The Best Deals During Chicago Restaurant Week
This year marks the 13th annual Chicago Restaurant Week, bringing discounted dining to Chicagoans from more than 400 restaurants in the city and suburbs. From January 24 to February 9 (that’s actually two weeks) stop by participating restaurants for a pre-fixe multicourse meal. It’s a great time to check out that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try or go to your favorite spot at a discount.
For $24, you'll brunch or lunch, and for $36 and/or $48 you'll score dinner (beverages, tax, and gratuity are extra). No one has the time to sift through the list of menus especially with more restaurants than ever participating this year. That’s where we come in. These are the best Chicago Restaurant Week deals.
One of the best deals of Chicago Restaurant Week is the $24 brunch buffet at Prime & Provisions, which is normally priced at $59. For less than half price, you get access to a buffet of traditional brunch fare like eggs Benedict, French Toast, made-to-order waffles and omelets, plus carving stations, a raw bar, and endless desserts. While brunch beverages are extra, you’ll have enough saved to splurge on a mimosa or three. The $48 dinner menu is also a great deal, especially considering the included 7oz filet mignon is typically $49 on its own.
One of the hottest restaurant openings of 2019 is new to the Chicago Restaurant Week scene and brings one of the best deals this year. Galit keeps it simple -- they’re knocking $17 off their everyday pre-fixe dinner menu meaning you’ll get to try the restaurant’s best, at a discount. The Chicago Restaurant Week shared menu is slightly slimmer (you get two mezze dishes instead of three) but still includes five courses of Mediterranean fare. We love the masabacha hummus, falafel with mango labneh and cumin-orange carrots, plus all of the salatim. On top of that, you’ll share Balkan-stuffed cabbage, chicken thighs with Bulgarian feta, and basmati pilaf.
Peruvian hot spot Cabra makes its restaurant week debut this year with a $24 brunch or lunch, and $48 dinner menu. The brunch menu is for two and you’ll have the choice of one of two menus with five dishes like Smoked Salmon Queso Fresco Dip and Octonomiyaki, an octopus version of the savory Japanese pancake, okonomiyaki. Lunch is another pre-fixe menu for two allowing you to mix and match hot and cold items like shrimp ceviche or goat empanadas. If you’re really hoping to explore Cabra’s menu, stop in for dinner where you’ll get to try six dishes to share like Skirt Saltado (steak and potatoes) or Lamb Neck Seco (lamb stew) plus an individually-served dessert like soft serve or quinoa chocolate.
Steakhouses historically provide the best deals of any restaurant with a Chicago Restaurant Week menu and Mastro’s is no exception. For the best value, start with the Jalapeno Tuna Sashimi and the 8-ounce filet (not a petite filet like some other steakhouses offer), which typically runs $55 on its own. For a sweet ending you have to order the signature Warm Butter Cake served individually with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.
Bellemore’s four-course $48 menu is a good value, especially if you load up on meat-centric dishes like the venison tartare with cheddar, pickled apples, spicy kohlrabi, and seeded rye, or the Rigatoni with wagyu ragu. And that’s just the first half of the menu. Round out your meal with the arctic char with lentils and the banana pudding with roasted vanilla cream.
Skip the $24 lunch menu (Eataly already offers a weekday two-course lunch for $22) in favor of the $36 three-course dinner. Start with the hand-pulled stracciatella mozzarella then choose either the beef cheek agnolotti or tagliolini with clams and pancetta. The best value can be found in the main course where you’ll pick between a whole roasted trout, brick chicken thighs, or head-on prawns with polenta. While dessert is not included in the price, save room for a scoop of gelato or a cannoli at the dessert bar downstairs.
Streeterville, Rosemont, Lombard
Fine dining chain The Capital Grille offers a $24 three-course lunch menu and $36 three-course dinner menu. While both are a good deal, the dinner menu is much more enticing. The classic wedge salad is an excellent starter to pair with the 8-ounce filet (normally priced at $48 for a slightly larger 10-ounce filet) or the 14-ounce bone-in dry aged NY strip. Mains are served with mashed potatoes and green beans with heirloom tomatoes, plus your choice of Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake or Crème Brûlée. With any combination of starter, entree, and dessert, you’re getting a good deal.
Newcomer Flora Fauna offers a four-course $36 menu with plenty of vegetarian options for diners. This is a great way to try many fan favorites from the main menu, especially if everyone in your party orders something different. We recommend starting with the Jackfruit Dan Dan noodles made from chilled papaya and moving on to the Salmon Ceviche with cucumber aguachile. Course three features a choice of Cauliflower Fried Rice or Chili and Ginger Spiced Turkey Lettuce Wraps. End with the Tres Leches or Dark Chocolate Mousse with Mandarin orange and Korean Chili.
Stephanie Izard’s Duck Duck Goat offers a $24 lunch menu and a $48 dinner menu, both served family style. The brunch menu gets you six shared courses with dishes ranging from Jiaozi (short rib and bone marrow potstickers) to Wood-Fired Duck Hearts and Bacon & Egg Moo Shu pancakes. Feeling extra hungry? Make a reservation to try the larger dinner menu with seven courses of Duck Duck Goat favorites like Goat & Duck Spring Rolls, Grilled Beef & Broccoli, and Goat Slap Noodles.
Nico’s three-course $24 lunch menu provides a great value, but it’s the $48 dinner that we really recommend. The four-course menu mixes dishes from the regular menu like the Truffle Cacio e Pepe with Restaurant Week options like the Marlin with braised mustard greens. For dessert, the Banana Budino Tart with coconut, mango, and cajeta sounds delightful, but there’s also a tiramisu if you’re more of a traditionalist.
For $36 you’re getting four courses and six dishes of Latin eats from Ropa Vieja Empanadas and Spicy Chicken Croquetas to an 8-ounce skirt steak served with yucca fries (normally $27) or grilled salmon with salsa verde or coconut rice (normally $23). Dessert is Tres Leches Flan with lime and mango plus there’s an option to add on a mojito or margarita for just 10 bucks.
Perfect for a date night or family outing, Formento’s is consistently delicious. We love this Restaurant Week menu because it features many of the dishes Formento’s is known for, all at a discount. That includes Nonna’s Meatballs with Parmesan and the Canestri pasta with Sunday Gravy. For your main course try the Branzino with pea tips and chilies (normally $35) and finish with the signature Chocolate Cake with hazelnut praline. There’s also an option to tack on wine pairings for an extra $20.
Sign up here for our daily Chicago email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.