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Written by: Emily Kho on Apr 27th, 2021

10 Best Meal Delivery Services in Chicago 2021 Cheap + Healthy

Let’s face it, meal delivery services offer an undeniable level of convenience right to your door, whether you’re doing your best to stick to specific meal plans or simply save time in your day.

If you’re new to Chicago and are looking to simplify your life, we’re here to lend a helping hand. We tried out the services that deliver to your city, and have narrowed it down to nine top picks in our list of Chicago’s best meal delivery services.

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Meal Delivery Services in Chicago of 2021 

What’s the Difference Between Meal Delivery and Food Delivery?

Meal delivery services provide you with a solution for your daily meals. The dishes and ingredients you receive are all prepped in the vendor’s own kitchens. 

Home Chef, for example, is a meal delivery service that offers both meal kits and prepared meals. Meal kits come with portioned ingredients that allow you to prepare meals yourself from scratch. Prepared meals come ready-made and just require reheating via microwave or oven.

On the other hand, food delivery acts more like a middleman. When you order food from your favorite restaurant or store, the food delivery service picks it up for you and delivers it to your door.

Grubhub and Postmates are examples of food delivery services where you pay on a per-meal basis. They pick up your food and head straight to your door.

Our Best Meal Delivery Services Reviewed

1. Home Chef – Best Customizable Plan for Any Palate

Home Chef Best Features

  • Flexible plans – options to feed up to six people per meal

  • Lots of customization – you can even swap out proteins

  • Easy-to-follow recipes – some ready in as little as 15 minutes

  • Wide variety – meals plus salad kits, grill-ready kits, and protein packs

Home Chef in a Nutshell 

While meal delivery services are nothing new, Home Chef stands out from the rest by offering a wide variety of customization options in each box. With up to eight servings per meal, this is one of the biggest options we’ve found in a meal delivery service – it’s great for feeding big families. Home Chef offers delicious yet straightforward meals, with loads of recipes to choose from.

Home Chef also offers meal plans that are vegetarian, carb-conscious, and calorie-conscious, making healthy eating easier than ever. And if that isn’t enough customization for you, you can swap out your protein in nearly every recipe it offers.

If you’re interested in seeing more information about Home Chef’s meal plan options, take a look at our in-depth Home Chef review.

Home Chef currently delivers to 98% of the United States in eco-friendly boxes. Delivery schedules are based on area availability but run Monday to Friday.

2. HelloFresh – Best Overall Home Delivery Service in Chicago 

 

HelloFresh Best Features

  • Family-friendly – options even kids will enjoy

  • Inexpensive – meal plans as low as $7.49 per meal

  • High-quality ingredients – farm-fresh produce, sourced direct

  • Variety – tons of tasty options for all culinary skill levels

HelloFresh in a Nutshell 

With up to 20 recipes to choose from each week, HelloFresh offers popular meal plans for a range of tastes and even allows you to filter by prep and cook time. With dedicated menus like Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, and Calorie Smart, you’re sure to find something to make the whole family happy.

HelloFresh prides itself on offering high-quality, fresh ingredients while prioritizing sustainably sourced proteins. It also incorporates seasonal ingredients, ensuring variety in your diet.

Learn more about meal plans on offer in our HelloFresh review.

HelloFresh currently delivers throughout the contiguous United States, with most areas receiving deliveries Wednesday to Friday. Some exceptions apply, with specific regions receiving deliveries Saturday to Tuesday.

3. Sunbasket – Best for Healthy, Organic, and Sustainable Food

Sunbasket Best Features

  • Organic kits – wild-caught and farm-fresh ingredients

  • Special diet inclusive – diabetic and paleo options available

  • Add-on options – from coffee beans to entire meals, like breakfast

  • Unique recipes – think outside of the box with innovative kitchen creations

Sunbasket in a Nutshell 

Sunbasket offers both meal kits and Fresh & Ready meals based on your needs. With meal kits, you can be more hands-on in the kitchen with around 15-40 minutes of preparation and cooking time. Otherwise, if you’re short on time, the prepared Fresh & Ready meals can be ready in as little as six minutes via microwave or oven.

With ten different plans to choose from, you can even mix and match to select your weekly recipes. All of Sunbasket’s deliveries have a 100% money-back guarantee within seven days of receiving your order.

Find out more about the wide range of plans available in our Sunbasket review.

Sunbasket deliveries are currently available in the contiguous United States. Deliveries are made Monday to Thursday between 8 am and 9 pm.

4. Blue Apron – Quick and Easy Meal Plans

Blue Apron Best Features

  • Fast meals – most meals ready in 20-30 minutes

  • Great for families – weekly plans with up to four servings of four different meals 

  • Wine pairing – pick a great wine to go with your meal

  • Allergy-friendly – specify any food allergies in your preferences

Blue Apron in a Nutshell 

Blue Apron offers a wide variety of meal plans, including a WeightWatchers-friendly option, which has points associated with each meal to make following the diet a breeze. You can also specify certain dietary restrictions without limiting your options.

