The 20 Best Meal Delivery Services
- Blue Apron
- Purple Carrot
- Martha and Marley Spoon
- Hello Fresh
- Home Chef
- Pete’s Paleo
- Hungry Root
- Splendid Spoon
- Daily Harvest
- Cook Unity
- Green Chef
- Every Plate
- Little Spoon
- Snap Kitchen
8.5" Kiritsuke Knife | Shogun Series | Dalstrong ©
- Meal Delivery Service Overview
- The 20 Best Meal Delivery Services
- The Best Kitchen Knives For Preparing Your New Meal Kit
1. Meal Delivery Service Overview
One thing we love about our customers and readers is how diverse the profiles are, from top chefs to students; from working moms to young bachelors. At the end of the day, the main thing connecting all of us here is a love and passion for cooking. For home cooks particularly, some days are easier than others.
Maybe today you feel very inspired and motivated to spend a few hours with your apron working on your favorite recipe; but then tomorrow you can’t remember how to fry an egg. For those moments, having a meal kit delivery service can certainly save your day.
What is a meal kit exactly?
Is it like a regular food delivery service? Is it like online grocery shopping? Yes and no and all of the above, really. This is a subscription-based meal delivery service providing pre portioned ingredients to prepare a specific recipe (mostly of your choosing). Everything comes in a box with easy-to-follow instructions and the promise of a delicious meal in half an hour.
Why use a meal kit delivery service?
There are tons of reasons why we’d end up ordering a meal kit delivery service on any given day. For example, not all of us are great at meal planning, no matter how much we love the actual process of cooking. A meal kit delivery service lets us off the hook on that one.
We don’t have to decide which recipe to prepare, we don’t need to make a precise shopping list with different quantities and providers, we don’t have to find the time to actually go out and buy these things, and -this is a nice one- we don’t have to clean up afterwards. Plus! They’re great for people looking to practice or upgrade their culinary skills. We also get to try a more exotic recipe once in a while, one we wouldn’t know or dare on our own.
Are meal delivery services cheaper?
Meal services prices vary greatly from one company to another. Pricing usually depends on the plan you choose, the number of meals and the number of servings; but each meal kit service has its own methodology regarding costs.
How does a meal kit delivery service work?
Very few meal delivery services offer the option to order an individual meal a la carte; most of them are subscription-based. First you choose a plan that accommodates your needs and preferences; including your specific diet (vegetarian, vegan, keto, paleo, gluten-free…), how much time you are willing to invest in each recipe and how many people will be eating.
Then you can choose your weekly pre made meals from their menu (although some meal delivery services decide for you) and they get delivered to your door either fresh or frozen.
Depending on the meal kit service you choose, some recipes will require more cooking and kitchen tools than others. While some offer the whole ‘chef experience’; with elaborate recipes that will definitely require for you to get your knives ready (don’t worry, Dalstrong's got you covered); others advertise the concept of minimal cooking and minimal clean-up, with prepared meals ready to be served in less than five minutes.
The meal kit market has sky-rocketed over the last few years; and it’s safe to say there is something for everyone nowadays, even the pickiest eater or those with a strict dietary preference. But with so many possibilities, which meal delivery should you try first? We have prepared an extensive list including a delivery service for every budget, diet, and even age!
2. The 20 Best Meal Kit Delivery Services
Prices and service information was taken directly from the website of each meal delivery service.
“Meet the Affordable Meal Kit”
Being affordable is Dinnerly’s best quality. It is true that the meal-kit solution is not always cheaper than traditional cooking; so it’s nice to have options when you’re on a budget. Especially if you’re new to the whole meal kit spectrum; you might want to try something simple before committing to a bigger investment.
- The menu is varied with some choices for vegetarians, kids, low-carb, quick meals.
- Simple recipes, easy to prepare in half an hour.
- One of the most affordable of its kind.
- Recipes and instructions are only available in digital format.
- Other services offer higher-quality ingredients.
