Manhattan Trader Joe’s shoppers were dealt a heavy blow when the company recently announced it was going to end delivery in the city—the company's only delivery program—effective March 1. After all, New Yorkers are used to having just about everything brought to them with the touch of their smartphone, including, for the past decade, groceries from this popular chain.
But lots of other grocery stores here, both brick-and-mortar and online-only, bring groceries right to your door, which is especially necessary if you live in a walk-up, wait to shop until you’re out of almost everything, have a family, or there’s bad weather.
Before Brick Underground breaks down who delivers, let’s talk tipping. Yes, many stores do charge a fee for their delivery service, but the person who actually schleps your stuff to your door doesn't necessary see much of that fee, so they deserve something for their trouble.
Around $5 is a normal tip for grocery delivery, but a little more generosity is in order if you’re in a walk-up, have lots of or heavy items, or it’s nasty outside. A tipping expert told Grub Street you should aim much higher if you order during, say, a polar vortex.
You should also keep in mind that prices at some of these retailers may be higher than what you’d pay if you shopped in stores yourself, but avoiding a crowded store and not carrying groceries home may be worth it to you.
Instacart is basically a marketplace of NYC’s neighborhood supermarkets, delivering from Aldi, Fairway, Food Universe Marketplace, Westside Market, The Food Emporium, Zabar’s, Key Food, Best Market, and Foodtown, as well as Whole Foods, Costco (no membership required), and BJ’s. You can get your groceries in under an hour, or schedule a week in advance.
Locations: Stores vary by zip code
Delivery fee: Depends on order size, which has a $10 minimum, and delivery time you choose, but generally can range from $6 to $14. The exact fee is displayed when you select your delivery window. (There may be a “Busy Pricing” delivery fee if you choose a high-demand time). With a yearly Instacart Express membership ($99), all orders over $35 are free, and a free 14-day trial is currently available.
(Neither Gristede’s and Fine Fare, which, combined, have dozens of locations across the city, offer delivery themselves or via Instacart)
Max Delivery brings Manhattanites groceries like fresh fish and meats, drugstore and household items, and even beer, wines, spirits, and mixers, often within an hour if you so desire from 7 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. It also offers items from NYC-based retailers including Murray’s Cheese Shop, Dylan’s Candy Bar, Fika, The Pickle Guys, Balthazar Bakery, and meats from Pat LaFrieda, Ottomanelli & Sons, and D’Artagnan.
Locations: Manhattan only, below 92nd Street on the East Side and below 114th Street elsewhere
Delivery fee: $6, which is waived if delivery doesn’t come during a selected time slot. Orders over $125 are free. With the MaxPremium plan, which first-timers can nab for just a penny right now, you get free unlimited delivery for three months (and 10 percent off NYC-based Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes). The plan is $30 for three months after the promo period.
You already know you can get everything under the sun from Amazon, and groceries are no different. It also delivers from your local Whole Foods, Westside Market, or Gourmet Garage via Amazon Prime Now, which is included in your Prime membership.
For an extra fee, you can add AmazonFresh to your Prime account, which uses other local grocers, shops, and restaurants, including Whole Foods produce and prepared foods.
Locations: Amazon Prime, everywhere; AmazonFresh depends on zip code
Delivery fee: Amazon Prime membership ($13 a month or $119 a year), free shipping; AmazonFresh is $15 extra for Prime members, plus $10 delivery on orders under $50, free on orders $50 and up.
Just like in your local supermarket, Peapod offers fresh produce, meats and seafood, prepared meals, specials, and plenty of NYC-based products. If you spend $2,000 in six months, you become a VIPea and land exclusive offers like free delivery or free items, referral bonuses, and priority customer service.
Locations: throughout NYC
Delivery fee: Minimum order $60, with delivery fee of $10 on orders under $100, and $7 on orders above $100. (Note: the fee does not include fuel surcharge, which is $0.23 when this was published.) With a current special, you can nab $20 off your first order of $75 or more and free delivery.
From FreshDirect, you can get just about everything, including basic groceries, bakery items, beer, wine, spirits, party platters, and household, pet, and beauty products. It will not deliver above the fifth floor if you live in a walk-up or your elevator is broken, nor will it bring more than three cases of beverages above the fourth floor.
With its DeliveryPass membership ($7-$13 a month), you get unlimited free deliveries, timeslot reservations, exclusive perks, and $5 off Tuesday-Friday deliveries. (Membership will auto-renew, so you’ll have to remember to cancel.)
Locations: throughout NYC
Delivery fee: $5.99 in all five boroughs, with minimum $30 order.
With FreshDirect’s FoodKick, you can get food, drinks, and other essentials from 6:30 a.m to 11:30 p.m. The selection is smaller as it’s curated and more localized (think croissants from Mille-Feuille or doughnuts from Doughnut Plant)
Locations: Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens
Delivery fee: There’s a $30 minimum, and the first 30 days is free. Fees after that are $5, or $6 if you want it in an hour. DeliveryPass for $10 per month gets you free unlimited deliveries and exclusive offers.
Long Island-based Rustic Roots offers hand-picked, farm-fresh organic and sustainably grown groceries. Order by midnight Saturday, receive delivery details via email Monday for delivery on Tuesday or Wednesday depending on your area.
Locations: Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Long Island, New Jersey
Delivery fee: Flat $10 delivery with $40 minimum order. For the lifetime of the delivery address, there’s a one-time $22 cooler fee, and a one-time $3 fee for insulated bags used for meat, fish, milk, cheese, and eggs. There’s a one-time $58 cooler fee for CSA baskets.
If you like to buy in bulk (and are lucky enough to have the storage space), Boxed is like being a member of a warehouse club without paying an annual fee or getting stuck in those often endless lines. Plus, you can still enjoy free samples (two per order), such as a can of Bubly sparkling water or a mini Kind bar (but you have to remember to select them).
With Express Grocery, you can get bulk fresh and frozen items from local stores. Boxed typically delivers within one to three days, and you can schedule up to five days in advance.
Locations: Everywhere for non-perishables, Express Grocery varies by zip code
Delivery fee: Free delivery on first order and subsequent orders over $49. Orders below $49 ship for $7. Order minimum is $20.
Jet offers a curated selection of everyday necessities like food and household items, and fashion, electronics, and beauty products, too. Plus, you can find NYC brands like Pat LaFrieda, Orwashers Bakery, Sfoglini Pasta, Gotham Greens, Les Trois Petits Cochons, Bedford Cheese Shop, Junior’s, Roberta’s frozen pizza, and ice cream from Van Leeuwen and Big Gay.
Delivery fee: Free shipping on orders over $35 for same or next-day delivery
With Google Express, you can shop tons of stores like Target, Fairway, and Costco, with no membership fees. Plus, it honors stores’ loyalty programs, and you'll just need to enter that info once.
Depending on your area, you can get same-day or overnight delivery, or schedule a week out,
Delivery fee: Free delivery with orders over a store’s minimum, which typically ranges from $25-$35. $5 if order is less than store minimum.
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