Today, there are more than 250 apps to search for local dining information in the Android Market. The top two apps are free and are great discovery tools for expanding your dining choices. The third is a paid app that provides additional functionality not offered by the free apps.
Open Table is a free app that provides search and reservation options for more than 15,000 dining places throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Open Table subscribers earn dining points which are redeemable at any restaurant listed on Open Table. Once the diners know the party size, date, and time, they can simply punch all the data in their Android smartphone or other Android-powered device and get the desired locations.
They can search by restaurant name, enter a zip code, or a general location and find the restaurants on a map. The options can be whittled down by type of cuisine, price, reservation time or points to be awarded. Furthermore, the reservations can be made on the app itself and users can easily manage cancellations or rescheduling.
Urbanspoon is another great dining app which can help you select your favorite restaurants based on type of cuisine, prices, and location (based on a general address or zip code). Urbanspoon is great for busy people, those who are indecisive, or those who believe in spontaneity. All you have to do is shake your phone and it will surprise you with a restaurant based on your search criteria. If you are not impressed or satisfied with the choice, shake again and keep shaking till you find something to your liking. Usually within three to four shakes you and your dining party can converge on a delectable choice.
Urbanspoon is available in most English speaking countries, including the U.S. and Canada. The minor downside of Urbanspoon is that you cannot reserve the seats directly on the app, although you can find a table.
Unfortunately, the Zagat App comes at a price of $9.99, but if you consider that a decent meal for two can cost anywhere from $20-50, it is not such a bad deal.
Zagat ratings are popular and allow users to pick the best-rated restaurants with ease according to location, type of cuisine, and price. Ratings describe the food, decor, and service. Zagat can be a great app for extremely busy professionals who avoid risky choices and want to rely on refined ratings.
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