Location: New York (delivers to most of the contiguous US states)
Price: Meals start at $4.69 per person. Shipping is $8.99
19) Snap Kitchen
Snap Kitchen has the ability to satisfy eaters with very different tastes. Except for the fact that all meals are gluten-free and fully prepared; you have a voice in almost every other aspect of your meals. You can even choose not to have a voice and stick with one of their proposed plans.
- Options for breakfast, lunch and dinner (so the menu includes pancakes but also spaghetti bolognese).
- Option to pick-up instead of delivery service.
- No preservatives, no antibiotics, no artificial sweeteners and no hormones.
- Super customizable.
- Even though it is healthy, if you are looking for 100% organic meal delivery services or are fully vegetarian, other meal plans might have more options for you.
- The menu doesn’t rotate as frequently as other services.
- Limited delivery service ratio.
Location: Austin, Texas (delivers in approx. 11 states)
Price: $10-$12 per meal. Shipping is free.
18) Little Spoon
“Baby food shouldn't be older than your baby”
New moms have a lot on their plate. With Little Spoon, they have one thing less to worry about (or to worry less about, to be fair). They specialize in meal kits for babies, toddlers and big kids; even offering natural remedies and supplements like vitamins and probiotics.
- More than 100 ingredients are used to prepare kids’ meals.
- Fresh, healthy food for kids, no preservatives or additives.
- This is a great option for moms on very busy days.
- For some families, it wouldn’t be convenient to order meal kits from different suppliers (kids and adults).
- Kids are known to be hard to please at the table, so buying a whole meal plan might be expensive for an experiment.
Location: New York (delivers throughout the continental US)
Price: Baby Blends start at $2.74 and plates start at $4.99 (shipping is $5-6).
“Meals kids love, no cooking required”
Yumble is another meal kit delivery service created with kids in mind. So if that is your situation, then this is your winner. Imagine taking one or two nights off a week and not having to cook for the little ones; and still knowing they’re happy and well-fed with healthy and delicious food.
- Carefully sourced ingredients and portion balance approved by nutritionists.
- Each box comes with activities for kids, like sticker sheets or a coloring book.
- Delivery is always free.
- While the fact that it’s designed for kids is great for families; it is not really meant to satisfy a wider audience.
- Fewer shipping areas than other options on this list.
Location: New York (delivers to the east coast and parts of the midwest)
Price: Meals start at $6.99 depending on the plan. Free shipping.
16) Every Plate
“America's best value meal kit”
Along with Dinnerly, Every Plate is one of the most affordable meal delivery services available. It works like any other meal service (a box with ingredients and instructions; to be cooked by you in about 30 minutes), except that it costs a lot less. The menu is not exactly haute-cuisine, but it’s not boring either. As they say it themselves: it’s meant to be crowd-pleasing.
- Very affordable.
- Familiar dishes, easy to prepare.
- You can modify proteins and check the menu two weeks in advance.
- If you’re looking for a more challenging meal delivery kit, better keep reading.
- Not great if you follow a specific diet like vegan, keto or paleo.
Location: New York (delivers in the vast majority of the continental USA)
Price: $4.99 per serving with a fixed weekly shipping fee of $8.99
“Make Dinner in 15 Minutes”
Gobble's chefs do all the meal prep work like peeling, chopping and seasoning, so you can cook a fresh meal in just 15 minutes. Imagine having ‘Roasted Garlic Crusted Sirloin Steak with Brussels Sprouts & Mashed Potatoes’ for dinner and not having to cook or clean afterwards. Not bad!
- International-inspired cuisine, with flavors from around the world.
- Meals can be ready in 10 minutes.
- Very, very easy to prepare.
- Minimal tools required (probably a skillet, cutting board, and a bowl).
- Relatively pricey for the simplicity of their recipes.
- Not that many vegetarian options.
- Doesn’t offer the whole “chef” experience.
Location: San Francisco, CA (delivers to continental U.S. with the exception of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska)
Price: Meals start at $11.99 per serving and $6.99 for shipping.
