Top Websites for Frugal Foodies on the Road

in Travel Deals, Trip Planning

For serious foodies, deciding where one is going to eat while traveling is just as perhaps more) important than deciding where to stay.

Thanks to a variety of excellent search engines and review sites, it’s now easier than ever to be a discerning foodie on a budget. Whether you’re hankering for sushi in Paris or Italian pasta in Hong Kong, you’ll be able to find a place to suit your tastes and budget.

From finding the best happy hour deals to reviews on new “it” eateries, these sites will help you choose where to wisely spend your hard earned dollars on the road. Most of these sites detect your current location (especially if you’re using a smart phone), which can make browsing listings on the go a snap. In addition, most of these sites have Droid or iPhone travel apps that facilitate your restaurant searching even more. My recommendation would be to choose 2 or 3 you like best and use them interchangeably (or to cross-reference) as you’re planning your trip or on the road.

Zagat (

Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, Zagat’s got you covered. The site’s easy to search database gives you Zagat ratings as well as both professional and customer reviews. Their “dining spotlight” articles on the front page (past articles are searchable in the database) will introduce you to new culinary wonders, some even in your backyard. This site also allows you to book reservations online.

Yelp (

The author enjoys a meal at Strada in London (UK).

Yelp is a broad-based review and opinions site, and their restaurant listings are comprehensive. You can read opinions by actual clients (not restaurant owners or paid reviewers) on various establishments in all price ranges. Though most of Yelp’s listings are for U.S. cities, they do have pages devoted to major European cities like London and Paris.

WitU (

WitU is an international database of comprehensive restaurant listings and reviews. Most popular and “latest” restaurants pop up first in the listings. In addition to reading about restaurants, you can also book a table online.

UrbanSpoon (

UrbanSpoon features listings for restaurants throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK. You can sort findings by price, location, cuisine type and ratings. I always get new ideas of where to eat (even in my hometown) in their “Talk of the Town” section that features restaurants that critics and bloggers are talking about right now.

FoodieView (

An attractive and well-designed site, FoodieView features selected listings from major U.S. cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, etc. Though their listings may not be as comprehensive as those on some of the other sites, they make up for it in quality of restaurant (and their eclectic recipe database).

OpenTable (

In addition to browsing the site’s large database of restaurant listings and reviews, you can book reservations online using their handy system. If you sign up for their free membership, OpenTable will send you coupons and information on deals at restaurants in the cities you specify.

Happy Cow (

All of you vegetarian foodies out there will be happy to know there is a site that lists all of the specifically vegetarian and vegan restaurants in your area. Happy Cow provides comprehensive vegetarian listings and reviews from around the globe.

New York Times Travel Listings (

This is one of my favorite sites to browse while planning my culinary adventures. Each city’s page is filled with professional reviews of restaurants (as well as many other categories) that are searchable by neighborhood and price.

Bon appétit!

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