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The One-and-Done Way to Tell If a Restaurant Is Crowded Before You Get There
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We wouldn’t trade living in Los Angeles for anything in the world. OK, fine. Maybe we’d trade it for empty freeways where you can actually approach the speed limit. Or maybe even just a parking spot at Whole Foods? Yeah, we spend wayyy too much time contemplating whether the time in bumper-to-bumper traffic is worth what could possibly be a two-hour line around the block at Sqirl. (The jam is just so good.)

But what if you had a crystal ball that could tell you what the wait at those ever-crowded spots were? Well, you’re in luck because you do...and you’ve already been using it: Google Maps.

With Google's most recent iOS update, you can see how crowded a place is in real time—kinda like Waze, except that it tells you what’s happening inside your most-dreaded favorite places.

Here’s how it works: Open Google Maps on your desktop or phone, type in your destination, then just scroll down to the “Popular Times” bar graph, which shows you not only your destination’s regular most crowded times, but also its current state of business. (Just look for the little pink bar marked “Live.”)

There, now you know if it’s worth your time to get on the freeway or not. You’re welcome.

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