Cabin fever is often at its worst during the cold, short days of late January and early February.
Not coincidentally, that’s also one of the best times to go out to eat during Naperville Restaurant Week.
The event, which involves dozens of restaurants around the city, from fine dining to fast casual, takes place during the slow period between the holidays and Valentine’s Day, giving residents a compelling reason to get out of the house and mingle.
This year’s event will be held January 26 to February 8 and will include a variety of restaurants, headlined by Catch 35, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House and Mesón Sabika, which have participated every year since its inception in 2014.
“When we started we only had a handful of restaurants that wanted to participate, largely ones involved in Chicago Restaurant Week—they had firsthand knowledge of how well it worked,” says Christine Jeffries, president of Naperville Development Partnership. “Each year we’ve had more restaurants participate and the success rate is even higher. Now people wait for it, know it’s coming, and there is a lot of excitement.”
It’s free for restaurants to participate and they often see a 25- to 30-percent increase in business during Restaurant Week, Jeffries says. The only requirement is that they offer a prix fixe option or a discount on a featured menu item.
People can choose from restaurants all around the city, including the four main restaurant clusters: CityGate Centre, downtown, Freedom Commons, and Naperville Crossings. On a typical weekend Naperville restaurants draw from a 30-mile radius; that geographic area expands during Restaurant Week, when visitors come from as far away as central Illinois and Chicago.
Restaurant Week is organized by DineNaperville.com, which is run by the Naperville Development Partnership. Several eateries have signed up for the event already and many more join in early to mid-January; check for updates at dinenaperville.com/naperville-restaurant-week.