Food Apps of the Week: Street Food

By on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010


Food trucks have never been hotter. If you’ve ever chased one down and had some of the gourmet street food flying out of them, you’d know why. Part of the fun, you also know, is the chase. Here are some apps designed to help you find the best curbside grub in your area.

Food Trucker
Developer:
Clayton Kane
Cost: Free
Runs on: iPhone
Website: http://food-trucker.com

It’s difficult to be tough on an app that’s free. That being said, this app doesn’t put a lot of mustard on the hot dog. In short, this app is nothing more than the Twitter feeds of various food trucks throughout nine U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Portland, Washington DC, Cincinnati, and Boston. Each city includes a running feed, as well as a list of the trucks they feature. It’s convenient if you don’t want to build your own twitter lists, but you can’t add your own city or trucks so you may want to anyway. When you’re in the Featured view, you can stay within the app and view their website and also click to see where they last set their coordinates, but outside of that it’s just a reader. You can’t save or mark your favorite trucks, you can’t be notified when a truck is near, you can’t even retweet what you’re reading. The iTunes store says this app is free for a limited time. If they begin charging, hit the brakes on this truck.

Toque Rating:
2/5

Road Stoves GPS
Developer: Mobile Restaurants, LLC
Cost: $0.99
Runs on: Android, iPhone
Website: www.roadstoves.com

This truck is really moving. The Road Stove GPS app starts as you’d hope, asking to know where you are. Once it has your location the app brings up a list of trucks in your area. You can display food trucks within 5, 20 or 50 miles. You can also view a map displaying pushpins of all the trucks around you or all the trucks in its database. When you select a food truck (from the menu or map) to get more information, you can view their menu items (some include price and even add-ons), twitter feed, and with one click get driving directions—a killer function. The downside is that when a truck is off the grid, you’re mostly left with just a Twitter feed or empty map. It would be nice if you could access more information from this app when the trucks are refueling, but if you’re looking for a way to find food trucks in your area, this app delivers.

Toque Rating:
4.5/5

Austin Food Trailer Finder
Developer: James Logan
Cost: Free
Runs on: iPhone
Website: www.headlessdonkey.com

You know how Craigslist looks terrible, but functions well? This app makes Craigslist look like it was designed by Michelangelo. The functionality also falls a bit short, but you’ll probably be surprised when you compare it to the design. So what does this app do? It helps you sort through the booming food trailer scene in Austin, Texas. View trailers on a map, search by food type, or search by name. You can also check out various food trailer blogs. This app provides an excellent database of information and is very responsive when you’re sorting from say Indian to PoBoys. Click on a trailer name and you’re taken to a page with the address (linking to a map), link to their website and even a link to Yelp! reviews. Many of these pages also include snapshots of the trailer—although just small thumbnails. In whole, this app provides very helpful information, but could definitely use some polish.

Toque Rating:
2.5/5


Los Angeles Street Food
Developer: Sutro Media
Cost: $1.99
Runs on: iPhone
Website: www.sutromedia.com

If you live in or around Los Angeles, grab this app. Design is gorgeous, loaded with great information and packed with functionality that’ll make you wonder how you found food without it. You open up to a list view that provides the name of food purveyors along with photos, prices and the distance from your current location. You can sort the list by food type or a variety of other categories, such as “Late-night.” Click on a street food provider and you’re taken to a custom page offering a slideshow of pictures, map (with a one-click button to call a taxi with price estimate), prices, description, hours, contact information, the ability to mark it as a favorite or even post comments. You can also share this information with friends. If you’re looking for more ways to find what you’re looking for you can cross-reference your search by name, distance, cost or even neighborhood.

Toque Rating:
5/5


New York Street Food
Developer: Perry Resnick
Cost: $0.99
Runs on: iPhone, iPad, Android
Website: http://newyorkstreetfood.com

Sorry New York, the West Coast wins this battle. New York Street Food launches into a map view stuffed with icons of street food fare. You can sort what icons show based on food type, but that’s it. Click on an icon and you’re launched into a shallow description with links to a map or their website—Facebook Connect is also available. In general, this app doesn’t offer much information. For example, from the main page there’s a link to Trucks on Twitter, but it launches out of the app and to the developer’s Twitter list. You can also view the food spots in a list view, which presents only their distance from your current location and category. When comparing this app to the LA Street Food app, the $0.99 feels like a rip off. You’re better off saving that money to purchase a street taco.

Toque Rating:
1.5/5

Written by Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hitched, a service and lifestyle online magazine for married couples. When Steve is not not researching or dispensing relationship information, he's reading, eating or marrying flavors together in the kitchen.

14 Comments

  1. A whole host of apps to help you find today's lunch. Food truck apps review on Toque: http://tinyurl.com/2fvfauq

  2. Erika Kotite says:

    A whole host of apps to help you find today's lunch. Food truck apps review on Toque: http://tinyurl.com/2fvfauq

  3. Steve Cooper says:

    Looking for street food? RT @toquemag: Host of apps 2 help u find today's lunch. Food truck apps review on Toque: http://tinyurl.com/2fvfauq

  4. RT @etkotite: A whole host of apps to help you find today's lunch. Food truck apps review on Toque: http://tinyurl.com/2fvfauq

  5. The best (LA Street Food, Road Stoves GPS) and worst street food iPhone apps reviewed @toquemag http://bit.ly/aVSt8y

  6. Noelle says:

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