9 New Food Delivery Apps When Grubhub Doesn't Cut It
Los Angeles is an early adopter when it comes to the latest apps, and that's no exception when it comes to food delivery apps. With the crushing traffic, can you blame an Angeleno for not wanting to pick up their own dinner? We still love our old faithfuls like GrubHub, Eat 24 and calling the pizza joint down the block, but we decided to test out some new apps and weigh in on our favorites. Our criteria: to get on the list, the app had to offer fully cooked meals, something new or better than GrubHub, and offer a good experience for us when we actually tried it out.
Pine & Crane's Minced Pork on Rice that we ordered from Caviar (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
CaviarPart of Caviar's charm is that their hand-picked restaurant selections are more on the hipper side. We're talking about higher-end places like Red O, Sotto, and Gusto, but also more low-key but delicious places like Little Jewel of New Orleans or Mainland Poke Shop. Their website is easy to use with gorgeous photos of each of the food items and clearly-marked prices and delivery times (which can range anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes). The list of restaurants aren't exhaustive or extensive, though that actually made it easier to pick and choose. You can even order from different restaurants on their list, though you will get different couriers who will deliver from each of the eateries at different times. They also make it easy for you to share your order cart with friends or coworkers with the simple click of a link, so it's good for offices. However, it's a little on the pricey side. An 18% service fee of the cost of the food will be tacked on to the final price (just like gratuity), in addition to taxes, and mileage costs, which vary depending on the distance from the restaurant. A rep told us the mileage costs average about $4.99 with promotions and what not. You won't have to tip on top of that. The easy part is that you pay by credit card, and if you have any issues with your order, they have a responsive customer service team to contact. —Jean Trinh
Mung bean noodles with chili sauce from Chengdu Taste (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
It's a trek for some people to get to the SGV, so it's nice to know that there's a delivery service that will bring delicious Asian food from the likes of Sichuan kings Chengdu Taste or the addictive soup dumplings from Din Tai Fung to your doorstep. ToGo626 (which is a nod the SGV area code) also offers food from other popular restaurants like Boiling Point, Green Zone (we suggest their organic Hainan chicken with rice), and Newport Seafood (sadly, the house special lobster is not on the menu but you can get their other delicious dishes). The way it works is that you place an order on their website and pay by credit card for the meal, tax, delivery fee and tip. Note: you can only order from one restaurant at a time. ToGo626 will send you their own employee to pick up your meal and deliver it to you. There doesn't appear to be a minimum requirement for delivery, though there's a base delivery fee at $6.99, and you have to pay for each mile after that, which seem to vary from about 70 to 80 cents per mile. We've gotten our orders within an hour from ToGo626 and it seems to be reliable. However, their website isn't exactly the most fine-tuned, so you won't find any details about the pricing on it until you check out your order. Also, there doesn't seem to be a quick way to contact anyone at the company about your order (let's say if there's a mess up) except for an email form you can fill out on the website. That being said, sometimes we'll even let that slide when we have hunger pangs for SGV food. —Jean Trinh
BCD Tofu House (Photo via Facebook)
RushOrder started off strong in Koreatown, offering delivery from a number of authentic Korean eateries and neighborhood favorites that you couldn't have delivered previously—like KyoChon, Chomak Korean Fish Grill and The Bun Shop. The app also breaks down some menus from Korean into English. Since launching in Koreatown, RushOrder has expanded to also include hidden spots in Chinatown and a number of downtown faves, including Guisado's and Curry House. Because your order will be delivered by a RushOrder employee and not someone from the restaurant, there is a small service fee and delivery charge of $5 added to each order, making it pricier than GrubHub but considerably more diverse.
