These days, if you’re planning a vacation, it’s likely you’ll spend just as much time researching the dining options as you will the accommodations. And frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that, though it can be tricky navigating online reviews and compiling a trustworthy list of options that doesn’t include chains (if that’s your goal).
Now imagine if you have 10 of your closest, vetted foodie friends telling you where to eat in those destinations. That would make things a lot easier, yes? That level of confidence in restaurant recs is what the app CurEat is designed to create.
Developed and launched in Raleigh in January 2017 by regular traveler and diner Steve Mangano, CurEat features what most other review platforms don’t — only locally owned restaurants and only recommendations rather than reviews. It promises the ease of finding a valid recommendation in two clicks.
“We kept the interface easy and clean,” Mangano says. “We didn’t want to clutter the app.”
In addition, CurEaters are chosen in each region to rep their favorite places to eat to give the lists more credibility, Mangano says. These chosen ones, the newest of which were announced June 3 in Georgia, are chefs and food-scene influencers in their cities. Once you sign into the app, you have access to all of their recommendations.
“The chefs have been so grateful for a positive platform,” Mangano says. “They are so weighted by the challenge of criticism and excited for this.”
For instance, are you traveling to Charleston and want to narrow down the monstrous list of restaurants to something manageable? One of several CurEaters, Chef Craig Deihl of Charleston’s renowned Artisan Meat Share (which, sadly, just closed), has a tidy list. It includes FIG, McCrady’s Tavern, Minero, Slightly North of Broad, The Obstinate Daughter, and The Ordinary. And what about where he gets his cocktails in town? Husk, Mercantile and Mash, and The Gin Joint make the list.
If you want to check out where our Greenville CurEaters go when out of town, you can do that too.
Chef Greg McPhee of The Anchorage recommends Cúrate, Gan Shan Station, and Nightbell in Asheville, among others, and in Atlanta, he’s eating at Gunshow, King + Duke, Miller Union, and Staplehouse.
Click on one of the restaurants in the lists for location, menus, and hours. And you can call and make a reservation right from the app. In addition, when you search an area for restaurants, you can see who of your friends recommends it.