President’s Day weekend is here and while some of us may have an extra day off, all of us can save money dining out! Check out these limited time promotions on gift certificates and coupons that can be used at your favorite local restaurants:
So it all started one day when I noticed a grand opening sign in a neighborhood strip center: The Poke House. No description (at least none that I could see as I slowly crawled my car past the establishment to get a better look). Poke. Could it be a cutesy name for an acupuncture practice? No- I spotted tables and chairs through the tinted store windows. A restaurant! Not that there’s any shortage of restaurants in our area. But the site of a new one turns me into a kid on Christmas day. “I can’t wait to try this out!”
And that’s what we did. On the way, my husband and I debated the correct pronunciation of Poke. Poke…Po-kee…? Although a Google search was just a few finger-taps away, we found it more amusing to guess. And poke each other “poke!”. In admitting this story, I reveal our ignorance to an apparent Poke craze (and it’s po-kay, by the way).
Poke, we discovered, is raw fish salad. Raw fish. Salad. A delightful combination, especially to those who have ever wished they could eat a bowl of sushi. Originally a Hawaiian dish, mainland Americans seemed to have put their own spin on it. Doesn’t matter to me. Any restaurant that offers a choice of raw salmon, tuna, or hamachi – marinated in a savory sauce – placed in a bowl of rice, greens, veggies, and more goodness… is poke (po-kay) with me!
So where can you find Poke?
Outside of Hawaii, Poke first became popular in the US in Southern California and is most prevalent on the West Coast. However, you’ll notice Poke restaurants popping up anywhere you can find fresh sushi. Here’s a list of some popular Poke restaurants around the country. Know a Poke spot near you that you like? Let us know in the comments!
|Anaheim, CA||Bay Poke|
|Austin, TX||The Big Kahuna (Food Truck)|
|Chicago, IL||Aloha Poke Co|
|Columbus, OH||Poke Bros.|
|Daly City, CA||Poki Time|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Raw Poke Bar|
|Lake Forest, CA||Kikari Poki Bar|
|Las Vegas, NV||Soul Fish Poke|
|Los Angeles, CA||Poke Me|
|Philadelphia, PA||Oishii Poke|
|Rancho Cucamonga, CA||The Poke Spot|
|San Diego, CA||Pacific Poke Company|
|San Francisco, CA||Pokihub|
|Scottsdale, AZ||Poke Bar|
|Seattle, WA||Billy Beach Sushi|
|Vancouver, BC||The Poke Shop|
If you are like most people, you probably have a handful of restaurants that you frequent. But how often do you check to see if they are offering deals or coupons? Websites like Groupon and Living Social sometimes offer dinning deals that last just 24 hours so they can be very easy to miss. You have a life to live and its just not feasible to look for these deals every day. Lucky for you we live in an age where technology can do the work for us.
Cravor tracks more than 100,000 restaurants across the U.S and Canada for deals, coupons and other promotions. You can subscribe to any restaurant and you will be emailed the instant that restaurant offers a new coupon or discount. And best of all it’s free!
Setting up an email notification takes less than a minute. Just go to cravor.com and search for a restaurant by entering the restaurant’s name and location (any city of zip code near the restaurant will work) in the top search bar. Once you find the restaurant, enter your email address where it says “Get notified” and you are all set! You won’t believe all the savings you’ve been missing!
Did you know you can save at local restaurants on Cyber Monday? Smart diners pre-purchase discounted gift certificates at their favorite restaurants that can be redeemed the next time they dine. Some of the most popular local deal sites are offering their biggest sales of the year this Cyber Monday.
- Restaurant.com – $25 gift certifications for JUST $2!! (Valid 11/27 – 11/28)
- LivingSocial– 25% Off virtually all deals with promo code CYBER16 (Valid 11/27 – 11/29)
- Entertainment.com – All entertrainment books are $19 (45% Off!) with code CYBER
- Groupon – $5 off $15 / $10 off $30 / $20 off $60 / $30 off $100 Local deals with promo code OFF
Want to check what restaurants around you accept are eligible for these deals? Check out Cravor to find which restaurants are offering deals and coupons near you.
