My favorite source for restaurant (and other) reviews
I love reviews as an authentic resource, especially for novices, because they hit so many proficiency targets – expressing opinions, description, talking about activities, talking about community. And they’re usually short and written with high-frequency vocabulary. So, where’s the best place to find authentic reviews? So far my favorite is a site called Loogares.com. For some reason, the “home page” is set to Washington, D.C., but it’s easy enough to change. Simply click on Más ciudades to see what else is offered.
Then click on wherever you want to look. I’m not sure why, but my favorite is Chile, Santiago to be specific. It’s loaded with tons of reviews of tons of places.
Side note: you can also search for specific types of places or cities anytime at the top.
On the Santiago home page, I scroll down and find what I’m looking for on the left – Restaurantes. I click on the word rather than the suggestions beneath, because I want to see them all.
Now I go to Categorías on the left. (If you click on “Ver Todas” you’ll additionally see heladerías.) I click on Cafés/teterías because my students like to hang out at cafés. But, students can navigate themselves and choose whatever category they like, though you’ll want to steer middle and high school students away from bares.
In the category cafés, I choose Starbucks because of the comparison factor, and because it has more reviews, but it’s also great to choose local, authentic places.
From there, you can see all the possibilities – navigate the map: what’s nearby? What are the prices like here? When is it open? Is there a website? What do you think about the website? How does it compare to our Starbucks?
Then, hit the reviews. Be sure to preview the vocabulary and ask lots of questions. Then, ask students to talk to each other about a place they like. End with them producing a spoken or written review of their own favorite spot- and perhaps why it’s better than the one their conversation partner chose!
My friend Bethanie came up with a great activity based on this site and has given me permission to post it here. Be looking for that soon. Do you have any suggestions for sites in other languages?