Some people always like to go to the same restaurant to eat while others like to switch it up and try something new every time. Others might like Chinese food and some might like American, or some might like to eat somewhere with free wifi. But, whatever your restaurant preferences are, the free Urbanspoon restaurant iPhone (and iPod Touch) app is a must-have for any restaurant connoisseur.
Urbanspoon lets you browse local restaurants, review them, and you can even let the restaurant iPhone app pick a place for you to visit through the amusing random restaurant “slot machine” function. Urbanspoon first lets you pick a city (it supports most major cities in the US) and then allows you to select a neighborhood or suburb to search in detail. From there, you can shake the phone and, after playing a fun slot machine noise, it’ll pick a random type of restaurant and cost for you along with a restaurant that meets that criteria. You can lock each category column as you please, which can help if you’re only looking for a really cheap restaurant, for example. The search tool that Urbanspoon uses also lets you filter out restaurants by things like hours open, chain availability, distance from your current location and popularity among other users.
Urbanspoon also allows you to rate and review the restaurants you visit so that other iPhone/iPod Touch users can see what you think. You can write a short review or just select weather you like or don’t like the location. In addition to reviews, you can call and map the restaurants you find as well as add photos of them, see reviews from “critics” online, set them as a favorite for later review and even look at blog posts about the restaurant on the internet.
Urbanspoon also has a browse tool which lets you simply browse for restaurants by food type, features the restaurant has or popularity of the restaurants in your area. Food types that you can browse for include everything from bagels to smoothies and barbecue to buffet and the features that you can browse through include things like weather a restaurant has free wifi, live music, happy hour or delivery. Another handy part of the browsing feature in Urbanspoon is the ability to see what restaurants in your area local blogs and newspapers are talking about most. The app also has a “scope” tab where you can look at a map of nearby restaurants.
Urbanspoon requires that you create an account to review restaurants, add information to existing ones, save your favorite restaurants or other common tasks. Creating an account is free though, and you’re able to connect to Facebook to register. Also, because the application is free, small ads are placed on some of the pages to cover the costs but they aren’t very obtrusive or annoying while browsing. Finally, Urbanspoon isn’t limited to just restaurants- it also features cafÃ©s, bars and more and ties into the Urbanspoon website at urbanspoon.com.
Do you use the Urbanspoon restaurant iPhone app or a similar application when looking for a restaurant on-the-go? What other favorite iPhone or iPod Touch apps do you use? Share your thoughts in the comments below!