Solution 1: Food Delivery
Almost everyone knows about vietnammm.com — it has been in existence for a long time and is probably a staple. The fact that Vietnammm outlasted the internationally established Hungry Panda to survive the challenging emerging Vietnamese market is proof of the quality of this Vietnam-based restaurants listing and food delivery platform. Vietnammm connects registered restaurants to users by becoming an extensive food catalogue.
Listings on this platform are expat-friendly covering a wide range of various cuisines that appeal to the Western appetite. Shipping fees on top of food prices range from free of charge to VND30,000 depending on restaurants. Delivery time is usually between 40 and 50 minutes if you live in District 1. The latest version of Vietnammm app on iOs allows users to filter cuisines, browse directly on a map showing the exact location of eateries, and sort based on relevant criteria.
A new and aggressively growing food delivery option is Deliverynow, powered by the big gamer foody.vn (a platform that lists and lets users review restaurants and cafes) and thus owns a competitive advantage that can hardly be beaten, in this case the endless listings.
While Vietnammm plays the role of an intermediary, Deliverynow is a shipping service with a large team of professional shippers always ready to take orders, buy, and bring the requested food and drink to your doorstep. The shipping fee is calculated based on real distance between the restaurant and the delivery address.
While lacking a lot of higher-end, mostly western, restaurants on the list, Deliverynow covers almost the entire lower-medium price category, especially those more relevant to the local palate. They always have plenty of daily and weekly specials going on.
Solution 2: Meal plans
Unlike food delivery listing platforms where you have to decide and pick what you want and pay every single time you order, meal plans bring you the pleasure of having your entire week worth of food designed and planned ahead and paying it off once and for all.
Meal plans come mostly from health-oriented vendors, those specialising in salads and fitness food. These include Eat More Salad, WowBox, GreenS, D’Green Store, FavorBox Saigon, Fitmeal,vn and Smartmeal. As a food lover and explorer, I haven’t had a lot of chances to order from all of them and draw comparisons, but Eat More Salad and WowBox both do a pretty good job, especially Eat More Salad with their menu range and awesome service that I cannot complain about (and I am picky).
Ordering meal plans from these stores also gives you more human interaction with whoever is answering the phone/ Facebook message. The downside of meal plans is probably not getting (or having little room) to choose what you want for a particular day or meal; and if you are a social butterfly then some meals will go to waste when you are out celebrating.
Solution 3: Personal Grocery Shopper
Chopp.vn, available on both website and app, will go to buy your groceries and hand-deliver them. You can browse by stores (supermarket, fresh produce stores, some other boutiques) or by food categories. Even though Chopp has not released an English version, it’s still doable for non-Vietnamese speakers. The user interface, while not the most intuitive, is simple enough for most people to navigate. Service fee is reasonable.