Chicago Restaurant Week is upon us! This year, Chicago Restaurant week runs from January 24 – February 9, which is more than a week long. Late January and early February is normally a slow time in Chicago. Why? Because it’s the coldest time of year. So naturally most Chicagoans like to stay in and hibernate. As a way to get some of out, the Chicago Tourism Office (aka ChooseChicago) along with over 400 area restaurants host restaurant week.
What is Restaurant Week? It’s a week where participating restaurants offer pre-fixe menus (at reasonable prices). This year, restaurants offer lunch pre-fixe at $24 and dinner pre-fixe menus at either $36 or $48, depending on the restaurant.
Last night, Charlie and I attended the kick-off to Chicago Restaurant Week – First Bites Bash a the Field Museum. It was a fun night and great way to preview of the dishes that 70+ participating restaurants had to offer during restaurant week. I ate so much small bites that I was so full half way through the party. The food was so very!
I wanted to share some of my picks for restaurant week this year or where I want to go if we had the opportunity to go out to eat every night. My restaurant picks are all dinner picks. I’m not sure I’ll have the opportunity for lunch during this time.
Tips on Navigating Chicago Restaurant Week
- Make reservations, especially on weekend dates.
- Not all restaurants offer dinner menus, so check with the restaurant before you go.
- Not all pre-fixe menus are “deals”. Sometimes they come out to the same price if you order a la carte or during non-restaurant week. So if you’re looking for a deal and have extra time, compare the restaurant week menu with the regular menu and check prices.
- Some restaurants include dishes on the pre-fixe menu that are not on their regular menu. So if you want a tasting of the regular menu, you’re better off ordering from the regular menu.
For Date Night
Bellemore – The restaurant decor is a bird theme but very creative and makes for a great date night spot! The restaurant week dinner menu is $48. When I added up the items from the 4-course meal, it comes out to $68, which a is very good deal.
RPM Steak – We’ve been here once and the ambiance is like something out of a restaurant in LA. It’s one of the few steak restaurants during restaurant week that actually includes steak on the menu. $48 dinner.
Marchesa – Marchesa says its an authentic French restaurant, so naturally the Francophile in me wants to try this restaurant out. The restaurant week menu seems to have different dishes from the regular menu…but I kind of want to give this restaurant a try. $48 dinner.
For Moms Night Out
Celeste – This restaurant just looks fun! $36 dinner.
Cruz Blanca – When the restaurant week menu includes beer, I think my mom friends or Charlie and his friends are happy with just that! $36 dinner.
Aba – How great is that the restaurant week menu includes a glass of wine? Cheers to that! $48 dinner.
For the Whole Family
Quartino – We love Quartino and love bringing the boys here. It’s kid-friendly and the noise level drowns out a lot of the twins’ screaming. i”m not sure the restaurant week menu is a “deal” but I just wanted to give a shout out to this place. $36 dinner.
GT Fish and Oyster– There’s no kids menu here but I love how the staff is always friendly to tables with kids.
For Any Occasion
Pacific Standard Time – For an escape from the Chicago winter since this place is all about California. I love the ambiance and decor. It’s a 4-course dinner for $48.
Avec – This place is a Chicago institution. I mean the chorizo-stuffed medjool dates is worth the trip. It’s a 5-course dinner for $48! Such a deal!
The Loyalist – This is just a fun place to hang out for me and my friends. $36 dinner.