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Monday, April 8, 2013

Five Apps for Urban Hunting and Gathering

Posted By on Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM


By Max Cherney

Urban hunting and gathering, meet the 21st century.

Finding the best food and ingredients is something of an art. Especially in San Francisco. There are dozens of options for meals -- ranging from preparing something with fresh ingredients from one of the many farmer's markets, to grabbing a bite from a nearby food truck. Or even the plain old grocery store.

While everyone knows Yelp, which is a great source of reviews, there are other apps that can help find the most delicious, fresh foods -- and sometimes, have that food delivered. We've found five that will help find the best meals and ingredients in the city.

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Instacart offers same day grocery shopping and delivery service from Safeway, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market. Instacart actually sends personal shoppers to each store to fill orders and offers a wide range of fresh and pre-packaged foods. For Whole Foods it even includes fresh offerings from the seafood and meat counters.

The company charges $3.99 for delivery on orders over $35, and offers free delivery on orders over $60. But, make sure to check pricing before you buy. Instacart prices aren't the same as in the store -- but maybe that extra ten cents for a Trader Joe's banana is worth it. After all, the banana is delivered to your door.


  • Locavore

Locavore is an app that helps people find local, seasonal ingredients. The app uses data from Local Dirt to help locate produce available at nearby farmer's markets and even farms. The app also features customized daily updates on your favorite locally produced ingredients -- fruits, vegetables, and even grains, dairy, and meats.

Locavore also encourages social sharing - photos of produce, and sellers, as well as locally created dishes. The app also includes thousands of seasonal recipes in case you get short on ideas.


  • Truxmap

TruxMap is pretty much what it sounds like. It's an app that displays a map of the city with all of the open food trucks on it. With about 150 trucks listed across the Bay Area, it's coverage looks pretty good.

It's a nice alternative to following all 150 trucks on Twitter. Can you imagine following all 150 and trying to keep up with their tweets -- when you're hungry?


  • Munchery

Munchery utilizes a network of chefs in the San Francisco, to offer affordable, personal chef service. And they deliver. With ingredients from local and organic sources when possible, Munchery offers a compelling alternative to restaurant service.

Entrees are about $14, and most chefs also offer side dishes that run between $4 and $6. Some offer dessert. Yes, you can also order wine from Munchery. Delivery costs vary by neighborhood, but are under $4 in the city. Munchery meals are designed to be heated in an oven or microwave before digging in.

Get It Now

  • Get It Now

Get It Now uses a network of couriers -- including bike messengers, scooters, cars, and trucks -- to deliver purchases items, like say, a restaurant meal, from anywhere in the city. The app pre-authorizes your credit card for the cost of the purchase, plus a delivery charge. Delivery fees starting at $5.99, and vary based on the delivered item, and effort involved with the delivery.

Get It Now couriers, called Postmates, can also deliver booze. So, drink up, San Francisco.

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