Several developers have released resteraunt locator apps that take advantage of the location services in your Android based smartphone. You can get food ideas and directions to find local restaurants. A visit to the Android market will reveal many search results when searching for "restaurants." This is a quick list of the most popular and highly rated apps. Who knows, one of these apps may help you find your new favorite restaurant.
1. Restaurant Finder
This free app available in the Android Market uses the Google Search feature of your phone to locate restaurants near your location. The main screen provides a listing of restaurant categories you can click on for specific recommendations within the category. I did a search for all Seafood Restaurants in my area and was shown as list of around 30 local establishments. You can do searches for all restaurants, buffets, Asian, steakhouses and several other categories. You can also do a search for a specific restaurant name. Press the Search tab, type in the name and press Go.
Based on this app's accuracy, I give it a solid 4 Star rating. It needs a customer review area to bump up the rating.
2. Food Finder
Food Finder is another free app in the Android Market. This app provides a category search that is much more robust than the Restaurant Finder app. Food Finder provides a list of around 100 different restaurant categories, allowing you to precisely target the style of food you are looking for. There is a bit of overkill with all these categories, however. For example, you can search for Vietnamese Restaurants and Vietnamese Sandwiches.
The app will show you all the restaurants in your area, their distance from your location and ties into your Android Navigation map to provide you turn-by-turn directions.
3 1/2 Stars overall. Could use a "Favorites" area where you can store your favorite restaurants.
3. Urban Spoon
The Urban Spoon iPhone app made this famous, and the Android app functions the same way. The app determines your location and gets a list of restaurants in your area. These are grouped according to the style of food and by pricing. Set your food preferences and price range, press the spin button, and get your recommendation. Your single result is shown with the restaurant name, phone number, customer reviews and can tie into your navigation app to provide turn-by-turn directions.
Despite its popularity, I am not a big fan of Urban Spoon. The novelty of the user interface runs out quickly and uses more battery life than a simple category list format.
The app is still worth 4 stars.
4. Good Food Near You
Good Food Near You is another free app that uses your location to provide a list of local restaurants. There is no category search nor does the app provide the ability to store restaurants as favorites. A nice feature is that you can search restaurants that have low fat menus. This one feature does not make up for what this app lacks, however. What further hurts this app are the frequent crashes that I experienced when running on my Droid. The majority of times that I pressed the Low Fat option, the app crashed and was forced closed. Not sure if others experience these same issues but this app was on my Droid long enough only to write this review.
The developers at Viscus Infotech Ltd certainly have an eye for creating aesthetically pleasing apps. Epicurean is no exception. This app allows you to search either by food name, restaurant name or do a local map search. Both search options work well and provide a healthy amount of results. The map search option is a bit challenging to figure out at first, but allows you to search a designated search area for all restaurants. If you like graphically pleasing apps, this is the one for you. If you like apps that are simple to use, this may not be the restaurant app you are looking for.
4 Stars, based mainly on the interface!
6. Zagat to Go
If you are serious about where you eat, and you depend on customer reviews when choosing a restaurant, Zagat to Go is an excellent choice. The app costs $9.99 in the Android Market, which gives you one year's worth of access to the exhaustive collection of restaurant reviews. After one year, you will need to renew your subscription in order to continuing using the app.
Zagat is the trusted name in restaurant reviews and uses reviews from over 40 different guides. With it built in search features, top-rated restaurant suggestions and even a "Urban Spoon" style widget, Zagat to Go is a powerful app that is perfect for those who really want to find the best area restaurants.
4 3/4 Stars.
7. Fast Food Finder
Sometimes, you just want to eat fast food. Luckily, the developers at the Android App team have made a simple to use app that will guide you to your area fast food places. It uses the built-in navigation of your Android phone to provide a list of all your local fast food restaurants. Select the one you want and you'll get directions that will take you from where you are to your specific choice.
The interface and incredible ease of use earn this app 4 1/2 stars. If only it could direct me to healthy fast food spots!