Londoners are terribly busy, terribly stressed, terribly overworked people, right? With our high-powered jobs, hectic schedules and buzzing social lives, us city folk simply don’t have the time to spare on the tedious business of strolling around a supermarket, staring blankly at twelve different brands of olive and wondering which is the best. In our spare time, we’re too busy doing stuff like checking out alternative attractions or just getting stuck into the many great things to do in our fair city.
So let’s thank the skyline for the wonderful world of online grocery shopping and delivery! You can get everything you need (and yes, we do mean everything) from the comfort of your couch with little more than the entering of your card details. We’ve rounded up the best ways to get your food and groceries delivered in London, who between them sell a vast array of items. Don't believe us? How about a 30-year-old bottle of balsamic vinegar for £55 (yeah that’s a thing), or a single can of KA Fizzy Fruit Punch just because. Plus, some of the places we’ve picked out will all offer food and grocery delivery from within an hour of ordering. How’s that for capital service?
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Ten best ways to get your food and groceries delivered
Remember that £55 bottle of vinegar we mentioned earlier? As you may have already suspected – world-famous Knightsbridge institution Harrods is the place to get it. And guess what? If you order it before 3pm you can have it in your hands the very next day, so long as you live within the confines of the M25. (And unlike rocking up to the store IRL, you don’t need to be dressed in smart attire – just lounging about in your PJs.) Those living even more locally to Harrods get free delivery on orders over £50.
The clue’s in the name here: everything last item for sale here is organic. Which means you can rest assured you’ll be avoiding any potential nasties or icky pesticides and suchlike when you tuck into your hand-delivered box of goodies. Plus it’s free delivery on orders over £50 (£3.95 on all orders beneath that), with next-day slots available in London. They often have some pretty neat offers available, so do click on that tab when you’re browsing.
Much like the NHS or the Royal Mail, the word ‘Waitrose’ fills you with a sense of comfort and security that only a venerated British institution can imbue. And you really can’t go far wrong with the marvellously middle-class purveyors of fine fare. But you know what? It’s not as expensive as you might think – after all, it’s ‘quality you’d expect at prices you wouldn’t’. Sure, their words, but there’s truth in it, innit. Always a good go-to when you want guaranteed quality in your purchases.
Abel & Cole
This is one for the environmentally conscious out there. Abel & Cole only sell fresh organic produce – direct from the farmers, with no unscrupulous middlemen wholesalers – with minimal packaging, so as to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. Further still, their drivers take eco-friendly delivery routes and their chill boxes are made out of sheep’s wool. (Oh, and psst: you’re not just buying goodwill here, their products are pretty damn tasty too. Just sayin’.)
The clue is in the name with Farmdrop. It’s perfect for the conscientious and discerning buyer. They provide locally sourced produce, and have bios on their website about all the fishermen, farmers, bakers and candlestick-makers (okay, maybe not the last one) they use – that way, you can do some research and pick out your favourites. Delivery is free on orders over £30, £3 otherwise, and is brought to you using entirely electric vans.
They already supply our tech and TV shows – it surely won’t be long until Amazon overthrow the government. But until then, try out Fresh: the mega-company’s grocery delivery service, which, they claim, offers brands 14 percent cheaper than the high street. But note, there are handcuffs involved. You’ll need a Prime membership in order to use it, and even then it costs an extra £6.99 per month on top of the £7.99 monthly Prime fee. Delivery is free on orders over £40, including same day. If you don’t mind the commitment, this definitely tops our list in terms of sheer speed and convenience.
Fancy doing some experimental grocery shopping? Etefy bills itself as ‘London’s online supermarket’ – but really, it’s more like that amazing corner shop down the road that sells loads of weird-but-tasty goods you’ve never seen elsewhere. Take tempeh, for instance, an Indonesian soybean cake, or salted coconut curls. Plus there’s no minimum charge and an express delivery option so you could be munching on sweet plantain chips within the hour if that’s your bag. A good choice if you’re trying to impress your dinner guests with an obscure dish, but can’t find that all-important ingredient at your local Tesco Metro.
An oldie but a goodie, and one we really couldn’t leave off this list. Sainsbury’s, obviously, is a huge household name and therefore can afford to be one of the cheapest options for groceries. You already know what’s on offer – all the stuff you see in a real-life Sainsbury’s – and if you wait to do a weekly shop, you can get £1 delivery for spending at least £25. Delivery is free if you’re going all out and notching past the £100 mark. You’ll get no fun surprises here, but meh: sometimes you just need to fill your kitchen cupboards without doing that tiresome tour on a Sunday morning.
This buzzing little scheme works in the Deliveroo model, and uses crowdsourced deliverers to get their goods to your door within 90 minutes. You’ll have to head elsewhere for your preserved lemons – Beelivery chiefly stocks snacks and processed foods. The fact that their most popular items are things like Doritos and salsa dip make us wonder if most people ordering have been hit by a serious case of the munchies and don’t feel brave enough to make the two-minute journey to the cornershop. We ain’t judging. Deliveries under £20 are £3.95; over that and they’re free. Spend £50 or over, and you’ll get a 10 percent discount.
This one lets you browse the products of four different supermarkets – Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Whole Foods and Waitrose – so is a great shout if you’re a fastidious buyer (ie. you know it’s only that place does acceptable own-brand houmous, et cetera). Home Run has flexible delivery windows – they’ll bring your shopping to your door within either one hour or five days. Not all areas of London are covered, but that looks set to change pretty fast.