The Best Food Delivery Services
When you want to eat in without having to cook, food-delivery apps have you covered. There are a lot of options, so we’ve help clarify based on breadth of options and geo-availability. Delivery and service fees vary depending factors like distance travelled, order size and city, but many apps offer free delivery on your first order, so try a few to find a favorite. And if something seems too good to be true, it never hurts to call the restaurant to double check.
Photo By: Kelly Allison
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Photo By: Briana Balducci, courtesy of Stadium
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Grubhub, which also owns Seamless, is the biggest player among food-delivery services. It processes nearly 500,000 orders daily, and its more than 22 million active diners can order from more than 155,000 takeout restaurants in over 3,200 U.S. cities plus London. Search by what you’re craving — the most popular dishes include cheese pizza, hamburgers and tuna rolls — and if you’re deciding between restaurants, peep the user-generated ratings and reviews. Grubhub Perks offers exclusive discounts and deals and you can earn restaurant loyalty rewards to redeem from the likes of Just Salad. Users can do good while they dine through initiatives such as RestaurantHER, in which diners can explore a map of women-led restaurants to support, and "Donate the Change," where diners can round up the change from orders to benefit No Kid Hungry. Since 2018, diners have donated more than $10 million, equivalent to 100 million meals.
Caviar is like the boutique hotel of food delivery apps, eschewing chains in favor of partnering with local and independent restaurants (some of whom are exclusive to Caviar) in 28 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Orange County, the greater New York City area, Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), Richmond (Virginia), the San Francisco Bay area, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle and the Washington, D.C. area. Top restaurants include Bareburger (all-natural burgers and shakes), Made Nice (fast-casual seasonal dishes from the Eleven Madison Park team), RPM Italian and Souvla (spit-fired meats; pictured). Within your city, you can search restaurants by categories such as cuisine, or browse via quick links including women-powered, trending, vegan or healthy. Speaking of healthy, Caviar also has an in-house nutritionist who often curates recommendations for a range of health interests and diets. And whether you ordered RPM Italian’s bucatini or a Paleo-friendly dinner, you can track your order in real-time via GPS tracking. For your office crew, Caviar for Companies allows groups and individuals to order restaurant catering or lunch for your whole team from a company account.
Postmates bills itself as "an insanely reliable on-demand 'anything' network," offering delivery from restaurants and stores alike, so you can order a bottle of pinot grigio from your local wine shop to go with green coconut curry from your fave Thai takeout joint. Postmates operates in 3,500 cities in the U.S.; offers goods from more than 25,000 merchants; and makes 5 million deliveries per month. Besides tapping into the best of each city’s local food scene — hello, pizza from Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco (pictured) — you can also snag delivery from fan-favorite chains such as Red Lobster, Applebee’s, iHop, even Pinkberry. And if you’re catching a game at Yankee Stadium or Dodger Stadium, Postmates will deliver hot dogs to your seat. Postmates also counts celebrity fans: Actor Seth Rogen and his wife have spent $21,320 on 227 orders in nine cities, including a splurge sushi dinner from Sugarfish totaling $276 (as reported by E! News).
ChowNow partners directly with more than 12,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada to offer takeout (and in some cases delivery) to its 6.8 million active diners and is projected to process $725 million in orders this year. By partnering with ChowNow, restaurants avoid racking up the commission fees charged by many third-party delivery apps that can cause them to lose money on orders. For the diner, this means supporting their fave mom-and-pop breakfast joints, stone-oven pizza place (The Butcher’s Daughter in L.A.; pictured) or the locally beloved plant-based burger spot (looking at you Pirate’s Bone in Kansas City) in a way that ensures they’ll be around for the long-haul.
UberEats, the food delivery spin-off from the popular ride-sharing service, is available in over 500 cities globally. Restaurant listings include at-a-glance info such as price point, cuisine, delivery fees, estimated delivery time and user-generated ratings. Feeling indecisive? Search top categories such as breakfast and brunch, fast food or comfort food to discover popular picks in your city. Just like you’d track your Uber ride, you can track your order in real time, so you know exactly when that avocado toast or Five Guys burger is going to reach your doorstep. Next up? UBER Elevate, a partnership with Uber Eats, recently started testing a drone delivery service with McDonald’s to step up efficiency. The company plans to roll out drone delivery service from fine-dining restaurants (pending FAA approval).
Need lunch for a group or a client meeting on a weekday? Stadium is your best bet. It’s only available in New York, but offers a weekly mix-and-match menu curated from hundreds of dishes from 200 top-notch restaurants, making it a favorite way for offices to please all palates at lunch meetings. Stadium delivers 3,000 meals a day during the two-hour lunch rush alone. Order by 10 a.m. day-of to have lunch delivered, without a limit to how many dishes or restaurants you can include in a single order. This means, you can sate your sushi craving while your co-worker opts for a cross-restaurant combo, say a Sweetgreen salad with Shake Shack fries (because, balance). The order arrives all together, with each lunch individually labelled and packaged. Bonus: the chic black-and-white packaging makes it polished enough to serve at executive meetings, too.
DoorDash wins points for its reach: It’s available in 4,000 cities and all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico (as well as Canada and Australia). It offers on-demand delivery from 320,000 restaurants, including big chains such as The Cheesecake Factory, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Chili’s Bar & Grill, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's and Popeye’s. If you’re a frequent food delivery diner, it’s worth signing up for DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service, which offers unlimited $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more. DoorDash also hopes to make an impact in local communities through its latest initiative, Project DASH, aimed at reducing food waste and combatting hunger by utilizing its logistics technology to redistribute food.
For delivery.com, living up to its name means offering goods from 15,000 merchants — including restaurants, wine and spirit shops, grocery stores, even laundry and dry-cleaning services — to more than 2 million users in 1,800 U.S. cities. Some fun facts on the food front: popular late-night orders include empanadas and burgers; New Yorkers love bagels, ordering 33,000 rounds in 2019 alone; and diners apparently have commitment issues when it comes to pizza — delivery.com delivered 47,000 individual slices in 2019. Users earn 20 delivery points for every $1 spent which can be cashed in for gift cards, prizes such as iPads, or charitable donations. There’s also a separate delivery.com service for corporate clients, whether you’re ordering for a group lunch or catering an executive meeting.