No-Pants Fine Dining: The Seattle On-Demand Food Scene

During my first few weeks in Seattle, meals were more of a headache than they were happy occasions. At that time, I didn’t have much cookware in my apartment and I didn’t have many friends yet to go out and eat with.

Instead of moping around and eating canned corn and peas for dinner every night, I decided to turn mealtimes into opportunities. I set out to try each and every on-demand food service in Seattle.

Hand-in-hand with my lack of meal options was also my lack of local startup knowledge. Having been in Los Angeles for over four years, listing the local startups there became second-nature.

I hardly knew about Seattle tech at the time, and trying these on-demand food services would, at least, serve as my foray into this community.

Lish

I started with Lish, having seen some ads for it in my Twitter feed once I moved up here. I also had a promo code for $5 off, so I gave it a shot.

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Received a free cookie and a handwritten note from my first order.

Lish is only available in Seattle which I think is pretty cool. Their niche in this space is something along the lines of “like having your own personal chef.” The order window is up until 7 pm, and all ingredients in these dishes are local.

I like the the concept a lot, and they have a great menu that caters to all sorts of different tastes. On any given day, you could have a menu that has everything from Louisiana Jumbalaya to Gnocchi Bolognese.

The only catch for me? It gets pricey, with entrees ranging from $12 to $16. But with local ingredients, the price is somewhat justified.

Munchery

I’ve always been curious about Munchery. I decided to do some research one afternoon to see if it was available in Seattle, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was.

I received $10 off just by joining, and could get an additional $10 off for each friend I referred.

At first glance, I was already won over by the design of Munchery’s app. Simple and beautiful. Even the daily specials looked that much better because of aesthetics. I decided to order their Miso-Glazed Salmon with Soba.

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The meal didn’t come as pictured above, but it tasted just as good as it looks here.

It can be a little difficult to track when something will arrive from Munchery. Like most of these apps, you get texts when food will arrive soon. But without any accurate live-tracking, the ETA on the screen isn’t always 100% reliable.

Regardless, it’s only a minor inconvenience and very minor since the food is just SO good. I did not expect such quality from what I ordered. Since then, I’ve continued to order from time to time, and haven’t been let down once – portions are always just enough, and the food is always very tasty.

Munchery is more generous with its discounts than other on-demand food services in Seattle and prices are reasonable too.

Want to give Munchery a shot? Use the Promo code: JCGD34A3

Peach

Founded by three former Amazon employees, Peach is a lunch-delivery service that is only available depending on where you work.

Let’s say you work at Microsoft. If you’ve signed up for Peach via SMS, you’ll receive a text in the morning with the daily special. To order, all you need to do is text back “YES” and you’ll get lunch from your receptionist.

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Peach is bae.

It’s that easy – and it’s ingenious.  Your first lunch is $5, and any referrals will get you more $5 lunches.

How’s the food quality? Really good. Meals come with silverware and are packaged tightly and neatly. The restaurant choices that Peach offers are also well-curated. After redeeming the discount price, meals tend to range between $9 and $11, which is more than decent.

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My fresh and beautiful poke lunch.

Work in Seattle or San Diego? Redeem a $5 lunch here.

UberEATS

I unfortunately had a bit of a subpar experience with UberEATS. To start, the interface is a little confusing. Even in UberEATS mode, the app still looks as if you were about to order an Uber – except for the pull-up menu at the bottom.

I also had a discount code which I thought had applied and gone through – however via email, I was told the feature was buggy and that it did not work.

I had ordered a stew, which I knew wouldn’t look like how it was pictured in the app…

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Looks hearty, indeed!

… But it didn’t really even resemble the photo.

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Hmm…

Nevertheless, the taste was fine which made up for the ordering experience. I would say the options given daily are so-so. The restaurant choices are good, but they don’t always offer the items I would order.

Amazon PrimeNow

When in Seattle – use Amazon PrimeNow for food! The day before I was leaving for the holidays, I realized I didn’t have any food in my fridge. So I opted for PrimeNow, where I could scroll through the partner restaurants and select the available items I wanted.

Even though Prime can be pricey, I will admit that the experience is really good. Real-time tracking is very accurate and the food is hot – we are, after all, talking about THE leader in shipping and e-commerce. I was definitely pleased with the experience.

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The black box was added in afterwards – sorry, Internet.

BiteSquad

After seeing a couple of BiteSquad cars from time to time, I got curious enough to see what BiteSquad was all about. Being completely honest, I didn’t really see the difference between BiteSquad, UberEATS, PrimeNow or any of the other delivery services besides the fact that 1) BiteSquad is more “transparent” with its ordering and delivery process and 2) those cars.

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Get live updates about your food!

BiteSquad probably has the biggest selection of restaurants to choose from out of all of the services. The delivery is either free or is a small fee depending on where you’re ordering from.

Prices are reasonable through BiteSquad, and I definitely enjoy the live updates – I can time things perfectly if I’m coming out a meeting.

If you’re hungry and you’re reading this, you shouldn’t have any problem getting food now. Did I miss any other services? Other non-Seattle services that are worth mentioning? Let me know!

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