Lockdown or not, local supermarkets and bodegas are often so overwhelmed with delivery orders, you may not get a slot for weeks. There’s never been a better time to look into meal delivery services. These life-changing services will significantly cut your time at the grocery store AND keep you on track with eating healthy, fresh meals.
Whether you're vegan, gluten-free, keto, or looking to lose weight, you’re likely to find a meal or food delivery service that suits your dietary needs, budget, and schedule.
Want to stay active in the kitchen? Consider ordering a meal kit. Just set the number of people you're cooking for, decide how many meals you'd like a week, et voila, you’ll receive pre-portioned ingredients, ready for you to assemble and cook.
Home Chef – Best overall meal delivery service
Seamless – Best for restaurant food delivery across NYC
Sunbasket – Best for healthy meal kits and recipes
Freshology – Best for prepared diet meal delivery in NYC
Grubhub – Best for delivery of almost every type of food and beverage (from participating restaurants and stores in NYC)
Fresh & Easy – Best for no-cook meal delivery in NYC
Purple Carrot – Best for vegan meal delivery in NYC
This is a question I get asked a lot. The basic concept is the same – meals delivered to your door – but there are a few fundamental differences.
A meal delivery service lets you subscribe to a weekly/biweekly/monthly plan, getting you the right amount of meals you need within that time frame. Your order automatically renews until you pause or cancel your plan.
Some plans get you meals pre-cooked by chefs, then delivered to you chilled or frozen. Other meal plans deliver ingredients pre-portioned according to the recipes of your choosing, for you to prepare yourself.
Food delivery services connect you with local restaurants, fast food joints, and even convenience and liquor stores to get you your favorite dishes, snacks, and beverages.
Both have their benefits, that’s for sure. After all, what better way is there to treat yourself or someone you care about than with a dish from a favorite restaurant? So I’ve gone ahead and included two food delivery services on this list, as well as the meal delivery options.
However, there are a few reasons why you should definitely consider the meal delivery services below.
To be frank, meal delivery services offer so much more than your standard restaurant food. And here are a few key features that demonstrate why:
Quality ingredients or delicious meals sent straight to your door – Meal kits provide you with the freshest ingredients to prepare nourishing meals. Prepared meal deliveries get you tasty dishes with transparent ingredients lists so you know exactly what’s in your meal.
Order according to your dietary preferences and schedule – Meal prep companies in NYC are even more attuned to the changing food landscape. After all, NYC’s widely known as one of the world’s culinary capitals! No matter how new or weird-sounding the diet, you’re certain to find a meal prep company in NYC to cater for it.
Cheaper per portion – Meal delivery in New York actually works out far cheaper per portion than straight-up takeout. Although takeout can sometimes seem the more convenient option, with meal kit delivery, you get portion-appropriate, healthy choices delivered straight to your door (and you don't even need to tip the delivery person – most prepared meal delivery in NYC offers contact-free deliveries).
Home Chef is hands down one of my favorite options for prepared meals in NYC. From the range of varied recipes to the cool upgrade and substitution options (something I haven't really experienced with other meal delivery services in NYC), there’s a lot to love about it:
Get 26-30 meal options (depending on which plan you're on) – This means you won't be stuck inside eating the same thing, over and over again. There’s enough variety here to keep you going for literally weeks (which is never a bad thing, even in more “normal” times). I’ve seen, cooked, and eaten most of these meals myself, so if you want the real lowdown on Home Chef, check out my Home Chef review first.
Easy substitutions – If you don't like some kind of meat, or want more of one type of protein, Home Chef gives you the option to double it or swap it out altogether for an extra fee.
Premium meals are available – If you’re feeling a little fancy or are celebrating a special occasion at home, try Home Chef’s premium meals such as Bistro Filet with Truffle Frites. They might cost a little extra, with prices starting from $15 per portion, but it’s still cheaper than going out to a restaurant and you’ll get the same quality.
Don't feel up to cooking? You're not alone. Seamless is the go-to option for restaurant and takeout food delivery services in the NYC foodie scene. They offer, well, “seamless” delivery (see what I did there?), from 12,000 of your favorite restaurants. Seamless promises no hassle with wrong orders, long wait times, or other irritating mistakes.
12,000+ restaurants nationwide, and counting – Easily filter restaurants by minimum order, wait time, and the type of food you're looking for (e.g., diet meal delivery NYC; sushi in NYC). It's great if you're looking for a specific type of food, or just to eat quickly.
Order food using the Seamless mobile app – Find something to eat in just a couple of scrolls and clicks – then wait for your speedy delivery, New-York-minute-style!
Available nationwide – Seamless doesn’t leave you hanging just because you’re traveling to another state. All of their plans let you take Seamless with you, as it operates throughout the US. That’s some hassle-free food delivery right there!
