Tammy’s Top Ten (t3 report) Apps for Food Lovers

This quirky pastime of taking photos of our food will haunt us in history books. Have you noticed? There are some beautiful dishes out there and my propensity to photograph is no exception. I’m also a recent convert to a smart phone. That said, my husband is old hat at it and has shared the delights of numerous helpful apps from the one that allows me to see what I might look like if I gained 200 lbs to the one that helps me to remember where I’ve parked in the multi-story lot. I was recently inspired by a blogger known as omnomnivores to look more deeply into food apps. While I’ve certainly not covered the gamut and the gamut is large, here are the results of my research.

Food Photos Gone Mad!

1. Fooducate

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My oldest used to have an electronic game that he brought to the supermarket when we shopped. He’d scan the bar codes of various food items which would allow him to capture monsters. Fooducate does the same thing! By scanning the bar code of a food item, you can view nutritional facts, calories and ingredients. It also suggests alternative food items. If label reading is overwhelming, this is a product for you. Free and also available for Android.

2. Locavore

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No surprises that I’d zero in on this one. It’s a great menu planning assistant as it shares what is in season. The app also has a map that locates farmers markets where the fresh stuff is available. Free and also available for Android.

3. Seafood Watch

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Having just returned from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I’m proud to share their guide to buying sustainable seafood. I carry the paper version in my wallet and so do my children but this app also has a sushi guide which helps make good sustainable choices. Free and available for both iphone and Android.

4. Paprika

My sister-in-law first introduced me to Paprika. Admittedly, I don’t use it to it’s fullest extent but if you’re interested in keeping track of recipes that work (your own and others) and want an easy way to share them, Paprika is for you.

Similar to other apps that manage recipes, Paprika recipe has a meal planner, a grocery list, and a function that enables you to scale recipes depending upon the number of people you are planning for. $4.99 compatible with IOS 5.0.

5. VegOut

Although I’m a frequent yelper, Veg Out can help you find a restaurant that caters to the vegetarians and vegans amongst you. The app allows you to search by your current location or enter a custom location. And it’s international in scope. The application costs $2.99 in the iTunes store

6. Yelp

No lie, this is my go-to travel guide. I love the filters that I can apply from type of cuisine to “open now” to price to proximity. This is the true crowd sourcing app for restaurants and other services and I’ve learned that it’s important to read the comments. I may not always agree but Yelp is a great tool. Free for both devices.

7. Real Simple Recipes

Like the name suggests, Real Simple Recipes is about being able to put a meal on the table pronto. The focus is on fast and easy food. These are real simple things you can cook real fast.

You’re able to sort through meal options by both time (20, 30, or 40 minute options) and food categories such as poultry or vegetarian. The app is available for both android and iphone and includes helpful instructional videos. It costs $5 which unfortunately doesn’t preclude it from containing advertisements.

8. Platter

Platter food photography sharing app

Love to photograph your food? Platter lets you take a photo and tag it with a few key ingredient words and then share it with others. Standing in front of the pantry without inspiration? Type in a list of ingredients and platter will serve up photos and ideas to get you into the next meal. Platter interfaces with both facebook and twitter and is free for both iphone and android.

9. Kitchen Math

As a blogger who reads a whole host of food posts across many different countries, I’m often googling the differences between Celsius and Farenheit or how to make the conversion from ounces to grams. Kitchen Math does this for us. With the tap of a fingertip, I learn that 12 tsp is the same as 1/4 cup. And there is helpful information about the appropriate cooking temperatures for various meat dishes. $0.99 for iphone.

10. Epicurious

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Do you love to cook? If so, you’re already familiar with the Epicurious website. In a similar fashion this app enables you to browse thousands of recipe ideas by main ingredient, course, cuisine, dietary consideration, dish, occasion or other key words. The recipse include photos and an option to add to your own favorites. Like Paprika, it also has a shopping list feature. Epi interfaces with sites like Facebook and Pinterest. The free app is available for iphone and android but it costs $1.99 to sync with your recipes.
Do you use a smart phone and if so, what are some of your favorite apps – food or otherwise?

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63 Comments

  1. I have an i-phone but I haven’t put many apps on it. I had no idea there were so many great food apps available xx

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  2. Best thing I’ve read all day!

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  3. Been a fan of Epicurious for years – use the android app. Nice collation.

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  4. You should also check out Chefs Feed! Its a cool app that tells you what top chefs recommend in thier cities.

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    • You know, in my first draft, I did include Chefs Feed and I do have the app. I didn’t put it in this write-up because it is limited to so few cities. If you are visting one of them, then it’s perfect and it’s free!