14) Green Chef
“The #1 meal kit for eating well”
Green Chef works pretty much like every other meal kit delivery service: you choose a meal plan that suits your taste and needs; and pre-chopped ingredients get delivered to your door with easy instructions. There are several meal plans: keto + paleo (low carb), plant-powered diet (vegetarian and vegan) and balanced living (a flexible meal plan combining meat and vegetarian meal options)
- A good option for those who want to be sure their ingredients come from an organic and sustainable source.
- Menu options are available for both vegetarians and meat-lovers.
- Generous portions.
- There’s not a lot that makes them different from other healthy meal kits delivery services.
- Not a lot of customization for the user.
Location: Colorado (delivers almost everywhere in the continental United States)
Price: Meals around $12 + $9.99 shipping
“The first chef-to-customer-platform”
Meals crafted by Michelin-star chefs, ready to heat and eat. It offers the best of both worlds: the talent of a top chef and the coziness of home dinners. If you ask me this is the best meal delivery service for surprising someone on a special day. Even though in general terms they’re not very different from any other meal delivery company on this list; the final differentiator is the premium taste in every recipe.
- Meals prepared for you by award-winning chefs.
- High-quality ingredients.
- You have direct communication with the chef preparing your meal.
- Only available on the East Coast.
- Just as in fancy restaurants: portion sizes tend to be small.
Location: New York (delivers in Manhattan and some areas of Brooklyn)
Price: Meals start at $10.49, free shipping.
12) Daily Harvest
“Taking care of food”
This plant-based meal delivery service provides everything you need to prepare your own smoothies and bowls at home. So from now on, not having this or that in your freezer is no longer an excuse not to have a healthy, nourishing meal. Their food is built entirely on fruits and vegetables. Bowls come ready to shake and heat up; and smoothies only require a bit of liquid before blending.
- Over 80 options including smoothies, soups, bowls, flatbread and more.
- 95% of the ingredients they use are organic.
- Very healthy
- There aren’t any classic protein options like meat or chicken.
- As only fruits and vegetables are available; some flavors may feel repetitive after a while.
- If you’re looking for a service that teaches you how to cook healthy for yourself, this may not be it. All items on the menu arrive almost ready to eat.
Location: New York (delivers to 95% of the continental United States)
Price: Depends on the item and plan, around $6-$9. Free shipping.
11) Splendid Spoon
“Treat Yourself to Healthy, Nutritious Meals”
If you’re one of those who always complain that eating healthy takes more work and more money, you better give Splendid Spoon a chance. And with 18 different smoothy choices and +30 options for soups and bowls; you won’t be able to make a case for “boring” either. All meals are vegan, gluten-free, and low in sugar and sodium.
- They’ve got over 50 items on their menu including smoothies, soups, grain bowls, and noodles.
- Everything is delivered fully prepared and ready to eat.
- All choices are healthy.
- They offer a non-subscription option.
- Smoothies are expensive.
- Everything is delivered ready-to-eat. We list this one both as a pro and as a con; because 1) we love cooking 2) it’s too close to regular food delivery.
Location: New York (ships to all lower 48 states)
Price: Meals cost between $9 and $13 depending on the meal plan you choose.
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10) Hungry Root
“The one-click grocery trip”
I love that Hungry Root’s website welcomes visitors with a personal quiz. I thought it was a nice detail: like when the cashier asks how your day is going instead of asking whether you’re paying cash or credit.
After you answer a few questions about your nutrition goals, likes and dislikes, number of eaters, etc; they suggest a meal plan for you, which you can take or modify at will with hundreds of products. The items get delivered along with a 10-minute recipe crafted by a chef. Another nice detail: you can rate the food and each recipe later to help improve your suggestions next time.
- Combination of meal delivery service and grocery store items.
- Find everything from snacks, meat and seafood, pasta, dips and sauces, bread, beverages…
- Suitable for a variety of diets like vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and many more.
- Recipes are not super original or sophisticated.
- Convenience comes at a cost. You will spend more here than at a traditional grocery store.
Location: New York (delivers to most zip codes in the 48 contiguous states and Washington D.C.)
