With its brilliantly planned villages, gorgeous weather, and quaint amenities, it’s no surprise Irvine is consistently ranked one of the best places to live in the United States. Naturally, this also guarantees unbridled access to some of the highest quality meal delivery services money can buy!
However, an abundance of services can often lead to decision fatigue. So I took it upon myself to find the best meal delivery services in Irvine and rank them according to menu options, taste, ingredients, cost, and more.
I found 9 amazing services that every Irvinian would love, but if you want the very best, I can’t recommend Home Chef enough. The menu is simple and reminds you of home cooking, but the customization possibilities were the ones that really won me over.
To learn more and find the best meal delivery service for your preferences and dietary needs, make sure to keep reading!
Home Chef – Best customizable dinner menu in Irvine
Purple Carrot – Best plant-based recipes in Irvine
HelloFresh – Great for recipe selection and convenient meal kits
Sunbasket – Best meal delivery service for specific diets
Marley Spoon – Martha Stewart’s meal kit and chef-worthy recipes
Easy to cook for the entire family
30+ unique recipes per week
Also available in stores across the country
Current deal: Get 18 Free Meals (50% off your first 4 boxes)!
Home Chef is a meal kit delivery service that lets you call the shots when it comes to building the weekly menu. You start by choosing your preferences in terms of taste, ingredients, and dietary preferences. Next, you can use the Customize It tool to make each meal fit your needs by changing the protein in the dish.
As our in-depth review states, Home Chef is one of the most versatile meal delivery services on the market. You can further customize the standard menu by choosing foods from the Extras section which includes breakfasts, snacks, and more.
Home Chef’s vegetarian section is a delightful treat for all plant-based food enthusiasts! I was pleased to find a variety of options, with at least three delectable choices offered each week.
Overall, Home Chef fits extremely well in a family-oriented town like Irvine. The menu is diverse enough to fit the needs of an entire family and there are options for easy prep meal kits (under 15 mins), oven-ready meals, and fancy meals that require a bit more skill in the kitchen.
Between 500 and 800 calories per serving
Most non-produce items are organic
Several dietary options including gluten-free, high-protein, and <600 calories
Current deal: Get $30 off with code carrot30
Before Purple Carrot, finding tasty recipes and shopping for the right ingredients were some of the main difficulties on my way to a plant-based diet. However, this is no longer the case, and I even have the option to choose between meal kits and ready-to-eat dinners!
As our Purple Carrot review states, these meals don’t come as imitations of meat dishes. You have access to amazing recipes, where veggies are the star of the show!
Also, if you choose meal kits (which are easy and fast to prepare), you also have options for breakfast and lunch – not just dinner. On the other side, with prepared meals you get single-serving dishes. This is great if you’re the only one in the family who follows a plant-based diet or if you live alone.
Each recipe is tested 200 times
No waste with pre-measured ingredients and recyclable packing materials
25+ new fresh recipes each week
HelloFresh is all about the customer experience so it should come as no surprise that our detailed review is overly positive. After all, who doesn’t like delicious meal kits that are easy to prepare and affordable?
Plus, the service lets you combine meal plans and you can even play with your proteins and sides to customize each meal to your taste. I also like that the menu is easy to browse due to the tags you can find on each recipe (such as Calorie Smart, Veggie, or Spicy).
Overall, the service is perfect for Irvinian families and couples who want a healthy lifestyle. The recipes take around 15 to 40 minutes to prepare and cook and the detailed cards are a huge help.
Cooked meals made with farm-fresh ingredients, and ready in about four minutes
99% USDA-certified organic fresh produce, eggs, milk, and yogurt
10 dietary options including paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, and more
Fresh & Ready prepared meals, meal kits, and snacks for dinner, breakfast, and lunch – that’s what you can expect to find on any given day on the Sunbasket menu. This is a certified-organic meal delivery service that can accommodate almost any kind of diet from paleo to pescatarian.
If you check my colleague’s wonderful Sunbasket review, you’ll also learn that this service is a bit more expensive than its competitors. However, if you want easy access to a diverse and rich menu, it’s worth paying a little more.
I like that there’s a wide selection of dishes you know well from the Mediterranean and American cuisines, as well as the chance to experience new recipes from international cuisines, such as Japanese, Morrocan, and Korean.
Easy access to a variety of cuisines such as Mediterranean, Asian, or American
40 unique recipes per week
Five dietary options including healthy, vegetarian, and family-friendly
You don’t have to be a fan of Martha Stewart’s to give Marley Spoon a chance – you just have to be a fan of good food! Each meal kit is carefully designed to look and taste good, so you can brag about your cooking skills. Plus, every recipe is ready in six steps or less!
I also like that the company is 100% carbon neutral (packaging and logistics as well) and most packaging materials are recyclable. To learn more, check our in-depth Marley Spoon review.
So if you’re looking for a meal kit delivery service that actively cares for the environment and offers a wide range of easy-to-prepare dinners, lunches, and breakfasts, Marley Spoon’s a great choice.
Sustainably-sourced ingredients and thoroughly vetted suppliers
A USDA certified organic company
Six dietary options including keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free
Whether you’re looking for plant-based meals or you’re following a keto or paleo diet, Green Chef has a list of delicious recipes, neatly packed in meal kits with pre-measured ingredients. And yes, it also has amazing recipes for people in the middle, who are just looking for balance.
