Living in NYC means there is scarcely time to plan meals, go grocery shopping, and cook. Often, we resort to take-out or delivery from restaurants, which tends to be just as unhealthy as fast food. Services like Blue Apron remove the meal planning and grocery shopping aspect of cooking, and others deliver healthy, ready-made meals for those who don’t have time to cook.
Here are the best food delivery services available in NYC:
Delivery area: All of NYC
Cost: $9.99/meal (2-person plan) or $8.74/meal (4-person plan)
Founded in 2012, Blue Apron is probably the first meal delivery service that comes to mind for most New Yorkers, since it was one of the earliest on the market. The 2-person plan comes with 3 meals per week, and the family plan lets you choose between 2 and 4 meals per week. Farm-fresh ingredients are perfectly portioned out, and the recipes included are easy enough for beginners while incorporating new techniques every once in a while. Recipes come out to 500-700 calories per serving, and the same recipe is never repeated within the same year, ensuring you’ll receive a variety of healthy options. The menu is posted in advance each week, so you can opt out of certain meals if they don’t seem appealing or if you know you won’t have time to cook. Their seafood is sourced sustainably and their meats are raised on antibiotic- and hormone-free diets. Blue Apron allows you to choose your delivery day, but the ingredients arrive in a refrigerated box in case you can’t be home to receive your delivery.
Delivery area: All of NYC
Plated sends ingredients for meals based on a personalized taste profile that you create when you sign up. Their plans offer a lot of flexibility, allowing you to swap out recipes, skip meals for entire weeks, or build your own menu. You can choose from plans that come with 2, 3, or 4 dinners per week, and the latter two options come with free shipping. Your food is shipped in insulated containers, and will stay fresh until midnight on the day of delivery. Seasonal recipes always include organic produce and free-range, hormone-free meat. Past meals have included Asian duck tacos, lamb kofta, and quinoa salad with seared salmon.
Delivery area: Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens (see website for details)
Cost: $49.40/week (home delivery) or $42.90/week (pickup)
This weekly delivery box provides an assortment of seasonal produce, eggs, meat, fish, cheese, and bread sourced from local farms that use sustainable farming practice. While Quinciple boxes don’t correspond to specific recipes or meals, each box comes with suggestions for how to use each ingredient. You can have your box delivered to your home, or choose a neighborhood pickup location near your home or office. If 15 or more people at work are interested, you can arrange for a delivery of portable pickup boxes to the office. In your Quinciple box, you’ll find staples like bread and eggs, along with seasonal vegetables and miscellaneous ingredients to encourage you to get adventurous in the kitchen. At $49.40 per week, Quinciple comes in well below many grocery budgets, and the food is farm-fresh and locally-sourced. This is a great option for more skilled chefs who don’t need as much guidance as Blue Apron or Plated would provide.
Delivery area: Lower Manhattan (see website for details)
Cost: $12/lunch, $15/dinner
Created by David Chang of Momofuku fame, Maple is a great option for those who don’t want to cook, or who want a ready-made meal delivered to the office. Select one of three entree options from the menu, and a freshly-made lunch or dinner will make its way to you in 30 minutes or less (complete with a free mini Milk Bar cookie). Chefs like Mark Ladner, Brooks Headley, and Chang himself prepare dishes created by Soa Davies (known for working at Le Bernardin). Options range from everyday favorites like spaghetti and meatballs to light-but-delicious seafood dishes such as shrimp biryani with kale salad. Maple currently has a somewhat limited delivery area, but in less than a year they’ve expanded significantly, so if they’re not in your area yet, keep an eye out!
The Portable Chef
Delivery area: Manhattan below 150th Street and several neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens (check website for details)
Cost: $30/plate (a la carte choices available) + $22 for delivery
In the same vein as Maple, The Portable Chef delivers ready-made, farm-to-table meals rather than ingredients and instructions. Receive breakfast, lunch, dinner, and/or snacks in any combination you’d like, and just heat in your microwave or oven. Enjoy dishes like beef bourguignon, scallops with champagne, or various salads and bowls, all made from organic and cruelty-free ingredients. The price tag may seem a bit steep, but The Portable Chef will work with any dietary needs or food preferences you have, and the plans are highly customizable, so it’s more akin to having a personal chef than a run-of-the-mill delivery service.
Whether you prefer to work your own magic with a curated set of ingredients, or you want something hot and ready to enjoy immediately upon arrival, there’s a food delivery service available to help you eat right, even on the busiest of days.