Funny Yelp Reviews

Few diners arrive with higher expectations than those shelling out hundreds (and sometimes thousands) for a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant – and when that experience is underwhelming, they’re quick to let others know. Yelp is not without flaws or controversies, but it remains one of the most popular and accessible places for displeased customers to voice their opinions. Although the average diner may lack the refinement and esteem of a professional, sorting through bad Yelp reviews of highly rated restaurants reveals opinions biting enough to have been published by a seasoned critic. Oversalted and drenched in sarcasm, here are a few of our favorites.

Adega (San Jose, CA)

Adega serves Portuguese cuisine with an emphasis on seafood, meat, and wine selections. Diners can choose from two tasting menus (chef’s or classico) or order from the dinner and dessert menus.

  • Price: $75-99 per person (tasting menus)
  • Michelin Rating: 1 Star
  • Yelp Rating: 4 Stars

Favorite Review: Dean C. (1 Star)

“How this restaurant obtained that highest honor of commercial culinary mastery can only be explained by dark arts or some mystical meddling of Dionysus. I daresay the two chefs appear to only exhibit skill at the level of a senior student of the culinary arts of the narrowest vision, given the utter lack of complexity in flavors.”

Honorable Mention: Gene P. (2 Stars)

“Cataplana de Marisco is sadly a dish that I would not recommend, except possibly for someone who is either an extremely light eater, or maybe wouldn’t mind ordering multiple portions at $29 each.”

Ai Fiori (New York City)

Operated by the Altamarea Group, Ai Fiori draws from Italian and French influences to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests enjoying breakfast can participate in the express buffet or order a la carte, while lunch will be served in two-, three-, or five-course meals; dinner can be experienced as a four-course prix fixe meal or through a seven-course tasting menu.

  • Price: $49-150 per person (prix fixe and tasting menus)
  • Michelin Rating: 1 Star
  • Yelp Rating: 4 Stars

Favorite Review: Yimei S. (1 Star)

“It was unable to make up for the uncooked fish, overcooked lamb, and the spaghetti which I was told was made ‘in-house’… I should’ve asked which hotel patron’s child I could thank for it. Needless to say, the peach square made me regret having been born with functioning taste buds.”

Honorable Mention: Alan B. (1 Star)

“A stylish captain recites the menu as if he was describing the wonderful inheritance left to you by your long lost uncle. Then out comes a mini mess of an appetizer.”

Alinea (Chicago)

Alinea is a contemporary, New American restaurant that offers “three distinct experiences” for lone guests or parties with six or fewer people. Diners may choose from the kitchen table, gallery menu, and salon menu options.

  • Price: $175-385 per person
  • Michelin Rating: 3 Stars
  • Yelp Rating: 4.5 Stars

Favorite Review: Juhee S. (1 Star)

“True story: I went to White Castle for the first time the next day and thought that was a better meal than Alinea. Do that instead.”

Honorable Mention: Joshua W. (2 Stars)

“The highlight was when a table in the room let go of their balloon and it melted over the ceiling light.”

Jungsik (New York City)

Chef Jungisk Kim’s eponymous Jungsik is credited with pioneering an updated style of Korean cuisine with modern influences. The eatery offers two set options, a choice menu and a tasting menu.

  • Price: $125-200 per person (seasonal and tasting menus)
  • Michelin Rating: 2 Stars
  • Yelp Rating: 4.5 Stars

Favorite Review: Scott E. (1 Star)

“Again, the people here are nice. Maybe go for a chat or better yet find out where they go after work. Meet them there and have a drink with them at the bar.”

Honorable Mention: Ken P. (3 Stars)

“The noodles were probably al dente at some point when Kim Jung Il was still alive. I felt bad for the lobster.”

Le Bernardin (New York City)

Le Bernardin is a fine dining restaurant with a focus on seafood. Guests may enjoy lunch and dinner options from a number of menus in the dining room or lounge, which has a slightly more relaxed dress code than the dining room’s jackets-for-men mandate.

