At this point in our summer-long staycation, we've managed to indulge more in the little things that we enjoy. Maybe it's watching reality TV or bad movies or dressing up the dog. But we're also ordering a lot of restaurant food delivery. Like, a lot of takeout.
It makes sense: Some of our favorite neighborhood restaurants really need the support. And with the added convenience of carryout and a multitude of delivery apps, there's no risk of going hungry.
But like all things, you can overdo it. No, not the so-called “Quarantine 15" (these are stressful times — you do you).
Delivery apps like Postmates, Seamless and GrubHub are all on our phone home screens now, but that convenience comes at a price. Those delivery fees can really start to add up — spending $3.99 here or $5.99 there seems fine when you're hungry, but by the end of the month, you might wish you spent more nights cooking.
So, try skipping the apps and calling the restaurants directly. If you're in the neighborhood, you may only have to tip the driver (please tip your delivery drivers).
And if you're in any one of these cities, you're in luck. Not sure what you're in the mood for? You've got options. Here are the best cities for restaurant food delivery.
Tuscaloosa features everything you love about living in the south. A community of college football diehards, some of the best comfort food you'll find anywhere and a growing population of just more than 100,000.
The city's eclectic menu features everything from regional barbecue and steamed mussels to traditional German pastries.
Jog the tree-lined shores of the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk before you hit up the tailgate at the University of Alabama. It's a guaranteed good time, especially if any of those parties are catered by one of the city's 16 delivery eateries per capita. The rent here is a reasonable $783, which will come in handy for all the season tickets you're going to get for next season.
Gainesville is about as close to Florida perfection as you can get. It's inland and far enough north to withstand hurricanes and severe weather, has all the relaxation of Orlando without the tourists and as much sun as Miami at a fraction of the price. The average rent here is $1,170. And for a city of 133,000 people, that ought to leave you with some disposable income to eat your way through town.
And since there's so much of the state condensed into this one city, you can explore all the flavors of Florida without having to go far. Cuban sandwiches with plantains, red snapper, wings, authentic Vietnamese and more are all within a few miles of one another here in Hogtown. And if none of those get your mouth watering, one of the 16 restaurants with delivery per capita will have something on the menu guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
It's called "The City Too Busy To Hate" for a reason. Home to the largest and busiest international airport in the country, Atlanta is the largest city on our list. Here, you'll find championship sports, arts, museums and the world-famous BeltLine. You could live here for a decade and never have a bad meal.
This city of a half-million people is developing a reputation for its food halls, massive spaces with different stalls offering a limited menu from some of the country's premier chefs, as well as talented local chefs. Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market are among Atlanta's most well-known examples, and there are others serving up authentic cuisine from every corner of the world.
With nearly 17 food delivery restaurants per capita and strong international culture, you'll find anything you can imagine: samosas, smoked brisket, street tacos and the choices go on. And wash it all down with a whiskey slushie on the West Side.
If you like Atlanta, you're not alone. Apartment rental prices rose again in 2020, now at $1,675.
Nearly 122,000 people live in Ann Arbor, a city with almost as many college football fans as trees … or is it the other way around? If you need your football fix and watch Big Blue, or if you need some silence in nature away from the crowds, Ann Arbor has you covered.
The people here also have options when it comes to food. It's a city that takes its food seriously, especially the city's Korean food culture. As home to the largest Korean population in the state, Ann Arbor is not lacking for authentic, high-quality Korean fare.
But you can expect to pay for that kind of quality. The average rent here is $1,744 and climbing higher annually. But with that investment comes year-round outdoor activities, the feel of a college town, the arts of a major city and literally dozens of microbreweries. Definitely a city to add to the list.
Miami is exciting and enthralling. It's as famous for its beaches as it is for its nightlife. And if one doesn't work up an appetite, the other one surely will.
And when that does happen, there are fewer places in the world where every option is pretty incredible. There are more than 18 food delivery restaurants per capita in this southernmost metropolis of 470,000 busy, hungry people.
If you're feeling adventurous, but not so adventurous that you're ready to venture out of the house just yet, there's only one answer. Call up the nearest raw bar and order a dozen raw oysters. A perfect indulgence before a night on the town.
Speaking of affordable, rent in Miami is among the highest in the country at $2,551, so as much fun as you'll have in the 305, it's a city that will require a budget.
The rent in Dayton registers at $1,120, which is reasonable for this city of 140,000. If you're in town for the day, consider checking out the U.S. Air Force Museum. If you're new to the area, check out your new favorite jogging path at the Riverscape MetroPark. Either way, you're going to need to eat something. And in either case, the answer is the same.
