A vegan lifestyle may not be hard, but that doesn’t mean having a little help isn’t a good thing. Like anything, mobile apps can be an invaluable resource for quick information that makes going about your day that much easier. These apps can let you know if food is or isn’t vegan, tell you where to dine out, or help you with new recipes to try.
All of these apps are available on both iOS and Android. I can’t stand when apps are only available for one platform or the other, and it seems to confuse people more than it helps when they pop up in lists like this one. That said, there are a few standouts that are only available on one type of phone.
HappyCow is easily one of the best resources for finding new places to eat and buy vegan groceries. The app lets you search by your location and provides a massive list of places nearby. You can also search using a place you plan to visit, so you can plan where to eat ahead of time.
HappyCow lists both restaurants and grocery stores, but you can easily filter your results for one or the other. The app also has separate designations for vegan, vegetarian, and restaurants with vegan options. This way, you’re never caught off guard by what a place is serving. You have the option to narrow any of it down, and pick just what you’re looking for.
There are both free and paid versions of the app, but I wasn’t able to tell the difference between them(It’s probably ads). The free one gets the job done very well, and you won’t find yourself stuck with a pay wall between you an what you’re looking for.
2. Is It Vegan?
Well, is it? This as simple a concept as you can get, but don’t let that trick you into thinking it’s not super powerful. Scan the barcode on an item, and the app will tell you whether it is or isn’t vegan. You’ll get a full breakdown of the ingredients and an explanation for your results. If your phone has a crappy camera, like mine, you can manually enter the barcode numbering too.
This app’s great for figuring out those confusingly long ingredient lists and getting a fairly definitive answer about something at a glance. There’s no need to memorize ingredients or read the list over and over. Scan, and you’ll know.
3. Bunny Free
There are several apps that let you know whether animal testing or ingredients were involved in making a product. They’re all good, but Bunny Free is the most frequently updated one that I’ve come across. The app has a gigantic list of brands and products, so there’s a good chance that whatever you’re checking into will be there.
Bunny Free is straightforward to use. You can search directly for a product or company, if you know exactly what you’re looking for. Otherwise, you can navigate through the app’s extensive list by category. If you’re looking to browse thorough companies, you can do that too, narrowing for specific preferences, like vegan products and even ones certified by PETA.
4. gonutss – Vegan Translator
It’s not always easy for new vegans to figure out which plant based foods replace old meat and dairy ingredients. Even longtime vegans occasionally struggle to find the right substitutions when veganizing a recipe. That’s where gonutss comes in.
The self described “vegan translator” app gives you recommendations based on common substitutions. You can look up non-vegan ingredients and immediately get a list of possible replacements. Gonutss also provides an excellent selection of popular vegan recipes to replace non-vegan ones. In addition to all that, the app has a list of vegan staples and the versatile ways they can be used in your cooking.
5. 21-Day Vegan Kickstart
Whether you’re new to the vegan world or you’re a junk food vegan looking for a healthy restart, the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart app might be just what you need. This app is the perfect introduction to healthy vegan living, providing guidance, sopping lists, and recipes to help you adapt to a vegan lifestyle.
When you sign up, the app gives you three weeks worth of grocery lists, chock full of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other ingredients you’ll need to make new vegan dishes from their selection of recipes. From there, you can browse or search the recipe list to find something that interests you. 21-Day Vegan Kickstart also has a couple of video series on nutrition and cooking. Use them to build a foundation for healthy vegan meal planning.
This one’s a fantastic way to find a little direction on your vegan journey, and it gives just enough structure without being overwhelming or demanding.