You’re in New York, with a little money in your pocket and one thing on your mind — finding the city’s best slice. So what do you do? Slog through conflicting Yelp reviews? Poll your friends on Facebook and get a hundred recommendations? Before you throw in the towel and head to Sbarro, you might want to try Best Dish (bestdish.co) — a website devoted to identifying the top eats in cities around the country. It quietly launched at the beginning of August in Richmond.
Created by Mobelux, a Richmond-based software agency, Best Dish is a simple concept that works on two fronts. One, it gives resident food lovers a platform to champion their favorites, and two, it gives the general public clear consensus on where to go to satisfy their specific cravings — from sushi to tacos to coffee. The interface is designed to be a fun, no-fuss experience. Users visit the site, choose their city and the food they’re in the mood for, and get a list of the top 10 places that do it best. If they want to voice their opinion, they can create an account and start voting.
The idea for the website comes from Johnny Hugel, a producer at Mobelux who also helps head up the nonprofit Feast RVA, which funds local creative projects through community dinners.
“Best Dish is a direct result of the way that I like to find food,” he explains. “If you’re in, say, San Francisco looking for great ramen, the process currently takes a lot of work. I started trying to see what could be done to fill the gap and cut out all the noise and really get down to what’s the best in each city.” Working with designer Rob Green, Hugel began to devise an experience that, unlike Foursquare, would promote dishes and not venues, and, unlike Yelp, would focus on the positive.
To rollout the website, Mobelux launched a “pizza party” in Richmond in July, encouraging residents to vote for their favorite pie. More competitions followed in other cities — from D.C’s best burger to Philly’s best cheesesteak. As the site grows, new locations and dishes will be added. So be patient, schnitzel fans in Scranton — your time is coming.