Choosing a restaurant while in port shouldn’t be a game of chance. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps to make finding your next bite a quick and painless process. These apps — many of which are free! — let you dodge the tourist traps by locating places frequented by locals, asking expert chefs for their favorite places in town, swiping through photos, and even making reservations right from your phone. Here are the apps that every foodie should download before setting sail:
Best For: Expert recommendations.
What You Get: This app asks famous chefs where they eat in port cities like Miami, New York, New Orleans, Montreal, Seattle, Los Angeles, and London. It’s not quite as cool as calling up Mario Batali to ask him for his favorite taco place in New York City — it happens to be Dos Toros — but it sure comes close.
Available On: iOS® (free) devices.
Best For: Reservations.
What You Get: This is one of those rare apps that work (almost) as well abroad as they do at home. Browse OpenTable’s extensive catalog of restaurant ratings, menus, user reviews, and screen shots to decide where to eat — then make a reservation for free. With 20,000 restaurants across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and even the Caribbean, this is a must-have app for cruisers.
Best For: Discounts.
What You Get: Planning to splurge on an unforgettable meal? This money-saving app can get you deals of up to 40 percent off at classy, high-end restaurants. Right now, it’s available in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Boston and, once you find your deal, you can make reservations directly through the app.
Best For: Judging a book by its cover.
What You Get: This handy social app allows you to be visual in your restaurant selection by using your phone’s GPS to show user-submitted pictures of nearby restaurants. Scroll through until a dish catches your eye, and then get directions to — and reviews of — the restaurant that makes it.
Best For: Finding off-the-beaten-path choices.
What You Get: LocalEats helps you avoid chains and tourist traps by guiding you to the best kept local secrets. This app features little-known places in every major U.S. city, along with international destinations like Barcelona, Athens, Stockholm, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Available On: iOS ($1.00) devices.
Best For: Coffee
What You Get: If you get your usual coffee fix at a major national chain, use your vacation as a chance to branch out to some smaller establishments. This app features user reviews for 7,000 coffeehouses in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and a handy search filter that lets conscientious coffee drinkers sort by fair, direct, or free trade.
Available On: iOS ($2.00) devices.
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