Chowhound (or was a food website owned by Red Ventures. It ceased operations on March 28, 2022.


Chowhound was a popular online food community founded by jazz trombonist[1] and food writer[2] Jim Leff and Bob Okumura in 1997, known for its user base of food fanatics. Chowhound was formed in a very different cultural era, before Americans had a mainstream interest in seeking out regional delicacies and local favorites. As such, Chowhound served a very particular user base that was seeking delicious, regional and hard to find foods outside of the mainstream culture. It had an early influence in steering America's influence towards regional delicacies, as the future trailblazing food critics Jonathan Gold and Robert Sietsema were early contributors. In 2006, Leff and Okumura sold the site to CNET Networks,[3] which redesigned it and merged it with CHOW magazine, keeping its busy forums, grouped by locale. After CNET was merged into CBS Interactive in 2008, the original domain was restored and CHOW was eliminated. It was bought by Red Ventures, in 2020.[4][5]

In March, 2022, Red Ventures announced the site would close after 25 years online.[6] Its closure was covered by the New York Times,[7] among other media.

Book series

Penguin USA published two Chowhound restaurant guides, The Chowhound's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area, and The Chowhound's Guide to the New York Tristate Area.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Jim Leff". Discogs. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Jim Leff's Writing Resume". Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  3. ^ Hochman, David (22 November 2006). "An Owner No More, Alpha Dog Prowls". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  4. ^ Hudson, Caroline. "Red Ventures adding jobs as it integrates ViacomCBS' CNET Media Group". Charlotte Business Journal. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  5. ^ Spangler, Todd. "ViacomCBS Reaches Deal to Sell CNET for $500 Million to Marketing Firm Red Ventures". Variety. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  6. ^ "A Final Goodbye for Chowhound". Chowhound. Archived from the original on 7 March 2022. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  7. ^ Asimov, Eric. "Chowhound Closes After 25 Years of Food Obsession, Wisdom, and Debate". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  8. ^ "The Chowhound's Guide to the New York Tristate Area by Chowhound: 9781101221457 | Books". Retrieved 2021-01-09.