Food and Drink in the United States
The United States is an immigrant country. People from all over the world come to America and establish eateries and restaurants, dedicated to their native cuisine. So it isn’t surprising that the US has such wide variety of restaurants you would never find anywhere else in the world.
Top Places to Eat in the United States
In any major city immigrants still prefer to live compactly, so there is no need to say that the best Greek restaurant can be found in Greek district while authentic Chinese food is to be searched in Chinatown. At the same time in some tiny town you can find an Italian pizzeria, Latino, Indian or Thai restaurant.
Predominance of any certain ethnic restaurant depends on state population. In North-East regions British cuisine is dominated, in the South you would discover Creole and African cuisine, in the West and South-West Mexican eateries are everywhere.
In the USA there are a lot of fine gastronomic restaurants, with an average bill starts from $100 USD for two, no wine. Such places are often rewarded with prestigious awards, whilst there are more than a hundred restaurants with the Michelin stars in the USA.
Another type of American eateries is a small family cafe. These ones are democratic in the sense of price and etiquette. Many of them serve national cuisine. The average bill, no drinks is around $10-15 USD.
To get fresh and delicious food search for deli shop (Delicatessen), that serve takeaway. Some of them offer equipped seats to eat.
The vast majority of restaurants in United States are fast-food restaurants. In addition to well-known brands distributed worldwide, you can also find eateries serving hot dogs, pizza and pancakes. Square meal in such place is around $5-7 USD.
In major metropolitan areas appear highly specialized restaurants that stick to various diets, food preferences or targeted at a certain group of people that may be kosher, halal, vegetarian or raw eaters.
If your wish is just a cup of coffee, search for cafe or coffee shop. Meal range might be a bit limited there, but surely you will be offered nicely brewed beverage and desserts.
You won’t find a wide variety of restaurants in small towns unlike the big cities. Usually, in small towns the only places to eat vary from ethnic restaurants to fast food eateries.
RESTAURANTS FEATURES IN THE USA
The standard meal in America is usually quite big. So there is no need to order several meals as an ordinary burger may appear to be a multilevel burger. In addition to it you will get a salad and fries. There is no way to abandon this extra garnish in order to pay less. Due to this fact adults usually prefer children size meals. It is considered to be common to takeaway half-eaten meals.
Typically, along with main course you will be served a glass of iced water, it’s cost is added to the price. Alcohol isn’t widely available, some bars only have a license for beer and wine, but not for spirits, some may not offer alcohol at all.
Cash and credit cards are accepted throughout the United States without a problem. If you pay with credit card and would like to tip just mark the required amount in check.
Children are welcome guests in American restaurants. Kids zone equipped with slides and games can be found in the vast majority of it. In case your kids don’t like active games ask waiter for crayons and colouring books to entertain them.
Fast-food restaurants are the first ones to start their work (sometimes at 6.00 a.m.) and finish servicing clients around 11.00 p.m. Some of them operate 24 hours. Traditional coffee shops and cafes serve breakfast from around 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. Starting from 11.30 a.m. lunches are available in most eateries. Special offers are usually available from 3.30 pm. While starting from 4.00 p.m. to 9.00-10.00 p.m. restaurants offer dinner menu. On Sundays and public holidays from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. you may find brunch menu.
What About Tipping?
In ordinary restaurants tips are around 10-15% of total bill amount, but in trendy ones they would ask for 15-20%. When you are served by a bartender be ready to tip $1-2 USD per drink or 10-20% of your total bill. The same situation applies to sommelier servicing. His services cost around 10-15% of bottle price.
Before you tip, look closely at the bill as tips may already be included or there may be another amount they expect of you.
In fast-food restaurants, tipping is optional, however you are always welcome to put some coins in tipping box.