With more than 18 food delivery restaurants in Dayton per capita, you'll have dozens of options. But if you want something filling, light and healthy (gasp!), go Mediterranean.
Get yourself shawarma, falafel and hummus, and you'll be good to go. But you may as well order a piece of baklava and a Turkish coffee while you're there. Sip your coffee. Have a little something sweet. Stay awhile.
Wilmington seemingly has it all: beautiful beaches, a thriving arts scene and nearly 20 restaurants per capita that deliver to the city's 122,000 hungry customers. The average month's rent here in $1,186 and rising every year. The hospitality community goes above and beyond, which explains why they banded together in support of their own local food delivery company, Cape Fear Delivery. This locally-owned-and-operated company will hit up all the local places for you.
Let's face it, when you're relaxing on your beach vacation, nothing hits the spot quite like a delicious cheeseburger and a mountain of fries. There's a reason cheeseburgers are synonymous with paradise. Not only are beachside burgers better than drive-thru, but it's also even better when you can eat them from the comfort of your couch room.
This one's easy. Pizza. More than 100,000 people live in the West Palm Beach area. And of the restaurants that serve them, any one of them would agree the pizza here is pretty great. Yes, the area is known for its population of people who moved from the Northeast. The region is also known for its rising rents. At $2,027 and rising every year, it's one of the hottest spots in the state.
And while yes, they've heard all the jokes before, there's one thing New Yorkers, Philadelphians, Bostonians and New Jerseyans take very seriously: pizza. Order yourself a Palermo pizza, a white pie with fresh tomatoes and roasted garlic. If that's not your speed, you'll find all your Italian comfort food necessities — pasta, calzones, chicken parm, meatball subs, salads and more. It's a taste of home, no matter where you're from.
Columbia has a couple of great things going for it — gorgeous botanical gardens, an easily walkable downtown and more restaurants than any other city in the state. If you're looking for comfort food, look no further. In a city of 133,000, you can get lost in all the options, but we'll make this easy for you. You want comfort food. In a city this walkable, you'll want something filling, satisfying and delivered to your doorstep.
The pizza in Columbia is unlike most other regional pizzas you've had. It's round like a traditional pie, but it's thinner than a normal thin crust. Right out of the oven, it snaps like a cracker. A delicious sauce and cheese covered cracker, but it won't weigh you down the way a New York slice or a Chicago deep dish would.
But if you're in the south, you need some traditional South Carolina-style barbecue. This specific variety is known for its yellow mustard base, which has a sharper taste than its central North Carolina tomato-based sauce. Neither should be confused with the Eastern Carolina style, which goes heavy on the vinegar.
Confused yet? Don't be. It's all delicious. Go whole hog and order the pulled pork sandwich or platter. Don't forget the hash and rice or the hush puppies. And with rents in Columbia at a reasonable $1,067, you can stretch out and relax in your comfortable new digs.
While the city's signature dish may not travel well, Orlando has the honor of having more restaurants that deliver per capita than any other city in the U.S. From red snapper to Cuban or some of the best barbecue in the state, you'll be hard-pressed to find something that won't cure your cravings.
If you're looking for something cheap and satisfying, the answer is tacos. But not just any tacos. You need the street tacos in Winter Park. Home to one of the most essential restaurants in the city, you'll want to keep them in your speed dial, if only for handmade tamales or their fried avocado tacos. Most of their menu items are less than 10 bucks, which is great with rent in Orlando at $1,518 and climbing.
Just because your town didn't make the list doesn't mean you don't have great delivery options nearby. Here are the top 50 cities with the most food delivery restaurants per capita.
|Rank||City||State||Population||Food Delivery Restaurants Per Capita (100k People)|
|3||West Palm Beach||FL||111,398||20.6|
|24||Salt Lake City||UT||200,591||12.5|
No matter where you are, you're bound to find something to suit your palate. Exploring and trying new things are what make travel or moving to a new city so exciting and fun. Asking a server at one restaurant where you should go for your next meal is a great way to learn more about your surroundings and get some informed feedback from someone who knows. Getting recommendations on bars and neighborhood events from new neighbors or co-workers will help you discover your new favorite chicken tikka. Or hot pastrami sandwich. Or hot chicken. Or whatever you're in the mood for.
To determine the best cities for gardening, we looked at all cities in the country with more than 100,000 people according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2018 estimates and then used a database of 8 million commercially licensed business listings to find the number of restaurants that offer delivery in each area. Listings may not represent recent business openings or closures. We ranked each city by its per capita calculation (per 100,000 residents). Locations with the most businesses per capita were considered to be the best cities for food delivery in our quantitative report.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com's multifamily rental property inventory from June 2019 to June 2020. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.