We all know Tinder is the go-to app for hookups, but it turns out it’s also a killer way to ask around and find the best bars and restaurants in a city.
This past weekend, some friends and I were up in Vancouver having the worst luck finding places to hang out. We tried talking to bartenders, door guys and Yelp, but nothing was really meshing that well. So, on a whim, I downloaded Tinder, quickly created a profile, set my search radius to within 5km, and started swiping right on everyone who seemed like-minded.
Within a few minutes, I had my first match. A nice-looking punk girl. I sent my first message: “Hey! This is super random, but I’m in town from Seattle and looking for some punk bars in town, suggestions?” She quickly followed up with, “Where are you right now?” A little bit of back and forth banter, and she gave me a list of places in walking distance that were considerably better than what the internet had suggested. Score.
The same worked with a few other people, and before long, I had a laundry list of bars, restaurants, and venues to check out all over the city, including one place that didn’t even have a sign so there’s no chance I would have just happened upon it. It ended up being one of the cooler places I’ve been to.
Obviously, your luck may vary and a couple people were annoyed that I was (scandalously?) using the app while clearly being from out of town. But the key seems to be being polite and clear about what you’re looking for. The classic adage of “write the message you’d want to receive” works here (and for what it’s worth I’d return the favour if someone did this to me). Those hook-ups (and new friends!) can happen alongside that of course, but tapping the Tinder hive mind was a quick way to find local places that didn’t suck because unlike other options, it’s a service people actually use (and respond quickly on).