We New Yorkers have a unique lifestyle. We eat on the subway. We eat while walking down the street. Our schedules are so packed that often, we forget to eat at all! That’s where meal delivery services can help – they ensure you eat well, saving you time and money along the way.
If you live in the city, you owe it to yourself to try out at least one of these services. After all, having your food delivered is a great time saver. But how do you know which plan is right for you? Well, that’s where I come in.
My colleagues and I have tested and researched dozens of meal delivery services. We narrowed down the best of the best, and they turned to me (as the resident New Yorker) to let you in on our insider knowledge.
Spoiler alert: My favorite service right now is Factor thanks to its prepared meals, which are as convenient as they are delicious. But if you find it’s not quite right for you, there are plenty of other options that might be – so read on to find out more!
This Black Friday Get 16 Free Meals + Free Gift! with Home Chef!
No cooking required – chef-prepared dishes ready to heat
Plans for every lifestyle – Vegan & Veggie, Keto, and more
Ongoing support – nutrition coaching programs available
Current deal: Get 60% Off Your First Box + 20% OFF the Next 4 Boxes!
Factor takes the top spot on my list thanks to its great flavors and time-saving convenience. I’ll admit, I’ve always had some bias against microwavable meals. But Factor is the proof that you really can enjoy restaurant-quality meals in minutes.
My colleague conducted an in-depth review of Factor, and they were similarly blown away by the menu. They also loved Factor’s unique health benefits. Your subscription includes a free 20-minute consultation with a registered dietitian, and the company’s nutrition coaching programs can help you crush your health goals.
If you’re on a specialized diet, Factor has plans for almost anyone. There are menus for keto, vegan, low-calorie, and high-protein diets as well as a balanced Chef’s Choice plan. The entire menu is gluten-free and made with only the highest quality produce and proteins.
With meals starting at $6.19 per serving, Factor is one of the more expensive prepared meal delivery services. But for New Yorkers who want convenient, dietitian-approved meals, it’s also a tasty investment in your health.
Meals for every schedule – 15-minute, oven-ready, and other easy recipes
Add-ons available – bread, desserts, protein packs, and more
Personalize your menu – filter out ingredients like nuts or shellfish
Current deal: Get 16 Free Meals + Free Gift!
Home Chef is hands down one of my favorite meal kits available in NYC. Its menu features more than 20 recipes each week – many of which are customizable and allow you to swap, upgrade, or double-up on the protein.
The stovetop skillet dish above, for example, is made with pork, but you can quite easily substitute chicken for a leaner option – or get double the meat for a more indulgent meal! Find out what my colleague thought when she gave Home Chef a try for herself.
Without doubt, one of my favorite things about Home Chef is its range of cooking and prep options – from super-simple 15-Minute Meal Kits and Oven-Ready dishes to the Culinary Collection of recipes, which are perfect for weekends.
You’ll also spot some limited veggie options on the menu, as well as carb- and calorie-conscious meals.
Varied menu – 40 or more new recipes each week
Full of family favorites – classic dishes even the kids will love
Focused on reducing food waste – no more throwing out ingredients past their best
Current deal: Get 21 free meals + free shipping + 3 surprise gifts
I’ve reviewed dozens of meal delivery services, but it’s plain to see which is the most popular. When I walk past the packages in my apartment lobby, I can see just how many of my neighbors prefer HelloFresh over any other.
Sure, marketing and brand recognition are part of it, but you know the service has to be good enough to keep people coming back for more. With a menu that caters to everyone from families to busy professionals, HelloFresh clearly knows how to please its customers.
Choose from plans such as Veggie, Pescatarian, Quick & Easy, and more. And order up to six meal kits a week if you want to. Learn more about your options in my colleague’s HelloFresh review.
The crowd-pleasing menu is ever-changing and ever-growing, and it's simple to plan ahead or skip your deliveries up to six weeks in advance.
High-quality ingredients – sustainable seafood, signature spice blends, and more
WW- and diabetes-friendly – a dedicated Wellness plan to keep you on track
Monthly wine pairings – available to purchase through the site
Current deal: Enjoy $180 off across your first 6 orders
While not as customizable as Home Chef, Blue Apron still offers an impressive array of gourmet dishes inspired by cuisines from around the world.
New Yorkers don’t generally have to travel far to be able to experience international cuisines, but how often do you get to craft such fun recipes from the comfort of your own kitchen? Blue Apron’s internationally-inspired dishes make it easy.
