The brunching bohemians in the video above aren’t exaggerating—diner paralysis is a real thing. You’ve got some extra time on your hands and money in your pocket, and think, “Forget the fridge—today, I feast.”
But oh, the obstacles that await. The long lines, the weird hours, the good old-fashioned indecision.
Well, fear not, hungry friends! We’re here to help with our list of favorite food apps (that aren’t necessarily Yelp) that will bring you closer to food paradise, and not food paralyze.
Why does it always seem like that perfect restaurant with the forever-rotating menu (and line out the door) never takes reservations? That’s no longer an issue with nowait, because this app lets you put your name down without ever stepping foot in the joint. Use it at home to check out restaurants in your area (they’re powered by Yelp, so that’s handy), find a wait time that works for you, and bam—nowait notifies you when it’s time to head out. You can even check your place in line while you chill. VIP FTW.
Nowait doesn’t technically let you cut in line, but if it means hot, fresh food, it feels just as good.
The Infatuation/Text Rex
Think of The Infatuation as the answer to all of the questions you wish you could ask Yelp, like “Where’s a good bar to bring my parents,” or “Where can I go to make this awkward dinner less awkward?” The no-nonsense reviews and guides get to the heart of the questions we’re all dying to ask, and are available in most major cities. On top of that, they’ve recently released Text Rex (beta): a service that instantly texts you personalized restaurant recommendations. Sound spammy? The folks at The Infatuation assure us it’s #notabot.
You could spend an hour pondering whether a restaurant uses egg in their veggie burger…or you could just consult Tasteful. Image courtesy of Tasteful.
So it’s Friday night, you’re rolling 6-deep, and searching for a place that accommodates all of the diverse dietary needs of your crew. No problem! With Tasteful, you can simply filter restaurant search results by the type of fare you’re after—including options that are vegan, gluten-free, paleo, or simply more sustainable. No more wondering about fish sauce swimming in the veggie broth.
Phones don’t just make great food cameras, they also settle the end-of-meal payment scramble. (Thanks, math!)
This one’s for the sharers. You might not realize it from the tirade of blurry maple-glazed-everything jamming up your Instagram feed, but there is an actual art (and science) to food photography. (I mean, this guy looks pretty serious.) Which is why we recommend Foodie, a camera app for your phone that was designed to make all the nuances of your favorite dishes even more drool-worthy. With filters like “chewy,” “sweet,” and “BBQ,” you’re sure to be the envy of every gastro-grammer in your feed. Don’t worry, your Insta-hack secret is safe with us.
PANIC SCENARIO: It’s the end of the meal. You aren’t awesome at math, but you don’t want to ask your date what 20% of $54.59 is. You think you remember some tip hack that doesn’t require math, but $100.59 doesn’t seem right… What to do? Use Tip Calculator as a quick (and discreet) way to calculate tips, split complicated bills, and otherwise brush up on some old-school calculatin’. All the benefits of being a math-whiz at a fraction of the headache.