Top 5 Yelp Tips: Get Offers, Make Friends, and More!

Want to know where your friends are eating and spending their hard-earned money? Yelp lets you find and dish the dirt on the best deals and hottest places to eat based on what your friends are saying. Since its launch, users have written more than 15 million reviews, nearly 30 percent of which were about restaurants. Check, please!

1. Check out check-in offers

In order to compete with apps such as Groupon and Facebook Places, Yelp now lets businesses offer rewards, such as a free drink or a 10 percent off coupon, to customers who check in to their store. To find deals in your city, click Sales & Offers Near You on the right-hand side of the home page. At press time, available deals in New York ranged from 10 percent off at a spa to a free hour of karaoke with any purchase at a Korean restaurant. It sure beats carrying coupons around with you.

2. Use Monocle to point you in the right direction

This augmented reality feature for Yelp's smart phone app shows you exactly where Yelp-rated businesses are as you pan your smart phone's camera around a street. This can be helpful if you're trying to find a store in an unfamiliar location or if you simply want to see what's around you.

3. Check out Local Flavor for non-traditional activities

While this option is a bit buried, select More Categories under Browse Nearby and scroll down Local Flavor is a neat way to find events, stores, and venues known only to locals. When it comes to events, such as street fairs, you'll have to do a little digging to find out the business hours, but it's worth the extra effort.

4. Make friends with people who have similar interests

While it can seem a bit egotistical to want to have a fiefdom over a greasy spoon, these royals in general dine out more than most, so their opinions are generally more informed than those of someone who only eats out occasionally.t.

5. Check out Duke/Dutchess reviews

If you notice a Yelp user who likes eating or shopping at the same places that you do, chances are they may know of some hidden gem that will also appeal to your tastes. You may want to send a compliment first, though, so your friend request doesn't seem like you're stalking. With the person's profile open, select Options, then Add As Friend or Send A Compliment.

LAPTOP Reviews Editor