Price: Plans start at $59 (shipping is $6.99)
9) Factor 75
“Healthy Eating, Made Simple”
Setting the bar for quality and taste, as multiple reviews confirm. They have a team of dieticians and culinary experts to ensure that every recipe is both healthy and incredibly tasty. This is a good vegetarian option for the veggie team, but also for somewhat healthy meat-eaters. Unlike other healthy delivery services; the meal descriptions are unpretentious and familiar, in a good way.
- Factor meals are free of hormones, antibiotics, refined sugars and GMOs.
- Light but not flavorless.
- Free shipping.
- One of the few that offers ketogenic meals (low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats).
- Not a lot of cooking involved, in case that’s what you were going for.
- There might be more affordable options.
Location: Chicago (delivers to all 48 contiguous states)
Price: Meals start at $11 per serving (free shipping)
8) Pete’s Paleo
“Set Your Table With Healthy Flavors”
This menu is based on seasonal and fresh ingredients. Even though they claim to be targeted to a wide spectrum of profiles, “from athletes to busy moms”, Pete’s Paleo is a paleo meal delivery service and takes inspiration from a very specific approach: food that could be obtained and consumed by our ancestors with none to minimal processing (lots of protein and nutritious vegetables); known as the paleo diet.
All meals are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and do not have any sweeteners.
- Truly seasonal. They work with farmers and ranchers instead of big suppliers.
- Everything is prepared from scratch, by a chef.
- Not only good for a paleo-diet, but also for people wishing to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- If you like strong flavors or spices, you may feel there’s something missing.
- Not exactly budget-friendly.
- Not ideal for people watching their carb intake.
Location: New York (delivers nationwide including Hawaii and Alaska)
Price: Meals start at $15.71. Most orders ship free.
“Plant-based meal delivery, simplified”
Veestro is a vegan meal delivery service. All products are organic and you can choose low-calorie, high-protein or gluten-free food. And even if you’re not vegan, Veestro promises delicious stress-free orders for everyone’s happiness; not to mention the countless health - and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet.
Veestro is a life-saver for those who are already vegan, those who are vegan-curious or those looking to eat healthy or lose weight (they even offer a weight-loss plan).
- More than 50 vegan dishes to choose from vegan pizza to portobello steak.
- Ingredients are high-quality.
- Minimal cooking required.
- You must order at least 10 meals.
- If you actually want the experience of cooking or you are looking to practice; better go with a different service.
- Not exactly the cheapest option.
- Follows a very specific food philosophy, which might complicate things if you’re feeding a family or a group of friends.
Location: Los Angeles (ships to all contiguous 48 states)
Price: Meals starting at $11.70 (10 meals minimum). Free shipping on auto-delivery orders and $9.99 shipping on one-time orders.
6) Home Chef
“Meals Anyone Can Cook and Everyone Will Love”
Home Chef’s more remarkable feature is that it’s highly flexible and customizable, yet simple. You can choose from 5-minute meals to +30-minute meals and then upgrade ingredients, add or swap proteins, change the service size or skip deliveries with no charge. You get +30 meal custom options; so you can really add a personal touch even if you’re not the most skilled cook. User-friendly, straightforward and unpretentious.
- Many possible meal variants, highly customizable.
- Options for all skill levels.
- They’ve been praised for their customer service.
- They play it safe with recipes meant to please the majority of Americans (for the record this could also be a pro, who wouldn’t love a tex-mex style taco pizza?)
- Not the best for more gourmet cooks or people looking to improve their cooking skills.
Location: Chicago, Illinois (delivers to 98% of the United States)
Price: Meals start at $8.99 per serving (shipping cost depends on the size of the order)
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5) Hello Fresh
“America's Most Popular Meal Kit“
With 7.3 million active customers in 2021, they claim to be the most popular meal kit service in the United States and the World. If this is true, it is probably because Hello Fresh is very uncomplicated, straightforward and fun. It offers a middle-ground in case you don’t have a lot of time but still want to cook your own meals. There’s also plenty to choose from, from low-calorie to family-plans, carnivore or vegetarian, gourmet or quick & easy.
- Quite affordable.
- Wide variety of fun, easy meals.
- Great for families or groups (for its price and variety).
