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10 Tasty Tips for Restaurant Week

Mercato. Courtesy of CCD. Photo by Stephanie Altes.

It's back! Every foodie’s favorite time of the year -- Center City Restaurant Week. More than 60 restaurants will participate in the glorious gluttonous event, which runs from Monday, May 17 through Friday, May 28. Each restaurant will offer 3-course prix fixe meals for lunch for $20 and dinner for $35. Eat indoors, outdoors or get take out.

Restaurant Week is typically one of the most affordable times to visit Philadelphia restaurants and a great chance to try new eateries. It was created by Center City District in 2003 as an economic driver for restaurants during what are often slow seasons. It’s been so successful in Philadelphia that it has spawned similar events in the surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs.

Ardmore’s Restaurant Week is running through May 16. Other neighborhoods in the city that typically hold Restaurant Weeks include East Passyunk, Northern Liberties and Chestnut Hill. Media, Ambler, the Main Line, King of Prussia, Haddonfield, Cherry Hill, South Jersey and the Jersey Shore can all be counted on for Restaurant Weeks. There are also themed-Restaurant Weeks, including Dine Latino Restaurant Week, Caribbean Restaurant Week and Black Restaurant Week. Tips 3-10 are applicable to those events as well.

10 Tips for Making The Most of Restaurant Week:

Photo courtesy of The Olde Bar.
  1. Win Meals. For a chance to win dinner once a month for a year, register at

  2. Save on parking. Get a digital parking pass reducing parking to $9 or less at select garages. Click here for a list.

  3. Over-tip. Tip based on what the dinner would typically cost (not the reduced price), if you can. Servers are doing the same amount of work and it’s been a tough year.

  4. Make reservations. Restaurants typically sell out and that will be especially important with limited capacity.

  5. Don't Overeat. You can ask to take a course or dessert home.

  6. Experiment. This is a great opportunity to try a new restaurant - especially expensive places.

  7. Budget wisely. Cocktails, beer/wine, coffee/tea and soda are not included in the price. Tax and gratuity and not included either.

  8. Check rules. Note that some restaurants do not offer the prix fixe menu through the weekend.

  9. Do the math. Some deals are better than others.

  10. Snag hard-to-get-reservations. If a restaurant you’re yearning to try is not participating in Restaurant Week, it might be a good time to snag a reservation there.


Calling all foodies....

Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia tells the sweet & spicy stories behind 90 of the area's best restaurants including many participating in Restaurant Week! If you're hungry for a good meal and a delicious story, this book is here to serve you.

Click here for signed books. Use promo code TheCityPulse for free shipping.


Restaurants will follow health and safety protocol by CDC, and guidelines set by the city and the state. Diners are asked to help keep workers safe by wearing masks until it’s time to eat or drink. Stay six feet away from others when possible, and wash your hands often. Take advantage of the take out option if you prefer to eat at home, if you feel sick, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

For more information about Restaurant Week, including a list of participating restaurants, click here.


by Irene Levy Baker, author, 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia and Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia.

Looking for safe places to social distance? Vaccinated? Need gifts? Visit for signed copies of books. For free shipping, use promo code TheCityPulse.

For more blog postings by Irene Levy Baker including how to help restaurants survive, outdoor exercise classes or the new Neon Museum, click here.

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