Yes, this list has the big delivery options like FreshDirect and the many stores that use Instacart, but it also includes local specialty stores direct from the field or maker to you, CSAs, and more. This is a keeper.
How to Get Grocery Delivery in NYC Right Now
From local specialty stores to CSAs, here’s a guide to options for grocery delivery — especially as big box delivery is difficult to access
Stories of long lines and waits at the city’s big chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are an everyday affair. For those concerned about braving the uncertainty of the city’s grocery stores, there’s a silver lining: Many are delivering straight to customers’ homes. Yes, it’s currently difficult to receive grocery delivery from big chains and tech companies, but there are ways to get around it as well — NYC also has a plethora of CSAs, smaller, local grocery chains, and wholesale suppliers to choose from, which should make the overall grocery delivery experience a little less cumbersome.
So here is a list of establishments that offer the delivery of groceries, household supplies, meal kits, and prepared meals. Some are small scale and involve bicycles or hand carts to circumscribed neighborhoods; others are massive operations with fleets of trucks that cover the city and parts of New Jersey and Westchester, or involve shipping by FedEx or UPS. None are cheap, but some offer a few bargains. The emphasis may be on premium groceries and boutique produce, but on the positive side, some make closer connections between farmers and the food consuming public. And remember to tip — delivery and grocery store workers are among the most vulnerable populations in the city right now.
This list is updated on a daily basis, so check back for added sources.
Local grocery chains have long provided free or inexpensive delivery service within their neighborhoods, usually with hand carts pushed from the store to your apartment.
D’Agostino: The prices at D’Agostino are not cheap, but the selection is large. There are 11 stores in Manhattan, all south of 90th Street. The website provides contact numbers for all stores, and the cell phones of store managers in case something goes awry, though a note warns of delivery delays.
C Town: There are 140 independently owned C Town stores in the NYC Metropolitan area, and the one in Park Slope, for example, offers local delivery of the usual groceries, cleaning supplies, prepared foods, and beer. Check with your nearest C Town supermarket.
Met Fresh: The local Bushwick Met Fresh is doing free delivery on orders that can be placed online; one Eater staffer has placed several orders at this point, nearly all have arrived within two hours of ordering. The orders show up on your doorstep. Some basic items like bananas and limes aren’t searchable on the website so these have to be added manually.
H Mart: With five stores in eastern Queens and two in Manhattan, it stocks a beguiling range of Asian groceries. H Mart offers a delivery service too, the drawback being that it only delivers to zip codes in Manhattan and northern New Jersey and delays currently run nine to 11 business days. If one can think that far ahead, ordering there might be worth it.
Westerly Natural Market: This long-running Hell’s Kitchen grocery offers organic produce and other natural foods and non-food items for delivery. Orders are taken only by email. If the delivery is in Hell’s Kitchen and adjacent areas, it will be done by the store; anywhere else in the city, the delivery will be UPS. Email: email@example.com
Morton Williams: With locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Jersey City, the supermarket chain is inaugurating a delivery program that seeks to provide same day delivery for orders placed by 2 p.m. on that day by email. A shopping fee of $5 is applied per order, and delivery is free for orders $100 and over, or $5.99 for orders under. The shopper will call with any questions.
Zabar’s: The Famous Upper West Side grocery will ship throughout the city by UPS or sometimes by truck with a sliding scale of delivery charges, depending on total purchase. Vinegar, spices, olive oil, sauces, pickles and preserves, deli meats, smoke fish, breads, coffees, cheeses, and cooking tools are all stocked. Periodic scheduled delivery of things like coffee and groceries can be scheduled.
Westside Market: This slightly upscale grocery chain with seven locations in Manhattan between 12th Street and 110th Street, some of the 24 hours, will make same day local deliveries by hand cart, depending on distance from the individual stores. Sandwiches, roast chickens, and other prepared foods available.
Other supermarkets, smaller groceries, ethnic groceries, and bodegas: Make some phone calls in your area and see if local deliveries can be arranged. Many do it.
Barano: Partnering with Hudson River Valley farmers, the Williamsburg Italian restaurant Barano will provide subscriptions of four weekly boxes at two price points: $44.40 and $68.00. Boxes will contain vegetables, eggs, and apples, varying as the season progresses. Orders made by Wednesday can be picked up at the restaurant on Saturday.
Wild Kale: Call itself an “online farmers market,” Wild Kale connects regional farmers with the purchasing public. It asks that zip code be input, then lists the farms that will ship to that area, with color pictures of the products. This being a little early for farmers markets, the site is now rich in meats, poultry, prepared sauces and condiments, sourdough bread, and a few wintering-over vegetables like kale and carrots.