- Not very customizable.
- They don’t really focus on high quality or uniqueness.
Location: Headquarter in Berlin, Germany with multiple distribution centers in New Jersey (delivers to all states across the continental US.)
Price: Meal service starts at $7.49 per serving ($8.99 shipping)
4) Martha and Marley Spoon
“The meal kit that tastes like no other”
Martha Stewart’s best secrets handed to you on a silver platter, along with 6-step recipes, high-quality ingredients and Martha's favorite spice blends. This premium meal delivery was born in Berlin as “Marley Spoon” in 2014 and partnered with Martha in 2016.
Overall, the meals from Martha and Marley Spoon are more on the gourmet side, best suited for someone who’s looking for an exciting culinary experience. Very few ingredients are pre-made, as most recipes are meant to be cooked on the spot.
- More than 29 weekly recipes in 5 different categories.
- You can check the menu for the coming weeks.
- Perfect for a foodie or someone who wants to improve their skills.
- Gourmet recipes with high-quality ingredients.
- Turn around if you’re looking for minimal cooking or something fast.
- Some dishes do require certain cooking skills and are not a good fit for beginners.
- You might need a well-equipped kitchen with a good chef’s knife and several pots and pans.
Location: 3 centers in New Jersey, Texas and California (delivers to most of the contiguous US states)
Price: Meals vary from $6.39 to – 10.25 per serving. Shipping is $8.99 per order.
3) Purple Carrot
“Embark on a delicious adventure”
Purple Carrot is a 100% vegan meal delivery service. They aim to offer tasty, nutritious plant based meals, as well as breakfast and market items too. For many people, when they think “plant-based” they’re immediately scared that they’re going to be left unsatisfied, but with dishes like Indian style grilled cheese or creamy peanut noodles, this may not be the case here.
- Plant-based, yet nutritious meals.
- If you’re a vegan, you don’t have to explore the menu looking for your meal, you can confidently choose anything from the list.
- The menu is not extensive, limited to eight meal options a week.
- It’s only good if you’re vegan, and a wealthy vegan for that matter.
Price: Starting at $9.99 per serving and free shipping.
2. Blue Apron
“Delicious recipes delivered to your door”
Blue Apron was actually the first meal delivery service out there. That’s right, this list might not even be possible without Blue Apron stepping up first to offer a combination between food delivery and home-cooking. They offer around 16 meal options per week; some of which are premium (premium steak or seafood for an extra cost), vegetarian or “wellness” (healthy or low-calorie). If you choose Blue Apron’s “signature plan” you can build your formula with any of those.
Their recipes range from grilled-cheese sandwich or chicken quesadillas to a Sicilian Cauliflower and Farro bowl. One thing we liked about Blue Apron is you can see the menu for the next week, and the week after that. So you can really plan ahead if you’d like.
- Their menu is fun, yet familiar.
- Curated wine pairings for an extra cost.
- Reasonable price and the meals get cheaper the more you order.
- Illustrated, easy to follow recipes.
- They launch special boxes for special occasions like the Superbowl or the Fourth of July.
- Recipes are not necessarily bold or exotic, in case that’s what you were looking for.
- Not too many vegetarian meals.
- Not the best option if you follow a very specific diet.
- Although they have improved in this aspect, Blue Apron meal delivery service is not as customizable as other services.
Location: New York City (delivers to the contiguous United States)
Price: $3.12 per serving and $9.99 shipping (choosing 2 recipes per week from their Signature plan)
“The only meal delivery service specializing in organic ingredients”
A meal kit delivery service designed for busy people who still want to eat a healthy, delicious and conscious diet. Dishes are meant to be ready in 15-40 minutes (although most of them will be ready in less than 30). Sunbasket’s highlight is probably the use of seasonal, fresh ingredients for unconventional recipes, crafted by Sunbasket’s executive chef Justine Kelly, known for her work at San Francisco's award-winning Slanted Door restaurant.
You pick a meal plan depending on the type of food and the number of people you’ll be cooking for. And not only that; for those nights you don’t feel like cooking at all, they have “fresh & ready” meals that can be served in as little as 3 minutes, as well as snacks and market items.
