Finding the best meal delivery service for your specific likes, dietary needs, or to fit in with your schedule is a nightmare, especially in a city as food-diverse as San Diego.
But all is not lost! I’ve taken a close look at over 20 meal delivery services across all diets and tastes, rounded up the best, and reviewed them based on price, cuisine, and how tasty they are.
From all of the meal delivery services I’ve reviewed, my top choice is Sunbasket. It has the best range of dietary-specific meal kits (vegan, paleo, gluten-free, diabetic, and more) that I've seen from one meal kit service.
Home Chef – Best All-Rounder Meal Kit in San Diego
Blue Apron – The cheapest meal kit on the market
Green Chef – The top choice for fully-organic ingredients
Although it’s easy to confuse the two, meal delivery and food delivery services are very different.
Meal delivery services provide you either with all the ingredients you need to prepare your own meals or offer prepared meals which you simply heat and eat. Some meal delivery services such as Home Chef offers both options! All of the meals and ingredients you receive from a meal delivery service are prepped in the vendor’s own kitchens and brought directly to your door.
Food delivery services, on the other hand, allow you to order food from your favorite local restaurants or retailers where it will be picked up for you and delivered to your door.
Grubhub and Postmates are examples of food delivery services available in San Diego. With these services, you pay on a per-meal basis and the food delivery service will pick up your food and head directly to your door.
Home Chef’s Best Features
Easily customizable meals and menu plans allow you to swap, upgrade, and double up ingredients
Fresh and prepared meals available
Super easy, step-by-step instructions
Home Chef in a Nutshell
One of the best things about Home Chef has to be just how flexible it is. All meals can be upgraded and customized by doubling up or swapping certain ingredients. As well as that, most meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
Recipes are rotated weekly, meaning you’ll never get bored, while there are also just enough options for those on a calorie-conscious (under 625 calories) or carb-conscious (under 35 grams) diet. You can read more about both of these plans in my colleague’s expert Home Chef review.
Unfortunately, vegans and other specialty diet followers might struggle to find a lot to suit them, but for non-specialty diets, there’s a lot to love... and that all-important flexibility!
Blue Apron’s Best Features
One of the least expensive meal kit deliveries on the market
Free delivery on plans with more than three meals a week
11 recipe options per week, across three plans
Easily filter out certain allergens or food aversions (such as pork, seafood, and others)
If you want to give meal kits a try, but don't want to be out of pocket, then Blue Apron is the perfect experience for you. It’s one of the most affordable meal kit delivery services on the market and there’s even enough choice for fussy eaters. For a more in-depth idea, check out my colleague’s Blue Apron review.
There’s a Vegetarian plan and a Wellness Plan as well as a four-person and a two-person Signature plan. There’s not really anything for vegans beyond being able to customize the vegetarian menu. In the other plans, you'll be able to filter out certain allergens and food avoidances.
Overall, Blue Apron is a nice and easy basic meal-kit service.
Green Chef’s Best Features
100% fresh and organic ingredients, responsibly sourced
Recyclable packaging – some of the best I've seen on the market
Ingredients prepared for you – just put them together to cook/bake, et voila!
Special dietary plans available, including Keto + Paleo
Green Chef is the very first meal kit delivery service certified to be 100% organic. That means it's a top choice (and my top pick) for plant-powered, keto, and paleo dieters. There are also plans geared towards each of these diets, which you can read more about in this in-depth Green Chef review.
I found that most recipes are easily assembled and cooked within 30-minutes, with ingredients arriving prepared for you (chopped, mixed, and more), complete with very detailed instructions.
Green Chef is truly committed to the environment. This was one of the only meal kit delivery services I found with packaging that’s almost 100% recyclable. It has a fantastic delivery process with your box being trackable from the moment it leaves the warehouse, and you have up to seven days before your delivery to edit your order.
Range of quick and easy recipes available – recipes for under 20 minutes, one-pot, and more.
Less expensive than other healthy kits on the market
Kid-friendly and family-friendly recipes available
Quality produce, fresh from the farm, delivered to you
Although it doesn't have any dietary-specific meal plans (vegans and paleo eaters, this might not be your best choice), HelloFresh does have some brilliant menu filters such as total cook time and prep time, which makes sure you only get the meals that suit your lifestyle. You can read more about this in my colleague’s HelloFresh review.
There are up to 20 recipes a week, across plans for Meat and Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, and Calorie Smart. That, combined with those filters, is a winning combination in my books! You’ll also be able to edit your order up to five days before your delivery slot.
Sunbasket’s Best Features
Huge portion sizes – the biggest I’ve seen on the market
Helpful guidance available – videos, tips, and technique walkthroughs
Family plan available – kid-friendly meal kits and prepared meals
This is my top choice for meal kit delivery in San Diego. It has a huge range of dietary-specific plans (the largest range I've seen on the market), with a whopping 10 menu options to choose from. You can read more about this in our in-depth Sunbasket review.
Although Sunbasket pays close attention to the number of calories per portion (most of which fall between 500-800), it doesn't skimp on the portion size and creativity of its meals. While other meal kits might stick to standard, American fare, Sunbasket really goes all-out to bring you exciting flavors and creative meal ideas.
All that coupled with a 30-minute prep time, and an easy-to-follow recipe card makes Sunbasket a top choice.
Customizable meal plans focusing on high protein, low carbs, or low calorie so you don’t need to worry about calculating macronutrients
Choose from over 30 meals each week – so you'll never be bored!
Easily build your own menu, swapping meals if you wish
No-prep or cook, just heat your meal in the microwave
Whether you're looking to bulk up, lose weight, or you’re just not much of a cook, then Freshly is the best meal delivery option for you.
