Restaurants in the United States range from inexpensive "fast-food" to very expensive restaurants. Some restaurants feature specialties of the region, others specialize in "ethnic" foods from various regions of the world. While some of these ethnic restaurants are very authentic, others have adapted their food to suit American tastes.

It is safe to eat in restaurants in the United States since they are regularly inspected for cleanliness and for compliance with health codes. It is also safe to drink water from a tap in the United States. Bottled water is usually available in American restaurants for an extra charge. To find out about restaurants in your community, consult the yellow pages in the local phone book or follow the recommendations of acquaintances and friends.

If you plan to eat at a formal restaurant, you should call a day or two in advance to make a reservation. Not all restaurants require reservations, but it is a good idea to check just in case they are necessary. This is especially true on weekends and holidays.

In general, the wording of an invitation to dine with someone in a restaurant will give a clue as to who will pay the bill. If someone says, "Would you please have dinner with me?" or "I would like to invite you to dinner," it usually means that you are to be a guest and that person will pay the bill. If someone says, "Would you like to have dinner together?" or "Do you want to grab a bite to eat?" it probably means that each will pay for what he or she eats and drinks and will contribute towards the tip for the waiter or waitress. If you are not sure how the bill will be paid, assume that you will pay your share.