Affordable prices and timely deliveries are trademarks of many meal delivery services operating in Washington, DC. They offer a mix of meal kits and prepared meals depending on how much time you have to get dinner on the table.
I discovered a range of DC services that cater to different budgets and tastes. Some stand out by offering organic ingredients, while others allow diners to customize their selected meals to some extent. I also came across budget services that still use high-quality ingredients but keep the costs down with simple recipes that use fewer ingredients.
After careful examination, Factor came top of my list. It offers a weekly menu of international cuisines suitable for people with various dietary requirements. It has fully prepared meals and a huge range of extras, including smoothies, breakfasts, and proteins.
Factor – Best for niche dieters in DC
Green Chef – Best organic food provider in DC
HelloFresh – Great meal diversity for DC families
Home Chef – Great for calorie-conscious DC customers
Fresh and Easy – Quick-prep and high-quality specialties
Over 30 dietitian-designed recipes weekly
Vegetarian, vegan, keto, and high-protein meals
Nutrition coaching sessions
Factor is a top prepared meal service catering to busy, active people. If you lift weights or work out regularly, pay attention to the meals labeled Protein Plus on Factor’s extensive menu, as most of these dishes feature over 30 g of protein.
Besides Protein Plus meals, you'll find dishes catering to keto and vegan, among other diets. The meals span various international cuisines, including Mexican, Indian, Italian, and Thai. Certified dietitians plan Factor's meals, ensuring top-notch quality.
You can mix and match between 5 categories:
Vegan & Veggie
Factor has high standards for ingredient sourcing in place. Once in the kitchen, chefs prepare food that meets strict dietitian requirements. Because of this, you can't customize meals by switching out ingredients. You can only replace unsuitable dishes with another dish, which can limit the menu.
Chefs do all the preparation so you can heat your meal in minutes. Our in-depth review found that Factor keeps most dishes on its menu for weeks, replacing only 2 or 3 weekly. New recipes feature the New label, while the most popular ones have the Top-Rated mark. Popular meals can sell out quickly.
Besides main dishes, Factor has dozens of add-ons on its menu. You can add those for an extra cost. These include pancakes, smoothies, juices, cakes, and chocolate delicacies.
You can also schedule a free meeting with one of Factor's licensed dietitians. These 20-minute coaching sessions will help you figure out how to achieve your dietary goals. Besides this, Factor has efficient customer service and a highly-rated app on Google Play and App Store.
Factor allows you to order between 6 and 18 weekly meals. The price per serving starts at $6.19. The more meals you order, the lower cost per serving you'll pay. The shipping fee is $9.99 for all orders.
USDA-certified organic company
Diets for omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and keto dieters
Gluten-free and dairy-free meals
Current deal: Get $250 off + free shipping
Green Chef is among the most popular organic meal providers in the USA. Most of its dishes contain organic ingredients, such as organically-sourced beef, poultry, seafood, vegetables, and produce. Our reviewer reported that they could taste the difference with Green Chef’s high-quality ingredients in our tried-and-tested review.
Each week, the menu features over 45 meal kits. These cater to various diets, including keto, vegan, vegetarian, and balanced. If you don’t follow a set diet, you can easily mix and match between the plans.
Green Chef’s 8 plans include:
Keto – for carb-conscious dieters
Plant-Based – vegan and vegetarian meals
Calorie Smart – for calorie-conscious foodies
Quick and Easy – meals ready in 25 minutes or less
Gluten Free – meals free from gluten and soy
Mediterranean – prioritizing vegetables and beneficial fats
Protein Packed – ideal for active people
Delicious Discoveries – globally inspired meals every week
The menu features various international cuisines. You'll find Chinese, Korean, Thai, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean dishes on its website, as well as classic American. The exotic tastes on offer keep mealtimes interesting but they make the menu slightly less family-friendly than alternatives like HelloFresh.
Most main dishes can be cooked in around 20 to 40 minutes. A few of them may require as little as 10 and as much as 50 minutes. This is pretty standard for meal kits. Green Chef sometimes sends prepped ingredients and premade sauces, which can help speed up the process.
As for add-ons, you can prepare many of them in a few minutes. The most "demanding" extras require just 15 minutes of preparation. These include oatmeal, muffins, sandwiches, small bites, and salads, which can be ideal for breakfasts or lunches throughout the day.
The service has a comprehensive FAQ section with customer support. It features a mobile app available on Google Play and App Store, too.
Green Chef's healthy meal kits start from $5.99 per serving. This price reflects the premium service and high-quality ingredients, and although it’s higher compared to other providers on my list, it’s still great value.