You may be too old to trick or treat but you can still treat yourself to cheap eats! Save even more on discounted gift certificates with these limited time only promotions!
- Save 15% on your next purchase with promo code NEWTHINGS
- A special one day only Halloween mystery sale on Monday 10/31! Save an extra 10-20% at checkout with code TREATS
- Take 20% off all local deals with code SCARY (valid 10/28-10/30)
- Save 50% off all pizza restaurants with promo code MUNCH
In the past year, I’ve earned several thousand airline miles and hotel points by dining at the same restaurants I always have. I don’t mean credit card rewards points; I’ve earned those in addition. How did I do it? With one of my favorite but least known restaurant deal sites: Rewards Network.
What is Rewards Network?
Rewards Network is a website that rewards users for dining at participating restaurants by offering points or miles. They allow you to choose the type of rewards to earn from popular rewards programs like American AAdvantage miles, Hilton HHonors points, Delta Skymiles, and many more.
They have a network of more than 11,000 restaurants across the United States. The restaurants also include select locations for many popular chains.
|Buca di Beppo||87|
|Jack in the Box||78|
|Lone Star Steakhouse||61|
|Dickey's Barbecue Pit||59|
|Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse||30|
How it Works
Rewards Network provides separate websites for each rewards program where you can sign up and search for eligible restaurants. You get rewarded each time you dine at a participating restaurant.
You earn points or miles based on how much you spend at the restaurant. Say you are registered for Delta SkyMiles Dining and you are earning 5 miles per dollar spent. If your bill comes out to $54, you would end up earning 270 miles total (54 x 5). You earn rewards based on the final bill amount including any tax and tip.
Best of all, you don’t need to tell the restaurant you are a Rewards Network member or give them any type of rewards card. Rewards Network automatically credits your rewards account when you use your registered credit card at a participating restaurant.
How to Register
It’s easy to get started with Rewards Network. Just register and you’ll start automatically earning rewards. Follow these simple steps to get setup.
1. Choose the rewards you want to earn
First, you want to decide on a rewards program. Review the list of programs in the table below and find the one that makes the most sense for you.
2. Register for the rewards program
You have to be registered for the rewards program first, before you register for dining rewards. So if you are not a member yet, you will need to register and make a note of your membership number.
3. Register on the rewards program’s dining website
To start earning rewards for dining, go to the Rewards Network website for that particular rewards program and click the Sign Up link (links to each dining website are provided in the table below). You will need to enter your name, address, email address, and your membership number for the rewards program. You will also be asked to opt in for email alerts. If you do, you will earn more points or miles each time you dine (although some programs will force you to opt in for emails to receive any rewards).
4. Register your credit or debit card(s) on the site
Once registered, you will need to enter at least one credit or debit card to start earning rewards. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged anything. When you dine at a participating restaurant and use your registered card, Rewards Network will automatically be notified about your dine. Be sure to register all your cards because if you use a non registered card you get nothing!
5. Find restaurants near you
Each rewards program’s dining site offers a search to find restaurants eligible for rewards near you. However, some restaurants only offer rewards on certain days, so be sure to double check what days are eligible. All rewards programs have the same restaurants in the network so it does not matter which one you use to search.
Go, eat, and enjoy! And be sure to use your registered credit or debit card! Typically the points or miles will show up in your account in 5-7 days.
|Rewards Program||Earnings||Signup Bonus|
|Orbitz Rewards||5% back in Orbucks||$10 in Orbucks|
|Club O||5% back in reward dollars||None|
|Plenti||3 points / $||None|
|Fuel Rewards||10 cents per gallon for every $50 spent||None|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||3 points / $||1,000 Points|
|United Mileage Plus|
As you can see from the table above, the amount you earn may vary pending on your membership level within the program. Most of the dining programs have 3 membership levels:
- Member: Basic membership when you do not opt in for email notifications.
- Online Member: Membership when you do opt in for email notifications.
