Urbanspoon

If you are not familiar with Urbanspoon it is a restaurant recommendation and location service, website and  iPhone app. The app is really easy to use, you just shake your phone and a casino style slot readout will randomly give you a restaurant suggestion based on city, food type and price based on your selected area (GPS or Manual). You can of course lock down any of the three columns to have a more focused search and results. There is also a search feature where you can search for a specific restaurant, and a browse feature to choose by several option (neighborhood, type of food, features, etc.). Perhaps the best feature of them all, is the scope if offers a heads up view of restaurants in your immediate area, all you have to do is hold your iPhone up and rotate to find the and eatery near you.

Urbanspoon is not just a yellow pages, but a community where you can vote on if you like a restaurant or not, leave a review or even snap a picture of a menu to post. Urbanspoon can be linked to a Facebook account and you can add friends and create a network of trusted friend to get the best recommendation based on who you know.

The Urbanspoon app and website are social media in the most simple form, find a restaurant, like or dislike a restaurant, recommend or don’t recommend a restaurant. I always use the app when I am in a new place and I am hungry, but I will also use the app if I am hungry and don’t know exactly what I want to have. Urbanspoon is also a great way to suggest new restaurants to friends and family even if you have not been to the restaurant.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog recently ran a post about Urbanspoon and how it is still going going strong, it has been downloaded 9 million times and has over half a billion shakes on the iPhone. Urbanspoon was the first locator app I downloaded, it is still one of my most used apps on my iPhone. I was a fan of the website before buying my first iPhone over 2 years ago, so I was pleased to have that functionality in the palm of my hand. Learning of the purchase of Urbanspoon by Citysearch can only mean good things are to come from one of my favorite communities on the web.

Urbanspoon is a nice addition to any iPhone or iPod Touch (and a free download to boot) for an evening out on the town, while traveling or when you are just plain hungry. I hope Urbanspoon keeps rattling out suggestions for years to come.