About 200 restaurants are taking part in the twice-a-year event, which continues through Sunday.
It's meant to highlight the region's locally-owned, independent restaurants, says event coordinator Christa Hobart
One of the criteria for a restaurant to get involved is offering a fixed price of $20.12 cents for a meal, she says.
"[We] picked it just because it was easy to remember, and went right along with the year, so that's what we've been doing since the start of Local Restaurant Week. The dining special is always based on the year," Hobart says.
Some of the dining special are good for one meal, some are good for two, she adds. Others are good for lunch, while others are good for dinner.
"There's couple that are good for takeout, and some are good for brunch," Hobart says.
Local Restaurant Week began with just 60 restaurants in Spring 2009, and grew to almost 200 this past spring.
"It’s also about celebrating Western New York culture," Mike Andrzejewski owner of Seabar, Cantina Loco and Mike A’s at the Lafayette and founder of the event, said in a news release. "Every time we run Local Restaurant Week it gives the local restaurant community the opportunity to make the distinction that we are as much a part of the culture of the community as landmark buildings, treasured institutions and the distinctive fabric of our life here in the area."
Dan Garvey, manager of the Roycroft Inn, agrees. "Restaurants are cultural signposts of the area that people can touch and feel every day. Take our operation for instance. We have a history that dates back to the earliest times of the Arts and Crafts movement in America. But our history is not the only reason people come here. It's because we offer the same type of communal space and experience that was so important to the founders of the Roycroft movement that resonates with our modern approach to life. History is alive here. It's a big part of our appeal."
Western New York retains a high percentage of independent restaurant operators, many of which are generational businesses that through successive decades have become bedrocks of the communities they serve.
"It's hard to not think of Depew without referring – literally – to Salvatore's Italian Gardens," said Peter Longo, past President of the New York Restaurant Association's Western New York Chapter, in the same news release. "Think of downtown Buffalo and look at the pictures hanging up in Chef's restaurant. But then there are the smaller places such as Adam's Rib in Snyder, these independent restaurants carry the community spirit and footprint with them every day and give us a tangible place for shared experience."