- Original. Healthy prepared meals with a twist (an example from this week’s menu: Harissa lamb chops with chicory-grape salad and lemon-tahini yogurt).
- Versatile. Sunbasket offers meals for almost every diet: paleo, vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, and a lot more.
- Organic Ingredients: They are certified organic handlers.
- Pricier than other services (although just a bit) probably due to the selected ingredients.
- If you’re looking for classic comfort food (hey, no judgments), this is not the best option for you.
Location: San Francisco, CA (shipping available to 47 states)
Price: 2 meal kits for 2 people: $13.99 / serving. Shipping is $7.99.
3. Best Kitchen Knives For Preparing Your Meal Kit
1. Shogun Series X 8” Chef’s Knife
This top of the range and stunningly beautiful chef’s knife comes from Dalstrong’s Shogun Series. It has a AUS-10V Japanese super steel core; a 67-Layered Damascus knife sharpened under the ancient 3-step Honbazuke method. With a Rockwell 62+, it has incredible edge retention. This is a true cook’s knife.
- The best Damascus steel chef knife for home cooks and professional use.
- Liquid nitrogen cooling of the blade increases the steel’s crystalline structure which results in robust strength and hardness.
- Extremely durable blade for sharp edge retention.
- Ergonomic handle with unique copper mosaic.
- On the higher end of the price range, it may not be in everyone’s budget.
- The Tsunami Rose pattern is not to everyone's taste.
2. Serrated Paring Knife 3.75" | Gladiator Series
This serrated knife's versatility makes it the ideal paring knife for fruits, vegetables, bread, meats and any other ingredient in your pre-made meal kit; proving you don't have to spend a fortune for maximum comfort and maneuverability.
- Extraordinary sharpness. Watch it slide through your steak like it’s butter.
- The handle is ergonomic and allows better control and a natural, comfortable non-slip grip.
- Easy to clean.
- Great value for the price.
- It may be a bit heavy and require extra pressure for some cuts.
- Serrated blades are less precise than traditional blades.
3. Quantum 1 Series 8.5” Kiritsuke Chef Knife
Many believe that of all the Japanese shaped knives, this one from Dalstrong’s Quantum Series stands above the rest. This knife has a high quality, precision forged blade made of a single piece of high carbon American steel, and has an impressive Rockwell Scale hardness of 63+.
- Tall, thin blade height gives better knuckle clearance.
- Unique eye catching blade pattern.
- Fiber-resin military grade carbon fibre hybrid handle is nearly impervious to heat, cold and moisture.
- Japanese knives are known for their super sharp, light, thin blades, but some people may prefer a heavier knife to a Japanese shaped knife.
- Some people may prefer a less futuristic blade finish.
4. Paring Knife 4" | Phantom Series
A paring knife that will become your favorite for any recipe. Its super-sharp tapered blade gives you stability and flexibility for chopping and peeling fruits and vegetables, filleting fish, preparing meats or slicing ham.
- The narrow blade improves maneuverability.
- Its traditional Japanese D-shaped handle fits perfectly in the palm of the hand for a comfortable grip and greater control.
- Since it is slightly longer than average, it covers additional surface.
- For more specific activities you will need another tool.
- It is slightly asymmetrical, which is no problem for a right-handed cook because it is well balanced and quite light, but might become uncomfortable for some left-handed cooks.
5. Dual-Sided Chef's Knife 8" | Gemini Twin Blade
This versatile double-sided knife has a serrated blade on one side and a plain blade on the other. Its comfortable design allows you to multitask with minimal effort, from heavy cuts to ultra-thin slices, without changing knives.
- The handle is ambidextrous and ergonomic for a perfect grip.
- Perfectly manageable weight.
- Ideal for meal prep: slice bread, meat, tomatoes and all the ingredients in your meal; all with a single knife.
- Low maintenance and easy to clean, dishwasher safe.
- It should be handled with caution, as both edges are very sharp.
- The bold design takes some getting used to.
- May appear expensive, depending on your budget for a high-quality knife.
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