Urbanspoon Launches Guides to Deliver Dining Recommendations from Both Users and Celebrity Chefs

By Michael Carney , written on July 26, 2012

From The News Desk

Whether in a new city or simply looking to explore one’s hometown, deciding where to eat out can be a pain in the rear. There are either too many options to choose from or seemingly a dearth of anything new and exciting.

Fortunately for those of us not always in the know, never before have so many people sought to be topic experts, tastemakers, and curators and restaurant recommendations is no exception. The popular restaurant discovery and reservation management platform Urbanspoon has found a way to “give the people what they want” on each of these fronts.

The company is launching a new feature called Urbanspoon Guides, which allows diners to create, share, and browse personal lists of dining favorites in a given city and category. The goal is to avoid the typical pages of reviews and get quickly to the best options in a various category as determined by a single user.

Urbanspoon has lined up a number of the country’s top chefs to create their own Guides telling users where to eat. The list includes Michael MinaBradley OgdenGeoffrey ZakarianRichard BlaisKathy CaseyThierry Rautureau and others. Everyday users are already creating lists as well like “Hidden Treasures in Boston" and “Shabu Shabu Revolution in LA." A total of 1,500 Guides are immediately available at launch.

Unlike services like Yelp and others which rely solely on user generated content, Urbanspoon aggregates restaurant content from a variety of sources across the web including professional food critics, bloggers, and diners. Diners can view user and expert generated content side by side, including likes, descriptions, and photos.

“Users are continuing to move away from long-form reviews in favor of short-form feedback," says Urbanspoon parent company CityGrid Media SVP of consumer businesses Kara Nortman. "Our new Guides enable people to create a snapshot of their favorite spots to grab a cheap bite, late night snack, or get gourmet fare.”

The updated features are available both within the company’s Website and its newly updated iOS app.