“Do I need a reservation?”. Short answer: yes.
New York City
It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are interested in going to a specific bar or restaurant and they offer reservations, do it! Also, reservations help you keep your time organized – which I think is essential when you’re in New York. Next, check out the three apps I use the most to make restaurant reservations in New York City -it’s good to remember that restaurants are usually in one reservation app only. So, you can either search for the restaurant's name within the apps or visit the restaurant’s website to check which app they use.
Are you familiar with cashback? Basically, you get rewards for eating out using Seated. Open the app, browse the restaurants, make a reservation (or choose walk-in). When you’re done, submit a pic of your receipt. Cashback rewards can be more than 30% sometimes! There are so many restaurants and you can also use Seated for takeout and delivery. You can redeem your rewards on the Seated store (you can get gift cards for AmazonSephora, for example).
How I use Seated: I like to use Seated when I’m not looking for a specific restaurant – so I open the app and look for the available options because availability and cashback percentage vary by day and time. I also like to use Seated when I want to go to a new restaurant – so first I check if that place is on Seated. And there are also several places that I usually go often – and I know they are in Seated – so I use the app as well.
Opentable – is probably the most classic and known app when it comes to restaurant reservations. They have a loyalty program, through which you earn points for each booking and when you reach a certain score you can exchange them for experiences. In addition to the restaurants, Opentable has a tab with experiences – which are gastronomic events – and, due to the pandemic, they also added the option of delivery and takeout. So, you can use all these filters. In addition to making reservations, you can check restaurant reviews, reviews, photos, and even the menu. That is, you can also use the app to discover new places. There is an area for “special requests”, like a table with a view, if applicable, and even notifying the restaurant if it is a celebration such as a birthday or an anniversary, for example.
Resy – From what I’ve noticed, the newest, trendiest and most famous restaurants are on Resy. With this app, some restaurants ask for a credit card at the time of the reservation – because they can charge a fee if you cancel your reservation less than 24 hours in advance. It works similarly to Opentable – with reviews, photos, and average prices. I also like Resy because it shows, for example, the table's location – indoor or outdoor, lounge or bar – so you can choose based on that. In addition, as some restaurants in New York can be very busy, there is an option for setting a notification if the restaurant you want is already fully booked. So, if someone cancels, the app notifies you.