Buffalo, N.Y. -- Local restaurant week is upon us once again in Western New York.

It's a biannual event that celebrates local and independent restaurants and vendorsand highlights the important role they play in communities and defining cultural identities.

For eaters, it's a chance to try something new.

There are 200 participating regional restaurants this year. Dining Features for the week start at $20.16 and $30.16 -- money that stays in Western New York.

"Our local independent restaurants are as much a part of the fabric of Western New York culture as any landmark or museum," said Mike Andrzejewski, SeaBar and Cantina Loco owner. "This event encourages people to get out and get to know the rich and diverse culture of our area as only local restaurants can help them experience it."

Restaurant Week runs until Oct. 23.

For more information and a complete list of participating restaurants, visit www.localrestaurantweek.com.