By Lisa van der Pool, Boston Business Journal

BOSTON (CBS) – Although nationally the average rate that people go out to dinner has stabilized since the recession, Bostonians are still dining out fewer times per week than the national average of 3.1, according to a fresh report “2012 America’s Top Restaurants” from Zagat.

Bostonians eat an average of 2.5 meals out each week, tied with Philadelphians for the least-frequent restaurant patrons, according to Zagat’s report.

While Zagat reports that dining out has stabilized at 3.1, that number is still lower than the 3.3 meals out that Americans treated themselves to before the recession took hold in 2008.

The survey found that on average, U.S. diners fork over about $35.65 per meal, a slight uptick over last year’s average.

The priciest dining in the country is in Las Vegas, where the average meal costs $47.53.

The survey queried over 156,000 foodies who dined out an estimated 25 million times during the last year, according to Zagat.

The survey, which listed the top restaurants in major U.S. cities, gave a shout to the upscale sushi joint O Ya, as a top restaurant in Boston.

The report also found that 74-percent of diners in Boston support restaurants being required to post their health department letter grades.

“Our surveyors’ support for the display of health department letter grades has grown as fast as support for the smoking bans a few years ago,” said Tim Zagat, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Zagat, in a press release.

“By requiring restaurants to maintain sanitary environments, these laws are benefiting the overall safety of the consumer.”

Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal reports

Zagat, which publishes guides for over 70 cities and has accompanying web sites for all of its guides, was acquired by Google in September.

Zagat’s Boston guide features reviews of 1,369 restaurants in the metro Boston area.

Comments (3)
  1. emom says:

    I don’t know about this, I will not fork over $35 – $45 a meal,, I pay that for 3 people, Seems they are looking at the high priced dining, honestly who can afford that,, and if I did go to a higher priced diner, I still manage to keep the bill under $50 for 3. If restaurants were not so expensive then maybe they would see a lot more customers, Many of the bigger chain restaurants I see their parking lots only half full. Do you blame people for not going out to eat,,, IT COST TO DARN MUCH. Honestly with that kind on cash I can make meals for a few days and make them look gourmet.. Now a days its a treat to eat out,, and I look for deals with that as well,,, SORRY but its tough for all,

  2. Italo says:

    I agree. I may add, also, that the Boston dining entertainment experience is not only overpriced, but also overrated along with much of its regular clientele. Boston Proper’s dining epicentres and accessibility leave a lot to be desired and are quite dwarfed by, for instance, those of its more-sophisticated “bigger sister” city, e.g., New York City, IMHO.

    As for chain restaurants, at least fast-food smaller ones, I always try to get out of the way of the right lane whenever I pass these establishments on highways — because, 9 out of 10 times they seem always to have some giant, slow, road-hogging SUV filled with a thin-challenged family pulling out of their parking lots and merging into our ways at the last minute at 3 mph. Alas, that’s becoming the dominating outdoor dining experience demographic norm more and more, across the Boston area anyway, it appears.

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