"You Decide." The worst two words in existence when trying to figure out where to go out to eat for the night. Do you choose something you like? Choose something they like? Or try something new? And, if you do go for the third option, how are you going to figure out where to go? Where do you go to see if the mystery locale has good reviews? These answers and more are answered in this AppGuide for finding out the Best Apps to Figure Out Where to Eat.
Essential Apps
  • OpenTable
    OpenTable, Inc.
    OpenTable doesn't offer a randomizer like a few of the other Apps in this guide, but it does offer the ability to instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. Add in a great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you're interested in, and OpenTable becomes one of the better restaurant apps around. The amount of restaurants you see will definitely vary by region, as the App will only show places that are enrolled in the OpenTable reservation program.
  • Zagat
    Handmark, Inc.
    When it comes to pure restaurant reviews, Zagat To Go can't be beat. Sure, Zagat has a great interface, including the ability to make reservations and submit reviews for possible inclusion in future Zagat Surveys, but what makes this App amazing is having access to the wealth of food knowledge that Zagat is known for. Zagat also has a great 'Recommendation' tab that will provide restaurant choices for occasions ranging from an Anniversary dinner to a breakup meal. The only downside is the lack of anything to offer outside of major metropolitan areas. However, if you do live near a big city, this is the best restaurant app, hands down.
Notable Apps
  • Urbanspoon
    Urbanspoon is the classic restaurant finder that features a slot machine-esque method of randomly finding a local restaurant. Users can customize the town, genre of food, and price point (or let the machine pick them for you!), and then shake your iDevice to activate the randomizer. A standard 'browse' and 'search' function for finding restaurants rounds out this App, which is still a great way to leave your dining experience up to chance.
  • LocalEats
    Local Eats is a great app that focuses entirely on small restaurants popular in the local communities in which they reside. In addition to the standard restaurant finder features, Local Eats also has the ability to make reservations (via OpenTable) and send a cab to a location of your choice. A built-in "Suggest a Restaurant" feature means that if your local favorite isn't on the list, it may be soon.
  • Yelp
    Yelp was one of the first restaurant finder Apps on the iPhone, and continued updates and polish have kept it near the top of the list. The Yelp app pretty much allows users access to all the functions that its website offers, including writing and submitting reviews, adding friends and sending compliments, and searching for local restaurants. Some specific app features include a FourSqure-like "check-in" feature to let others know where you are, and the monocle: an augmented reality feature that uses the compass and camera to show where restaurants are in relation to your current location.
Decent Apps
  • Restaurant finder - iRestaurant
    Sadhu Apps
    iRestaurant is as simple as it gets for restaurant finding apps. Simply launch the app, choose the type of restaurant you're looking for (or just hit 'Any') and hit the button. iRestaurant will then locate you and provide a list of restaurants near you corresponding to the type of restaurant you wanted. iRestaurant works well enough, but unfortunately it isn't as polished as other restaurant finders.
  • GoMeals
    sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC
    While primarily designed as a calorie counter, GoMeal, does offer a few interesting features regarding restaurants. Tap on the restaurant tab, and GoMeals will bring you a list of chain restaurants and fast food places near you. In addition, GoMeals will also let you view the menu for each fast food place it finds, as well as the nutrition value for each item they offer. You won't be using this app to find anything new, but it's still great for planning a healthy meal or lamenting the calories of the double cheeseburger you just ate.
  • DailyBites - Pizza Deals & Promos
    Kerrata Interactive, Inc.
    DailyBites is concerned with only one thing: Pizza. Launch the app and you'll instantly get a listing of the nearest pizza joints, along with contact information, and whether the pizza joint has any current promotions. A good idea, but unfortunately has a few bugs and UI issues that prevent it from being much better.
  • CrazyMenu restaurant menus social food and bar reviews, eat and dine with facebook and twitter friends
    Crazymenu.com by Restaurant Breeze, Inc.
    Rub 2 Grub is an interesting food finder that can automatically find your location and then present six "tickets," one of which can be scratched off to reveal a random local restaurant that you can go to. Rub 2 Grub then brings up a phone number, map, and a simple rating system that will let you rate your restaurant after you've gone there. A built-in search function for finding a restaurant the old fashion way, and a custom twitter client provide some extra functionality. Unfortunately, a poor UI and lack of support mar what could have been a good, fun App.
  • Qype - Reviews of Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, Doctors & more
    Qype GmbH
    Qype Radar is an all-inclusive travel guide for European States, including categories for shops, hotels, bars, and of course, restaurants. Featuring multi-language settings, in-depth and personal reviews of anything looked up, and sync support with Google Maps, and your Qype account, Qyepe Radar is recommended for those looking for a place to eat in Europe.
Other Apps