People who love food have most likely had an experience where they are looking for a trendy, new restaurant to try and are overwhelmed by the choices. In New York City alone, there are more than 19,000 bars and restaurants, and trying to find a cool place to eat can be a nightmare. With thousands of online reviews for every one of those places from Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and more, it feels impossible to ever know if you will really get what you’re looking for.

What is Beli?

All of these concerns were what led co-founders Eliot Frost and Judy Thelen to create Beli, an app that allows you to share reviews and restaurant recommendations with friends and keep track of your favorite food adventures. On the app, you can rank and organize all of the restaurants eaten at in map and list form, see where your friends are eating, and get recommendations based on places you already love.

As a person living right outside of New York City, I love to travel in and try the hottest new places I see on TikTok and Instagram. However, because I’m unfamiliar with the New York City area, it can be difficult to track which restaurants I want to try and if they are nearby or too far away. Beli eliminates this problem by giving you a map of whatever city is closest to you and letting you know the exact location of the places you’ve been along with the restaurants you are looking to try. This is one of the biggest reasons I love the app. 

How do I download and start using Beli?

Beli is a free app that you can download on any IOS device. Once you create an account, you must be invited into the app by a friend who already uses it. After you’ve created your profile, you can pick what city you're located in or near, and rank a few different restaurants you’ve tried. By doing so, you create a leaderboard of your favorite places to go, so when your friends visit your profile, they can automatically see what you like best.

To get users more involved with the app and the Beli community at large, the founders rate and rank popular eateries in New York, much like your favorite food reviewer or content creator. Their TikTok videos show you what they ordered, how they ranked it, and how it is rated on the app. They recently did a Top 50 Restaurants in New York City where they posted each day discussing and showing videos of some of the top-rated restaurants on the app. 

What can you do on Beli?

You can keep track of every restaurant you’ve been to by rating it and any specific dishes. You can bookmark potential places you would like to try and even get notifications if a reservation opens up. You can scroll through your feed and see what other people are up to, and you can post pictures of what you’ve eaten and give your honest opinion. You can input dietary restrictions, set goals for the new year, and note cuisines you like or dislike.

“Living in big cities like NYC and LA, I’ve found it really hard to locate good restaurants that are worth it,” said Jenna Kline, a frequent user of the app. “Getting to see my friend's recommendations makes it easy and entertaining to try new places I maybe wouldn’t have heard of before. My friends and I can barely wait to rate and review restaurants after we eat. We love to post yummy-looking photos and share our experiences through funny captions.”