With the numerous and varied food-finding apps on the market, the average restaurant goer has an arsenal of handy decision-helping technology at his fingertips. You can search for what is closest, what cuisine you love and even what local chefs recommend. But what about searching for ambiance, in other words, a particular vibe. Say you are looking for a place to go on a romantic date, and you are looking for a restaurant that is reasonably priced, cozy, romantic and maybe a little Don Draper-esque? Or maybe your companion is of the printed kind (come on, you know you’ve shunned human dinner dates so that you could read about that juicy love triangle that was just starting to develop in the book you said you would never read, but somehow made its way into your hands by way of impractical night of vino and Amazon.com. No? Just me?) Well, friends, Hoppit can help you out.
Ready to see what your city has to offer?
Touted as the first ambiance search engine for restaurants, Hoppit certainly holds an allure for the vibe-obsessed foodies out there. By giving users the ability to choose a restaurant or bar based on location, ambiance, price and who will be joining them, Hoppit fills the void left by other restaurant-finding apps. The app also allows you to create a list of your favorite (or soon to be favorite?) restaurants that you come across in the app by placing them into a Lookbook, which you can conveniently view on a map and share with your friends. Sa-weet!
Becoming A Hoppit Pro
Setup is extremely easy on Hoppit, in fact, it’s pretty much as simple as downloading the app and letting it use your location to help you find the exact restaurant you are looking for.
Hoppit is basically divided into three main functions: Best of Hoppit, Search and Lookbook.
Best of Hoppit allows you to search the best restaurants in each category for every city Hoppit is in. Currently, Hoppit is only in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC. When choosing a city it does have an option for My Current Location, but if you aren’t close to one of the above cities, it won’t pull up any options for you. Sorry Charlie.
When checking out restaurants in the Best of Hoppit, you can make selections based on whether the restaurant is Romantic, Hipster, Coffee, Brunching, Cozy, Watering Hole, Vintage, Mad Men, Swanky, Trendy, Classy, Kid-Friendly, Chill, Business or All.
For whatever vibe you choose, the app will pull up suggestions for that type of atmosphere and you can scroll through the photos of each suggestion by swiping from side-to-side. Once you choose a venue, the screen will show the featured photo for the restaurant (you know, a picture that will really show off the vibe for the restaurant) In the top right corner of the picture, a badge icon and heart icon are featured. When you tap the heart icon, you will be asked if you want to add the restaurant to your Lookbook, but more on that later. When you tap the badge icon, the screen will open up with more info on the restaurant. The name of the restaurant will scroll at the top of the screen and directly underneath will be the particular info about the restaurant that relates to the badge, i.e. #10 most popular Barbecue in San Francisco.
Underneath the main photo of the restaurant will be a number of other pictures that you can scroll through to view more. Tap any photo and it will enlarge to become the main photo. You also have an option to view the source of the photo, which will open up a new screen with part of the web address for the photo at the top in the nav bar. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show the full address or allow you to click it to go to the source of the photo. Glitch? I don’t know, but it’s odd.
In addition to the photos, you can view the menu (through Hoppit’s partnership with SinglePlatform), tap the phone number to call, open the website and make a reservation (through OpenTable.) It will also show the address (which if you tap, it will pop up a message asking you if you want to get directions to the location.) This page will also feature the price, type (bar, restaurant, etc.), cuisine, noise level and what four categories the location fits into (i.e. chill, cozy, romantic, classy). You can also share the restaurant via Facebook, Twitter, text message and email.
Okay, so this is where the app gets cool. In the Search function, you can add filters to help Hoppit make suggestions of where you should go. The filters are: location, vibe, who you will be going there with, price and noise level. The noise level filter ranges from Good for Conversation to Loud and Very Loud. The Price filter ranges from Reasonable to Pricey and The 1%. In the Who are you with? filter, you have the option of A date, Colleagues, My 2 year old, Friends, Family and A good book. The vibes filter are the same as for the Best of Hoppit section. There is also an option for All in each filter, but then what’s the point?
Once you make your selections, Hoppit will feature the results on a map. You can also view in list form if it doesn’t matter how close the restaurant/bar is to you.
Ah, the Lookbook; the Lookbook is a collection of the the places you have hearted. Why would you heart a location? Well, maybe it looks amazing, but your bf isn’t really into seafood, so heart it and save it for later. You can view your Lookbook in a map view or in list format. You can also share your Lookbook through all of the typical sharing formats: text, Twitter, Facebook and email.
The app is similar to Alfred and Ness, but whereas both of those apps need you to answer questions and rate restaurants, Hoppit dives in and gives you great selections depending on your mood.The design is clean and simple and I love the little touches (the scrolling name may be a little cheesy, but I love it.) The only thing that I wish they would have added is a cuisine filter, since they already have all the information, so why not? The way that the app works now doesn’t allow you to determine what type of cuisine the restaurant/bar has until you select that particular restaurant, which is kind of a bummer. But overall, I would say this is a handy little app, especially when you don’t know what you want to eat, but you know that you want to be all Hipster in a dimly lit place that is reasonably priced for you and your date.