All throughout 2020, Bostonians have found themselves scrambling to satisfy their culinary urges and basic needs. For some, all roads to culinary glory lead to the local grocery store, but for a variety of reasons, many locals are turning towards alternatives including grocery delivery services. Here we cut through the options to let you know which are the best:
Amazon Fresh / Amazon Prime Now
Amazon Fresh, which offers both delivery and pick-up options, is free with a Prime membership. The company has huge warehouses with a wide variety of products, so if you’re willing to pay for it, you can have fuss-free simplicity at your fingertips. Meaning you can get the latest music releases and a pair of sunnies, while you’re picking out your groceries. There’s also Amazon Prime Now, a faster option for Prime members with free two-hour delivery.
This Boston-based service bills itself as "the world's largest alcohol marketplace," operating in more than 100 cities across North America. Locals of all persuasions (21+) order beer, wine and liquor, plus snacks, sodas, mixers, and ice. If you want to support local businesses, seek out local producers such as including Bully Boy Distillers, Short Path Distillery and Privateer Rum Distillery.
Unlike Amazon, Instacart sends out personal shoppers to fetch your items rather than delivering from a massive private inventory. This is a big plus for all the people who can’t live without specific brands. And if something is out of stock, you get an actual human suggesting substitutions. However, many local grocery stores already mark up their prices and you’re meant to tip your shopper, too. But if you can't function without your favorite brand of almond butter, the extra money for delivery is probably worth it to avoid those long, shuffling lines at your local market.
Founded in 1989, Peapod shares ownership with Stop & Shop and essentially brings the grocery chain online. The delivery fee gets cheaper the larger your order, so it’s better to buy in big batches. Overall, Peapod wins for reliability and a thoughtful user experience. For instance, it keeps track of your purchases so you can easily fill your cart with your regular grocery order. You can even save a couple of bucks if you choose a larger delivery window a few days' ahead of time.
Fancy something from Eataly but a little something from another specialty store such as Deluca's, C-Mart or Tropical Foods? Get your Postmates on the case. These guys will zip around the city, picking up the products and brands you want, and will even aim to get them to you within 30 minutes if possible. And if you don't know what exactly you want, they have service for that too!
If you're more interested in eating something great and don't want to lift a finger in the kitchen, you can go with one of the best food delivery options in Boston. Stay tuned to Time Out Boston for news and updates on life in the Hub.