Fastest Food Delivery Service

Fastest Food Delivery Service

The Fastest Food Delivery Service Deliveries of food can be a blessing. It’s available to you when you’re too busy or pressed for time to go out for lunch. However, there are still costs involved and occasionally long waits. So when minutes are few, which one should you spend your hard-earned money on?

To determine which service was the quickest, we used meals from six different restaurants and tried Caviar, Amazon Restaurants, Postmates, UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub. We put together a team of six tasters, who all ordered tacos from restaurants within 1.5 miles of our headquarters in downtown Washington, to ensure a level playing field. The orders were placed simultaneously and meticulously followed up on till delivery. Let’s compare them all to one another. The choices are presented in order of slowest to fastest.

Fastest Food Delivery Service

1. Postmates

Fastest Food Delivery Service

Restaurant: Taco Bamba

Delivery estimate: 25-40 minutes

Actual delivery time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Distance: 0.8 miles

Fees: Delivery fee, $5.99. The service fee, $4.77

The eatery that was closest to our workplace took the longest to show up. I watched as my Postmates symbol remained motionless for an entire hour without any updates when I was starving. Since Taco Bamba is a very popular restaurant with a reputation for having long lines, the restaurant itself is probably to blame for the slow service rather than the app. When utilizing Postmates, you cannot move to the head of the line.

The app’s time estimations shouldn’t be trusted if you’re tight for time. However, the delivery itself was done with white-glove treatment. The tacos were kept sizzling hot in an insulated hot-food delivery bag while the driver made calls and sent texts while en route. The garnishes, which included pickled onions, avocado, and red pepper, were similarly well-preserved.


Avoid placing an order from a popular restaurant during the busiest lunch hour if you want your food right away. Moreover, Postmates charged higher service fees than the competition.

2. Amazon Restaurants

Fastest Food Delivery Service

Restaurant: Pica Taco

Delivery estimate: 25 minutes

Actual delivery time: 43 minutes

Distance: Roughly 1.5 miles

Fees: Delivery fee, $3.19 (costs vary by restaurant)

Customers who pay for Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping also get access to Amazon Restaurants, which is the only delivery service that charges a membership fee. (The Washington Post is owned by Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder, and CEO of Amazon.) Strong restaurants like Ventnor Sports Cafe and Hill Country can be found among the somewhat limited selection, as can selections as diverse and perplexing as the Uno Pizzeria and Grill in Union Station or the Hooters in Chinatown.

It was a mysterious and a little awkward method to place an order. The driver’s pin movement in the app could not be reliably tracked because it froze and abruptly leaped forward several blocks at a time. When the food was picked up or on the way, neither a text message nor an email informed me of it.

I discovered there was no information on the driver’s car or name to distinguish them from any random individual carrying a plastic bag as I stalked the front entrance of our building after the progress bar on the app indicated “Prepare to meet your driver.” “Uh, Amazon?” I asked a man who had just parked as I greeted him. Yes, these tacos were mine. Warm and rather delicious.


Using the delivery app caused more social anxiety than was warranted.

3. DoorDash Fastest Food Delivery Service

Fastest Food Delivery Service

Restaurant: El Sol

Delivery estimate: 42-52 minutes

Actual delivery time: 34 minutes

Distance: 0.5 miles

Fees: $2.99 delivery fee

Zen Taco, Surfside, Far East Taco Grille, and Chipotle were at the top of my screen, showing that DoorDash’s selection of primarily fast-casual eateries has no shortage of taco options. That is why I was happy to see El Sol, the Shaw taqueria that reviewers unanimously deem to be D.C.’s best. As a novice DoorDash user, I also valued the ability to text or call my “Dasher” rather than merely following their car’s location on a map.

The actual delivery went quite smoothly: rather than taking the 42 to 52 minutes predicted in the initial email, I received a text letting me know that my Dasher would be there to pick up the order 15 minutes later. More challenging was the order itself. One corn shell was delivered with its filling dispersed across the container, virtually empty. Other tacos had a bit better luck, but they were mostly destroyed. They were at least in the bag: salsa and chips that were requested as a side never showed up.

One odd thing about DoorDash: 

One peculiarity of DoorDash is that, when I was checking out, the company offered a $4 “Dasher Tip” for my driver. Before my dish has even left the kitchen, I don’t tip the server. I’m used to the UberEats business model, which involves leaving a gratuity after the meal is delivered. What if they get lost and the meal doesn’t arrive for 30 minutes? What if I want to tip more since they did a fantastic job?


I would use DoorDash again, but I would make sure that my lunch included foods that traveled better than these tacos.

4. Caviar Fastest Food Delivery Service

Restaurant: Takorean (National Place)

Delivery estimate: 27 to 38 minutes

Actual delivery time: 27 minutes

Distance: 0.5 miles

Fees: Service fee, 18 percent of the total; no delivery fee on our order

Takorean is one of many eateries that can only be ordered through Caviar, including Pappe and All-Purpose. Caviar offers delivery for restaurants that range from “cheap eats” to “critically acclaimed.” The Caviar website was easy to use: just enter your address, pick the restaurant, and go. Five tacos with all the fixings and a few clicks later, my meal was finished. (Note: Depending on the restaurant, caviar orders typically require a minimum, which may be raised during periods of strong demand.)

I followed my order’s progress via a status bar at the top of the website rather than installing the app because who has room on their phones for more apps? I was able to get a fast “Got It” confirmation and see when the courier was on his way. The tacos arrived hot and largely undamaged (wiser to order by threes rather than individually, as the trio nestled together provides cushion and filling protection).


I’d use Caviar again, but I wish they’d stop spamming my inbox.

5. UberEats Fastest Food Delivery Service

Restaurant: Tiki Taco

Delivery estimate: 30 minutes

Actual delivery time: 25 minutes

Distance: 1.2 miles

Fees: Booking fee, $4.99 (price depends on location)

The one hiccup in this delivery service is that, for some reason, Tiki Taco doesn’t appear on the UberEats interface unless you Google “Tiki Taco Uber eats.” So let this serve as a lesson: if the main interface doesn’t list your chosen dining spot, try an online search.

The rest of the delivery process was rather straightforward. I received calls when the item was delivered, as well as SMS updates and a map that showed the location of my order in real-time. The dinner was delivered in excellent condition and with timely service—even a few minutes earlier than anticipated. The tacos were cozy in their small clamshells and still warm.



I’d place another order with them. The service was quick and simple to use.

6. Grubhub

Restaurant: Rito Loco

Delivery estimate: 40 minutes

Actual delivery time: 18 minutes

Distance: 1.3 miles

Fees: $7.34 (sales tax and delivery fee)

In the Washington region, more than 550 eateries accept deliveries from Grubhub, which merged with Seamless in 2013. For a hungry worker at lunchtime, this diversity may be both a blessing and a curse. What to pick: Sushi or a salad? Pasta or poke? I was fortunate to have a pre-determined purpose and a craving for tacos. I received a confirmation email with my order information and the chance to electronically “track my order” a little while after completing my purchase.

Despite the 40-minute wait time that was first indicated, my item was delivered in just under 20. Score! I frequently got updates during that period letting me know how my food was doing. The tacos, which included three chicken and two shrimp, were substantially intact, warm, and scented (sans a few shrimp that escaped the taco shell in transit).


The food was filling and fresh, and the delivery was smooth.

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