Web Site Guides for ESL Students

Restaurant Row

In this lesson we will learn where there are thousands of real menus from real restaurants where real people eat. We will learn how to find and choose a restaurant that fits our needs. Then we'll learn how to read a menu and even order a meal.
restaurantrow.com is a site that lists thousands of restaurants and menus in over 13000 cities. You can find restaurants using six different ways to search. We will practice the following three ways.
Enter the city name or the Zip Code. You could also enter the restaurant name if you know it.
Enter the city name, choose the type of cuisine, and click the search button.
  • There are over 80 choices of cuisine. Here are some examples.Bagels, Barbecue, Brick Oven Pizza, Cajun/Creole, Chops, Californian, Caribbean, Chinese, Continental, Delicatessen, Diner, Eclectic/Int'l, French Bistro, French Nouveau, German, Gourmet Pizza, Greek, Healthy, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kosher, Mediterranian, Mexican, Pastries, Rotisserie, Seafood, Southern/Soul, Southwestern, Spanish, Steakhouses, Tapas, Tex Mex, Thai, Vegetarian, Vietnamese
    Click on one of the 22 listed cities. Select a neighborhood, how many miles you are willing to travel, a cuisine, ambience, features, and entertainment.

    Practice 1

    Let's find a Japanese restaurant in Chicago, Illinois using QUICK SEARCH.
    1. First click Restaurant Row to get to the home page.
    2. Then, in the upper left hand corner of the restaurantrow.com page type Chicago into the city or zip window. Then click GO.
    3. There are three cities called Chicago. Click Chicago, IL.
    4. There are more than 1500 restaurants in Chicago, IL. Go to the All Cuisines window, click the arrows on the right side of the window, choose Japanese, and click go.
    5. Now we can see the names, addresses, and the telephone mumbers of more than ten Japanese restaurants. We can click to see menus, photos, maps, directions, and reviews of each restaurant.

    Practice 2

    Imagine that you are staying at a hotel in the Japantown section of San Francisco. You would like to eat some seafood at a restaurant with a beautiful view of the city and maybe listen to some live music. You would like to be able to walk to the restaurant and pay by credit card.
    1. First click Restaurant Row to get to the home page.
    2. Then, from the left side of the page under OTHER SEARCHES click NEIGHBORHOOD.
    3. Then click on San Francisco.
    4. On this page there are a lot of things to select and click.
    5. We have found at least one restaurant. If we want to find more we could go back and click a bigger number for the How many miles will you travel? window.

    Exercise 1

    Follow the directions and answer the questions. 
    PDF File for printout.
    1. Go to the The Mandarin restaurant page.
    2. Click on View Map.
    3. Click on View Menu and find the Beijing Dinner.
    4. Look at other pages of The Mandarin menu.
    5. Imagine that you are a customer at The Mandarin restaurant. Write down the dishes that you would like to order and the prices. Decide how much money you would leave for a tip. Add the total amount for the meal and calculate the amount in the money of your country. Do you think it is expensive or cheap? Would you like to go to this restaurant?
    6. Can you answer this?

    Exercise 2

    Follow the directions and answer the questions. 
    PDF File for printout.
    1. Sonny Smith's is a restaurant in Dallas, Texas. Go to Sonny Smith's Barbeque page and menus to find the answers to the following questions.
    2. What would you like to order at Sonny Smith's Barbeque restaurant? Include the prices, too.
    3. Find a restaurant called Nobu that is on Hudson Street in New York city. The Zip Code is 10013.
    4. Describe the restaurant Nobu. What kind of food is served? Is it cheap or expensive? Is it popular? What kinds of people go there? Is it open at noon? Does it get good reviews?
    5. Can you answer this?


    At a restaurant in the US you may be asked questions by the waiter/waitress. Here are some examples.


    Remember these things when you are in a restaurant. You'll have a better time and so will others. Also, the service will be better.


    Tipping at a restaurant in the US is usually between 10% and 20% of the bill. The percentage depends on the the quality of service and on the total amount of the bill. If the tip is cash, leave it on the table near your cup or glass. If you pay by credit card you can write in the tip amount when you sign the bill.


    the mood or atmosphere of a place
    services, courtesies
    heavy ring-shaped bread rolls
    meats, seafood and vegetables cooked over charcoal ... sometimes barbecue or BBQ
    bed and breakfast
    a rental room in a house with breakfast ... sometimes B & B
    the distance between one road and the next
    a late breakfast and early lunch combined
    setting out a number of dishes and having the guests serve themselves
    Bring-Your-Own-Bottle ... you can bring your own alcoholic drinks to the restaurant
    spicy French-American Indian food popular in Louisiana area
    make and deliver food for a social event
    celebrity owned
    owned by famous people like movie stars
    thick slices of pork or lamb
    type of food
    Decaf. Coffee
    decaf. is short for decaffeinated ... coffee that contains no caffeine
    delicatessen: serves ready-to-eat foods
    a restaurant usually resembling a dining car
    dinner theater
    customers can watch a play or a musical while they eat
    Distinguished Restaurants of North America
    early bird
    a restaurant that is open very early in the morning
    various kinds of food from various countries
    dancing, karaoke, sports, TV, etc.
    the main dish
    special aspects like delivery, family, outdoor dining, take out, sushi-bar, etc.
    French Bistro
    small, inexpensive French restaurants.
    wild animal and wild bird meats
    food prepared following Jewish law
    one ounce (oz) is about 30 grams
    either making beer in the restaurant or selling small brewery beers
    baked goods with sweet fillings ... like pies
    there are two pints to one quart
    prixe fixe menu
    a meal of several courses costing a fixed price
    0.95 liters
    what other customers write about the restaurant, food, and service
    a restaurant specializing in roasted or barbecued meat, often from a rotating spit
    small Spanish savoury dishes often served with drinks at a bar
    money left for the waiter or waitress ... usually between 10% and 20% of the bill
    food traditionally eaten by Americans in the south
    Tex Mex
    a blend of Mexican and southern American dishes
    foods prepared without using meat or animal products
    wheelchair access
    with ramps and/or elevators for wheelchairs

    Copyright (C) 2003 by Bruce Vorland
    Last Update: February, 2003