- Registration and Account
- What should I know before I post?
- How do I post a new topic to Chowhound?
- How do I reply to a post?
- Where should I post?
- How do I add photos to my posts?
- What does "This is a review of a specific restaurant" do?
- What does "Manage Your Links" mean?
- What happens with these linked restaurants?
- Can I edit my posts? Or remove them?
- My post was removed. What happened?
- The Restaurants Database
- What is the Restaurants database for? What can I do there?
- I run a business that’s listed in your database. How can I update the information?
- I run a food business that isn’t in your database. How can I add it?
- I run a business that’s been reviewed on your site, and I want a review removed. How do I do that?
- I run a business that’s listed on your site, but it’s not a food business. How can I have it removed?
- You have my phone number listed on your site, but I’m not a restaurant. How can I have it removed?
- A restaurant that’s listed in your database has closed. What should I do?
Registration and Account
How do I register?
In the top right corner of the header on every page, there’s a Sign Up link. You’ll be asked to choose a username and a password, and to provide an email address where you can be reached. Choose your username carefully, as it can’t be changed later, and it will be shown on your profile and with each post or comment you make. Many people choose to use their real name as a username, but a nickname is also fine.
Once you’ve filled out the form and submitted it, we’ll send you an email to confirm your sign-up. Visit the link in the email to activate your account.
If you don’t receive a confirmation email within a few minutes of signing up, first check your spam filter, as it may be there. If you still don’t find it, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org from the email address you used to register. Let us know what username you chose, and that you didn’t receive the confirmation. We should be able to help.
How do I update my email address?
There’s an option to update your email address in your profile on the Settings page.
Can I change my username?
Usernames are permanent and can’t be changed. If you need to change your username, you’ll have to register a new account. Your existing posts will remain on the site under your previous username. Please email email@example.com when you’ve registered a new account, as having more than one is not permitted. The moderators will deactivate your old account for you.
If you only have one email address and need help registering a new account, you can email us for assistance.
How do I remove my account?
Deactivating your account will prevent you from posting, as well as from seeing read/unread markers or using your profile or any other features that require login. It won't remove any posts you've made in the past, nor will it hide any information in your profile. To deactivate your account, please send an email from your registered email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're asking because you'd like to register a new account and are getting an error based on your email address being in use, please let us know, as there are a couple of extra steps you'll need to take to have that work.
How do I get to my profile?
You can access your profile via the link in the top right corner of any page on the site. You can also click on your name on any of your posts.
What should I know before I post?
Please take a few minutes to read the Posting Etiquette so you’re familiar with the rules of the site. Most Chowhound boards also have a Read This First post, which gives some tips on what subjects are frequently covered on that board and how to ask great questions that’ll get you the answers you’re looking for.
How do I post a new topic to Chowhound?
First, you have to decide which board to post to (see "Where should I post?"). Once you decide where to post, there is an Add New Post button on the main page for every Chowhound board. It leads to a page where you can enter the title—try to keep it short but descriptive—and the message for your new topic. You can also add photos to your post, as well as designate a post as a review of a specific restaurant. Use the Add New Topic button to submit your topic.
If you're already reading a message thread and want to post a new topic on the same board, click the title of the board at the top of the thread to return to the main page for that board. If you want to post a new topic to a different board, you can find the list of boards via the Choose a Board menu at the top of each Chowhound page.
How do I reply to a post?
To reply to a specific post within a thread, click Reply and type in your response, then click Post My Reply. If you want to add a general reply to the thread, use the Reply button on the first post, or the "Reply to original post" link at the bottom of the page.
Where should I post?
Chowhound's discussions are divided into different message boards—groups of topics about a specific subject or area. Restaurant reports and discussions are divided into regions, while topics that are more general interest are divided by subject. You can find the list of boards via the Choose a Board menu at the top of each Chowhound page.
The pages for each board have more detailed descriptions about what they cover, so if you're not quite sure which board you're looking for, check out the ones that seem closest to what you want and see if your location or subject is right.