- VIP Member: Membership received after you have 12 or more eligible dines in the calendar year and you have opted in for email notifications.
There are a few exceptions, like Orbitz, Plenti and Southwest that have just a single level, while JetBlue has just two levels. Be sure to check the dining program’s website for the specifics.
Sign Up Bonuses
Most of the dining rewards programs have a sign up bonus. Each may have slightly different terms, but they typically offer you additional points or miles after your first dine of $30 or more at a participating restaurant within 30 days of signing up. Some rewards programs offer additional bonuses for the second or third dine or for writing a review for the restaurant you visited. Each program’s sign up bonus terms are clearly stated on their website.
Maximize Your Earnings
Here are a few tips I’ve learned after being a Rewards Network member for several years:
1. Earn as many different sign up bonuses as possible
Many of the programs offer lucrative bonuses where you can earn extra points/miles after your first dine. There’s nothing stopping you from earning bonuses from more than one program, so try doing one dine in each of the rewards programs that you are interested in.
2. Register all of your cards
You can register as many credit or debit cards as you want. So don’t miss out by accidentally using a non registered card when you dine. You can also register different cards for different rewards programs if you want to diversify the rewards you earn. Just make sure you don’t register the same card at more than one program or else you won’t earn any rewards.
3. Elect to receive emails
Most programs offer you more rewards if you opt in to receive email notifications. While you may be hesitant to receive additional emails, it’s not that bad. You typically receive one email per week summarizing the restaurants in your area eligible for rewards.
4. Write reviews when promotions are offered
Sometimes programs offer you bonus rewards if you write a review for one of your dining visits. The reviews only take a couple of minutes and are a nice way to earn a few more points or miles. Keep an eye on your email for these promotions.
5. Use a credit card that gives you cash back
One of my favorite things about Rewards Network is that you earn these rewards in addition to your typical credit card rewards so you can double dip. Find the credit card that gives you the most points or cash back on dining and make that the card you always use.
6. Use Cravor to find restaurants eligible for points and other savings
Cravor is a great tool for finding restaurants offering points and miles as well as other deals and coupons. It’s location based, making it the easiest way to find all the restaurants offering discounts near you.
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Atlanta GA
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Chicago IL
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Manhattan NY
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Houston TX
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Philadelphia PA
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Phoenix AZ
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Richmond VA
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Portland OR
- Restaurants offering points & miles in San Diego CA
- Restaurants offering points & miles in San Francisco CA
- Restaurants offering points & miles in Seattle WA
Take advantage of these promotions over the fourth of July weekend and save even more when you dine out.
- LocalFlavor: Additional $5 Off with promo code: PATRIOT – Click Here
- Groupon: $5 off $25 Local deals with promo code: ABE5 – Click Here
- Living Social: Take 20% off your purchase with promo code: JULY4 – Click Here
As always, visit Cravor for a full list of restaurants offering deals!
We’ve scoured the top food authority sites, blogs and food enthusiasts to bring you the 10 most unique (and some slightly strange) dining experiences from Chicago to Napa Valley!
Wine Train Dining in Napa Valley
Who’s Pick: Fodor’s Travel
The plush Napa Valley Wine Train takes the concept of wine and dine onto the tracks, in restored 20th-century Pullman or Visa Dome cars. As you glide past the vineyards of California’s wine country in the mahogany-clad train car, savor delicious bites, such as the tenderloin in a Cabernet Sauvignon reduction.
A Reclaimed Bank and a VIP Vault Room
Who’s Pick: Twisted Sifter
Located in Chicago’s Wicker Park, The Bedford reclaimed a historic private bank from 1926 and transformed the space into a supper club. The 8,000-square foot (743 sq. m) lower-level interior features terracotta, marble and terrazzo, all reclaimed and restored from the original bank. Inside the VIP vault room, the walls are lined with more than 6,000 working copper lock boxes.