Larger households will get the best value for money. You can order up to 4 meals for 6 people per week. The minimum order is 3 weekly meals for 2 consumers. The shipping fee is $9.99 per delivery, regardless of your order size.
50+ recipes every week
Pescatarian, family-friendly, and vegetarian meals
Options for balanced and busy lifestyles
HelloFresh has a large offering that stands out among its competitors. As I scrolled through its menu, I counted more than 60 meal kits catering to various diets. You can also see HelloFresh’s menu up to 6 weeks ahead so you can build up your meal plan well in advance.
There are no menu filters, but HelloFresh clearly labels each dish. These include Best Recipe, Hall of Fame, Premium Picks, Brunch, and other tags. For allergies, you’ll have to check each individual recipe before ordering, which can be time-consuming.
You can rearrange the menu to see the most suitable dishes by choosing from the following categories:
Quick & Easy
Meat & Veggies
Fit & Wholesome
You can customize some recipes using HelloCustom to change the protein or veg, but note that the options are limited. For more extensive customization, check out Green Chef allows you to customize the majority of its menu.
HelloFresh has specialties from many international cuisines on its menu. Besides American, you'll find Thai, Chinese, Italian, French, and Mexican meals, as well as plenty of classic dishes that kids will love. Most HelloFresh meal kits stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Each recipe is classed as Easy, Medium, or Difficult, so you can choose the right dish for your skill level. You can also find out the estimated prep time. Our reviewer cooked a range of difficulty levels in our tried-and-tested review – and they were impressed with the results!
You’ll find useful information about HelloFresh in its extensive FAQ section. You can also contact its friendly customer support 24/7. When you’re on the go, the service has a highly-rated app you can download from App Store and Google Play.
You can order as few as 2 meals for 2 people and as many as 6 meals for 4 people per week. The more meals you order, the lower your per-serving price will be. The price per serving starts at $3.32 for the largest order. You’ll also have to pay a shipping fee, which will be calculated and added at checkout.
Customization options available
Grill- and oven-ready dishes
Fresh-Start, Family-Friendly, and Easy-Prep meals
If you wish to lower your calorie intake, you should shortlist Home Chef. The meal delivery service excels in providing ingredients for calorie-conscious customers. It offers many dishes featuring around 500 calories or so, while some of the extras have as little as 150.
Home Chef also specializes in low-carb dishes ideal for weight loss. You'll find many of those featuring up to 30 grams of carbohydrates. Of course, there are various suitable options for people who don't stick to a restrictive diet and who like to indulge themselves.
Supplying fresh ingredients ready for cooking is another of Home Chef's strong points. Some of the low-prep meal kits come with the ingredients ready prepared. In some cases, you’ll need just 15 minutes maximum to put together a meal kit.
Besides meal kits and money-saving bundles, Home Chef has various extras on its menu. Check our review to learn more. Among other options, you'll find cakes, coffee drinks, smoothies, rolls, and bites. Note that they'll require some prep time. You'll need 5 to 10 minutes to prepare most add-ons. But if you order the Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet, for example, you might need up to 30 minutes.
You can get meal recommendations by filtering certain ingredients at sign-up. If you suffer from an allergy or don't like certain foods, select the ingredient you'd wish to avoid when choosing a plan. Some ingredients you can filter are pork, poultry, fish, mushrooms, tree nuts, and sesame.
Home Chef has meals catering to omnivores, pescatarians, and vegetarians, as well as low-carb and low-calorie dishes. The service doesn't have specialties designed for niche diets, such as keto and gluten-free. If you follow a keto diet, check out Green Chef, which has keto-friendly dishes on offer. You may also consider Factor for premade keto meals.
Home Chef has a comprehensive Help Center. If you can't find an answer to your question, initiate an automated chat or get in touch with a human agent.
The price of Home Chef’s recipes starts at $7.99. That would be the price per meal for maximum orders including 6 dishes for 6 people. The minimum order, featuring the highest price per serving, is 2 dishes per 2 people. The shipping fee per delivery is $10.99.
Line of quick meals by Home Chef
Meal kits and salad recipes
Low-carbohydrate and calorie-conscious dishes
Fresh and Easy meals are suitable for busy people that don’t compromise on quality. These dishes require quick prep in most cases, and some of them you may not need to prepare at all. You can choose between salads, prepared meals, and speedy meal kits.
The ingredients of this line of meals come pre-prepped. You don't need to chop, slice, peel, dice, or perform any other such action. You may not need to wash the produce either.
