How to Use Yelp

How to Use Yelp

Living in the Bay Area means everyone and their mom uses Yelp, which causes for a lot of confusion and inner turmoil when you're picking a restaurant last minute.

Unfortunately, his post did not warrant for food photos.

 I call this gem Yelpspionage.

Your best course of action is to befriend someone at Yelp and bother them for suggestions. They are lovely and quite charming people. When you don't have that, you have to take matters into your own hands...

Know the Users

Exhibit A

This guy is making quite some allegations about India's Restaurant in L.A. I've been to this restaurant - and the food was not "the best" - actually, it ranked amongst the top 30 worst. Also the service was mediocre. I dislike sit-down places where I have to walk to the counter to pay. Excuse me - I thought I was tipping for service. 

I've also found a review that read, "I haven't actually eaten here, but the food looks good." If only I had taken a screenshot as proof.

Exhibit B

And this gem. I go to this rock gym, and I'll be the first to agree that SOME of the people working there aren't super friendly. But I'm not quite sure how skin color is grounds for the one star rating. Maybe that's just me.

Watch out for Fake Reviews

When a place has too many 5 star reviews claiming it's the "Best" (Cuisine) of all of (Location) - you should be wary. This enterprise may be paying externally for reviews.

Look for reviews with a little bit of personality- it is likely someone real writing it.

Yelp Elite

Don't just go to a place because it has been reviewed well by a Yelp Elite. Stalk the Elite a little and find out if they've reviewed places you like. If not, they might just be a review whore.

"Vegetarians Go Nuts for the Place"

Beware of this Yelp label. I believe it's given to all places above a certain rating that offer vegetarian foods. I've been to many places where I've wanted to get up and slap the chef for giving me such a terrible meal. (i.e.)


Where are you? Remember, Boba in the middle of nowhere (Bakersfield, CA) should not be held to the same standard as boba in a large city (San Francisco).

In other words, 3.5 stars in Austin, TX for beats 5 stars in Lake Tahoe, CA for Tex-Mex food. (Thinking about this is making me cringe.)

Dollar Signs

Don't hold a $ place at the same standards as a $$ or $$$ place. In other words, don't complain about the service you never paid for.

At a $$$, by all means, complain about the service and ambiance. Also, make sure you also put your pinky up in the air when you're sipping your wine.


Don't go to a restaurant right before it closes. Imagine getting the dregs of the chicken at Chipotle. No one likes that.

Hopefully you feel more informed- and can now make better food choices.

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