Handicapping Houston Restaurant Week: Your Guide to the Best Deals and Meals

UPDATE: In grand Houston Restaurant Weeks tradition (which used to be just "Houston Restaurant Week," no plural at the end), HRW has been extended once again this year. The month-long dining-for-charity eatstravaganza will run through Labor Day weekend. The last day to get your $20 lunches and $35 dinners will be Monday, September 3. Make your reservations now...

With so many restaurants participating in the month-long Houston Restaurant Weeks this year (more than 150 at last count), it can be difficult to choose which ones to tackle. And since you want to make reservations at nearly all of the participating HRW spots, you'll want to start planning now.

That's why we've put together a handy guide to handicapping Houston Restaurant Weeks. Which restaurants offer four-course dinners for the cost of a $35 three-course dinner? Which ones offer brunch specials? Which ones will take care of your vegetarian friends? Which ones will dazzle your date with an amazing view or extraordinary wine list?

All of those categories are covered in our guide and more, so read on and start making your reservations now. And remember how it works:

  • Two-course lunch menus are $20; $3 of that goes to your area food bank
  • Three-course dinner menus are $35; $5 of that goes to your area food bank
  • You can also donate an additional $10 by texting "HRW" to 20222

Important reminder: These servers are making far less money per tab for an entire month (a month in which they have to pay rent, car notes, phone bills and more) while we all enjoy cheap meals for a good, charitable cause. So consider your servers while dining out for HRW, too; treat them kindly and leave a generous tip.

All links below take you to the menus for the individual restaurants listed.

Bang for Your Buck: These five restaurants are offering four courses at dinner instead of the typical three-course menus. Come hungry.

RDG + Bar Annie Ciao Bello The Fish Giacomo's Cibo e Vino Max's Wine Dive

Room with a View: All five of these restaurants offer stunning views -- some from up high and some from down on the banks of the bayou.

Brenner's on the Bayou Rainbow Lodge Spindletop The Tasting Room - King's Harbor Trevisio

Wine & Dine These five restaurants are notable for their excellent wine lists. Salud!

Ibiza Sorrel Urban Bistro Tango & Malbec The Tasting Room Triniti

Dinner & Drinks: These five restaurants have excellent cocktail programs. And although the cocktails aren't included in the cost of the meal, you can treat yourself to a tipple with all the money you saved.

Branch Water Tavern Hearsay Gastro Lounge Line & Lariat Soma Sushi TQLA

The Brunch Bunch: Gather up the gang and start out your weekend right at one of these five restaurants offering special HRW brunch menus.

Branch Water Tavern Haven The Grove RDG + Bar Annie Tony Mandola's

Meat & Potatoes: Five of Houston's best steakhouses and meat emporiums are participating in HRW this year. Knives at the ready...

Del Frisco's Mo's a Place for Steaks Pappas Bros. Steakhouse Sullivan's Steakhouse Vic & Anthony's

Vegetarian Vibes: At these five restaurants, the vegetarian offerings aren't just an afterthought -- they're both thoughtful and artful.

Backstreet Cafe Haven Hugo's Indika Kiran's

Stellar Seafood: No matter your seafood preference, there's a restaurant for every persuasion this year -- from Japanese to Cajun and everything in between.

Eddie V's Kata Robata The Oceanaire Truluck's Willie G's

Italian Stallions: From cozy, family-style Italian to the ritziest restaurant in town.

Arcodoro Coppa Ristorante Italiano Prego Quattro Tony's

France's Finest: Nothing's better than affordable foie gras.

Artisans Au Petit Paris Brasserie 19 Le Mistral Philippe

Leisurely Lunch: You'll want to linger over your lunch at these five hotspots, so plan to take a little extra time.

Arturo Boada Cuisine The Bird & the Bear Canopy Cadillac Bar Ouisie's Table

New Kids on the Block: These five restaurants are still fairly new to town. Give them a try during HRW, but be kind while they're still getting their sea legs.

BLU Restaurant & Lounge Concepcion Hawthorn Katsuya by Starck L'Olivier

Houston Classics: If you've lived here for years and never tried these five classics, now's the time.

benjy's Brennan's of Houston Crapitto's Mockingbird Bistro Shade

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