Whether you were looking for better restaurants, wine, coffee or recipes, the iPhone came through with plenty of apps to suit your needs in 2012. Long gone are the days of relying on friendly word of mouth and large cookbooks for any of the above, now we have apps to tell us what to like. I kid, but really, if you weren’t happy with your food situation this year, you have only yourself to blame. Below are some of our favorite food & dining apps of 2012.
Sara’s Kitchen ($2.99)
Sara’s Kitchen has the honor of winning “Best Overall” in Toque Magazine’s 2nd annual Food App Awards. The app, created by chef Sara Moulton, features 60 health-conscious recipes that promise to be as tasty as they are simple to make. Sara’s Kitchen also has video demonstrations and photographs for her recipes. Users can even e-mail Sara herself to ask questions about the recipes.
Wine Spectator WineRatings+ (Free)
If you like wine even a bit, Wine Spectactor WineRatings+ should be on your must-have app list. The vintage vino app packs tons of information, both free and premium, into its package. For free, users can learn all about different types of wine by viewing the information provided about 55 of the world’s wine regions and grape varieties. WineRatings+ also has a news feed to give you the latest industry news. For an additional $2.99, users get access to wine ratings for over 270,000 bottles. The ratings include tasting notes, prices and recommended drinking windows. Premium users also get access to expert picks and saving and sharing features so you never forget the wine you want to remember.
It’s entirely possible this app could have been an iPhone wallpaper of The Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis posing next to a dinner plate and it would have made the list, but thankfully for everyone reading, it is more than that. Giada is a collection of the titular chef’s favorite dinner recipes, complete with video tips on simplifying your cooking techniques. As an added bonus, there’s a section called “Sound Bites” (get it?) that aims to help you pronounce food-words just like Giada, presumably so you can impress your dinner guests the next time you throw a social event.
Food Network On The Road (Free)
If you like the idea of travelling the United States to check out unique eateries but don’t want to involve Guy Fieri, Food Network On The Road is the app for you. On The Road features restaurants from Food Network shows like "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"; "Best Thing I Ever Ate, $24 in 24"; "Cupcake Wars"; and "Giada’s Weekend Getaways"; and helpfully maps them out so you can drive and then eat to your heart’s content. The app even lets you search by city, chef, show, cuisine and more.
Great Coffee App ($0.99)
Stop drinking mediocre coffee! The Great Coffee App features 16 of the most popular espresso-based drinks, from regular Espresso to Late, Americano, Cappuccino, and even Irish coffee. The app comes filled with facts on each drink featured, and also includes demonstrations on how to make the drinks yourself. While that might not seem interesting to the layperson, to a coffee fanatic, it helps it stand out as one of the year’s best apps.