More often, I bumped into a friend asking me where to eat. And some would also ask what’s the latest restaurant that has opened this week. From new restaurants, to a list of kid-friendly restaurants, to the most affordable buffet restaurants in Manila for their kid’s birthday, these are tough questions. To be honest, as I don’t get to have the same preferences, needs, and the same tastebuds as they do. I’m not easily carte blanche. But luckily, I have my trusty apps that help me make up my mind and give a good recommendation. And you can too!
Why Finding the Best Restaurants in Manila is Easy Nowadays
In today’s extremely connected and digital world, we have information readily available at our fingertips, thanks to smartphones. And thanks to apps, we get a great smooth experience that doesn’t hurt in the eyes and gives us what we want and need wherever we are and whenever we want. As a foodie, I must have dozens of apps installed in my phone to discover, say, vegetarian restaurants in Manila, but there are only few apps that stood out and enable me to use it all the time. Heck, I even use some on a daily basis! But you don’t need to be a foodie to use these apps. In fact, these apps can prove to be useful. They help you stay away from restaurants that don’t meet your needs whether a restaurant has food delivery or if they accept credit cards. They help you save time.
Here is my list of the Top 5 apps that every foodie must install their smartphones to find the best restaurants in Manila:
Top 5 Apps For Finding the Best Restaurants in Manila, 2014 Edition
Why install Looloo: Trending Restaurants in Manila is a keeper feature
Download on iTunes (not available on Google Play)
The good thing about food review apps? They’re brutally honest and they make a great companion to determining whether a restaurant is overhyped or the real deal. The Looloo app comprises a great community and they’re out to help you, especially when there are several questions that remain unanswered in reviews. Everyone is supportive and there’s a symbiotic relationship between reviewers. You review, people like your review and praise you for your wonderful food photos. But there’s a lot more than that. Looloo has a special Trending feature that can be found in the Explore tab. And yes, that’s where you’ll find the hottest, most talked about restaurants in Manila right this very second. And a tab of Looloo Specials can help you get free food too!
Foursquare’s rating dropped from Google Play and iTunes Appstore significantly especially when they launched Swarm, took out the check-in functionality out of the app and turned it into a simple location based restaurant finder. But the app has been improving significantly with one of their key strengths: Useful tips. And these are crowdsourced tips as well. From people posting photos of cockroaches in restaurants to reservation information, and whether a restaurant is opened or closed at a given time, Foursquare pretty much gives a straightforward approach on providing useful details for foodies like me. (And they get to certify someone’s expertise too based on their frequently checked in places.) And we can all agree, reviews in Foursquare will make or break a restaurant’s reputation.
3. Swarm by Foursquare
There’s that point in time when all you want to do is brag that you’re in Manila’s hottest restaurant having lunch or dinner with your pals, and that’s perfectly fine. Those are your bragging rights. I highly recommend Swarm, the Foursquare check-in functionality replacement that’s great for knowing if your friends are in the neighborhood too. And I guess that’s where the app’s name comes from, “Swarm”, that used to be a badge in Foursquare. But really, there’s more to having Swarm in your phone. Let your friends know what your weekend plans are through the Nearby Plans feature, and you could find yourself organizing a party in no time.
Having used Uber many times, I must say, the app is on top of my list. I’m pretty sure you’ll come across a time when your car is on number coding or you don’t know how to get to the restaurant you’ve been dying to dine with your friends. Say hello to Uber, your uber safe transportation neighbor that’s cashless and extremely easy to use. You’ll need to have a credit card linked to your account in order for it to work, but if it saves you the thrill of riding a roller coaster taxi cab in the metro and sending you off to the wrong restaurants, Uber’s professional drivers will help you find the best restaurant in Manila you’re looking for. But the best thing about Uber? You can pick up your groupies in the middle of the journey and have your Uber driver split the fare for you. No more calculators. You might even ride a Benz or Camry.
(Serious tip? Uber is having a promo, 40% of all rides! Cheaper than your regular cab fare.)
If you haven’t installed Instagram yet, you’re missing a lot! A lot of my friends are only getting into the restaurant grapevine in Instagram. Nothing beats getting word of mouth reviews from your peers, posting your best food photo, and finding the restaurant at the same time in a single app. And Instagram is the one app to rule them all. I’m sure hashtags are the best way to find out the newest restaurant that has opened in the metro, and Instagram is the app for that. The good thing about Instagram? It doesn’t hard-sell.
BONUS: BOOKY APP
A newcomer to the world of apps, Booky should really surprise you with its nifty offline directory of restaurant phone numbers which comes in handy when you want to make a reservation. Tick a restaurant for your Must-Try list and Favorites has never been easy. And it really impresses me that even the newly opened restaurants like Linguini Finiare already in the list.
There you have it, the Top 5 + 1 Mobile App that every foodie in Manila must have in their phones in order to be the first to find the best restaurant in Manila. I’m pretty sure there are more apps in the 1 billion app space that will certainly give you the best coverage of the restaurants in Manila, so drop me a line below and tell me what you think of this list!