It’s that time of year again – Pittsburgh Restaurant Week!
The Winter 2020 session is officially off to the races. To help you make the most of the most delicious time of the year, we’ve got everything you need to know below.
The tradition of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week began in January of 2012. 30 restaurants participated in the inaugural session – which was an immediate hit! Even though it was only intended to happen every January, the positive response from the restaurant community encouraged Restaurant Week to host a summer session (in August) every year as well.
The trend has blossomed over the years, featuring over 75 local restaurants for the last 8 Restaurant Weeks.
“Before restaurant week existed, January was kind of a desert month for restaurants,” says Brian McCollum, founder and organizer of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. “The best responses were hearing that January was almost as big as December for some restaurants.”
Here’s how to participate…
What is Restaurant Week?
Started in 2012, Pittsburgh Restaurant Week is a twice-a-year celebration of Pittsburgh’s dining scene! For one week every January and August, restaurants across the city offer a unique menu at a special price, encouraging individuals to step outside their comfort zone and try something new.
How much does it cost?
Prices typically range from $20.20 to $35.20 per person.
It depends on the place! Most restaurants offer multiple courses with many of the higher-priced restaurants offer upwards of 3-4 courses.
Additionally, many of the restaurants offer different choices within each course. (For example, during the second course at fl.2, guests choose between Local Trout or Cacio e Pepe.)
What are the dates?
The Winter 2019 session is January 13 – 19. Some restaurants have early access starting on January 10.
When should I make a reservation?
ASAP! Reservations for popular restaurants fill up quickly. As soon as you know what night you want to eat out, check Open Table for availability.
What restaurants are participating?
There are 87 local restaurants participating in the Winter 2020 session. It’s important to note that Restaurant Week is not bound by city limits. Not all restaurants are located within the city, making it a great excuse to get out of town and try something now.
“I’ve seen a lot of growth outside of the city proper,” says McCollum.
What restaurants should I try?
Well, you can’t go wrong anywhere! No matter where you choose, you’re going to be getting a unique meal at a great price.
That being said, a few place on our radar are:
– Azorean Cafe (Baked octopus!)
– or, The Whale (Fire Roasted Chicken!)
– Bill’s Bar and Burger (Great value!)
– Dinette (Shishito Peppers!)
– Bonfire food & drink (Wagyu beef meatloaf!)
– Cenacolo Restaurant (Ricotta Gnocchi!)
– Silk Elephant (Great value!)
– Stuff’d Pierogi Bar (Buffalo Chicken Pierogies!)
– The Lamplighter Restaurant (Filet Mignon!)
– Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh (Bread pudding!)
Still can’t decide?
Try the website’s Restaurant Roulette feature! The roulette wheel will randomly select a participating restaurant for you to try.
Do I have to order the menu?
Guests are not required to order the special Restaurant Week deal while at the restaurant. However, to get the special price, you must follow the provided menu.
“If you can plan ahead, plan ahead,” says McCollum.
Be sure to check for places that have multiple options within each course. You can find some really special dishes that way.
More information can be found online.