  • Price: $55-220 per person (prix fixe and tasting menus)
  • Michelin Rating: 3 Stars
  • Yelp Rating: 4.5 Stars

Favorite Review: Tyler B. (1 Star)

“On the plus side they gave me a copy of NYC Zagat 2016, so I can find a place where I should have gone instead.”

Honorable Mention: Jay R. (1 Star)

“Highlight of the meal was a bus boy smuggling us two cheese sticks from the bar as we waited close to an hour between courses. The cheese sticks were delish.”

Marea (New York City)

Marea, also part of the Altamarea Group that operates Ai Fiori, is an Italian restaurant serving brunch, lunch, dinner, and bar menus, as well as dessert. A five-course seafood tasting menu is recommended for lunch and brunch, and a four-course prix fixe menu is suggested for dinner, but items are available a la carte.

  • Price: $90-102 per person (prix fixe and tasting menu)
  • Michelin Rating: 2 Stars
  • Yelp Rating: 4 Stars

Favorite Review: Matthew M. (1 Star)

“I would rather eat at Olive Garden – at least they give you salad.”

Honorable Mention: Kristen P. (3 Stars)

“Do you believe in time travel? Yes?! Great! Marea will take you back to the mid-eighties.”

Per Se (New York City)

Per Se is just one of renowned chef Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred restaurants. The French cuisine restaurant offers three daily dinner menus for guests to choose from: two tasting menus (chef’s and vegetable), and a prix fixe salon menu.

  • Price: $195-325 per person (prix fixe and tasting menus)
  • Michelin Rating: 3 Stars
  • Yelp Rating: 4.5 Stars

Favorite Review: Peter S. (1 Star)

“The food is tasteless, bland, and genuinely unappealing. A Swanson’s TV dinner from a microwave would be a considerable step up.”

Honorable Mention: Jess W. (1 Star)

“Whereas we were still fairly hungry before dessert, we were stuffed afterwards with what can only be characterized as an aggravated assault of sugar, presumably to fill the large void left by the nearly non-existent and unsatisfactory savory dishes.”

Quince (San Francisco)

Quince serves French- and Italian-influenced cuisine and is the fine-dining sibling of its neighboring restaurant Cotogna. Guests can choose from prix fixe options, or order a la carte from the salon menu.

  • Price: $210-250 (prix fixe menus)
  • Michelin Rating: 3 Stars
  • Yelp Rating: 4 Stars

Favorite Review: Shwetha R. (1 Star)

“It’s all style and no substance. If I want to go on a diet, I’d mail order Jenny Craig, and not go to Quince.”

Honorable Mention: Christena R. (2 Stars)

“Houston, we have a problem when half the table goes home and has a snack before bed.”

Topolobampo (Chicago)

Topolobampo, part of the Rick Bayless empire that includes several other Chicago-area restaurants, offers a contemporary Mexican menu. Guests can visit for a three-course lunch, five- or seven-course dinner, or order a la carte.

  • Price: $25-120 (lunch and dinner courses)
  • Michelin Rating: 1 Star
  • Yelp Rating: 3.5 Stars

Favorite Review: Amber W. (1 Star)

“I mean, no one got sick. Our orders were right. The servers did not curse us or (to my knowledge) spit in my food. The food was edible. No one got shot. You know, things that generally have to happen for me to leave a one star review. However, this remains the most disappointing fine dining experience of my life…”

Honorable Mention: Ambrosia O. (1 Star)

“Almost 3 hours and $350 later, I think I have concluded that the best part of this meal is the art on the wall.”

Ariana Keller
Ariana Keller

Ariana Keller was raised on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in south Alabama, where she learned to fish and love football. She moved to Knoxville with her family when she was 12 and later graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in English. Passionate about Marvel Comics, Harry Potter, and all things geeky, she spends her free time playing tabletop and video games, collecting beer caps from craft breweries around the country, and celebrating the Cubs' 2016 World Series win. She is an advocate for animal rescue and lives in Knoxville with her husband and their two adopted pets: a hound dog named Beau and a Maine Coon mix named Vesper.

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