How can I get a list of all the bars and restaurants in New York City?
March 22, 2007 7:23 AM   Subscribe

How can I get a list of all the bars and restaurants in New York City?

I met a guy in a bar who is paying me to do a bit of programming for him. My task is to somehow get a list of all the bars and restaurants in new york city with their addresses and phone numbers. He recommended a few sites to scrape the data off of (ones that are known to be pretty comprehensive), but after spending several hours on this, I'm realizing there's got to be an easier way.

The scripts I wrote to scrape the data work well enough, the problem is knowing when they're complete. Since only linked pages get downloaded, there's really no way to know that I have all the data.

So my question is two-fold. First, just how many restaurants and bars are there in the New York City area? And second, how do other sites get this data? Do they buy it from yellow pages?
posted by jeffxl to Technology (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
have you heard of Time Out New York? or Zagat's? Maybe you can get a metafile from CitySearch.
posted by parmanparman at 7:59 AM on March 22, 2007

Perhaps NYC's Restaurant inspection results online? One would assume it's as complete as any list is going to be. Has names and addresses, but no phone numbers.

As far as numbers go, the site says " more than 20,000".
posted by goingonit at 8:01 AM on March 22, 2007

Hmm --- actually, it seems like it does have phone numbers, but only sometimes.
posted by goingonit at 8:03 AM on March 22, 2007

try contacting the local licensing authority for restaurants and bars. They're sure to have the list, and probably in a nice format. the question is whether they're obligated to release the list to you.
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:48 AM on March 22, 2007

You can start by asking this guy, or by reading his blog.

He's a personal hero of mine.
posted by mds35 at 9:58 AM on March 22, 2007

Maybe you could get some kind of list from Menupages or worse yet Citysearch. Any list you get from anywhere really is going to be outdated within a week, though - unless its online and has a dedicated resource constantly updating it, perhaps.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:03 AM on March 22, 2007

You can also probably get a complete list from the NYC office of the SLA, but it may still take some searching. The search results will also return liquor stores and restaurants. Or you could do a formal FOIA request.
posted by mds35 at 10:05 AM on March 22, 2007

Hey jeffxl, did you used to be called "Commando," too?
posted by mds35 at 10:07 AM on March 22, 2007

Response by poster: @allkindsoftime: Yeah, I've been trying citysearch, but it's a bit of a mess. I'd think I should be able to get a nice list.

@mds35: I'll check it out, thanks. And nope, I was never called Commando.
posted by jeffxl at 10:47 AM on March 22, 2007

er... phone book?
posted by edgeways at 10:57 AM on March 22, 2007

You can get them on CD now, I'd imagine there'd be a way to scrape off of that
posted by edgeways at 10:58 AM on March 22, 2007

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