Restaurant week(s) is live in Philly until January 29th (excluding the 24th). Especially since the Pope’s visit pushed fall restaurant week up to August and out of the school year, this is an opportunity not to be missed. For those who don’t know, during the next two weeks some of the best restaurants in Center City will feature $20 lunch (three courses) and $35 dinner (four courses). While this can be an amazing opportunity to try incredible meals, $35 still isn’t chump change, especially when you think about how many times $35 could pay your cover at Smokes'.  Here are some tips to make sure you do restaurant week the right way and leave full, happy, and feeling like the thrifty Penn student you truly are:

  1. Go to
  2. Scroll down through the long ass list of restaurants and find ones you’ve heard of and always wanted to try, or a classic favorite. If you’re totally lost, check out the new Philly Mag top 50 restaurants list
  3. Click on the menus! Read them carefully and make sure that there’s actually stuff you’d wanna eat or try. If it’s a basic app, boring entree, and dessert you could get from Commons, pass. If it seems different, new, or just downright delicious, go for it. Keep an eye out for lunch menu options, a lot of them end up being incredible deals and they’re way cheaper than a dinner.
  4. To be an ultimate schemer, look up the regular menu. Make sure the things you’re getting are worth it. If the entrees are in the low teens, it’s probably not the best deal out there. Philly’s awesome because of how many affordable places there are to get a great meal. Restaurant week is not the time to try them out. Also if the thing you’ve always heard about and want to try isn’t on the restaurant week menu, it might be best to go another time. 
  5. Lastly, check the reservations. Most of the restaurants are on Open Table. If you’re making a last minute reservation and wanna just see what’s available, just search for your party size and time on the site and put in Center City as the location.

For the lazy, here are Street’s picks for the best restaurant week deals:

Steakhouse: Butcher and Singer, Capital Grille, Chima (Lunch)

French: Bistrot La Minette

Italian: Gran Cafe L’Aquila, Serafina (Lunch)

Israeli/Mediterranean: Abe Fisher, Barbuzzo (Lunch), Zahav

Asian: Buddakan (Lunch), Zama

Spanish/Hispanic: Amada, El Vez, Jamonera, Tinto, Xochitl

American: Bud & Marilyn’s (Lunch), Fitler Dining Room (Lunch and Dinner), XIX Nineteen, Pumpkin BYOB, Russet

Indian: IndeBlue


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