9 Food Delivery Services For Every Personality
This was the year food delivery services officially took over in urban settings. Ranging from premade meals that only require a trip to the microwave to a box of premeasured ingredients meant to inspire you to cook, these food delivery services have two things in common: they are extremely convenient and very popular. In terms of tastiness, affordability, and environmental impact, well, that's another story. We put almost all of the major brands to the test to weigh in on which box is best for your personality, but that's not all. We've also ranked them in order of our personal favorites, starting from the top.
For Farm-to-Table Fanatics
Strengths: Offering Paleo, gluten-free, and/or vegetarian options, Sun Basket prides itself on using the freshest, non-GMO produce, sustainably sourced seafood, and pastured meats. The quality of the ingredients truly impressed us! Better yet, the recipes are incredibly flavorful even though they only take 30 minutes. To top it all off, the box comes with a return delivery sticker, so all of the packaging can be returned to the company via USPS. Hooray for offsetting waste!
Price: About $12/meal (minimum of three meals serving two people per delivery)
Drawbacks: The company only delivers to a handful of states on the West Coast. Currently, boxes are only delivered on Wednesdays and Tuesdays, but Sun Basket promises more delivery dates coming soon.
For Paleo People or the Health-Conscious
Strengths: Methodology is the ultimate high-end meal delivery service. Its gourmet meals don't skimp on flavor and are mostly Paleo (you can opt for gluten-free starches or not) and can optimize the portion sizes of those meals.
Price: About $15/meal (minimum of three meals per delivery)
Drawbacks: The service is only offered in San Francisco/Bay Area, and there is currently a wait list (it takes about a week to join).
For Online Grocery Shoppers
Strengths: Good Eggs is like an online farmers market, so it's best for people who want artisanal, local products and produce delivered to their door. The site does offer seasonal recipes and ingredient lists each week based on what's available. Packaging can be returned, but customers aren't charged if it's not.
Price: Items priced individually; free delivery for orders over $60
Drawbacks: You do have to plan ahead and order items a day in advance.
For the Thrifty and/or Picky
Strengths: Those on a budget should turn to HelloFresh. It's also great for picky eaters, as the recipes offer great flavor and recognizable ingredients like Greek salad with chicken. It ships nationwide (except for Alaska and Hawaii).
Price: About $8.16 per meal ($49/two people/three meals)
Drawbacks: Vegetarians don't get the option to choose the meal options.
For Adventurous Eaters Who Love to Cook
Strengths: Plated ships to 95 percent of the US, so it's best for anyone who loves to cook and experiment with flavors and ingredients (wild mushroom miso pot pie, anyone?). The portions are pretty generous, so you can usually get some leftovers out of the meals.
Price: About $13.5 per meal ($54/two people/two dinners)
Drawbacks: Once again, the packaging is really bulky and has to be thrown out or recycled. Also, these recipes aren't necessarily "fast and easy." Don't opt in if you really aren't into cooking.
For the Lazy Cook
Strengths: Terra's Kitchen delivers all the ingredients prepped and skillet-ready in a neatly organized box, so it's perfect for lazy cooks who don't have a lot of time to make dinner. Everything from the vegetables to the sauce is in its own container and ready to go, making prep and cleanup a breeze. The provided recipe cards offer step-by-step instructions that even an inexperienced cook can easily follow. An added bonus is that Terra's Kitchen picks up the box the next day and will reuse it up to 100 times on future orders.
Drawbacks: Each recipe is designed to feed two people, but the portions are on the smaller side, so one serving might not fill you up.
For Vegans and Vegetarians
Price: About $11.33 per meal ($68/two people/three meals)
Drawbacks: Produce isn't organic, and you can't return ice packs. The cardboard and plastic packaging, although made from postconsumer waste, has to be thrown out or recycled.
Strengths: Munchery appeals to busy urbanites (in the SF/Bay Area, Seattle, LA, and NYC), families, and those looking to plan meals in advance. Local chefs prepare the meals and are rated by users.
Price: About $11 for dinner
Drawbacks: You have to really plan your orders ahead of time, otherwise you are looking at a several-hour delivery time or a limited menu, since many of the items sell out. The meals arrive cold, which is great if you are saving them for later but horrible if you are extremely hungry.
For the Quick and Easy Cook
Strengths: Most of the recipes on BlueApron take between 12-25 minutes to throw together, making them ideal for the person who wants home-cooked food quickly. The service also offers wine delivery, and the small bottles are perfect for weeknights.
Price: About $10/meal ($60/two people/three meals)
Drawbacks: The portions are sort of on the small side. Even though they aren't really healthy, they might not fill you up if you're a big eater. You may have to supplement with an extra side dish or dessert.