Top 7 iPhone Restaurant Guide Apps

Put the 'win' back in dining

Diners using smartphones in restaurant

Frederic Cirou/Getty Images


There is no shortage of excellent restaurant apps in the App Store, but these eight really set the bar high. Use them to find new restaurants, checkout wine ratings or calculate tips. They are each a great choice for foodies or those who love to eat out.

If dining out is not your thing, check out the best iPhone recipe apps for some culinary inspiration or best food delivery service apps to have your meal delivered straight to your front door.

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HappyCow app

Happy Cow

What We Like

  • Several filtering options.

  • Offline support.

  • Covers many countries.

  • Continuously updated.

What We Don't Like

  • Isn't free.

For vegetarian and vegan eaters, HappyCow is an essential download. It lists restaurants that are all-vegan, all-vegetarian or friendly to both, based on your location. Each listing includes user-submitted reviews and links to websites, directions and related information. The app is best in cities, where there's a lot of information about restaurants. In more rural locations, where some restaurants may have one or two veggie dishes amidst a lot of meat — and where you need guidance most — the app is less able to identify viable options.

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OpenTable app

Open Table, Inc.

What We Like

  • Supports thousands of restaurants.

  • Completely free.

  • Rewards system.

  • Unique functions.

What We Don't Like

  • Some features don't work well.

The OpenTable app (free) is designed to make it easier to make restaurant reservations. More than 40,000 restaurants are supported. Not only can you view menus and user ratings, but the app also includes real-time table availability and in-app reservation functionality. OpenTable also has a host of other features, including email integration (so you can send a dinner invite to your friends), dining rewards points and a list of nearby restaurants. More recent versions of the app included a restaurant finder, user reviews, popular dishes at each restaurant, rewards points and an Apple Watch app.

OpenTable acquired Foodspotting, a similar app, in 2013, and the Foodspotting app was discontinued in 2017.

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Oysterpedia app


What We Like

  • Easy to understand.

  • Simple design.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't support iOS 11 or higher.

  • Last updated in 2011.

Oysterpedia is an excellent restaurant app that demystifies the oyster. It’s a great companion for your next trip to a seafood restaurant, with listings for more than 200 oyster varieties. Each listing includes detailed information including flavor, size, harvest location and tasting notes. Not everyone may be a fan of raw oysters, but Oysterpedia is a helpful app that certainly makes oysters a little more accessible. 

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Tipulator app

Sophia Teutschler

What We Like

  • Really easy to use.

  • Useful features.

What We Don't Like

  • Runs only on iOS 10 and older.

  • Hasn't been updated since 2013.

Some people may be able to calculate tips in their head, but for the rest of us, Tipulator (free) is an easy-to-use restaurant app that calculates your tip in seconds. The sleek interface makes it simple — just enter the bill amount, apply the percentage you want, and the tip will be automatically calculated. You can also use Tipulator to split restaurant checks or divide the tip.

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Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards

Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards app

M. Shanken Communications, Inc.

What We Like

  • Clear and uncluttered interface.

  • Operates in dozens of countries.

  • Accommodating filtering options.

  • Runs smoothly.

What We Don't Like

  • Displays ads occasionally.

If you choose your restaurant based on its wine list rather than its menu, the Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards app (free) is a must-have. The app provides information on the 3,500 restaurants that have won Wine Spectator awards in more than 70 countries and all 50 states. With it, you can find award-winning locations near you by using GPS or by searching on criteria like style of cuisine, type of award, wine price and cuisine price. When you've found your destination, use the app to make a reservation and start preparing your palate.

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Yelp app


What We Like

  • Hoards of information.

  • Plenty of search filters.

  • Massive user base.

What We Don't Like

  • Can seem cluttered.

Probably the biggest name in restaurant finding in the digital age, Yelp is still going strong with its iPhone app (free). In it, you'll be able to find restaurants based on your location, preferences around food, price and atmosphere. You can also contribute your own reviews, browse lists created by Yelp and by users, and get basic information like hours, menu and directions. An Apple Watch app puts all of Yelp's power and knowledge on your wrist. An essential app.

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Zagat app


What We Like

  • Speedy app.

  • Unique filtering options.

  • Lots of search functions.

  • No user account required.

What We Don't Like

  • Hard to search in other locations.

  • Supports few cities.

Zagat is the king of restaurant reviews for major metropolitan areas and foodie cities like New York, Tokyo or Paris. The app gives you a year’s worth of ratings and reviews for every Zagat-rated restaurant in 45 cities — that is a terrific deal since you’ll spend roughly $13 for a printed guide that covers just one city or $16 for a list of the top-rated restaurants. One of the best features is offline browsing, so you can browse restaurants without an internet connection.