Although at first, it might be tough to pick from the selection of over 30 meals each week (you can check out the sorts of dishes in this Freshly review), you can browse by Crafted Classics, Signature Collection, FreshlyFit, and Takeout Twists making the whole process less overwhelming.
You can learn all about it in this dedicated Freshly review.
There’s little choice for vegans but for vegetarians or those with other dietary preferences looking to manage their weight, Freshly takes all of the guesswork and calculation out of preparing your food. You don't even need to cook it, just heat it up in the microwave, and your weight loss journey has begun!
Veestro's Best Features
100% vegan meals, delivered straight to you, no cooking necessary!
96%+ fully organic ingredients
Free shipping when you enable auto-delivery
Kid-friendly vegan meals available, too
Veestro is the best option if you follow an exclusively vegan diet, but don't want the hassle of actually having to cook. You can read more in my Veestro review.
Veestro goes above and beyond for even the fussiest vegan eaters (and kids): you can easily filter out the meals on offer for gluten, soy, nuts, high-protein, low calories, and more. There’s even an option to view kosher meals only.
With fully-recyclable packaging (yay!), your meal will arrive pre-cooked and can last in the fridge for up to five days, or in the freezer for eight weeks. There’s also free shipping when you turn on auto-deliveries.
Fresh n’ Lean’s Best Features
No need to cook, just heat and eat!
Locally grown, non-GMO, gluten-free, and certified organic ingredients
One-time orders available – no need to lock yourself into a plan
Free shipping available
Fresh n’ Lean is the perfect option for anyone who doesn’t have time to spend in the kitchen but still wants 100% organic, low-calorie meals. There are five plans to choose from: Keto, Protein+, Paleo, Plant-Based, and Low-Carb Plant-Based – find out more about these in this full Fresh n’ Lean review.
But there’s one catch: unless you're ordering from the a la carte menu (where you get to make one-off orders), your meals will be set for you. Having said that, Fresh n’ Lean does a great job of choosing these, with mouth-watering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options.
Grubhub’s Best Features
Well-established food delivery service with over 15 years in the industry
Enjoy frequent promotions including $10 off orders over $30
Monthly membership option for anyone looking to avoid delivery fees
Try out Grubhub+ commitment-free for your first two-weeks
Differing from the others on our list, Grubhub is a food delivery service. Having been around for more than 15 years, Grubhub is one of America’s better-established food delivery services. Through Grubhub you can order meals from your favorite participating local restaurants with the convenience of never having to step foot outside your door.
A great benefit of Grubhub is that it regularly offers a number of promotions. Grubhub has a standard delivery fee, which is typically under $7, or you can opt-out of delivery fees with a monthly subscription to Grubhub+ for $9.99 per month.
You can check out Grubhub+ services free during a two-week trial, enjoying added perks like 10% cashback for every $100 spent.
Grubhub currently serves more than 300,000 restaurants in over 3,200 cities across the United States, including throughout San Diego. Check out its website or user-friendly mobile app to see what local restaurants in San Diego are currently available.
Postmates’ Best Features
With ten years and counting in the industry, Postmates offers reliable service
The Postmates motto is “anything from anywhere,” meaning it’s not just limited to food delivery
User-friendly website and mobile app makes ordering super simple
Try out Postmates Unlimited for free during a seven-day trial
Like Grubhub, Postmates is a delivery service and is known for its motto delivering “anything from anywhere,” but is most popularly known for its food delivery services. Postmates currently serves 4,200 cities across the United States, featuring over 600,000 retailers, including a wide assortment of restaurants and stores throughout San Diego county.
You can access Postmates through its website or via its mobile app, which has a user-friendly interface. Choose from delivery, pickup, or party, which is a unique feature allowing you to order from participating merchants within a five-minute window to waive delivery fees.
Delivery fees on Postmates fluctuate depending on the time of day but range anywhere from $1 to $10. You can avoid delivery fees by utilizing the Postmates Party feature or on any 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.
Meals starting from
Free on orders over $45, $10 if under
21+ options per menu
$7.49 per serving
Free shipping on three recipes per week and up; $7.99 per week on two recipes per week
17+ options p/menu
$11.99 a serving
$7.99 per week
Nine options per menu
$7.49 for three meals a week for four people
$6.99 per week
17+ options per menu
$8.99 per serving
$6.99 per week
18+ options p/menu
Crafted classics, signature collection, FreshlyFit, take out twists
$3.99-$12.11 depending on location
30 options per week
$9.90 per portion
50 options per week
From $7.93 per meal
12+ options per menu
$0 to $5.99 delivery fee
$0 to $9.99 delivery fee
Meal delivery services come in all shapes and sizes, meaning there’s definitely at least one out there that could be the perfect fit for your lifestyle. So whether you don't know what to cook, how to cook, don't have time, or are trying to stick to a specific diet, meal delivery services can help make your life easier.
And, regardless of whether a pandemic rages, you can't get to the supermarket, or find a delivery slot, you can rely on your meal kit provider to get your order to you, every time!
That would have to be the prepared meals from Home Chef. You get fully customizable meals, flexible plan options, and a wide variety to choose from each week. What could be better than that?
If you're looking for dietary-specific prepared meals, then the best option for you could be Veestro for prepared vegan meals or Fresh n’ Lean, for organic and gluten-free meals.
I strongly recommend Sunbasket for diabetics due to its specific Diabetes-Friendly plan. You'll also get up to 20 options to choose from every week, and creative, flavorful meals too!
Vegetarians have their pick as most meal delivery services offer some kind of vegetarian plan in San Diego! My favorite has to be Home Chef. It has both prepared meal options and meal kits with many recipes taking under 30-minutes of prep and cook time.
Blue Apron is the most affordable San Diego meal delivery kit on the market, with portions starting from just $7.49 on the Family plan.