LocalEats app will keep travelers away from chain restaurants

Nov 17, 2010
Shine

Powered by web site Wherethelocalseat.com, dining app LocalEats, for iPhone and iPod Touch, should appeal to any foodie who wants to support local eateries across the country. Featuring only the best local restaurants — national chains need not apply — LocalEats has curated a database of favorites and best picks in more than 50 cities. […]

Powered by web site Wherethelocalseat.com, dining app LocalEats, for iPhone and iPod Touch, should appeal to any foodie who wants to support local eateries across the country. Featuring only the best local restaurants — national chains need not apply — LocalEats has curated a database of favorites and best picks in more than 50 cities.

Using either your GPS location, or through manually selecting a specific location, LocalEats will present a variety of close-by food options. You can view results in list format or on a map, and each entry will be denoted with a Top 100 if it has made LocalEats’ list of the best-of-the-best in each city. Most entries offer up a photo or two, a brief cuisine description, local reviews and a link to the menu. You can also read user comments, although this feature doesn’t seem to be widely used. Leaving comments of your own requires a Wherethelocalseat.com account.

LocalEats’ small price tag isn’t outrageous, although I do wish more things opened in-line. Menus and directions, probably the most-tapped links in the app, launch Safari and Maps respectively. Even with fast app switching, this gets annoying, and I’d like to see it integrated in a future update.

Because the app was designed for travelers, I found the inclusion of the cab-calling function to be extremely smart. Powered by Taxi Magic, users can provide a name and phone number, and order a cab to arrive at their GPS location at a certain time, which is very useful.

I’ll admit, I didn’t see the point of LocalEats when using it in my hometown, but once I got a chance to use it on the road when I traveled to a Midwest city lined with chain restaurants, I began to see LocalEats’ real purpose — finding the hometown flavor in a sea of Applebee’s.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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