8 Great Ways to Select a Restaurant

When you travel, how do you decide where to eat? Cost? Recommendation?

Here are 8 great ways to pick a restaurant:

1. Read. I frequently see reviews or mentions of restaurants in magazine and newspaper articles. Other places to read about restaurants include Zagat guides,chowhoundYelp, and TripAdvisor.

2. Ask. Many people like to get restaurant recommendations from hotel concierges, front desk staff, tourist office workers, or taxi drivers. I get better results asking hotel maintenance and housekeeping staff, small store workers and owners, and library staff. Samantha Brown found wonderful authentic and inexpensive Vietnamese places in Orlando, Florida by talking to housekeepers.

3. Ask online. Post a message in Chowhound or other message boards asking for suggestions. Facebook and Twitter are also great resources.

4. Design. My wife likes to pick out places with attractive color schemes or font styles on the signs. I am more apt to pick a place that has a person’s name–like Mom’s Diner.

5. Menus. Before your trip, visit restaurant’s websites and view the menus online. In person, visit places and ask to see menus. This gives you a chance to see how busy it is, what the clients look like, and how friendly the staff is.

6. Drive by. Is the restaurant crowded or empty? Mostly local or out of state license plates? Fancy cars or pick up trucks? Do the people leaving look happy or not?

7. Deals. Certainly you can select places based on coupons or promotions.

8. Desperation. Sometimes you go with whatever is open. Whatever is on the highway exit sign. What the kids want.

How about you? How do you decide where to eat?

Happy travels!

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