When I first heard about San Francisco restaurant week, my eyes glistened. When I started perusing the menus, my mouth drooled and my stomach rumbled. Everything looked so good. San Francisco restaurant week (formerly known as Dine the Town) is a ten-day event celebrating San Francisco’s unbeatable restaurant scene. Participating restaurants will be offering special, fixed menus for the event. A two-course lunch will cost $25, a three-course dinner will cost $40, and the brand new “discovery” tasting menu which includes food and beverage pairings will cost $85.

Sadly, my college student’s budget wouldn’t allow me to try every single restaurant participating. Just thinking about spending $25 for lunch even once made my wallet want to cry.

After looking through numerous menus, here are four restaurants I would visit. Be sure to make a reservation through OpenTable before you go because every 25¢ of every cover sold through OpenTable reservations will go to the SF-Marin Food Bank.

1. È Tutto Qua

Photo Courtesy of Dennis M via Flickr

This Italian restaurant’s dinner menu struck my fancy. With so many options for its three courses – appetizers, entrees and desserts – È Tutto Qua is a perfect place to bring your food loving friends. Each person is sure to find something to suit his or her taste.

2. The Stinking Rose

Photo Courtesy of Dan DeLuca via Flickr

It’s a garlic restaurant. How can I say no to such a place? Garlic makes everything taste better. Each menu item has the word “garlic” in it, like prime rib “slow roasted with garlic rosemary rub.” I can’t help but wonder if The Stinking Rose’s tiramisu will also have garlic… Tip: If you’re scared about having bad breath after, bring a pack of gum or some mints to suck on after your meal.

3. Fog Harbor Fish House

restaurant week

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu

One of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco (granted I haven’t tried that many). Fog Harbor’s delicious seafood choices like seafood cioppino, grilled swordfish, ½ garlic roasted dungeness crab and baked oysters are perfect for diners itching for a bite from the sea. For dessert lovers, Fog Harbor offers vanilla bean crème brulee, warm chocolate cake or seasonal bread pudding. Yum.

4. Roka Akor

Photo Courtesy of Roka Akor

Easily one of the best deals during restaurant week, Roka Akor offers butterfish tataki and sashimi as options for both its lunch and dinner menus. I would recommend going for dinner to get the biggest bang for your buck though. Ordering any of the dinner entrees typically costs $36 and with two additional courses, your usual bill is sure to be well over $40.

But if good food isn’t enough for you, there’s another perk. If you eat at least four or more participating restaurants, you can win one of twelve $100 gift certificates. All you have to do is make your reservations, take photos at each restaurant and post them on the Facebook event page with #SFRW and the restaurant names for your chance to win.