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Restaurant Guide

Customize your own restaurant guide for a smarter, more personalized way to find a great place to eat or drink better than Zagat.

Why I built this

I love helping friends and family find great restaurants. People will ask for help with specific situations like, “My family is in town and I want to take them out for a nice dinner but somewhere not too expensive” or “What are some great cheap eats in the Mission [in San Francisco]?” I find existing restaurant review websites a poor solution for these cases. They all score places in an absolute way, rather than situationally. What is a “4.5 star restaurant”, what the heck does that even mean?

A restaurant recommendation engine

More often than not the appeal of a place will vary based on your situation: a delicious, hole-in-the-wall noodle shop is perfect for lunch with friends, but the wrong fit for dinner with the parents. I’ve always wanted to create a recommendation engine that dispenses with absolute ratings and allows the user to say a little bit about their situation, and have the ratings tailored to that situation, so that all kinds of places can be considered “great” depending on the context.

Who should use this restaurant guide?

This doc is for people who want to quickly jot down impressions of restaurants, bars, and cafes that they visit, and use that data to power customizable recommendations. It works best with collaborators, if you share the doc with your friends so they can all contribute their favorite places, but it works great individually as well. When somebody asks you for a recommendation, share the doc and let them indicate their situation, be it a sit-down dinner for a special occasion or a quick bite in a new neighborhood, or use it yourself to discover new places based on your friends’ ratings.

Create Your Own Restaurant Guide🍴

Build a collection of favorite restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops along with family and friends. Provide quick and easy ratings about places in your collectionーhow was the food, the service, and the ambience?
Then the real fun begins. When you or a friend wants a recommendation of a great place to go, visit the section to see top places. But you get to control how places are ranked.
Different situations call for different rankings. Is it a special occasion and you want a nice sit-down dinner? Or do you just want some great cheap eats, the best food for the best value? Use the sliders to adjust how much each attribute should factor into the scoring. Better yet, use the buttons with preset scoring suggestions. (Or make your own buttons!) Similarly, use the Filters section to narrow down the set of places to what you're interested in at the moment. Looking for a sit-down dinner spot for the family? Filter out coffee shops and counter-service places, so the results are relevant.
Ranking scores are out of 100 and will update in realtime as you adjust the ranking sliders.

Getting Started

Click on over to the section and play with some filters and rankings to see some great sample places in San Francisco. Try things like clicking on the "Casual Dinner" filter button, and then the "Best Value" weight preset to see dinner spots with great bang for your buck.
When you're ready to make your own guide, click the button below to clear out the sample data. Visit the section to start adding your own restaurants and reviews. Send that to your friends and family too to build up your collection of places.

Clear Sample Restaurants
Clear Sample Reviews
Clear Sample Neighborhoods

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