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Feb 28, 2007 04:31 PM

Is the Zagat guide reliable?

I'm coming to NY in April and thinking about buying a copy of the Zagat restaurant guide. Not sure whether its worthwhile, ie, is it really a good indication of which are the best places to eat in NYC? Any ideas appreciated. We will only be in NY for 6 nights, but that is quite a few breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
PS we will be with a 5 and 7 year old.

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    1. i used to love zagats because i knew real foodies were writing the reviews. however, ask yourself, doesn't the average person like average food? zagats now gets tons of people providing feedback, the more people, the more "average" the reviewers will be. take it for what it is.

      1. Zagat's is a bit of a popularity contest but it is a good start.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tpigeon

          Stole my thunder... I say it is a good confirming source, but should not be used as the gospel in any way. I have done pretty well with zagat, but it is clearly not always accurate. In fact, it favors foods from high end places and is reluctant to place a great food rating on a less "event-like" place.

        2. i find this website to be far more helpful than zagat's btw, dkstar1, how did you get hooked up with participating in those surveys?

          2 Replies
          1. re: nativeNYer

            Apologies to dkstar1-I thought I volunteer an answer to nativeNYer.
            You can do the surveys online at In olden days, the hard copy survey would be available in restaurants. But it is much easier to do online. And on the site, it will be indicated which surveys are available for completion. Different times of the year mean different surveys. There are some other benefits to the site. And, if you want to pay, you get even more benefits. I go the freebie way myself (and for completing a survey, you get a free copy of that guide mailed to you).

            1. re: eve

              thanks so much, eve. i just found this reply today. i rarely log onto their site b/c there's not much to access without being a paying member . didn't know this was an option, much less available for non-paying folks. thanks again . i'll look into this!!!!

          2. Zagat is worthwhile for a starting point, but for NY you might consider using Michilin.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jpschust

              Agree about Zagat. Michelin, in my view, is flawed as well...

              1. re: jsmitty

                I agree that it's flawed, but it's significantly better than Zagat for the locations which it covers.