Food delivery apps are kind of like that “Expectations/Reality” scene from 500 Days of Summer. Theoretically, you are getting a fresh, delicious and healthy meal within 15-20 minutes. The reality is a bit different. I figured I would start by explaining the commonalities and then the best food delivery apps for each type of person.

For all food delivery apps:

1. Be sure to work the promo codes! If you don’t already get a “first meal free” or equivalent $ credit, look on twitter and search “_app name_ promo” or “_app name_ free”. You’ve helped that person get a free meal, too, so it’s win-win.  There are also usually deals around holidays (ex. I got two free mochas from Starbucks from Postmates for Christmas and buffalo wings from Ubereats for the Superbowl)

2. Watch the app once the driver has been dispatched, and call if you need. I’ve had food come earlier and later–the only constant is that the “delivery estimate” is always wrong.

3. If you have severe food allergies or diet restrictions, I’d suggest against these apps completely. A lot of these services aren’t necessarily hitting every pitch out of the park, so your food may be drastically different than what you ordered.

Delivery Service Roundup

If you like healthy food: The best healthy food has to be from Radish. The menu may be uninspired (ex. spaghetti and meatballs, broccoli) and the portions may be small (think small Lean Cuisine size for $15), but it tastes really good. I will still remember that charred broccoli for a while. The other big downside is that their app is horrendous. My best tip is to uninstall and then reinstall app right before your order.If you like restaurant food: Try Ubereats. It’s basically a way to order the most popular dishes at local restaurants. I liked that the hours were longer than some of the other services (think 10 or 11 pm) and portions were generous. That said, it’s definitely hit or miss on quality here, as the food is dependent on the restaurant. I would double-check on Yelp beforehand that the restaurant was 4 stars or up.

A far second is Caviar as the app is much harder to navigate and has a lot less cuisine variety (oh wow, more new American restaurants!). Delivery Services I wouldn’t recommend: I’ve had two bad experiences with Yelp/Eat 24 for delivery and pickup. Both times the food was cold, and tasted like it had been nuked in the microwave for a few minutes to lukewarm. Nope!

If you like quick food: If you need food NOW, Sprig literally came within 10 minutes of me opening the app. It wasn’t the worst meal I ever had, but it definitely wasn’t great. The little dessert was the best part. That said, I tried it in Chicago only a few weeks before the entire location here closed.

If you have a craving: Postmates is pricier and slower than the others, but has a lot more variety. You can order snacks, desserts, bubble teas, and even clothing and kitchen supplies.

Lessons Learned

No matter how ‘easy’ an app claims to be, I really really want to get better at cooking! I feel like that would be the ‘easiest’ solution of all. I need to invest in a spiralizer and some pumpkin seeds!