I love food more than the average person should.
When I go to bed, I catch myself dreaming about what cake or pie I should bake next. When I plan vacations, I usually plan them around certain restaurants or cafes that I have seen on TV or have found on Yelp.
Much of my life revolves around food and at times, food consumes my life (and I should be the one consuming food). But never fear — food apps are here!
So grab a snack, plop back down into your seat and munch away while I share some of my favorite (and not-so favorite) food apps with you!
I have a confession to make … I am a Yelper. A HUGE Yelper. I check-in everywhere I go, I take a picture of almost everything I eat and I write reviews as if my life depended on it. I know, I’m pathetic. But aside from my sad, food-centric life, what I like most about Yelp is that it’s a community. Yelp gives out “Elite” badges to those who contribute positively to the website and Yelp users are generally happy campers.
As for the app… it’s great. It’s extremely easy to use and even comes with a handy monocle in the “nearby” widget that allows users to find restaurants in proximity. Even if you don’t consider yourself a Yelper, if you want to find a reputable 4-star restaurant to eat at, the Yelp app is really your best bet.
T.V. Rating: 5/5
It would have been extremely unfair of me if I excluded foursquare from this list, so here it is. So why don’t I like it? It’s just not very pretty, unlike Yelp. I feel overwhelmed by Foursquare sometimes. I rely more on detailed user reviews than little tips here and there. But I’ll give Foursquare points for its universality. Foursquare is able to support French, Italian German, Spanish, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Thai and Turkish. Yelp is mostly popular in the states and has only recently began to spread to some European countries including Spain, France and Germany.
I guess I can’t totally hate on foursquare. The company is 20 million users strong and growing (but I still think their app is ugly).
T.V. Rating: 4/5
Though Yelp and Foursquare already give its users discounts to various eateries, ScoutMob is an app that is dedicated to giving its users deals from locally-owned businesses and, simultaneously, a quirky and proud perspective on their city. As much as I love the quirky app that is ScoutMob, I feel like the company needs more employees and/or needs to get its act together. In New York, ScoutMob was all the rage. Restaurants were happy to give me discounts on food through the app. However, in Los Angeles, when I showed the ScoutMob discount to the cashier at a cafe on Spring Street, the girl had no idea what to make of it (I still got a 50% discount anyway). If ScoutMob wants to make a name for itself, they shouldn’t be giving cities preferrential treatment. Try a little harder in LA, ScoutMob!!
T.V. Rating: 4/5
BlackboardEats is really just a more high-class version of ScoutMob. The restaurants that they provide discounts for are usually more frou-frou and she-she — in other words, these restaurants are normally too expensive for the average person. One thing that irks me about Blackboard Eats: they don’t release as many discounts as ScoutMob, and the chance to snag a discounts also disappears more quickly than ScoutMob. The app is also a little boring. At least ScoutMob tries to be quirky with its “Curiosities” and “Scout Cam” widgets.
T.V. Rating: 3.5/5
If you are a food truck fanatic like me, the TruxMap app is a must-have app. Depending on where you are (thanks to location services), TruxMap will pinpoint the food trucks that are closest to you. This app can be kind of a hit-or-miss though. Sometimes it’s led me to food truck gold mines while, occasionally, I have been let down by a no-show food truck that was set to open on the app.
T.V. Rating: 3.5/5
The mastermind behind cupcakes, Sprinkles is also no stranger to brand bombardment and effective marketing. Maintaining their signature cutesy, minimalist theme, Sprinkles has an app that lets customers see what flavors are available daily, monthly and annually, notifies customers about the secret daily cupcake password and even provides customers entertainment in the form of a charming cupcake memory game. A simple and extremely user-friendly app.
T.V. Rating: 5/5
Unfortunately, I was stupid enough to fork $1.99 for the Salumi app, which is supposedly “the world’s most comprehensive pocket guide to cured meats.” Why is it so bad? Here’s why: 1) The app design is so rough… they could have definitely made it more eye-catching. It looks like their iOS completely half-assed the app, 2) Is this really the “most comprehensive” app for cured meats? Because I feel like there are many, many more than what’s listed… 3) $1.99 for this poor app? I have tons of free apps that are SO much more entertaining, comprehensive, beautiful, etc. than Salumi.
T.V. Rating: 2/5
Epicurious has already established itself in the world of food. Surprisingly, their app does not really attest to this. The Epicurious app is fairly easy to use, but a lot of the recipes are either 1) not rated very highly and/or 2) missing photos of the actual food. I don’t know about you, but these days, it goes without saying that recipes have photos. All and all, it is an OK app, but it could also use a little work.
T.V. Rating: 3/5
The Eatery is one of the most ingenious food apps I have come across to date. It’s sleek, it’s touch-friendly and from what I can tell, it is doing a great job of living up to its motto as “A Massive Health Experiment.” User feedback, as well as The Eater’s feedback, is almost instantaneous and providing info to others using the “Fit or Fat” widget is very simple and fun. The ONLY complaint I have about this app is that the languages of all the different users can get lost in translation. The Eatery’s iOS developer could add a language filter to work out this kink. Otherwise… what a great app!
T.V. Rating: 4.5/5
Like The Eatery app, the Evernote Food app is chic and SO easy to use that it’s almost therapeutic. Let’s say you have a wonderful dinner at a trendy restaurant in New York one night and you want to savor every bit of it. Take a couple of pictures and bam — you can create an elegant, virtual dinner journal entry thanks to the Evernote Food app. This is a must-have app for hardcore foodies!!
T.V. Rating: 5/5
There are many food apps out there, and I encourage you to explore all of them. However, make sure you do a little research before you decide to purchase one (which I failed to do for the Salumi app). Regardless, apps like these make eating more than just eating. With Evernote Food, you create a memory. With The Eatery, you get more insight into how you eat. You can eat to live… or you can do what I do and live to eat!