Postmates is great because it can deliver you just about anything—grub from your favorite restaurants, fast food, and even alcohol and sundries from the Postmates General Store. They've even teamed up at times with MeUndies to offer your a fresh pair of unmentionables if you find, for some reason, that you require them. Plus, Postmates will occasionally offer a free latte, froyo or slice of pizza if you keep tabs on the app. The one drawback to Postmates is that it's often very pricey. For instance, I can get a burger from In-N-Out delivered to Koreatown in under an hour without having to go to Hollywood or stand in line, but my delivery charge is $10.50, and of course, I'll be tipping on top of that. Paying nearly $15 for a fast food burger that costs a couple bucks isn't practical, but Postmates is perfect for the offices or large parties, or moments when you really just want to stay in your pajamas and have someone to bring your favorite comforts to your house. There's also a tab at the top of the app that will list $4.99 favorites, meaning that your delivery charge is locked in to that price if you choose one of those restaurants.
Mmmm...Munchery's customizable burger (via Munchery)
Recently launched in L.A., Munchery brings a local, gourmet spin to prepared meals that are easy to put together and offer a tasty dinner option for busy weekday nights. The meals are crafted by an impressive roster of local chefs—think Patina and Blue Plate Oysterette—and include a wide variety of healthy and flavorful entrées, salads, sides, and desserts—picture ahi tuna salad, pulled pork and cornbread, spring pea lasagna. The meals are prepared to order and fully cooked ahead of time, then they're quickly chilled and delivered to your door. The individual orders come in oven and microwave-safe containers, so you can heat and pretty easily assemble the components. They're still quickly expanding across L.A.—after setting up in San Francisco, New York and Seattle—so use their website or mobile app to find out if they're available in your area and what meals are available for your part of town. You can order on-demand for delivery in about 30 minutes to an hour or schedule a drop-off up to a week in advance. The most popular dishes can sell out quickly, so it's definitely a good idea to order as early as possible. They've also just launched a City Favorites menu, featuring popular dishes for L.A., like a customizable sous-vide burger. —Danny Jensen
Yes, you can definitely order Knuckle & Claw lobster rolls from DoorDash (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)
Yes, you can now use DoorDash to have Taco Bell delivered to your house, but the there's so much more to the delivery service than late-night munchies (though we can't argue with those). Depending on where you live around L.A., you can order from dozens of your favorite local restaurants—from high-end joints (Café Stella!) to everyday hits (Yuca's Tacos)—some of which might not otherwise offer delivery. Using their super-streamlined app or website, you can find out which places are available and approximately how long they'll take to deliver at the time of your search. You'll then click through to browse their menu, select the dishes you want and quantity, then add any specific notes you have (allergies, add-ons, etc.). Once you add your payment information, finalize your order and add gratuity, you'll then have the option to receive updates on the progress of the delivery, kind of like a FedEx package, only way better. The fee for your first delivery is only $1, but then the fee does goes up depending on your location (some places as much as $6.99), so larger orders tend to feel like a better deal. Overall though, we found DoorDash to be super user-friendly, faster-than-expected and the drivers were friendly. As an added bonus, you can order from places like CVS and BevMo!—Danny Jensen
Feed the office with EAT Club (Photo by Danny Jensen/LAist)
Ordering lunch for a bunch of people at work can be a total hassle—juggling personal tastes, health restrictions and diets-of-the-moment can make ordering in a complicated affair. That's where EAT Club—which just launched in L.A. from the Bay Area—steps in to help customize lunch orders for workplaces with at least five people. Once you set up your company's account, they'll provide you with a diverse selection of menu choices based on restaurant partners in the area, as well as EAT Club's own professional kitchens. Each employee can then select their lunch choice from the rotating, well-balanced options. So, even if you're craving The Godmother from Bay Cities Deli and your coworker is "resolved" to have a vegan bowl from Café Gratitude, you can both get your fix on the same day. Meals can be ordered for one particular day or for the entire week, and then everyone's lunch is delivered together at a scheduled time. Payment is typically handled through an office manager or the employer, but EAT Club can work with companies to figure out the best method for them. —Danny Jensen