- A vast improvement on trawling the phone book, online restaurant guides can be a great help when planning a meal out.
- Some guides give you not only names, addresses and cuisine, but also menus, ambience, photos and reviews.
- In the spirit of the ‘Hats’ awarded to great restaurants by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guides, we’re awarding 'Mice' to the better online restaurant guides.
Going out to dinner? Wondering if that Italian joint on the corner is any good? Will Aunty Vegetarian be able to eat anything? Online restaurant guides can be a great help when planning a meal out.
Some give you not only names, addresses and cuisine, but also menus, ambience photos and reviews. So when you're dining with friends who've a penchant for Swiss-Malay fusion, or you're visiting another town or city, online restaraunt guides are an ideal place to start.
But which ones offer the most useful information, and how do you know which reviews you can trust? To find out, we chose 11 reasonably popular restaurants from the state capitals, ranging from cheapish to very expensive. The information on each restaurant was assessed for how recent it was, the breadth and depth of coverage, and accuracy of details such as address, phone number and website/email.
We then looked up major regional centres throughout Australia, including some with well-regarded restaurants, and recorded the coverage of these centres. To see how up-to-date the sites were, we looked up a restaurant that closed during the test period to see how long this news would take to filter through. Finally we searched for all restaurants in particular suburbs to see how many venues each site came up with, and checked the details were current.
And the winners are
De Groots Best Restaurants
Please note: this information was current as of September 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.