Compiled by Kyli Singh, posted Sept. 22, 2010
1. Urbanspoon: Urbanspoon is the “world’s leading provider of time-critical dining data and is an all-around big player in the multi-billion dollar restaurant information industry. Choose any city and find everything about local restaurants and view restaurant menus. You can read reviews and recommendations from critics and blogs. It gives you contact information and you can view the restaurant’s ratings. Another beneficial aspect of this site is that it shows the location on Google Maps. This is very useful – especially when you need driving directions. You can also download the iPhone application for this, follow them at Twitter@urbanspoon, or follow the Urbanspoon Blog.
2. Chow.com (http://www.chow.com/restaurants/regions): Chow is a food Web site owned by CBS interactive. It is known for its food message board called Chowhound. Click on a city and find the highest rated restaurants and newest places to eat in your local area. You can also find the best of barbecue, burgers, Mexican, pizza, Italian, kid-friendly, and the list goes on.
3. Menupix.com: Just type in keywords in the search bar and you’ll find a restaurant near you. Similar to the sites above, you can view menus, reviews and maps. The unique thing about this site is that you can make reservations for thousands of restaurants. The advanced search on this Web site is very specific and helpful.
4. Restaurants.com: Restaurants.com is a global restaurant guide. Just click on the city of your choice and find location and contact information. Not only does it include restaurants, it includes bars too!
5. SlashFood.com: “Food news, food culture, food conservations.” At Slash Food, you can get breaking food news, cooking advice, recipes, find out the latest food trends and read updated reviews on restaurants in your area. Not only do they discuss food, but they also have articles on drinks such as wine and pumpkin beer.
6. Seriouseats.com: Serious Eats is a food blog focused on sharing food enthusiasm through videos, blogs, and online conversations. What makes this site stand out from the others is that they a lot of multimedia on their site. It has some really interesting recipes such as “How to Make Peanut Butter-Chocolate Buckeyes.”
7. Epicurious.com: Looking for cool recipes, menus, cooking articles and food guides? This site has it all. There are over 100,000 recipes from Self, Gourmet, chefs, home cooks, cookbooks and more. It has everything from top-rated recipes to recipe slideshows to dessert recipes. I like this Web site because it has a section on “Healthy Recipes,” and I haven’t seen that anywhere yet.
8. Smitenkitchen.com: Smitten Kitchen is a home cooking web blog from a tiny kitchen in New York City. This Web site has creative recipes, a recipe index, and a page dedicated to converting measurements and ingredients. This site caught my attention because of the excellent photography of their food.
9. Foodandwine.com: This Web site is Food & Wine magazine’s guide to wine and cocktails. The Web site has the scoop on wine and cocktails, wine pairings, and great food to go with them. I really liked how they had snack recipes such as cheesy hot dogs topped with apples and tucked into pretzel rolls.
10. Zagat.com: Known as “the web’s most trusted guide to restaurant reviews and ratings,” Zagat has discussion boards and the inside scoop on restaurants across the United States. My favorite part of the Web site is how they have videos such as “Video Tour of Eataly,” where a famed Italian chef walks you through his store. Very interesting.
11. Yelp.com: Find user reviews and recommendations of top restaurants on Yelp.com. Not only does Yelp provide information about restaurants, it provides information about nightlife, shopping, entertainment, and more.
12. Opentable.com: OpenTable is a real-time online reservation network. Not only can you make free and quick online reservations at your favorite restaurants, but you can read restaurant reviews from diners and earn points toward free meals.