Finding local restaurants is as easy as getting out the phone book or strolling down the street. But finding the best local restaurants requires a willingness to do a little research and spend time talking with the people who live and eat there. There are a number of Web sites devoted to professional and amateur restaurant reviews in larger cities. It’s not as easy, though, to find information on restaurants in smaller towns and out-of-the-way places.


Use word of mouth to your advantage. If you’re visiting, don’t just pick up brochures at the tourist bureau, ask the people who work there what their favorite restaurants are and why. Do the same at your hotel, gas stations, and shops.


Go online and find the city’s Web site. Frequently there will be a dining section and individual restaurants may post reviews. Links to restaurants give you an opportunity to read menus and discover what cuisine the restaurant serves.


Visit Web sites that aggregate information about cities, such as City Data, Yahoo Local and AOL’s City Guide. Check the discussion forums for restaurant recommendations.


Check local newspapers. Don’t limit yourself to the major paper. Pick up weeklies and free newspapers. Read the ads to obtain tips on dining. Consider attending a fund-raising event that features local foods, such as a church supper or firehouse chicken dinner. While you’re eating, chat with people about good restaurants.


Search by the city at Yelp for restaurant reviews by locals in hundreds of locations. The site has discussion forums and a blog. Sign up for Yelp Mobile to have information delivered to your phone.

If you’re looking for Joplin’s best restaurant – a truly unique dining experience – then swing by Club 609. Whether you’re a regular or whether you’ve never been in before, you can enjoy your meal and feel like family.