Last week, LA Weekly’s blog announced that Yelp has gone one step further to cater to vegetarians. Yelp, the uber-popular review site, has just rolled out its new search engine filter; one that allows you to search for places that “vegetarians like“, instead of just vegetarian restaurants.
This is great news for me, because I use Yelp frequently when we travel and also when we’re just looking for something new in our own city.
The problem with searching for vegetarian restaurants is that you can miss out on some amazing meals. Limiting yourself to browsing the Vegan and Vegetarian categories can be frustrating. Even more frustrating is doing a search for the keyword “vegetarian”. As the blog post points out, you’ll have to wade through a lot of search results with reviews that have the word “vegetarian” in them, but have nothing to do with you. As the site explains, Yelp’s example of a typical unhelpful review is:”I’m so glad I’m not vegetarian, the bacon-wrapped filet mignon was great.”
Now search results will reflect not just vegetarian and vegan eateries,
but places that vegans and vegetarians like for one reason or another. It could be a great selection of vegan dishes on a mostly-meat menu or just that one amazing vegetarian burrito at a local taco joint.
There are plenty of great mainstream restaurants that offer some truly delicious vegetarian dishes, but you won’t find them by searching for vegetarian eateries. The best vegetable chowder I’ve ever had in my life was on the menu of a famous steak house. I only found it because we were taking my in-laws out for dinner. Now Yelp will make it easy to search for great vegetarian meals at places that aren’t necessarily vegetarian. This is also going to be a huge help to groups of vegetarians and meat-eaters alike who need to find a place they can all enjoy a meal.
That alone, makes me grateful. Now when we go out with carnivorous friends, we can agree on a restaurant without spending an hour searching.