If you're still not sure you have the right board, you can email email@example.com to ask for help. You can also make your best guess at which board your post belongs on, and then once you've posted, use the Report link to flag your post for review. Leave a note that you're not sure it's in the right place, and a moderator will move it if it isn't.
How do I add photos to my posts?
Choose the Attach Photo button at the bottom of the screen. You can upload photos up to 10MB in size, however they will be resized when you upload them. Allowable file types are jpeg, gif, png, pjpeg, and x-png.
What does "This is a review of a specific restaurant" do?
If your post is a detailed review of a single restaurant, click the box next to "This is a review of a specific restaurant" and enter the name of the restaurant into the Restaurant Name field; as you type, options will automatically appear—choose the restaurant you’re posting about.
A map with the location of your restaurant will appear on the thread, and your review will appear on the Restaurants database page for that particular restaurant.
If your post is the start of a new thread, please include the name of the restaurant in the title of the thread so that it appears when people are looking at the list of threads.
Can I edit my posts? Or remove them?
There’s a window of two hours after you submit a Chowhound post in which you can edit it. Click directly on the title field to edit your title. Click the Edit button to edit the content of the post. After two hours, you can no longer edit Chowhound posts. If there’s something you really need to edit after the two-hour window is up, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a complete new copy of the text and we can replace it for you, as long as it won’t interfere with the conversation around your post.
Generally, we don’t remove Chowhound posts on request, as it’s unfair to others who have taken the time to reply. If you feel your situation should be an exception, you can email your request, with an explanation of the situation and links to any specific posts that you want removed, to email@example.com, and we may be able to help. Please send the email from your registered email account.
Quick reviews left on a restaurant’s database page can’t be edited. If you need to make changes or want your review removed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the page your review is on and the reason you’re requesting changes or removal.
My post was removed. What happened?
Chowhound is a moderated site, and we remove posts in order to keep the discussion friendly, honest, and on-topic. Most of the reasons why we might have removed a post are outlined in our Posting Etiquette. If you still have questions about why your post was removed, please send an email to email@example.com and we may be able to offer an explanation.
The Restaurants Database
What is the Restaurants database for? What can I do there?
You can use the Restaurants database to find reviews and discussions about restaurants around the country. You’ll find the basic information about the restaurant (location, type of food, etc.), as well as quick reviews and links to further discussions on Chowhound.
The Restaurants database isn’t meant for discussion and debate; that’s what the discussion threads are for. The database is meant to hold straightforward information and quick reviews. You can add your own rating and review, or edit the reference fields.
Click any of the edit buttons to open up the record—choose any of the applicable options. In the tags fields, you can enter multiple values, just separate them with commas. This area is editable by any Chowhound. It is moderated, and we keep a history of who has updated it.
If you do updates to a lot of different records and want to be able to mark records as duplicates, mark restaurants as closed, or update the Good to Know or Links sections of the record, send an email from your registered email account to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting the additional permissions.
I run a business that’s listed in your database. How can I update the information?
Anyone can update the basic factual information in our database. Simply register an account, sign in, and choose any of the edit buttons on your restaurant’s page.
Please be sure to review our guidelines for businesses before making your edits, and limit your input to factual information, without hype or opinion.
I run a food business that isn’t in your database. How can I add it?
Anyone can add listings to our database. Sign in and do a search for your restaurant in our Restaurants database by name and location.
If it's not already listed, and you get no results, you'll see an Add Restaurant or Bar link on the search results that you can use to add it.
Please review our guidelines for business owners and insiders and ensure that you limit yourself to adding only factual information to your listing.
I run a business that’s been reviewed on your site, and I want a review removed. How do I do that?
If you’d like us to investigate, please send an email to email@example.com with a link to the page in question, as well as the username of the reviewer and any information you have that might aid in our investigation. If we’re able to confirm that the review falls outside our guidelines, we’ll remove it.
I run a business that’s listed on your site, but it’s not a food business. How can I have it removed?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the address of the listing page on our site, and we’ll take a look.
