March 2, 2010

Foodspotting – Rate the Dishes, Not the Restaurant

The problem with many restaurant reviews is that they don’t put enough emphasis on the most important factor in any dining experience—the food. Foodspotting is a website that puts all of the emphasis on what matters most in a meal by allowing users to upload photos of their favorite dishes and share them with others. Part social networking site, part restaurant-finder, and part location-based game, with Foodspotting you can tag images of your favorite meals and earn points for making valuable contributions.

Although each user starts out their Foodspotting quest with zero points, you can quickly gain status by uploaded photos of recent foods you’ve tried. You’ll get points anytime another users “Wants” a dish that you’ve added or “Noms” the dish—meaning they have tried it themselves and agree that it tastes great. By using the “Following” feature, you can sign up to receive instant updates when new information has been added about your favorite restaurant or dish. Finally, you can comment on any posting with inside information of your own, or share the posting with friends via Facebook or Twitter.

For iPhone users, Foodspotting had the added benefit of portability. Stand on any street corner in a major city and you can view which restaurants are nearby, and which dishes other users have recommended at those establishments. For foodies of all shapes and sizes, Foodspotting is a visually stimulating application that could change that way we choose where to eat in the future, shifting the emphasis from the restaurant itself to the specific dishes it serves.

Practical Uses:

  • Find out what dishes a restaurant serves before you arrive
  • Share the details of interesting meals with online friends
  • Meet new people and connect with nearby foodies
  • Discover restaurants in your local neighborhood

Insider Tips:

  • Download the iPhone application to use Foodspotting on the go
  • Give out “Noms” to deserving users
  • Click on any food image to get larger view
  • Browse users and choose a few to follow, just like on Twitter

What we liked:

  • Visually, Foodspotting is a very nice site with beautiful food photos
  • Maps make it easy to visualize where a specific restaurant is located within the city
  • “Guides” feature user recommendations about a particular cuisine or local area
  • Browse dishes by The Latest, The Best, of the Most Wanted

What we didn’t like:

  • Because the site is still fairly new, there are still many restaurants that nobody has posted experiences about
  • With restaurants that change menu items frequently, users could be very disappointed if the dish they were anticipating is no longer available


Company Info:

  • Launched: 2009
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Alexa Andrzejewski and Ted Grubb
  • Web site:


  • Free


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