Explore Your Local Food Scene Online
When your stomach is grumbling, you may not feel inclined to debate dining plans. But if you are new to a city or have found an apartment in a different part of town, you might not know just where to indulge your taste buds.
Why not hop on the Internet and check out the food scene in your town with online guides and apps, like these fabulous foodie finders?
Yelp is a great go-to site when you are looking for reviews of even the tiniest of eateries. This foodie-friendly review site is driven by communities of locals who write the entries, chiming in with their 2 cents. You can search by cuisine, neighborhood or ranking, and get insider info about whether the restaurant has unique features like large group seating or TVs in the lounge. Yelp is also tied in with our next good-eats guide, OpenTable, so you can make reservations on the spot.
OpenTable makes it really easy to make a reservation at a restaurant. In fact, this digital dining tool started out primarily as a reservations service. As the user base grew, however — and more restaurants began depending on the site to handle online reservations — restaurant reviews were also added. Now you can search for an open table on Friday night, for instance, and feast your eyes on the latest comments about the cuisine.
The other cool feature about this site is that you can earn dining rewards points for booking your reservations online. After racking up enough points, you’ll earn gift certificates to use at participating OpenTable restaurants.
Like many of these online tools for finding food reviews, Urbanspoon helps you focus on locally-ranked neighborhood restaurants organized by cuisine or neighborhood. They also provide specific lists in categories like the “Talk of the Town” and “Kid Friendly” to help you navigate the food scene in your city. One of the neatest tricks that Urbanspoon serves up is an app which allows you to search nearby neighborhoods so you can consider restaurants most convenient to you.
No idea what you’re in the mood for? Take a gamble with their fun slot machine widget!
If you are really into ratings, then Zagat is a great destination for you to make dining decisions. These guides were around well before the Internet, spotlighting the finest dining in major cities. Zagat surveys its members about their favorite restaurant picks, then uses those results to create their well-respected ratings. Zagat also has a food-tastic blog written by in-the-know gourmands from around the country.
Sometimes going out to dinner can be a drag. Not to worry: now, you can explore the local food scene without leaving your house.
GrubHub is the newest player in food pickup and delivery. Just tell them where you live and what you want to eat. GrubHub will do the work to find you a nearby restaurant that delivers or has easy pick-up options. You can order online or by phone, then track your order with their mobile app or text updates. Finding food has never been so easy!
Dig in to your next food search with these awesome online food guides. And for the most up-to-date local foodie information, stay on the lookout for dining guides featured in your city’s digital publications.
On a budget? Read more about Cooking Smart for One!
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Brooke Becker