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Maxim Orlov
Maxim Orlov

Posted on • Originally published at

7 Awesome Free APIs for Your Next Node.js Project

This article was originally published at

Coming up with an idea for your next portfolio project is not easy. The project should be: fun, not too difficult, and not too easy, impress recruiters, look nice on your portfolio, cover every aspect of Node.js you want to practice, etc., etc.

You can't come up with something that fits all the criteria and you keep going in circles. You're stuck in analysis paralysis.

Truth is, you're way overthinking this.

The type of project you decide to build doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Whether it's a chatbot, a time tracker, or a fitness app, these are all solid choices.

What truly matters is getting practice under your belt, and every hour you spend fretting about making the right choice is a lost hour you could've spent coding instead!

To help you finally make a decision and start coding today, I've put together a list of awesome free APIs. You can use any of these APIs to build some really cool portfolio projects with Node.js, and for each API I'll give you some project ideas to get you inspired.

Spoonacular API 🥘


The Spoonacular API is an API for all things related to food. It's a database for recipes, ingredients, nutritional data, wines, and more. With this vast amount of data, the project ideas are endless.

What can you build with it?

  • Wine purchase recommendation based on what the user is having for dinner
  • A recipe suggestion app based on the user's food preferences and dietary requirements
  • Image classification app for food (Improved version of the Not Hotdog App 😄)

Do you want to have an attractive portfolio? Would you rather focus on the back end instead of fiddling with CSS? Learn more →

Words API 💬


Words API has over 350,000 English words in its database. The API has endpoints for word definitions, synonyms, and sentence examples. There is also a search endpoint that accepts regular expressions and min/max letter counts.

What can you build with it?

  • A word finder app for Scrabble. The user inputs the available tiles, including any wildcards, and the app suggests a list of possible words sorted by longest (and highest scoring) first
  • Dictionary app that allows users to look up word definitions along with their pronunciation and class (noun, verb, adjective, etc.)
  • A better writing app that lets the user paste some text and it suggests synonyms for frequently used words in the English language

AirLabs API ✈️


The AirLabs API provides you with real-time flight tracking data similar to flight radar sites. It gives you access to the live coordinates of any flight in the world.

You can also give it a bounding box of coordinates and it will return all flights in a specific area. Pretty sweet!

What can you build with it?

  • An app where users can track the flight of a friend or a loved one. Users can choose to get notified (push, sms, or email) when the airplane crosses borders, along with ETA, and when it lands
  • A flight radar clone where users can see all airplanes in a specific area on the map. Users can click on an airplane to get more info about the flight (origin, destination, speed, etc.)

Bionic Reading API 📖


This API is different from the others in this list. Instead of giving you some data, you give the Bionic Reading API a text piece and it returns it with the beginning of the words highlighted.

The idea is that if your eyes focus on the beginning of the words, your brain will automatically fill in the rest. Because we read faster with our minds than with our eyes, it improves reading speed and understanding of written content.

What can you build with it?

  • A blog with a toggle button where readers can choose to view blog posts with or without highlighted initial letters

Open Library API 📚


The Open Library API has pretty much every book ever released in its catalog. You can search for books or get detailed information on a particular book. The API has links to cover images and an array of genres for each book.

What can you build with it?

  • A GoodReads clone where users can keep track of the books they've read, and the ones they wish to read. Additionally, users can review books they've read
  • A Book Club app where users can vote and pick what books to read. The app can recommend new books based on previously read books. Users can update their reading status and other users can see how far in the book everyone is

The Movie Database API 🍿


There's a good reason every project ideas list like this one mentions a movie API. Everyone watches movies or TV shows and therefore it's likely to be an interesting project idea.

The Movie Database has most of the movies and TV shows that have ever been released. The API gives you access to a variety of useful information for each movie/TV show such as genre, rating, and actors. It also provides you with cover images so you can make your project visually attractive.

The API has a trending, a discovery, and a recommendation endpoint which opens the door for some interesting projects.

What can you build with it?

  • A "Where Can I Stream It?" app that lets the user know on which streaming service to watch a particular movie or TV show based on their country
  • A movie library where users can keep track of the movies and TV shows they've watched, and the ones they wish to watch. Users can rate movies and a recommendation engine will take that into account to suggest other movies to watch

API Ninjas' Exercises API 🏋️‍♂️


The Exercises API is a collection of thousands of exercises. You can filter exercises by the muscle group targeted, type and difficulty. Each exercise includes an instruction text on how to perform the exercise and the necessary equipment for it if any.

What can you build with it?

  • A fitness inspiration app where users can search for and browse exercises with filters for targeted muscles, difficulty, and type. The app can also suggest a weekly training program based on the user's level, muscle focus preference, and available training equipment

You should now have plenty of inspiration for your next Node.js portfolio project. You have no excuse to procrastinate any longer. Choose one of these APIs and an idea that seems fun to you and go build something awesome. 🌟

Remember, choosing something is better than not choosing at all!

Do you want to have an attractive portfolio? Would you rather focus on the back end instead of fiddling with CSS?

I'm releasing a collection of portfolio projects that include a beautiful and complete front end. Learn more →

Top comments (4)

crwainstock profile image
Crystal Rose-Wainstock

Thanks for sharing. These seem like great APIs to use for newbies!

maximization profile image
Maxim Orlov

Happy to help Crystal. Hope you build something awesome! 🤗

johongirr profile image

Great APIs for tutorials

bobbyiliev profile image
Bobby Iliev

Great list!

Check out QuizAPI as well, it is a free API for building Quiz Apps!