A Comprehensive List of the Best Grocery and Food Delivery Services for Right Now (Meal Kits Too!)
If there’s one thing we all learned this year, it’s just how important access to groceries is — especially in times as unprecedented as these. As we approach one full year of living with COVID-19, our grocery shopping habits have changed, as people have become less and less comfortable physically shopping in stores.
In the early days, that meant that many of us were jockeying for a limited number of online grocery delivery time slots, scouring the internet for new-to-us food delivery options, and shopping for ingredients in bulk to ensure we had enough to ride this wave out at home. But with no definite end in sight, we’re continuing to rely on online sources to help feed ourselves and our families. To help you get what you need, we’ve dug up some top resources that deliver all the necessities and put them all in one place.
Here’s a fairly comprehensive view of the best grocery shopping services, meal kits, meat and produce subscriptions, alcohol delivery companies, online coffee outlets, snack boxes, little treats, and mail-order pet food services to choose from — and tips for ordering right now.
The Best Grocery Delivery Services Right Now
These services work one of two ways: Either a shopper goes to your local grocery store to shop for you, or an employee for the company pulls from a specialized warehouse. Either way, you pick your groceries and someone brings them to you.
Boxed is kind of like an online-only Costco (for which you don’t need a membership). You can order bulk-sized snacks, drinks, household goods, cleaning supplies, and more to be delivered right to your door. The retailer also offers an Express fresh grocery shopping option, which allows you to choose a delivery date and time at checkout.
When you order groceries from FreshDirect, a worker shops the company’s own facility and fills your order (unlike other services that shop at local grocery stores). The service is currently only available on the East Coast. (You can see a full listing of delivery zones and fees here.) Those who have an account can vie for a time slot and edit orders within the delivery window.
Instacart — one of the most widely available grocery delivery services in the U.S. — is working on responding to a 300 percent increase in demand. Customers no longer need to continuously check for updated delivery windows, thanks to the Fast & Flexible feature (nw last year), which assigns orders to the first available shopper. Instacart has also opened up its Order Ahead feature, which allows customers to place orders up to two weeks in advance (previously, this was just one week). With Instacart, a gig worker does your shopping for you at your selected local store (pick from grocery stores, CVS, Costco, and more, depending on what’s nearby).
Previously, shoppers needed a membership to shop with Shipt, a Target-owned delivery service, which costs $8.25 per month annually, or $14 month to month. Last summer, however, Shipt added the option to purchase Shipt passes which are good for one, three, or five “Shipt shops.” These passes cost $10, $9 or $8 per delivery, respectively. Through the app, you can choose a variety of local grocery stores you want to shop at (in addition to stores like CVS, Target, Sur la Table, and Petco). Orders are then posted to available Shipt shoppers who accept the gig, pick up the groceries you ask for, and bring them to your door. You pay (and tip!) all through the app.
The Best Subscription-Based Grocery Delivery Services Right Now
These grocery delivery options are slightly different than the ones listed above (one is a subscription service and the other requires a yearly membership), so we decided to call them out separately. But the idea is the same: They delivery a wide array of groceries to your door.
Hungryroot is a weekly subscription service that sends ingredients to your door (all across the continental U.S.) based on pre-set personal preferences (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc!). You don’t need a membership, exactly, but we put Hungryroot down here because it’s really a cross between meal kits and a grocery delivery service. Examples of ingredients include fresh veggies, grains and pastas, proteins, sauces and dressings, pantry staples, snacks, and more.
Become a member to shop at Thrive Market (it costs $60 a year), then take advantage of the retailer’s discounted prices on pantry staples, wine, meat and seafood, beauty products, and much more.
The Best Meal Kits Right Now
If meal planning is just not on the table right now (read: you have no time to look through recipes and then shop for/order the right ingredients), consider trying a meal kit to help get you through the pandemic. There are lots of great ones out there and these are some of our favorites for right now.
If you are looking for a meal kit and have a limited budget, Dinnerly is for you. It costs just $4.49 per serving and each recipe involves only a few ingredients. Not only are they simple to prepare, but they also don’t dirty a lot of dishes.
Another budget friendly option? EveryPlate. It costs $5 per serving (plus shipping), so it’s possible to get three meals for two people for less than $40. When making your selections, you can choose from 11 recipes that change every week. This is a great option for people with limited time and pickier palates.
Unlike other meal kits, Freshly meals are prepared, portioned, and delivered to your door fresh not frozen, so if you don’t want to cook AT ALL, this option is for you. Everything is fully cooked, so all you have to do is microwave it for three minutes to heat. Depending on how often you’d like to eat a prepared meal, you can choose from four, six, nine, or 12 meals per week. Freshly currently delivers to all of the continental U.S., with certain zip code limitations.
HelloFresh has a lot of options to choose from including vegetarian, family-friendly, and low-calorie recipes. You can select delivery for two or four people for two, three, or four days per week. The more frequent your deliveries are, the cheaper each serving becomes. Fans love this service for its wide assortment of ingredients and creative recipes.