Fresh and Easy meals include microwave-, oven-, and grill-ready dishes. The ingredients come pre-cooked, and you can combine them any way you see fit. You won't have to use and clean your utensils because components are in oven-safe trays, so you can keep food in them during heating and eating. Grill-safe products come in dedicated bags.
Most Fresh and Easy dishes require less than 20 minutes to put together, as you can read in our review. Some take as little as 5 minutes. For the quickest option, browse the line's selection of salads rich in proteins and vegetables, which require near-zero prep.
Note that you can combine Fresh and Easy dishes with other recipes from Home Chef. You'll have to pick between the two plans when subscribing, but choosing one doesn't eliminate another. You’ll still have access to the entire Home Chef's menu to mix and match servings as you like.
The lack of diet-specific meals is one of Fresh and Easy’s downsides. If you follow a specific diet, such as paleo or keto, you're unlikely to find suitable options here. While you might find some meals meeting the requirements, you’d be better off checking BistroMD if you're after keto, diabetic-friendly, or gluten-free dishes.
Contact Home Chef's customer service for any information or clarification. The company doesn't have an FAQ section nor a Help Center dedicated solely to its Fresh and Easy line of products. But knowledgeable agents are capable of answering questions relating to them.
Prices start at $7.99 per serving. You'll pay this price if you order 6 recipes for 6 people weekly. The minimum weekly order is 2 dishes for 2 people. You'll also need to add the flat-rate shipping fee of $10.99 to get the total cost of your order.
60+ weekly meals
Veggie, carb-conscious, and pescatarian options
Wines, kitchen tools, and other add-ons
Blue Apron offers meal kits and prepared meals for people with various dietary needs. You'll find dozens of recipes on its multi-week menu. Its meal kits contain only fresh ingredients, and you can prepare most of them in 40 minutes or less.
The menu is published 4 weeks in advance, so you can create your meal plan for the next month. You can browse the menus by selecting the Signature for 2, Vegetarian, Wellness, or Signature for 4 plan. Add-Ons, including soups, pies, and rolls, are also available.
It’s easy to search the menu for suitable dishes. The menu highlights important info like preparation time and the main ingredients – and our reviewer was impressed with the menu labels. These include Fast & Easy, Ready to Cook, and Chef Favorites. Recommendations for special occasions and events also appear at the appropriate time of year.
Blue Apron has options for pescatarians, vegetarians, and omnivores, among other diets. The Wellness plan also offers low-calorie options, and it's one of the few meal delivery services in DC that has options for diabetics. Besides American, you can enjoy Mexican, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Korean, among other cuisines.
Another thing I like about Blue Apron is the opportunity to personalize selected dishes. You can add meat to some of Blue Apron's vegetarian recipes, or on the flip side, you can make some meat-based dishes vegetarian by replacing poultry with pasture-raised eggs.
You can customize your order by selecting up to 5 categories:
Chef Favorites – the service’s top picks
Wellness – nutritionist-approved dishes
Family Friendly – with meals that children love
Fast & Easy – quick-to-prepare meals
Veggies – meat-free dishes
Blue Apron also has an optional wine delivery service subscription, which is unique among its competitors. Besides getting high-quality wines, you'll pay a fraction of the cost for them because Blue Apron purchases wines directly from wineries, cutting out intermediaries. You can choose between 500 ml and 750 ml bottles.
You can order 2 to 5 meals per week with 2 or 4 servings each. The price per serving starts at $5.74, which provides excellent value for money for families. Note that the cost depends on the number of weekly meals and servings. More recipes ordered means a lower cost per dish. The shipping cost is a flat fee of $10.99.
Doctor-approved diet plans
Custom-diet weight-loss programs
Over 150 chef-prepared meals weekly
BistroMD is among America's finest weight-loss meal delivery services. Its meals typically contain less than 400 calories and you may see results within 10 days once you start your diet. Plans are flexible and don't require you to commit long-term.
BistroMD has 8 weight-loss programs suitable for various people:
Depending on your plan, you may choose between 85 and 100 meals for your diet. Picky dieters appreciating a larger meal selection should choose BistroMD's Signature program. If you're one of them, you'll have 150 dishes to choose from. Check out our BistroMD review to learn more about the menus.
The user-friendly meal delivery service lets you customize your diet by selecting Lunches & Dinners or Full Program. Personalize your diet plan further by opting for a 5- or 7-day plan. If you opt for a full 7-day program, for example, you'll receive 7 breakfasts and lunches, 6 dinners, and My Night – a free night each week to enjoy a deserved break. A 5-day Lunches and Dinners plan provides you with 5 lunches and dinners.
