Android App Review: Epicurious

Nate Allen
Columnist from  Indianola, IA
| August 9, 2010


What’s Good:  Thousands of recipes, photos, reviews, and shopping lists; Recipes are separated by event type to find applicable recipes more quickly.

What’s Bad:  Many recipes contain ingredients that are hard to find. Recipes seem geared towards those with more refined palates.

The Verdict:  Epicuriuos is a well designed app that lets users quickly browse recipes for specific occasions, but the lack of “low-brow” recipe options will lead many to discontinue using the app quickly.


Epicurious is a multi-platform recipe finder and cookbook app that is very, very full-featured.  Basically, if you can think of the recipe-related feature, this app probably has it.  Epicurious boasts 25,000 recipes from various magazines, cookbooks, as well as those that have been submitted by renowned chefs.

From the home-screen of the app, the user is presented with a list of options, which serve as recipe filters to narrow the selection of recipes to those that are most applicable for a user’s desired event or purpose. For example one of the filter options is “Fast Breakfasts.” Upon the selection of the fast breakfasts option, only breakfast recipes are presented to the user.  Another option for finding recipes is to use the search feature, which is presented as an option along the bottom of the screen at all times while using the app.  A user has the option to search by keyword, or choose from among several pre-defined options ranging from the type of main ingredient, the meal or course type (i.e. breakfast, brunch, lunch, appetizer, etc.), the cultural origin of the cuisine, dietary options (i.e. low fat, low carb, vegan, kosher, etc.), and several others.  There is even a voice search option.  When considering a recipe, a user can read user-submitted reviews, which seem surprisingly detailed and helpful.

Once a recipe has been selected for use, the user would click the “plus (+)” sign at the upper left-hand corner of the photo.  A list of “recipe options” are then presented, including to add the selected recipe to a favorites list, a shopping list, or to email the recipe.  By adding the recipe to the favorites list, the recipe is stored for future use with the aforementioned recipe options available on demand.  By adding the recipe to a shopping list, the ingredients are listed in the shopping list for easy access at the grocery store.

I found the recipes to be more “high-brow” than I would typically eat, and many contained ingredients that would be hard-to-find or expensive. Most of the recipes that I looked through included a very visually appealing photo that helped to figure out what the particular dish would look like, especially when the name of the dish was ambiguous. I found the photo to be a big help over traditional cookbooks like my mom used to use…you know, the good ones that you get from a church bazaar that include the best recipe passed down between generations in that member’s family.  Many recipe books available today from famous chefs, like those commonly found on the Food Network, would contain similar photos, would likely be similarly high-brow, and would probably require similar hard to find ingredients.

I give the Epicurious app high marks for is feature set and usability, but unfortunately, I can’t see myself using it very often to plan meals due to its emphasis on meals that require specific ingredients that I would likely never have in my house, or that I couldn’t find at my local grocery store.  I could definitely see myself using it to plan a meal for a special occasion.
What about the rest of you? You love your Android apps, and you’ve got to eat...let me know what you think about Epicurious.  Do you use it and love it, or do you share my opinion and find it useful for those with more refined palates?  Share your thoughts in the comments!