When is San Diego Restaurant Week?It happens twice a year:
- Fall: September 16-21, 2012
- Winter: January (exact dates announced a month or so in advance on their website)
Which Restaurants Participate? How Do I Make a Reservation?You'll find a list at the San Diego Restaurant Week website, or go to their home page, where you can narrow choices by meal (lunch or dinner), type of cuisine, location and price. If you click through, you can see menus and also make reservations.
You'll also find the same restaurants listed at Open Table, which has the advantage of access to reviews and also lets you make reservations.
If you're a little overwhelmed by so many places to eat, click on over to our tips for choosing a restaurant to get some ideas for ways to create your personal short list.
San Diego Restaurant Week PricesThe foundation of the week is the fixed-price (prix fixe) menu. Lunch costs less than dinner and for each meal, restaurants are divided into three groups by price. In 2012, lunches are $10, $20 OR $30 and dinners $20, $30 or $40.
Those prices are just for the meal and don't include beverages, tax or gratuities.
Reasons to Try San Diego Restaurant Week
- At its best, San Diego Restaurant Week gives you a chance to try someplace you might not normally go, sample a new cuisine or chef with less risk of feeling like you've wasted your money.
- Prices can be lower during Restaurant Week.
Why San Diego Restaurant Week May Not be for YouNot every restaurant holds up well during restaurant week, even though they may be great the rest of the year. These are some of the factors that contribute to that:
- If you're a fussy eater, have food allergies or dietary restrictions, fixed restaurant week menus may not include items that meet your needs. If you're in doubt about a particular restaurant, click through to its menus from their home page, or call and ask questions. Fortunately, most places still serve their regular menu along with the special prix fixe meals, but of course at regular prices.
- Lower prices during restaurant week force restaurants to make decisions about how to deal with that and still make a profit, and some choose to offer just a few simple dishes. That may mean the special entree you've been dreaming about won't be included.
- Many popular restaurants are full to capacity during restaurant week, which can compromise the staff's ability to deliver their normal level of service.
- Smaller restaurants can also have trouble keeping up the quality of their regular offerings along with the restaurant week specials.
- The hottest dining spots in town may not be participating. In fact, they probably aren't.