The first thing I look for when traveling to a new city: FOOD! I’m not one to consider myself a foodie, but I’ve gotten good at faking it with limited access to a kitchen 4 nights a week. Good restaurants can make or break your experience, whether at home or away. In March, I started traveling to Dallas, Texas every week from Atlanta. Between this and my personal wanderlust, I’ve traveled to over 15 states this year. While each has been a new experience, I can definitively say I have yet to have a bad meal. My secret: Yelp.
This isn’t Yelp in the standard way, though. I’ve figured out the best filters to suit my fancy that cover walking distance, driving distance, figuring out something as you’re driving, and everything in between.
My favorite filters are:
🍕Restaurants: If you have something specific in mind (like Breakfast), toss it in the original search feature. This will help narrow down searches to what you’re actually looking for.
🕒 Open Now: Restaurants have different hours than the rest of the world – many places (especially bakeries) are closed on Mondays. Using this filter, you can make sure where you’re going will actually be serving. This filter is especially important if you’re looking to eat between 2-4 PM. I’ve run into quite a few places that will close for lunch then re-open for dinner.
💸 Price Range: Yelp calculates the price range based on the approximate price per person including drink, tax, and tip (source). When traveling, it’s nice to not be able to think about a budget, but it’s nice to have an idea of when you’re looking at a nice steakhouse versus a corner food truck. Below is their approximate breakdown.
$= under $10
$$$$= above $61
🚶♀/ 🚕 Distance: Looking up restaurants is all fun and games until you figure out the place you’re looking at is 30 minutes away even though it’s only 5 miles (this might just be an Atlanta problem though). I use this feature to help keep reality in check when looking for something when I’m walking around just as much as I check out some place to go to lunch with coworkers.
🏆 Sort By: Rating: Finally, I love to filter by rating. In large cities, there will be so many restaurants that are 2.5 miles away with 400+ ratings. Yet, I never seem to notice them when this filter isn’t on because there are so many other options. This is definitely my secret weapon to finding something off the beaten path without putting in too much effort.
By the time everything is put together, here’s what my Yelp screen looks like:
Bonus filters: I love using the Outdoor Seating and Good for Groups filters on various occasion, but they’re not mainstays in my filters.
Do you use Yelp to help you find anything other than restaurants? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Looking for something a bit more low-key at home or looking to stay more on budget? Check out more resources from the Vino Collective!