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  5. Waw! Thank you for all of them but I don’t have an I-phone, just a normal old GSM!

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  6. I downloaded Fooducate but I am afraid to scan some of my favorites in case they don’t pass muster! My favorite food related app is GroceryIQ. It allows us to keep a running shopping list as things run out, scan bar codes for ease of entry, automatically share the list with my wife and even track prices. When it’s time to go to the store, I can look through my favorites list and quickly build the final list. I can even have a different list for each store I visit. Thanks for the list of apps!

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    • GroceryIQ sounds very interesting. It might work well in my kitchen that is constantly bare with three growing kids – IF I can get them to scan the things they eat.

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  7. I am sharing this! Wonderful Tammy . . .so much out there to help us!

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  8. Very interesting. Just give me an app to slap me when I grab for the bad stuff.

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  9. Very cool! I’m planning to get an iPhone when my old phone contract has run out, and then I’ll certainly get some apps! :D

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    • I think you’ll enjoy it. Not a food app but when you get one, I think you’ll like ocarina.

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  10. Cool app! They make me wanna have an iphone :)

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  11. Love you top Apps. I will try them soon. Once again, you shared wonderful post that enriches our lives everyday. Best wishes.

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  12. If ever I get a smart phone (i.e., emerge from the techno dark ages), these apps might be right up my cyber alley. Thanks, Tammy.

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  13. These are great! I might have to try some new apps. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. This is a great list, Tammy! I have some of these apps, but not all of them. Thanks!

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  15. Lisa H

     /  August 13, 2012

    These apps are great! I don’t yet have an iphone, but I do use my ipad. I think my favorite from your list is the conversion, especially since I will sometimes increase a recipe so many times that converting from tsp to Tbs is more convenient. yelp has come in incredibly handy when we travel. I actually found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant during one of our road trips that I would not have gone to if it weren’t for yelp. Now, I think I’ll spend a huge amount of time checking out all your other wonderful recommendations!

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  16. Tammy, this is a great post! Although I don’t do the cell phone thing myself (radical simplicity and all) I am tempted by the “Platter” app. I often stand in front of my pantry and wonder, what’s for dinner??? Thanks for the research and info!!!

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  17. Tammy – I loved this post! I have (and use Fooducate) and just added Yelp (why didn’t I have that on my phone – I use it on the PC – doh!) and Epicurious. I also like Urbanspoon – seems like a cross between Zagat and Yelp. I’m gonna check out that Chefs Feed as well. GREAT post!

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    • Yelp is terrific and Urbanspoon is right up there too. I think Chefs Feed might work well for you as I’m pretty sure it covers Chicago.

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  18. Thanks for this report! I am not good at using the apps I do have. I do however use our sustainable fish sms line :)

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  19. a great idea for a post Tammy ! I like the idea of th eseafood one most of all, and I can see the vggie one being put to good use too, especially when we travel. I’m an Android kinda-gal, it’s just a shame the owner isn’t as smart as the phone :)

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  20. Great suggestions!

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  21. Interesting suggestions, thanks!

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  22. Kate

     /  August 14, 2012

    Thanks for the shout out! That Kitchen Math app looks like it would come in handy.

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  23. The only food app I have been using is the “tip calculator” for when I eat out at restaurants!:) Great tour, Tammy. Will share this with all my foodie friends.

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  24. These are fab, Tammy! I love the idea of an app to tell you what’s in season and what there is locally to suit you. Takes all the hard work out of it, doesn’t it?

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    • It does make it easier so that we’re not burning carbon to bring in the out of season stuff!

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  25. Snazzy huh~! The last food app I used was calorie counter and I hated it. It reminds me of calories all the time :P But tell you what these are really helpful. I still use an un-smart phone so dont know much about them but I think a move’s in procrastination.

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  26. Hi Tammy, I do have a smart phone, but am woefully old school–my daughter is appalled at how few apps I have and use. I know I ‘m missing Part of the point of owning that smart piece of technology. That said, you’ve assembled some pretty interesting apps here that I shall explore–and perhaps actually use.

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    • If you don’t use them, it’s definitely not worth buying one – that’s why I focused on the free stuff.

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  27. Thanks for this awesome list. I had three of these and just downloaded three more!

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  28. I always thought it’d be an interesting project if someone combined food apps with childlike sensibilities. Make food fun, and for kids!

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  29. Thanks for putting this list together! I’ll take a look at these apps!

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  30. Seeking Joyful Simplicity

     /  August 26, 2012

    Food apps?! Who knew? Excellent!

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  31. I s’pose it’s time to join the 21st century and get a phone that can do these things as they look like fun.

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