NYC Restaurant Week: How To Find Great Deals

Just like ‘NYC Broadway Week’, ‘NYC Restaurant Week’ is an event that takes place in New York City twice a year. It occurs once during the cold Winter months and again during the crisp months of Fall. Despite what the name says, ‘NYC Restaurant Week’ is not actually one week long at all. The term ‘NYC Restaurant Week’ is misleading as it is actually an almost three week long affair (typically 20 days). The event does not run on Saturdays and most restaurants exclude Sundays as well, making the event technically a “Fortnight” long (14 days). The fortnight should not be confused with the unusually popular multiplayer computer game that pimply-faced teenaged boys like to play as soon as they get home from school called ‘Fortnite’. NYC Restaurant Week runs from January 21st until February 9th in 2020 and NYC Broadway Week follows the same schedule, except for Broadway shows.

What is NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week originally kicked off in 1992 as a welcoming event for the Democratic National convention (DNC), which was taking place in NYC that year. The event was the first multi-day restaurant specific promotional event in the world. Today there are many others including Madrid Spain, London England and Sydney Australia. Since the inception of NYC Restaurant Week during the DNC event, it has gone on to great success and popularity among the diners in NYC. Almost all fine dining NYC restaurants now take part in the two annual events. Restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week offer discounts and deals to customers who come in, sit down and dine in their restaurants. There are no standard deals that every NYC restaurant provides during NYC Restaurant Week but, deals are usually, 2 for 1 meals, a free appetizer with any entree, free desert with any entree or a coupon for 25% – 50% off the restaurants most popular selections. Restaurants deals during this time can range from quite substantial to somewhat mundane but, almost every NYC restaurant offers deals of at least some kind during NYC Restaurant Week. 

Top restaurants with big deals during  NYC Restaurant Week
Top restaurants with big deals during NYC Restaurant Week

Which Restaurants Have Deals During NYC Restaurant Week

According to the official website, there are just under 400 restaurants that are officially partnered to provide discounts during the promotional event. Their restaurants are listed from all five boroughs of NYC, but exclude NJ and CT. Some restaurants are not officially partnered with NYC Restaurant Week, but still provide a promotion during the event in order to advertise and offer their own special deals. 

The fine dining restaurants located in NYC’s West Village, Astoria, Soho, Chelsea, Lower East Side, Arthur Avenue, Flushings and Hell’s Kitchen all offer the best dining options and highest discount deals during NYC Restaurant Week. These areas also have the highest rated Italian, French, Korean, American and Japanese cuisine in the U.S.

How To Take Advantage Of NYC Restaurant Week

NYC residents and tourists can enjoy the promotional benefits of NYC Restaurant Week. There is no right way to celebrate the event, but listed here are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of NYC Restaurant Week. 

  • Look online and compare deals before selecting a restaurant
  • Reserve tables in advance (especially for big groups)
  • Check menu and decide what to order before getting to the restaurant
  • Pay a big tip to the waiter/waitress after the meal
  • Find a Broadway show that is also offering deals at the same time because, NYC Broadway Week takes place at the same time as NYC Restaurant Week

Why The Event Was Not Called NYC Restaurant Week In The First Place

NYC Restaurant Week did initially start as a week long event. Over the years it changed, due its immense success and the value that it still brings to New York City businesses. Over the years, executive promotional planners decided to elongate the engagement as well as add in a second event every year. Slowly but surely the week turned into two and now it is almost three weeks twice a year.    

The main reason that the event is called ‘NYC Restaurant Week’ is that the term was trademarked by the self proclaimed official Destination Marketing Company of NYC known online as ‘NYCgo’. There are a few instances of the marketing agency buying the trademark, with the first one being in 2005. The same marketing company also owns the rights to ‘NYC Broadway Week’.