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Plan Vacations Around Restaurant Weeks

For many travelers, deciding where to eat on vacation is just as important as where to stay and what to pack. If you’re a food-centric tourist, why not plan your next trip around a destination’s restaurant week? We’ve found nearly a dozen coming up coast to coast, including many happening right now in cities near you. Most of them feature special three-course menus at popular local restaurants, saving you money while giving you a taste of the country’s best cuisines.

San Francisco (Jan. 15-31): The 11th annual Dine About Town in San Francisco features two-course lunches for $17.95 and three-course dinners for $34.95 per diner at hot spots like E&O Trading Co. in Union Square, Hyde Street Bistro in Nob Hill and Txoko in North Beach.

New York City (Jan. 16 - Feb. 10): Going on now, NYC Restaurant Week includes many Travelzoo Local Deals partners, including Alfama Restaurant, 5 Ninth, Beacon Restaurant & Bar and the Nino’s family of restaurants.

Baltimore (Jan. 20-29): If you’re in Baltimore this week, snag a reservation at B&O American Brasserie, Ruth’s Chris Steak House or The Oceanaire Seafood Room and have three courses for $30.12.

Los Angeles (Jan. 22-27; Jan. 29 - Feb. 3): dineLA is in its fifth year in Los Angeles with dinners starting at $26 at places like Border Grill, Boxwood Cafe by Gordon Ramsay, Enoteca Drago in Beverly Hills and Whist Restaurant at the Viceroy Hotel.

Philadelphia (Jan. 22-27; Jan. 29 - Feb. 3): City Center District Restaurant Week in Philadelphia features $35 dinners at 10 Arts by Eric Ripert, Buddakan, Meritage and many more.

Chicago (Feb. 17-26): Eat your way around this culinary mecca with dinners starting at $33 at Chicago institutions like The Berghoff, Ditka’s and Harry Caray’s plus celeb chef spots including Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill and Tony Mantuano’s Café Spiaggia and new Bar Toma.

Denver (Feb. 25 - March 9): Denver Restaurant Week offers opportunities to dine in popular neighborhoods such as Cherry Creek, LoDo, Wash Park and even nearby Boulder.

Las Vegas (Feb. 27 - March 4): Restaurants are still being added but so far include Aureole and Lupo by Wolfgang Puck at Mandalay Bay, Alize at The Palms and Charlie Palmer Steak at Four Seasons, all serving $50.12 menus in Las Vegas.

Boston (March 18-23, 25-30): Meals will range from $15.12-$33.12 at old standbys and culinary hot spots throughout the Boston metro area.

Austin (March 25-28; April 1-4): Have lunch for $11 or $16 or dinner for $26 or $36 in this hip city at Garrido's, Roaring Fork or Olive & June.

Seattle (April 8-19): The list will be released this spring, but last year’s event in Seattle featured The Pink Door and Café Campagne near Pike Place Market and The Dining Room at Salish Lodge & Spa overlooking Snoqualmie Falls.

Orlando (May 3-12): Hosted by Orlando Weekly, this 10-day celebration features lunches and dinners ranging from $10-$35 at restaurants all around Orlando.

Atlanta (May 28 - June 5): Hosting three restaurant weeks a year, Atlanta’s next one is Downtown Restaurant Week, featuring $25 menus at places including Pittypat's Porch and French American Brasserie and $35 menus at BLT Steak and Legal Sea Foods. Midtown Restaurant Week will be held Sept. 1-9.

Portland (June): Portland Dining Month is one of the least expensive options, with three-course dinners for $25 at spots like Accanto and clarklewis in Southeast, Gracie's and The Heathman downtown, and Bluehour and Metrovino in the Pearl District.

Houston (Aug. 1-31): Houston's "week" lasts the entire month of August; last year's event featured well over 100 restaurants like Charivari, Julia's Bistro and Vic & Anthony's.

See more restaurant weeks around the country here.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Chicago
Thursday, January 26, 2012
See more Tips from
Erica Wacker