Clicked, sealed, delivered — it’s yours.
In a world of instant gratification, why should groceries be any different? Lucky for all of us, there is an abundance of apps willing to check off our grocery lists. For a fee, that is.
However, with more apps to choose from than ever before and an abundance of shoppers ordering in, due to the pandemic or otherwise, the fee may just be worth it for the ease and convenience.
Want to know how we know? We tested each service ourselves!
Similar to our in-depth (and award-winning!) meal kit review, we spent the month of January ordering groceries — how’s that for a journalism job? Using criteria like cost, delivery time, ease of use and variety of groceries, we set out on a mission to find the best grocery delivery services of 2023.
With so many to choose from, here is a list of the best grocery delivery services, big and small — and tailored for every budget. Use our links below to jump to a specific service, or scroll down to read them all, along with an FAQ on how to choose the best service for you and your hungry family.
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1. Amazon Fresh, requires Amazon Prime membership
Ask, and Amazon will deliver. Literally.
Amazon Fresh fulfills orders using its unbelievably fast two-hour delivery, making it among the quickest in the game. Another plus specific to Amazon is the ability to shop Whole Foods’ wide selection of produce in addition to other name brands.
For my trial, I first had to sign up for Amazon Prime, which offers a free trial for 30 days and then starts at $14.99 per month. Once signed up, I started my shop. I was excited to see that the site carried many different options, including Amazon Fresh and Amazon Kitchen items as well as Whole Foods brand “365 by Whole Foods” and then other name brand items like Kraft, Nabisco and more.
The delivery platform also offers multiple ways to receive your order, including attended delivery where you are home to receive it, doorstep contactless delivery and an option to pick up your order at an Amazon location. I opted to schedule my delivery for a two-hour window in the morning, and sure enough the parcels arrived perfectly in the middle of that window. The coolest part was the ability to track the delivery driver, so I knew when my stop was up next.
One drawback is that Amazon Fresh is exclusive to Amazon Prime and Prime Student members, and is not available for regular Amazon users or guests. And even with the Prime membership, shipping is only free with a minimum order of $35–$50, depending on region. However, for those that already use and love Prime benefits, this is another convenient one to add to the list, amongst Amazon Video and Amazon Music.
- Super fast and reliable delivery, with options for scheduled delivery or pickup
- Can shop at Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh/Amazon Kitchen products unique to the site
- Included with your Amazon Prime membership
- Produce was fresh and delivered in produce bags, wrapped up inside the sealed grocery bag
- Able to include household products as well as groceries
- Easy to track your delivery for the most updated delivery time
- Groceries came in separate bags, with fresh produce in one and the rest in the other
- You need to be an Amazon Prime member to use this service
- Shipping is not free on orders less than $35
- Some brands may be harder to find
2. Instacart, delivery starts at $3.99/order, membership optional
It’s all in the name for this one.
Instacart is ideal for those who want their groceries and personal items delivered as instantly as possible. They offer same-day delivery and allow you to pick a drop-off window for a seamless exchange.
The platform is also great for those who like to shop at different stores, as Instacart partners with many regional and national grocery chains, such as Costco, Wegmans, Kroger. ALDI and even CVS for pharmacy needs. They also recently added the option to shop at other non-grocery stores, like Sephora, Petco and Staples to name a few, adding even more flexibility to the service.
When testing this service, I found that one of the best features, especially for picky shoppers, is the option to choose replacements for items that may be sold out when your Instacart shopper is filling your order. That way, there are no surprises when you get a different brand or flavor, and no missing items from your list. The site and app both let you message in real time with your shopper, should anything change.
I chose to shop at Aldi for my test run, as I love the prices as well as the Aldi brand finds, plus my physical location is too far for me to physically go myself — proving just how useful Instacart delivery can be. I also love their Aldi-specific items, and since they do not deliver themselves, Instacart again saves the day.
With the Instacart+ membership ($9.99/month) I was able to get free delivery on my order, plus discounted service fees and even cash back on some items. You do not need the membership to use the service, but for those that use Instacart regularly, it is a great option, if only for the waived delivery fee.