Sunbasket is hands-down my go-to choice for healthy meal kits and prepared food. If you’re on any kind of food regimen – keto, paleo, and even some of the more “Manhattan-esque” dietary requirements (read: the next cool diet), you can bet that Sunbasket has healthy options that meet your needs. And you can trust me on this one, I’ve tried it out for myself in my Sunbasket review.
The diabetic food plan – Among the long list of diet options available (including a high-fat Mediterranean diet), Sunbasket is one of the very few meal delivery services offering a meal plan geared specifically towards keeping diabetes in check. It takes the guesswork out of your meal portions, and what you can and cannot eat.
18+ meals offered weekly, on each plan – This is great whether you're stuck in lockdown or are out and about (we live in hope of normality returning soon). Either way, there’s a lot of meal variety here, whatever your diet – no need to rotate through the same few recipes again and again!
A family-friendly menu – If your kids are driving you insane, Sunbasket offers a really good value family menu, as well as instructions on how to get your kids involved with the cooking process. Something to keep them occupied and healthy meal delivery in NYC? Sunbasket has it all.
If you’re looking to stay on track with weight goals, and not be tempted by myriad unhealthy takeout options, Freshology has just the thing for you. Thanks to its prepared, dietitian-approved, nutritious meals, it's a fantastic option for diet meal delivery in NYC.
500+ meal options – Yes, really, that many. These meals are rotated over five weeks, so you can try every single one if you really want to… which you might just be able to do in this current climate. I didn’t manage to eat that many, but when I reviewed Freshology’s meals, I was impressed with the choice.
Just heat up your meal and enjoy – Get freshly-prepared meals delivered in NYC, right to your door, and eat them in minutes. It works out quicker, cheaper, and healthier than restaurant delivery.
Dietitian-approved plans – Who said you can’t escape the “quarantine-15?” Or that sticking to a low-calorie and portion-controlled diet has to be difficult? Freshology is here to show you it’s possible to eat tasty and healthy meals.
Grubhub likely needs no introduction: along with sister site Seamless, it brings more than 12,000 restaurant and takeout meals to you. With handy filters like pricing, delivery times, and more, Grubhub’s plans are a great option if you’re looking for something to eat right now, or you’re planning a party and need lots of snacks and drinks delivered to your door.
Support local restaurants and shops with maximum convenience – Not only are you getting the best variety out there, but you’re helping keep local restaurants alive and cooking during the pandemic, too.
Awesome, helpful filters – These include “free delivery,” “open now,” “order tracking available,” and even “new,” which is great when you're looking for something a bit different, or want to know exactly when your food is getting to you.
Save money with coupons – Trying to keep your costs as low as possible? Grubhub has your back. Check out the restaurants offering coupons and save on your order while supporting your fellow Manhattanites. Hey, we’ve all got to eat, right?
Fresh and Easy, from parent company Home Chef, brings you the easiest way to actually “cook” without cooking. When I say prepared meal delivery, I mean prepared. You’ll receive each meal in an oven-proof pan. Just bake and enjoy a freshly-cooked meal!
30 meal options a week – You can try everything on offer over a period of a few weeks, meaning you don't have to rely on the same food, day-in, day out, or worry about getting a grocery delivery slot.
Easy protein upgrades – These cost a little extra but are great if you fancy more of one type of protein, or want to substitute out something entirely.
Gourmet meals available – If you're missing the hustle and bustle of NYC’s best restaurants, you can “cook” a gourmet meal for yourself at home with Fresh and Easy’s delicious yet healthy choices.
One of the only all-vegan meal delivery services on the market, Purple Carrot offers hungry vegans in NYC a range of vegan meal kits delivered straight to your door.
Eight meal options available a week – While it may not have as many options as others on this list, you can still keep your meals dynamic even at a time when you’re struggling to find vegan alternatives or hard-to-source ingredients elsewhere.
Includes breakfast, lunch, and snack options – Most meal delivery services in NYC offer just one or two types of meals, but at Purple Carrot, you have a range of options, with both lunch and dinner recipes ready in just five minutes each.
Master vegan cuisine – Purple Carrot’s detailed recipe cards guide you through the cooking process to create delicious, indulgent meals. You’ll learn the best tricks in the kitchen to make vegetables tasty. A pretty important skill to have if you’re on a plant-powered diet!
You’re hungry and you want to eat, but what’s the best way to source your food? There are so many options for prepared meal delivery in NYC that it can be hard to choose which one’s best for you.
If you want the satisfaction of cooking for yourself from scratch (or near enough), go with Home Chef. You'll have more than enough recipe variety to choose from, as well as step-by-step instructions.
If you want to cook without actually cooking, try Fresh and Easy. You'll get all of your ingredients pre-assembled and even the pan to cook them in. All you need to do is put it in the oven, and you’re done.
If you want fully prepared and ready-to-eat-the-second-it-hits-your-door food, try Seamless. You can order from more than 12,000 restaurants and support local businesses at the same time.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your eating habits, or simply need a fast and reliable option for tonight’s dinner, these meal and food delivery services in NYC have got you covered.