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Intro to Food52

Food52 was created as a way to help users come together to exchange recipes and ideas as well as to provide support to fellow cooks. Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs founded the website and wanted to create a place for people to talk about food. Food52 has created cookbooks and food projects in addition to helping others with their real-time food question and answer section, Food52 Hotline. They also strive to support local food producers and believe that if users want to eat better, and change the food system, users need to cook. Food52 launched their online shop in 2013 to bring like-minded makers and artisans together with their users and to explore all the aspects of home cooking including products and tools. 

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The Good

  • Extensive blog
  • Hotline for live Q & A
  • Over 36,000 recipes
  • Easy to use filtering system
  • Ability to share your own recipes
  • Shop and contests

Food52 has an extensive blog feature which is great for users and includes numerous categories including everyday cooking, holiday, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, as well as menu ideas. These blogs contain a large amount of helpful tips and techniques for home cooking as well as what to do with left over ingredients and links to their shop.

The shop itself can be broken down into sections: kitchen, table, home, outdoors, one-of-a-kind, and pantry. The shop offers items to help a cook stay organized, cooking utensils and pots, food items, as well as table linens, cutlery, and serving items.

The recipes, including the great filtering system, include numerous options for a variety of tastes and dietary needs and they are very easy to navigate. The filtering system allows users to look at recipes based on those special requirements as well as type of dish, main ingredient, season, and holiday.

Finally, the Hotline section offers users real-time question and answer help to address their concerns when cooking one of their recipes or when cooking in general. This is a unique feature and is very helpful for those home cooks who are just starting to develop their skills.

The Bad

  • Difficulty level
  • Prep and cook time

As a whole the site was very well put together and easy to use, however to improve the ease of use a bit we believe the site needs to include the prep and/or cook time for each recipe at the top of the page, instead of solely in the directions. Often users need to know if they have enough time to prepare the item a head of time. By including the prep/cook times at the beginning of the recipe, users will be able to tell right away if they are able to complete the recipe without having to read all the directions first.

The other addition to the website that we recommend is to assign a difficult level to the recipes. The website mentions that it is not trying to be quick and easy because they are focused on quality and while this is a great aspect of the site, the addition of a difficulty level on the recipes will help users to understand what they are getting into. On occasion, beginner cooks will want to choose a recipe to attempt which they feel comfortable with while on a separate occasion they may wish to choose a more difficult recipe. When there are levels assigned to the recipes, the filtering system can be used to help speed up the search process and ensure that users are only seeing those recipes with the appropriate difficulty level.

The Bottom Line

We recommend using this website to every home cook both beginner and advanced. There are numerous types of recipes which can be made for each dietary restriction and the combination of a live Q & A and a place to shop makes Food52 especially unique and helpful for home cooks and entertainers. The extensive blog also adds to the unique style of the website and provides users with ideas, inspiration, and answers to basic and more challenging cooking concerns.

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All user reviews posted on Best Company are subject to screening and approval. We reserve the right to approve or deny any review posted to this site in accordance with our Review Guidelines. Best Company never suppresses user reviews—unless they are being investigated for authenticity, or if they violate our review guidelines. We encourage anyone who suspects a user review to be fraudulent or intentionally inaccurate to please notify our review moderation team.


User Reviews

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Kristen
December 21st, 2018 Bakersfield, CA

They are overpriced--ridiculously so. Additionally, I was considering making a purchase (until I saw the absurd shipping price), and of course, I had the item in the site's cart. I decided not to purchase because I found the exact same item from the same company on Amazon. However, when I was examining my bank account, I noticed that they had attached an authorization for $1.00, despite the fact that I hadn't actually checked out. I didn't like that at all. A little overeager in my opinion. They have beautiful items and a gorgeous website, but I will never buy anything from them (or dare to put an item in my cart) after that premature authorization. I did not give them permission to be in my account. I did not complete the check out process, and yet, there they were, hanging out in my bank account. Just be aware that they will do this--whether or not you actually check out.

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AnnG
December 20th, 2018 Bainbridge Island, WA DETAILS
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Atrocious customer service. They sent the wrong color product and despite sending pics and following up multiple times they're completely unresponsive. Protect your sanity and buy elsewhere.

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Helen
December 10th, 2018 Norwell, MA DETAILS
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The worst quality products and customer service. I have been trying to get a refund on crappy broken goods for weeks and we just keep writing back and forth, "take more photos", "we have to go back to the people that made it... They don't stand by their products and then wear you out with emails until you give up. Don't buy anything from these crooks!

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Johari
October 15th, 2018 Fort Bragg, NC DETAILS
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Zero stars if I could give it. Melissa L. is not nice. Just like others, I was burned by their horrible condescending customer service and return policy. Why would I keep store credit with them if I want nothing they are selling? I returned a griddle. I wanted to exchange it for another. They are pricier then when you buy it from the original seller. Ask for free shipping they say that the griddle that is $149 has a $40 shipping. They since changed it to $5 after I mentioned to the merchant about it. I was a helpful customer. I’m no longer going to use this site for anything. BUYER BEWARE. They will keep your money purgatory or perpetuity.

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amy
February 26th, 2018 New York, NY DETAILS
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Ordered plates from Food52, I was sent the incorrect plates-- like other reviewers, was asked to take pictures of the incorrect shipment and document it. While replacements were sent in a timely manner, I am still awaiting a return shipment label and have reached out 3x over the past 2 weeks. Given their terrible customer service, poor return policy-- I will never use them again and would warn others off.

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Tatiana Perez
February 16th, 2018 Hialeah, FL DETAILS
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If there was an option to give Food52 a ZERO star rating I would have. Terrible return policy in addition to pathetic customer service. I 100% regret having bought anything from their website. My item came damaged. When I emailed them about this they asked me to take a video of the item and to show them how I was using it in order to see if an exchange was warranted!!! Not only were they being difficult but condescending.

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Barbara Hill
August 1st, 2017

Tried for two days to buy a wedding gift for a friend. A credit card that work on every other site did not work on this site. No only did this cost a lost of my business for this company our friends miss out in receiving a beautiful gift from us. Please add a phone number we can call so that when you r poorly designed website has a glitch it can be fixed. Will never shop here again or suggest any of my many friends use you as part of their registry or shop with you.

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Jane Brown
June 19th, 2017 Danvers, MA

They have a difficult return policy - customer pays return shipping and there is a restocking fee plus no refunds to the original form of payment but they give you a store credit. I would suggest shopping elsewhere since most websites offer a more customer friendly return policy.

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Joe Flanigan
May 17th, 2017

product purchased was damaged and dead. food 52 would not offer replacement or full refund. poor customer service and delivery methods.

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Susan Whittier
March 27th, 2017 Greenbrae, CA

Very slow delivery - from order to delivery can be two weeks or more, with very expensive shipping. It can take 5 days for Food52 to forward the order to the actual company selling the item. Then shipping is another 8-9 days. Food52 marks up the products they sell, at higher prices than other websites.