MenuPix vs. allmenus: San Francisco Restaurant Menus Online

I’ve come across two similar sites in the past few weeks that attempt to provide visitors with restaurant menu information for many urban areas.

allmenus debuted in late July. They’ve only really been live for a week, so here are the quick pros & cons:


  • The website has a modern look & feel
  • Someone spent a lot of time typing in the menus! Menu line items are typed out (with explanations, sometimes). This helps keep the overall interface clean.


  • The search engine functionality is unintuitive. There are 2 search fields next to each other and one is for the restaurant name, and the other is for the city. After several attempts, I realized that the 2nd field couldn’t comprehend “San Francisco”, and only recognized “San Francisco, CA”. Yes, Yelp does this, too, but their site is sticky enough to remember your last saved region. Hmph.
  • It needs more grubworthy content. So far there are 1935 menus online. Many are for the nicer places that usually have their own websites with prices.
  • The cleanliness of the site leads me to think of it as sterile and without character as it continues to build its community. Thousands of menus with a variety of price ranges all start looking the same here. I’m not sure what sort of personality it is looking for in its community, but it’ll have a hard time competing against Yelp and chowhound if it wants to push community aspects.

Restaurant search test:

  1. Typing in Yamo (with or without the city) rendered no results. Well, one time I typed it in and it returned all the San Francisco listings but with no message as to what I was doing. (Yes, a picky interaction design observation).
  2. Once I figured out the double search bar method, I typed in “spices” “san francisco, ca” and was able to get matching results for both Spice and Spices II on Clement St. So, a tie here.

MenuPix is another similar site with a slightly different approach. (Thanks, Fran, for the pointer!) These guys actually take physical menus and scan them into their site, so you can view the real menus, prices, and commentary.


  • It remembers where I’m from (San Francisco, not Boston)
  • I’m able to look for restaurants when I’m not exactly sure of what I’m looking for. This is great for those “I dunno, where do you want to eat?” nights. Their website allows me to look for restaurants by neighborhood or type of cuisine. I think they also do user reviews but it’s always got the fast visitor’s intent in mind. “Top reviews by region” helps me get to what I want quickly.
  • The search bar works easily, and as expected. There’s only one. Why? It remembered that I was in San Francisco and made a correct assumption that I wanted to look for food to eat in San Francisco.
  • Character: The website has a slightly outdated or cheap look, but for grubbers, that’s ok. Their scanned menus help communicate each restaurant’s unique tone.
  • Menus are printable. If you like collecting paper take-out menus, you can build quite a collection this way.


  • Old school Contact Us form. I wanted to let them know that Chez Nous had closed. I went to their Contact Us form and *gasp* it just provided an email address! These folks need to learn about using a webform.
  • As mentioned above, the look of the site is a bit dated and simple. Maybe a friend of theirs helped find a free web site design template and built the colors up from there. However, this is bearable as the core need for a visitor like me is still addressed.

Restaurant search test:

  1. Typing in Yamo returned the correct result.
  2. I typed in “spices” and got a hit for Spices II. Not sure how to rate that one. I was surprised Spices (I) didn’t show up.

I guess it just boils down personal opinion. If you’ll be eating more grub food off the beaten path, I would probably lean a little more towards MenuPix. However, allmenus is only in its infancy and could cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. What do you think of either site?

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7 Responses to MenuPix vs. allmenus: San Francisco Restaurant Menus Online

  1. Hi, Grub Girl — Thanks for writing about us at! We’re working hard to fix some of the problems you encountered — namely, that the site doesn’t remember your location. Three things, though, that might help you find something on our site:

    First, we don’t cover just San Francisco — while we’ve got 1,900+ restaurants in San Francisco, we’ve got almost another 1,000 in the rest of the Bay Area and many, many more throughout the rest of California and the rest of the country. So we can help you find a restaurant when you’re driving down to Half Moon Bay or in Marin, too.

    Second, try our search for a specific food. When I’m trying to figure out what to eat, I’m usually in the mood for a specific item, but I don’t know what to do. Searching for a burger in SF gets you about 1,100 results, but searching for something more specific — say, tartine — gets you both the fantastic bakery and a bunch of places that make tartines. We’re working constantly to make this better.

    Finally, if we’re missing something, let us know! Send us the menu and we’ll put it on the site! When we asked around in San Francisco, we found that the restaurants we were missing were a lot of places that didn’t have menus at all — they would have a chalkboard or something similar. If it’s an important restaurant to you, though, it’s important to us.

    Thanks again — keep checking back, as we’re always adding new features to the site!

  2. grubgirl says:

    Thanks Jonathan on the tips, and congrats on the efforts. I think for the next few grub restaurant reviews, we’ll use a few of the online menu websites to point readers to the menus. Thanks for visiting and stay tuned!

  3. grubgirl says:

    Paolo L. contacted us with this message:

    Hi Grub Girl,
    I’m the editor of MenuPages San Francisco ( I saw your post comparing MenuPix and allmenus, and just wanted to toss our site into the ring. I’m certainly biased, but I have to say that we have the most and best content. We have more restaurants than either site (2212 as of this morning), and we have fresher menus as well. We’re actually very obsessed with keeping San Francisco’s scores of seasonal menus up to date; you can even see some
    daily updates on the MenuPages blog ( From upscale destinations (the Ritz, Zuni) to Mission dives (El Farolito),
    we’ve got the city pretty well-covered.

    Our New York site has been around for over four years and is the granddaddy of menu-listing sites. We’ve got 80k user reviews over there and are hoping to build the same kind of user-generated database here in San Francisco.

    Anyway, I just wanted to introduce you to MenuPages. I think your blog is really good and will definitely add it to our blog’s blogroll.

    City Editor

  4. Adam says:

    Menupages sucks.

  5. hi says:

    i second that Adam.

  6. grubgirl says:

    Oh, come now dear readers. Why pull out the “suck” word unless you can elaborate on your experience to the other curious folks? Did you try to order something and had a difficult time? Constructive user feedback, please, so they at least have a chance to improve on things. 🙂

    Now, back to our regularly-scheduled blogging.

  7. Michael Scantland says:

    Hello, after reading you should look at they are a new site, within 3 clicks you have restaurants in listed by food type. Along with a google map. Check them out

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