Is Olive Garden Expensive?


If you like Italian food, Olive Gardens is a good restaurant for you. Famous for their garlic-buttered breadsticks, there are so many pastas to choose for your dinner. Some of their popular menu items include shrimp scampi and grilled chicken margherita. 

When the restaurant started, people immediately loved it. It grew very quickly and continues to keep customers satisfied with their delicious and friendly service. 

But if someone wanted to know more about the cost of eating at the Italian-American restaurant they may ask, is Olive Garden expensive?

Izumi Japanese Restaurant Bacolod
Izumi Japanese Restaurant Bacolod
Olive Garden is considered to be a reasonably priced restaurant with checks totaling about $20 a person. This includes appetizers and the meal (since appetizers are included). 

Although $20 a person isn’t cheap, for getting unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks along with the entree of your choice it is reasonable especially for a sit down restaurant. 

Eventually, Olive Gardens became the largest chain of Italian-themed restaurants in the U.S. General Mills restaurants (called Darden restaurant after Red Lobster founder Bill Darden) said that Olive Garden was the most value-oriented chain back in 2009. Today the prices have increased slightly however. 

Even though Olive Garden’s food seems to be priced reasonably, according to some the restaurant may be a little overpriced and when compared to making it at home they may be right. 

To buy all the ingredients they serve and make it at home will cost you far less than going out to eat at the restaurant. It’s all a matter of convenience. 

If you want your food cooked for you and served to you without any work, you are going to end up paying more for it than you would to just fix the meal at your house for dinner.

Many people love Olive Garden and don’t worry too much about the price of eating there. 

To see the most popular Olive Garden dressings and flavorings just click here. 

How Much Is It Per Person At Olive Garden?

It’s important to know how much you may be spending at a restaurant before you head out to eat. If you will be eating at Olive Garden, how much will it be?

It will cost about $20 a person to eat at Olive Garden. You could spend more or less depending on whether you get drinks or desserts or if you eat there for lunch or dinner. 

At $20 a person their prices fall in line as one of the cheaper sit down restaurant chains. Compared to other restaurants, the prices at Olive Garden aren’t that bad. 

From their beginning people loved the Italian American restaurant. Starting out as a unit of General Mills, Olive Garden was opened in 1982 in Orlando, Florida. By 1989 there were 145 Olive Garden making it the fastest growing units in the General Mills restaurant division. 

Soon their sales match their sister’s company Red Lobster. Over time, the restaurant has increased their prices.

A single person could eat at Olive Garden for about $20. This includes unlimited salad or soup, and breadsticks. Normally the portions at Olive Garden are pretty good size portions so you will get your money’s worth. 

Tack on a drink to your meal like the bellini peach tea and it will be an extra few dollars but it is so worth it. 

Olive Garden desserts are also really good. You can choose from chocolate mousse cake, cheesecake, or Italian doughnuts (that you can dip in raspberry sauce) as well as other yummy desserts.

How Much Is A Dinner For Two At Olive Garden? 

Date night at Olive Garden can be fun. A romantic atmosphere with good food is a great setting for some time together. 

How much is a dinner for two at Olive Garden?

At Olive Garden you can expect to pay around $50 for two people including appetizers, entrees, drinks, and tip. 

With a drink, (not including alcohol) soup or salad, breadsticks, an entree, and tip the meals at Olive Garden will cost you around $25 a person making the toal check around $50. 

Olive Garden also thought in advance and one of their menu items that they sometimes offer is a dinner for two. This can be perfect if you don’t want to spend a lot of money because you can share the meal that has good size portions.

This is a special that they run throughout the year so you would have to check with your local restaurant or online to see if they are currently offering this special. 

The dinner included two entrees, two appetizers, or one dessert to share. The entrees you can choose for this dinner for two are the Smoked Mozzarella Chicken, Spaghetti and 4 Cheese Meat sauce and Meatballs, Eggplant Parmigiana, Ravioli di Portobello,  Five Cheese Ziti Al Forno, and Fettuccine Alfredo. 

Check out Olive Garden’s menu for more tasty dishes like Lasagne, Shrimp scampi, Filet Mignon, Asiago Tortellini Alfredo with grilled Chicken, and even four delicious soups.

What Is The Most Expensive Thing At Olive Garden?

Olive Garden is famous for their breadsticks and their yummy Italian food. Their menu features pretty reasonably priced dishes but some are more expensive than others. 

What is the most expensive thing at Olive garden?

Currently the most expensive dish at Olive garden is the Seafood Alfredo which costs $21.29. Their alcoholic drink pitchers or bottles of wine can be up to $30. 

This dish is so pricey because of what it is. It is Alfredo pasta with shrimp and scallops. Because of the high costs of seafood this dish is more expensive than any other entree that Olive Garden offers. 

The second most expensive dish at Olive Garden is the Alfredo with Shrimp at $20.49. This dish is expensive for the exact same reason the dish above is… the shrimp. These two dishes are the most expensive entrees at Olive Garden currently. 

In line after these would be the Tour of Italy featuring the most popular of Olive Garden’s dishes, Chicken parmigiana, Lasagna Classico, adnm fettuccine Alfredo. These are all made with homemade sauces. Olive Garden’s sauces along with soup are made fresh every morning. 

Overall, Olive Garden’s meals are priced well. When you eat there, you can expect to pay more than at a cheap restaurant but cheaper than at a fancy one.

Final Thoughts

In all, Olive Garden prices are somewhere in between being cheap and expensive. It isn’t a very expensive restaurant and what you get is worth the price. 

A check for one person will total around $20 and a check for two will be around $40. The restaurant does offer a dinner for two menu options for $25 at special times during the year. 

If you are looking for a restaurant with good food, atmosphere, service, and prices, then Olive Garden is a great place to go. Their prices aren’t too expensive although many of their loyal guests don’t worry about the price as they really enjoy their food.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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