New Orleans is known around the world for its great nightlife and restaurant scene, but sometimes you want to enjoy the city’s food without having to venture out of your house. While plenty of local restaurants and national chains have always offered delivery, a new breed of online ordering service makes it easier than ever to enjoy what New Orleans has to offer at the touch of a button.
Most do charge a few dollars on top of the cost of the meal for the convenience of delivery, and it’s generally expected that you’ll tip your driver in cash or through the ordering apps. Since different services can have different deals and fees for the same restaurants, it can be worth checking if a meal from your favorite dining option is cheaper on one service than another before you place your order.
Here are a few of the ordering options:
Based in Lake Charles, Waitr has focused, so far, on markets in Louisiana and throughout the Southeast. Its local ties can be an advantage, since it sometimes offers delivery from local spots that aren’t available through the big national delivery services. Waitr also generally features photos of each menu item, which can be missing from some of its competitors and helpful if you’re looking to try a new dish. If you’d rather skip the delivery charges and pick up your order yourself at a participating restaurant, that’s also an option.
If you’ve ever ordered a ride from Uber, you can use the same account to order food through its delivery service Uber Eats, which offers a mix of local favorites and meals from national chains like McDonalds and IHOP. Just like with Uber’s transportation services, prices can vary from time to time and place to place, based on demand. The app will usually highlight restaurants where you can get a relative bargain at the time you’re ordering. You can also track your delivery person in real time on an in-app map, so you have a sense of when your food is arriving.
Another national service, DoorDash has lately won over some new fans with frequent specials offering 30 days of $1 delivery fees to new customers. It’s worth noting that the delivery fee is in addition to a 10 percent “service fee” and any tip you choose to give the couriers. DoorDash includes one of the widest selections of chain restaurants, so it can be an especially good option if you’re craving a Chipotle burrito or something from The Cheesecake Factory, but it also offers a decent range of local dining options.
Like its competitors, Postmates offers delivery from a range of local and national restaurants for a fee of a few dollars. An easy-to-use search-by-category feature makes it easy to find old favorites and new restaurants to try. Postmates also offers grocery delivery from stores like Winn-Dixie and Whole Foods Market if you’re looking to prepare your own meals without a trip to the store, though the prices can be higher than what you’d pay for the same merchandise in-store. Frequent users can sign up for Postmates Unlimited, an Amazon Prime-style service that waives fees for deliveries over $15 in exchange for a monthly or annual subscription payment.
This food delivery service that merged with Seamless in 2013 is a national favorite, but it offers fewer choices in New Orleans than many of its competitors. Where it does shine is price: Delivery fees can often be a few dollars lower than ordering from the same restaurant on alternative services, and the company frequently runs generous specials for first-time users. The Grubhub and Seamless sites and apps offer the same deals and restaurants, so there’s no need to sign up for an account through more than one of the two brands.
Instacart focuses on delivery food from grocery stores, not from restaurants, so it’s likely a better way to stock up on components for a home-cooked meal than to feed your household when you’re already hungry. In New Orleans, options include Rouses and The Fresh Market as well as more specialized stores like CVS and Petco. One big advantage of Instacart: You can order from warehouse club stores, including Costco and Sam’s Club, without a store membership, although you may pay more for your order than you would with a traditional membership.