Inevitably each year, a slew of new food and dining apps hits the digital store to be greeted with varying levels of fanfare. With only so much time to explore and memory on our devices, we simply can’t tackle them all, try as we may.
From food experience booking to local restaurant discovery and disruptive delivery concepts, we’ve combed through some of the new and not-as-new food apps to bring you seven that’ll bring your gourmet game to the next level.
This app claims to be your “inside connection to food proudly presented by chefs.” Chefs Feed has a lot going on and can feel a little frantic at first blush, but this geolocated app has some really strong content regarding where in your neighborhood you should eat (according to local chefs) and even more specifically, what dishes you should eat at said recommended restaurants.
I gave it a whirl in my Brooklyn neighborhood and it populated most of the good stuff along with cool chef profiles that help give the restaurant a pulse and personality, if you care about that sort of thing.
The app also has some cool original content including mini-docs and video diaries like Claire Welle of New York’s Otway sharing the folksy tale of a treasured family oyster shucker that her sticky-fingered grandfather swiped and brought into their lives one day.
Who doesn’t love a good food tour? Viator, an arm of TripAdvisor, helps travelers (or locals) search and book experiences in the places they visit such as walking tours, boat rides, and other “things to do.”
The search engine helps aggregate the very best food tours in hundreds of cities with ratings/reviews, detailed tour info, pricing and easy direct booking—all powered by one the most prominent travel and tech brands in the world.
Want to take those foodie experiences just a step further? Eatwith bids you to “taste the world with locals” and has been dubbed the Airbnb of dinner. Unlike Airbnb, where hosts awkwardly avoid you at all costs, Eatwith pairs you with culinary-minded folks who actually enjoy hosting like this London Supper Club or Taste of Mexico City dinner party.
Through the app or website, people hungry for a local connection are linked directly to the host with photos, info, and even the number of other guests attending. Hey, if there is one thing we can bond over with our neighbors to the north, south, east, and west, it’s food, right?
I Know the Chef
Though currently limited to New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, I Know the Chef is a subscription reservation service that promises “primetime access to top restaurants,” in the way of priority reservations, access to maître d’s—the true gatekeepers—and lists of restaurants vetted carefully by IKTC’s team of expert diners with impeccably high standards.
What does this all mean? You might finally get into Le Coucou this Friday if you can fork over the annual fee of $1,250 or go for a 90-day trial for a bargain $75. Either one is a small price to see and be seen.
Important: You do not actually “know the chef,” so don’t ask the waiter to bring him or her out.
Though it might sound like an NPR game show spin-off, No Wait is actually the perfect app for the impatient and hungry among us. It works by aggregating participating restaurants nearby that have a waitlist (not all are on there) and if there is indeed a wait, allows diners to add themselves to it remotely. Your party is notified via message when a table is ready and another excruciating interaction with a stranger is successfully avoided!
In an increasingly crowded delivery space, this is the app version of saying “Hey stranger, I’m going to grab lunch can I grab you something?” or “Hey I see your going out for lunch, can you grab me something?”
Combining food delivery with a rideshare sensibility, Joy Run allows people to alert their neighbors when heading out to a particular restaurant and lets them tack on an order with a suggested tip of $2 or $3 for hauling it back safely. In theory you can make a few bucks and do a solid for Tom or Jane, all while gettin’ your food on.
A bit of a strange one in practice but bonus points for being forward thinking and all around “nice,” especially since the driver can waive his or her tips. No pressure!
Resy is a bit like OpenTable meets eBay. With this booking app from Ben Leventhal and Gary Vaynerchuk, you can buy that hard-to-snag reservation at hot spots in major U.S cities like N.Y.C. and Los Angeles. Restaurants hold tables from the masses and sell to last-minute Larrys with a few pennies to spare.
At certain times reservations are free and Resy feels a lot like OpenTable fit with a rewards program, but during peak hours can skyrocket as high as $50 a seat!
Now where exactly did I put that corporate credit card?
Header image courtesy of ChefsFeed.