You have my phone number listed on your site, but I’m not a restaurant. How can I have it removed?
Please send an email to email@example.com with the address of the listing page on our site, and we’ll remove the phone number. If you prefer, you can register an account and edit the record yourself. If you don’t know the new phone number for the business, just enter 000-000-0000 into the phone field.
A restaurant that’s listed in your database has closed. What should I do?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the page for that restaurant and let us know that it’s closed. We can mark the record as closed.
How do I search for something?
There’s a search bar in the top right corner of the page.
If you’re on the CHOW side of the site, you can choose between searching Recipes only or all CHOW stories, blog posts, videos, etc. If you’re on the Chowhound side of the site, you can choose between searching Discussions or Restaurants.
On the results page, you can adjust various options related to your search using the Refine Your Search By panel. If it’s not visible on your search page, use the View buttons to the right of the search bar to open it.
If you’re searching Discussions, you will automatically search just the board you’re currently reading, but you can change that on the results page if you want to search other boards.
When searching Discussions, you can choose which board you want to search, as well as the date range of the posts you want to search. You can also search for posts by a specific username, or for words within the title of the thread.
When searching the Restaurants database, you can limit your search results by cuisine, restaurant features, or price.
When searching Recipes, you can limit by the type of cuisine or meal you want to prepare.
What do all these sections of my profile do?
Click on View Profile in the top right corner of the screen to visit your profile. There are a number of sections in your profile, listed across the top of your profile, under the page header.
My Threads: A list of recent threads you've participated in on Chowhound. You can use this to check for replies and new information in threads you've started or commented on. You can see this section on other people's profiles to follow their posts as well.
My Posts: The text of your most recent posts to Chowhound.
Photos: See all the photos you've uploaded to the site with your posts. You can see this section on other people's profiles as well.
Reading List: If there are other hounds whose comments you're especially interested in reading, you can add them to your reading list. Their recent posts will then appear in this panel. To add someone to your reading list, first go to the person's profile page (click on a username or avatar on any recent post). Click the “Follow” button next to their username in the center of the page. Their avatar will appear under People I'm Reading, and his or her posts will appear on your Reading List.
Saved Topics:You can add threads to your list of favorites and keep track of them here. To add a Chowhound thread to your favorites, click the Save to My CHOW link at the top of the thread.
Unread Posts: Shows you threads that contain posts you haven’t read. You can limit this to individual boards. This is the feature formerly known as Hot Posts.
Restaurants:If you’ve added any restaurants to your Been There or Wanna Go lists, you’ll find them here.
Recipes: You can add recipes to your list of favorites and keep track of them here. To add a recipe from CHOW, click the Save to My CHOW link at the top of the page.
Lists: If you’ve created any custom lists of restaurants using the Lists Beta, you’ll find them here.
Newsletters: Subscribe/unsubscribe to the various CHOW/Chowhound email newsletters.
Account: Change your email preferences and account settings.
Notifications: You can indicate whether or not you want to receive email notifications when someone replies to a Chowhound thread you’ve posted or commented on here.
How do I edit my profile?
Each of the items on the right-hand side of the page has a small Edit button that will let you update the information. You can also upload a new avatar using the button under your current avatar.
To update your email address, visit your Account Settings page on your profile.
How do I add someone to my reading list?
Visit their profile by clicking on their name on any of their posts. Click on the “Follow” button next to their username in the middle of the page.
How do I save a board to the tab?
Select the board you want to save from the Choose a Board tab. Next to the name of the board is a Save This Board button.
How do I remove a saved board?
On the Show Saved Boards tab, choose Edit Boards from beneath your list of boards. This will let you remove boards from your list.
What's a member recipe?
A member recipe is your own original recipe. (Be sure to read the small print at the bottom, though: Copyrighted material should not be posted on the site.) Share your creations with friends, post links to the Home Cooking board, or just keep the recipes to yourself for future reference.
