National: Zagat Releases America’s Top Restaurants 2009

’Tis the season for putting out new products, eh? Michelin’s dropping city guides like they were bad habits, and now, just in time for Halloween, Zagat has released its 2009 edition of America’s Top Restaurants. The national guide covers 1,516 restaurants in 45 cities and regions, according to their press release.

And, the new user-input-generated survey sheds a little light on our national dining preferences. Turns out we just can’t get enough Italian food, we want greener, healthier, and more low-key dining options, especially in the form of spin-offs of higher-end places (think Vetri cousin, Osteria). Also, the economy is a big, whopping deal on everybody’s mind. From the press release:

According to Zagat Survey CEO Tim Zagat, “Americans are still eating
out in restaurants, they are just making smarter choices. They’re dining in
high-end restaurants for lunch instead of dinner, seeking out value prix
fixe meals, and taking advantage of more causal neighborhood eateries.
Regardless of how the economy is doing, people still have to eat.”

Changing Habits: Still, the financial uncertainty has had an effect:
When asked what effect the weakening economy had on their dining habits,
33% said they are eating out less and being more sensitive to menu prices;
28% said they are eating in less expensive places, and roughly 20% said
they are cutting back on alcohol, appetizers and desserts. Only 34% of
surveyors report being unaffected by the economic downturn.

2009 Zagat America’s Top Restaurant Survey Is Out
[PR Newswire]
America’s Top Restaurants 2009 [Zagat]
Vetri [MenuPages]
Vetri [Official Site]
Osteria [MenuPages]
Osteria [Official Site]

[Image: Via Amazon]

National: Zagat Releases America’s Top Restaurants 2009