June 4, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Zagat promotes its website as “The Web’s Most Trusted Guide to Restaurant Reviews and Ratings.” With their Android app NRU (pronounced ‘near you’), Zagat hopes to be the leading mobile source of restaurant guides, night spots, and shopping destinations, too.
NRU is a clever way of tapping into Zagat’s massive resource of restaurant locations and reviews. Upon launch, a real-time compass shows nearby restaurants (locations are displayed in linear or circular forms) for users to browse. As the phone moves, NRU updates to reflect the proximity of each restaurant. A quick tap on a location links the app to Zagat.Mobi, which reveals the type of cuisine a restaurant serves and an estimate of its pricing structure. Reviews, ratings, store address, and hoursare also available.
NRU is a great application that grants U.S. and Canada residents/visitors instant access to a well of restaurant information. Unfortunately, it takes about $2 a month to get a Premium Membership that fully taps that well. Professional reviews are available only to Zagat premium members, which means those unwilling to sign-up will miss Zagat’s most noteworthy feature. However, there is a 30% promo code that makes membership cost only $17.50 a year. Even at the regular price of $24.96 a year, frequent travelers and restaurant hounds may find membership worth the cost.
Zagat and LastMinute.com collaborated to make NRU, which is still quite useful should you decide not to purchase a premium membership. The app is free in the Android Market and provides ratings and basic information for over 40,000 restaurants. Not to mention that it can also be used to find bars, clubs, and great shopping centers. After a meal, you can even write a user review directly from your Android phone.
NRU can be a fun way to decide where to go whenever hunger or the need for entertainment strikes. Here’s a video demonstration of how NRU operates.
- Search for restaurants, night spots, and shopping centers
- Real-time compass that reveals proximity
- Access to more than 40,000 restaurant ratings
- Write reviews from an Android device
Price: Free (optional membership for more features)