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9 Tips for Dining at a Restaurant for the First Time

When it comes to eating out, it can be easy to slip into bad habits. While there is nothing wrong with having favorite places, consistently going to the same places or only eating the same foods can quickly become boring. However, finding somewhere new to go can be overwhelming!

Whether you are looking for a place to grab a quick slice of pizza or the hottest new restaurant in town, discovering a new favorite restaurant can be easier than you think! We have gathered some basic tips to get you started and on your way to a new restaurant for the first time! 

Using online review services, such as Yelp, as a starting point.

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful resources! Yelp allows you to search with extremely specific parameters. 

It is also packed with reviews from actual customers. This helps you know you are getting the real deal and firsthand experiences from diners just like you. 

Research the menu ahead of time.

Is there anything worse than being excited to go out to eat and ended up being unable to find anything on the menu? A simple online search before dining can help alleviate any stress or anxiety that you may end up going hungry. 

Make sure to check the restaurant’s website for accurate and up to date menus. Also, ensure you have selected the correct menu for the time of day you will be going or the location you are going to. 

Check social media to see posts of the restaurant’s food and atmosphere.

When you are going somewhere you have never been, it can be difficult to anticipate what to expect. However, the golden age of social media empowers us with so much information to prepare ourselves! 

A good starting point is the social media of the restaurant itself. Also, check Instagram for pictures people have posted and tagged at that location. 

Seek a professional opinion on the restaurant.

While Yelp or similar corners of the Internet are a good starting point, a professional opinion can always be beneficial! Consider a website such as Eater, which is a website packed with the latest news and articles about food. 

Local media can also be an excellent resource! Local newspapers and news stations often have food critics, and they will know all the best places to dine in your area. 

Ask friends and family members if they have been there.

The opinions of others can be important, but the opinions of those who know you best can be critical! Ask around in your inner circles to see what others have heard to help you prepare or make a decision. 

Find someone to go with you.

Have you found the perfect place? It is time to find the perfect dining partner! Dining alone can be an enjoyable experience, but it may be uncomfortable in a place you have never been. Is there any better excuse to catch up with a friend than the possibility of delicious food? 

Find out if you should make reservations in advanced.

Planning ahead is always crucial, and double-checking restaurant hours is best practice. Also, if you are concerned a place may be busy or you just want to secure your spot, check if they take reservations! Apps or websites like Yelp and OpenTable can make this a simple process. 

Do your research to see if there are any promotions or discounts available.

Why not save a little cash while you are dining out? Visit the restaurant’s website or websites like Groupon to see if there are any specials available to help you save. 

Keep an open mind!

You will never know how you feel about a food until you try! Dig deep and embrace your sense of adventure to try something new. You just may find a new favorite! 

A whole new world of dining is out there waiting for you. Whether you are hoping to find a new place for a favorite dish or ready to try a new cuisine, we hope you find it! Bon appétit!

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