It’s supposed to be the food fight of the century. In the blue corner we have Yelp, the upstart crowdsourced review site that takes on restaurants of all shapes and sizes. Critics allege that Yelp reviewers are unsophisticated, cheap and obsessed with trivial details of the restaurant experience. But Yelp is a heavyweight. The company is now worth about $5 billion, and poor Yelp reviews can knock a restaurant out of business.
In the red corner, we have the Michelin Guide, a 114-year-old veteran of the field. Michelin reviewers are accused of being pretentious and “out of touch” and of enforcing a rigid view of dining that’s biased against certain cuisines. But Michelin still packs a punch — it can make chefs cry. Of the 27 New York restaurants to have lost their Michelin stars since 2005, 10 — or almost 40 percent — have closed.1
But at least when it comes to New York, this isn’t much of a battle. Yelp and Michelin largely agree on the best restaurants.
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