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5 Most Popular Delivery Foods Right Now

Grubhub reveals which to-go meals have increased in popularity since the start of the pandemic.

Food delivery orders have never been more popular than this year as it's one of the only ways you can safely support an independently-owned business while enjoying a restaurant-quality meal.

Third-party delivery services such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Postmates are among the most commonly used apps consumers can use to have food delivered straight to their homes. Unfortunately, these services are often criticized for taking a substantial amount of revenue away from restaurants, which recently caused large metropolitan areas such as Portland, New York City, and San Francisco to enforce a 10% cap on service fees. For context, some delivery apps were charging restaurants as much as 30% in fees.

Still, for local restaurants that don't have enough staff or resources to provide delivery on their own, these third-party services may have been the sole reason they were able to remain open during the shutdown this spring. The team at Grubhub collected data on order trends from March 18 to June 18 this year and compared it with those during the same time frame last year. In their analysis, they found that five foods were much more popular during the pandemic than they were in 2019.

The commonality among all of these food orders? They all fall under one or both of these two categories: comfort food and shareable plates. Now, here are the five foods that are among the most popular food delivery orders on Grubhub right now.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

crispy chicken burger

What food screams comfort more than a spicy, crispy chicken sandwich? This beloved meal increased by 353% in popularity during the months of March through June this year in comparison with that same three-month time period last year.

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Red Velvet Cupcake

red velvet cupcake

Did you know that red velvet cake is essentially chocolate cake with red food coloring? No wonder why it's irresistible? The only difference (aside from the color) is that a traditional red velvet recipe calls for a few tablespoons of cocoa powder as opposed to actual chocolate bar squares like a true chocolate cake may require. Ultimately, this yields a lighter chocolate flavor. Evidently, those ordering in were craving the cake flavor in cupcake form since the start of the pandemic, increasing by 196% in popularity from the year prior.

Plant-Based Burger

plant based burger

In April, many workers at meat processing facilities were testing positive for coronavirus, which led to temporary closures and fears of a long-term meat shortage. Largely in part of this, many consumers began to explore meat alternatives at the grocery store—and apparently at restaurants, too. According to Grubhub data, orders for plant-based burgers increased by 166% this year.

Cajun Shrimp Chicken Pasta

cajun shrimp pasta

A heaping plate of creamy pasta with savory shrimp and chicken? We can totally see how this meal was in high demand during a time of uncertainty. The cajun shrimp chicken pasta order increased in popularity by 164% nationwide.

Cheeseburger Sliders

cheeseburger sliders

Last but not least, the order that also saw a notable jump in popularity was cheeseburger sliders, increasing by 158%.

Another item Grubhub noticed diners ordered more this year than last was cold brew, rising by 232%. It sounds like a lot of people using the delivery service may benefit from reading the 5 Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Coffee.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne