There’s more to life then eating tourist trap tucker. Let technology lead you to where the grub is good, the price is right, and the locals approve.
Tired of eating ‘tourist’ food when you travel? Do you want to discover local cuisine overseas but don’t know where to start? There are a host of new foodie apps now available to travellers designed to get you closer to the good stuff. Check out this roundup of 5 under-the-radar foodie apps for travellers before you jet off.
1. MEAL SHARING – WORLDWIDE
This is a goodie! Think Airbnb but for food and you’ve nailed the concept of Meal Sharing. Not an app, but a website, Meal Sharing connects travellers and locals with a flair for home cooking. With a network of home cooks spanning some 150 countries, this has got to be one of the most interesting ways to get a ‘taste’ for a foreign culture. Ditch the restaurant trail and use the site to find a local home cook instead. Once connected, your booking secures a spot at their dinner table. Payment happens through the site, so no awkward exchanging of cash after dinner, and home cooks are vetted – hosts verify their phone numbers and Facebook connect for added peace of mind – but as always, carefully check the reviews. FYI, some hosts will even let you request the very dish you’re after – for those times when only something resembling mum’s spag bol will do. Learn more about Meal Sharing here.
2. UPTASTE – LONDON
London bound? Uptaste is an awesome travel app for wanderlust junkies who are also foodies. Explore your new surroundings based upon the type of food you like to eat. Discover hidden gems other food lovers have discovered before you and check out all the local cuisine. Plus, Uptaste lets you create foodie wish lists and check items off your lists as you satiate your food cravings. Travel exploration + food finding = a yummy travel app to try. Upstate only covers London right now – and damn well, but plans are afoot to add more cities. Download for Android here, and iOS here.
3. RESY – MAJOR US CITIES
Heading to the USA? Consider yourself a ‘serious foodie’. Like, serious? Allow us to introduce Resy then. Similar to ‘OpenTable’, Resy caters to the more discerning diners with a selection of tables at some of the most sought after restaurants in major American cities. Their curated recommendations will always point you to amazing dining, and, they partner with hundreds of top restaurants across the US to offer prime-time tables, even when a restaurant is sold out. Use the app to see what’s available from one month out to day-of booking and you’re sure to find a gem. Resy currently covers New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC and San Francisco. Download Resy for Android here, and iOS here.
4. GO-JEK – INDONESIA
Off to Bali and scheming some villa hang times? Go-Jek is your transport and food delivery app of choice. Drawing on the term ‘O-jek’, a motorcycle taxi used for cheap public transportation in Indonesia, Go-jek is exactly that, an app based on scooter transport that can deliver anything from masseurs, to Pocari Sweat to top notch nasi goreng. Think Uber eats, but for Indonesia. Go-Jek does stipulate a maximum of 25 kilometers for any booking though, so if you’re down in Bingin, you won’t be ordering some of that raw organic stuff from your favourite restaurant in Ubud. Learn more about Go-Jek here.
5. HAPPY COW – WORLDWIDE
HappyCow is an online service that lists sources of vegan, vegetarian and healthy food around the world. Access is free to users, who can also provide content. From the original restaurant listings and reviews site launched in 1999, HappyCow has expanded to feature info on vegan recipes, travel, health, and other vegan topics, plus extensive reviews on listed eateries. Covering 180+ countries, this vegan food locator is a possibly the world’s top vegetarian and vegan restaurant guide. Search HappyCow to find a local café or restaurant near you or on your travels, with directions included for ease of passage. Download HappyCow for Android here and for iOS here.
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou