Apps of the Week – Chicago’s Food Delivery – A Complete Guide
Published on February 16, 2017
Looking for a quick bite to eat? Just got home after a long day at the office and don’t feel like breaking out a pouch of instant ramen, let alone a whole suite of pots and pans?
Fortunately, we live in a city with tons of incredible restaurants – and a veritable boatload of food delivery and pickup services ready to bring those restaurants to you. Which of these food delivery apps is right for you? What sets them apart?
Here’s everything you need to know about the major players in Chicago’s booming online food delivery scene:
With major offices based right here in Chicago, Grubhub is perhaps the leading player in the online food delivery game. Its online interface and app are both intuitive and responsive, it boasts 24/7 customer support, and its reach is far and wide (to the tune of 45,000 takeout restaurants in over 1,100 U.S. cities, by the company’s count). In Chicago alone, Grubhub’s roster rolls deep. To wit: As of lunchtime on a Thursday, there are more than 600 restaurants available to deliver to the Geek offices.
Seamless, another popular delivery option in the Windy City, is a part of the Grubhub portfolio of brands; it offers a very similar interface and ordering experience as its parent company, and is available for online ordering or download here.
What sets Eat24 apart? It’s the official food delivery arm of Yelp, meaning that you can instantly click through to reviews from dedicated Yelpers to find the best that the restaurant has to offer. Like Grubhub, Eat24’s reach is national, and they boasts thousands of clients here in Chicago – 732 restaurants deliver to the Geek offices alone. Check out the Eat24 site or download their app here.
This online delivery channel – which boasts “quick, reliable delivery service no matter where [you] are” – is affiliated with Square… You know, those little card readers that plug into mobile devices for easy credit card usage? Besides the promise of a $0 delivery fee on your first order, one of the biggest advantages of Caviar may be the quality of restaurant using the service here in Chicago. Like the app’s namesake, you’ll have access to the best of the best, including Honey Butter Fried Chicken, 90 Miles Cuban Café, Jinya Ramen, and XOCO. Check out Caviar for yourself here.
Like the car service from which it sprang, UberEats is all about speed; the company claims that the average order takes just 30 minutes from start to finish, a good deal faster than the waits you can expect with some of the other services on this list. Though UberEats is partnered with a variety of interesting Chicago dining spots, one of the most intriguing aspects of the service – nearly “instant” delivery of prepackaged meals from local restaurants – was shelved last year. Learn more about UberEats here.
Browse food delivery options online, place your order, get your food in one hour or less. In many respects, Amazon Restaurants is just like its competitors in the food delivery game. In some other ways, it stands apart. Amazon Prime members, for instance, get free delivery on all food orders. The app is also integrated with Alexa, meaning that Echo users can easily order food through voice commands. On the other hand, Amazon Restaurants is a relative neophyte on the circuit, and its selection of restaurants can’t yet compare to some of its competitors. Still, for regular Amazon junkies, it’s well worth a deeper dive.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Postmates has long been looking to revolutionize not only food delivery, but the way that all goods move around out cities “by enabling anyone to have anything delivered on-demand.” To that end, you won’t just find Portillo’s hot dogs or Tortorice’s pizza on Postmates, but also fast food like Chik-Fil-A and Subway, as well as vendors like Ace Hardware and PetSmart. Want to give Postmates a try for your delivery needs? Find out more about the booming company here.
What are your thoughts on food delivery here in Chicago? Got any other local apps that you think our team needs to see? Be sure to let us know over on Twitter or Facebook, where we keep the geek speak going 24/7!