8 Great Ways to Select a Restaurant (2012 edition)

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 the Road Food books, Zagat guides, ChowhoundYelp, and TripAdvisor. When on the road, my number 1 go-to source is probably the Yelp mobile app.

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 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? Do you like places frequented by long haul truckers or police?

7. Deals. Certainly you can select places based on coupons (such as Groupon) or promotions. Note: see my post: Better Than Groupon.

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!

To read previous posts in the Road Trip Diet series click here.

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© 2012, Charles McCool

4 thoughts on “8 Great Ways to Select a Restaurant (2012 edition)

  1. Pingback: 8 Great Ways to Creatively Stick to a Cheap Travel Budget « McCool Travel

  2. Yes those tips are very important but most of the traveler that love food are challenging their self and explore,in Finland country most of the good restaurant are inside the hotels where there is a place to dine that traveler will surely like it,not only for a good food but for the atmosphere inside of it.


  3. Pingback: In Search of Glowing Recommendations | McCool Travel

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