Grocery Delivery Services in NYC to Get You Through the Pandemic
Buying groceries might have been a bit of a challenge even before our current situation, what with maneuvering shopping carts through busy streets and subway stairs while balancing young children, meandering tweens, and "helpful" teens. But now, as days of confinement stack up, getting groceries is a challenging obstacle course that takes thoughtful planning. Even if you're fortunate enough to have a great go-to store nearby, you might not want to venture out. Another option: grocery delivery services.
If you decide to go this route, one thing is clear: It's smart to order more than a week's worth of groceries. Fill your cart with choices that don't require refrigeration, saving room for those that must be kept cold or frozen, and be willing to accept substitutes for items in short supply. While markets are continually restocking, items might not be available on your delivery date.
NYC is fortunate to have several grocery delivery options, but the sheer population density has created a challenge for even the best services. The situation, as they say, is fluid, and so we're also including options that are experiencing growing pains in hopes they'll find the help they need to expand their delivery services. Our picks include local stores, bodegas, and enterprising small businesses, plus we've also included some useful resources for tracking available takeout options from local restaurants, too.
So, start your shopping list and read on for 22 grocery delivery services, handy ordering apps, and restaurants ready to deliver food right to your stoop. Looking for more help during this trying time? We've got plenty of tips, tricks, and boredom busters in our Stay-at-Home Guide plus a roundup of city services and resources to make life a bit easier.
Manhattan Milk delivers the freshest products straight from the farm to your curb, stoop, or doorstep.
Subscription Services Offering Grocery Delivery
1. Manhattan Milk – Manhattan
While some items can be ordered in reasonable increments, the majority of goods here are offered in bulk (a case of blackberries, for $64, is an example), so it might be worthwhile co-oping with neighbors for this service. Manhattan Milk delivers on weekdays only, and there may be some wait for your first delivery.
2. Local Roots – City Wide
Local Roots supports more than 15 local, small farms, and nearly 20 small-batch NYC producers, bringing farm-fresh food to subscribers. Sign up for a "bundle" or shop by category—vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, bread, cheese, milk, and more. You can also try a two-week starter kit. Deliveries happen mid-week, and, like other delivery services, this one is in high demand. Goods can also be picked up at locations on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, and Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn.
3. Farm To People – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens
This delivery service brings farmers market food straight to you. Overwhelming demand means you'll have to place your name on a waiting list to join the service, but you'll be rewarded with customizable boxes to fit your lifestyle and dietary habits.
Get your organic produce delivered weekly from Go Organic NYC.
4. Go Organic NYC – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens
In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, GoOrganic can provide milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, and butter. Set up a bi-weekly or weekly delivery, choose the size of the box you'd like, and then pick what you'd like them to bring you. Put your order in by 11pm Sunday for delivery the following week. Deliveries are scheduled for Queens on Tuesdays, Brooklyn on Wednesdays, and Manhattan on Thursdays. Go Organic, too, has a delay for first-time customers; currently, it isn't accepting new subscriptions before May 5.
5. Misfits Market – City Wide
Organic produce deemed "too ugly" for supermarket shelves, but still tasty and healthy, is shipped in one of two sized boxes: Mischief (10-13 pounds of veggies and fruit, enough for two for a week); or Madness (18-22 pounds). You can set delivery to once a week or once every two weeks. Depending on your delivery date, you may be able to customize your box's contents, and all customers can shop the marketplace for add-ons, like special produce buys, artisanal chocolate, fair-trade coffee, grains, and more.
6. Imperfect Foods – City Wide
Like Misfits, Imperfect delivers via mail rather than a delivery person, and you can schedule deliveries once a week or once every two weeks. You have to sign up before you get a peek at the shopping options and delivery dates, but Imperfect goes beyond produce and includes eggs, milk, cheese, and more. Current demand means there is a delay for first-time orders; one of our editors tried to sign up and has been told her first box won't ship until May, though the company promises it's working to speed up its production.
Get your favorite foods from Essex Street Market and other local shops delivered to you via Mercato. Photo by Jody Mercier
Apps Offering Grocery Delivery Services
7. Mercato – City Wide
Many local eateries, delis, and bodegas, in addition to prominent neighborhood purveyors like Chelsea Market and Essex Market in Manhattan, partner with Mercato for delivery. The Mercato online interface is just like Instacart's, and, like Instacart, delivery windows may be a few days down the line.
8. Foodkick – City Wide
Part of the Fresh Direct family, Foodkick provides a reasonably quick delivery turnaround to NYC residents. Our test order to a Manhattan residence indicated the delivery would arrive the next day. Bonus: You can order wine and beer.