- Free to use, membership optional
- Wide selection of participating grocery stores
- Additional stores include Sephora, Michaels, Petco, CVS, Lowe’s and more
- Able to schedule delivery for a window of time, same-day delivery or for a different day
- Able to choose replacements for each of your items ahead of time, should the store be sold out
- Internal messaging platform to communicate with your shopper and driver in real time
- Items typically come in reusable shopping bags
- Instacart accepts EBT SNAP payments at participating stores
- Occasional communication errors, but Instacart support is responsive and helpful with refunds and replacements
- $3.99 delivery fee for orders over $35 for non-members, fee varies for orders less than $35
3. Shipt, $9.99/order, membership optional
Target lovers take note. The red-bullseye brand acquired this delivery platform back in 2017, which has expanded to include other major retailers including Costco, Petco, CVS and Office Depot.
A major perk is that when shopping at Target, you can get your grocery list fulfilled at the same time as you do your holiday shopping, restock your toiletries or pick up a cozy bathrobe for yourself.
For the Target-specific customer, it’s also worth noting that you can use your Target RedCard to pay for the delivery while saving 5%. Same-day delivery is available in most areas and can be scheduled in the app or online.
Like other sites, customers don’t need to sign up for a membership to use Shipt, but it is recommended for repeat users. Without a membership, each order has a $9.99 delivery fee. The subscription costs $99 per year, which works out to $8.25 per month and gives members free delivery for orders $35 and over. The only downside is that there isn’t a free delivery option for smaller orders, so you might as well throw in a treat for yourself to make it to the minimum.
Because I wanted to hit the minimum, I did indeed throw in a few treats, like Valentine’s Day candy and even nail polish remover that I had remembered I needed. That’s the beauty of a store like Target — they have it all!
The actual shopping experience was amazing, as I simply chose what I needed, selected a delivery window (super speedy by the way, and arrived only two hours after I placed my order) and then was even given the option to choose replacement items. My delivery came in my selected one-hour window, packaged in a reusable bag with all my fruits and veggies intact and delicious.
- Ability to shop at Target, as well as other major retailers like Petco, CVS and more
- A great variety of things to shop, from groceries to household items
- A bunch of brand-name items available, in addition to Target brands
- Great discounts as you would see in store at a Target
- Ability to choose replacements for out of stock items
- Real-time delivery tracking and ability to choose a delivery window
- Same-day delivery
- Free delivery only after $35 minimum spend when a member
- Must be a member to waive delivery fee
4. DoorDash, free to use, subscriptions start at $9.99/month
Did you know your Dasher can head to the grocery store, too?
DoorDash works like any other food delivery platform, working in tandem with local restaurants to deliver your order with speed and accuracy. Now, the same goes for participating grocery stores and local bodegas, so long as they are within your delivery location.
We had the pleasure to sign up with a DashPass membership ($9.99 per month) which automatically waives the delivery fee and lowers services fees, too. Plus, receive 5% back via DoorDash credits when you opt to pick up your order, which is great for those who hate the shopping part but don’t mind a drive or walk to the store.
I’ve used the app before for restaurants, but never for groceries, so I was pleased to see that the wide selection of locations I was used to for takeout was the same for grocery stores. I also saw an option to shop at DashMart, which is DoorDash’s very own store, curated by micro-fulfillment centers in your area. I opted for that choice, since it is unique to the site, and filled my cart with fresh produce and a few pantry items, too.
After ordering, I set my timer to see if the estimated 28 – 38 minute delivery window would be accurate — and it was! The time changes in real time, too, so I may or may not have stared at my screen for the full 30 minutes watching the time tick down. When ordering, do keep in mind weather delays and other circumstances, but during my delivery it was a breeze. Note: you can also enable SMS texting for updates on your order, should you want real time tracking or stay in the app or on site to track your driver.
- The app and desktop versions are easy to use and have a variety of options for grocery stores
- DashMart is a quick and easy way to get fresh produce and other items in around 30 minutes
- You can also order food from restaurants with your same account
- No membership requirements, but worth it for frequent users
- Estimated delivery times are updated in real time, helping you know exactly where your order is
- Fresh groceries delivered, intact and packaged well as if directly from the store
- Option for contactless delivery at your door, or handed to you
- Fees and taxes do add up, especially if not a DashPass member
- Sometimes unreliable way of contacting the Dasher/driver, so may not be best for high-priority groceries/ingredients
5. Hungryroot, plans start at $65 per delivery, use our link for $30 off three orders plus a free gift in every delivery for life.
