We love it when we can get opinions from an industry insider (just look at our Travel Tastemakers series if you need proof), and though we've written about chef recommendation apps before, the Find. Eat. Drink. app (free for iPhone) provides a depth of content we can't help but get excited about.
Released earlier this month from Find. Eat. Drink. (F.E.D.), this app is a mobile repository of culinary recommendations from people who, we'll say it, know a lot more about good food than the rest of us. From bartenders like Alex Day (Death and Co.) to chefs like Eric Ripert and Bobby Flay, plus restaurateurs, sommeliers, and cheesemakers, the app provides a curated experience for any budget and taste.
Note: Upon initial installation, the app ran a bit slowly, but seemed to speed up upon further use.
Functionally, it allows browsing by category (restaurants, bars, coffee and tea, shops and markets, drink producers) or location, and then provides a filter including (again) category, as well as neighborhood, type of recommender, price, and user rating. It is a little annoying that the current location shortcut button is defaulted to a 10 mile radius; in a city like New York, that floods your app with choices, which THEN you have to filter down. You can, however, search initially by zip code, which will limit the results.
Once you choose a restaurant or bar, you get contact information, a map, user ratings, hours, and other descriptive details for that property. You can share the location on Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, or email. You can even email F.E.D. about a particular restaurant from within the app.
Not looking to browse an entire city? A "Near Me" function allows you to set the search radius a little closer to home, and a Lists tab not only provides an F.E.D. Favorites list, but allows you to add and edit your own list. Finally, a Pros tab lets you search for and filter professionals whose opinions matter most to you. A refresh function makes sure your app is up to date with all the latest recommendations.
Overall, it's a neat and user-friendly app with quality content and slick functionality, and is a handy cheat sheet for out-of-town guests or for when you are an out-of-town guest.
Deanna Cioppa is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. When not in the air or on the road, she can be found bellied up to a raw bar, martini in hand, or in the mountains, martini in pack. She's a regular contributor and guest editor of Fodors.com, and has written for BudgetTravel.com, ShermansTravel.com, GO Magazine, and others. www.deannacioppa.com or @likeitsmyjob
Photo credits: Courtesy of Find.Eat.Drink.