LocalEats is a well-established restaurant Web site that also offers mobile apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. LocalEats focuses on locally owned restaurants only -- no national chains. In 2010, LocalEats was the most popular paid dining app in iTunes [source: Apple].
The interface for LocalEats is simple: It prompts you to choose whether to search in your city (if it's on the list of cities in the app), nearby (within several miles of where the GPS finds you), or from among your favorites. If you select a city, you'll use a tabbed interface to search from the top 100 in that city, browse the "Best Of" in certain categories, or look for restaurants by neighborhood or type of cuisine.
Once you select a restaurant, a tabbed interface provides the location, category, price range, Web site link, detailed description and comments. You can view photos of the establishment, or use links in the interface to call the restaurant before you go. You can even use LocalEats to book a taxi to take you home when your meal's finished.
LocalEats is ideal if you have a passion for supporting local businesses. In the U.S., the app is free for Android, 99 cents for the iPhone and $2.99 for BlackBerry users. To manage and share your favorite finds online as well as on your phone, create a LocalEats user account.
Our next app goes for visual appeal and includes national restaurant chains alongside the locals.