Traveling is a lot easier than it used to be thanks to the sheer amount of information that we hold, literally, in the palm of our hands. Gone are the days of lugging around MapQuest printouts and travel brochures. I feel pretty confident now that you can drop me off just about anywhere in the country and I'll find a good place to eat, a nice spot to have a beer or a unique place to grab a cup of coffee. Everyone has a collection of their best food apps; I've listed my favorite food and travel related apps below. These food apps help me make educated decisions on where to get the best eats and drinks no matter where I am in the country.
Food Network on The Road (iOS-only at the moment)
This is one of my favorite apps. The interface is nice and the user experience is enjoyable. In my opinion, the single most enjoyable feature of this app is the ability to discover Food Network recommended restaurants/cafes/etc. near your current location using GPS. If you're near a place that's been featured on the Food Network or Cooking Channel, the venue will be displayed on an interactive map. Other notable features:
- Browse featured restaurants and city guides from top shows
- Find destinations from your favorite chefs, including Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown and more
- Search for restaurants by city, chef, show, cuisine, city guide, road trips and 'best of' lists
- Get the address, phone number and directions to each restaurant
TV Food Maps
This app is similar to Food Network on the Road with the exception that it allows you to discover restaurants featured on shows that aired on most popular cable network channels. The Food Network on The Road app only displays venues featured on the Scripps network of channels.
The user experience isn't as nice with TV Food Apps and there's not as much information as Food network on the Road, but I like the diversity of choices I'm provided.
Cor.kz (iOS-only at the moment)
I've wasted a lot of time downloading a lot of bad wine apps. It's surprising to me that there are so few good apps for wine lovers, but luckily I found Cor.kz.
This app will cost you 1.99, but it's worth every cent of that cost. Cor.kz uses CellarTracker's humongous wine database to index all types of wine. You can search more than 1,500,000 wines and over 3,000,000 reviews. The coolest feature to me is the ability to scan the UPC barcode on a bottle of wine to find reviews, average prices and user notes on tons of wines. The barcode scanner is only accurate about 65% of the time, something the developers are working on, but you can also search wines by keyword which is a huge help. There is Facebook and Twitter integration as well, so you can share what wines you're drinking on your social networks. The app is packed with features and it's one of my favorites. The only downside is that I spend 20 minutes longer in the wine shop because I'm scanning UPC codes like a madman!
Much like Cor.kz, Untappd allows you to log your favorite beers and share which brews you're drinking socially. You can also discover popular local bars and beers based on your GPS location. The app gives you the ability to share your beer reviews with friends and will also make personalized beer suggestions. The interface is clean and the user experience is nice. I like this app a lot, and it's available for both iOS and Android mobile devices.
Mobilecious (iOS-only at the moment)
I love gourmet food trucks. I have secret aspirations to create and run my own one day. If you live in an urban area with a lot of food truck options, this is a cool app to help locate where those food trucks are parked. Schedules and locations are based on vendor updates via Twitter and other data sources.
What are some of your favorite food apps? Share some of your suggestions. I have a lot of space to fill on my iPhone!
Image courtesy of steefafa
About the Author: Larry is a friend of House Party. Larry currently resides in the East Bay region of California. He enjoys all things wine related, and spends a lot of his free time in Napa and Sonoma learning about wine. Larry is also a Mixed Martial Arts enthusiast. He enjoys practicing, watching, analyzing and commentating on all things MMA. Larry also enjoys cooking, fine dining, entertaining and hanging out with Maximus, his Jack Russell Terrier.