A Guide to Yelp

We are Yelp obsessed. SO OBSESSED. Maybe a little too obsessed. I'm sure that's not that surprising with what foodies we are, which we do post about frequently, but Yelp really is the most wonderful foodie tool around. It's easily one of the top 5 apps I use on my phone. 

Upon moving to VA is when we really started using the app and I quickly became rather compulsive about reviewing every single place we went to. After about a year of hardcore Yelping I got an email letting me know that I was nominated as an Elite Yelper! Not honestly sure how it happened, but I was (and still am) pretty excited about it. 

                                                                                                                                You basically become  Elite if you have an active profile with quality content. And (not always, but usually) your reviews are highly recommended to other Yelpers upon viewing a business's page. I pride myself on overly detailed reviews and quality photos of nearly every place we visit. But you certainly don't have to be Elite to thoroughly enjoy and benefit from Yelp

Pretty much all of our favorite restaurants have been found through Yelp. So I decided to compile some tips on how to get the most out of Yelp

Download the app
     The app is a must. You can certainly get a lot of Yelp just from their desktop site, and I often use it to make updates to my profile, as well as plotting out a wish list of restaurants leading up to a trip (more on that later). But so often Bear and I will be out and about, and decide we want to look for something to eat. 

How to Search
 To start, I hit Nearby, and Restaurants. 
Then I hit "Filter" on the upper left hand corner, select my price range I want to stay in, 
slide over the "Open Now" option (for obvious reasons) and scroll down to "Sort By" and select "Rating". 
I feel like this is the best way to narrow down my results quickly. I then scan through to see what looks good, and do a quick scan of the photos and reviews. 

Planning Ahead
     If we have plans to go somewhere new, or are planning a trip out of town, I will open up the app or go online and input the specific location we will be in. You can put the general city, or the specific address and view restaurants near that. Again, always searching by highest rated. I will then bookmark the ones that look appealing, and then discuss them with Bear when it comes time to decide where to go. 

Check-In (get coupons!)
     This is something I will often forget to do, but some restaurants will offer check-in discounts through Yelp. Sometimes you have to use them within a certain amount of time, sometimes you can save them for later. But it's good to check upon arriving to the restaurant. I can't tell you how many times I have checked into a place upon leaving only to discover I missed out on a coupon! 

     I spent a while using Yelp but without posting reviews. But being that I already often take pictures of what I eat I figured I might give back to the community that had helped me find so many yummy restaurants. For my review I try to give pros and cons covering; the cleanliness of the place, the quality of the service, what I ordered and my thoughts on the food, if I felt the prices were fair in comparison to the portion sizes, and if I would be willing to return or not. Additionally, if their seating and ordering is not clear (not sure if you seat yourself, if they bring the check to you or not) I will make note of that as well so people know what to expect if something is out of the ordinary. Photos are not vital but rather important to the review. If reasonably possible, I like to request to sit near windows to ensure I have nice natural lighting in my pictures. 

 (A series of photos for a recent review)

Unless there was something really atrocious about my visit, I like to give any place at least two chances before I say whether or not I would return. I'm not too hard to please, and being that I usually only visit highly reviewed places, I don't often have many bad experiences. 

 Hopefully that helps! Feel free to follow Bear and myself

Happy Yelping! 

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