Popular restaurant review service Urbanspoon integrated editorially curated lists with its iPhone app on Wednesday.
Users of the app, which the company says has been downloaded 20 million times, can now search for restaurants nearby that have won an industry award from the James Beard Foundation, made one of the Village Voice‘s “Best of” lists or have been named one of the “essential” 38 restaurants in a city by dining blog Eater.
Urbanspoon has previously aggregated food critic reviews from a range of publications and included user reviews in its restaurant listings. The new editorial integrations work a bit differently. Users can search for restaurants near them using the lists as filters — searching, for instance, restaurants nearby that made the Eater 38.
Aside from editorial lists, the app introduces several new ways to search: by cuisine, “hottest restaurants” and what’s open now. Users can drag and drop a pin on a map to search for restaurants in other areas, and they can add those they’d like to visit to a “wish list” that can be used as a filter later.
Meanwhile, the company’s traditional slot-machine “shake” interface, which recommends restaurants based on location, cuisine and price, is still accessible through a separate tab.
The new app also highlights Urbanspoon’s reservation features with filters such as “Reserve for Tonight.”
Urbanspoon started booking restaurants reservations through its iPhone app in 2010 and launched an iPad app to help restaurants manage reservations several months later. In November of last year, the company said that it had 1,000 restaurants on board. In the latest update, it’s finally a seamless feature.
“In the previous version, it was fit in after the initial build,” Kara Nortman, the SVP of Consumer Businesses at Urbanspoon’s parent company CityGrid Media says. “Now it is part of the overall experience in a more contextually appropriate way.”