Remember the days when going to a restaurant didn’t include rating the place and the restaurant’s success didn’t depend on some online rating? We neither. It’s astounding how in an extremely short time period, restaurant apps became not just a way for users to find restaurants, but also a powerful marketing platform. And although there are some exploits, the developers work their best to ensure users get honest opinions and the ratings are based on quality, rather than “pay-to-win” tactics.
Still, there are good and better apps, so we decided to list our personal top 3 to make your choice of apps, and finally, restaurants a lot easier. But our search wasn’t easy as restaurant apps seem to be quite a popular business today. We already knew of some we should include, but to give a better choice for readers we had to dig deeper. Eventually, we found a couple of top-lists and the one we liked the most is on a website called AppGrooves. Their top 10 list comes with additional info about apps so picking was a bit easier.
List of Top 10 Best Restaurant Apps
In case you want to check it out and widen your options. And now, here’s are our top 3. Let the drums roll and find Best 10 Restaurant Apps, please.
TripAdvisor – The Daddy of All Restaurant Apps
Ok, let’s get this over with. Yes, this choice couldn’t be more obvious. But our job is to find the best ones, not the most “unknown” apps, thus, we had to include TripAdvisor. It’s a well-polished app that will quickly give what you’re looking for and we can’t ignore that. Also, it’s really easy to find restaurants and the best part, it also easy to find everything else you’re travelling mind might think of. The app is basically like a tourist Switz knife – it’s useful for everything. The one thing we like the most is the “Near Me” button. With a single tap, you get accurate information on restaurants near you with detailed info about each one so you can pick and go to the restaurant instantly.
So it doesn’t seem it’s all flowers and honey with TripAdvisor, we need to say that being a popular app comes with some cost. Namely, the quality of the reviews. Since the main idea of the app is that everyone can write a review and the fact it’s so extremely popular, means you get more low-quality reviews. God knows how many times we’d read a review of a restaurant we knew was good, but the review made it seem as it’s the cheapest place in town. This is in no way TripAdvisor’s fault, but just be cautious when reading reviews and take them with a grain of salt.
OpenTable – There’s a Table For Everyone
In case you’re looking for a restaurant-only app, don’t worry, we have you covered. This one is a real powerhouse when it comes to restaurants. We can’t say how much time we’ve spent just randomly browsing restaurants around the World. Then, we also spent a bit more time wishing we could go there. What’s great about OpenTable can be described with a short step-by-step guide. You browse a restaurant, find one, book a table and that’s it. Oh, and as a bonus, you can collect points and get discounts on your future endeavours. An overall great recipe app we highly recommend.
Same as with TripAdvisor, we need to be objective. First, although it sounds great to collect points and get discounts, it turns out they are more like when you randomly get away with a 2-cent lower bill than discounts. We’re not sure, but if it’s a discount, it should feel as if you’re actually saving money. But the way their system works is it doesn’t tell you how much you’re actually saving until you book a restaurant. So you end up saving points and points just to get some extra change which feels disappointing. There are probably reasons why they are doing it, but nevertheless. Besides that, it’s a great app.
The Fork – Fantastic Alternative
And our final pick is… well, you already know if you read the heading. The Fork works on a similar logic as OpenTable – find restaurants, use discounts and all that stuff. They also provide restaurants worldwide and we’d say booking is a bit easier than with OpenTable. They both certainly save you time and money, especially if you’re abroad. They also have something called “Insider” which supposedly give you info on the best places in a specific city. Currently, the feature isn’t available for every city in the world, but for most popular US and Europe cities, you can use it.
One thing we noticed that seemed as an unnecessary flaw is this. Let’s say you book a restaurant for you and 3 friends. One of the friends has to cancel so you’d like to change the booking. But, you can just edit. First, you have to cancel the original booking and then create a completely new one. We’re not sure if there’s a valid reason for this (maybe because of restaurant policies), but it’s such a drag to do everything again when you could easily just edit the existing one. But, it is what it is.
So, you made it to the end of the article. Congrats! Our final tip is simple: enjoy the food but more importantly, have a great time with friends! Or alone, if you decide to solo at a restaurant and soak up everything happening around you.