Ninja New York
Who’s Pick: Reader’s Digest
In a review in the New York Times, Frank Bruni describes Ninja New York as “a kooky, dreary subterranean labyrinth… You are greeted there by servers in black costumes who ceaselessly bow, regularly yelp and ever so occasionally tumble.” Designed to look like a 15th-century Japanese feudal village full of dark nooks and snaking passageways, you’ll dine amongst stealthy warriors—the waiters—who roam, romp, and perform tricks, all the while serving sushi and sake. Just call it Japanese fare mixed with martial arts flair at its best.
High-Altitude Dining at the Ledge at Skydeck Chicago
Who’s Pick: Fodor’s Travel
Comfort food is taken to new heights at The Ledge at Skydeck, which serves famous Chicago-style stuffed pizzas from Giordano’s in a collection of private glass boxes that extend beyond the 103rd floor of Willis Tower. Or opt for Oysters Rockefeller and three-hour short ribs to complement the city lights sparkling 1353 feet below.
Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe
Who’s Pick: The Food Network
Take two steps outside Joanie’s Blue Crab Cafe and you’re likely to spot an alligator — or two, or three. Located in the heart of the swampy Everglades, this crazy restaurant is surrounded by tons of the meaty reptiles, which diners enjoy in the form of chili, ribs and, most popularly, deep-fried gator nuggets.
The Airplane Restaurant
Who’s Pick: Travel + Leisure
Putting the diner in airplane dining, this Colorado Springs landmark is on a mission, code name: delicious. Owners gutted a decommissioned 1953 Boeing KC-97 military tanker to make room for booths and a bar, decorating it and the main restaurant spaces with tons of aviation memorabilia. Naturally, the menu is loaded with aviation puns and references as well, such as the Philly Flyer sandwich and Air. Tower nachos. For more information on the Airplane Restaurant, click here.
Who’s Pick: CNBC
The Cave is the nation’s only restaurant located in (you guessed it) a cave, serving American steakhouse/seafood and Italian fare. Located in Richland, Missouri, the space may not get much natural light, but it has waterfalls, fish ponds, and even a view of the Gasconade River. The space began as a natural cave that served as a dance hall in the 1920s, situated three stories up on a limestone bluff at a campground (visitors can still rent the cabins). Back then it was not spacious enough for 225 to dine, as it is today; the rest was carved and blasted out over the course of four years.
Who’s Pick: One Click Wonders
Instead of breakfast in bed, how about dinner? B.E.D. stands for beverage, entertainment, dining, and that’s exactly what you get…in bed! Executive chef Vitor Casassola’s menu includes cold appetizers like camembert tempura and tomatillo guacamole and entrees like surf & turf and Chilean seabass. And for dessert, an edible “pillow” called Cloud 9 Souffle.
Who’s Pick: Cheat Sheet
Located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, Opaque diners enjoy their meals in a pitch-black room after selecting their menu items in a lit room. The theory proposed by the restaurant is that when a diner’s visual senses are cut off, other senses such are heightened which makes for a delicious dinner!
Heart Attack Grill
Who’s Pick: Thrillist
One of the few places in Vegas where the food and the waitresses will raise a diner’s blood pressure! This famous hospital-themed joint, Heart Attack Grill specializes in artery-clogging, four-patty Quadruple Bypass burgers, and serves anyone who weighs in at over 350lbs for free. See more deals on dining in Las Vegas.
Over July 4th weekend, we took a road trip from Fort Lauderdale to Key West, FL. The plan was to use restaurant deals or earn points as much as possible. The easiest way to do this? Keep Cravor handy on our mobile devices! Our first stop was about three-quarters of the way to our destination, in a town called Marathon, FL. We found a place on Cravor with a Restaurant.com gift card. So we ate at Porky’s Bayside with our deal and enjoyed some delicious food and great view. Check out these fish tacos I had!
When we got to Key West, we checked into our hotel and headed to Duval Street for some dinner and nightlife. We found a number of deals for bars and restaurants in the area, and decided to check out The Lazy Gecko and earned points for every dollar we spent. In the morning, we got a Groupon deal at Camille’s for breakfast. I think we did pretty well towards our goal of “Craving in the Keys”. Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!