If you’ve ever craved authentic food and new connections, you’ll like DC’s latest addition to the social dining scene. Think of Bookalokal (www.bookalokal.com) as OpenTable for group dining. Instead of booking a table for just 2, book 2 spots at a table for 10, or 1 spot at a table for 12. The best part: that table might be in a DC local’s home.
Born in Brussels in 2012, Bookalokal chose Washington DC as its first launch market in the US for its vibrant food scene, openness to meeting new people and its diverse population. “DC’ers are always looking to making new contacts – whether professional or personal – particularly when so many people are passing through for a year or two. Meanwhile, a plethora of food entrepreneurs, aspiring chefs and foodies make the task of finding great hosts so easy.”
Guests range from travelers passing through town to expats and locals who share a passion for food. Hosts range from people who simply love to cook, to retired food professionals and aspiring chefs looking to experiment with new recipes and share time-tested recipes. Events on the site also feature local businesses, ranging from small-scale breweries to artisan bakeries and root-beer startups like DC’s own Thunder Beast.
Events generally cost the same or less than they would in a restaurant, and often include multiple courses along with wine, beer or other beverages. Click here for a list of events and hosts in DC.
One of Bookalokal’s unique features is the detailed user profile created by every user. While guests can’t see who is signed up for a meal, they can get acquainted with the host’s background, the languages they speak, their hobbies, interests, nationality, age and culinary history. Another feature is the ability to stay connected after an event. “We’re creating a real social network,” says Evelyne. “Unlike a lot of social networks today, ours is based on authentic, in person experiences.” A third feature is the host verification system, whereby Bookalokal meets hosts in person to sample their cooking and photograph their space. To find verified hosts, look for a “Verified” seal on the hosts’ profile.
To join the network as a guest, a host, or both, visit www.bookalokal.com. To request a special invitation to one of our upcoming events, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. For special deals and info about new events, follow us twitter, facebook, instagram and pinterest.