So I've never actually been a fan of Tinder. The one time I tried it, I got myself into an uncomfy situation where I didn't realize how messages worked and responded weeks later instead of minutes. But Howudish is a personal consolation prize, because it works the way Tinder does, but with food!

The goal is to help you maintain dietary preferences and make sense of restaurant menus when eating out. By letting users swipe through individual dishes, the app is your new favorite culinary matchmaker.

How it works

Howudish first has you input personal information like weight, diet preferences, and health goals. Then, you tell the app where you're eating, and it searches nearby restaurant menus for curated, diet-specific menu options.

The app presents dishes on the home screen that match your diet preferences, within your specific location. When planning your night out, you can swipe right on dishes that appeal to you, and the app saves them to your account for 24 hours.

Swipe left on the dishes you are no longer interested in trying and they will be removed from your inventory. Each user also gets access to 10 saved dishes, which stay in your inventory indefinitely.

#SpoonTip: Tap once on a dish on your main screen to see its nutritional information.

Premium features

With a premium subscription, you have the ability to use unlimited swipes and saves, as well as access to recipes, the ability to search in different locations, an "oops to undo" on swipes, and an ad-free app experience.

Another premium feature is cheat mode, which allows you to expand your dish search to show the least worst options in order to cheat on your diet. It's triggered by tapping a pizza icon on the bottom right on your screen (because of course it is).

You can sign up for a monthly premium subscription for $4.99/month, or for an annual subscription at $49.99/year.

What I think

This app is definitely a fun idea, and I appreciate the user interface design of how intuitive it is. However, there are definitely some complications—the app is only available on iPhones and in the US. There are also pretty limited options in areas outside of major cities, and they're a bit slower on adding more restaurants than I'd like.

But the initial idea of having a guide to eating out is a win for me. Even though I'm not a huge proponent of dieting for the sake of dieting, I put a lot of effort into maintaining a healthy balance in my life. I appreciate the app's ability to guide me to restaurants that can provide me with inspiration going in and satisfaction in my options when I get there.

I'm hung up a bit on the premium features, because it's really expensive for an app. And the premium features, especially the recipes, are my favorite parts of the app. So the free version might not be worth it until the app expands into more areas and more restaurants, and the premium might not be worth the price.

I'm glad I know about this app, and I'm glad that the developers are working on improving it as they go, rather than just postponing the launch. They're really trying for user feedback—I'm always down for that. But the options could definitely be improved, and I'm not sure how many restaurants will actually be incorporated in the near future.