I'm looking for a cocoa REST client for the OS X. I prefer something native so that I'm not in the terminal interface and not looking for any browser extensions.

  • 5
    Since REST is a style and not actually an implementation, this is quite vague as to be of use for the site in whole. Would you be interested to share more of what problem you are trying to solve so that others can apply this question and the answer to their questions. If we can get at the why you need this software, so much the better.
    – bmike
    Feb 17, 2012 at 17:35

6 Answers 6


Here's one client:


  • Thanks for the great link. Nice software, however there is no way to authenticate user... so it is useless for me. Feb 17, 2012 at 17:52
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    @WojciechBednarski what kind of authentication scheme to do you need? The last screen shot shown for that app shows it support basic authentication. Maybe you could make your list of requirements in the question a little explicit?
    – Ian C.
    Feb 17, 2012 at 18:15
  • It's open source. Why don't you add the ability to authenticate a user? Feb 17, 2012 at 21:10

This is a bit tricky to answer. REST is a style, an idiom, for software design. It isn't unto itself something you can have a generic client for. Rather, you can have tools that can interact with services via their REST-compliant APIs.

It's quite popular to use HTTP/S as the transport layer for REST-compliant APIs. And these days REST APIs can be found in a lot of web-based services. So it follows, some what naturally, that you'll find a lot of browser plugins that make it easy to do PUT, POST, GET and DELETE calls against arbitrary URLs using HTTP/S because that's where a lot of these REST-compliant services are listening and doing their thing.

If you'd rather not work within a browser you can, in OS X, quite easily move to the command line. cURL ships by default with OS X and is a rather invaluable tool for working with HTTP/S-based APIs, including ones that are REST based, but certainly not limited to just them (thought, admittedly, it's much harder to work with interfaces that require you carry state in your URL or in the body of the request, which is one of the reasons why the REST paradigm is so popular).

cURL is...unbelievably powerful. It's one of those tools that always seems to be able to do what you need it to do as soon as you've had the thought, "Man, I wish cURL could do X...". As a quick start to cURL Linux Journal has a nice primer and, of course, the official cURL website has a tutorial to help you get started.

I like real-world examples, so I'll pull this from another Linux Journal article where they give an example of posting to Twitter with cURL:

curl --basic --user "$user:$pass" --data-ascii \
   "status=testing123" https://twitter.com/statuses/update.json

With one modification: I'll make the call over https instead of http like they do in the article because there's no way I'd want to risk sending my username and password in plaintext over the public wire to Twitter.

  • @WojciechBednarski cURL meets that definition. Doesn't change the fact that it doesn't apply well to working with REST-based APIs.
    – Ian C.
    Feb 17, 2012 at 17:59
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    curl ships as part of Mac OS X. It's as native as it gets. It's not a GUI app, but it is built for (indeed, as a part of) Mac OS X, and not running through emulation or as a port from some other platform.
    – Daniel
    Feb 17, 2012 at 19:30
  • If you're gonna go curl, why not go nc all the way?
    – bmike
    Feb 17, 2012 at 20:16
  • 1
    @bmike that's just torture. ;-) Seriously though, there's a good reason to get comfortable with a command line client like cURL: it works everywhere. So when you're not at your Mac and you need to debug that problem on the Windows-using client, you can still use the familiar tools because you've learned ubiquitous tools.
    – Ian C.
    Feb 21, 2012 at 21:35

There is Paw. It is not freeware but there is a trial so you can test it. It has a lot of nice features and UX-wise it has been a pleasure to use.

  • 1
    What are some of the nice features, please provide more than a link in your answer
    – mmmmmm
    Sep 26, 2013 at 12:34
  • I initially wanted to write about some of the features but I find the link page much better for the purpose. It has a list of features along with descriptions and screenshots. Also, I figure it is reasonable for one to follow any link and research a bit by themselves before deciding on anything. Hope that is ok.
    – 042e
    Sep 27, 2013 at 7:51
  • @o42e on Stack Exchnage sites it is not reasonable to just have a link. From the help centre "Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline."
    – mmmmmm
    Sep 27, 2013 at 10:17

I've used the aptly named HTTP Client in the past to great avail. The app is deadly simply for setting custom headers, changing the user agent, testing APIs, etc.

One of the features listed on the homepage is "HTTP Basic Authentication (with Keychain integration)".

It's a simple and obvious app, and lets you review your full Request and the server's Response in detail.


There are many native OS X HTTP / REST clients, some more or less advanced. A while ago I would have recommended Echo as its UI is quite nice, and there is the ability to keep multiple requests at once and it has outline view for JSON responses. There are also a few basic tools that allow you to send a request and eventually save them in files (RESTed which is well known, Rest Client, GraphicalHttpClient, RESTtest, Simple HTTP Requests).

Though, now I could only talk about Paw. My input may be biased as I'm the founder of Paw, but it has many advanced features like Environments, Cookies / Sessions, Dynamic Values (to generate any kind of token: OAuth 1 & 2, Amazon S3, hashes, HMAC signatures, random strings or numbers "nonces"), Extensions so you can write custom JavaScript-based plug-ins, native editors for JSON or URL-encoded bodies, warnings when you make something suspicious (like a body in a GET request, etc.). We're extremely thankful to all users we got so far, and who left stellar reviews on the Mac App Store.

Hope this gives an overview of what's available. Other than native apps, there is Postman (a Chrome plug-in), Hurl (a web-based service), and probably more.


Some other options available today:


The free version of https://insomnia.rest/pricing/

this used to be available, but gone today, so had to use internet archive to retrieve: https://web.archive.org/web/20110714065650/http://apikitchen.com/downloads/ApiKitchen_0.1.dmg

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