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Written by: Kenaz Filan on Jun 7th, 2021

10 Best Meal Delivery Services in Cincinnati in 2021: Eat Better

Games at Cincinnati Stadium, concerts at the Cincinnati Music Hall, cramming for classes at U. of Cincinnati’s medical school – it’s hard to find time to plan, shop, and prep meals. A meal delivery service can not only save you time and effort, but it might even help you save money too! 

To find the best meal delivery services in Cincinnati, I’ve examined all the meal delivery services that deliver to the area. I’ve compared the prices, checked ratings, and tested their menus against a range of food preferences and dietary needs to bring you Cincinnati’s best meal delivery services.

Of all the companies in my round-up, Home Chef stood out as #1, thanks to its easily customized menus, easy-to-follow recipes, and fast oven-ready meal options. What's more, Home Chef regularly has offers for new subscribers such as free shipping or a reduced cost per serving. 

Find out how to eat healthy and affordable meals, and save time doing it, with my list of the 10 best meal delivery services in Cincinnati. 

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Meal Delivery Services in Cincinnati for 2021

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

Meal delivery services send you either meal kits or prepared meals. Meal kits involve following a recipe card to prep and cook ingredients that are all provided to you pre-portioned. A prepared meal simply needs to be reheated in your oven or microwave.

Meal delivery services allow you to plan your meals a week or more in advance. When your meal kits arrive you have everything you need. 

Food delivery services like Grubhub and Postmates deliver food from local restaurants. You choose from their list of restaurants and place your order through their app or website. They contact the restaurant, place your order, then deliver it to your door. 

Food delivery services give you the freedom to order takeout whenever you want it. But when you combine the cost of restaurant meals plus delivery fees and tips, you can wind up paying a lot of money for the convenience. 

Our Best Meal Delivery Services Reviewed

1. Home Chef – The Best Meal Delivery Service in Cincinnati

Home Chef Best Features 

  • Easily customized menus

  • Easy-to-follow recipes

  • Oven-ready meals come with their own pan and can be ready in 40 minutes or less

Home Chef in a Nutshell 

Home Chef offers a great deal of flexibility for cooks and families. You can swap out proteins,  order extra meal packs, and skip a delivery if your schedule changes. This flexibility helped Home Chef to win our award for best meal delivery service in Cincinnati.

For more information, check out our full Home Chef review

Home Chef’s recipes are simple and easy to follow, but also leave you room to add personal touches. If you’re pressed for time, you can bake one of Home Chef’s oven-ready dishes – which arrive with an oven-proof pan – and have a home-cooked meal in less than 40 minutes. For even quicker microwave-ready meals, check out Home Chef’s Fast & Fresh options .

While other meal delivery services might be better at catering to specific dietary needs and allergies, Home Chef can be an ideal dinner solution if you’re a cook that likes great variety at a reasonable cost. 

2. Blue Apron – Cincinnati’s Best Gourmet Meal Delivery Service

Blue Apron Best Features 

  • Offers sophisticated meal kits for gourmet meals

  • Allows novice cooks to create restaurant-quality dishes

  • Supports a healthy diet with its Wellness options 

Blue Apron in a Nutshell

Where Home Chef tries to appeal to a wide audience, Blue Apron aims at slightly more sophisticated cooks. It only offers meal kits that require basic cooking skills and assumes some knowledge of food preparation. You can read more about this in our full-length review of Blue Apron

If you have some cooking experience, Blue Apron will help you to prepare impressive meals without a gourmet price tag. For novice cooks, the Blue Apron app will help you as you go along. You’ll be preparing meals like Crispy Steelhead Trout in a Dijon Sauce or Honey Butter Chicken with Za'atar & Crème Fraîche Mashed Potatoes before you know it.

Blue Apron’s Wellness options contain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with lean proteins and moderate portions of dairy. These recipes are crafted in collaboration with nutritionists to allow you to eat well and eat healthy at the same time.

3. HelloFresh – Cincinnati’s Simple Way to Fresh, Delicious Food

HelloFresh Best Features

  • Fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables

  • Dedicated family-friendly menu

  • Easy-to-use website makes placing and changing orders easy

Hello Fresh in a Nutshell

HelloFresh offers 20+ menu items every week. It selects meals for you based on which of the six meal plans you choose, such as Classic , Family Friendly , or Pescatarian . 

