Reviews from Ratings Explained


First things first

All of the opinions expressed on this site are our own, and we’re not paid by anyone for this. If you disagree, or want to send us more information, please go right ahead. We also welcome you to leave comments on the site, provided that you follow our SITE RULES. We reserve the right to jettison, delete, cancel, omit, strike, and eject any comments we don’t like.

Our Ratings

Attached to each review is a ratings box. This is our attempt to come up with a quick way of getting the primary information to you. Here is a description of the categories and what they mean to us, the authors of this site.

A sample restaurant review

A sample restaurant review

Price. We rate the price on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most expensive. Everyone has their own perception of what’s expensive. Here’s ours. The dollar values shown are for a typical vegetarian meal, per-person, total bill, with tax. YMMV.

Food/Price. Lots of cheap places have great food, and conversely, lots of expensive places have downright mediocre food. So, rather than rate the food alone, we rate what you get for your money. It’s a sliding scale. Face it, a great, $5 burrito can be better than a fancy stack of food you didn’t like.

Veg-Friendly and Vegan Friendly. While some restaurants are very accommodating of their vegetarian and vegan customers, others are so closed-minded or uneducated, that they can’t be bothered to offer more than salad. "Veg*Friendly" is our way of pointing out how accommodating they seem to be—to us. Do they have a pasta that’s not bathed in cheese? Do any of the soups have non-veg stock? How do they react when you ask them to hold the meat or dairy? These are just our impressions.

For strictly vegetarian restaurants, this is easy, and we rate them a 5 out of 5. But even vegetarian restaurants may not have a large vegan selection, so we rate vegan-friendliness separately.
The categories from 1 to 5 are given as

Veg Selection. Here we gauge the number and variety of vegetarian appetizers and entrees on a 5 point scale. The 5 rating is reserved for strictly vegetarian restaurants. Plenty of Chinese and Indian restaurants rate a 4 for having a great, deep menu with lots of options.

Ambiance is often very hard to sum up in just a few words. We try to give a quick impression of what the place is like. It may be quite different by day and by night, for brunch, or dinner. We do our best, but please go and form your own opinion about it.

Date-worthy. Some places are special enough to save for a date with someone you like, love, or want to impress. To us, date worthy means that it’s quiet and private enough to have a nice conversation, and set the mood for a fun evening. It could be a special place with dim lights and great wine, or a casual place with kind waiters and really good food.

Obviously, your milage may vary on this category. If you’re expecting to dance on the bar at 10 pm, or take a second mortgage on the house to pay for a single glass of wine, your idea of date-worthy is probably different than ours. We just want you to know that going in.

*Great Taste is defined as in, “Your great taste will be demonstrated by choosing this restaurant for a date.”


About the Authors

Ken and Kathryn are the authors of VegJapan, a vegetarian TravelBlog in Japan.


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