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What sites should I use when looking for nearby restaurants while traveling? I've noticed that there are a lot of places to help find restaurants near your place on the go (e.g. Trip Advisor / Restaurants / Fast food near me/ Tomato / Yelp etc.) many reviews about restaurants, but rumors say some of them provide incorrect updates, which I would like to know which websites are the most reliable and provide real updates about local restaurants. I would appreciate any helpful ideas, thank you.

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  • It might help to say where in the world you are interested in, as some sites are better for different countries or cities, and what information you're interested in: menus, prices, reviews/quality of food, opening hours, child- or dog-friendliness, vegan/vegetarian offerings, wine list, COVID precautions, or something else. Also, to know whether you're interested in fine dining or something more cheap and casual might be useful. And if you want specific features such as "search near me", "sort by rating", or "show on a map".
    – Stuart F
    Oct 4 at 14:12
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Pretty much by definition, any third party site like TripAdvisor, Zomato, Yelp etc is going to be less reliable than a first-party site maintained by the restaurant itself. However, it's also quite common for restaurant websites to be badly out of date, since they were set up once by a contractor and have been sitting there untouched ever since.

My personal approach is to use Google Maps to identify what exists in an area, shortlist interesting-looking options, and then try to find the restaurant's Facebook/Instagram page, which they usually do update and, importantly, where you can also see when the last updates were made. This way you can confirm that the restaurant still exists and get the latest info on opening hours, COVID closures, etc. And if it's really important that I can eat there, I make a reservation online or (shock horror!) call them ahead to confirm.

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One technique that can be helpful is to use these sites to look at recent photos from the restaurant. For example, you can go to a restaurant's page on Yelp, click "see X photos" in the header, and then scroll through the photos looking for recent ones (unfortunately, Yelp sometimes puts them through inscrutable sort) and filter by type of photo (food, outside, inside, menu, etc...). Tripadvisor has similar functionality.

If the site you're using is reasonably well used in your area, this has a decent chance of getting you recent or semi-recent photos of the menu and the restaurant's setup, which can be helpful since restaurant websites aren't always updated.

A lot of restaurants, at least in the US, have unusual and often-changing hours these days as they try to manage staffing and different patterns of diner demand. Some places are better than others at keeping the internet updated with their current hours, so it may be best to call them to confirm if you're unsure that the information you've found is up-to-date.

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