Appetites

Appetites

A step-by-step cooking instruction app, with each recipe illustrated on video. Recipe packs cost $0.99 to $7.99.

BigOven

BigOven

A hugely popular recipe app, BigOven offers more than 250,000 recipes, as well as an offline grocery list feature. "Pro" membership gets rid of the ads and lets you add personal notes to recipes.

Epicurious

Epicurious

This classic, elegantly designed app from Condé Nast Digital offers free access to recipes from Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Self magazines.

Evernote Food

Evernote Food

An offshoot of the online notekeeping service Evernote, this gorgeous app helps you save and annotate your favorite cooking and restaurant-going experiences.

Foodily

Foodily

Foodily is the world's largest social recipe network. It's all about sharing the recipes you've cooked and finding out what your friends are cooking and eating.

Foodspotting

Foodspotting

Now owned by the restaurant reservation service OpenTable, Foodspotting is still one of the best apps for finding, rating, and sharing photos of your favorite dishes at local restaurants.

Panna

Panna

A new video cooking magazine, Panna is winning rave reviews for its professionally produced videos starring famous chefs like Rick Bayliss.

Paprika

Paprika

If you want a no-nonsense app for managing meal planning, grocery lists, and recipes, Paprika is one of the best choices.

Sara's Kitchen

Sara's Kitchen

This app from TV chef Sara Moulton includes 60 easy-to-prepare recipes "for home cooks who want to prepare something new for the family without breaking the bank or spending hours in the kitchen." Instructional videos included.

Seamless

Seamless

Seamless makes it fast and easy to order food for delivery or takeout. It works for restaraunts in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC, and soon Austin and Seattle.

Shopwell

Shopwell

Sometimes the nutritional information on food packages isn't enough to help you figure out whether a food item is healthy for you. Shopwell lets you scan barcodes to get more information, and rates each food according to how well it matches your personal dietary needs.

Tyler Florence Fresh

Tyler Florence Fresh

This isn't an app, but rather a great example of the new genre of "enhanced" e-cookbooks available through Apple's iBooks and other e-book stores. In addition to the full text of the print book (with 85 recipes), it's got extras like video and pop-up cooking tips.

Urbanspoon

Urbanspoon

An oldie but a goodie, Urbanspoon is one the best apps for finding restaurants near you and seeing how customers rate them.

Wolfram Culinary Mathematics

Wolfram Culinary Mathematics

Kitchen geeks will love this app from Wolfram Alpha. It provides detailed nutritional information for foods or whole meals and helps you convert measurements and perform other kinds of calculations.

Yummly

Yummly

Yummly is a comprehensive recipe search engine that not only indexes millions of recipes from across the Web, but understands important aspects of food such as ingredients and nutritional data, allowing you to customize searches accordingly. There's no Yummly app, but growing numbers of developers are tapping into Yummly's database to power their own apps.

Phones and food are a match cooked up in heaven. Sometimes it seems as if our mobile gadgets were specifically designed to mesh with our cooking and eating habits.

After all, you don’t lug your desktop or laptop computer with you when you’re going out to a restaurant. When you want to find a great place to eat, or document or share a fantastic meal, your smartphone is the natural tool.

You probably don’t take your computer into the kitchen, either. But it’s the perfect setting for a tablet, which you can use to look up recipes or follow instructional videos.

On top of all that, pictures of food just look great on the high-resolution touchscreens of today’s smartphones and tablets. The mobile revolution has probably done more to boost the “food porn” genre than scores of old cooking shows and magazines.

App builders and publishers are fast coming to understand the fit between food and mobile technology. Here in San Francisco, where I’m based, we’ve seen a ton of activity in the food-tech sector just in the last week, with events like the Food Hackathon and the annual meeting of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the theme of which was “Dirt to Digital: Real Food in a Virtual World.”

In honor of all that, we’ve put together a visual guide to 15 of our favorite food apps (see the slide show above). Below is a quick list of the apps we’ve included, with price information and links to the iOS and Android versions of each app, where available. Bon appétit!

Appetites | in-app purchases $0.99 to $2.99 | iOS

BigOven | iOS | Android

Epicurious | free | iOS | Android

Evernote Food | free | iOS | Android

Foodily | free | iOS

Foodspotting | free | iOS | Android

Paprika | $4.99 | iOS | Android

Panna | $4.99 per issue | iOS

Sara’s Kitchen | free| iOS

Seamless | free| iOS | Android

Shopwell | free| iOS

Tyler Florence Fresh | $14.99 | iBooks

Urbanspoon | free | iOS | Android

Wolfram Culinary Mathematics | $1.99 | iOS

Yummly | free | Web

The Author

Wade Roush is Chief Correspondent and Editor At Large at Xconomy. You can subscribe to his Google Group or e-mail him at wroush@xconomy.com.

  • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

    Check out Fooducate too – Free for iOS and Android. Winner of the US Surgeon General’s Healthy App Challenge. http://www.fooducate.com

  • TomasHunter

    Thanks for the great suggestions, Wade. I think I might check out Big Oven and Urbanspoon later tonight after I get home from my shift at DISH. I use another great app in the kitchen called DISH Anywhere. I can use it on my phone or tablet to stream my favorite live or recorded programs anywhere I go. I love it because I can stream the Food Network to my kitchen, and I can cook along with my favorite chefs.

  • http://twitter.com/DSusan2013 Susan

    I’ll take Recipes By ingredients over Big Oven any day, I do love evernote food though. Recipes is free and ad free with better search functionality.

  • take away

    Now its time to manage your daily life using such apps. From your food to everything. You should have a look http://goo.gl/cshgO

    An app which makes your life too easy.

  • Where’s This From

    We’d also like to submit our app for consideration. Where’s This From is a free app for iPhone and Android and gives you provenance, hygiene and animal welfare information on the meat you buy from UK supermarkets. Check out http://www.wheresthisfrom.com for more info. Thanks!