This blog post was updated on November 2, 2018.
If you’re a serious globetrotting foodie, then deciding where to eat is one of the most important aspects of your trip. My personal rule of thumb is that if a restaurant is full of locals, then that’s where I’m going. But how do you find these local gems? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you figure out which restaurants to avoid altogether?
Thanks to a variety restaurant review sites, it’s now easier than ever to be a traveling foodie. Whether you want to find the best taco stand in Baja or the tastiest gelato in Milan, these resources will help you located places to suit your tastes and budget.
If you’re using your smartphone while you’re on the road, most of these sites have app or mobile versions. They can also detect your current location, which makes browsing local listings that much easier. My recommendation would be to choose 2 or 3 you like best and use them interchangeably (or to cross-reference) as you’re planning your trip or on the road.
Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, Zagat is a great resource. The site’s easy to search database gives you Zagat ratings as well as both professional and customer reviews. Short, informative articles will introduce you to new culinary wonders, some even in your backyard. Worried about snagging a table at the new “it” sushi restaurant? Don’t be. Zagat also allows you to book reservations online.
Yelp is a general review and opinions site, and its restaurant listings are especially comprehensive. On Yelp, you can read opinions by actual clients (not restaurant owners or paid reviewers) on various establishments in your city (or neighborhood of choice). Though most of Yelp’s listings are for U.S. cities, they do some international pages as well.
WitU is an international database of restaurant listings and reviews. It’s easy to navigate and a great place to find out about the hot dining trends in the cities you’re in. You can also book tables online.
UrbanSpoon features listings (sortable by price, location, cuisine, and ratings) for restaurants throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK. The site’s “Talk of the Town” section that features restaurants that critics and bloggers are talking about right now.
If you’re looking for the scoop on restaurants in U.S. cities, then Chowhound is a great resource. Users start (and add to) discussions about various locations or themes. Some simply ask a question and wait for the responses to pour in. It’s a lot of information to sift through, but I’ve found some gems thanks to my Chowhound users.
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