You’ll find around 19 meals on the menu each week, including a selection of microwavable Heat & Eat dinners for those nights when time is of the essence. My colleague’s Blue Apron review goes into more detail.
But the winning feature? Without doubt, it’s Blue Apron’s wine pairing service. Whether you give it a try as a one-off or sign up to a monthly subscription, an extra bottle could come in handy for those nights when it sounds like your upstairs neighbor is hosting a dance party…
Good-sized menu – choose from 20 main meals each week
More than just dinner – pick up breakfast, lunch, and pantry items, too
Plans to suit you – High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Quick & Easy, and more
Current deal: Get $30 Off with code carrot30
Purple Carrot is an entirely plant-based service offering meal kits and prepared meals, and it’s one of my personal favorites. I love it because the recipes celebrate vegetables in all their forms, rather than relying on “fake” meats and other animal-product substitutes.
Trying out new vegan recipes used to involve lugging groceries on the subway and cramming more vegetables than can fit into my apartment refrigerator. But Purple Carrot allows me to try plant-based dishes without the hassle – and the food waste!
The detailed recipe cards are easy to follow, as they guide you through the cooking process. To this day, I constantly refer back to old recipes to recreate my favorites.
Clean, nutrient-dense ingredients – always plant-based and gluten-free
Free shipping on all orders – no minimum spend
Ready to eat – zero prep required
Current deal: Get $100 off your first 4 boxes of plant-based meals!
If you’re ever that running-late-gotta-catch-the-subway person, you know the worst part is running out the door without having the chance to eat. Splendid Spoon’s offerings are ready in minutes – or in no time at all! – making it a perfect solution for days like this.
The plant-based menu is filled with light, ready-to-eat dishes like soups, smoothies, and delicious-looking grain bowls. Find out what my colleague thought of the service in this more detailed Splendid Spoon review.
Whether you just want to stock up your fridge with grab-and-go breakfasts, or you want a complete daily meal plan, Splendid Spoon has five plans to choose from, plus the option to purchase an On-Demand box.
While this service might not satisfy those looking for hearty, home-cooked meals, health-conscious and dieting New Yorkers will find a lot to love here.
Prepared meals – simply heat and eat
Almost everything is gluten-free – certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group
Great for individuals – have healthy food to hand
Current deal: Get $175 off your first 7 boxes!
At first glance, Freshly meals may look like TV dinners. But while typical ready meals are often high in sodium and loaded with sugar, Freshly promises nothing less than nutritious, satisfying dishes that are low in sugar and which contain fewer processed ingredients.
The menu is almost entirely gluten-free, with special categories like Purely Plant and FreshlyFit for those who want plant-based or low-calorie options, too. Learn more about how these differ in my colleague’s Freshly review.
Ultimately, Freshly is a great option for New Yorkers who don’t want (or don’t have time) to cook. You can order up to 12 meals per week, too – assuming you have a big enough fridge to store them!
Huge variety – around 45 recipes every week
Family-friendly – crowd-pleasing dishes on the table in 30 minutes
Great price point – from $2.99 per serving
Current deal: Get $177 off Your First 4 Boxes!
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon brings you the easy way to get cooking thanks to its perfectly portioned ingredients and six-step recipes that include photos. Just don your apron and get started!
The menu boasts kid-friendly dishes like tacos, pasta, burgers, and grilled chicken, but there are a range of categories to choose from, including Vegetarian & Vegan, Health & Diet, and more. You can read more about Marley Spoon’s extensive offerings in my colleague’s in-depth review.
Despite its budget-friendly price point, Marley Spoon promises to use only the freshest, seasonal ingredients from family-run producers and local farmers. In fact, the sustainability aspect of this company is one of the things I love most about it – it’s totally carbon neutral!
Great for families – home-style meals and extra protein packs
Super affordable – $1.49 per serving
Easy-to-follow recipes – clearly states which pantry essentials are needed
Current deal: $1.49/meal On Your 1st Box
Whether you live in a penthouse on the Upper East Side or in a loft in Queens, everyone in New York appreciates the opportunity to save some money, right? That’s the number-one reason I keep coming back to EveryPlate.
When I first tried this meal kit out for myself, I was impressed with the quality of the ingredients. It hardly feels like a budget option when you’re enjoying a Caramelized Onion Burger or the Kung Pao Beef Bowl shown here!
