You’re hungry and trying to answer that universally taxing question: Where should we go for dinner? Given the many recent revelations about Yelp’s questionable business practices and highly unreliable restaurant ratings, this seemed like a good time to make room on your phone for some new apps that’ll help you find good food and great dining deals.
Many restaurants nationwide use OpenTable as their online reservations booking engine. Register on the site to make a reservation for free, access special offers and even earn points for every reservation that can be redeemed for dining checks to be used at any OpenTable restaurant. The mobile apps (Android and iOS) make securing your table easy on the go, and on the iPhone, you can pay your tab with the OpenTable app.
You know who probably knows a thing or two about good eats? Top chefs themselves. Chefs Feed collects recommendations from chefs like Eric Ripert, Mario Batali and Daniel Boulud on where they eat and which particular dishes they think you should try at those restaurants. It’s like having a chef as your concierge…in your pocket. Available for iPhone, Android and on the Web.
If you can’t decide on where to eat, let Urbanspoon decide for you. The mobile apps (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) have a random dining selection feature — just shake to shuffle. It can also show you reviews, price ranges and available tables at more than a million restaurants worldwide, and it seems they’re significantly more reliable than Yelp.
Maybe you’re more in the mood for after- or pre-dinner drinks. In that case, DrinkOwl (iOS, Android) will show you the drink specials, happy hours and coupons near you. It works best in major cities only, however.
Finally, one of the more painful aspects of dining out is figuring out how much to tip and how much everyone in your group should pay. Tip N Split Tip calculator (iOS and Android) does the math for you. If you prefer splitting up the bill by how much each person actually ate, you can try Splitwise or Billr, but a simple tip calculator might best keep the peace.
What apps do you use when you eat out?
Photo credits: OpenTable, Urbanspoon, DrinkOwl