Summer Restaurant Week came and went this year without much fanfare. Some of my friends said they hadn’t even heard about it. I’m usually uber-competitive about it, but this year I barely blinked. I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was the extra five dollars tacked on to the normal price, but mostly, I feel like it was the fact that in the middle of this recession you can get better deals all year round for the same or less than the $35 price tag that comes with Restaurant Week. To prove my point, I checked out a selection of Restaurant Week favorites, and came up with a hefty list of regular all-the-time prixe fixe menus at some of the area’s best eateries. You can eat at some of a DC’s foodies favorites if you’re willing to do a little leg work, or eat a bit on the early side.
Most of my favorite places in Chinatown and Penn Quarter, especially, do pre-theater menus. You usually have to arrive before 7 p.m., but that’s perfect for an after-work dinner date. Or, alternately, head to some of these places for lunch, where you can grab otherwise super pricey food for cheap. The other option is to saunter up to the bar at some of the city’s best, where you snag some of the same dining room meals for less.
When compiling this post, I wanted to stick with full meals here (for happy hours, refer to my fried happy hour food and healthy happy hour food posts) and so I only feature full meals offered at the bar for less than $35. So, foodie, there are ways to eat your way through the city for less all year long, you just have to be smart about it! Continue reading