Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you look for the best chocolate, ice cream parlors and bakeries in every new city you visit? Why not harness some app power to help you in your quest? Before I visit a new city, or even a new country, one of the things I never neglect is to find and visit the best candy shops around. After all, what’s a good trip without good chocolate?
If you find web search a bit frustrating in this regard, here is a small collection of apps which are dedicated to helping you find the best chocolate, ice cream or bakeries wherever you go. These might not entirely replace regular web search, as the latter will always be more updated, but it’s a great way to find new places to investigate. Bon appetite!
Chocolate Travel helps you discover everything chocolate all over the world. Unfortunately, you can’t search for things in a specific area, which is quite an oversight, but the app is still a great way to find chocolaty things to do. To start finding places, you first have to decide what you’re looking for. You can set the app to show you everything, or look only at specific things such as artisan chocolatiers, cooking classes, factory tours, hidden gems and more.
When you find a place of interest, tap it to get lots more details, prices, location and contact information.
Besides the regular search, you can also browse lots of chocolate-related photos that come from interesting places. This is real eye candy for chocolate lovers, and is worth it just for the drooling you’ll do. You can also browse places on a map, which is the best way to look for things in a certain location using this app.
All in all, the app could have more places than it does, but it’s still a great source for discovering must-visit chocolate places on your next trip.
Find Chocolate is the free (and better) sibling of Chocolate Travel, in that it offers about the same functionality using a much better interface (and price). Find Chocolate is the mobile version of the awesome Chocomap which I’ve told you about last week, and is sponsored by the famous Ecole Chocolat. The app can be browsed in two mode: list and map. By default, the map will use your current location and suggest chocolaty places nearby, but you can pull up the bottom location bar to enter a location manually.
Tapping on an interesting location will open up a separate screen with the venue’s address and website, a short description of the place, and sometimes user ratings and photos (many places are lacking these). You can also use the app to rate the place yourself.
If you can’t find a store, you can add it via the app as well. Find Chocolate is a solid solution for your sweet tooth when travelling, but if you’re looking for more than chocolate stores and chocolatiers, it won’t help you there.
Sweet Spot is a simple, Urbanspoon-like app, which concentrates only on the really good stuff – chocolate, bakeries, ice-cream, candy, etc. You won’t find any sushi on Sweet Spot, but who needs it when you can have chocolate? You can use the app to search your current location, which is what it was really meant for, or manually browse the map for a different place.
You can then filter your search according to the kind of place you’re looking for, and get the results on the map. Tapping on a name will provide further details such as contact information, Yelp reviews and directions from your current location.
Here, again, there’s inconsistency regarding the number of available places. I found a similar number of places in huge cities as in much smaller cities. It seems that the app is great for discovering places you’d be hard put to find otherwise, which I think is great, but I won’t be relying on it as my only source.
So which one should you use? All in all, Find Chocolate was the most solid app I tried, has the most options in the locations I looked at, had the option to manually enter a location, and is also available on Android. Having said that, each app has a different collection of places, and they’re all worth a download if you’re set on discovering all the interesting places. Sweet Spot is a great option if you’re interested in more than just chocolate, as it offers many other options as well.