How to Support Your Favorite Local Restaurants

A lot of local restaurants are struggling to stay afloat amid the pandemic, but the good news is that there are many things you can do to help!

8 ways to support the local restaurants you love

#1. Order carry-out

Rising COVID cases across the country mean that, in many places, local restaurants have had to navigate operations with strict restrictions in place. This has led to a decrease and sometimes complete elimination of in-person dining.

However, just because you may not be able to sit, eat and enjoy the full experience of your favorite restaurants, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a great meal from them every once in a while.

Many restaurants have started relying heavily on carry-out to make up for the lack of in-person business. Continuing to support the restaurants you love by ordering carry-out is a great way to show you care. Plus, it’s probably about a million times tastier than eating at a fast-food chain!

#2. Write reviews

Want to help your favorite local restaurants get more business (and stay in business)? One of the best ways you can show your support is by simply going online and leaving a review!

People rely heavily on online restaurant reviews when deciding where to eat. You can help hungry people connect with the local restaurants you love by taking just a few minutes out of your day to write a review.

Writing reviews is also great for local restaurants because it helps them to be more visible both on search engines, like Google, and local directories and websites, like Yelp or Facebook.

Last but certainly not least, you can encourage the team at your favorite local restaurant and let them know how much you love their delicious eats!

#3. Buy gift cards

In addition to ordering take-out from your favorite local restaurants, you should also consider buying gift cards. It’s a fantastic way to support local businesses, and demonstrates your commitment to keep supporting them in the future!

If you’re looking for a great gift for friends or family, consider giving out gift cards to the local restaurants and other businesses you love to frequent!

Buying gift cards from your favorite restaurants will help you support the local businesses you love, introduce them to the people you love and spread the joy that only a full, satisfied tummy can bring!

#4. Spread the word on social media

Ordering dinner from your go-local restaurant tonight? Snap a picture of your meal and share it with your friends and family on Facebook, Instagram or whatever social media platform you like to use.

Not only is this a wonderful way to let your friends and family know where to get a great meal in town, but you can also show your favorite restaurants how much you love what they have to offer.

User-generated content like this is a powerful tool for local restaurants looking to spread the word and get new customers in the door. It’s an effective, free way to help your favorite local businesses grow and thrive.

#5. Purchase meal kits

A lot of local businesses have had to get creative in order to survive the pandemic, and one of the ways many businesses have gotten creative is offering ready-to-cook meal kits with everything an amateur chef would need to recreate some of their favorite dishes at home.

If you like to cook, you want to learn some new skills in the kitchen and you want to support the local restaurants you love, take advantage of the meal kits they’re offering.

Just like gift cards, meal kits can also be fun, out-of-the-box holiday gifts that your friends and family will love.

#6. Order delivery

Delivery is another additional service that many local restaurants have started offering because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, if you can’t get out and about, it’s a fantastic way to enjoy the food you love while supporting the restaurants you love.

If you’re going to go the delivery route, opt for the in-house delivery service if offered. Third-party delivery apps have made it possible for many local restaurants to offer delivery and keep serving their customers, but they often charge exorbitant fees to restaurants.

However, if the only delivery option is a third-party delivery service, it’s still preferable to support a local restaurant than not!

#7. Follow, like and comment on social media

Want to help your favorite local restaurants find more success online? If so, one of the best things you can do is to follow their social media profiles, and like, comment on and share their posts.

In general, the more engagement a business gets on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, the more visible it will be. Plus, more fans and interaction shows the other hungry people in your area that the restaurant is good enough that they have a loyal following.

Like writing reviews and sharing pictures of meals, engaging with the local restaurants you love on social media is a free, effective way to show the love and provide them with much-needed support.

#8. Ask how you can help

There are a lot of great ways you can support your favorite local restaurants, but if you want to make the biggest impact, the best way to go about it is often to simply ask.

While many local restaurants are facing the same challenges, not every restaurant will have the same focus or needs.

For instance, one restaurant may be pushing gift cards and meal kits, while another would prefer customers to choose carry-out over delivery. You can’t always know what the local restaurants you love need until you ask!

Want to write reviews for the local restaurants you frequent the most? Want to find a delicious meal from a local restaurant nearby?

Find local restaurants near you with Top Rated Local® today!

The Perfect Restaurants for a Little Romance in NYC

No other city can compare to New York when it comes to romance.

From the Empire State Building, which is famous for its part in many-a-romantic movies, like An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle, to Central Park, where so many couples have ridden horse-drawn carriages, fallen in love while strolling hand in hand, and even tied the knot, New York City lives and breathes romance like no other city in the United States.

