8 Best Food Delivery Services of 2023
Nowadays, everyone lives a busy life. Cooking and cleaning dishes might not always be the best option when you’re short on time, groceries, or even patience.
Even if you’ve got access to transportation, there are so many things you have to consider when making the decision to order takeout.
Hungry people have to weigh food selection, driving, parking, and paying, all before they sit down and enjoy their meal.
Food delivery service apps make that process easier by giving you an array of options on the app and delivering the food to you at an increased price.
A food service delivery service is not to be confused with a meal kit delivery service. If that option sounds or works better for you, we have also reviewed the best meal kit delivery options.
The common sentiment when it comes to these apps is that all the extra charges—service fees, delivery fees, delivery tips, etc.—don’t justify the overall convenience.
The criticism is true, but sometimes a quicker, more accessible service requires you to bite the bullet before you can actually bite into your meal.
That’s why PropertyNest compiled the best food delivery services around. So when push comes to shove and your stomach’s rumbling, you can choose the best option available to quell your hunger.
Best Food and Meal Delivery Services
- Grubhub: Best Delivery Service For Restaurant Takeout or Delivery
- Gopuff: Best Delivery Service for Alcohol and Household Goods
- Freshly: Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service
- Instacart: Best Delivery Service With Personal Shoppers
- Caviar: Best Food Delivery Service For Foodies
- FreshDirect: Best Grocery Delivery Service
- Public Goods: Best Eco-Friendly Grocery Delivery Service
- DoorDash: Best Customer Service and Easy to Use Food Delivery Service
Grubhub: Best Delivery Service For Restaurant Takeout or Delivery
Grubhub has been the original trendsetter when it comes to food delivery services.
It was founded in 2004 and has stayed in the game long enough to improve, adapt, and thrive for almost two decades now.
From using the site, we noticed that Grubhub categorizes restaurants by cuisine. It makes it easier to go by your specific craving before narrowing it down to the highest-rated restaurants within that category.
One of the best features of Grubhub actually takes you away from their site. Since partnering with Yelp, your options are nearly endless.
You can look at what restaurant you want, its online menu (with accurate prices), and order directly through the Yelp portal in plenty of places.
As for pricing, it is pretty on par with the other food delivery services out there.
Delivery typically isn’t more than $7, but that doesn’t include the service fee and sometimes a small order fee.
Pros and Cons of using Grubhub
- Yelp integration makes ordering easier
- Grubhub+ has a free two-week trial
- You can order catering through the service
- Interface isn’t as seamless or streamlined as other apps
- They don’t throw as many deals your way as other food delivery service apps do
- Some reviewers have noted that customer service is difficult to navigate
Gopuff: Best Delivery Service for Alcohol and Household Goods
Gopuff is a unique animal. Not quite Amazon, Instacart, or Postmates, Gopuff offers a set list of products that customers can choose from.
This list can vary from area to area, but the customer does not shop from a specific store or a number of specific stores.
That being said the list doesn't diverge too dramatically from region to region.
It's almost like an Amazon with very specifically curated grocery, household products, and even prepared foods that are delivered right away to your doorstep for a very small fee.
For this reason, Gopuff has even started opening up brick-and-mortar stores in some major metropolitan areas where customers can walk into to pick up food and drinks.
However, the company is not impervious to some of the issues other delivery companies face such as long delivery times, defective products, or even delivery people consuming or using the products they are set to delivery.
This is not to say that this is the general experience most people have as these are usually the exception.
Customers, overall, like the convenience of quick late night deliveries and like that everything is streamlined instead of shopping from different stores or restaurants.
Pros and Cons of Gopuff
- Fast and convenient with a large array of products to choose from, including hot food.
- Available in over 1,000 cities across three countries
- Can deliver alcoholic beverages to customers 21 and older.
- Delivery fee is affordable.
- Open 24/7 in some areas.
- Online site and mobile apps for Android and IOS.
- Offers seasonal discounts and deals
- Some customer complaints of sign-up and log-in issues.
- May still not be available in localities
- Not all items may be available for delivery 24/7.
