This post has all the tips you’ll need to increase your chances of getting to enjoy a 5-star restaurant for a fraction of the price! Restaurant Week for 2018 has been announced July 23–August 17, 2018. The list of participating restaurants will be available on July 9 here. This year the offering is a two-course Lunch for $26 and a three-course Dinner is $42. (per person, not including beverages, tax and tip).
If you are a bargain-hunter or a foodie then you need to know about Restaurant Week. During Restaurant Week more than 300 of New York City’s best restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu including 2 courses for lunch, and 3 courses for dinner at a very low price, relative to their regular prices. If you dined at some of these restaurants during other times of the year, your entree alone might cost you as much as what you will pay for your entire meal during Restaurant Week.
This event has become so popular that over the years, Restaurant Week is now actually three weeks long to accommodate more diners. Also, it is held twice a year, usually late January to early Februaryand again late July to early August. That’s six weeks of incredible deals on fantastic meals. New Yorkers eagerly await the announcement of Restaurant Week’s dates, which are posted online a few weeks in advance and the minutes after the announcement, hundreds of people around the city start making reservations online or by calling the restaurants directly.
We don’t want you to miss out on this money-saving, mouth-watering opportunity so here are some helpful tips on how to make the most of Restaurant Week.
Once you know when it’s happening, be sure to make a reservation. You won’t get a table by simply walking in. The easiest way to make online reservations is through Open Table. Be aware that not all restaurants accept bookings through OpenTable. If you see a restaurant listed as participating but don’t see them on OpenTable, call the restaurant directly and they will be happy to help you.
3. GO FOR LUNCH
As a traveler with an open schedule, you have the advantage of being able to take a long lunch! The lunch menus are just as good as the dinner menus and costs less. In addition, it is easier to get lunch reservations for Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
4. CALL TO ASK IF THEY HAVE ANY LAST MINUTE CANCELLATIONS
One person’s loss might be your gain! Last minute cancellations free up a table that the restaurant will be more than happy to fill.
5. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Since reservations for the most coveted restaurants can go quickly, narrow down your choices and focus on getting a table at those. With a simple google search such as “NYC Restaurant Week” you will find information about last year’s participating restaurants, the year before that and so on. If a Restaurant has participated for the past few years you can be sure they’re going to participate this year.
6. REVIEW THE MENU IN ADVANCE
Check restaurant websites to see what they are offering in the prix-fixe menu, which has only 2 or 3 choices for appetizers, 2-3 choices form entree and 2-3 for desserts. You may find that the menu choices don’t appeal to you. Better you try to get a table where the food fits your palette perfectly.
SOME DO’s and DON’Ts
DON’T forget when you are being seated to tell the server that you made a reservation for Restaurant Week so they will give you the correct menu.
DO contact the restaurant if you can’t make your reservation. Your cancellation will make someone else very happy.
DO make sure that the restaurant takes credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks, however, you were planning on paying. Don’t assume your form of payment is acceptable everywhere.
DO be sure to tip your server especially well (between 20-25%) if they provided excellent service. Remember, the server is doing their job exactly as they normally do when meals are full-priced. But make considerably fewer tips during Restaurant Week. Help them out if they deserve it.
DO savor every bite and don’t be shy about taking pictures of the food. They will look as incredible as they taste and you want to make everyone at home feel envious.
DON’T FORGET to join us on one of our walking tours before or after your meal. It will be a great way to walk off those extra calories while experiencing even more of what this amazing city has to offer!