Enjoy restaurant-quality meals with minimal prep and cook times from the comfort of your own home. If you’re still navigating your way around a kitchen, Blue Apron has an app to help you learn new cooking techniques through short demonstration videos. 

Find out what else we like about this meal delivery service in our Blue Apron review.

Blue Apron currently delivers throughout the contiguous United States, with most areas receiving deliveries Tuesday to Saturday. When you sign up with Blue Apron and enter your zip code, you can choose your first delivery date from a drop-down menu based on your area’s availability.

5. Freshly – Best Premade Meals Designed by Nutritionists

Freshly Best Features

  • Customizable menu plans – high protein, low carb, less than 500 calories

  • Fresh, never frozen – premade meals come refrigerated and never frozen

  • Plenty of options – choose from over 30 meals weekly

  • Great customer service – highly responsive to all customer feedback

Freshly in a Nutshell 

Freshly delivers meals that have been designed by its team of nutritionists. All meals come refrigerated, never frozen. As a result, the nutrients from the fresh ingredients are preserved. 

With a highly customizable ranking system, you can rate your feelings on the common proteins available on a scale from “enjoy” and “neutral” to “avoid.” Then, make your choice from more than 30 options each week, with a rotating menu to ensure you never get tired of seeing the same meals on repeat.

Filters on the website allow you to select certain categories of meals, including Protein Powerhouse (>25 g of protein), Carb Conscious (<35 g of carbs), Sodium Smart (<600 mg sodium), Curb Calories (<500 calories), and more.

Find more information in our expert Freshly review.

Freshly delivers every day of the week to Chicago, depending on your zip code and the delivery partners in your area. The delivery windows range from 8 am and 9 pm.

6. Green Chef – Best Chef-Crafted Recipes

Green Chef Best Features

  • Portion-controlled meals – averaging 700 calories each meal

  • Multiple diet options – keto, paleo, balanced, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten-free

  • Sustainably sourced ingredients – all ingredients are certified USDA organic and always free of GMOs

  • Environmentally friendly – all items packed into one box to conserve waste

Green Chef in a Nutshell 

Green Chef is a sustainably sourced meal kit delivery service that offers chef-crafted menus with flexible options to choose from. Each week pick from a wide variety of additional chef-inspired options utilizing the freshest, organic ingredients.

With a heavy focus on integrating sustainably sourced ingredients, Green Chef offers menu options for different lifestyle diets, including keto, paleo, omnivore, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and gluten-free. Green Chef also prioritizes its relationships with local vendors, sourcing ingredients that both support America’s farmers and maintain high-quality standard organic certifications.

All of the Green Chef recipes are simple, averaging around 30 minutes to prepare and cook. All ingredients are thoughtfully measured and prepped for you, helping to save time with meal prep. Your ingredients for the week come packaged together in one eco-friendly shipping box to avoid excessive waste.

See what all the hype is about in our expert’s Green Chef review.

Green Chef currently delivers anywhere within the continental United States, including across Chicago. Orders are delivered Monday through Saturday, with your choice of delivery days depending on where you live. Boxes will arrive between 8 am and 9 pm local time on your scheduled delivery day.

7. EveryPlate – Great Low-Cost Meal Delivery

EveryPlate Best Features

  • Budget-friendly – prices starting at $4.99 per serving

  • No-fuss recipes – simple recipe cards broken down into six easy steps

  • Flexible ordering options – increase or decrease your weekly meals

  • Minimal cleanup – quick clean up with minimal dishes used for cooking

EveryPlate in a Nutshell 

The primary focus of EveryPlate is to provide simple meal kits at an affordable price. The cost of EveryPlate is pretty comparable to fast food, making it an excellent healthier alternative.

Although EveryPlate offers meals as low as $4.99 per serving, the affordability comes at the expense of the customizability of each meal. To keep costs low, you have a more limited menu selection than with other meal kit services out there, with only 14 options to choose from each week.

EveryPlate cannot currently offer special diets or allergen-specific meals, so if you have severe food allergies or dietary concerns, this is likely not the meal delivery service for you. Otherwise, EveryPlate is a great option with super simple meals and a price that’s hard to compete with.

Find out all the details of its offerings in our expert’s EveryPlate review.

EveryPlate currently delivers to the majority of the contiguous United States, Chicago included. You can quickly check online to see if it delivers to your zip code before signing up. Deliveries from EveryPlate are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday to help reduce costs.

