Chowhound is the smartest food site on the Web, featuring entertaining videos; original stories; tested recipes; and in-depth discussions about restaurants, cooking, and more.

The History of Chowhound

CHOW.com was formed in 2006 when the Internet media company CNET Networks bought a San Francisco–based print magazine called CHOW and a long-standing New York–based discussion-forum website called Chowhound. CNET was acquired by CBS in 2008. Chowhound is now a part of CBS Interactive.

Prior to its acquisition by CNET, CHOW magazine had published four issues, beginning in November 2004. Early pieces included "Why Are Shopping Carts So Hard to Steer?," a profile of Gabrielle Hamilton written by Anthony Bourdain, and a story on smuggling illegal cheeses.

Chowhound was started in 1997 as a message board for people to trade information about where to find good food. You can read more about the early days of Chowhound in Calvin Trillin's 2001 New Yorker story "New Grub Streets" (full article available to subscribers only).

Chowhound's original manifesto:

Everyone has one in his life: the brother-in-law with a collection of 800 takeout menus, the co-worker who's late from lunch because she HAD to trek to one end of town for soup and to the other for a sandwich. Chowhounds know where the good stuff is, and they never settle for less than optimal deliciousness, whether dining in splendor or grabbing a quick slice.

We're not talking about foodies. Foodies eat where they're told. Chowhounds blaze trails. They comb through neighborhoods for culinary treasure. They despise hype. And while they appreciate ambiance and service, they can't be fooled by flash.

No media outlets serve Chowhounds. They've never had a place to gather and exchange information. This discerning, passionate crowd has long been completely invisible and utterly disenfranchised... until now.

If you, too, fret endlessly about making every bite count; if you'd grow weak from hunger rather than willingly eat something less than delicious, this place is for you! Welcome to our community. Let's talk. Let's swap tips.

You needn't be an expert to participate. If you're less food-obsessed than the rest of us, but have a yen for egg creams, gazpacho, or Quisp Cereal, let the resident hounds guide you to the best stuff. Follow (and chime in on) the rollicking discussion -- featuring thousands of messages from characters all over the world.