How to search and find the best places to eat closest to your current location in Google Maps
The navigation function of Google Maps works in a “smart” way: depending on where you are and based on the time places of various types are recommended such as restaurants, ice cream parlors, fast food, museums, cinemas and more, with detailed information on the price, timetables, menu and how many people we will find inside the venue at the time of arrival.
In the following guide we will show you how to quickly find places to eat and spend little on Google Maps showing you how to use the reviews already made by other users, how to evaluate the price of a room and how evaluate the level of crowding predicted by the Google algorithm.
1) Filter searches on Google Maps
To filter places on Google Maps based on precise parameters, all we have to do is open the site Google Maps on any browser or on the app, indicate the city where we want to go, press at the top Restaurants and use one of the filters at the top of the map; alternatively we can also press on All filters and customize the search according to our tastes.
To apply the same filters also on the Google Map apps for phones, all we have to do is start the app, choose the city we want to travel to, press the button Restaurants at the top, press the key Filter at the top left and customize the filters by price, rating and type of cuisine.
Using the app is also possible search for restaurants along a route set on the navigator. You can then start navigation, touch the search icon and then that of the restaurants or that of the bars or rest areas to search along the route. Then zoom in on a section of the road you intend to take and press the button Update to find all the restaurants on the street.
2) Retrieve the telephone number or book online
Now that we have all the information about the venue we can book using the telephone number provided in the information sheet; it is always advisable to call to book as many locals prefer this form of booking.
Some places allow you to book online directly from the Google Maps app or from the website: in case we can use the button Book a table directly on the preview screen of the restaurant, so as to be able to keep a table without having to call (which is still not widespread in Italy but very present abroad).
For navigation we can simply use Google Maps to take us to the local parking lot or, alternatively, find a valid paid parking nearby; to learn more we can read the guide on How to pay for parking with your mobile phone.
3) Evaluation of the number of reviews
By clicking or tapping on the name of a place on Google Maps we will immediately have the user reviews clearly visible, in the form of stars. A restaurant with at least 4 stars and 200 reviews deserves to be visited, given that it has managed to convince many people of the goodness of the cuisine on offer.
If we look for the best of the clubs in the area or we want to eat divinely we only look for venues with a rating of 4.5 stars (or higher) and at least 1,000 reviews: on these places we will go without fail better than a Michelin guide!
4) Price evaluation
Next to customer ratings we have to analyze as well the price of the place, to avoid having to pay a heavy bill for a choice that seemed perfect! Google Maps allows you to immediately understand the average price of the place by the number of Euro symbols (€) next to the customer ratings:
- € -> cheap place
- €€ -> place with average prices
- €€€ -> place with higher than average prices
- €€€€ -> expensive place
If we really want to eat well and spend little with Google Maps simply choose a place with the € symbol, at least 4.5 stars and at least 1,000 reviews. The indication of the price is also based on the city we are visiting: a “€” place in Milan does not have the same prices as a “€” place in Rome, although both belong to the budget range.
5) Evaluation of crowding
Google Maps uses its own special algorithm for calculate the crowding of a room on a precise day of the week and in the chosen time slot. If we don’t like to find too many people, just click or tap on the name of the place and check which time slot and on which day it is better to book.
Let’s take that into account the indications on crowding are indicative and they can change in real time: it is not uncommon to find the wording busier than usual or less crowded than usual while browsing, a sign that the forecasts provided by Google are not exact.
Google Maps can become a perfect tourist guide to eat well and spend little, thanks to the myriad of information it collects every day about any venue. By following all the indications provided in this guide we will be able to eat well with Google Maps whatever the destination of our trip.
Always on the subject of travel, we advise you to read our guides to best apps for traveling and going on vacation (Android and iPhone) and to the best app to find hotels, B&Bs and hostels.