Under normal circumstances, the best cheap food delivery service is the one that satisfies all of our culinary whims and appetites. But as we adapt to the changes brought about by coronavirus, priorities might shift from hunting down the tastiest and trendiest fare to simply finding the most reliable and accessible online food delivery services.
Our goal in the list above is to strike a balance between quality and convenience. While it’s most important to simply have access to food, enjoyment shouldn’t be overlooked, as at times like these it’s important to find pleasure where we can. The best food delivery services, such as the ones we’ve listed above, are those that provide plenty of access to great restaurants and establishments while remaining reliable, affordable, and accessible in cities large and small.
1. Best overall: Grubhub
2. Best for munchies and packaged goods: Postmates
3. Best for variety: Seamless
4. Best for dinner with wine: Doordash
5. Best for upscale eats: Caviar
6. Best for speedy deliveries: UberEats
7. Best for hidden gems: Delivery.com
8. Best for local eats: BeyondMenu
9. Best for global cuisine: Zomato
10. Best for reliability: Domino’s
We took many factors into consideration to determine our top 10 food delivery apps. These include cities serviced, range of delivery, selection and diversity of restaurants, affordability, service fees, and delivery speed.
If you’re exhausted after a long day at work or you just crave pizza without having to leave the house, food delivery apps are your salvation. You’re no longer restricted to just one restaurant or have to know exactly what you want to eat before you order food for delivery or takeout, either – food delivery apps let you choose from a wide range of the most popular takeout foods and get them delivered to your door without even having to talk to anyone. Here are the main things to bear in mind when you choose which food app should be your hero.
Unfortunately, not every US citizen can access a food delivery app yet. Most food delivery apps are still restricted to urban areas, so the first thing to do is to find out which apps cover your area. GrubHub and Postmates are the most likely to include your city since each app delivers to well over 1,000 cities in the US from over 30,000 restaurants. If you live in a major hub like New York City, LA, or Chicago though, you can choose from dozens of food delivery apps.
You know that food delivery apps have to make their money somewhere, but you still don’t want to pay more than you have to in order to get your food. Seamless and Delivery.com both stand out here because there’s no delivery fee. That said, Delivery.com warns that some restaurants might charge their own delivery fee. Although Caviar’s food items tend to be at the higher end of the menu, delivery begins at $0 and rises depending on your distance from the restaurant. It also adds an 18% service fee to your total so that you can pay the entire cost in advance. Uber also makes payment easy with a $5 flat delivery fee and all tips included in your order cost.
At the other end of the scale, Postmates charges a delivery fee for every order and can add Blitz Pricing at busy times as well. If you use the service regularly, you can join the Plus Unlimited service for $10 a month to get free delivery and service from local partner merchants on orders of over $25. DoorDash is another more expensive service with delivery fees that vary according to your location and a ‘selection fee' on top of the menu price of every dish. You'll have to pay a tip too and add $1 if your order is under $10.
You might choose your food delivery app according to what you feel like eating. Some larger services like GrubHub and Seamless have tens of thousands of menus on the app, which you can order from directly. You can browse or search by city, address, cuisine, or menu item through GrubHub.
Postmates and Delivery.com are general delivery apps, which will pick up your takeout order from almost any restaurant in your area, as well as getting your laundry or more toilet paper from the store. They are also among the very few delivery apps that let you order alcohol.
Some food delivery apps operate in a very different way, such as Zomato is only available in a handful of major cities, providing its own chef-cooked menu through the app, rather than delivering dishes from local restaurants.
It can be really handy to be able to order ahead, whether it’s getting your cheeseburger delivered 5 minutes after you get home from work or placing an order for 12 party pizzas a few days before your get-together. UberEats and Caviar are among the food delivery apps that permit you to order several days in advance, while GrubHub lets you order up to 4 days ahead.
If you’re visiting a new city or just aren’t sure what you feel like eating, it can be extremely helpful to be able to refer to customer reviews of restaurants and dishes. Doordash stands out for its useful ‘Delight Score,’ which weighs up food quality and restaurant popularity as well as delivery times and customer satisfaction. Seamless and Caviar both help you choose by showing high-quality food photos alongside pricing and reviews.
Order Delivery Time
Sometimes you want to order well ahead, but at other times what you need most is to get your food fast. Caviar has a FastBites service in some cities, which will bring you your food within 15 minutes. Uber Eats has a delivery promise of less than 30 minutes in some cities, whereby it will refund part of your delivery total if your food arrives late.
Does anyone really pay with cash anymore? When it comes to ordering food, a cashless payment process is far easier and more secure. Many food delivery apps integrate with digital payment options; for example, GrubHub, Seamless and Uber Eats all accept payment by PayPal or credit card. They also integrate with mobile contactless payments like Android Pay, with Uber Eats letting you pay via Apple Pay as well. If you order through Grubhub, you can pay in-app by taking a photo of your credit card and earn cashback bonuses no matter what your method of payment. But, if you really need to pay in cash, only Uber Eats makes it impossible.
When you’re waiting hungrily for your meal, every second lasts an hour. Food delivery apps with accurate delivery trackers make it easier to bear the wait because you know how long it will take to arrive. Amazon Restaurants has an excellent delivery tracker that lets you follow your driver’s dot along the streets until it reaches your door. Doordash, Caviar, and Seamless also show the progress of your meal on an in-app tracker, while GrubHub sends you notifications when your order status changes.
Satisfy Your Food Craving Immediately!
Whether you’re after a fast taco or a romantic takeout meal for 2, food delivery apps can get the food you want and deliver it to your door. It doesn’t matter if you know exactly what you want or need to browse thousands of menus to make a decision, you can fill your stomach easily with a food delivery app.