Home Chef was designed to be flexible. You can swap out, upgrade, or even double the proteins offered and choose to receive meals that serve up to six people. You can also order as many as eight meals a week. The recipes take between 15 and 30 minutes to prepare.
One Potato is a meal kit meant to feed big families in 30 minutes or less. Choose your family’s size, the number of meals you’d like to cook per week, and select your dietary preferences and One Potato does the rest. (They also include free cookie dough in every box.) One Potato currently only delivers to the West Coast (zip codes covered are listed here).
Sun Basket boxes include three dinner recipes, with ingredients and instructions, that arrive direct to your door every week (or less often, if you want). You can choose between options that serve two or four people, with options for gluten-free, vegetarian, Paleo, and more.
The Best Meat Subscription Services
While experts continue to stress that there will NOT be a food shortage, we’ve all been triggered by empty shelves (especially in the meat departments) and maximums imposed at lots of stores (to help put an end to those empty shelves!). So maybe you want to get your meat sent to you? These places can help with that.
Through ButcherBox, you can order curated mixes of high-quality beef, chicken, or pork — or customize your own box.
We realize a charcuterie club is not the most essential of meat subscription services right now, but we’re including one on this list in case you need a little treat! Carnivore Club delivers premium cured meats, cheeses, jerkies, condiments, and more right to your door — it’s like BirchBox for salami. Snack boxes start at $20 and would make a nice addition to your virtual happy hour.
Crowd Cow helps customers from all over the continental U.S. order meat (including pork, beef, lamb, and chicken) and sustainable seafood for delivery. (It comes vacuum-sealed and frozen.) Custom subscription boxes start at $99 and delivery is free with a subscription. You can change your order frequency at any time.
If you’re willing to pay the $159 price tag (which we understand is a lot), Moink Box provides customizable “ethical meat subscription boxes” filled with beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and wild-caught salmon, sourced from family farms. You can elect for your box to be sent in three-, four-, six-, or eight-week intervals.
The Best Produce Delivery Services
We know there are a lot of questions about fresh produce these days. (We answered many of them here!) We also know that a lot of you feel better knowing that your produce is coming from a service (where the stuff is exposed to fewer people). That’s where these websites come in.
Serving the entire continental U.S., Farmbox Direct is a produce delivery service whose offerings change weekly, depending on what is “fresh, local, and in-season.” Customers appreciate the control that comes with this service, as you can choose five fruit and veggie substitutions per delivery. You can also opt in or out of the service at any time. It’s akin to a nationwide CSA.
Hungry Harvest is a food-rescues start-up that ships affordable produce and additional items to MD, Washington, D.C, VA, and parts of PA, NJ, DE, FL, NC, and Detroit. Harvest Box preferences are easily customizable based on where you live, how often you cook, your produce preferences, and how many people you’re feeding.
Imperfect Foods offers less-than-perfect produce at a discounted price. The ultimate goal is to reduce food waste and change customer perceptions about, well, produce perfection! The company also sells pantry items, dairy, and meat, for around 30 percent less than grocery store prices. The service currently delivers to most of the West South Central region, Midwest, Northeast, and all along the West Coast. Check here to see if they serve your area.
Misfits Market sources “misfit”produce (wonky-shaped fruits and vegetables) from certified organic farms and ships them to zip codes in around two-dozen states. The produce subscription boxes come in two different sizes which contain a mix of 12 to 14 different types of fruits and veggies. You can also shop for add-ons such as oats, legumes, chocolate, and more. Customers can choose the frequency with which their box arrives and pause their subscription anytime.
The Best Bulk Food Distributors
Bulk food distributors? Yes! Lots of companies that usually cater to restaurants and food services are now focusing on the home consumer. Read more about the changes here and see our suggestions below.
Baldor Specialty Foods
Baldor Specialty Foods is a food service distributor that usually serves restaurants in the New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, and D.C. areas. As a response to the coronavirus outbreak last year, Baldor expanded its services to offer free home bulk grocery delivery with a $150 order minimum ($100 in NYC). You must live within the delivery zone and sign up to create an account.
The Chef’s Warehouse
You don’t have to be a restaurant owner to create an account with WebstaurantStore, which ships wholesale ingredients to individuals in 36 states (look here to see if you’re covered). Shoppers can choose from a huge selection of beverages, condiments and sauces, cooking oil and sprays, herbs and spices, baked goods and desserts, dairy, prepared foods, ingredients and snacks, fruits and vegetables, meat, and seafood. Not every single item is sold by the case, but many options are so we recommend coordinating a group order.
The Best Snack Delivery Options
We’ve heard from a lot of you that you’re snacking at home more than usual. (What else are you supposed to do between Zoom meetings?) These snack companies will ship right to you and they just might introduce you to something new, too.
Love With Food
Love With Food has a few different snack box options, starting at just $8 per box. The most basic box comes with at least seven surprise snacks, while the deluxe box includes 15 or more snacks. All snacks are organic or all-natural. One of the best parts about this subscription service is that, for every box you buy, the company donates a meal to a hungry child through Feeding America.
