No matter how good the food might taste, no cook wants to eat their own dishes day in and day out for months on end without a break, not to mention nobody wants the added stress of the hours spent prepping food plus the post-meal cleanup that cuts into our valuable after-dinner relaxation time.
To combat kitchen burnout and open up your palate to new culinary experiences, we looked into some of the best food delivery services on the market and got a streamlined idea of how each will best serve you and your valuable taste buds. With everything from chef-prepared meals that take three minutes of microwave heating to snack delivery services that will also bring you home office supplies, the following companies have you covered with the press of a button.
Got left over? Crisp them up in one of these convenient air fryers and avoid the downfall of soggy microwaved food.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
First up we looked at goPuff, a company founded in 2013 in Philadelphia that brings everyday essentials straight to your door in minutes. They told us of their service, “With its own centrally located facilities in every local market it serves, the company delivers thousands of products quickly for a flat $1.95 delivery charge.”
Those who get the late night munchies can feel relieved as well, as the company is open 24/7 in most of its markets with other staying open late night in order to, as they say, “bring you what you need, when you need it most.” Check their website for a full list of markets served around the country, and see more via the company’s Instagram.
If you’re looking to ease up your time in the kitchen but aren’t quite ready to take in the excess calories, sodium, and preservatives of a traditional takeout meal, Freshly provides a balanced solution that gives you the ease of heating and eating but keep your nutritional needs in mind.
“Freshly’s mission is to break down the barriers to healthy eating, believing taste and nutrition don’t need to be compromised for convenience,” they tell us of their meal delivery service which starts at $11.50 per meal for four meals a week and provides great discounts on larger orders. “Cooking 3 meals a day (every day) is nearly impossible, especially with today’s challenges of securing grocery delivery times, dealing with out-of-stock items, and managing food, work, and family. For the nights when you’re burned out, literally don’t have time or energy, or are simply striving to eat better, Freshly can replace relying on takeout or resorting to a can of soup or bowl of cereal.”
In addition to this convenience, you have to say in what you’re ordering and can choose to skip a meal or a week at any time, leaving little reason to not give this service a try.
Related: Read a more in-depth review of Freshly’s services we reported on here.
Fans of Asian food will delight in learning about Chowbus, a delivery service in markets across the US (and Vancouver!) that pairs mom-and-pop places serving the best authentic Asian cuisine with customers looking to bring those wonderful flavor profiles home. Some perks of the service include door to door delivery, no service fee, no small cart fee, and a bundle option that allows for foods from different restaurants to be ordered at once, plus Chowbus promises that every dish offered is hand-picked and represented accurately in the accompanying food picture.
The company’s CEO CEO Linxin Wen tells us of that convenient bundling feature, “This
service hugely benefits our beverage shop partners who are hit even harder during Covid-19 because people wouldn’t order just a cup of coffee or tea for delivery. Since our users typically bundle drinks with food together, this function increases beverage shops’ revenue significantly. We are very glad to see this feature we implemented on day one is put to good use in these difficult times.”
Prices will of course vary from business to business, but free delivery is a regular offering and for special curated lunches offered in some markets, the cost only goes up to $1 to have a deliciously special meal brought straight to you at home or work.
As a personal trainer certified under Canadian Fitness Professionals, Sergio Pedemonte of yourhousefitness.com tells us he emphasizes good eating habits for his clients, even when they’re doing a little less dirty work in creating healthful dishes. His first recommendation from him to us is Fresh Direct, the popular grocery delivery service that offers easy solutions to quick meals at home.
“This is the app I recommend for clients that live in a food desert,” Sergio explains of his top pick for food delivery, “Customers can order chef-prepared cuisines and meal kits without a subscription required. There are a variety of meals that suit special dietary needs.”
Fresh Direct pride themselves on having a short supply chain, meaning they use the most local options they can when sourcing the food they bring to you, making for a healthier body and planet at the same time. They also emphasize better packaging than your standard grocery fare, as well as building relationships with their suppliers so there are no surprises when it comes to quality, delicious food.
“Restaurant delivery has exploded due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sergio continues as he tells us about his next pick, the long-running and popular but still somewhat under-the-radar app Seamless. With a 20 year history of delivering all your favorite local restaurants’ delicacies straight to you for a small fee and often free, he also notes Seamless is “part of the Community Relief Fund where customers can opt to donate their change to charities assisting local restaurants and drivers.”
In addition to the original free version of the app, the company has recently introduced Seamless+ for $9.99 a month that lets you waive most restaurants’ delivery fees and even offers $10 back on every $100 you spend plus a donation match for the Community Relief Fund mentioned above and access to Elite Care, which is a step up from their basic customer service. The only downside is markets are fairly limited to major metropolitan areas, with New York City being the app’s most prominent.
You can hire someone from Task Rabbit to complete a multitude of errands, but restaurant delivery services is still among their most popular offerings. Taking it one step further is the fact that you can not only hire someone to pick up food should you choose to order takeout, you can also have someone come to your home and act as your own personal chef when you want the freshness of a home -cooked meal but none of the fuss of doing it yourself.
Another pro to Task Rabbit is the worker-friendly model through which each Tasker sets their own rate, starting at $17 per hour and increasing up to $80 depending on the work required. It’s also an easy-to-use service through which you describe your task, look through a list of compatible Taskers, then choose your favorite and, as the company say, “get it done.” The app has an intuitive system to schedule and plan ahead concerning your tasks, so download and hop to it.
You’ve probably already been using Uber for years now to get home from a long night of partying, to and from work if you’re car-less, or trying to get home from the airport after an exhausting flight, so it only makes sense the company would expand into the realm of customized food delivery brought directly to you when you’re feeling hungry but tired.
Available internationally, the app lets you search from all types of cuisine and price points to gather up a cart full of delicious treats before determining whether you want the grub ASAP or set for a specific time in the future to be delivered. Delivery fees differ throughout restaurants (some are even free), so we’ve listed $0.99 as a jumping off point so keep an eye out for costs there. Another upside to this delivery service is real-time tracking that allows you to watch where your driver and food are at all times, taking the guesswork out of when to expect a knock on the door. As with many other services listed here, Uber Eats is offering contactless delivery in the wake of Covid-19 so get your notification and pick up your food safely after its arrival.
No food delivery list is complete without the inclusion of Postmates, one of the originators of the on-demand model through which customers can choose and have delivered whatever their heart desires and watch in real time as it is picked up and transported to their doorstep. Which food is generally the main draw, you can also request a stop at a local drugstore or other place to purchase various sundries that might enhance your mealtime enjoyment, like maybe a side of Sudafed to go with your sick-day chicken soup.
Postmates has also moved into the realm of tiered services, with their newer Unlimited option providing “unlimited free deliveries, reduced fees on eligible orders, and exclusive deals” that you can try for free and cancel if you don’t like it or keep for $9.99 a month.