- Faces similar customer service and delivery issues as other delivery services.
- Doesn't deliver food from fast food restaurants.
Freshly: Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service
Freshly is a great option for people who don't want restaurant meals but freshly prepared homemade meals that are ready to heat up.
This option is similar to the subscription model of delivered meal kits except there's no real prep or cooking involved.
Meals are delivered weekly in a cooler and you can simple pop the meal trays in the microwave for a quick meal.
Freshly offers a wide variety of flavorful cuisines as well as caters to some specific diets such as vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie, and dairy free.
However, this option is probably best for an omnivore who wants meals that are on the healthier side, which is why we placed it in our top list as opposed to other meal services, which tend to place heavy emphasis on specialty diets.
Many customers rave at how consistently delicious the meals are but some dishes are probably best heated up in a pan rather than the microwave.
Sides and cooked protein like grilled chicken or meatballs are also available for purchase separately.
Customers get to save more money if they opt for more meals.
Freshly is a great option for people who don't want to cook every night but want something healthier than restaurant food.
Pros and Cons of using Freshly
- Varied and changing menu with lots of options.
- Can change, pause, or cancel the plan at any time.
- Can choose just proteins and sides.
- Choices for different diets.
- Can get costly if you replace all your meals with Freshly.
- Not all food items are that good after microwaving.
Instacart: Best Delivery Service With Personal Shoppers
If you’re looking for an alternative to ordering food, Instacart might be your jam.
Instacart is more for grocery delivery, rather than ordering Taco Bell when you want a late-night meal.
Of course, both needs are valid, but different needs call for different services.
Instacart functions as providing customers with personal shoppers who also deliver the goods.
Shoppers go to the grocery for you and pick up everything you could need, and even inform you when an item is out of stock and can pick up substitutes for you.
The pricing depends on what/how much you order, and you can select drop-off times.
Unfortunately, with all the problems that come with food delivery, you can come up with inconsistent results.
Results can vary dramatically from shopper to shopper.
For example, not every shopper will know when a watermelon is ripe or what special edition Oreo you specifically want; or one shopper may stay on top of informing you of out-of-stock items and others may not let you know in a timely manner nor offer substitutes.
Delivery times can also be pushed or change depending on the shopper and their schedule.
Pros and Cons of using Instacart
- Best for groceries as opposed to takeout meals
- Better option for those who have time to cook but not for grocery shopping
- Incredibly convenient, especially for long lists.
- Inconsistent results when multiple items are involved and from shopper to shopper.
- Quality control is limited when you factor in produce, specialty items, etc.
Caviar: The Best Food Delivery Service For Foodies
Caviar is best for those that consider themselves connoisseurs or foodies.
Caviar does offer menus from regular neighborhood joints but places an extra emphasis on the highest acclaimed or premium restaurants in the area.
A DoorDash subsidiary, it has a similar ordering experience but focuses more on local businesses.
Those expecting more along the lines of fast food will want to go with the other options.
Most reviews we came across note that the delivery is quite fast on average. This is because orders are driven directly to the individual instead of being grouped and picked up with others.
Despite its positives, some have also expressed their concerns over customer service issues.
It is a fairly new company that seems to champion the small businesses in its community. While that may not be important to every consumer, it could be worth being more patient for.
With the opportunity to adopt practices from DoorDash, there is reason to believe that they can replicate some of their success.
Pros and Cons of using Caviar
- Best for small-business supporters
- Accurate GPS tracking
- Limited access to restaurants
- Limited regional availability
FreshDirect: Best Grocery Delivery Service
FreshDirect is one of the longest standing online supermarkets
DoorDash: Best Customer Service and Easy to Use Food Delivery Service
DoorDash is a customer favorite, particularly for people that aren’t too picky about what they eat.
What DoorDash lacks in selection, they make up for with their customer service, perks, and their subscription plan.
DashPass offers a similar plan as many other subscription plans on this list: $0 delivery fees on orders over a certain price, smaller service fees, and a discounted price when you pay yearly (which is a cheaper plan than Postmates’).
