Slideshow: Staff Picks: What's the Best Delivery Option in Chicago?

Rangoli
Rangoli

Saag Paneer at Rangoli [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Fried food is especially prone to failure, though overly saturated bread is close behind. To avoid a limp and greasy mess, I go with foods that don't mind sitting around for awhile, and where creaminess is considered a positive attribute. My current fave is Indian food from Rangoli. Staples like saag paneer and lamb vindaloo make the trek without any ill effects. Even the crispy hunks of fried cauliflower in the gobi manchurian held up well. Nick Kindelsperger

Cemitas Puebla
Cemitas Puebla

Milanesa Cemita at Cemitas Puebla [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"I'm not one to order food through delivery often. However, I recently enjoyed the always fantastic combo of tacos arabes and a cemitas sandwich delivered to my friend's doorstep courtesy of Tony and the fine folks over at Cemitas Puebla. If you're lucky enough to live within the delivery zone, it's nice enough as is to have an option that isn't pizza, Chinese, or Thai. It's even better when that choice is one of the city's standout Mexican spots bringing the specialties of Puebla to your doorstep. Extra chipotle salsa please." Titus Ruscitti

John's Pizzeria
John's Pizzeria

John's Special Pizza from John's Pizzeria [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"Delivery for me is all about lowered expectations. Pizza may the quintessential option, but after delivery fees and tip, $25-$30 for cold, rubbery slices is hardly my idea of good eats. Instead, I go for food that reheats (read: microwaves) back to life. American Chinese food usually responds well, and in my neighborhood, that means Choi's Chinese. I'd never recommend going out of your way for it, but their Singapore Street Noodles will certainly hit the spot if you're looking to get out of dishes. Oh, and if you have to have pizza, think Chicago thin crust: the party cut squares from places like John's Pizzeria respond surprisingly well to a quick trip under the broiler." Joe Roy

Irazu
Irazu

Steak Sandwich at Irazu [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"It's fast, affordable, and not just your average pizza or Thai. The rice and bean heavy cuisine is great for carnivores and herbivores alike—as long as you love Lizano sauce. The Costa Rican staple is on most dishes, and you can even purchase imported bottles of the slightly sweet sauce from the restaurant's owners. Their delivery area is also huge, so you can get it almost anywhere." Tessa McLean

Semiramis Lebanese Cuisine
Semiramis Lebanese Cuisine

Lamb and Beef Chawarma Special at Semiramis [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"It's hard to go wrong with a handful of mix-and-match dishes from Semiramis. The made-to-order house salad ($6) is always crisp, while the from-scratch hummus ($5) and baba ghannouj ($6) are about as stalwart as dips get—so thick that even the pretty speckle of parsley on top doesn't budge in transit. The highlight, though, is the whole roast chicken ($9). Instead of cooling and drying out on the road or in attempts to reheat, the delicious bird stays hot and perfectly tender inside its cozy package of lavosh." Lindsey Howald Patton

Zizi's Cafe
Zizi's Cafe

Turkish Bread at Zizi's Cafe [Courtesty of Ziz's Cafe/Facebook]

"Everybody thinks pizza and Chinese or Thai food for delivery. The one that hardly anybody seems to think is Middle-Eastern. But I think it survives delivery in great shape—most of it doesn't really have to be hot to be good, survives travel time in a box fine (falafel might be the exception), and if you do want it hotter, it's easy enough to rewarm successfully. And it's pretty simple, real food that doesn't sack you out like deep dish pizza. Probably my top choice would be the Turkish restaurant Zizi's Cafe in Lakeview, which has really good housebaked bread (hat tip to Titus who first alerted me to it), but I also order from Zachi on Belmont, Salam in Albany Park and others." Mike Gebert