Farm to People: Brooklyn based Farm to People delivers farmers market groceries to all of Manhattan, half of Brooklyn, about a quarter of Queens, as well as Mott Haven, the Bronx, but also directs potential customers to inquire about zip codes outside the area. It seeks to provide non GMO and pesticide-free produce, and the larder also includes some prepared foods (Four & Twenty Blackbirds, and Bien Cuit among them), as well as meat and seafood.
Rustic Roots Delivery: This Long Island-based outfit specializes in home delivery of organic farmstead products. Yes, there are fruits and vegetables available for a single time or for repeated scheduled delivery, CSA style, but there are also dairy products, frozen goods, fresh meat, beverages, and a wealth of other things, often of a contemporary sort (e.g., riced cauliflower). Order on Tuesday for delivery the following week.
Local Roots: This service functions in much the same way as a CSA, except that it draws its produce from multiple farms, with a weekly selection offered at Upper East Side and Carroll Gardens pickup points. But it also offers a delivery service in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan for a flat yearly fee. Weekly boxes vary according to season, priced at $52 or $84 per week.
CSAs: “Community supported agriculture” is a system by which one pays up front for a growing season’s worth of vegetables and fruits, often from a single farm. This means you have no choice about what is provided, but can depend on it being seasonal, and the direct connection with the farmer is an added plus. No wholesaler profit! CSAs are explained here, and to find one with a proximate pickup point, consult the Just Food website, which lists 92 CSAs in the city, many in Brooklyn neighborhoods underserved by grocery delivery services, like East New York and Bay Ridge.
Harvest To Home: The goal of Harvest To Home is to help distribute local farmers’ unexpected extra inventory by delivering organic fruits and vegetables to the Northern New Jersey area (Morris, Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Hudson, and Warren counties, including Hoboken and Jersey City). Its offerings include fresh organic produce, eggs, honey, bottled water, and Kaló hemp seltzer, one of the program’s sponsors.
Shushan Valley Hydro Farm: This Salem, NY, hydroponic farm illustrates an important point: It’s a good idea to contact farmers represented at the Greenmarkets directly (their emails and phone numbers are not hard to find) and make side deals for shipping of products by various delivery methods. Shushan Valley has been in the Union Square Greenmarket for the last 11 years, growing heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, and herbs, and are willing to ship directly from the farm via FedEx or UPS. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Harvest: This farm-to-home delivery service sells fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy, and many more items to NYC, Long Island, and the Hamptons. Orders are placed online by entering the relevant zip. The service still has delivery windows available this week and next.
Imperfect Foods: This weekly or biweekly delivery service based in San Francisco delivers boxes of fruits, vegetables, and other groceries like dairy, coffee, and nuts, emphasizing surplus or blemished supplies at a cost savings of as much as 30 percent. One can make suggestions for delivery boxes, but there’s a limit of how much shipments can be customized. Details here.
Restaurant wholesale suppliers
Many sources of raw materials for restaurants have switched to selling to the public. Most will ship by FedEx or UPS, and have minimum orders that may run to $100 or more, so consider clearing some room in the refrigerator or freezer to stock up on meat, seafood, vegetables or other perishable items. Some suppliers deliver by truck within the city, so check the list carefully. See the full list here.
A handful of restaurants are using their connections with wholesalers and farmers to become de facto grocery stores. Some are delivering produce and other groceries, including in weekly installments, while others offer contactless pickup for locals living in the neighborhood. The selection at these restaurants are largely more limited than that of local grocery stores, but for those struggling to get delivery times from bigger players, it’s both a possible alternative and a way to support a cherished local restaurant. See a running list of those options here.
Hello Alfred: Normally a service that provides personal assistants for certain subscribing buildings, Hello Alfred has switched to furnishing personal shoppers who will do grocery shopping for at a flat rate of $25 per week, plus the cost of goods and a five percent service charge. First download the app to a cell phone.
Saxelby Cheese: Specializing in cheeses produce in New England and New York, Saxelby Cheese offers free shipping on orders $50 and over, with a very large selection offered.
Vermont Cheese Council: This organization of cheese producers offers a list of makers that will ship directly to the city, with a broad variety of assortments and arrangements.
Barney Greengrass: The Upper West Side’s favorite preserved fish peddler can provide all the elements of a nosh — the nova, the cream cheese, the bagels — by truck delivery the same day in Manhattan, and maybe some other boroughs, too. Cheeses, caviar, olives, and matzoh ball soup also available. Call (212) 724-4707.
Gustiamo: Bronx combo retailer and wholesaler Gustiamo sells premium Italian groceries in bulk, so for those who don’t mind buying 51⁄2 pounds of spaghetti at one time, this may be a good option. Olive oil, canned tomatoes, dried porcini mushrooms, capers, pistachios, and balsamic vinegar, are only a few examples. Shipping via UPS anywhere in the city and continental United States.
