The Best Restaurant Apps on Android
After a three year stint back in my hometown of Valparaiso, Indiana for law school, I recently convinced my girlfriend and dog (he was quite the hold out) to pack everything up and start a new life in the neighboring state of Illinois. We quickly found an awesome new apartment, which unfortunately had no food in it our first few days here. Since we’ve been trying to eat a little bit healthier, we’ve also been trying to avoid chain restaurants, so we’ve been scrambling around town trying to track down new local places to sample. Luckily, there are quite a few Android apps out there to help us pick out the very best eateries.
Yelp is pretty much the undisputed king of restaurant apps at the moment. A clean interface lets you easily sort through nearby restaurants, bars, coffee houses or delivery places. You can filter restaurants by location, price or when they’re open, and nearly every location has a ton of reliable reviews. It’s easy to see why Yelp is so popular, and why it’s the be-all and end-all of restaurant apps for most Android users, but there are still several other solid options on Google Play.
Type in your current location and at least a dozen nearby restaurants will pop up with this app. Restaurant Finder works that easily. The first time I used it, the app even displayed several restaurants I hadn’t yet seen while driving around my new home town. The app also gives you the ability to quickly sort through results by cuisine, including exotic options such as “Halal” and “Turkish.” Using just my Wifi and Mobile network for access, the app did seem a little off in figuring out my exact location in relation to nearby restaurants, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be fixed by using a GPS app to figure out exactly where to go.
AroundMe is an app that can point you to any major business nearby, including banks, gas stations, and most importantly for this article, restaurants. Geographically speaking, the results are far more accurate than Restaurant Finder, telling you exactly how many yards away a restaurant lies. Some results include links to Yelp reviews, and every restaurant I checked had its phone number and/or website listed, but AroundMe lacks quite a bit of information about the quality of the results it gives you, making it more of an app to find the absolute closest restaurant, not necessarily the best.
Zomato – Restaurant Finder
Zomato brings you the closest restaurants to your location, including the menu and price information you find in most restaurant apps, but with the bonus feature of letting you draw an exact radius on a map of how far you’re willing to go for burgers or Mexican. That’s a reasonably cool feature, but Zomato lags behind other apps in its category by limiting itself to only a handful of cuisines you can search through. There are also very few reviews for most restaurants, so you might not realize you’ve made a bad dinner choice until it’s too late.
GrubHub is another extremely popular restaurant finding app for Android, and unlike some of the other apps on this list, it’s specifically geared toward delivery. Once you input the type of food you’re looking for, a list of currently open restaurants pop up, complete with information about delivery costs. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the app giving me several results of nearby restaurants I hadn’t yet discovered on my own. GrubHub also gives you in-depth descriptions of each restaurant’s menu, once you’ve found something you like, you’re free to place your order within the app.
One of the best parts about moving to a new place is finding new places to eat. Thankfully, there are many great apps available on Android to make locating the very best restaurants in your area a breeze.
What is your favorite app? Please let us know in the comments.