It’s undeniable that the Big Apple is the perfect place to spend with that special someone, but regardless of whether you’re a permanent resident or a visitor to this great city, almost no other aspect of a great night out is more important than the restaurant you choose. After all, who doesn’t love food!?

Finding the perfect romantic restaurant is the mission of many native New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors alike, and as it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be the ideal topic for today’s blog. So, without further ado:

New York City’s 10 Most Romantic Restaurants

#1. Le Coucou

You don’t have to visit Paris to feel like you’re in the City of Love. Le Coucou is a fabulous French restaurant that’s located between Canal Street and Howard Street, and it’s the perfect place to share incredible French fare with your Valentine’s date. The food is just one aspect of the experience; Le Coucou also offers handblown chandeliers, vaulted ceilings, and stunning 12-inch candles on every table. Personally, I can’t think of anything more romantic.

#2. Le Bernardin

For the finest seafood in all of New York City, there’s no better option than Le Bernardin. At Le Bernardin, the fish is the star of the plate, and it’s always served fresh and with respect. If you’re looking for a more formal experience, the main dining room is the picture of modern elegance. In the lounge, you’ll find a more casual setting to enjoy delectable caviar, oysters, and wine.

#3. La Grenouille

When it comes to ambiance, La Grenouille is the restaurant to turn to. This is the perfect restaurant to enjoy French delicacies surrounded by stunning flower arrangements. According to their thousands of reviews, their service is both personal and memorable, their atmosphere is enchanting, and their food is delicious.

#4. The NoMad Restaurant

Not every fine dining experience has to be accompanied by white tablecloths. The NoMad Restaurant, which is located in The NoMad Hotel on Broadway and 28th, offers a more unique, less fussy type of luxury. From the view of the stars from the glass ceiling of the atrium to the dining room covered in elegant red velvet, The NoMad is an incredible place to find a little romance, as well as a delicious bite to eat.

#5. Shuko

Shuko is a tiny but incredible sushi restaurant in Union Square, and as it’s located behind an unmarked door, it feels like your own special secret. It’s the perfect mix of atmosphere and phenomenal cuisine that will make date night memorable. Reservations are a must, as seating is at the sushi bar or at one or two small tables, but it makes for an intimate experience. Based on traditional Japanese techniques and flavors, their daily tasting menu is also something to behold.

#6. il Buco

il Buco has an atmosphere like no other restaurant in New York City. With all of the charm and tranquility of a beautiful Italian home, il Buco offers one of the most romantic experiences in the City. And, that doesn’t even compare to the romantic atmosphere of the wine cellar at il Buco, which is a must-have experience, whether you’re in the thralls of new love or celebrating a 50th anniversary.

#7. One If By Land, Two If By Sea

Are you looking for a totally unique fine dining experience? If so, look no further than One If By Land, Two If By Sea. This classic American restaurant is located in the West Village in a historical carriage that was built in 1767 and was once owned by Aaron Burr. With live piano music, candlelit tables, and a charming fireplace, this restaurant exudes romance. If that’s not enough of a reason to go, they also provide attentive service and a fabulous menu.

#8. L’Artusi

At L’Artusi in West Village, there are multiple romantic fine dining options to choose from. You can choose the dining room for a more traditional but still fantastic experience, you can choose the cheese bar for a more intimate experience, or you can choose the chef’s counter where you can watch the modern Italian masterpieces being created right in front of you. The food is both comforting and creative, and it’s the ideal setting for a little romance in the city.

#9. La Mercerie

La Mercerie is located inside Roman and Williams Guild in SoHo, and it’s a charming French eatery that will make you feel like you’re in Paris. With velvety curtains and dainty ceramics, everything about this restaurant and pastry counter exudes the spirit of France. The menu is absolutely to die for, and when you combine the mouth-watering food with the charming French atmosphere, it’s an experience like no other.

#10. The River Café

Located in Dumbo, just under the Brooklyn Bridge, The River Café offers an unbeatable view of Manhattan and a classic American menu that changes by the season. Suffice it to say, try to get a window seat if at all possible; you’ll want to take in as much of that view as you can, trust me. The ambiance of The River Café can’t be missed. When you go, make sure to dress formally and make a reservation!

When it comes to romance, nowhere beats New York City, and these outstanding restaurants prove it. Want to learn about more of the city’s finest dining experiences? Find a restaurant near you today!