5 Free Dining Apps That Will Make Your Life Better

Book tables, get discounts, and stop quibbling over who ordered what.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Your smartphone isn’t just for taking photos of your dinner. There are hundreds of mobile apps out there to help you decide where and what to eat, and to make the entire dining experience go down easier than that third Negroni.

Here are five essential dining apps worth adding to your arsenal.


Drync app

Why it’s great: Like what’s in your glass? Scan the label of any wine bottle and this app will pull up detailed information about the vino. You can store your favorites and purchase them through the app; currently, Drync is delivering in 42 states.
Works with: iOS, Android


Tab app

Why it’s great: The check is the inevitable downer after a meal, when the remorse (why did you choose sparkling over tap?) and resentment set in. This app does the hard math that will save your friendships. Just take a picture of the bill and then select the items that were yours—it will calculate what each person owes, along with tax and tip.
Works with: iOS, Android


sparechange app

Why it’s great: This philanthropic app launches on May 5 with a network of participating New York restaurants and bars. Use it to round up your check to the nearest dollar and it will donate the difference to the Food Bank for NYC, while keeping track of your microdonations and letting you know how many people you’ve helped feed. You even get rewards, like a free cocktail or dessert, for donating multiple times per month.
Works with: iOS, Android



Why it’s great: Sure, everyone knows about this free app that lets you make and manage restaurant reservations. But what you may not know is that most eateries will hold a few seats for OpenTable and similar mobile booking systems. If your walk-in party can’t get seated, you might still be able to snag something on your phone. Try not to be too smug when you saunter back over to the host table after being denied and say, “Actually, we do have a reservation.”
Works with: iOS, Android, Blackberry


ScoutMob app

Why it’s great: This money-saving app gathers restaurant deals that you can redeem simply by showing your phone to your server. Available in more than a dozen cities, it also has retail discounts and local event suggestions so you can make a night of it.
Works with: iOS, Android, Blackberry

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