Urban Spoon explores local flavors to bring users a great deal of information on restaurants, cafes and other eateries in their region. The user can select from a list of popular cities or search by state. The Urban Spoon covers many popular cities in the United States as well as additional areas in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. The user selects their location to view the best fine dining, casual dining and cheap eats right on the homepage. Each restaurant is given a profile page that includes a user rating, contact and location information, hours of operation, price range and popular menu items with images (when available). The user can also view Google Maps for the location and critic reviews from popular media resources on the web. Users are invited to write a review or share the restaurant profile with others.
Urban Spoon was founded in October of 2006 by Patrick O’Donnell, Ethan Lowry and Adam Doppelt. The site is based out of Seattle, Washington however it covers an enormous expanse of restaurant territory. IAC acquired Urban Spoon in April of 2009. Today, the site continues to bring users a great deal of information about their local restaurants.
Urban Spoon provides quick, up to date information on local restaurants. Users can view lists for their area or search for a specific location. Each restaurant page is as detailed as possible and gives users a place to provide a rating or review and read those posted by other users. Urban Spoon provides users with just about everything they could want to know about local restaurants.
The Urban Spoon website may not be elegant, but it gets the job done. The homepage features a color image of food tucked into the header along with the stylish Urban Spoon logo in white and gold. A collection of “best” lists are found along the left hand to get the user started. Small blue links just under the header allow the user to toggle between cities and states or access the complete list of available regions. The restaurant profile pages may appear a big busy, especially with the numerous advertisements thrown in between, but the information is relatively well organized.
Newcomers can join Urban spoon two ways. The first is by clicking the blue “Connect with Facebook” button in the top, right hand corner. Those who do not wish to use a Facebook account can click the blue “Join Urban Spoon” link just above the Facebook button. The short registration form asks the user for their current email address and a password. The user can also provide a name and photograph, but these items are optional. A check box at the bottom of the form is automatically selected to sign the user up for the Urban Spoon newsletter for their location. This must be manually unchecked to opt out of email updates.
Urban Spoon is a very helpful website, but it would be hard pressed to request payment from users. Users are one of the primary reason the site has as much information as it does. The user can submit reviews, ratings and share restaurant listings with others. That being said, Urban Spoon allows users to create an account for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges for doing so. The user gets access to all current features on the site. There are also Android, Blackberry and iPhone Urban Spoon slot machine apps available that can be downloaded for free.
Anyone who is looking for a good place to eat can really appreciate Urban Spoon. The site also encourages users to explore restaurants in their area by providing a great deal of information. The slot machine application is another great benefit for adventurous users who are having trouble deciding where to eat.