Looking for a place to eat? Just love food? When the juices in our bellies start bubbling, it can be difficult to settle on a place to eat, especially in areas with an overwhelming number of options. Here are six Android apps that can help you cut through the noise and start eating at a place that suits your mood.
Yelp is the biggest name in the industry, so let’s address it first. Yelp has grown to become a one-stop-shop option. Not only does it do food, it covers businesses of all kinds, large and small. You will find plenty of reviews here, but the site isn’t without its controversy. Companies that don’t pay may find negative reviews given more prominence, and Yelp is willing to remove unwanted criticism at a price. Yet even if you can’t always trust the reviews, the app is still good for seeing what places are in your area and getting an idea of the kind of food they serve.
Zomato is an India-based company with a broad reach around the globe. It recently purchased Urbanspoon, which will eventually give the service a foothold in North America (but it isn’t ready yet). The app lets you see which eating establishments are in your area, view them on a map, browse their menus, view photos, check out reviews, and share where you’ve been with others. You can search by name, cuisine, and location, whichever will help you find your way the best.
Foursquare made a name for itself by allowing users to check in at various places and keep tabs on friends. But the service rebranded itself last year into a mobile guide that makes recommendations based on your interests and preferences. Instead of scrolling through detailed information on all of the local places to eat, you can simply fire up Foursquare and head to the destination it gives you.
4. Restaurant Finder
Restaurant Finder is a no-fuss solution that gives you all the information you need to know about the app right in its name. It spits out a list of nearby places, gives you their address, lets you know if they’re open, and lists reviews. You can expand the search area if needed and filter down by type of establishment. And if you don’t want food, well, the Restaurant Finder is surprisingly just as adept at searching for book stores, car dealers, and other merchandise as well.
OpenTable goes a step further than most of the other apps on this list. It doesn’t just help you find a place to eat, it lets you book a reservation while you’re at it. This way when you want in, they’re already waiting for you. All you have to do is have a seat.
Chow comes with a simple Material Design-inspired user interface that doesn’t waste any time. Want lunch? Want Thai? Want delivery? Just click on the associated image right on the launch screen and scroll through options culled from Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, YellowPages, and other sources. When you click on any of these recommendations, it shoots you out to the associated app or website. So think of this as the app on the list that can tie all the other apps together.
How well each of these apps work depends on where you live. People in the US can expect support from almost all of them, but the experience will vary across other countries. Even in the US, some areas are better supported than others, so you may have to give more than one a try. Happy eating, and let us know how your experience goes. And if you already turn to an app that isn’t on this list, we would love to hear about it too.