Besides breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, BistroMD has snacks on its menu. Some extras you can accompany your meals with are cookies, cakes, juices, shakes, and chocolate treats.
Despite being a weight-loss service, BistroMD delivers hearty dishes. So losing weight doesn't necessarily mean feeling hungry. After all, this meal delivery service employs dietitians to design its meals. And after experienced cooks prepare them, you get healthy, satiating, and delicious meals.
You can contact BistroMD's dietitians for extra support directly if you have any questions or concerns. You're also welcome to watch their webinars and check Health Hub articles.
Besides American, BistroMD prepares Mediterranean and Italian meals. The provider sources certified organic ingredients whenever possible. When it isn't the case, the company still acquires ingredients from environmentally-responsible sources for its meals.
Unfortunately, you can't customize ingredients in individual meals. This is because such requests would lower the meal's nutritional benefit. But if customization is something you don't want to compromise on, try Home Chef instead.
BistroMD uses FedEx to handle deliveries. Note that besides meal costs, which start at $8.24, you'll have to pay the standard shipping fee. Delivery time is usually 5 or 6 days.
Carb-conscious and low-calorie food
Vegetarian, vegan, and omnivore-friendly dishes
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon is a climate-friendly meal delivery service. It introduces sustainable recipes and offsets direct carbon emissions related to packaging. Its pre-portioned servings reduce food waste. You'll recognize the most eco-friendly options on the menu by the "Climate Friendly" label.
Various menu categories allow you to filter the large menu. These include:
Under 30 Minutes
With over 100 dining options, you're sure to find something working for you. You’ll find tags on the menu that’ll help you identify dietary restrictions. Read our in-depth review to find tips about what to do regarding allergens.
You'll find plentiful options if you're a fan of international cuisine. Choose between French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Mediterranean, Indian, and Mexican specialties on Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon's menu.
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon allows you to customize recipes to some extent. This might include swapping your protein or switching to gluten-free ingredient varieties. Plus, if you order a meal kit, you can always omit any problematic ingredients during prep.
When it comes to customer service, I found the chatbot surprisingly helpful, especially compared to bots of some other services. You can contact human agents for more in-depth queries, though. The comprehensive on-site Customer Service section helps you navigate topics and find solutions quickly if you don't like waiting for an answer.
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon charges an $11.99 shipping fee regardless of the total cost of your order. FedEx, UPS, and Veho are a few providers' shipping partners – your courier will depend on where you live.
There are 2 basic plans designed for 2 and 4 people. You can choose between 2 and 6 portions for either plan and make them vegetarian if you wish. The price per serving starts at $2.99. Note that the cost per serving is lower for 4-person than 2-person orders.
Fresh, quick-prep meals
Meal kits, less-prep, and prepared meals
Dishes rotate bi-weekly
Purple Carrot is one of the best meal delivery services for vegans and vegetarians. The dishes contain exclusively plant-based ingredients. So as well as being great for vegans, if you suffer from a common allergen such as milk or eggs, Purple Carrot could be a good option for you.
You can keep most meals for up to 7 days in the fridge. But check the best by label for confirmation when you receive your order. For the best dining experience, refrain from freezing Purple Carrot's meals and have them before the expiration date.
I found that most non-produce ingredients are organic (and non-GMO). Purple Carrot strives to maintain a high percentage of such ingredients in its meals. But due to various limitations, such as sourcing constraints, it's not always possible. USDA-certified Green Chef may be a better choice if you eat only organic food.
Purple Carrot draws inspiration from various international cuisines. You'll choose between French, Italian, Thai, Middle Eastern, Mexican, and Chinese, among other specialties. Of course, you'll find American dishes on its menu, too. Naturally, you can mix and match dishes from various cuisines, which our reviewer did when they cooked Purple Carrot at home.
The menu consists of Meal Kits, Less Prep dishes, and Prepared Meals. Choose meal kits if you don't mind prep work and cleanup for the best dining experience. Opt for the Less Prep meals to get similar results with pre-chopped food. If a busy week's upon you, order Prepared Meals for a quick heat-and-eat option.
Purple Carrot offers meals categorized as Dinners, Lunches, Breakfasts, and Plantry. You'll find most dishes in Dinners and Plantry and fewer in Lunches and Breakfasts. Many of them cater to calorie-conscious diets, with as low as around 300 calories per serving. Gluten-free, high-protein, and nut-free options are available, too.
You'll need to pay a delivery fee to get your order. Its cost depends on the courier since Purple Carrot entrusts FedEx, UDS, and LaserShip, among others, to ship its products.
