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Finding Restaurants and Other Hotspots

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Now that you're all moved in and unpacked, you can start figuring out what the local hotspots are in your new town. Restaurants, clubs, and coffee houses: all of these and more could be the popular hangouts. You could always pick places at random and try them out, but, if you want to be sure that you'll enjoy your night out, then use the following advice.

Search online

The Internet is the most extensive database available to you. Search engines and online directories can be very helpful in locating local hotspots. Not only can you find a restaurant or café in your area, but you can also browse customer reviews or professional ratings like those done by Zagat?. Remember, when looking at reviews, try to find restaurants that have a lot of reviews. Just one might not be an accurate reflection of the establishment.

With many of these websites, you can enter the name of your city or your zip code, and then search by the type of restaurant, distance from your home, or price of food.

Search local advertisements

Local business owners often post ads in local newspapers or on community bulletin boards, so these are great places to look. Community bulletin boards can often be found in grocery stores, municipal buildings, libraries, and even on diner placemats. Ads of these kinds often come with coupons or other special offers, so keep an eye out for them.

In addition to advertisements, local papers often have reviews of restaurants or cafés in the area. Just look for the "Lifestyle" or "Food" sections. Many papers have online editions that can save you the hassle of having to go out and buy one.


Neighbors and coworkers in your new town are probably the best sources for finding local hotspots. Find people that have similar tastes to yours. This way, you'll get the most accurate referrals. You can even make some new friends at the same time, by asking some of your new neighbors or coworkers to go out with you.

You could also ask people as you go about town. Talk with the people you meet at the bank, post office, or grocery store. They probably have some good suggestions. If two or three people recommend the same place, it's probably a good sign.

Whether you read 100 reviews or just pick a restaurant at random, there's going to be a gamble involved. There's just no guarantee that you're going to like somewhere that you visit for the first time. That doesn't mean that the experience won't be fun, though. Even if you visit a terrible restaurant, you're likely to get a good story out of it. Eventually, you'll start to find a few places that you really like, and, before you know it, you'll be recommending restaurants to others.

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Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on August 27, 2009

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