Getting hungry yet?
This grocery delivery platform goes above and beyond just produce and snacks. Hungryroot also provides full recipes for you and your family, making sure you have all the ingredients and the ideas to fuel you for the week. This is why we also included Hungryroot here, in our comprehensive meal kit review.
To save you time, here are the highlights. Take a quiz when making your account to see what types of foods you are in the market for. Then, receive a customized plan and add in other options like breakfast, snacks and more.
This really is the hybrid between a meal kit service and a grocery delivery platform, making it a great solution for those who enjoy cooking and coming up with ideas on their own, but may not want to spend too long at a grocery store or meal planning by themselves. It is also a great way to discover new grocery items and brands, like Pipcorn for example, that became my new favorite snack after I received it in my Hungryroot order.
You do need a subscription to use the service, but for a limited time, New York Post readers like yourself can save $90 total, when you shop through the button below.
- Ability to shop for groceries as well as items for recipes provided by Hungryroot — a meal kit and grocery hybrid!
- Brand names available as well as Hungryroot branded items
- Many options for vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and organic grocery items
- Produce came fresh and expertly packaged to withstand transit and delivery
- Delivery can be scheduled weekly with a subscription, or skipped when you choose to
- Subscription required
- Starting at $65 per order minimum
- Delivery is on a weekly basis and can not be scheduled for same-day or on a day-by-day frequency
6. Public Goods, annual memberships start at $79/month
Do your pantry some good, and help the planet at the same time.
Public Goods is a wholesale grocery and household product delivery service that does their part to help the environment. With every order, they plant a tree to offset carbon emissions and help out world.
Back to the food, once signed up for a membership (or a two-week free trial) you can shop their assortment of grocery items, household products, personal care items and even pet supplies. Be sure to also check out their surplus store, which has food and personal items on clearance, helping you save money and eliminate food waste.
I ordered my box based on what I needed at home, plus some of the pastas and sauces that looked just too good to pass up on — looking at you, Tom Yum sauce! Delivery was easy to schedule and arrived at my door a few days later. Everything was packaged perfectly, and the glass sauce jar was even double-wrapped to protect it in transit.
- Eco-friendly packaging and shipping, plus one tree planted for every order
- Great for pantry staples and fun takes on classics like pasta and ramen
- Also sells household essentials like razors, beauty items, paper goods and more
- Subscriptions available so you never run out of basic needs and beloved items
- Save money, as their are no name-brands here with fancy packaging.
- Not for fresh produce or non-shelf stable items
- Membership required
- No same-day shipping or replacement options
7. goPuff, $3.95+ delivery fee, no membership required
Instead of running to the convenience store or bodega, check out goPuff for all your snacking, alcohol and grocery needs.
I first came across this service when I was in college, catering to my late-night ice cream cravings quite well. Now, the site has grown even more, with options for even more snacks, plus alcohol, grocery items, wellness and home items and even hot, prepared foods like burgers and pizza. Talk about convenience!
To use the service, all you need is a phone number to create a free account, no subscription required. Then, load your cart with what you need and a goPuff shopper will prepare and deliver to your door. I wanted to try everything, so I opted for some traditional groceries and snacks as well as my lunch via their Fresh Food Hall. Since I ordered hot food, I awaited my order in anticipation, watching the delivery time tick down.
I ordered regular groceries, including fresh mango, cucumbers and bananas, all of which looked fresh and perfect from the store. I also got a lavender oat milk latte (fancy, I know) and a cheeseburger. To my great surprise, the coffee came cold with ice not-yet-melted, and the cheeseburger was still warm with melty cheese and a medium-well cook. 10/10 for a double whammy lunch and grocery shop!
- Can deliver traditional grocery items, as well as snacks, alcohol, personal care products and more
- Also provides select fresh, hot food items like burgers, pizza and wings
- Great selection of brand names
- No membership fees
- App and web based
- Quick delivery in around 30 minutes, depending on location of store and drop-off
- Easy to track your order via the app and text notifications
- Fresh Food Hall items are actually delicious! Try the coffee drinks and the burgers
- Delivery fee starting at $3.95
- Not a super wide selection of fresh produce and grocery items, but enough for a quick shop
8. FreshDirect, delivery starts at $5.99/order, membership optional
A great option for shopping locally, but only if you live on the East Coast.
