My wife and I poured over Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews trying to find the perfect restaurant for our last night in Rome. Finally, we found a place suitable for our farewell dinner. All of the reviews described it as a popular restaurant for authentic Roman cuisine. It was exactly what we were looking for.
The concierge booked us a reservation. We hopped in a cab only to find the restaurant completely empty while every other restaurant in the neighborhood had crowds spilling onto the street. Our tried and true resources failed us.
As technology moves forward, new websites and apps have emerged that are more tailored for the discerning foodie than traditional restaurant reviews. Here are 8 apps or mobile friendly websites that are revolutionizing food travel.
Table8 is like OpenTable, but for the serious foodie. In town on a whim and just learned about a restaurant your dying to eat at? The problem is, the joint books up months in advance. That’s no problem with Table8! They have exclusivity with many of the most sought after restaurants. Table8 offers both a free and paid version. Paid members receive special access to chef events and prime reservation times.
Table8 is downloadable for free from the App Store or Google Play.
While more of a travel app than a food app, Jetzy is still a great tool for foodies. It’s like Tinder meets Meetup meets Foodspotting. When you sign up, Jetzy asks you to pick your travel styles—foodie, wine-o and brewster are options. Through travel moments, you can see what others are eating near you and maybe even join them for dinner.
Who else salivates when Anothony Bourdain sits down for a home cooked meal with an Italian grandma? With Meal Sharing, you too can enjoy dinner in a local’s home. The website helps to connect travelers with home cooks for that authentic dining experience.
Access Meal Sharing from their website.
Feastly works in a similar manner to Meal Sharing except the website connects you with food professionals. Dining options range from home dinners with local foragers to pop-up dinners hosted by local chefs—It’s like being invited to eat with Anthony Bourdain, only he’s cooking.
Access Feastly from their website.
Foodspotting is like Instagram but for foodies. It’s also a little more helpful, too. Not only is it fun to scroll to see what others are eating and share your own gastronomical conquests, but it’s also a great tool for recommendations. See what other people ate at the same restaurant. Did they love it or hate it?
Bar Roulette is a lot like Russian roulette for late night revelers, but with a safety. The app combines Yelp reviews with Uber. It picks a top rated bar in your vicinity but keeps it a secret. It then orders you an Uber (your safety) to take you to the bar. Once you arrive, the app will tell you the name of the bar. It’s a fun way for both out of towners to explore a city’s nightlife and a way for locals to escape the comfort of the corner bar.
Bar Roulette completed a successful beta on their mobile friendly web site. Currently, the service is down as they build an app. Sign up for their email list to be the first to play once it’s launched.
Off the Menu
We’ve all heard of the secret menu at the popular west coast chain In-N-Out Burger. Or maybe you haven’t. That’s the point of the app Off the Menu. It helps you find hidden gems like In-N-Out’s Animal Style Burger that aren’t listed on the menu. It’s your official membership into the Secret Illuminati of the Foodies.
Off the Menu is downloadable for free from the App Store or Google Play.
Food trucks are all the rage today. The problem is, they’re hard to find. On our last trip to New York City, we looked for the Wafels & Dinges food truck all weekend. With the Roaming Hunger app, I would have been able to track it down. Roaming Hunger works with 7,500 food trucks across the U.S. and Canada. Chances are, it can tell you where your favorite is parked.