The Best Way to Spend Restaurant Week in Chicago

Many restaurants in Chicago have now opened their doors to indoor diners and will be releasing new menus in honor of Restaurant Week this month. During Restaurant Week, eateries in the city create special menus and give exclusive discounts. It’s a great time of year to be adventurous and try new restaurants—or dine at your favorite ones. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know where to eat, especially if you’ve never participated in Restaurant Week before. To help you out, here are a few ways to help you have the best Restaurant Week in the city.

Decide which kind of cuisine you’ll eat

Chicago has a wide assortment of delicious types of cuisines, from deep dish pizza to classic Italian dishes. Since there are so many different dining options during Restaurant Week, you’ll want to choose which types of food you’d like to eat before you do any research or make any reservations.

You may also want to think about what types of meals or dishes you wish to try. If you have a hankering for dessert, then look for places that specialize in desserts, like bakeries, and have positive reviews. Or, if you want to go out for drinks, then you’ll want to investigate which restaurants have the best drink menus. Selecting what type of food you crave will assist you in developing the best Restaurant Week game plan. 

Consider menu options

Along with deciding which kind of cuisine you want to eat, make sure to also consider restaurant menus. Menus have valuable information, such as meal prices per person, number of courses, and gluten-free or vegetarian options. You can also compare Restaurant Week menus to the regular ones to see if there are any unique dishes that are not normally served that you want to try. Knowing this information can help you plan out the specifics for your meal.

Menus can also tell you what a restaurant is serving, particularly during Restaurant Week. Most establishments will develop unique menus served only during this time. During Restaurant Week this year, the Albert is serving entrees like butternut squash ravioli, slow-roasted pork collar, and seared Scottish salmon. Along with mains, they have starters and desserts, including grilled quail and gooey butter cake. Once you look over an eatery’s menus for Restaurant Week, you’ll be able to determine if you want to eat there. 

Research chefs beforehand

It’s always a good idea to research a restaurant’s chefs before you go out to eat. Check out restaurant websites and read the chef bios. It’s important that you choose locations with experienced chefs so that you know you’re getting the highest quality fare.

For example, the Albert’s Chef, Nathan Sears, is known for charcuterie programs, teaching classes, and is recognized in the city as the “Chef’s Chef.” More recently, he was promoted to Corporate Culinary Director for SMASHotels and SMASHinteractive. Restaurants with accomplished chefs usually have high-quality foods and unique menu items.

Making a reservation

Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to make a reservation. Call or make a reservation online with the restaurant of your choice, and make sure you pick a date between March 18 and April 4. Don’t procrastinate making a reservation, since bookings can fill up quickly, especially during Restaurant Week. Following these steps will make your time in Chicago during Restaurant Week an unforgettable culinary experience. 

Need a place to stay when visiting Chicago for Restaurant Week? Book your reservation here.