Andrew Zimmern and I have one big thing in common: We both thing Yelp is totally useless for finding good restaurants.
Zimmern, who hosts Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel, ranted to Business Insider about how he really feels about the restaurant review site, and you guys, he does not love it.
“I just… ugh… Yelp drives me crazy,” Zimmern said. “I think Yelp is neither good nor bad for the food industry. I find it useless. If you’re aggregating a lack of expertise, then when I plug in “best sushi bar in Los Angeles,” Yelp doesn’t help me at all. So, if you are a huge food geek like me that really believes in quality — not expensive food, just quality. Above all other things — quality. If you’re into quality, Yelp is not for you.”
He then offered this great advice: “What I do when I’m going to a new city is I look up who the 4 or 5 better food writers are in that town and the 4 or 5 better chefs in that town. And then I go on to their Instagram and Twitter or Facebook timelines, and I just go back a couple weeks and I write down all the places that these people have been eating or taking pictures of. And I put a little check by it, and the places that have the most checks are the ones that I go to first.”
His advice is true if you think about it. Look at what Yelp says are the best restaurants in your town. Are they your favorites? If you were sending someone from out of town to the best restaurant in your city, would you pick a place on Yelp’s best list? I know the restaurants Yelp says are my city’s top 10 are fine, but they’re not the places that locals truly know are best.
Or, in the words of Zimmern, “I mean, I just… ugh… Yelp drives me crazy. But it drives me crazy. I’ll let you decide if it drives you crazy.”