Broadway might be shut down, and your local supermarkets and bodegas might not have a delivery slot for weeks – so here’s the next best thing: meal delivery services.
Whether you're vegan, looking to lose weight (and who isn't?!), or just learn how to do a thing or two in the kitchen, prepared meal delivery, NYC-style, is a fabulous lifestyle choice.
There’s so much variety on offer too: from restaurant takeout to special dietary plans, healthy options, and all-around delicious recipes. Just set the number of people you're cooking for, decide how many meals you'd like a week, et voila, you’ll receive portioned ingredients, ready for you to assemble and cook – absolutely no food shortages in sight!
Home Chef – Best meal delivery service in NYC overall
Seamless – Best for prepared meals delivered across NYC
Sun Basket – Best for healthy meal delivery in NYC
Freshology – Best for no-cook, prepared meal delivery in NYC
Grubhub – Best for every type of meals delivery in NYC
Fresh & Easy – Best for no-cook meal delivery in NYC
Purple Carrot – Best for vegan meal delivery in NYC
So what will it be? Meal delivery or food delivery, and is there even really a difference?
As it turns out, it's all in the preparation: with meal delivery, you’ll usually have a choice of companies offering you delicious recipes (some with special dietary plans) that you’ll receive ingredients for, and have to cook for yourself. With food delivery, you’ll receive a fully cooked meal, straight from a restaurant.
Food delivery is the more convenient option, and probably what you’re more familiar with – but meal delivery in New York is cheaper per portion, more exciting and likely healthier too – for one thing, you know exactly what's going into your meal, as you're the one preparing it!
You might be wondering what all the fuss is about when it comes to choosing a meal delivery service over straight-up restaurant takeout, but meal delivery kits are so much more than your standard restaurant-delivered food.
Delicious food sent straight to your door – With prepared meals delivered in NYC, you get something a little different – control over your portions, the ability to cook for yourself and you get to see exactly what goes into your food.
Your dietary preferences, delivered to your door – 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 might be the more convenient option, with meal kit delivery, you get a portion-appropriate, healthy choice delivered straight to type 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, which 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 them myself so if you want the real lowdown on Home Chef, check out my Home Chef review first.
Substitutions are available – 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 (both for an extra fee).
Premium meals are available – If you’re feeling a little fancy, want to spoil someone or are celebrating a special occasion without being able to actually get out Home Chef’s premium meals – such as Bistro Filet with Truffle Frites – might cost a little extra, with prices starting from $15 per portion, but are actually cheaper than going out to a restaurant, with the same quality.
Don't feel up to cooking, no matter how easy it might be? You're not alone. Seamless - a prepared-meals-delivery-NYC-favorite for years now, can help you out. Offering, well, ‘seamless’ delivery (see what I did there?) from 12,000 favorite restaurants both near and far-ish, Seamless promises no need to struggle with potentially wrong orders, long wait times or other irritating mistakes.
12,000+ restaurants nationwide, and counting – Easily filter the type of restaurant and food you're looking for (diet meal delivery NYC; sushi in NYC), minimum order and even wait time until delivery. It's great if you're looking for a specific type of food, or even if you're looking to eat quickly.
Order food using the ‘Seamless’ mobile app – Easily find something to eat in just a couple of scrolls and clicks – then wait for your meal delivery, New York-minute-style!
Available nationwide – Whenever you get the chance to travel again, you can easily take Seamless with you, as it operates throughout the US. That’s some hassle-free food delivery right there!
Sun Basket is hands-down my go-to choice for healthy meal delivery in NYC. If you’re on any kind of food plan – keto, paleo and even some of the more ‘Manhattan-esque' (read: the next cool new diet) of dietary requirements, you can bet that Sun Basket has healthy options available in NYC for it. And you can trust me on this one, I’ve tried it out for myself in my Sun Basket review.
Specific diet meal delivery in NYC – Most other of the best meal delivery services in NYC won't offer you customized or dietary-specific land beyond vegetarian. At Sun Basket, you have almost every diet plan you can think of: keto, paleo, Mediterranean, and even diabetic-friendly. For those vegans out there, there’s also a plan available for you too.
18+ meals are offered weekly, on each plan – That’s great for 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 semi-edible meals again!
A family friendly menu – If your kids are driving you insane, Sun Basket offers a really good value family menu, as well as cool instructions on how to get your kids involved with the cooking process. Something to keep them occupied and a healthy meal delivery in NYC? Sun Basket has got it all.
If you’re looking to keep your food clean and healthy, and not be tempted by the myriad of takeout options available, Freshology has just the thing for you. Thanks to it’s prepared, dietitian approved, nutritious plans, it's a fantastic option for diet meal delivery in NYC.
500+ meal options – Yes, really, these are rotated over 5 weeks, so you can try every single meal out if you really want to… which, on the bright side, you might just be able to do in this current climate. Wondering how they could possibly have 500 meal options? I didn’t manage that many, but when I reviewed Freshology’s meals, I was impressed with the choice.
Just simply heat up your meal – Get freshly delivered, prepared meals delivered in NYC, right to your door, and eat them in minutes. It works out both quicker and cheaper than restaurant delivery, not to mention healthier.
Diet-friendly plans – From keto and low carb, to even diabetic-friendly, every single plan at Freshology is dietitian-approved, nutritional-balanced and portion-controlled. Who said you had to gain the ‘quarantine-15’?
Grubhub likely needs no introduction: along with sister site Seamless, it brings over 12,000 restaurants’ meals and menu options directly to you. With handy filters like pricing, delivery times and more, Grubhub is a great option for anyone looking for something to eat right now, or even those of us with the pickiest of appetites.
12,000 restaurants delivered right to your door – Not only are you getting the best variety out there, but you help to keep local restaurants alive and cooking during the pandemic too.
Awesome, helpful filters – Including “free delivery”, “open now”, “order tracking available” and even “new”, which is great for if you're looking for something a bit different and new to try or want to know exactly when your food is getting to you.
Save money with coupons – Pinching pennies during the pandemic? 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. That’s prepared meal delivery in NYC – and I mean prepared: you’ll receive everything pre-portioned. All you need to do? Throw it in the (provided) pan and stick it in the oven.
30 meal options a week – You can try everything and anything 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 a more of one type of protein, or want to substitute these out 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 choices. You even have the added benefit that you've (kind of) made it yourself.
One of the only all-vegan meal delivery services on the market, Purple Carrot offers hungry vegans in NYC the choice of vegan meal kits delivered straight to your door. That’s not bad for a time when fresh produce can be a little hard to come by.
8 meal options available a week – While it may not be as many as others on this list, you can still keep your food options dynamic even when you’re surrounded by less readily available vegan ingredients.
Includes breakfast and lunch 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 5 minutes each.
Cooked meals and non-cooked meals available – Whether you're looking for prepared meals in NYC that are grab-and-go, or want the satisfaction of cooking it for yourself, Purple Carrot offers both.
It all comes down to being hungry and wanting to eat, but between that and actually getting your food, there are so many options for prepared meal delivery in NYC that it can be hard to choose which one’s the 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 a pan to cook them in. All you need to do is put it in the oven, et voila!
If you want fully prepared and ready to eat-the-second-it-hits-your-door food, try Seamless. You can order from over 12,000 restaurants and support a local business at the same time.
Whether you have a specific dietary preference, can't get a delivery slot or just need to eat something right now, this list above gives you more than enough options – for even the pickiest of eaters!