Follow the Random Restaurant Bot for random restaurants from around the world

I really enjoy following the Random Restaurant Bot account ( on the BlueSky social media app.

Every half hour or so, it posts to your feed the name and address of a randomly chosen restaurant from somewhere in the world, along with the first four pictures in its Google Maps entry. It's a delightfully bizarre and fascinating palette-cleanser from some of the negativity that can dominate your feed.

Screengrab from BlueSky account

It was created by Joe Schoech for Twitter, where it gained a following over 70,000, but it looks like it stopped updating there in June, and now resides on BlueSky.

The bot doesn't choose the world's Google-listed restaurants fully randomly. Schoech has the bot first choose a country randomly, then a city within that country, then a restaurant within that city. This causes the bot to choose more restaurants in small cities in small countries than it would if it chose directly from the population of the world's restaurants.

Schoech explains:

At first I had it just pick a city first rather than a country but that was returning a bunch of restaurants that're in countries with a lot of cities, which was kind of boring. So I switched it to select the country first, which is why you get a bunch of stuff on the Isle of Man, not a great culinary tradition from what I can tell, no offense. Still seeing a bunch of pictures from there has made me want to go there. There are some countries that have very few restaurants so you get reoccurring dupes with this system which imo is a funny bit. …

Once it has the city, or specifically the geocordinates of the city, it sends those to google and returns a list of nearby restaurants from which one is randomly chosen, then there's a bunch of back and forth with google to get the right info, I just counted and I have seven different api calls to gather all the data which consist of a streetview image (if available, btw these suck its a picture of the front of the restaurant like 25% of the time), three or four images of the restaurant, the name and address, and a placeId which is used to make the clickable url. If it can't get all the data it needs, eg some restaurants don't have any photos, it starts over.

I'm surprised there aren't more fast food restaurants that pop up, but I guess Schoech's alogrithm successfully suppresses their prevalence in the feed. Of course you'll still see your share of chains, usually in unusual places.

Screengrab from BlueSky account

I'm shocked at how many pizza places there are in the world. (And how bad the pizza looks.)

Screengrab from BlueSky account

And because the photos in the Google Maps entry are often provided by users, you get some compellingly random shots of random people at the random restaurants.

Screengrab from BlueSky account

Schoech explained the bot's appeal in an interview with Tim Marcin at a few years ago:

"Obviously people like, and are very interested in, food," Schoech wrote. "Restaurants are culture, not just the food, but the architecture, the people, their haircuts. Not sure if landscape is culture but it's compelling nonetheless. Most of the cultural things we see online are curated and this isn't so. You see different stuff than you usually would, which ends up producing an extremely different vibe."

Schoech added: "One becomes maybe more of an explorer than a consumer idk; also you get to just see some weird, funny shit, too."

I do prefer pictures of the restaurant's setting to its food.

Screengrab from BlueSky account

Previously: Man eats at all 22 Margaritaville restaurants in the U.S. and Canada in 24 days