During New York’s annual winter restaurant week this past month, my friends and I enjoyed a three-course meal at the high-priced Alfama Restaurant for a fraction of the price.

Had we stopped by any other time of year, my delicious beet salad, followed by 6 oz. strip steak and Serradura (a traditional sweet cream mousse layered with crumble) for dessert,  would have cost close to $55. Instead, we paid $35, a savings of about 35%.

It was all thanks to New York City’s Restaurant Week, when participating (and often ritzy) local eateries offer reduced prices for multi-course lunches and dinners. It’s going on in many cities across the country, some places host the event for more than a week.   

Sure, I could have just stayed home for dinner, opened up a can of tuna, stuffed it in a pita pocket and called it a night for a grand total of $1.99, but I already did that the week before and I decided it was time to treat myself (albeit at a discount).

Here are some current events and upcoming restaurant festivals in cities around the country:

Washington, D.C. 
Feb 16-22
Lunch: $20.09
Dinner: $35.09

Baltimore, Md.
Jan 23-Feb 1
Lunches: $20.09
Dinners: $30.09

Boston, Mass.
March 15-20 & 22-27
Lunches: $20.09
Dinners: $33.09

Philadelphia, Pa.
February 1-6
Dinners: $35

Los Angeles, Calif.
February 1 to 6
Lunches: $16, $22 or $28
Dinners: $26, $34 or $44

Chicago, Ill.
February 20-27, 2008
Lunches: $22
Dinners: $32

Toronto Winterlicious
January 30 - February 12, 2009
Lunches: $15, $20 or $30
Dinners: $25, $35 or $45

Austin, Tex.
March 1-4 & March 8-11
Dinners: $25 to $35

Denver, Colo.
Feb 21-27
Dinners: $52.80 for two, or $26.40 for one 

Catch more of Farnoosh’s advice on Real Simple. Real Life. on TLC, Friday nights at 8.