The struggle is real; with an endless array of dinner options bouncing around in your head, the mere act of choosing a restaurant can feel like an impossible task. But never fear-modern technology has given us plenty of tools that can help simplify the process. To prove it, we've outlined some of our favorite apps that will help you make (arguably) the most important choice of your day: where you'll get your next meal.
In 2008, LocalEats was introduced as one of the very first smartphone apps for foodies seeking the very best restaurants. All of the detailed restaurant reviews are created by the company's dedicated and experienced editorial staff-allowing each recommendation to come from an authoritative opinion rather than paid promotion or crowd-sourcing.
Yelp is a tried-and-true favorite for a reason: it's one of the fastest, easiest, and most comprehensive ways to search for businesses near you. It hosts a massive database of reviews for local businesses, so you know you're getting as much info as you possibly can before making a decision on where to grab lunch.
Urbanspoon is used by millions of people every week to find restaurants and it hosts thousands of honest reviews by both food critics and regular consumers. Broken down into categories based on price, rating, distance, and cuisine, it's a great app to help you "eat like a local" and find food fast!
Mobile Choice UK
Choosing a restaurant becomes even more complicated if you're vegan or vegetarian. Powered by HappyCow, VegOut provides the world's largest listing of vegan, vegetarian, and vegetarian-friendly restaurants near your location or in any specified city you plan to visit.
The Next Web
Drink Owl is a mobile app that allows you to find great drink specials, happy hours, and coupons in your city. Broken into the categories "Beer," "Wine," and "Mix," it'll provide everything you need to go out and get your drink on. Bottoms up!
Foodspotting is a "visual guide to good food and where to find it." Instead of reviewing restaurants as a whole, the app focuses on individual dishes, allowing you to feast your eyes on the exact food you've been craving.
Tastemade enables people to come together and share their love of great food and travel. It allows you to capture your meal as you dine out and create a food show in a matter of minutes. By watching videos created by other "Tastemakers," you'll get a glimpse of some of the best fine dining offered in your area and beyond.
Now owned by Google, the old-school dining guide Zagat has been transformed into an app that offers in-depth ratings and reviews for restaurants. It offers restaurant menus, articles, advanced searching tools, and reservations via OpenTable.
Having the Find. Eat. Drink. app is like having an insider on speed dial. The app offers recommendations from well-known chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and food artisans on where you should eat and drink.
The "check-in" may be dead, but Foursquare is very much alive and well. Its newest incarnation utilizes its massive amount of data to fuel the very best food recommendation engine. Its suggestions aren't based on standard categories but instead what it thinks you might be in the mood for, like "boozy brunch" or "fancy coffees with Wi-Fi."
The Yelp-powered Eat24 app allows you to order delivery or pick-up from over 20,000 restaurants in over 1,500 cities. If you're feeling more daring, you can try its sister-app Hangry, which uses the same system but randomly selects a restaurant and order for the user (like a sort of food-roulette).
If you live a gluten-free lifestyle, Find Me Gluten Free will be a godsend for finding restaurants, fast food, grocery stores, bars, and more that will suit your dietary needs! The team is constantly adding new businesses to their directory, providing more and more options for gluten-free eaters.
With great design and a beautiful, streamlined interface, Gogobot makes the user experience of deciding where to "eat, play, and stay," in any given city an absolute delight.
Are you a food truck fanatic? Roaming Hunger helps you find where your next meal is parked by mapping out the daily locations of all of the best food trucks, carts, and stands in your area.
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