We have created a list of the best travel apps and websites for food travellers (and we commented on each one). This list will help you to learn more about the gastronomy of the countries, find food tours and experiences with local people, search where to eat and even book restaurants during your trip.
Skip to: Short list at the end of the post
Platforms to find Food Tours, Cooking Classes and Experiences with Locals:
Recently there has been a boom of platforms that connect travellers with local people. They are peer-to-peer platforms, where experiences are registered by the hosts. The main difference from one platform to the other is the type of experience offered and available market. We have created a list with the most known platforms to help you make the most of your trip.
Platforms exclusive to gastronomic experiences:
- Bon Appetour – in this platform, you will find private dinners, pop-up events, tastings, food tours and cooking classes.
- Travelling Spoon – focused on dinners at people’s house. As additional options, some experiences offer cooking classes and visits to the market.
- Eat with – present in +130 countries, is the platform with the broader global availability. It offers dinners, cooking classes and food tours.
- Cookly – the only one specialized in cooking classes, present in several countries.
- Dinneer – the only Brazilian startup in the industry. Known by its experiences in Brazil and abroad with Brazilian hosts.
Platforms not exclusive to gastronomic experiences
- Backstreet Academy – experiences with local + social impact. The platform works with projects that preserve traditional culture and help in the development of communities.
- With locals – besides gastronomic experiences, also offers workshops, historical and cultural tours.
- Airbnb experiences – for being part of Airbnb, it is very well known and has a great variety of experiences. You will find many types of experiences, from the most common to the most unusual ones.
Food Tour self-guided via App
- bitemojo – a new app that offers self-guided food tours in specific neighbourhoods from different cities around the world. The app gives you information about the history of the neighbourhood and guides you through a route to different restaurants. The restaurants offer individual bites which are small portions that allow you to savour while walking to the next stop. Meals are included in the tour price.
Travel apps and platforms to find restaurants (and some to make reservations)
There are several travel apps and platforms to search for restaurants in destinations, the most famous among travellers is the TripAdvisor. Now, do you want a bit of advice? Skip TripAdvisor to find restaurants. Precisely because it is associated with travelling, most of the reviews are not done by local people. Several times we tried to use it we ended up in totally touristic places without any authenticity. To explore local food, we recommend evaluating the apps that local people use on a daily basis. Other options:
- Yelp – popular in the USA. It also offers restaurant reservations through Yelp Reservations.
- Zomato – an Indian startup that is already working in +24 countries. In some destinations, you can make reservations.
- Google Maps – the explore function in the Google Maps works fine when you’re already at the destination and looking to find something near your location. You can read reviews, and it even gives you a % of how much the restaurant matches your interests based on your history of visited places. Note: consider reviews from locals, it is possible to figure out by the original review language and by the username.
- The Fork – is a TripAdvisor company, we have included in the list because it focuses on table reservation with a discount program.
- Open Table – one of the pioneers in restaurant reservations, very strong in the US, but is also used in Europe and other major cities.
App to search for vegetarian restaurants
- Happy Cow – the best friend of vegetarian and vegan food travellers. It’s an app that searches for restaurants, bars and plant-based cafes (or with vegetarian/vegan options), plus having a vegan-only directory with Bed & Breakfast retreats. The heart of Happy Cow is the restaurant search and rating system by location, but the platform is also a community based with plenty of vegan content.
Food and Travel apps and websites to learn more about the cuisine of different countries:
- Taste Atlas – an interactive world map of food and drinks, where you can “travel” to any country, read about the typical dishes, drinks, and restaurants. You can also create a profile on the site and recommend restaurants and new dishes for the catalogue. The navigation on the map is super easy, a great tool to know more about your next food destination.
- Gastro Obscura – general information about typical cuisines. A great source for those who want to take a step beyond the conventional and know foods and drinks that are more eccentric. This platform is part of Atlas Obscura, that is, it explores everything that is unusual and curious. You can also create a profile on the platform to save content in a wish list, bookmark the dishes you have tried and places you have visited, and participate in community discussions.
- Food’n Road and other blogs dedicated to food travel – one of the best ways to plan a trip is to rely on the experience of those who have been in the destination and travel in the same way as you do. The Food’n Road for Food Travellers specializes in exploring the food culture of countries and publish the findings to facilitate planning for travellers who want to explore a destination through its gastronomy.
- Ark of Taste website from the Slow Food movement – a worldwide catalogue that seeks to disseminate ingredients and gastronomic products that are part of the culture and tradition of a country but are almost forgotten and at risk of extinction. The catalogue is country-segmented and reflects its biodiversity. During our travels, we use the Ark of Taste as a tool to know and understand what is original in the country.
➤ Demonstrating interest in native ingredients and valuing their use is a way of preserving cultural heritage.
Short list of travel and gastronomy Sites and Apps for gastronomic travellers:
- Bon Appetour – gastronomic experiences
- Travelling Spoon – dinners in the home of local people
- Eat with – gastronomic experiences with local
- Cookly – cooking classes
- Dinneer – gastronomic experiences with local (Brazil focus)
- Backstreet Academy – general experience + social impact
- With Locals – general experiences
- Airbnb experiences – general experiences
- bitemojo – self-guided tour via app
- Yelp – search for restaurants and other establishments
- Zomato – restaurant search and table reservation
- Google Maps – search for restaurants and other establishments
- Happy Cow – search for vegetarian restaurants
- The Fork – table reservation
- OpenTable – table reservation
- Taste Atlas – world atlas of typical dishes by country
- Gastro Obscura – curious dishes and culinary traditions
- Food’n Road – blog specialized in food travel
- Ark of Taste – a catalogue of products and food ingredients that need to be preserved
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