The Dining Apps You Actually Need

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The Dining Apps You Actually Need
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The Dining Apps You Actually Need

The Daily Meal rounds up the food-focused apps you should have on your smartphone.

OpenTable: Find, Reserve, Dine
OpenTable is one of the country's most popular dining apps — filling an estimated 20 million restaurant seats since 2008 — for good reason.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

Fooducate: Scan Before You Scarf
If it has a barcode, you can Fooducate it. This free app, available on iPhones and Androids, allows users to scan a food product barcode for a comprehensive nutritional rundown, a ranking (from letter grade A to D), and a list of healthier alternatives.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

Good Food Near You: A Fast-Food Fix
It's the app to check before you dash into Burger King, desperate for a midday food fix.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

UrbanSpoon: All-in-One Eats
Every foodie should have at least one comprehensive restaurant-finding app on their smartphone, and UrbanSpoon — free on most mobile platforms — gets our vote.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

BiteHunter: Discount Dining
Without a doubt, BiteHunter (available free on iPhones) is the best app out there for scoring dining deals and discounts.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

VegOut: For Meat-Free Diners
An ideal app for the tempeh aficionado… or the carnivore with veggie friends in town, VegOut, available on iPhones for $2.99, offers an international mega-listing of vegetarian, vegan, and veg-friendly restaurants within a given geographic area.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

Smash Your Food: For Nutrition-Savvy Kids
The app that lets kids play with their food — while teaching them about nutrition. Smash Your Food, a free app released for iPhones earlier this year, has already won impressive praise: The app was lauded by Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign for its creative approach to children's nutrition savvy.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

Eat St.: For Food Truck Followers
Your ultimate guide to America's mobile eateries, the Eat St. iPhone app takes the confusion out of locating that on-the-go kabob truck or finding a new eatery-on-wheels that caters to your culinary preferences.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

GrubHub: Food at Your Fingertips
For those who prefer takeout to home cooking, two apps reign supreme: GrubHub and Seamless.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

Restaurant Nutrition: Culinary Calorie Counts
Plenty of apps will help you count calories, but only a few are dedicated exclusively to restaurant nutrition. Enter this appropriately named app, free on iPhone and Android platforms, that includes nutritional data on more than 250 chain restaurants across the country.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

LocalEats: No Chains Allowed
The perfect app for traveling foodies, or folks who just got tired of Applebee's, LocalEats, $0.99 for iPhones, is a comprehensive app that can help you find the perfect restaurant in cities worldwide — chain dining absolutely not included.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

Foodspotting: Picture What's for Dinner
An app as innovative as it is useful, Foodspotting — free on every major mobile platform — takes a visual approach to finding the perfect dining spot.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

Chef's Feed: Tips From the Pros
While most dining apps rely on reviews from diners or critics to rank restaurants, Chef's Feed — available free for iPhones and Androids — uses a different, arguably more reliable, tactic. The app consults with local, celebrity chefs to recommend a city's top dining locales.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

MyPlate Calorie Tracker
Brought to you by Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong.com, the MyPlate Calorie Tracker app boasts a database of more than 1.3 million foods (a ton of packaged products and restaurant menu items) with a simple interface to allow on-the-go calorie counting.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

Find Me Gluten Free: No Wheat Allowed
If you're one of the estimated 18 million Americans with a gluten intolerance, or dining with someone who is, the Find Me Gluten Free app — free for iPhones and Androids — is a must-have.

Credit: iTunes.apple.com

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Whether you're choosing a place for a dinner date, family meal, a takeout order, or a tempting tasting menu, the days of taking a chance on a restaurant are long gone. Thanks, in large part, to your smartphone.


The Dining Apps You Actually Need


A plethora of dining apps now offer users everything from restaurant reviews to nutritional guidance. The iPhone app store, for one, hosts well over 1,000 dining apps, while Android users can download more than 500. Some apps offer guidance for food lovers intent on finding the very best of a specific cuisine, like sushi or Thai, while others rely on user reviews, critic's ratings, or nutritional info to guide a hungry diner in the right direction.


This dining app deluge is a boon for hungry food hunters, no matter their preference. Vegetarians can find the best meat-free menus in a given city, families can tap kid-friendly spots in a snap, and procrastinating boyfriends can often score reservations mere hours before date night. Not to mention the educational potential for eaters — those watching their waistlines can find plenty of apps that offer specific breakdowns of a menu item's nutritional profile, while locavores can learn where to find the very best non-chain dining spots and food-cart fanatics can read comprehensive reviews of every taco truck in town.


But with so many apps to choose from, many of them offering similar features, it can be tough to figure out which ones will best suit your dining needs. Fortunately, we've done your work for you. Check out the following 15 must-have dining apps to turn your smartphone into a one-stop gastronomic guide.


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