The minimum meal kit order is 3 meal kits of 2 servings each. The maximum is 4 servings of 3 meals. In the case of prepared meals, you can order 1 serving per 6, 8, or 10 weekly meals. Meal price starts from $8.50 and depends on the number of servings.
Goal-oriented meal plans
Keto, paleo, vegetarian, and vegan meals
12+ meal prep options
Trifecta is an excellent option for athletes targeting specific diets. It allows you to choose between various programs and receive meals on a weekly basis. Certified dietitians design meals, and you can use Trifecta's help to figure out what plan works best for you. Trifecta's experts curate the menu every week.
This meal delivery service has 6 plans for you to choose from:
Keto – helping you decrease carbohydrate intake
Paleo – comprising grass-fed proteins, vegetables, and fruit
Clean – consisting of proteins, veggies, and grains
Whole30 Approved – featuring portion-controlled and nutritionally balanced ingredients
Vegan – comprising sustainable plant-based proteins
Vegetarian – featuring plant proteins and healthy carbs
I like Trifecta because it allows a high level of plan customization. Once you choose a plan, you can customize the number of entries per delivery and whether to include breakfasts or not. You can also exclude 1 or 2 of 10 or so ingredients you don't like or are allergic to, as you can see in our review.
The Meal Prep plan lets you build your own meals. You can choose from a range of proteins, vegetables, and carbohydrates. This is great for fussy eaters or those with allergies as you have total control over your weekly meals, although you’ll have to work out the macros yourself.
Trifecta has some good old Classics on its menu, too. There are usually several options available, and scrambled eggs, chicken breasts, and salmon may be some chief ingredients among them. Besides price and ingredients, you'll find information about calories, fat, and other nutrients.
You should eat Trifecta's dishes within 7 days from delivery. You can freeze food if you order quantities you can't get through during that time. But note that the meals often taste better if you keep them in the fridge.
Trifecta strives to use organic ingredients for its meals. But it isn't a USDA-certified meal delivery service. If you're after a USDA-certified organic company, check out Green Chef.
Trifecta's chefs prepare American cuisine. If you're a fan of French, Thai, or another international cuisine, you're unlikely to find options on Trifecta's website. The best meal delivery services offering international dishes in DC are Blue Apron, Factor, and HelloFresh.
The price per meal depends on the chosen plan and the number of servings. It starts at $6.00. DC residents pay a $9.99 shipping fee for all orders.
$6.19 Per Serving
$5.99 Per Serving
$3.32 Per Serving
$7.99 Per Serving
$7.99 Per Serving
$5.74 Per Serving
$8.24 Per Serving
$2.99 Per Serving
$8.50 Per Serving
$6.00 Per Serving
6 prepared meals
3 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
10 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
3 meal kits for 2 people/6 prepared meals
30-minute meal kits
Meal kits, speedy kits, prepared meals
Kits, speedy kits, oven-ready
Oven- & grill-ready, kits, prepared
20 - 60 min. meal kits
30 min. meal kits
Meal kits, prepared meals
Follow my top tips to help you find the right meal delivery service to cater to your needs and budget:
Know your dietary needs. Figure out what your diet should consist of and your short- and long-term goals. To lose weight, for example, look for a specific weight-loss service like BistroMD, or if you want to learn to cook healthier meals, try a meal kit service like Blue Apron that offers a Wellness plan.
Consider your cooking experience. You can choose between meal kits and prepared meals. The former involves some cooking and usually takes around 30 minutes, though some services offer lower-prep kits, like Fresh and Easy. Opt for prepared meals if you're short on time and prefer quick heating before eating. Some meal delivery services offer both meal types so you can mix and match them.
Check prices. All my top picks for meal delivery in DC offer good value. Still, look at the range of servings offered, their prices, and any mentioned discounts.
Familiarize yourself with the delivery days and timings. Some services offer a range of delivery days, while others have specific days and times for deliveries. Conduct some research to find a delivery service that aligns with your schedule. In many cases, you don't need to be present at home when the delivery is made, as the box can be left outside your door or with a neighbor.
Factor is the best meal delivery service in Washington, DC. It offers high-quality dishes prepared by expert chefs for competitive prices. Plus, the service offers various add-ons such as smoothies and protein packs.
Green Chef offers the healthiest meals in DC. It's a USDA-certified organic company whose meals comprise organic ingredients, for the most part. Its selection of 45+ weekly meals caters to omnivores, vegetarians, pescatarians, and other diets.
Factor is the best prepared meals service in Washington, DC. You’ll find heat-and-eat options for carb-conscious, weight-loss, keto, and high-protein diets, among others. With Factor, you can have a healthy meal ready in 2 minutes.