With the 2016 edition of Winter Bites Restaurant Week just around the corner (it starts Monday!), we wanted to provide you with some tips to help you make the best out of the January 11-17 event that has become a food lovers favourite time of the year.

1. Plan Your Attack

Did you say Berkshire pork bacon?
Did you say Berkshire pork bacon?

You never just jump out of bed and go charging up the hill…well General Brock did, but he was pretty bad ass. What we’re saying is take a look at the menus in advance and make your plan for the week. We hear from countless people who go out to two, three even four restaurants or more during Winter Bites. If you’re doing the same plan your week out accordingly and make it easier on yourself to hit up all the meals you’re dying to try.

Check out the participating restaurant menus to see all the restaurants and their menus.

2. Make Reservations

You’re hungry and chompin’ at the bit to try a Winter Bites menu when soon after bursting through the restaurant doors you’re told they’re full. No one wants to be shot down in a blaze of glory, that’s why we strongly recommend making reservations during the week, especially for the weekends. We’ve had restaurants booked solid and have to turn walk-in customers away. Unless you’re trying to recreate this…

3. Talk with Your Servers

Don’t be shy. Several restaurants are showcasing brand spanking new dishes just for Winter Bites, so the servers might have an inside scoop on the dish. Also, if for some reason the waiter/waitress has forgot to hand you a Winter Bites Restaurant Week menu, just ask. They might have been busy, fallen into routine and forgot.

4. Weekday Dining

That being said, if you’re wanting to avoid the busiest time, we recommend dining out for Winter Bites Restaurant Week on a weekday. It’ll help avoid the likeliness of a restaurant being booked.

5. Be Adventurous

Doin' it raw
Doin’ it raw

Like we said, some restaurants are offering new items that have never been on their regular menus before. So even if you’re wanting to visit a regular of yours, you can make it something fresh and new by ordering one of the new items on their Winter Bites menu. Some examples are:

  • Tiki Sushi is offering raw oysters as an option. (Check out this video on how to shuck an oyster with a screwdriver)
  • The Willistead is cooking up a Beef Cheek Stroganoff.
  • Beacon Ale House has created a Duck Confit Poutine.
  • Rino’s Kitchen is serving up a Braised Rabbit Ravioli.

These are just a few of many examples. 

6. Take and Share Photos

Go ahead. We encourage you to take those food selfies. In fact, you could even be rewarded for it. By sharing your Winter Bites photos on Instagram with the #WB2016 hashtag, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win prizes like a Bikes & Beers Cycling Tour, gift certificates to restaurants and more.

Along with Instagram, we’d also love to see your photos shared on Facebook and Twitter. As hard as we’ll try, we won’t be able to hit up every restaurant so we’d love to see your Winter Bites selections.

7. Sharing is Caring!

It’s always fun heading out with a group of friends and Winter Bites makes it that much tastier. We’ve heard stories of everybody at a table ordering a different combination of the menu items so that everyone can try each and every dish on a particular restaurants Winter Bites menu. We also think the more the merrier!

8. Work Week Lunch

Lumpia from Tropical Hut
Lumpia from Tropical Hut

Ditch the paper bag lunch and treat yourself.  Winter Bites is a perfect, inexpensive way for the office to head out or order in for a bite to eat as a group. One of the best deals this year may just be from Tropical Hut who are offering a $10 three course lunch menu.

9. Try A New Restaurant

Everyone has a go-to restaurant that they struggle to stray from when deciding on a dinner out. While it’s great to have a regular restaurant that you absolutely love, with over 20 restaurants participating, there are so many different styles of cuisine to choose from. Why stick to you “go to”?

For instance the private club, The Windsor Club, is opening up their doors to the public to dine in during the week. Reservations are required but this is definitely a unique experience that many have never had before, especially since their new move to Walkerville.