Chow down chain-free with LocalEats iPad app

Apr 4, 2011
Shine

Popular iPhone dining app LocalEats has made its way to iPad format with LocalEats for iPad. Presented by WhereTheLocalsEat.com, I can say that LocalEats for iPad tops its iPhone incarnation and is easily a must download for any iPad user who likes to eat. Available in more than 50 U.S. cities, LocalEats has compiled a […]

Popular iPhone dining app LocalEats has made its way to iPad format with LocalEats for iPad. Presented by WhereTheLocalsEat.com, I can say that LocalEats for iPad tops its iPhone incarnation and is easily a must download for any iPad user who likes to eat.

Available in more than 50 U.S. cities, LocalEats has compiled a database of only local restaurants, and presents each city with a stunning pan-able photograph on its home page. U.S. destinations also include a roundup of the Top 100 best bets. Unlike the iPhone version, LocalEats for iPad has also branched into international territory, now covering 50 cities outside of the U.S., making LocalEats truly vital for international travelers looking to avoid Hong Kong’s version of McDonald’s. Every city offers an information page that links to its Wikipedia entry and local weather. International destination pages also offer a “Tips” section that includes tipping etiquette and local foods to try.

While local chains do have a presence in LocalEats for iPad, national chains are completely excluded — ideal for travelers and diners looking to support the local economy. You can use your GPS to locate nearby eateries, and even narrow the displayed results by mileage. There are plenty of options for browsing — through the “Top 100” or “Best of” picks, or via category, neighborhood, price or a combination of criteria.

When viewing restaurant information, users will see details such as price range, features and meals served, along with a map and descriptions aggregated from other sites. One of my complaints of the iPhone version has been corrected for iPad. Restaurants with websites now open in-line (although, as the app notes, restaurants with flash-based pages are not supported), which makes getting to the heart of a restaurant — its menu — that much faster. Directions still launch Google Maps, but this doesn’t bother me as much as it did on iPhone, since I see people relying on iPad for navigation as a much-rarer occurrence. LocalEats also says it offers coupons and savings for establishments, but it’ll be the luck of the draw to find one. I haven’t yet.

LocalEats for iPad is free for a limited time, so snag it today.

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