Zagat is a website that curates night spot and restaurant content and provides users with an easy to browse collection of must-see attractions. The website hones in on nine well-known cities, including Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Philadelphia. Each city page includes vibrant photos of cuisine served up at featured restaurants, images of patrons enjoying their experience and a wealth of information. Users can find each location on social networks, view trending topics and explore lists, video and places tabs. Each entry can be clicked to reveal even more detailed content with information and additional links that allow the user to get a better perspective on the area and what it has to offer.Show more screenshots »
Zagat has earned significant popularity across the web. The application was discussed on websites like CNN.com and the LATimes.com. The application, which is part of the Google family of online services, drew in lots of attention with some comparing it to Yelp. Although the application is visually appealing and rather popular, it still seems to struggle with the many other similar services available online.
One of the most noticeable characteristics most users will notice when they first visit Zagat is its limited scope. The application focuses on nine cities, which is a great thing if that’s where the user is going. Many websites allow users to browse any major city in the world, which is much more flexible and will appeal to more travelers. Zagat offers a very elegant interface but lacks in its versatility.
Looks are a strong area for Zagat. The application is beautifully designed, allowing colorful images to draw the eye between clean, tidy content. The red, grey and white color scheme adds flavor while the layout allows newcomers to easily figure out how to get around. Each city page includes a convenient side bar with trending topics, access to related lists and more so the user has quick access to these key areas.
Zagat does not require an account to use. Forcing users to provide personal information would be overkill for the features and content provided. Nothing personalized is offered, and the site would really need to expand its scope if it was to offer anything that would entice individual users to join a community.
Zagat is available to all users at no cost. There are no subscription fees or other charges required. No account is needed so the user receives unlimited access to all current content. The application would have to dramatically increase its offerings if it ever wanted to charge users. On the positive side, users will also find a pleasant lack of annoying advertisements as they browse the site.
Zagat is appealing to users who plan to visit London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Austin or Philadelphia. Those who plan on checking out the local nightlife as well as anyone who wants to dine out while in the area will find the most benefit. Travelers going anywhere else in the world will find nothing of interest on the site.