Finding the best meal delivery service for your specific likes, dietary needs, or to fit in with your schedule can feel like a lot of effort, especially in a city as food-diverse as San Diego.
But when you find the right one, it’s totally worth it. Which is why I’ve taken a close look at more than 20 meal delivery services across all diets and tastes, rounded up the best, and reviewed them based on price, cuisine, and how delicious they are.
Of all of the meal delivery services I’ve reviewed, my top choice is Home Chef. Not only does it have a great range of meal types that work for all kinds of schedules, but its excellent customization options allow you to switch up the protein in almost every recipe. Sounds good, right?
Customize It feature allows you to swap, upgrade, and double-up on protein
20+ recipes per week
Dietary options include vegetarian, and calorie- and carb-conscious
Current deal: Get 16 Free Meals!
One of the best things about Home Chef has to be how flexible it is. Almost all the meals can be “upgraded” or customized by swapping out or doubling-up on the protein in each recipe.
As well as that, lots of the meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, with speedy meal kits and oven-ready dishes.
Recipes are rotated weekly, meaning you’ll never get bored, while there are also just enough options for those on a calorie-conscious or carb-conscious diet. You can read more about both of these plans in my colleague’s 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!
Fun add-ons include wine pairings, kitchen tools, and pantry items
19 meal kits and prepared meals per week
Dietary options include diabetes-friendly and WW-approved recipes
With a great balance of comfort food dishes and healthy recipes – many of which are inspired by cuisines around the world, Blue Apron is great for those who want to keep things interesting.
For those who enjoy cooking, the meal kits are packed with fresh, colorful ingredients. But there are alsoa few prepared meals on the menu for those busy nights. Check out my colleague’s Blue Apron review for more details.
There’s a Vegetarian plan and a Wellness Plan as well as a four-person and two-person Signature plan. Keep in mind that there’s not really anything for vegans, though, beyond being able to customize the vegetarian menu using items from your own kitchen.
Recyclable packaging – some of the best I've seen on the market
9-12 recipes on the menu each week
Dietary plans include Plant-Powered and Keto + Paleo
Current deal: Get $135 Off + Free Shipping
Green Chef was the very first meal kit delivery service to be certified organic. Thanks to its healthy recipes and clean ingredients, it's a top choice for vegans, vegetarians, and keto, and paleo dieters.
There are also plans geared towards each of these diets, which you can read more about in this in-depth review.
I found that most of the recipes are easily assembled and cooked within 30 minutes, with ingredients arriving prepared for you (chopped, mixed, and more), complete with detailed instructions.
Green Chef is truly committed to the environment, too. This was one of the only meal kit delivery services I found with packaging that’s almost 100% recyclable. It also has a fantastic delivery process with your box being trackable from the moment it leaves the warehouse.
Quick and easy meals available, including one-pot, and more
35 recipes each week
Dietary options include vegetarian, pescatarian, and low-calorie
Although it doesn't have many dietary-specific plans (vegans and paleo eaters, this might not be your best choice), HelloFresh does have some brilliant menu filters such as Easy Prep and Easy Cleanup, which make sure you only get the meals that suit your lifestyle.
Read more about this in my colleague’s HelloFresh review.
There are more than 35 crowd-pleasing recipes on the menu each week, across plans that include Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, and Fit & Wholesome. That, combined with those filters, is a winning combination in my book!
You’ll also be able to edit your order up to five days before your delivery slot.
Healthy and exciting dishes inspired by global cuisines
35+ meal kits and prepared meals each week
Dietary options include paleo, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, and more
Current deal: $90 off Plus a Free Gift!
Sunbasket is an excellent choice for meal kit delivery in San Diego. It has a huge range of dietary-specific plans (the largest range I've seen), with a whopping 10 to choose from. You can read more about this in my colleague’s in-depth Sunbasket review.
Although Sunbasket pays close attention to the number of calories per serving (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.
All that coupled with an average 30-minute prep time and easy-to-follow recipe cards makes Sunbasket a top choice. And there’s a range of prepared meals to choose from, too!
Easy-to-follow recipes and quality ingredients
40+ dishes on the menu, plus seasonal extras
Dietary options include vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and more
Current deal: Get $120 off Your First 5 Boxes
Marley Spoon may be a big name in the meal delivery space thanks to its partnership with Martha Stewart, but believe the hype, people – the home-style meal kits are balanced, varied, and packed with high-quality ingredients.
They’re also very reasonably priced compared to other services, making this a great option for families. You can find out more about the plans and pricing in my colleague’s in-depth review.
Each week you’ll find plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans, as well as meals that are dairy-free, gluten-free, lower-calorie, kid-friendly, and more. There’s also a category for dishes that can be on the table in less than 30 minutes – because dinner waits for no hungry child!
