Digital revolution

Apps for restaurants and food
Want to make this dish by Chef Dan Barber? There's an app for that. (Photo credit: Emilie Baltz; Food and Props Styling: Mariana Velasquez)

Updated Jul 6, 2017 @ 11:06 am

We’ve taken a tip from the Girl Scouts (their motto that is, not the cookies) when it comes to eating better: “Be Prepared.”

That means we consider it our duty to be armed with a stainless steel water bottle and a bag with a couple of tasty snacks thrown in. Recently, we’ve included our phones in our ongoing healthier eating quest with three wonderful apps.

Clean Plates Healthy Restaurant Guide
(New York and Los Angeles, with more cities coming soon.)
Yes, this is a shameless plug, but if you’ve used our free iOS app in the past, get ready to have your mind blown by version 2.0. We’ve given it a makeover with a totally new interface and our list of Top 100 most highly rated, Clean Plates-approved restaurants in NYC and LA. Our nifty geo-location tool means you can easily find restaurants near where you are at any given moment and search by location, cuisine type, cost and dietary preferences including: Clean Meats, Clean Fish, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten-Free and Clean Desserts. You can even add restaurants to our “My List” feature so you’ll always have a gameplan for new places you want to check out.

Phone app by Clean Plates
Pair up the clean plates and ROC apps for a clean eating, socially responsible dining option power search.

ROC National Diners’ Guide
If you care about where your food comes from and how it was raised or grown, you should also care about who is making your food. This free guide for iPhone or Android from Restaurant Opportunities Center United provides information on the wage and benefit practices of the 150 most popular restaurants in America, while listing responsible picks in major cities across the U.S. That kale salad tastes better when it’s made by a chef who’s provided with paid sick days and served by a waiter who makes a living wage.

James Beard Foundation Vegetables: Recipes by JBF Award–Winning Chefs
Download this app for iPhone or Android (5 recipes free; $3.99 for full access; free to JBF members) and it will be like you’ve got a private chef (take your pick from Thomas Keller, Alice Waters and others) in your home kitchen. Recipes like seared fennel with fennel purée, swiss chard ribs and beet salad with mango, feta, orange and mint are demonstrated in step-by-step high-definition photos and short videos. The app can even email you a complete shopping list or suggest needed cooking gear.