You can find out more in this full HelloFresh review . You can replace any meals that don’t suit you. 

With a focus on easy recipes and quality ingredients, I’ve found HelloFresh’s meal offerings to be more basic and mildly spiced than some other meal kit delivery services. If you’re feeding picky eaters, though, this may be a blessing. HelloFresh aims to provide fresh food that pleases everybody and does a superb job of it.

HelloFresh has an excellent, intuitive website and friendly customer service. Each meal kit comes carefully packaged with clear instructions. If you’re new to meal delivery services, HelloFresh will be a simple, fast, and delicious introduction.

4. Sunbasket – Meals To Satisfy Diverse Diets

Sunbasket Best Features

  • Vegan, paleo, and gluten-free options

  • Informative videos that guide you through your meal prep

  • Free-range, responsibly sourced, and organic meat and seafood

Sunbasket in a Nutshell

Sunbasket offers residents of Cincinnati a wide range of meal plans in its huge variety of prepared meals and meal kits. Paleo, vegetarian, and gluten-free dieters will all be spoilt for choice with the healthy meals on offer. You can also select from Lean & Clean , Mediterranean , Pescatarian , and Carb-Conscious menu plans. 

For more information about Sunbasket’s menu, check out our full-length Sunbasket review .

Despite not having an explicitly vegan meal plan, Sunbasket has a good range of plant-based menu options like Rainbow Quinoa–Black Bean Tacos with Guacamole and Cabbage Slaw, and Spicy Sichuan Mapo Tofu with Mushrooms and Kale (however if you eat an exclusively vegan diet, you may be better off with Green Chef or Veestro further down this list). Sunbasket’s meat and seafood offerings are free-range and responsibly sourced, with many organic options.

Sunbasket’s meal kits take about 15 to 40 minutes to prepare and come with easy-to-follow, step-by-step recipes. If you’re still concerned about your cooking skills, Sunbasket also offers Fresh & Ready meals that you can heat and eat in as little as three minutes.

5. Freshly – Cincinnati’s Easiest Meal Delivery Service

Freshly Best Features

  • Ready to eat in minutes

  • All meals nut- and gluten-free

  • Quick, easy meals for Cincinnati students and busy professionals

Freshly in a Nutshell

At first glance, Freshly meals look like a modern version of the mid-20th century’s “TV Dinners.” But while TV dinners relied on heavy amounts of salt, sugar, and chemical preservatives, Freshly promises a healthier and less processed three-minute microwave meal

Freshly gives you plenty of options like Hearty Chipotle-Chicken Stew with Black Beans and Monterey Jack Cheese, Oven-Roasted Chicken Pilaf with Broccoli and Cauliflower Rice, and Crave-No-More Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Beef and Cauli-Butternut Mash. Its meals may be prepared but the menu isn’t one-size-fits-all.

Learn more about Freshly, and whether it might fit your busy schedule, in our full Freshly review .

Single Cincinnati professionals and students – especially those with limited kitchen equipment – may find Freshly’s single-portion meals a quick and easy way to follow a healthy diet. Freshly doesn’t rely on preservatives or corn syrup and uses cauliflower noodles and rice to keep carbs to a minimum.

6. Green Chef – Excellent for Vegetarians and Keto/Paleo Dieters

Green Chef Best Features

  • Pre-chopped, measured portions

  • Great selection for those following a plant-based diet

  • 100% organic meats and vegetables

Green Chef in a Nutshell

Every week, Green Chef lets you choose between nine recipes from one of three plans: Plant-Powered (vegetarian and vegan), Balanced Living (omnivore), and Keto + Paleo (low-carb). Green Chef gives you nicely organized packets with neatly labeled ingredients and, in many cases, pre-chopped vegetables. 

Our full-length Green Chef review has more information. 

Green Chef offers healthy organic vegetables, lean meats, and lighter sauces. It also has an extensive vegetarian selection. One drawback to Green Chef, though, is that it limits you to the meals within your selected plan. Other meal delivery services on our list offer more flexibility, like Sunbasket.

