Special Report

The 15 Most Popular Food Orders in America

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San Francisco-based DoorDash — the country’s leading food delivery service, accounting for 34% of U.S. sales in the category, according to the most recent data — has just released its 2019-2020 Trend Report. Based on orders received between January and November of this year compared with those from a comparable period in 2018, and on a survey of more than 1,200 of its customers, the report reveals the 15 most popular food items for home delivery in America.

The key trend, according to DoorDash, is Mexican food — though that sometimes means dishes that are more Mexican-inspired than actually Mexican, like taco salad. Some foods that we might think have foreign origins, though, were actually invented in America — these are 20 “foreign” foods that are really American.) 

The popularity of south-of-the-border-style fare might be partially a reflection of the fact that, according to The Atlantic, DoorDash rings up more than half of all delivery sales in Houston and Dallas, two cities in which Mexican and Tex-Mex food are particularly popular. (Houston is sometimes called the country’s Mexican food capital.) 

Click here to see the top 15 most popular food orders in America

Another major trend, according to the report, is DIY — the customizing of orders, especially of pizza and sushi. It may not have reached “most popular” status yet,  but creating a sushi roll to order is considered one of the rising food trends of the year — even though it is sometimes said that sushi isn’t something you should order in. From listeria outbreaks to mold in virtually all soda fountain machines, there are many reasons why a little forethought cooking at home is well worth the effort — these are 29 foods you should never order for delivery.

Though pizza is the only Italian food on this list, the customer survey portion of the report also found that Italy was the country most Americans would choose to live in based on its food scene. Without leaving home, though, 96% of those polled believe that food is a great way to explore other cultures. At least four of these are reflected in this list.

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15. Chili

The popularity of this Tex-Mex classic for delivery is surprising, considering how many perfectly good canned versions there are, but this might just be yet another indication of the increased interest in Mexican (or sorta Mexican) food.


14. Chicken BLT

When you add chicken to a BLT, isn’t that a club sandwich? Whatever you call it, it’s obviously something people crave.

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13. Cheesecake

Surprisingly, this is the only dessert to make the list. Of course, many other confections, like fancy flaky pastries (not to mention ice cream), wouldn’t lend themselves as well to home delivery.

12. Greek salad

Three salads made the top 15, so there must be at least some concern for healthy eating on the part of food-orderers — though it might be noted that all three contain cheese, so they’re certainly not vegan.


Source: stu_spivack / Wikimedia Commons

11. Spring rolls

Chinese food is such a home-delivery cliché that it’s a surprise to find only this one example of the cuisine on this list — but maybe that’s because so many Chinese restaurants have their own delivery networks and wouldn’t need the services of DoorDash.

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10. Nachos

Half of the top ten most often ordered items in this report were Mexican (more or less), and DoorDash notes that the category grew more than any other this year over 2018 — an increase of 314%.


9. Taco salad

According to Mexican food expert Gustavo Arellano, the first version of this popular dish was invented at Casa de Fritos, a restaurant at Disneyland, in 1955. It was called the Ta-Cup, a name that very well might not have earned it a place on this list.

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8. Spicy chicken wrap

If a chicken BLT is basically a club sandwich, isn’t a spicy chicken wrap basically a burrito? Somehow, though, “spicy chicken wrap” sounds healthier.

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7. Chicken noodle soup

It would be interesting to learn whether sales of this ultimate comfort food spiked during cold and flu season, since this comfort-food classic is well-known for its healing properties.


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6. Cobb salad

There are several origin stories for this popular salad, but the usual version credits it to restaurateur Robert Cobb of L.A.’s Brown Derby back in 1937. If he’d known how popular it was going to become, maybe he would have patented it and not just named it for himself.

Source: Sharon / Flickr

5. Bean burrito

Beans swaddled in a flour tortilla add up to a dish so simple — and so popular — that even gas station food counters sell it. Maybe all the people who ordered one (or more) to be delivered don’t have cars.


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4. Make your own pizza

A major trend in 2019, says DoorDash, was DIY. Some 96% of DoorDash customers are customizing their food orders in one way or another. And it’s not just pizza. “Create your own sushi roll” is a rising delivery trend, says DoorDash, jumping 902% over last year.

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3. Cheeseburger and French fries

It is said that the average American eats about 30 pounds worth of burgers, with and without cheese, every year, and it’s hard to imagine a more classic combination than this one. Meatless burger alternatives are nowhere to be found in the DoorDash accounting — yet.

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2. Chicken tacos

Mexican offerings take the top two places in this list of the year’s most popular food orders. Are these tacos soft or crispy? Spicy or mild? It doesn’t matter. They’re tacos.


1. Burrito bowl

Did Chipotle invent the burrito bowl, 15 years ago or so? Possibly. If so, perhaps they’d be able to explain the difference between a burrito bowl and a taco salad, other than the fact that you can usually eat the bowl the taco salad comes in (though most people don’t).

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