Save Money on Dining Out

Sure, why not get the senior discount or the ‘early bird’ specials? Deals abound in CNY

By Margaret McCormick

The Eat Local CNY card is one of the way people can save on food. It gives users a $5 discount for every $25 spent at dozens of participating restaurants.
The Eat Local CNY card is one of the way people can save on food. It gives users a $5 discount for every $25 spent at dozens of participating restaurants.

Want to save money on dining out and drinking out? Who doesn’t, right?

Some restaurants in Central New York offer “early bird specials’’ — deals designed to bring people in before the prime dining hours of 6 to 9 p.m. Others offer deals later in the evening, when business tends to slow down.

Many chain restaurants (think Arby’s, Applebee’s, Carraba’s Italian Grill and Denny’s) offer senior citizen discounts for people aged 55 or 60 and older. This is often in the form of a percentage off the bill, so be sure to inquire. In addition, many locally-owned restaurants regularly offer dining deals, discounts and specials with no age restrictions.

Here are some tasty ways to save money dining out in CNY. If you dine out once a week or once a month, these deals are worth keeping in mind.


Phoebe’s Restaurant and Coffee Lounge, Syracuse: Start the week off right with Burger and a Beer Mondays (5 to 9 p.m.) at Phoebe’s. Enjoy an eight-ounce burger and any pint for $12. Information: 315-475-5154.

• Bull and Bear Roadhouse, East Syracuse: Bull and Bear Roadhouse packs ‘em in for $4 Burger Night each Tuesday. Burgers come with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion; add more toppings for 75 cents each.  Dine in only. Information: 315-437-2855.

• Bear Creek Bar and Grill, Brewerton: Burgers are buy one, get one (BOGO) on Wednesdays at this Adirondack-inspired restaurant. Bring along a burger-loving friend or family member. Information: 315-668-5544.

• Johnny Angels Heavenly Burgers, Skaneateles: Thursday Burger Days are a tradition at this Skaneateles burger joint. $5 gets you a burger and your garnishes of choice from the toppings bar. Everything else is extra. Information: 315-685-0100.


• Carmelita’s Mexican Restaurant, Cicero: Every Wednesday is Taco Wednesday. For $2 each, enjoy Aust and Geros crispy tacos with your choice of ground beef or marinated chipotle chicken. (Menu items take their names from the owner’s family members.) Information: 315-699-7550.

• XO Taco, Syracuse: Take $1 off all tacos and sip on half-priced Margaritas all day every Tuesday. Information: 315-303-1699.

Pizza, pasta, etc.

• Nestico’s Restaurant, North Syracuse: On Mondays, many menu items are half off with a coupon you can download at the Nestico’s website. On Tuesdays, take advantage of two for $22 chicken Parmesan dinners. On Wednesdays, the restaurant’s signature pasta pie dinner costs $10.99. Information: 315-458-5188.

• Toss ‘n’ Fire Pizza, North Syracuse: On Tuesdays, enjoy half-price chicken wings with any $10 purchase (eat in only). On Wednesdays, large specialty pizzas are $13.99 (eat in or takeout). Information: 315-458-9380 .

• Sal’s New York Style Pizza and Restaurant, Baldwinsville: Two chicken riggies dinners for $19.99. What’s not to like? Every Monday and no restrictions: dine in, delivery or takeout. Information: 315-638-8505.

• Twin Trees III, North Syracuse: On Thursdays, bring your appetite and enjoy the bottomless pizza buffet for $10.99 per person. Includes pizzas, wings, soup, salad and baked ziti. Information: 315-458-9311.


• Bonefish Grill, Fayetteville: Spice up your Wednesdays with $6 servings of the chain’s signature appetizer, Bang-Bang Shrimp. Information: 315-637-0491.

• Kasai Ramen, Syracuse:  Enjoy $3 Asian-style steam buns (also known as bao buns) on “Monday Bunday’’ at the restaurant in Armory Square. The $10 weekday lunch special (your choice of steam bun and a half serving of ramen) is a great introduction to the ramen restaurant. Information: 315-310-8500.

• Sake Bomb, Cicero: Hibachi, steaks, seafood – and best of all, half-price sushi on Wednesdays (dine in only).  Information: 315-698-7888.

• Tully’s (multiple locations): Tully’s world famous chicken tenders are a bargain after 9 p.m., Sunday through Friday, when tenders are offered for $5.95 with the purchase of a drink. Information:

• Zebb’s Deluxe Grill and Bar (Mattydale and New Hartford): Children 10 and under eat free all day every Sunday, beverages not included. One free kids; meal with the purchase of each adult meal. Information:


• Laci’s Tapas Bar, Syracuse: Laci’s offers buy one, get one sangria on Thursdays. Try the red sangria, the white sangria or one of each. Information: 315-218-5903

• Apizza Regionale, Syracuse: Wood-fired pizza and wine is a tasty combo. Enjoy $20 bottles of wine with your pizza or pasta on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Information: 315-802-2607.

• Scotch ‘n’ Sirloin: The Scotch has been in business for more than 50 years and offers a 50 percent off wine list at dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays. The restaurant has both steakhouse and bistro dining. Information: 315-446-1771.

• Dani’s Dessert and Wine Bar, Baldwinsville: Dani’s is a good place to be on hump day – also known as Wine Wednesday. Enjoy $15 bottles of house wine. Information: 315-303-0321.

Sweet Endings

• Cathy’s Cookie Kitchen, Syracuse: The bakery, across the street from the Museum of Science and Technology in Armory Square, offers a “cookie happy hour’’ from 5 to 6 p.m. each Friday with half-price cookies from the display case. Arrive early for best selection. Information: 315-263-9363

More Ways To Save

• EatLocalCNY card: Think of the Eat Local CNY card as a reusable coupon that is good at dozens of participating restaurants. Spend $25 and take $5 off your bill. Can’t be combined with other discounts. Information:

• Salt City Eats deals: Purchase gift certificates to local restaurants for half the price. Check the website for current deals. Information:

• Local Flavor: Dozens of local dining discounts, including many half-price certificates, are available through the Local Flavor website. Information:

• Sweet Deals: 93Q and other Cumulus radio stations in Syracuse regularly offer discounted dining deals. View current deals on the website. Information: