Grubbable: Local & Natural Dining at Your Fingertips

By: Amber Ogden | December 16, 2015
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When dining out, how important is it to you that the dishes you’re ordering are locally sourced and naturally grown? Wouldn’t it be great to know which restaurants in southeast Michigan value local sourcing of food? There’s an app for that!

Since most of us have a cell phone handy at any given time, it only makes sense that Grubbable, an app that lists Metro Detroit restaurants with naturally and locally sourced dishes, exists to make our lives easier, not to mention healthier.

Mike Feng, co-founder of Grubbable, initially saw the need for such an app when he realized how difficult it is to know what ingredients restaurants use in their dishes.

“What we found is that we would eat out at the same places over and over again, because those are the places (where) we knew we weren’t eating factory farmed chicken or tons of insecticides or synthetic fertilizers,” Feng said.


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In order for a restaurant to qualify for a listing on Grubbable, it must meet the app’s standards of both local and natural.


(Photo courtesy of Mike Feng)

“If a restaurant sources some local and some natural (ingredients), they qualify. But their local/natural has to fall within one of our main categories, which are produce and then all the proteins,” Feng explained, which include beef, poultry, pork and seafood.

In order to qualify as local or natural, one of those produce or protein items must be more than 50 percent locally sourced and one more than 50 percent all natural. Grubbable’s definition of local is pretty straightforward (within 400 miles of Detroit or within the state of Michigan), but natural is different for each ingredient. Those terms and standards can be found here.

“What we’re trying to encourage people to do is eat local because it supports the local economy, first of all,” Feng said. “The short version is that money spent locally stays locally.”

Beyond the economic benefits are the environmental ones: local, natural food doesn’t have as much of a carbon footprint and isn’t covered in as many damaging fertilizers and chemicals, either.

If you’re still on the fence about eating locally, naturally grown foods because of an increase in price or fear of trying out a new lifestyle, just consider your overall health:

“One of our biggest things is education,” Feng said. “People say, ‘you are what you eat,’ but do people really know what they’re eating?”

Grubbable is free to download and costs just $0.99/month after the first month. Grubbable Members also save 10 percent off entrees at partnering restaurants, and your first paid month’s fee goes directly to a local nonprofit.

Currently, there are 104 eateries partnered with Grubbable, including Rose’s Fine Food, Sister Pie, Gold Cash Gold, Coach Insignia, Nice Modern Creamery, Socra Tea and more. Find the full list here.

For more information on Grubbable, visit the official website or download the app for iPhone or Android.