1. Foodzie – The goal of Foodzie, which is kind of like Etsy for food, is to create an online marketplace for locally grown, handmade, and/or artisan foods. Foodzie allows people without access to high quality food from small producers a way to get that food via the mail, and it provides farmers and small artisan producers the opportunity to more easily reach a wider audience.
2. Foodoro – Foodoro launched shortly after Foodzie and is probably the site’s biggest competitor. Operating with the same goal of providing broader access to food from small, independent producers, Foodoro is less visually polished than Foodzie but has an equally impressive amount of delicious food for sale.
3. Amazon – Amazon’s Gourmet Food section is surprisingly good. It offers a large amount of food from high-end producers, often in bulk, at reasonable prices. I have often used the site to order harder-to-find food items like beluga lentils and vital wheat gluten.
4. Local Harvest – The best, freshest food comes directly from the farm to your table. Local Harvest lets you easily find organic and locally grown food for sale in your area from farmers’ markets, food cooperatives, community supported agriculture programs, and farm stands. In addition to thousands of local listings, they also have an online shop in the vein of Foodzie or Foodoro.
5. Locavore iPhone App – The $3.99 Locavore app for the iPhone not only finds local farmers’ markets across the United States, but it also lets you know what foods are in season and which foods are coming in season soon. The app is very helpful for both menu planning and finding farm fresh foods while you’re on the road.
6. AllRecipes – AllRecipes is the mother of all recipe sites and the web’s most visited food site. With over 40,000 recipes, most submitted by users, with ratings and discussions, AllRecipes is a must stop for anyone searching for a recipe. When I’m trying to cook something new, I generally start at AllRecipes since it almost always has multiple versions of whatever it is I am planning to make.
7. Epicurious – It’s not as big as AllRecipes, but Epicurious is a lot more fancy. By combining recipes and articles from Gourmet and Bon Appétit magazines, Epicurious is one of the web’s best resources for recipes and cooking tips from some of the world’s top culinary minds.
8. Rouxbe – Rouxbe is an online cooking school and video recipe library, offering a large collection of how-to videos covering both basic and advanced cooking techniques and entire recipes. What really sets Rouxbe apart from other food video blogs is the production value and amazing video player. Rouxbe videos easily rival the cooking shows you’ll find on public television or the Food Network in terms of quality, both in content and production. Further, their Flash video player lets you jump between chapters, and recipe videos are accompanied by detailed text and image-based descriptions.
9. Foodista – You can’t cook great food until you learn the basics, and Foodista is a great place to turn when something stumps you in the kitchen. Foodista is a wiki-based food encyclopedia (meaning anyone can edit it) that includes entries for foods, tools, techniques, and even recipes (so you can apply your newfound food knowledge).
10. Nibbledish – If AllRecipes is the biggest community recipe site on the web, then Nibbledish (formerly Open Source Food) is easily the most beautiful. Nibbledish calls itself a “gastronomic hub where every visit will bring inspiration and a rumbling belly.” It’s also home to over 2,000 Creative Commons licensed recipes with photos. It’s that liberal license and the site’s mouthwatering photography that really make Nibbledish special.
11. Yelp – Sometimes you just want someone else to do the cooking, and Yelp is easily one of the best places to find a good restaurant. The crowd-powered site offers ratings and reviews of thousands of restaurants (and other local businesses) all over the United States.
12. Urban Spoon – Of all the challengers to Yelp in the local review market, Urban Spoon might be one of the best. The site combines user reviews with those of critics and food bloggers for thousands of restaurants. What really sets Urban Spoon apart, though, is their highly useful iPhone app that lets you easily find local restaurant options, filtered by cuisine, neighborhood, and price.
13. Chow – In addition to recipes and food blogs, Chow has a large directory of restaurants and bars in a handful of US cities. Each listing is linked to the site’s even larger foodie discussion community, so that visitors have quick and easy access to any forum thread that mentions that eatery.
14. The Ghetto Gourmet – A growing trend in North America is underground supper clubs. At these clubs, friends and strangers meet to eat freshly prepared gourmet food, usually made from farm fresh local ingredients and served family style. There are a sizable number of supper clubs operating across the US and Canada (and elsewhere in the world), but the Ghetto Gourmet is one of the largest networks, with many supper clubs meeting each month across the continent. The site has a calendar so you can find one near you, or start one of your own.
15. FriendsEat – FriendsEat is a social network for foodies that combines restaurant reviews for a large number of American cities with food blogs, recipes, and a Yahoo! Answers-style question and answer site.