Foodspotting’s claim to fame is that it encourages you to search and share dishes that you enjoy, not just restaurants. So when you use Foodspotting, you’ll be encouraged to take pictures of the food and drink that you like, upload it to the service, share some thoughts, and then tell the community where you are. When you use the mobile app, you’re shown photos of dishes and foods near you, not just a list of nearby restaurants. The community then chimes in to like or favorite photos, and trade “wants” and “noms” for dishes they want to try and dishes they really love. Foodspotting’s visual approach to discovering new food is a refreshing departure from a other food discovery apps.
Ah Yelp, the ubiquitous crowdsourced restaurant review and ratings site. In addition to its mobile site, Yelp has mobile apps for virtually every platform, and all of them use your phone’s on-board GPS to find out and show you what restaurants, clubs, bars, and other locations are in your area. You can filter based on what’s open, what type of food is served, and how much you can expect to spend, look up a restaurant’s hours, and Yelp’s massive community means that you can usually find some good ideas for where to go and what to eat. Yelp’s massive community is a pro and a con: there are plenty of reviews for almost any restaurant, but not all of them are valuable (although some are!), and great holes in the wall may be obscured by popular places with tons of ratings.
3.Zomato (previously Urbanspoon)
Urbanspoon started as a BlackBerry app, and its trademark “shake to randomly select a place to have lunch” slot machine feature is still well loved. However, the restaurant slot machine is a bit of a gimmick that sits in front of a large list of smaller local businesses that other apps often miss. The app also allows you to share and compare your reviews with friends, find restaurants near you, and everything else that most restaurant-search apps do. To augment its ratings and reviews, Urbanspoon also integrates reviews from newspapers and food blogs. Doing so adds some real authority and weight to the reviews that other services are lacking.
OpenTable started off as an easy way to make table reservations at your favorite restaurants from your smartphone, without having to call and deal with a host or hostess that can barely hear you or may forget to make your reservation. Reservations are still OpenTable’s bread and butter, but the team behind the app have also partnered with Yelp to exchange reviews and reservations. The app allows you to see nearby restaurants on a top-down map, earn points and awards for making reservations through the service, and read reviews from OpenTable members.