Plus, while working on this in-depth Green Chef review, my colleague learned that you can get various discounts, depending on the season and your time with the service. So if you feel the price is a bit steep, chances are it will get lower due to excellent discounts.
Still, since the service doesn’t offer single servings, it doesn’t fit single Irvinians too well. But it’s perfect for couples or families who appreciate the cooking experience.
Meals that take around 30 minutes to prepare and cook
17 unique recipes per week
Clear step-by-step instructions
EveryPlate is the perfect meal kit delivery service for couples and families who enjoy traditional American cuisine. And, as my colleague puts it in this well-detailed EveryPlate review, it makes for a fantastic budget option for non-fussy eaters.
The meals are balanced and nutritious, and there are a few veggie-forward options, but overall, the menu’s a bit limited. Still, you can’t ignore the attractive price and the regular discounts!
EveryPlate offers four meal plans, but I would’ve loved to see an option for single-servings as well. After all, the low prices are usually attractive for young Irvinians who may not always have someone to share their meals with.
Health-conscious options and step-by-step recipes
19 unique recipes per week
Several dietary options including vegetarian, carb-conscious, and diabetes-friendly
Blue Apron’s a great service for anyone who enjoys a bit of class in their meal delivery service. The recipes are a bit more refined with a focus on flavor and richness, but also require some skill in the kitchen. In short, this meal kit service may not be a good fit for beginners in the art of cooking.
In all fairness, you can also find a few prepared meals (around three options per week) that only require five minutes in the microwave. Plus, anyone can learn (especially with such detailed instructions) and all the ingredients in the meal kits are pre-portioned to reduce waste.
If you check my colleague’s amazing Blue Apron review you’ll learn that the service is right at the sweet spot between premium meals and affordable prices.
Each meal kit comes with exclusive spice blends and all the produce is fresh so it has the optimal level of nutrients. Lastly, the service has a separate list of wines so you can get the full fine dining experience!
Easy access to hundreds of amazing recipes
Food arrives ready to eat, an hour or so after placing the order
Lots of dietary options
Grubhub is a food delivery service, so it’s a bit different than the companies on my list so far. The service provides Irvinians with easy access to local restaurants nearby, so you can place an order for dinner, lunch, or breakfast.
Unlike meal delivery services, your order can only cover several meals and it’s ready to eat upon arrival (often no heating necessary). So if you crave a Subway sandwich or a Del Taco meal, you only have to wait around 30 to 40 minutes and you’ll be able to enjoy it in the comfort of your home!
$7.99 Per Serving
$8.50 Per Serving
$3.32 Per Serving
$4.27 Per Serving
$2.99 Per Serving
$5.99 Per Serving
$1.49 Per Serving
$5.74 Per Serving
2 meals for 2 people
3 meal kits for 2 people/6 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
2 meal kits for 2 people/4 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
3 meals for 2 people
3 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
Varies by supplier
Kits, speedy kits, oven-ready
Meal kits, prepared meals
Meal kits, speedy kits, prepared meals
Fresh & Ready meals, 30-Min Meal Kits
30 min. meal kits
30-minute meal kits
30-minute meal kits
20 - 60 min. meal kits
The best meal delivery service is different for each family, couple, or individual. That’s because everyone has a set of preferences and dietary needs they want to satisfy. Still, if you feel a bit disoriented by the sheer number of meal delivery services out there, here are a few tips to help you filter some of them out:
Meal kit vs. prepared meals: Do you enjoy cooking but lack the time to shop? In this case, a meal kit service is your best bet. Alternatively, if you don't want to spend more than 10 minutes on food preparation, you should choose a service that delivers prepared meals that only need heating.
Meal options: The best meal delivery service has enough options on its menu to keep you entertained. Also, you should choose a service that changes the menu weekly, so you’ll have easy access to new cuisines and tastes.
Dietary needs: If you follow a specific diet or there are ingredients you can’t eat, choose a service that offers different dietary options such as gluten-free, low-calorie, vegetarian, and so on.
Price: A higher price doesn’t necessarily indicate better quality of foods, but it can indicate care towards creating specific menus for various diets. Overall, the price (including shipping) needs to fit your budget.
Whether it’s to get new recipe ideas, to save time in the kitchen, to stick to a niche diet, or just to avoid a trip to the grocery store, it’s clear there are countless benefits to trying out a meal delivery service.
With so many unique services, there’s a menu out there for every palate. So don’t just take my word for it! Check out our full list of today’s top meal delivery services and try out the service that speaks to you the most.
Whether you live in Irvine or pretty much anywhere in the US, EveryPlate offers a great deal! Prices start at $1.49/serving, and there are frequent deals and special offers to save you even more money.
In my view, Purple Carrot’s plant-based approach to holistic health is a great way to incorporate healthier meals into your diet. However, it’s hard to define the concept of healthy, because the term can mean different things to different people.
For instance, if healthy for you means a more strict diet, then Sunbasket is a solid option for almost any specialized diet you can think of.
Sunbasket is my top recommendation for people subscribing to niche diets, simply because it caters to such a wide variety of them. Depending on your specific needs, however, a more specialized service may work better for you. Purple Carrot is completely plant-based.
Green Chef provides paleo and keto meal kits to Irvine residents, so it can be a good choice if you’re on either of these two diets. However, if you’re looking only for paleo, Sunbasket has a dedicated meal plan that’s at a similar price level as Green Chef.