If you have limited kitchen skills, Green Chef’s pre-prepped and sorted food will make your cooking experience easier. Green Chef also offers gluten-free meal kits and makes it easy to avoid hidden chemicals and pesticides – all the meat and vegetables in Green Chef’s meal kits are 100% organic.

7. EveryPlate – Most Affordable Meal Delivery Service

EveryPlate Best Features

  • Most affordable pricing out there

  • Recipes prepared in six simple steps

  • Filling and tasty meals

EveryPlate in a Nutshell 

With a starting price of $4.99 per serving , EveryPlate is $2 less expensive per serving than Home Chef and $7 less expensive per serving than its parent company, Green Chef. That’s big savings when you’re feeding a family. But does a lower price mean lower quality meals?

You can get the full scope on what we think in our Find out more about EveryPlate in our full-length EveryPlate review .

In short, what you’re sacrificing for the lower price point is choice. EveryPlate offers fewer plant-based options than many other meal delivery services. There are also no options for anyone following a specific diet such as keto, paleo, or low-carb. However, the meals are filling and tasty, with offerings like Caramelized Onion Burgers with Horseradish Aioli and Potato Wedges, and Creamy Chicken Penne and Black Bean Stew with Mexican Cheese, Sour Cream, and Scallions.  

If you have specialized dietary needs EveryPlate is probably not for you. If you’re an omnivore who likes comfort food, you may find EveryPlate’s hearty but simple menu tickles your taste buds without stinging your wallet. 

8. Veestro – Best Vegan Meal Delivery Service in Cincinnati

Veestro Best Features 

  • 100% vegan meals

  • Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly delivery

  • Dietary preferences available, including kosher, gluten-free, and nut-free options

Veestro in a Nutshell 

With every box, Veestro delivers between 10-30 frozen prepared vegan meals to your door. Just pop them in the microwave and you’ll have a hot vegan meal in a few minutes. For those without a microwave, Veestro also includes stovetop or oven heating instructions, which take a little bit longer.  

To learn more about Veestro, check out our full-length Veestro review .

If you’re new to veganism, Veestro’s frozen meals will help you keep on top of a balanced, plant-based diet while giving you ideas for your own vegan cooking. For busy, long-term vegans, it’s the ideal solution to quick and healthy meals without having to constantly check ingredients for animal products. 

If you keep kosher, Veestro isn’t just your best Cincinnati meal delivery service option – it’s the only one

9. Grubhub – Cincinnati’s Best Food Delivery Service

Grubhub Best Features

  • Helps you find local restaurants that deliver and offer takeout

  • Offers discount coupons and special deals

  • Delivers a wide range of Cincinnati cuisine

Grubhub in a Nutshell

Through the app and website, Grubhub provides a list of restaurants that will deliver to your address. You can search by cuisine, restaurant name, or even menu items . If nobody is delivering chimichangas or Mongolian beef to your door, Grubhub also provides a list of pickup restaurants near you. 

Eating out can be expensive (and sometimes unhealthy with all the fast food available), but Grubhub features plenty of healthier options, too. Grubhub also eases the financial burden of ordering in with frequent coupons and special deals.

Grubhub offers many options for Cincinnati’s hungry. With a few clicks on your phone, you can get anything from Skyline chili to sashimi. It’s a bit more expensive than cooking your own meals, but if you’re pressed for time or working late in the office, Grubhub can be a meal delivery lifesaver.

10. Postmates – Serves Cincinnati through Uber Eats

Postmates Best Features

Postmates in a Nutshell 

Postmates was recently purchased by Uber and is gradually being subsumed into Uber’s UberEats delivery program. Postmates is now part of a large company with extensive experience in dispatching and coordinating drivers. Postmates will not only deliver takeout – it will also pick up groceries for you

The new merger with Uber means that there’s a wider selection of restaurants featured and delivery times are faster. The downside is that your delivery fee will increase significantly when there's high demand such as during a Bengals or Reds game.

If your favorite restaurants are Uber Eats Restaurant Partners, Postmates may be a reasonably priced option as the delivery fees are lower. If you go outside the Restaurant Partner network, your driver can still pick up and deliver, but you may find yourself paying $20 or more for a $5 burrito.

