By: Mary Fran Bontempo

Okay, I agree. It’s freaking freezing outside. And the fact that we haven’t experienced this kind of cold in Philly for around two years only makes it worse.

But after a few days inside, cabin fever makes even the coldest temperatures look preferable than spending yet another day prowling around the house, staring morosely out the window and worse, foraging for anything that’s left in the fridge to eat.

Which is why it’s worth it to brave the cold and indulge in some truly great food and fun at the Philadelphia Restaurant Week, held at various restaurants in Center City from January 20th to the 25th and January 27th to February 1st, 2013.

It’s no secret that Philadelphia winters can be brutal, keeping patrons home and tables at our city’s great restaurants empty. Which is why, every year, some of the best eateries in town join together to offer specials to tempt customers out of their warm houses and into new and exciting dining experiences.

With 127 restaurants listed as participants, many establishments taking part in Philly’s Restaurant Week (like similar events around the country–check out your own local listings if you’re not from the area), offer both lunch and dinner specials. A three-course dinner runs $35, while a similar lunch offering costs $20. The lunch option is particularly appealing given the frigid temperatures, which only plunge further after dark.

Philadelphia is a great town for foodies, and Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to try something new or revisit an old favorite. Check out the Restaurant Week website–reservations are often available through the website Open Table, as well as by phone–and don’t be afraid to step out into the cold.

A warm greeting from grateful restaurateurs, along with a delicious meal, will surely raise your temperature.