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It’s not always easy to live in New York City, with all the delayed subways, closet-sized apartments and $6 cold-brew coffees. But twice every year, the Big Apple gives us a reason to smile: Restaurant Week. During these two-week stints, hundreds of restaurants around the city offer discounted menus, giving us the perfect opportunity to eat Michelin-starred dinners and fancy brunches that we can actually afford. 

With so many options, it can be hard to decide where to dine, so we’ve simplified things by culling a list of the top 11 places to try. After all, you have from January 21 to February 9 to take advantage of $26 lunches and $42 three-course dinners, so you just might be able to sample them all. 

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noreertuh sq
Nathan Ma

1. Noreetuh

We’ve always associated Hawaiian food with Spam musubi and poke bowls, but thanks to Noreetuh, we now know it’s so much more than that. Now is the perfect time to try out dishes like the crispy pork cutlet with katsu sauce and the spaghetti with smoked cod and nori. Unlike many restaurants that offer just a few Restaurant Week options, Noreetuh boasts a pretty expansive dinner menu, which you can enjoy for just $42 every night but Saturdays during the promotion. Noreetuh has a hugely underrated wine list with some unique vintages, so strongly consider the $25 optional wine pairing. 

128 First Ave.noreetuh.com

manhatta sq
Emily Andrews

2. Manhatta

It’s been difficult to score a dinner reservation at Manhatta ever since Danny Meyer opened this European-inspired eatery on the 60th floor of a FiDi skyscraper. But let us let you in on a little secret: Lunch is our favorite meal here because there’s no better time to take in the sweeping Manhattan views. So grab a weekday lunch reservation and enjoy a two-course meal that includes dishes like chicken liver paté with pickled vegetables and buttery brioche, and roasted cod with mussels and curried crab.

28 Liberty St., 60th floormanhattarestaurant.com

3. Taboon

This Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, a short walk from the bright lights and theaters on Broadway, is one of those places that often flies under the radar. But every time we go to Taboon, we’re reminded of just how reliable and satisfying the food is. With its Mediterranean-meets-Middle Eastern menu of things like baba ghanoush, grilled cauliflower with whipped feta and za’atar, and grilled branzino, Taboon is the perfect spot for a pre-theater meal or a group dinner, since it offers lots of shareable plates.

773 Tenth Ave.taboononline.com

4. Freemans

When it comes to cozy restaurants, this rustic tavern-esque eatery—nestled beneath bistro lights in an alley right off the Bowery—is in a league of its own. Inside, you might feel as if you’ve been transported to a lodge in the Catskills, thanks to walls lined with wooden bookshelves…and the taxidermy decor. With a hearty menu featuring dishes like hot artichoke dip and Hudson Valley duck, Freeman’s is most suitable for omnivores. During Restaurant Week, you can take advantage of the special menu at weekday lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday dinner.  

Freeman Alley; freemansrestaurant.com

5. Casa Mono and Bar Jamon

Set on a picturesque corner on Irving Place, Casa Mono and its neighboring closet-sized tapas spot, Bar Jamon, feel like a little piece of Spain in Gramercy. Stop by for weekday lunch at this Michelin-starred eatery for a two-course menu of Catalan specialties like cheesy cod croquettes, juicy chorizo with piquillo peppers, and pork belly with bean stew. Wine isn’t included in the Restaurant Week menu, but we’d strongly encourage you to take a peek at the all-Spanish wine list, spanning regions from Bierzo to Tenerife. 

52 Irving Placecasamononyc.com

6. Union Square Café

If we became millionaires, our first course of action would be to become regulars at Union Square Café. The service is fantastic, the cozy booths and mahogany details make it feel cozy enough to be your living room (if you lived in a 10,000-square-foot mansion, that is) and the food is downright good. Go for a weekday lunch during Restaurant Week and choose from dishes like frascatelli in cream sauce, confit tuna and farro salad, and grilled trout with Brussels sprouts in mustard vinaigrette for a fraction of what you’d pay any other time of year.  

101 E. 19th St.; unionsquarecafe.com

7. Il Mulino Downtown

There are certainly trendier places to eat near Washington Square Park, but when it comes to delicious Italian food, few places are like Il Mulino. The West Third Street location is dimly lit and old-school—full of business executives and regulars who have been dining here for decades—and the rich and decadent pastas come piled high on enormous plates. Il Mulino is usually a pricey joint, so the $26 two-course weekday lunch menu that includes dishes like eggplant rollatini, ricotta meatballs, and fettuccini in lamb ragù is quite the steal. Pro tip: For $20 more, you can opt for a wine pairing. You just might need a nap when you’re done.  

86 W. Third St.; ilmulino.com/downtown

8. Hearth

We love a bunch of things about Hearth: the way the restaurant serves healthy-ish food that tastes satisfying, the warm and welcoming interior with its homey decor and exposed brick, and the fact you can usually get in without a wait. The one thing we don’t love is that a meal here can get pricey. That’s why Restaurant Week is the perfect time to book a table at this East Village establishment. The dinner menu is $42 for three courses (think broccoli cheddar soup followed by whole-grain fusilli with roasted cauliflower and pistachio). Hearth is also offering a $26 Sunday brunch of ricotta toast and pork sausage with poached egg. 

403 E. 12th St.; restauranthearth.com

toume sq
Noah Fecks

9. Tuome

Tuome is one of those restaurants you want to shout about from the rooftops, but you also, selfishly, want to keep it to yourself. This Alphabet City spot has been around for the better part of a decade, but it’s just starting to get the recognition it deserves thanks to a recent Michelin star. It has everything you associate with a good neighborhood restaurant: lots of exposed brick, not a lot of elbow room and a great, affordable wine list. We’ve been to Tuome a handful of times, and we’re thrilled to see that the Restaurant Week menu includes all the hits: the chicken liver mousse with soft milk bread, and the “pig out” udon noodles with snow crab, and a heaping portion of crispy pork belly served with spicy peanut noodles.

536 E. Fifth St.; tuomenyc.com

loringplace sq
Aliza Eliazarov

10. Loring Place

This Greenwich Village restaurant fits the bill for a number of occasions: a girls’ night out, lunch with friends, a casual date night or whenever you’re looking for a semi-healthy dinner spot. During Restaurant Week, it’s a perfect weekday lunch option where you’ll find lots of vegetable-forward dishes, colorful dips and plenty of whole wheat pizzas and pastas that make you feel like you’re being semi-virtuous.  

21 W. Eighth St.; loringplacenyc.com

11. Pig & Khao

With a Filipina chef at the helm, this Lower East Side eatery delves into flavors from all over Southeast Asia. And Pig & Khao offers something a little different from the normal Restaurant Week routine: Dinner consists of three courses, rice and dessert for $42. Start off with something light and refreshing, like a green papaya salad, before moving on to the heartier dishes, like pork belly adobo, Malaysian fried chicken and baby back ribs. Be warned, vegetarians will have a tough time here, but carnivores will have a field day.

68 Clinton St.; pigandkhao.com 

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