Celebrate warm weather and longer days by heading out to try new features from local restaurants as they debut specials and prix fixe menus for the spring edition of Buffalo Restaurant Week from April 17-23. It’s a great time to get out and enjoy a local beer as well, as a number of breweries, including Big Ditch Brewing, New York Beer Project, Butera’s Craft Beer & Pizza (Village Brew Haus) and Hofbrauhaus will be taking part.

Craft beer venues such as Allen Burger Venture, Eagle House, Fattey Beer Company, Lenox Grill, Irishman, Magic Bear Beer Cellar, Pizza Plant, and more, will also join in on Restaurant Week.

“It gives people time to come out. When it’s Restaurant Week, you see restaurants you may have never heard of before,” said Nikki Searles, owner of Sunshine Vegan Eats at 893 Jefferson Ave. “It brings people together. Business during that week does grow. We’re in Buffalo! When the sun is shining, we all love to go and hang out.”

Restaurant Week is an opportunity for visitors, local diners, and Canadian neighbors, to try out the new offerings from local restaurants, taverns, bistros, diners and cafes. Sample new features on lunch and dinner menus. Find participating restaurants here.

Restaurant Week highlights the local community of restaurants who help make our region an inviting place to live and visit. The partnership with the local chapter of the restaurant association began last fall and aligns with Visit Buffalo Niagara’s mission to promote Erie County’s tourism industry and inspire people to discover Buffalo.

“People come to Buffalo to experience the food. Our wide array of restaurants is one of our great strengths,” said Patrick Kaler, VBN president and CEO. “Restaurant Week is a chance for us to celebrate the people and tastes that make our region a destination that visitors seek out. Mark your calendar. Visit a place you haven’t been to before. Taste something new. Share your discoveries with friends, family and on social media.”

New dishes and prix fixe menus will be offered all week. At Sunshine Vegan Eats, the vegan specialties include a burger named for her granddaughter, Niyah, with plant-based Impossible Burger “meat,” banana peppers, onions, mushrooms and a nut-free cheese sauce. Her Restaurant Week special: two burgers, with hand-cut fries, for $20.23.

“I serve vegan with a soul. I pour my love into my food,” said Searles, who opened her restaurant three years ago. She encourages her fellow restaurateurs to sign up for the free promotion. “I think it’s extra exposure,” she said. “If you have a restaurant, I think it’s something you should jump on board with.”

Matt Kahn, president and co-founder of Big Ditch, agrees.

“It is a nice time to have something like this. The weather is warmer. People have been cooped up for months,” he said. “It’s a good way to bring customers into our tap room and brewery. We do a couple specials during the week. It’s a good way to celebrate our local community.”

The weeklong event is coordinated by Visit Buffalo Niagara in collaboration with the Western New York chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association.