A series of ways to use Yelp as an Alexa Skill for the Amazon Echo/Tap/Dot.


Yelper is a series of ways to use Yelp on your Amazon Echo device. It is meant as a foundation to keep building more and more convenient uses for Yelp on a brand new platform that is neither web nor mobile.

Example Dialog

User: "Alexa, open Yelper"

Echo: "For a Yelp reviewed restaurant recommendation, tell me you are hungry"

User: "I am hungry"

Echo: "You should check out Tadu Ethiopian. They have Ethiopian food. Would you like to hear more about Tadu Ethiopian?"

---------------------- TO DO ------------------------------ User: "Nah"

Echo: "You could also try Da Lian. They have Chinese food."

User: "Show me more"

Echo: "Today's specials at Da Lian are Sweet and Sour Chicken and Siu Mai. Would you like a menu?"

User: "Yes"

Da Lian's menu get's sent to the user's phone.

Echo: "Would you like to give them a call?"

User: "Yes"

Echo: "Calling...."

Call is routed between the user and the Echo with Twilio.


To run on local server,

0.5 Have the latest versions of npm and node installed on your system.

  1. Set up alexa-app-server from
  • This will allow for quick local development before testing with an actual Echo.
  1. Pull my entire repo and save it in alexa-app-server/examples/apps/

  2. Run npm install

  3. Create your own api_key.js file and set your unique Yelp API credentials as module.exports variables. This just keeps my key safe.

5 (Optional). Now to test locally, change directories to alexa-app-server/ and run node server.js from terminal.

For AWS Lambda Functions

To try the skill on your own Echo device, set up a AWS Lambda Function.

  1. Sign in to AWS console on
  2. On top right of the nav bar in the console, select US East (N. Virginia) as your location.
  3. Select Lambda under Compute in the console. It should be orange.
  4. Click Create a Lambad function. It should be blue.
  5. Skip the Select blueprint part.
  6. Give this a name. I named it something very dull to spur the imagination.
    • Give it a description. "Do crazy Yelp stuff with Echo"
    • Select Runtime as Node.js
    • Select the Upload zip file option in Code entry type
    • Leave Handler as index.handler
    • Set Role as Basic execution role
    • Select Next. Another blue button
  7. Now go to the Event Sources tab.
    • Select Add event source
    • Our event source here is Alexa Skills Kit
    • Hit save.
  8. Copy and save the ARN on the top right corner. We'll need it to create our Alexa Skill.

To Create and Alexa Skill

  1. Go to

    • Select Alexa Skills Kit
  2. Click the Add a New Skill button. Should be a big yellow button.

  3. Here we give the skill a name. It needs to be set to Yelper, unless you decided to change the name in the code.

    • Invocation Name is also yelper
    • EndPoint should be set to the ARN we copied earlier.
    • Hit Save. Go on to next.
  4. Intent Schema

    "intents": [
            "intent": "hungry",
            "slots": []
  5. Sample Utterances

hungry hungry
hungry I'm hungry
hungry I am hungry
hungry show me more
hungry so hungry
hungry I'm starving

  1. Go to Test.

    • Enter Utterance: "ask yelper".
  2. If the test passes, you should be able to try it on your device to.

    • Say, "Alexa, open yelper"
    • Dialogue begins

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