Best Meal Delivery Services for Cincinnati: Comparison Table

Meal Delivery Service

Starting Price

Dietary Preferences Offered

Delivery Frequency

Shipping Fee

Meal Types


Home Chef

$6.99

Low-carb , vegetarian

pescatarian

low-calorie

Weekly

$7.99 for orders over $50. $13.99 for smaller orders

Meal kits and prepared meals

Get Started

Blue Apron

$7.49

Vegetarian, balanced, Diabetes-friendly, nutritionist-approved organic “Wellness” meals

Weekly

$7.99 or free if more than three recipes ordered

Meal kits

Get Started

HelloFresh

$7.49

Vegetarian , low-calorie , family-friendly , pescatarian

Weekly

$8.99

Meal kits

Get Started

Sunbasket

$8.99

Pescatarian , paleo , vegetarian , low-carb , gluten-free , diabetes-friendly , vegan , and more

Weekly

From $8.99

Prepared meals and meal kits

Get Started

Freshly

$8.49

Gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free

Weekly

$3.99-$12.99

Prepared meals

Get Started

Green Chef

$9.99

Balanced, keto, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Weekly, biweekly, monthly

$8.99-$26.97

Meal kits

Get Started

EveryPlate

$4.99

Balanced

Weekly

$8.99

Prepared meals

Get Started

Veestro

$9.99

Vegan, kosher, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, low-calorie

Weekly, biweekly, monthly

$9.99 or free with auto-deliveries

Prepared meals

Get Started

Grubhub

Varies

Varies

Varies

$0-$5.99 delivery fee (free with subscription)

Varies

Get Started

Postmates

Varies

Varies

Varies

$0-$9.99 delivery fee (free with subscription)

Varies

Get Started

Bottom Line: Are Meal Delivery Services in Cincinnati Worth It?

The best meal delivery services in Cincinnati are all worth the price. They save you the hassle of grocery shopping and the headache of weekly meal planning. They can also help you to start a new diet plan or encourage you to stay on your current one with tasty meals and they can bring healthy meals to your door.

Before you choose what meal delivery service in Cincinnati is best for you, take a look at what’s on offer and see which ones meet your needs. You can also see how these meal delivery services ranked in our expert list of this year's best meal delivery services across America.

The best meal delivery service is the one that provides you the food you want the way you want it. Decide what works for you, then get ready for quick, convenient, and happy eating.

FAQ on the Best Meal Delivery Services in Cincinnati

What is the most affordable meal delivery service in Cincinnati?

At a $4.99 per person starting price, EveryPlate review is the most affordable meal delivery service in Cincinnati. A downside is that EveryPlate doesn't offer meals for specific dietary needs. If you're not following a balanced diet then an affordable option could be Blue Apron review with a starting price of $7.49.

Check out our list of today’s most affordable meal delivery services for even more ideas.

Which Cincinnati meal delivery service is best for picky eaters?

HelloFresh review has the widest selection of family-friendly meals for picky children. If your picky eater has a serious allergy or requires a specialized diet, Sunbasket review , Freshly review , or Green Chef review might be better suited to their needs.

What is the best healthy meal delivery service in Cincinnati?

Blue Apron’s Wellness 360 Program offers tasty, reasonably priced, nutritionist-approved recipes with fresh produce, high-quality proteins, and natural sweeteners. Many of the Wellness recipes are also WW-approved for those following a Weight Watchers diet.

What is the best paleo meal delivery service in Cincinnati?

Sunbasket’s Paleo Meal Delivery Plan gives Cincinnati paleo eaters meal kits like Salmon and Braised Fennel or Green Goddess Steak Salad with Roasted Carrots. All kits are sustainable, organic, and free of antibiotics, hormones, grains, soy, or dairy (except ghee).

You can find more Paleo meal plans in our list of the top paleo meal delivery services today.

About The Author

Kenaz Filan

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

Based in New Jersey, Kenaz has decades of experience writing on many subjects and sampling the many cuisines his neighborhood has to offer. Working from home, Kenaz is writing a book between reviewing meal delivery services and raising a family.

Based in New Jersey, Kenaz has decades of experience writing on many subjects and sampling the many cuisines his neighborhood has to offer. Working from home, Kenaz is writing a book between reviewing meal delivery services and raising a family.
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