7 Eleven: This national convenience store chain, with nearly 90 locations in the five boroughs, and more in nearby New Jersey and Long Island, provides free local delivery in “about 30 minutes,” according to the phone app that must be downloaded. Good for chips, beer, breakfast cereal, Slim Jims, junk food, and staples like sugar, flour, milk, luncheon meat, bread, and condiments. Typical delivery radius for each store: 1.5 miles.
Pepper Pantry: Normally managing deliveries of suppliers to restaurants, Pepper Pantry is now arranging delivery of goods from wholesalers to consumers. Enter a zip code and a list of suppliers who will deliver to your area pops up. Delivery is via the service provided by the supplier, and delivery fees (and lack of delivery fees for larger orders) vary tremendously.
Raw Generation: This Jersey based juice concern is now selling not only juices and cleanses, but 25 pound boxes of either vegetables or fruits. The $79.99 price tag also includes free shipping, and the service area includes 21 eastern states and the District of Columbia.
Homemade by Miriam: A caterer specializing in Mediterranean food and offshoot of the Park Slope restaurant Miriam, Homemade by Miriam will now offer pre-prepared foods (breads, baked goods, soups, salads, main courses) and wines from its website, homemadebymiriam.com.
Big delivery services
Many New Yorkers are struggling to access delivery services from bigger companies due to increased demand. However, those who face few other options may try tactics that users report working upon occasion, such as going to websites in the middle of the night or refreshing constantly over the course of a couple of hours. Here’s a rundown.
Shipt: Another of those third party shopping services, this one owned by Target, Shipt encourages you to input a zip code and see what stores are available to be delivered from in the area. Mainly national chains, the stores may include supermarkets, pharmacies, pet food stores, hardware stores, and big boxes like Target, and even Bronx zip codes have delivery options. This service allows direct communication with a shopper while they’re shopping. A monthly subscription is $14, with free delivery over $35; phone app available.
Mercato Green: Like all delivery service, this one is running behind — but it may be a better bet compared to bigger players because it doesn’t require securing a specific delivery window. It’s also one of the easier ways to get delivery from more specialty grocery stores, such as Japanese grocery store Sunrise Mart, Middle Eastern grocery favorite Sahadi’s, and British grocery store Myers of Keswick.
Explained here, Mercato Green is a grocery delivery membership organization, whereby you pay a certain annual amount for delivery in a three-mile radius, and a larger amount for delivery in a 10 mile radius. Once you’ve subscribed, the delivery is free. The roster of participating merchants in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens is broad but idiosyncratic, filled with plenty of local purveyors. Operators such as the Meat Hook, Murray’s Cheese, Muncan Food, and Chelsesa Market are on the platform, and the selection of grocers and other merchants in Queens is a particularly broad one.
Fresh Direct: This 13-year-old grocery delivery service based in the Bronx is famous for its fleet of refrigerated trucks decorated with supergraphics, which can be seen idling curbside in many parts of town. It stocks not only groceries, but booze and prepared meals, too. Delivery slots are hard to come by, with none in the coming week for an address input for a series of zip codes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Advice from a regular: Try in the middle of the night.
Peapod: It offers truck delivery from Stop & Shop stores, with locations across Brooklyn and Queens, including groceries, household supplies, meal kits, prepared meals, and alcohol, including a contactless delivery option. Available through much of the city, though “limited delivery available” pops up for Bronx and Staten Island locations; for many zip codes, no delivery slots are available for the next two weeks.
Instacart: Instacart is a third-party delivery service currently available in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, but not in Staten Island. Similar to Uber, individuals make your grocery purchases and then deliver them by car. Sources of groceries include Gristedes, Wegmans, Eataly, Foodtown, D’Agostino, Key Food, Food Emporium, and even Western Beef, but not Trader Joe’s, so you can go low or high with the price of groceries. Payment for the service is either a lump sum or per delivery. Like all grocery delivery services, a significant delay may likely be encountered. Fee structure explained here. Update: New “Fast and Flexible” service allows customers to get immediate shopping and delivery when a service agent becomes available.
Amazon Fresh: Now free for Amazon Prime subscribers, Amazon Fresh offers a selection from Whole Foods, with a sliding shipping rate depending on method. Like all such websites, it warns of shipping delays, though says it prioritizes items that are needed the most. As with most Amazon products, delivery may be piecemeal. One the positive side, shipping is to any zip code in the city or adjacent areas.
This post was originally published on Monday, April 6, 2020 and has been updated with new options.