No cooking required – just heat and eat in three minutes
50+ meals on the menu
Dietary options include gluten-free, dairy-free, low-calorie, and more
Current deal: Save $125, Promo Code: SAVE125AFF
Whether you're looking to bulk up, lose weight, or you’re just not much of a cook, Freshly could be a great meal delivery option for you.
Although at first, it might be tough to pick from the selection of more than 50 meals each week (check out the sorts of dishes you can expect in this Freshly review), you can browse by categories such as Purely Plant and FreshlyFit, making the whole process less overwhelming.
There’s not as much choice for vegans as there is for meat-eaters, but for those looking to manage their weight, Freshly takes all of the guesswork and calculation out of preparing your food.
Strong focus on making veggies exciting
20 entrees each week, plus breakfast and lunch items
Dietary options include soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and more
Current deal: Get $30 Off with code carrot30
For a high-quality meal delivery experience, Purple Carrot is up there with some of the best. Even better, it focuses solely on plant-based meals, with an ever-changing selection of vegan meal kits, prepared meals, and even breakfast, lunch, and pantry items.
You can find out more about Purple Carrot’s offerings and some of my colleague’s favorite recipes in this tried-and-tested review.
Needless to say, the company’s inspired dishes make the veggies the star of the show with a focus on healthy plant-based proteins, such as beans and organic tofu, as opposed to the processed meat substitutes that some services offer as vegan alternatives.
Locally grown, non-GMO, gluten-free, and certified organic ingredients
13-16 prepared meals each week
Dietary options include keto, paleo, vegan, and more
Current deal: $20 off 1st Box + 15% Off All Orders
Fresh n’ Lean is the perfect option for anyone who doesn’t have time to spend in the kitchen but still wants healthy, organic, low-calorie meals.
Find out more about these (and the others!) 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 purchases), your meals will be decided for you. Having said that, Fresh n’ Lean does a great job of choosing these, with crowd-pleasing breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
Enjoy frequent promotions
Monthly membership option for anyone looking to avoid delivery fees
Try out Grubhub+ commitment-free for two weeks
Current deal: null
Differing from the others on our list, Grubhub is a food delivery service. It’s also 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 promotions. The standard delivery fees are typically under $7, or you can get free delivery with a monthly subscription to Grubhub+ for $9.99 per month.
Grubhub currently serves more than 300,000 restaurants in more than 3,200 cities across the United States, including San Diego. Check out its website or user-friendly app to see what local restaurants are currently available.
$6.99 Per Serving
$5.74 Per Serving
$5.99 Per Serving
$3.79 Per Serving
$4.27 Per Serving
$2.99 Per Serving
$6.90 Per Serving
$8.50 Per Serving
$7.53 Per Serving
$7.16 Per Serving
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
3 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meal kits for 2 people/4 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
4 prepared meals
3 meal kits for 2 people/6 prepared meals
5 prepared meals
10 prepared meals
Kits, oven- & grill-ready, prepared
20 - 60 min. meal kits
30-minute meal kits
20 - 30 min. meal kits
Fresh & Ready meals, 30-Min Meal Kits
30 min. meal kits
30-minute meal kits
From healthy frozen meals to recipe card subscription services, it can be hard to know which meal delivery service might suit your lifestyle the best. Here’s everything you need to consider:
Meal type: Consider the types of meals each service provides and which will work best with your schedule. Are lunchtimes and weeknights often hectic for you? Perhaps prepared meals would be best. Love cooking and want to add to your repertoire? Meal kits could be fun. Even better, choose a service that offers both so you can switch it up.
Your dietary needs: If you have allergies or restrictions, it’s vital to find a service that can cater to your needs, whether that’s vegan, veggie, low-sodium, soy-free, or others. If you’re gluten-free, I highly recommend opting for a company that prepares its meals in certified gluten-free kitchens, such as Freshly
Menu variety: Eating the same meals week after week can get repetitive, so choose a service that offers plenty of variety and cuisine types. Also look out for services that offer seasonal items or weekly offers, like Home Chef, Sunbasket, and Marley Spoon.
Portion sizes: Check out the plans and make sure they work for you. For example, Home Chef allows you to order for up to six people, while most prepared meals are single-serving portions only.
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, or don't have time, meal delivery services can make your life easier.
That would have to be the Fast & Fresh meals from Home Chef. There’s a whole range of low-prep meals, too, including 15-minute meal kits.
I strongly recommend Sunbasket for diabetics due to its specific Diabetes-Friendly Plan. You'll also get a wide variety of options to choose from every week, and creative, flavorful meals too!
Elsewhere, Blue Apron also offers a range of diabetes-friendly meals as part of its Wellness plan.
Veggies have their pick as most meal delivery services offer some kind of vegetarian plan these days. My favorite has to be Green Chef for its organic Plant-Powered plan.
If you’re looking for strictly plant-based meals, however, Purple Carrot’s all-vegan menu is an excellent choice.
Blue Apron is one of the most affordable San Diego meal delivery services, with portions starting from just $5.74 on the Signature For 4 Plan.