5 Meal Delivery Services To Make NYC Cooking A Breeze

Woman preparing a home cooked meal in her kitchen wearing a black and white striped shirt.
Photo Credit: The Kitchn

If the most used app on your iPhone is Seamless, and you use your oven for something other than cooking (say, to store off-season clothes), we totally get it.  New York is a busy place, kitchens are tiny, and lugging groceries home on the subway is not anyone’s idea of a good time.  Not to mention how terrible it is to let tons of food go to waste if you’re only cooking for one or two…shameful!  But all that being said, we can all still probably agree that cooking at home can be a bit gentler on the waistline and wallet, right?  So what’s a New Yorker to do?

Enter meal delivery services.  You’ve probably seen the most popular of these (ahem, Blue Apron) being featured on local commercials.  We did a bit of digging and found that, no matter your dietary restrictions or preferences, there’s pretty much a service out there for everyone.  Here’s five of our favorites.

Mushroom Ragout with Crispy Polenta Cakes and Tangy Arugula Salad on a light blue plate.
Photo Credit: Hello Fresh

For the Novices in the Kitchen: HelloFresh (Meal Kit)

If prepping and preparing your own food is important to you, but the thought of searching online recipes or (heaven forbid!) thumbing through a cookbook absolutely gives you the shivers, then HelloFresh is a great starter service for you.  They have a classic package, featuring meat entrees, as well as a vegetarian one.  The recipe cards are colorful and super simple to follow, with most dishes done in around 45 minutes, start to finish.  And Jamie Oliver has partnered up with them to feature some of his tastiest, healthiest, and most delicious dishes in the box.

Sample Meal We Love: Mushroom Ragout with Crispy Polenta Cakes and Tangy Arugula Salad

Delivery Details + Cost: HelloFresh delivers throughout NYC on Saturdays, and lets you choose if you’d like to cook each meal for 2 or 4 people, along with if you’d like to cook 3, 4, or 5 meals a week.  I chose the 2 people, 3 times a week veggie box, and the total was $59, shipping included.

Spicy Tofu “Wings” with Chopped Salad and Ranch on a granite counter top.
Photo Credit: The Purple Carrot

For the Vegans: The Purple Carrot (Meal Kit)

If having a box filled with goodies you would have found at your neighborhood farmer’s market makes you happy, then The Purple Carrot is for you!  With former New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman on board as chief innovation officer, and star guest chefs like Chloe Coscarelli designing many of the weekly-changing menus, the meals are tasty and filling.  And for you health nuts, it doesn’t get more nutritious than plant-based meals made with (mostly) locally sourced whole foods.

Sample Meal We Love: Spicy Tofu “Wings” with Chopped Salad and Ranch

Delivery details + Cost: The Purple Carrot delivers throughout NYC. They ship on Mondays and you can expect to receive your box in one to two days.  The cost is $68 for three meals that feed up to two people, and $74 for two meals that feed up to four people—shipping included.

A birds eye view of a wide array of breakfast, lunch and dinner plates on a light blue backdrop
Photo Credit: Munchery

For the Folks Who Eat Purely For The Instagram Opp: Munchery (Prepared Meals)

With their pretty, patterned, biodegradable packaging, you can bet Munchery’s tasty meals are a statement piece for your Instagram feed as much as a lunch time-saver.  Same-day meals sell out quickly, though, so the ordering process can be slightly frustrating…we recommend ordering meals ahead of time (up to a week in advance).  There are plenty of healthy options to choose from, you just have to do a bit of digging. They make it easy to do that by listing all ingredients and nutrition facts, and labeling each meal with easy takeaways like gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
Sample Meal We Love: Vegan Stuffed Peppers and Cheddar Chive Biscuits with Old Bay Butter
Delivery details + Cost: Delivery is currently available in Manhattan (below 116th Street) and parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and Westchester. You can order on-demand to get your food in about 30 minutes.  The cost ranges from $5–$15 for individual snacks, sides, entrees and desserts.
Vegan Thai Green Curry with Spring Vegetables on a grey wooden bench.
Photo Credit: Provenance Meals

For the Clean Eaters: Provenance Meals (Prepared Meals)

If clean eating is important to you but you find yourself with literally no time to cook, Provenance Meals may be your perfect solution.  One look at their website and you know that the company prioritizes seasonal eats and ingredients your grandmother would recognize.  They have prepared meals you can choose from each week, with options for vegetarians, vegans, and Paleos.  If you’re really in the mood to detox, they offer special plans for that, too.  We were most impressed to find out they make everything from scratch, including their own nut milks, kimchi, pickles, and sprouted beans.

Sample Meal We Love: Vegan Thai Green Curry with Spring Vegetables

Delivery details + Cost: They deliver every Monday and Wednesday to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, parts of the Bronx, and New Jersey (along the Hudson River between Hoboken and Fort Lee). Choose to receive your order (packaged in recyclable and compostable packaging) between 6:00 a.m. and midnight.  The cost ranges from $7 to $28 for sides, soups, salads, and entrees plus delivery ($14.99 for orders under $40 and $4.99 for orders over $40). Bundles start at $99.

Photo Credit: Jar Bar
Photo Credit: Jar Bar

For the Healthy Breakfast/Snack Lovers: Jar Bar NYC (Prepared Meals)

I’m a firm believer that if you start your day off on a healthy foot, the rest of your day is more likely to follow suit.  That’s why I was thrilled to hear about a NYC startup, Jar Bar NYC, which focused on providing New Yorkers with healthy ready-to-eat breakfast jars packed with nutrition and super foods (hello chia seeds!)  They also make for delicious snacks to eat throughout the day with zero guilt attached.

Sample Meal We Love: Cinnamon Apple Pie Jar with Crunchy Granola

Delivery details + Cost: Delivery is available in NYC with a 1 to 2 day processing window.  A 5 jar delivery is $35, with subscription deals available at a discount.

Do you have a go-to meal subscription service?  We’d love to hear from you on Twitter and Facebook!

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