Naturebox believes in “a world where snacks can do more than just get you through your afternoon sugar slump.” The included treats are made with no hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Sign up to be a member (your first 30 days of membership are free; after that, it’s $30 per year) and you’ll get 40 percent off each order. For what it’s worth, this is the service that Apartment Therapy Media was using to stock its office kitchen up until we all started working from home.
The Keto Box
If you’re trying to stick to a keto diet while you’re WFH, you might like The Keto Box, which is a subscription box service. You can order one on a month-to-month basis, or get a three- or six-month subscription. You’ll get more than 10 low-carb keto snacks in each box — we’re talking things like bars, cookies, sweets, nuts, jerky, baking ingredients (cookie and brownie mixes, keto sweeteners), condiments, and drinks.
The Best Little Treats to Order for Delivery
Because who couldn’t use a little pick-me-up these days?
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Pints
Jeni’s is the unofficial favorite ice cream brand here at Kitchn! (Although staffers are definitely pretty divided when it comes to naming the best flavor.) Order a box of pints (there’s a three-pint minimum) and have them delivered to you or to someone you love. Jeni’s delivers to all 50 states.
Levain Cookie Gift Box
Even if you’re stress baking up a storm, there’s always a need for a pro-level chocolate chip cookie. Enter: Levain Bakery, the famed bakery that usually has a line around the block in NYC. The baker will ship its famous cookies to you. Just know that your box may be a little delayed because of UPS back-ups, but the bakery does ship to all 50 states.
In many states, wine shops and liquor stores are still considered essential businesses. And lots of bars are selling cocktails and drinks for delivery. Call around to see what your options are, or order from one of these online shops.
CraftShack helps connect shoppers with small, local shops so customers can taste small-batch beers without having to travel. They sell far more than craft beer, too: Choose from beer, liquor, cider, wine, and hard seltzer. Add as much or as little as you want to your cart, and CraftShack will take care of the rest.
Naked Wines is what happens when a wine shop meets crowd-funding. You can sign up to be an Angel and your dues will support indie winemakers directly and unlock exclusive, discounted access to their wines for less. Of course, you can shop the site (so many independent makers!) without joining the club.
ReserveBar promises to deliver premium spirits across the country, so if you want the best of the best, this is the way to go. The platform was created to help people send fancy booze to family and friends near and far — but who’s to say you can’t gift booze to yourself? You can even get a bottle custom engraved to commemorate anything you want.
If you live in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Orange County, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, or Washington, D.C., Saucey can help you get beer, wine, spirits, and mixers delivered to your door. They’ll drop it all off in 30 minutes between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 a.m — with no delivery fee.
Winc subscribers get four bottles of wine delivered their door every month based on personal preferences (chosen from a short survey when you sign up). You can also build your own box and choose more than four bottles per shipment. They’re currently running an introductory offer: $22 off your first shipment.
As you might imagine, wine.com has a lot of wines. To make it a little less overwhelming, you can filter options, chat with wine experts, and check out recommendations.
To help customers discover new wines from new places, the Wine Access team tastes more than 20,000 wines a year and narrows down the best of the bunch. To become a member, you must sign up to receive their email offers. If a bottle looks enticing to you, act fast to purchase!
With many coffee shops closed and the lack of a morning commute for lots of us, our morning caffeinating routines may be disrupted. Here are some of the best places from which you can order beans or grounds from. Another idea: See if your favorite local shop is offering beans/grounds for pick-up or delivery.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Trade Coffee sources their selections from local coffee shops and roasters across the country. To sign up, you start by taking a quiz about your preferences. From there, they’ll customize a box that’s shipped to you every month.
Our pets need food, too (obviously). If you don’t want to or aren’t able to get to a pet store, there are a few ways to get meals and treats delivered right to your door.
Chewy is like the Amazon of pet food. (Yes, Amazon sells pet food, too, but Chewy specializes in all things pets.) This is where you can replenish your stock of dry food, wet food, and all the treats. Shop for cats, dogs, fish, and more.
The Farmer’s Dog
The Farmer’s Dog makes meals for pups featuring either turkey, beef, or pork, and other human-grade ingredients. (Each meal has fish oil and a proprietary nutrient blend). Plans start at $2 per day and the frozen meals come in a plastic bag, making things easy to divvy out. The entire delivery comes in a box surrounded by insulation that dissolves in your sink.
Ollie also uses human-grade ingredients and offers meals featuring beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb. Other key ingredients include things like sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, and more. The vacuum-sealed frozen meals can thaw in the fridge where they’ll stay good for up to four days. You also get a sturdy reusable container and scooper to use as you start portioning out the meals.
PetPlate allows you to choose between proteins (beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, or a combination) and plans. There’s also a Topper Plan, which is meant to be mixed in with another type of food.
Of course, there are many more. Are there any services you’ve been using that we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.