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English novelist and essayist, Virginia Woolf, is quoted as having said that “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.”
To dine well outside the comfort of your kitchen and especially in areas you are not familiar with requires you to depend on the feedback of others. Food can make or break your travel experience so use these apps to keep your belly well fed whether you’re looking for something only the locals know of, a food truck or a Michelin-starred meal.
If you travel all over the world its best to have a food app that has worldwide appeal and Zomato is that app. Previously known as Urbanspoon in USA, Australia, and Canada, it’s available in over 10,000 cities across India, South Africa, Portugal, the Philippines, Indonesia, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Chile, and Italy among others.
Restaurants can be browsed by location, menu, photo, user review, and rating as well as by cuisine or by name for dine-in or delivery. A map feature helps explore where restaurants are located, and you can also create a list of places you enjoyed or places you wish to visit or use Dineline to do a write-up on the restaurant. For select locations, you can even reserve a table using the app. The app is available for free in the App Store and Google Play.
In the food and beverage industry, there are two groups of people – consumers and creators. Consumers eat and drink what’s made, and creators make what’s to be eaten or drank. ChefsFeed is an app for people who prefer to take gastromy referrals from credible and experienced food and beverage industry professionals as opposed to random consumers or algorithms.
The app’s content is created to inform not simply entertain. As a result, you’ll find it goes into greater detail than most other food apps and includes cooking inspiration, humor, and mini-documentary videos as well as features, columns, satire stories and more. Users can search for recommendations based on location, ingredients, palate preference or simply what’s trending. You can also purchase tickets to ChefsFeed Indie Week which features dining events hosted by select chefs.
It is free and available for iOS and Android though recommendations are currently only available for select cities in the US, Canada, and London. You can, however, find recommendations in various blog articles for cities not listed e.g. Dubai.
HappyCow is a food app designed for vegans and vegetarians. The app has over 70,000 listings ranging from vegan, vegetarian, veg-friendly restaurant eateries to health food stores and markets all over the world. Users can search for recommendations using price, search radius, and customer ratings among other criteria.
The app offers a paid ($4) and an unpaid version. Hardcore vegans and vegetarians will find the unpaid version extremely basic. To unlock all the apps features, you need the paid version. It is ad-free and lets you save and view listings offline, comes with keyword search options and the ability to filter listings by business hours. You also get unlimited access to reviews as opposed to just three that comes with the free version.
The app is available for both iOS and Android and supports various languages in including Chinese, German, Dutch, English, Hebrew, and Spanish.
If your love for food truck cuisine knows no bounds, then the Roaming Hunger app was made with you in mind.
This app lets you track over 7500 food truck vendors in the US, Canada, Spain. France, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. It not only tells you where to find them using an interactive map but also how long they’ll be in that particular location and what’s on the menu. You can also indicate who your favorite vendors are to receive alerts via text or email.
You also get to learn more about the people behind your favorite food truck or get recommendations on what to pick if you’re not sure. There is no cost to download and use the app and its available for iOS and Android devices
Waiting can take all the fun out of a meal. Especially if you’re confined to a space that has you watching others chow down while you wait. The NoWait app seeks to change that.
The app is in partnership with Yelp and lets you browse restaurants and reserve a table on a virtual waiting list once you find one that you like. You also have the option to check your place in line to get a better idea of when your party will be seated. When your chosen dining destination is ready for you, they send an alert via text. You then get to walk in straight to your table like a celebrity. When you’re done dining, you can use the app to privately rate your experience.
Nowait is free to download and use and is available on iOS or Android but may not be available for the restaurant you choose as they have to opt-in for the service.
1Off The Menu Club (OTM)
The Off The Menu Club (OTM) app is not your traditional food app. However, if you’re a frequent traveler to Los Angeles and prefer food apps that offer exclusivity and also do some social good, then it’s right up your alley.
Membership to the OTM club is by invitation only. You can be invited by an existing member via an invite code, or you can request to join by filling out a form on their website.
Membership costs $20 per month, and a portion of that goes towards charities working towards ending childhood hunger. Members get access to a secret menu with seven items from select fine dining establishments in Los Angeles. They get to enjoy one item off the shared menu at no additional cost.