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Here's 11 of our favorite food apps: What are we missing?


Take an early look at what's coming in Thursday's Food section -- L.A. Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila dishes on her favorite IPhone apps -- and then tell us what apps we might have overlooked. Share your favorite apps in the comments section below. 

When I first got my  iPhone, I was thrilled to discover Convertbot, which made it fun and easy to convert ingredient quantities or temperatures from my British cookbooks. That app, it turned out, was just a taste of the onslaught of food and wine apps to come -- so many, you'd have to be a full-time app tester to try them all out. (Unfortunately, I have another job.)


But I do try a lot. Here are apps for the iPhone that I've found most useful. Several are also available on the Android platform.

´╗┐--S. Irene Virbila


--S. Irene Virbila's favorite wines

--S. Irene Virbila's favorite restaurants

--S. Irene Virbila's favorite places for brunch


´╗┐Photo credit: Richard Derk / Los Angeles Times

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I have an Android phone, so can only speak about my experience with that OS.

The "Yelp" application is definitely one to have. Say what you will about the reliability of reviewers on Yelp, but so far it is the best location-based restaurant finder that I have tried for Android. I turn on the location finder on my phone, start Yelp, and it tells me what is nearby, while also giving reviews, basic information and often a link to the restaurant's website. Other apps (like Google Maps, Urban Spoon, etc.) just don't work as well. Recently, when on a business trip in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego, it worked like a charm, pointing me and my colleagues to a restaurant with tasty dumplings.

Everyone should have some kind of shopping list app for keeping track of the items needed from the various shops. I, for example, have separate lists for the farmers market, local grocery store, Japanese specialty store, and miscellaneous ethnic stores. I like Easy Note because it has multiple categories and is pretty easy to use. Theoretically you can back up your lists to Google Docs but that has not worked well for me.

Strangely enough, I have not been able to find a suitable timer for Android -- everything I have downloaded comes up short in one way or another.


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