It’s about to be one of my favorite times of year: Restaurant Week!

For those who aren’t familiar, twice a year a bunch of local (and a few chain) restaurants participate in a week-long event where you can try their food for a special price.

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The Winter 2014 Restaurant Week runs Jan. 13 through Jan. 19.

It’s often a great way to try pricier restaurants for less money – or try something you can’t usually get at one of your favorite places! Most places offer multiple course menus for around $20 or $30, but you can check the prices here.

One of my best Restaurant Week experiences was a year ago at Mallorca on the South Side. It’s a great restaurant and typically a little out of my price range, but I had an embarrassingly huge (and delicious) meal for around $30, including shrimp, homemade chips and a huge and tender steak.

This year I’m really looking forward to hopefully trying Spoon, Ibiza and Seviche.

I’m especially excited about Seviche, because they’re offering Seared Ahi and Salmon tataki and Pan roasted duck breast – two of my favorite foods.

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Based off of the menus on the Restaurant Week website, my recommendations would include:

Butcher and the Rye
– you get four courses for $35 — a very good deal there. I’ll also say when I ate there, every piece of meat they make is amazing, no matter the style.

Braddock’s American Brasserie – it’s a three course fixed menu of cassoulet, petite filet and raspberry cobbler. Also a great deal at $30.

Nola – they’re also offering a three course fixed menu for $35, which looks mouthwatering, but most of all, I’m intrigued by the “Spicy Shrimp Bread Pudding.” You can never go wrong at Nola because the food is wonderful, but it’s also one of the most fun restaurants in the city.

Up Modern Italian – Up is featuring a three course menu for $30, from which you can choose mushrooms and toast, scallops, ravioli and other delicious fare — and bonus, you can chose wine pairing for $5!

But there’s a giant list of restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, so be sure to check them all out here.

Which places are you excited about? What’s your experience with restaurant week been like?

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If you love food too, be sure to follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahtheKovash