Put down your spatula and turn off the stove. Tonight you’re dining out and there’s no one here to stop you. Restaurant Week is finally here! Get ready for dripping chocolate sauce, crisp lettuce wraps, and steak so tender, you can cut it with a spoon. The best event of the season has arrived. 

What is Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week, which is a different week in cities across the country, is a week when many eateries create special fixed-priced menus. Most spots include an appetizer, entrée, and dessert for a full-bodied sample of epic food.

Restaurant Week is a sly excuse to feast every day of the event. There’s no shame in eating a Death by Chocolate dessert when it comes included, right? Right. This is the perfect time to test out dozens of cheese plates, charred octopus dinners, and strawberry tarts. Don’t think you have to stop at one restaurant. Oh no, this is the week to try out new flavors in a different part of town morning, noon, and night (with some snacks in between). Think of Restaurant Week as a passport to crunchy calamari, spicy chicken breasts, and smooth lemon meringue pies.

Death by Chocolate

If you’re a resident, this event is a prime opportunity to try local restaurants and retire your excuses for why you’ve never checked out that fancy place down the street or nibbled at that gastropub you pass each day to work. If you’re a visitor, it’s an ideal way to sample the tastes of a new town and plump your itinerary with plenty of bites between the sights of your trip.   

What to expect

The snaps of lobster tails, the splashes of fresh cauliflower soup, and the sizzle of hot steak still grilling in the pan are the melodies of an excellent meal. Consider Restaurant Week menus conductors to a new breadth of food groups.

Viewfinder Tip: If you’re on a budget, most restaurants offer US$15 lunch menus that still come with appetizers and desserts.

Plus, Restaurant Week is more than a food festival; it’s a community affair. With so many people participating in each event, it’s common for co-workers, friends, and family members all to be out on the hunt for a good meal at the same time. Sharing stories of that hipster diner or white-linen restaurant you tried last night is an easy way to start a conversation with your peers.

And of course, what better way to enjoy a Seattle vacation, Baltimore trip, or San Diego jaunt than with a ton of great food? 

Where to go

Most of the major cities in the United States offer Restaurant Week menus in spring and fall. Whether you want short ribs next to a skyscraper in New York City, clam lunch by the New Orleans bayou, or apple-friendly brunch alongside Pike Place Market in Seattle, you have a range of options. If you’re flying into town, be sure to make your reservations early. Book your Boston hotel, Denver inn, or Los Angeles suite in advance so you get a good spot near the best restaurants in town.

Delicious food is calling your name, so loosen your belt, get out your wallet, and prepare to feast!

Which dish are you most excited to sample during Restaurant Week?