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Google Maps Wants to Give You Restaurant Recommendations

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Google is slowly becoming an essential part of the dining experience.


Already making it easier to get a reservation, Google just announced it's now in the business of recommending restaurants to users. Starting today in New York City, San Francisco, and London, the company's Maps app will recommendations based on time, "vibe," and other factors. The new feature comes with the latest update to the Google Maps Android app. There's no word on when it might be available on iOS or when new cities will be added to the database.

Google will make its recommendations by consulting web content, location, user reviews, and data from Zagat. The app will display ratings, reviews, and other details about restaurants. It's part of Google Maps' new "explore" feature.

"Once you pick the category that suits your craving, you can see in-depth details about each location," Murali Viswanathan, Google senior product manager, wrote on the company's blog. "Swipe through photos, get details (family-friendly? quick bite?), and check out ratings and reviews from Google and other diners. And for select spots, you also discover why it may be particularly relevant to you: for example, Google Maps may recommend a place that's popular with other diners who visited a place you've been to in the past."

Google has been expanding its reach into the food world recently. In addition to recommending restaurants and offering reservations, the Silicon Valley giant is working on technology that can analyze food porn photos to determine calorie content in dishes. It also plans to include food porn from users in restaurant points on Google Maps, which will surely be part of the new recommendation service.