9. Instacart – City Wide
Instacart allows you to order from multiple stores in your area, including grocery stores and pharmacies, so we recommend setting up an account and giving it a try. Shopping partners include Target, D'Agostino's, CVS, Fairway, BJs, Costco, and more. Instacart often delivers earlier than the available windows would suggest. If you have to choose a window several days out, lock it in with your bare essentials and add to it as the delivery date approaches. We've even communicated via the app with our shopper in real-time, adding things to our cart we never found on the app or needed at the last minute.
10. FreshDirect – City Wide
FreshDirect has long been a popular direct-to-consumer grocery delivery service in NYC. So popular that delivery windows are tough to find, but the number of delivery trucks on the streets is encouraging us to keep trying and include it in our list of options.
11. Peapod – City Wide
Stop & Shop's well-established home-delivery program has also been experiencing challenges. Our best advice, if you can, is to set up an account, put together an order, and go for the first available delivery option.
12. MaxDelivery – Manhattan
MaxDelivery is currently offering one-hour delivery windows in Manhattan, providing groceries, pharmacy goods, alcohol, and household goods. While we can't find any same-day slots, next-day ones are available.
13. My Bodega Online – Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn & Queens
New Yorkers have a unique relationship with their bodega, and now you can have the comfort of your corner store brought to you through the magic of this brand new (and growing!) app. Order online for pick up or delivery. Service is concentrated in traditionally underserved neighborhoods, and more bodegas are signing on every day.
Small-batch ice cream is on our list of quarantine essentials. Photo by Jody Mercier
Upstart Start-Ups Offering Creative Delivery Options
14. Sugar Hill Creamery – Upper Manhattan
The prize for the most unique quarantine CSA surely goes to mom-and-pop ice cream shop Sugar Hill Creamery. Based in Harlem, last week it launched an ice cream CSA, delivering shareholders a collection of pints weekly for the next seven weeks. Choose from a half-share (three pints) or full-share (five pints) dropped at your door with contactless delivery each week. Pre-set flavors include selections like the Andy Griffin (vanilla bean), Harlem Sweeties (salted-caramel crunch), Chairperson of the Board (blueberry cheesecake), plus each share comes with a rotating surprise pick.
15. The Entrepreneur Space – Queens
This Queens start-up is attempting to deliver freshly prepared meals on weekdays within a zone, including Long Island City and Astoria, with hopes to grow its reach. Families can visit the website to see what food local businesses have on offer, make their choices, and place their orders. Delivery ranges from the next day to several days out.
16. Borough Provisions – Brooklyn and Manhattan
Bien Cuit and Joe Coffee have teamed up to share resources and offer contactless delivery of both fresh-made baked goods as well as pantry staples throughout much of Brooklyn and Manhattan. You can even nab a sourdough starter of your own, and join the throngs of quarantined bread bakers. There's a $60 minimum for delivery, and it requires a four-day lead time.
Stores Offering Grocery Delivery Services
17. Westside Market – Manhattan
In addition to early opening hours for seniors and immunocompromised shoppers, Westside Market offers grocery delivery to most of Manhattan, and the delivery wait time is shorter than most. We were able to order at 2:30pm and net a same-day evening window. The market's website offers the full gamut of grocery needs, from fruit to meat to detergent and diapers.
18. HMart/HFresh – Manhattan
While this Korean market only delivers directly to Manhattan addresses, families in other boroughs can have items shipped (via USPS). Groceries that require refrigeration are packed with ice gel packs to ensure the proper temperature in transit. In addition to meats, seafood, rice, snacks, and milk, HMart has a vast array of Korean favorites.
Restaurants Offering Delivery of Meals and More
Local restaurants are really pitching in and often include some pantry staples (we've heard some have toilet paper!) if you ask. Give a call to your local favorite, or check the websites of restaurants in your neighborhood to see what's available. Some helpful sites include:
19. West Side Rag – Upper West Side
This handy resource lists restaurants open for takeout and delivery on Manhattan's West side, all thanks to two enterprising, community-minded neighbors who compiled them.
20. The Lo-Down – Lower East Side
This community publication is continuously updating its list of restaurants offering takeout and delivery on the Lower East Side.
21. GreenwichVillage.NYC – Greenwich Village
An interactive, frequently updated map shows local businesses currently open and serving customers. Unfortunately, as the crisis has persisted, it's also started marking some companies as permanently closed.
22. Dumbo.is – Dumbo, Brooklyn
The Dumbo site is updated daily and provides excellent info on what's open and who's delivering.