I am not a grammarian but a listener and hearer of what people say and mean.
1) You'll find various places to eat. -> several
Rubbish. Various is broader in meaning than several. Several just means more than one. Various includes the meaning "more than one" but also indicates that the places may vary in other ways as well, e.g. price, ethnicity, whatever.
2) I wouldn't label it as 'basic' (i)just as I wouldn't either consider it (ii)overly expensive -> (i)rephrased, (ii) overpriced
This one is hard to understand given the punctuation.
3) There were many others just steps from the hotel -> only a few
Rubbish again. As a native speaker of AmE I would always say "just". "Only a few" is not wrong, but it has no claim to be better than "just". Besides that "only a few" flies in the face of "many others". Few can never be equal in meaning to many. They are opposites.
c4)(...)thus averting the massive firings that occur when(...) -> dismissals ).
To me, "firings" is more natural than "dismissals" in AmE, and vice versa in BrE.
5)I believe that joblessness can be(...) -> unemployment ( Again:I chose 'joblessness' because unemployment was, in my opinion, mentioned too much throughout the article )
No argument with your preference. In terms of connotation, joblessness is more likely to be acute, whereas unemployment may be chronic.
6) (...) which has certainly helped me better my fluency. -> improve ( Again: I chose 'better' because improve was, in my opinion, mentioned too much throughout the article.)
Again no argument with your preference. In my opinion "better" is more likely in BrE, and "improve" in AmE.
Student or Learner