s Italian Restaurant

Carmine's is a family-style Italian restaurant and even though it has six locations, it will be taking the number one slot. The bread here is one of the best breads I have ever had with a basket featuring sesame breadsticks and focaccia bread, with some pieces having a tomato sauce and others pieces of onions. I dream about this bread, not a joke, the focaccia is light and airy leaving you wanting more. I could have this bread as a meal.