That said, the company does fall a little short in that it doesn’t cater to specialized diets and there’s no option to customize your meals. Undoubtedly this is a consequence of the low price tag – but if you’re not particularly picky, there’s lots to love about EveryPlate.
Always organic where possible – plus responsibly sourced proteins
Caters to a variety of lifestyles – vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, and more
Convenient cooking – many ingredients are pre-chopped for quicker prep
Current deal: $5.99 per meal on your First Box, First Box ships free!
Despite living in Brooklyn, I still have trouble finding restaurants that cater to niche diets. Green Chef’s menu includes 30+ dishes each week and caters to multiple diets. There are plans for keto, paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, and more, but you can order from any menu at any time.
In their dedicated review, my colleague raves about Green Chef’s commitment to organic and high quality ingredients. Its meal kits are a timesaver for anyone who wants organic and healthy lunches and dinners.
Green Chef is owned by HelloFresh and serves as the premium wing to the beloved service. With premium ingredients and recipes come premium prices. Green Chef is far from the cheapest meal kit on my list. But I say this service is worth the investment if you want delicious, organic meals.
$6.19 Per Serving
$6.99 Per Serving
$3.32 Per Serving
$5.74 Per Serving
$8.50 Per Serving
$6.50 Per Serving
$6.90 Per Serving
$2.99 Per Serving
$1.49 Per Serving
$5.99 Per Serving
4 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
3 meal kits for 2 people/6 prepared meals
4 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
3 meals for 2 people
3 meals for 2 people
Kits, speedy kits, oven-ready, prepared
20 - 30 min. meal kits
20 - 60 min. meal kits
30-minute meal kits
Prepared Meals, Juices & Smoothies
30 min. meal kits
30-minute meal kits
30-minute meal kits
So what should you look for when choosing a meal delivery service? Here are some pointers from a Brooklyn-based meal delivery service pro (that’s me!):
Decide what’s important to you: If you’re a vegan or strict keto dieter, you need a service which meets your nutritional needs. If you’re cooking for your family, you’ll have different considerations entirely, such as portion size or the types of dishes on the menu.
Choose which meal type you’d prefer: Do you want ingredients and recipes so you can cook your own dinners at home? Or are you someone who requires prepared meals that can be refrigerated for easy heating? Perhaps you’d like a service that offers both.
Make price a factor… but not the only factor: Times are indeed tough, but you also want enjoyable, balanced meals that won’t go to waste – so healthy, quality ingredients, menu variety, and complexity of the meals should also be considered.
Try out different services: If you’re not happy with your first meal delivery experience, try a different service. There are meal delivery services for just about every diet and budget. Oh, and we have discount offers available for most of them!
Eating out in NYC is great, but it’s not sustainable for your wallet and your health. Meal delivery services allow you to enjoy nourishing meals at home, made with quality ingredients, and they’re designed to work with your lifestyle, accommodating your dietary preferences and your schedule.
My favorite right now has to be Factor, thanks to the shere convenience of its heat-and-eat meals. You won’t believe how good they taste out of the microwave.
Every New Yorker knows the struggle of not having enough time to cook (in my case, it’s usually the Q train’s fault). Factor’s meals are ready in a New York minute, and they’re so much healthier and more affordable than grabbing takeout.
For even more options, including those outside of NY, check out my compilation of the Best Meal Delivery Services for 2022.
At $1.49 per serving, EveryPlate is New York’s most affordable meal delivery service. If you’re looking for hearty, family-friendly comfort food and have no specialized dietary needs, EveryPlate could be perfect for you – and it won’t blow the budget!
For those wanting diet-focused prepared meals, Factor would be my pick, particularly if you’re looking for keto meals.
Splendid Spoon is another excellent choice for people on diets. Its plant-based meals are low in calories and the menu includes light breakfast and lunch fare like smoothies.
If you’re looking for low-calorie swaps and diet tips, Blue Apron has an entire Wellness plan that works in tandem with WW (formally Weight Watchers).
I also love Purple Carrot for its holistically healthy range of vegan ingredients – many of which are organic – to help you create balanced, plant-based meals at home.
The basic concept is the same – meals delivered to your door – but there are a few fundamental differences. A meal delivery service, such as Home Chef, lets you subscribe to a weekly, biweekly, or monthly plan, sending you either ready-to-heat prepared meals or the ingredients and recipes to cook the meals yourself at home.
Food delivery services (for example, Grubhub) connect you with local restaurants, fast-food joints, and even convenience stores to get you your favorite dishes, snacks, and beverages.