You Need These 4 Free Restaurant Apps in Your Life (and On Your Phone) Right Now
Dining out just got a whole lot easier.
Thanks to new apps and upgrades to existing ones, finding an ideal dinner spot, making a reservation and paying for your meal is as easy as tapping your screen.
The heavyweight in online reservations isn’t new to mobile, but OpenTable’s new features hold your hand from booking a reservation to “check, please!” Instead of just reserving a table at a restaurant, the app now allows you to view photos of the cuisine, add the reservation to your calendar, invite friends and even peruse notes from the chef. You can also pay for your meal through the app — skipping the whole paper check process entirely.
They also offers fancy perks for its users: As part of their #100OpenTables promotion, the company will simultaneously host 100 free dining experiences on April 9th in 30 cities. Lucky winners will be able to experience a variety of one-of-a-kind meals, like a lavish foie gras, truffle and caviar tasting at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon or dinner in the compost shed at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
Gone are the days of booking a table months in advance to try out the latest hot spot. Currently available in N.Y.C., Miami and L.A., Resy allows users to make reservations — prices ranging from $0 (free!) to $50 per person — at some of the most coveted eateries on short notice, confirmed instantly. Resy only launched in June, but already it’s been updated with a serious upgrade — in October the app expanded its network to include brunch reservations. Mimosas for everybody!
Slightly wary of online reviews? You need Flavour, a restaurant discovery app that curates its recommendations based on food critics, local publications and industry experts. Each listing includes a selection of highly recommended dishes, links to full menus as well as the ability to make a reservation through OpenTable.
The app launched in October, and, just a few weeks later, Apple chose it as one of December’s best new apps. It’s available in N.Y.C., L.A., Chicago, Miami and, most recently, expanded to Houston and Austin.
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The Uber of restaurant payments, Cover allows diners to skip the end-of-the-meal check process by paying through the app. Simply check in to a restaurant (or join an existing table of friends), tell your server you’re paying with the app and the rest is handled. Using previously input settings like credit card numbers and tip amount, Cover pays for your meal without you ever touching a bill — so you can literally just walk out when you’re finished eating. It will even split your bill for you.
So far the legal dining and dashing experience is only available in N.Y.C. and San Francisco, but the new app is expanding its restaurant network to L.A. and other cities soon.
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—Morgan Gibson, @morgangibson