Traditionally, when people were looking for a new restaurant, they would pick up a copy of Zagat’s or some other fancy food guide. But in just a few short years, online maps have come a long way and now offer local information on businesses, shops and eateries too. Sites like Google Maps allow users to create their own maps of favorite establishments that they can save or share with friends and family. There are hundreds of food maps online, although a few noteworthy ideas have risen to the top.
On the West Coast, what could be better than eating a real, authentic Mexican taco out of a truck? With heaping portions, loads of options and mama’s homemade guacamole, you just cannot go wrong. You just can’t get that level of deliciousness from a restaurant, Californians say. However, it can be tricky to locate these trucks, especially if you are from out-of-town. Thus, Yumtacos was born.
Creator Joshua Lurie-Terrell of Sacramento, California said he had been keeping a list of the best taco trucks for quite some time. “As soon as friends of mine knew I had this list, people were calling me all the time,” he admits. From there, transferring the data onto a Google map was no problem. Once the site was live, people could add their own taco truck sightings. Yum Tacos primarily focuses on California, although authentic Mexican taco trucks have been plotted from as far away as Baltimore, Maryland.
Another site, Chinesefoodmap, is based on mapping out the Chinese restaurant locations for Chinese immigrants. Web users will also have access to reviews, menus, driving directions and other local information. Creator Brian Hui first created this site only in Chinese and focusing on Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Chinese food establishments. However, the site has grown nationwide to metros like Houston, Seattle and Atlanta, and an English version inevitably popped up as well.
Users of Google Maps have created a number of restaurant “mashups” based on the Google template. One of the most notable sites is Menurequest, which features more than 5,000 links in New York, San Diego, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Napa Valley, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC. Users can visit the restaurant’s website, read reviews, get driving directions and make online reservations through this amazing map. These are just a few of the food maps available to culinary curators. Perhaps your very own city has a site designed just for hungry local residents like you.