If you own a smartphone, chances are you already have food-related apps like GrubHub, OpenTable, and Yelp on your home screen.
But there’s more to restaurants than just making reservations, ordering take-out, and checking out customer reviews.
What if you need a more specific recommendation, an amazing deal on short notice, or are just too lazy to search anything specific and want to be told where to go?
You may not have heard of the following nine apps, but they’re incredibly useful and should be downloaded immediately.
From the people who brought us Groupon, Savoured helps you make reservations at nearby restaurants that are offering exclusive discounts of up to 40% off the entire meal. You can browse restaurants by price, cuisine, popularity, and neighbourhood to see which deals are closest to you.
2. Wine Search
Andy Hayler, the man who has dined at every Michelin-starred restaurant, created this app to help himself and other diners see how much merchants are marking up their bottles of wine. It will help you to find the best deal where you’re eating, see where the wine is sold nearby, and even check out the type of grape used to make the wine.
Available for Apple devices.
3. Find Me Gluten Free
It can be challenging for gluten-free diners to locate restaurants and menu items that cater to them. But Find Me Gluten Free does all the hard work for you, pulling together all of the gluten-free menus, menu items, and allergen lists of chains and restaurants in the area.
4. Where To Eat?
Where To Eat is the lazy person’s Yelp search. You can do it the old fashioned way and click a bunch of cuisines to find what you want, or for the truly indecisive, use the “Shake-to-Suggest” tool and simply shake the phone to have the app choose a restaurant for you.
5. Eat This, Not That
Based on the book by the same name, this app lets you track calories, create a weight loss plan, and search the calorie counts of menu items and grocery products. But the best part is that you can choose any chain restaurant and see the most and least healthy items on the menu — which could save you thousands of calories a day.
There are a lot of food trucks in NYC, but this app shows you where they all are in real time based on day-of tweets. Pinch the screen to zoom in and see trucks in your neighbourhood. (Not in NYC? There are a lot of other great food truck apps for specific cities, just search the app store.)
For those on a diet like Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, or with dietary restrictions, this is the app for you. HealthyOut finds local restaurants and dishes based on your dietary preferences. You can filter by cuisine, type of dish (“not a salad”), ingredients, calories, and more.
There’s nothing worse than trying to calculate how much tip you owe after a boozy brunch, or figuring out what everyone in a big group should pay at dinner. iTip is a simple and easy way to input your ideal tip percentage, and even helps diners split the bill.
Available for Apple devices.
BONUS: Happy Hour
So this one isn’t technically restaurant related (though it does feature some restaurant and appetizer specials), but it’s an easy way to find Happy Hour deals in your area. It includes details like what time the happy hour ends, the amenities at the bar, and reviews.
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