Chicago Restaurant Week: Dine for $25-$55
Chicago Restaurant Week returns on March 19-April 4, 2021 with possibly some deals for dining at restaurants at a discount. Honestly I haven’t participated in years. I just don’t find any of the dining deals compelling enough to battle the crowds. Also not everyone wants a three or four course meal, menus tend to be loaded with low cost options like chicken, cheap red meats, pasta, soups, and vege entrees. I just don’t see the value. However new this year are take out and delivery options.
What is Restaurant Week 2021
Enjoy special prix fixe menus from restaurants throughout Chicago and nearby suburbs. These multi-course meals are $25 for brunch or lunch, and $39 and/or $55 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, gratuity, and delivery fees).
This year, diners will have the flexibility to experience Chicago Restaurant Week through indoor and outdoor dining, or at home with delivery and takeout options.
During RW many restaurants offer items that aren’t on their regular menu so you can’t easily compare “apples-to-apples” to determine if or what kind of deal you’re getting. You can still get an idea of what you’re saving. If an average three course meal at a restaurant is $60 and the Restaurant Week deal is $48, you may be saving over 20%.
All participating restaurants should provide you with their special Restaurant Week Menu; if not ask for it. Be prepared to scan in QR codes if you’re dining in.
How analyze the “deals”
- Review the regular menu to see what a non-RW meal might cost.
- The best deals are for an expensive cut of high quality beef at a discount.
- Try to avoid low cost items such as soups, vegetarian or pasta dishes which generally are not a good deal. If you want a lower cost dish you may save by ordering off the regular menu.
- Search for RW menu’s using the Restaurant Finder.
My “analysis” is based on three things: Is the food good? Is a comparable meal from the regular menu more than the RW price? Do I like the restaurant and usually eat there as a treat?
Use this Reddit
Eater or Chicago Magazine mentioned in 2020 that some enterprising individual created a google doc analyzing every restaurant and posted it in a Reddit. It hasn’t been updated for 2021..