The quest for the best meal is what drives many of us to travel. No matter if you are looking for indigenous eats or Michelin-starred dinners
, these smartphone apps will lead your stomach to the good stuff as well as save details about your most memorable meals.
"What do you want for dinner?" "I don't know, what do YOU want?" If you're on the road with your partner and can't decide what you want to eat, Urban Spoon is a great app for you. The app has long been one of the most popular food apps available in iTunes app store because of its novelty shake function, which lets users literally shake their phones to find nearby dining inspiration. "Lock" one, two, or all three of the variables that you want to search on - the city, cuisine, and price point - and Urban Spoon's slot machine-like interface will deliver the name of a nearby restaurant that fits what you are looking for. For those less inclined to shake their iPhones (the app is currently iOS only), Urban Spoon has different sections (Discover, Cuisine, Price) to help you browse a city or neighborhood's many dining options.
One of the earliest and most widely known apps for finding restaurants and other services, Yelp features restaurant reviews and tips from users to help you make a decision about your dining destination. Use it on the fly with GPS or search for favorite foods of cuisines by neighborhood. Many restaurants have teamed up with Open Table
to offer online reservations, making booking a breeze. The Yelp app is available for iPhone and Android.
This wonderful food app is designed for the individual who uses his eyes to decide on dinner. Working like a social app, Foodspotting utilizes user photos to show you what looks good to eat. Follow other users (your friends) and favorite dishes (burgers, crab cakes, tacos, etc.), rather than just restaurants, to see what you're interesting in trying and what others have loved. You can also browse photos of the best foods in a certain area or peruse user-compiled lists applicable to the city or neighborhood that you are searching. Foodspotting is free and available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and Windows phones.
If you're a food lover on a very tight budget, download the free Bitehunter app, which is all about helping you find the best meals for less. The app starts with determining your location and delivering meal suggestions in a photo grid, list, or on a map. Browse current meal deals, which are aggregated from discounters such as Groupon, Living Social, or Restaurant.com, by cuisine or the area's top dining deals. Bitehunter is best used on the fly, rather than as a planning app. It is available in the iTunes app store.
Do you like for your cuisine to come with some context? Then you will want to pick up the Rama app, which provides walking food and history tours of U.S. and international cities. The list of in-app U.S. food tours available is not exhaustive - currently, there are tours in Manhattan (e.g., vegetarian Manhattan, Little India Insider, etc.), Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Hawaii. But the app has a lot of room to grow. Downloading the Rama app from iTunes is free, but in-app tours range from free to up to $2.99.
You may already be familiar with Evernote, the app that lets you save documents, bits, and pieces from the web and sync them between your devices. Evernote Food works along these same lines, allowing users to save details about their most memorable meals. This is not a restaurant review app, rather it is an uncluttered place to store your own photos, notes, and reviews about a restaurant, dining experience, or fresh food market. Evernote Food is available for free for iPhone and Android and can be used with an existing (free) Evernote account.
Zagat is one of the most trusted names in dining reviews, so it makes sense that the company's app is a must-have for serious food lovers. Priced currently at $9.99 for one year of access, the app costs as much as a book. But it is a book that is continually updated with reviews of more than 30,000 restaurants across the United States and the world. The Zagat app is available for iPhone/iPad, Android, and Blackberry.