Best App for Picking a Restaurant



Urbanspoon Screenshot

Feeling Lucky? Urbanspoon's slot machine turns choosing a restaurant into a game of chance. Set the wheels in motion by shaking your iPhone (or tap Shake if you're not feeling vigorous). When the wheels for neighborhood, cuisine, and price stop spinning, the app spits out a restaurant to match. Shake again for another suggestion. To narrow the types of restaurant, lock one or more wheels on a specific setting.


Urbanspoon Screenshot

The Skinny: Get the scoop on a resto by tapping its name on the slot-machine screen. The summary screen shows the thumbs-up count from other Urbanspoon users and let's you add your vote, too. Tap the phone number to call, or tap the address to map the location. The Save button offers options to add the restaurant to your Urbanspoon favorites or wishlist, or to email it, Twitter it, or add its entry to the Contacts app.


Urbanspoon Screenshot

The Chatter: Tap the Read Reviews button on the summary screen to conjure the restaurant's detail screen, which includes menus and brief reviews from newspapers, websites, blogs, and other Urbanspoon users. Click any summary to see the full text in Urbanspoon's built-in web browser.


Urbanspoon Screenshot

A La Carte: Also on a restaurant's detail screen:Tap the "View the Menu" button to find out what's on offer. Menus are provided by Urbanspoon users, and not all restaurants have menus. When that's the case, the app offers to let you add a menu with your iPhone's camera. (Sorry, that option's not available for iPod Touch.)


Urbanspoon Screenshot

Dish Your Experience: Add your own review to the mix. Tap the "Write a Review" button on the restaurant's reviews screen to reveal a brief form. After submitting your tasteful commentary, your review appears on the restaurant's detail screen. If you use Twitter (page 64), you can give Urbanspoon your account details and automatically post your review as a tweet, too.

Top Pick


Version reviewed: 1.1.0

Shake up your dining routine (literally) and discover new tables in your city. Give your iPhone or iPod Touch a shake, and this app's wheels whir to provide a random restaurant pick, complete with reviews and user votes. Zero in on a neighborhood, cuisine, or price range—or put randomness aside and search for specifics, browse by category, or see friends' favorites. The app covers towns and cities in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.

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Ads, ads, ads - constant and never ending. They make money while you try to find a place to eat. Try Yelp instead.

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