After a few minutes of Googling, I found a pretty good method of finding not only specific food I wanted to eat in a new town I’ve never visited before, but the best of the lot.
Canada has some good resources. Foodpages lets you search for restaurants within a radius that meet criteria (Is there a US equivalent of this? There should be). Toronto.com is a good spot to find reviews and works just like any Citysearch.com directory. Lastly, Google Maps comes in handy for walking/driving directions to get there. It’d be cool if someone could mash all three up, so that the “reviews” listing at foodpages.ca was populated/linked with toronto.com’s data. Google Maps already integrates with Foodpages.ca, which is probably how I found it in the first place.
So there I was in Toronto for a few days, knowing that I wanted to eat some good Indian, good Ethiopian, and some damn fine doughnuts, but I knew hardly anyone that could point me in the right direction. All I had to do was put in my hotel’s zip code, search for “indian” cuisine within 1km, then hit toronto.com to pick out the best one based on reviews, and finally get directions from Google Maps. This allowed me to find Trimurti among the “little India” section of Queen St that featured several Indian places side-by-side. I found Ethiopian House via this method, which was also was great. My favorite food of the trip I found by accident, while walking past Cafe Crepe.
It may not sound like a big deal, but getting plopped into a strange town and wanting some good food is usually a pretty difficult problem to solve. In the old days you have yellow pages and word of mouth. These days, a little technology goes a long way towards finding what you’re craving.