Google, who acquired the review site back in 2011, rolled out the new offerings on Monday, with all the content now offered for free and registration a thing of the past.
“The new Zagat features the latest news and video content from our expert local editors, curated lists (think “10 Hidden Restaurant Gardens Around DC”), powerful search and map-based browsing to help you find the local gems,” Gannon Hall, group product manager and head of Zagat, wrote in a blog post introducing the new offerings.
At launch, only nine cities are covered – San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, plus London in the UK – though Hall promised this’ll expand in the coming months with the inclusion of another 40 US and international destinations offering information on not only restaurants but also bars, cafes, shops, hotels and other places of interest.
Following Google’s acquisition of the site two years ago, the Mountain View company incorporated much of Zagat’s data into services such as Google Maps and Google+, offering a greater range of content to users in the process.
Restaurant reviews on the new mobile app comprise the familiar short-paragraph format with quotations pulled from Zagat’s diner surveys, together with marks-out-of-30 given for the quality of an establishment’s food, atmosphere, decor, and service. Location maps from Google are, of course, embedded into each listing, and you’re one tap away from visiting the venue’s website, making a call to the restaurant, and accessing your calendar app.
Besides reviews you’ll also find videos on places of interest as well as the Buzz category featuring largely food- and drink-related news and information written by local editors.
Zagat was founded in 1979 by Tim and Nina Zagat, who compiled their first restaurant guide for New York City. The service compiles its reviews and ratings from the results of thousands of surveys carried out by the company.