Yelp’s useful to find bars and restaurants even if users are not

Aug 24, 2009

You can use Yelp as a general business search engine or as a recommendation engine for food (and more) no matter your location. Either way, you’ll get access to Yelp’s wealth of information with pictures and reviews. Just like, you’ll get a lot of user-generated reviews. If you fall in the camp that swears by these reviews, then you’re set.

If given permission, the Yelp app will sync to your location and give you quick access to bars, restaurants, banks, gas stations, drugstores and more, all around the corner (assuming  of course you’re in an area where those things are actually nearby).

I’ll admit my bias. I don’t like the unreliability of user-generated reviews by anonymous strangers, their sweeping comments, user in-fighting and the general shoddiness of information (no, the irony of a reviewer talking down to reviews is not lost on me).

But I will say that in general searches, I find myself on Yelp a lot. It has a relatively complete database, and the reviews are there to take or leave. If you’re in my camp or the other camp, you know who you are. Use it at your own discretion.

No matter your stance on reviews, the Yelp app is a great location finder for places nearby, and whether reliable or not, those message boards are frequently the first to whisper rumors of closings.

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Tiesha Miller

Tiesha Miller is a Chicago-based writer/editor who's earned her stripes working on daily newspapers, city magazines and keeping the faith as a Kansas City Royals fan.

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