Because of the specific regional reach, FreshDirect is able to provide the freshest produce possible, priding themselves on what they call their “short supply chain,” engaging with hyper local farms and stores to provide the freshest foods available. The delivery areas include: New York (including the entire NYC metro area), New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC. They are continuously expanding, adding places like the Jersey Shore and the Hamptons to their delivery map. In terms of speed, lucky NYC residents can enjoy their two-hour delivery options, soon to be expanded as well.
Since I am a Brooklyn resident, I was able to test the service, and was immediately impressed with the selection of unique and downright fancy options — they have a whole section for charcuterie and crudités! I also noticed a full prepared foods section, so I also added a prepared wrap for lunch, along with my grocery items.
The items came within my expected delivery window on a Saturday afternoon, and with a reusable bag and a box to insure all of my items were secure.
- Great selection of fresh food and unique produce, specialty deli items and more
- Very fresh food was delivered, very “farm-fresh”
- The delivery window was accurate and easy to use
- No membership required to use
- Options for contact-less delivery and unattended delivery, too
- App and web based
- Items came in a separate box within the bag, to keep produce from bruising
- Deli items were delicious, fresh and packaged well for transport
- Only available in select east coast locations
- No ability to choose your own substitutions for out of stock items
- $5.99 delivery fee
Grocery delivery services compared
|Service||Price||Delivery Time||Use Case|
|Amazon Fresh||Requires Amazon Prime membership ($14.99)||Can choose a two or four hour window, or opt for pickup; real time delivery tracking||Best for fresh and organic options from Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh finds; quick delivery|
|Instacart||Free to use, $9.99 for Instacart+ membership||Can schedule delivery for same day (two-hour windows) or opt for a different day; real time delivery tracking||Best for those that shop at a variety of stores, including non-grocery like Sephora or Petco; great for picky shoppers who want to choose replacements|
|Shipt||Free to use, $9.99 for membership||Can choose a delivery window, same-day options, real-time tracking||Best for groceries and home items from Target, CVS and more.|
|DoorDash||Free to use, $9.99 for DashPass membership||20-30+ minutes, real time delivery tracking||Best for last-minute groceries, general items|
|Hungryroot||Plans start at $65 per delivery, use our link for 30% off plus a free gift||Weekly basis via subscription, can be skipped or paused||Best for those that love meal kits but also want to choose some pantry items and groceries|
|Public Goods||$79/year membership||Can be delivered as needed, or on a subscription basis||Best for pantry staples (not produce or fresh goods) and home goods|
|goPuff||Free to use, $7.99/month for Fam benefits||Can schedule delivery as soon as 25 minutes, depending on location, real time delivery tracking||Best for snacks and household goods, also for prepared foods like coffee, burgers, pizza and more|
|FreshDirect||Free to use, $129 for one year membership to DeliveryPass||Can schedule deliveries for hour time slots, real time delivery tracking||Best for unique, local and specialty produce and prepared food, as well as grocery staples|
How to pick the best grocery delivery service
Time: Many of these services can either be delivered in real time or scheduled for a certain date and time. Keep this in mind when ordering, thinking about when you will be home to receive the package and when you need the groceries by.
Price: Like typical supermarkets, some grocery stores may have items that cost more or less than others. Then, also consider any additional fees, like a membership, service fees, taxes and of course, the tip. Please tip your drivers generously!
Convenience vs. Accuracy: Remember: when entrusting someone else to do your shopping for you, there may be cases where replacement items may be different from what you would choose. If this is important to you, opt for a service that allows you to choose replacement items so there are less surprises when unboxing your groceries.
What is the difference between grocery delivery and a meal kit? While both services deliver food to your home, a grocery delivery service is mainly just ingredients and household items you would find in a regular grocery store. A meal kit service delivers ingredients that pertain to a certain recipe or a prepared dish.
Do I need to sign up for a membership to use a grocery delivery service? Not necessarily!
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