With a restaurant popping up on every street corner at an insane rate, you may be forgiven for getting lost in the noise. But there are some ways to do your research to ensure your trip isn’t wasted on your taste buds.
Especially with fine dining restaurants in London
, New York, LA and other big cities where there is no end to the number of cool and quirky places to eat. How do you decide where to go?
Here are four of the best ways to research your restaurant in our modern, internet age before visiting:
Follow the Social Media Hype
In the world of food, the people looking for hyped-up eateries are those who need visual encouragement to visit somewhere.
Whether they are interested in fresh new menus at an already open place or its a newly opened restaurant.
Instagram is the main place to find and follow the hype. Although you need to sign up for an account, which is free, you can go to the app or search on Instagram for accounts specializing in food trends and photography.
As Instagrammers want to generate interest and motivate people to try whatever they are posting pics about, they tend to be very good at taking pics.
While there may be a general lack of in-depth opinion, these people are usually the ones you need to pay close attention to as they often get exclusives and give out quick information about the latest, trendiest places to eat.
Remember, though, when you are looking at a feed with a lot of followers - there could be, among the many genuine pics, a sponsored post by a background company that has not been featured otherwise on the main feed of the poster.
Subscribe to and Read Food Blogs
Even if you’ve never really been a fan of reading the opinions of diners who sit in their pjs at night and write food blogs, you should understand that they work very hard to give you all the information you need.
Whether it is about the service, the decor or specific items and dishes on the menu. Great food bloggers will usually give a very genuine and honest opinion of the good and the bad eateries.
Their posts may feature places often that are not worth visiting, but it will always be worth reading. As a discerning diner, it is likely that you want to, if possible, know a number of things about a place before you head out of your home to visit it.
Recommendations about bookings and reservations, washroom quality, what the food is really like - these are all things you need to know and can learn from high quality food blogs.
Review Sites and Directories
Zomato – This was once the best place to go when trying to find great new restaurants and eateries. However, you should now just use it for cross-referencing, as it has a number of flaws.
The Zomato staff don’t put enough effort into updating it regularly, there’s hardly any support for bloggers and the ratings are posted anonymously.
TripAdvisor – You will struggle to find sufficient information on Trip Advisor about less popular and smaller restaurants. However, it is a great resource for the fancy, bigger places.
Yelp – This is an effective resource for finding restaurants and places to eat in your local area, but it has a strange algorithm that seemingly hides certain places based on their below average user reviews.
Use Traditional Media
It’s true that newspapers are a dying platform, but there are still people out there who have that need for real, strong journalism. There is a certain benefit to reading something written by someone who is paid to write impartial reviews, whether they are positive or negative.
Most websites in the news sector call themselves digital magazines nowadays, and have teams on the street or web looking for the newest places to eat, though this doesn’t mean they are necessarily the best.
There are more ways than ever before to find restaurants in your local area. The best way is to understand what you’re looking for and use numerous sources to make an informed decision.