8. Veestro – For 100% Plant-Based, Organic Meals

Veestro Best Features

  • Ready-made meals – no cooking required

  • Large selection – 50+ options to choose from

  • Weight-loss friendly – as little as 210 calories per serving

  • Choose your frequency – 10, 20, or 30 frozen meals weekly

Veestro in a Nutshell 

Offering vegan comfort-food, Veestro provides a wide range of weekly menu options. All meals are delivered frozen to your door – just heat up to eat.

You can add breakfast or lunch options to your dinner choices to cover every meal of the day. Veestro also offers frequently updated dietary and health information on its website to go along with your subscription.

Find out what we love the most about this meal service in our Veestro review.

Veestro delivers to the contiguous United States with deliveries Wednesday to Friday, depending on your region and meal plan. All meals come in properly insulated boxes with dry ice, which keeps food frozen upon delivery.

9. Grubhub – Contact-Free Food Delivery From Your Favorite Local Restaurants

Grubhub Best Features

  • 15 years in the industry – a well-established company

  • Free two-week trial – try out Grubhub+ commitment-free

  • Frequent deals – always running promos like $10 off orders of $30+

  • Monthly membership – avoid delivery fees for frequent users

Grubhub in a Nutshell 

Grubhub is a food delivery service that allows you to order from your favorite participating local restaurants from the convenience of your computer, tablet, or phone. 

Aside from the convenience factor, another great benefit of Grubhub is that there are almost always promos running. Grubhub has a standard delivery fee, typically under $7, or you can avoid delivery fees with a monthly subscription to Grubhub+ for $9.99 per month. You can also get 10% cash back for every $100 spent through Grubhub+. Check out Grubhub+ for free during a two-week trial.

Grubhub currently serves more than 300,000 restaurants in over 3,200 cities, including all across Chicago. Check out its website or app to see which local restaurants near you are currently taking advantage of Grubhub’s services.

10. Postmates – For Anything, Anywhere in Chicago

Postmates Best Features

  • Free seven-day trial – try out Postmates Unlimited for free

  • User-friendly – submit an order with just a tap of a few buttons

  • Reliable food delivery – ten years in service and counting

Postmates in a Nutshell 

Like Grubhub, Postmates is a well-seasoned delivery service known for delivering “anything from anywhere,” but is best known for food delivery. Postmates serves 4,200 cities across the United States, featuring over 600,000 retailers.

You can access Postmates through its website online or via its user-friendly mobile app. Choose from delivery, pickup, or party, which is a feature that offers free delivery from trending restaurants.

Delivery fees on Postmates fluctuate depending on the time of day but range anywhere from $1 to $10. You can avoid delivery fees on orders over $12 by signing up for Postmates Unlimited for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. You can even try out Postmates Unlimited for free during a seven-day trial period.

Best Meal Delivery Services for Chicago: Comparison Table

Bottom Line: Why Choose a Meal Delivery Service?

Whether you are looking to save time, money, or energy, there’s a meal delivery service out there for you. City life can be busy, and a meal delivery service is a great way to help you stick to a specific diet without the stress of planning and grocery shopping for each meal.

FAQs

What is the best meal delivery service in Chicago?

HelloFresh is one of the best, most well-rounded meal delivery services currently available in Chicago. Offering a wide range of menus, diet preferences, and meal plan sizes, with a reasonable price tag, you’ll get perfectly tailored meals delivered weekly. 

If you want a meal delivery service that works for the whole family, look no further – HelloFresh has a great family-friendly plan, too.

What is the most affordable meal delivery service in Chicago?

Both Home Chef and HelloFresh also offer incredibly affordable options, with a wide variety of choices.

Is DoorDash in Chicago?

While DoorDash is available in Chicago, we recommend Grubhub or Postmates for their more superior service.

You should know, however, that while food delivery services offer plenty of convenience, they don’t give you a solution for eating well each day. That’s where meal delivery services come in handy. 

Home Chef is a great option for for all kinds of meal kits - from grilly- and oven-ready meals, to traditional 30-minute meals. Sunbasket gets you prepare meals and meal kits that are all certified organic and responsibly sourced. 

Is Grubhub in Chicago?

Much like DoorDash, Grubhub has many participating restaurants in Chicago. This is an excellent idea for the occasional meal choice, but not realistic for daily meals. Like all delivery apps, there are delivery charges and service fees, making each meal more expensive than meal delivery services. 

A meal delivery service like Veestro gets you 100% plant-based meals that are healthy and microwave-ready. You can even find vegan versions of your favorites, like “chick’n nuggets” and filling quesadillas. Sunbasket is great for balanced meals with all-organic ingredients, and for meals following the needs of specific diets, like keto andpaleo

About The Author

Emily Kho

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

With a strong background in hospitality management, Emily now writes for a global clientele. When she's not writing, she's likely obsessing over her dog or her dog's Instagram @waff.lynn

With a strong background in hospitality management, Emily now writes for a global clientele. When she's not writing, she's likely obsessing over her dog or her dog's Instagram @waff.lynn
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