Google Maps Search Tips

This page shows how to use Google Maps to find restaurants, hotels, and other points of interest. These search tips will show you how to narrow your search and find exactly what you are looking for.

Basic search

The Google Maps search query is made up of two parts. The first part is the category of the point of interest or the business name you are searching for. The second part is the geographic location you want to search in. You separate these two parts by either one of two keywords, 'in' or 'near', both keywords work with the same effect. Some search examples:

restaurants near 350 Fifth Ave, New York, NY
hotels in London, UK
Dennys near Chicago, IL

note that Google's searches are case insensitive. You can tell Google what kind of restaurant to search for. Instead of typing "italian restaurant' or 'mexican restaurant' you can simply use:

italian near 1 Market St, San Francisco, CA
mexican near Dallas, TX

Besides restaurants and hotels, you can search for almost any business category from the yellow pages like bowling, parks, entertainment, shopping, movie theaters etc.

Most of the time you will probably search near an address or city, but you can also search near an airport code, zip code, a landmark, or even a latitude/longitude coordinate from your GPS, for example:

pizza near ORL
golf near 28210
lodging in Grand Canyon
steak near 39.767, -86.156

Advanced search

Google has provided some advanced search options to enhance your Google Maps search. The vertical bar symbol '|' allows you to group two or more categories together in a single search. For instance:

chinese|seafood in Atlanta, GA

means look for both chinese restaurants and seafood restaurants in Atlanta.

Use the minus sign '-' to exclude a category or particular business from the search results. For example:

restaurants -pizza in Boston, MA

means look for all restaurants in Boston except pizza restaurants.

hamburger|sandwich|cafe - Sambos in Seattle, WA

means search for hamburger restaurants, sandwich shops, and cafes in Seattle, but exclude Sambos restaurants.

Reviews for 10,000+ restaurants

Google Maps has user reviews for tens of thousands of restaurants and hotels--the most comprehensive set of user reviews on the web. The reviews are displayed in the Google Maps search results in a side-by-side format that makes it easy to compare reviews for different restaurants and hotels.

GeoMidpoint Home