Find the best events and nightspots, order food, drinks, and cab rides, and stay safe with these best apps for a great night out.
Although sometimes you go out with some friends and have an awesome time, the truth is that the best nights out don't just happen. They're planned. A great night out is different for everyone, but with the right apps, you can have the perfect date night, night out drinking with friends, or clubbing night. And in these times of coronavirus when it’s hard to predict which establishments are open, closed, or even out of business, these apps can serve as great resources for staying safe and informed.
Here are all the apps you need to arrange the best night out—with just your phone.
Even when you’re a local, you don’t always find out about great events in your area until it’s too late. Apps that tell you about the best events and help you get there are the first step to a great night out.
We love BandsInTown, which is free for iOS and Android. It scans your music playlists on your phone, apps like Spotify, and even which bands you’re discussing on Facebook and Twitter to learn what you like, then it’ll let you know when your favorite artists and bands are playing nearby. You can set up notifications for particular acts, establish how far you’ll travel for gigs, and browse detailed event listings too. Once you know exactly where you want to go, you can book tickets and invite friends to join you from within the app.
Gravy is a bit broader than BandsInTown. It shows all types of events and hotspots, based on your interests and location, and—this is the really clever part—according to your mood. You can choose from a range of mood types, such as Lively, Classy, or Brainy, or just put in Whatever to get a random selection.
Another great option is BarChick. This global guide to bars, pubs, lounges, and hot spots is great for everyone who enjoys a good libation. Whether you’re looking for drinks in your area or are traveling abroad, whether you’re into the newest mixology creations, hip clubs, low-key beer spots, or hidden gems, BarChick offers in-depth suggestions and reviews from a team of writers who understand the importance of finding a good place to whet your lips.
Whether you’re a local or you’re just visiting a city, it’s handy to have something tell you the best bars, restaurants, and nightclubs around.
TimeOut, which recently incorporated Yplan, does that perfectly for both date nights and nights out with friends. Through the TimeOut app, Yplan shows a curated list of the best bars, gigs, pop-ups, and club nights in your chosen city, gives you details about the address and how to get there, prices, and even lets you pay in-app. You can just show your ticket on your phone. Sometimes Yplan can even get you tickets for sold-out events. The app’s free for both Android and iOS, but Yplan only covers some major cities like London, New York, Dublin, and San Francisco.
If you’re not sure where to go for a meal, a date, or a drink, FourSquare helps you find the perfect spot. It’s home to a massive worldwide community that reviews and rates places around the world so that you can check out any place before you show up. Once you’re there, you can check if your friends have turned up too by using the Radar feature.
Meanwhile, you can avoid wait times and plan ahead for a meal at that recently hyped foodie joint with OpenTable. This huge directory of restaurants allows you to reserve a table in advance with the click of a button. You can book a table months in advance or try your luck the night-of. Just type in your location, preferred time, how many people are dining with you, and voila--you’ll have a table waiting for you.
Untappd is a niche app for beer lovers that gives recommendations for bars and tastings of craft beers. You can also use it to hunt down a bar nearby that serves your favorite drink. It'll suggest new beers that you'll enjoy, and you can connect with friends to see what they're drinking. It's been described as Facebook for beer-lovers.
Once you know where to go, you need to get there. That’s where Uber steps in. We don't need to tell you why Uber can make your night—you don’t need to wait for ages watching cabs ignore you while you try to flag them down, and you can track its progress on the Uber app. No need to waste time hunting for a parking spot by yourself or waiting for a bus.
When you’re rocking to the music at a bar or a club, you don’t want to have to miss out while you wait for your beers to be served. Boppl is a great app that stops you having to push through the crowd to place an order, only to push through yet again to pick it up. You can just place your order through the app and follow its progress so that you know when it’s ready. You can even pay and cover tips in-app. It’s also really helpful if you’re out with friends and want to pick up takeout, but you don’t know the places nearby and don’t want to have to wait in a crowded line while the food is being cooked. Boppl shows you nearby eateries and bars and notifies you when your order’s ready so that you can stroll in and pick it up.
Finally, Shazam, the famous song-recognition app, is a must-have for a night on the town. The app’s unique technology allows you to simply hold up your phone when you hear a song you like and it will retrieve the name, artist, and information. Whether you hear a banging new dance tune at the club or a seductive Sinatra tune in a nice pasta joint, Shazam will help you broaden your playlists without having to embarrassingly hum a few bars to a friend in the hopes that they can name the song.
Even the best night out can be completely ruined by unscrupulous dates, awful weather, or transportation failure. Fortunately, your phone can hold apps that can save your awesome night out from a bad ending. Uber comes to your rescue if you’ve missed the last bus, making it easy to call a cab. It also takes away the risk of catching an unlicensed cab or falling victim to a predatory driver, since every Uber car is accountable and you can track its location.
Apps that let you pay through your phone also help keep you safe by taking away the need to carry credit cards or cash. Thanks to the in-app payment options of Uber, you can still get home even if you forgot your money or lost it during the evening. Boppl lets you pay for your drinks and food through your phone and gives you the freedom of leaving the house with nothing but your phone—less to lose, less to be stolen.
And finally, all of these apps are great resources to have in your pocket during these unpredictable times of corona. You can check for updated business hours and closing announcements to avoid staring through the windows of a closed restaurant, and search for out-of-the-way, social-distance-friendly bars to avoid putting yourself and others at risk. With apps to keep you updated while you’re out, you can make smarter, more responsible choices while still enjoying yourself.
Whether you’re looking for events, want to find the best bar, need to order food, or want to keep yourself safe during a night out on the town, these apps can bring you everything you need with just a few taps on your phone. Start planning your next night out now.