5 local food apps

Swipe and point your way to better eating, from vegan treats to Wine Country deals



FEAST 2012 You can't eat your smart phone, but it can inform your culinary decisions. Below, the best food apps for exploring the bounty of the Bay Area and surrounds.


The good folks over at our favorite animal product-free blog Vegansaurus took it upon themselves to make your vegan dining decisions that much easier. Their new app pinpoints vegan eateries from wine country to Silicon Valley. For each of the almost 80 restaurants listed in their carefully-curated directory, the app features a cheeky review, favorite dishes, and accompanying photos of vegan porn. And as expected with any app nowadays that fancies itself an all-knowing guide, Vegansaurus is furnished with a built-in GPS with turn-by-turn navigation.


Are you swooning over the food truck explosion with no way to keep track of your favorites? Ditch the cluttered Twitter feed and fret no more, because Roaming Hunger is your go-to to take advantage of city's addiction to food-on-wheels. As soon as you download this app make sure to rank all your favorite trucks. Using real-time technology, check out which trucks are open and nearest to you — perfect for when you are too lazy to travel more than a mile or two. And for those of you who just have to share with the world what they're eating, share photos of your dish with the rest of Roaming Hunger's jonesing app users.


Take marching orders to your next meal from some of the best chefs in the city, like Matthew Accarrino of SPQR and Laurence Jossel of Nopalito. If this app were about movies, it'd be like having a little Roger Ebert in your pocket as you browse Netflix. An insider's guide to the best and classiest food, Chefs Feed is highly recommended for people who wanna know what the highbrow tastemakers are into. Besides being able to find dishes by restaurant or by recommending chef, you can also observe what dishes are the most in style by checking out the in-app Twitter feed of SF kitchen royalty. The one downside is that the recommendations end before you cross a bridge, so tough knuckles if you're curious as to what the best chefs in Fremont are getting down on.


This highselling app has everything you could possibly want to know about organic and locally-grown food. Using your location, it shows you where to find the nearest farmers' markets, farms, and CSAs. It also provides up-to-date information on which fruits and vegetables are in-season wherever you are. But it doesn't stop there; interact with your fellow foodies to compare notes on the tenderest zucchini, recipes to get rid of that bushel of chard you just bought, and specific information only another foodie would want to know, like whether that Ferry Building farmers market chicken truly felt emotionally fulfilled.


The next time you coax that one friend with a car into a trip up north to Wine Country, make sure you have this app ready to go on your phone to avoid getting lost in the vines. Winery Finder is a intricate guide to every winery in the Napa and Sonoma area. Best of all its map shows you where to find free wine tastings, so make sure that driver is designated. For those of you who base your viniculture decisions on things besides price (aren't you special), be sure to examine each winery's built-in Yelp reviews and collection of Flickr photos, both available with a flick of the index finger on this app. And as expected, Foursquare and Twitter are also integrated into its design, perfect for the exhibitionist grape-sipper.

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