Ambitious new start-up TasteAtlas is a project that aims to map the food of the world. Unlike TripAdvisor, it doesn’t just show what restaurants are most popular in an area. Instead, it shows you unique, local foods that each region is known for.

Owner Matija Babic describes how it works:

When you visit Dalmatia, Tripadvisor will tell you where most tourists each ice cream and pizza, while TasteAtlas will tell you that you should eat brudet, Imotski cake, fritule, and drink plavac mali and maraschino. We will also advise you to try brudet at the Senko tavern, pinca at Kirigin, etc. I talk about Dalmatia here, but we have the whole world covered in the same way. I believe that people increasingly want to try local stuff when travelling, and not bland general dishes.

Three years in the making, the project already has 5,000 dishes in its database, and is constantly adding more. Their team of about a dozen researchers comb reviews from professional food critics and local experts alike before adding foods to the map. They accept suggestions, but vet each themselves – so they aren’t biased by owners trying to boost their business or diss their competition, as often happens on Yelp and Trip Advisor.

The system, while it has a few kinks to work out, has the potential to revolutionize how people discover food when they travel. But Babic isn’t in it for the money:

I wanted this thing to exist, and it hasn’t existed before. I really love eating out, and I wanted to make the best possible guide to lead you to good food.

Babic’s dedication to TasteAtlas is a prime example of seeing a need and filling it. TasteAtlas provides a service that is much more specialized than any other restaurant-finding database, and it comes at just the right time. Now, more than ever, are consumers searching for unique local foods, and TasteAtlas is there to help people find them.