How to Write a Useful Restaurant Review like a True Food Critic


If you’re a restaurant aficionado, you love playing the role of food critic. You like to discuss, at length, the quality (or lack of quality) of every new restaurant with your dining companions. You take the dining experience very seriously, and you’re always on the lookout for a great new place to try. Your friends all respect your opinions and value your recommendations. Why not take that passion online, and write useful restaurant reviews for the whole world to see?

In order for your review you be useful, it has to help other people make their own decisions about a place. You can’t simply tell them to go or not to go. You have to provide them with the necessary information so they can make the judgment themselves. That is reviewing like a true food critic, and here are some tips on how to do it.

Give the Necessary Details

If the information isn’t obvious, tell the readers exactly where you dined, especially if there is more than one location for the restaurant. Also tell what day of the week and what time of day you ate there. You might also say a sentence about who you are.

Provide a Full Picture

Don’t just talk about the menu. While that is perhaps the most important parts of your experience, there are other things people might like to know, too. Most importantly, talk about the atmosphere and vibe of the whole place. You might not need to comment on everything, but some things that people might be interested in are: the neighborhood surrounding the restaurant, information on where to park, if it is kid-friendly, if there is outdoor seating, and if there are free drink refills.

Talk about the Food

The majority of your restaurant review should be about the food. Be as detailed as possible. Say exactly what you ordered, and be honest about what you thought of it. Just be careful, however, not to let your personal preferences get in the way. If you thought the food was too spicy, for example, qualify the comment by adding that you are not a big fan of spicy food anyway. Discuss what you thought about the entire menu as a whole, and whether or not you thought it was a good value for your money.

Talk about the Service

People also want to know about the service, so talk about how you were treated as a diner from the moment you walked in the door. Discuss the service from the valet drivers (if any), the hostess, your servers, and anyone else you encountered. If you had a terrible server, don’t call them out by name (notify management if there was a serious problem).

Use the Right Tone

Finally, be fair and respectful throughout the entire review. If you sound like a jerk, other people will not value your review. You can point out problems, but do so in a constructive way. You don’t have to love every place, but you should be able to backup all your opinions with examples.

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