And here's how it's done: To publish a recipe, click the Got a Good Recipe? button—it's on the CHOW recipes hub. Or just click here. You'll see a bunch of empty fields, ready and waiting for your culinary masterpiece. You can upload a photo, too. Let us know how it works for you, and what's not clear.
I saved a recipe to my profile. How do I find it?
Saved Recipes are in the Lists section of your profile. To get to them, log in, and then select 'view profile' from the top right corner of the page. From the menu in the middle of the profile page, choose 'Lists' and then 'Recipes' from the sub-menu.
What is a Chowhound?
A Chowhound is someone who spends nearly every waking moment planning her or his next meal. Whether eating in a white-tablecloth restaurant or grabbing takeout on the way to work, Chowhounds hate to ingest anything undelicious. They won't hesitate to go far, far out of their way for even slightly better.
Isn't that the same thing as a foodie?
No. Foodies eat what they're told. They lap up hype about the "hot" new restaurant/cookbook/ingredient. They'll explore unfamiliar neighborhoods, but only with their Zagat securely in hand.
Chowhounds spurn established opinion to sniff out their own secret deliciousness. The places they find today will show up in newspapers two years from now and in Zagat in four, by which time the restaurants will undoubtedly have grown crowded and overpriced.
So Chowhounds eat as cheaply as possible?
No. Chowhounds go way out of their way to find good food at any price. They're savvy enough to appreciate value. Why buy rugelach at Balducci's when it's available at the baker's outlet in Brooklyn at a fraction of the cost? But they also know certain pleasures come at a price—foie gras ain't cheap, and Château Margaux is one terrific drink. No pleasure is gladly missed.
But if it's simply a matter of quality, not economics, why don't Chowhounds stick to four-star restaurants? Those places serve the best food in town, don't they?
Chowhounds believe that's an old-fashioned attitude deliberately cultivated by media and commercial interests.
Why was Chowhound built?
To be a grass-roots alternative to traditional media, where food-obsessed individualists can exchange tips. Or read the posts from the sidelines. Everybody knows that obsessed people make for the most entertaining reading.
What's the story behind the sale of Chowhound to CNET?
Chowhound ran in the red for many years with antique, overburdened software. By the summer of 2005, we were choking on our own popularity. Our little labor of love had outgrown our ability to manage and pay for it. Something had to change.
Somebody up there must be a Chowhound, because suddenly, online communities were hot again. We started getting calls. But we were wary. Better to close up shop than be acquired by a company that would dumb Chowhound down or turn it into something embarrassing.
Then we got a call from CNET Networks, and were excited by what we heard. The CNET folks recognized the worth of compelling information contributed by expert, passionate people. They thought that with some much-needed improvements, Chowhound could continue to grow while maintaining its values and pleasing its loyal users. In fact, several CNET folks were already Chowhound users.
So we're still here, run by the same crew with the same love, and we got our makeover. The Chowhound team continues working hard to keep things honest, lively, and passionate. And we'll never again ask you to help us pay our server bill.
But best of all, we'll all continue doing what we do: divulging our finds, eating deliciously, and doing our part to make sure those who cook from their hearts and souls win.
I'm afraid to post a message on the message boards; what if I say something dumb and show that I'm not a true hound?
Don't worry! While Chowhounds can sometimes be wise guys (it comes with being opinionated), we welcome anyone who sincerely wants to join our intrepid quest. Read through some of the thousands of back messages, and take a look at our Posting Etiquette before you post.
What is the advertising policy for the site?
CHOW and Chowhound exist because of the revenue they bring in from advertisers. As with all media sites, our bread and butter is "endemic" advertising—that is, ads that relate to the content and personality of the site. Yes, we do accept restaurant advertising.
But we do have restrictions: All ads must conform to CBS policy; the policy is explained here. Every advertisement must be explicitly labeled as such. We do not allow promotion camouflaged as editorial content or user posts; one of the responsibilities of our moderators is to ferret out and delete posts from interested parties who don't disclose their affiliation. (For elaboration on the Chowhound policy regarding restaurant insiders, see our Posting Etiquette.)