However, they also offer 5% cash back in DoorDash credits when you pick up your food.
Even though you’re sacrificing the convenience of delivery, it can be worth it if you order out a lot.
Customers have also reported that, on average, DoorDash tends to be the quickest food delivery option in most places.
With so many options nowadays when it comes to food delivery, DoorDash sure sounds like they have a lot of perks working in their favor.
Pros and Cons of using DoorDash
- Reviews are available on the interface
- Great customer service
- Dashpass is great for repeat customers
- Selection is a little bit tough depending on your area
- You are required to tip before ordering
How We Decided
Our team of experts did extensive research to give you our penultimate decision.
Every food delivery service app has its own merits and features that may work over the other options.
It is difficult to crown a winner since everyone’s user experience is based on the restaurants, location, and employee base.
Using our personal experience with each service, we also considered valuable factors like customer ratings, prices, customer service, product quality, and any other additional features worth noting.
Every food delivery is its own separate experience.
Every service has a random driver in the vicinity that will complete the job; it's rare for even seasoned consumers to receive repeat delivery people.
That being said, there are so many factors that may result in varied results.
From the restaurant to the driver to the service, there are so many things that can go wrong.
For this reason, we’ve stuck mainly to customer service, ease of use, and the general experience.
In our search, we found the general rating consensus between all the services was around a 4.0 rating out of 5.0.
Pricing is the most topical aspect of food delivery services.
With all the deals, promos, extra charges, and subscription options, there are a lot of fees to consider.
Sometimes it helps to have multiple services on-hand so you can compare prices from the restaurant or grocery outlet you’re looking at.
While we looked at our options, we leaned into the services that offered deals, lower extra fees, and the option to tip after delivery.
This is a huge factor in our assessment. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, and it is bound to happen sooner or later.
Things like a missing item, a driver eating some of your fries, a cold meatball, etc., can all greatly impact your overall experience.
Some of the customer service centers are located overseas, and while outsourcing is not always a bad idea, there can be some disconnect between representatives and customers.
Ease of use is key when it comes to hungry, and therefore disgruntled, customers, and this disconnect can prove to be challenging at times.
Other services have a reporting process that doesn’t even require consumers to talk to anybody and will automatically provide a refund or alternative service, such as credit on your next order.
As with customer rating, it’s a tad difficult to rate the quality of the service. If the food is cold, late, or wrong, multiple factors could be at play.
The driver could be stuck in traffic during rush hour, or the restaurant could be short on a certain key ingredient, for instance.
For example, some chains like California-native burger chain In-N-Out Burger do not participate in food delivery service programs because the process could undermine the food quality.
For our tests, we judged the quality on the general experience we had when we got our food. We tried ordering from each service more than once just to eliminate one-off experiences.
Our team considered additional features that each service offered.
We considered anything that would lower the price, add more food to the order (without compromising price), or capitalize off a promo.
Since some people still have reservations about human contact, it is a plus to see if they have contactless delivery where the delivery driver can just drop the food off at the door.
Most of these services offer a subscription plan, which we also looked into.
Food Delivery Service vs. Meal Kit Delivery Service
As previously stated, a meal kit delivery service is a little bit different.
While it is more similar to the grocery options on this list, most meal kits will have you select certain meals and package their raw ingredients together.
As opposed to fully cooked meals, the delivery will have refrigerated ingredients such as meat, vegetables, spices, and ingredients on how to cook them.
It is a generally cheaper option that requires a little elbow grease, but it is worth it for people that have more time to cook and would like some control over how they cook their meals.
It is also a good option if you want to cook dishes from other cuisines that may not be available in your area.
To read our opinion on these services and their in-depth review, refer to our other article.
Choosing The Right Food Delivery Service
Overall, there are many options when it comes to getting a quality takeout meal delivered straight to your door.
Of course, these vary by your location, and different apps may display different restaurants and food places nearby.
Everyone has different cravings or preferences when it comes to their next meal. Therefore, you should check for yourself and see what options are best for you.
With the selections we’ve provided, we are sure you’ll find something that will satisfy your hunger, while also appealing to your tastes.