Food & Wine Photo Credit: Chef's Plate

What’s the Best Meal Delivery Service?

We weigh the pros and cons of four local meal-prep services.

The savvy city dweller knows how to outsource—and with a new wave of meal-prep services that deliver pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to your home or office, it’s easy to make dinner planning and grocery shopping someone else’s problem.

Fresh Prep

The Breakdown: From $9 per meal

Sample Dinner Recipe: Chickpea Shakshuka

Pros: If you’re looking for local, try the Vancouver-based Fresh Prep, which sources the majority of their ingredients from purveyors in the area and hand-delivers meals in a reusable freezer bag. They’ll also take back the packaging to recycle at their facility—a nice touch if you’re worried about waste.

Cons: This menu features complex flavours compared to other services, and might not appeal to more selective (read: picky) eaters.

Chef’s Plate

The Breakdown: From $9.75 per meal

Sample Dinner Recipe: Sesame Sweet Potato Poke Bowl

Pros: Chef’s Plate boasts high production value for their recipe cards with step-by-step photos, along with the largest selection of dishes to choose from each week.

Cons: They’ll tack on a $6 weekly fee if you want only a couple of two-person meals each week.

Hello Fresh

The Breakdown: From $10.83 per meal

Sample Dinner Recipe: Sage-Butter Pork Chops

Pros: Free delivery, and plenty of kid-friendly menu items if you’re feeding little ones. Nice, clear recipe cards.

Cons: Oddly, they charge a fair bit more for vegetarian meal plans, and the recipes skew a little more family friendly (read: simple).


The Breakdown: From $10.95 per meal

Sample Dinner Recipe: Cardamom and Cod Curry

Pros: There’s a level of elevation to these menu items: think spicy tofu with sweet-and-sour shiitake mushrooms. Gluten-free and veg-only packages are available for special diets, and ingredients are organic whenever possible.

Cons: The recipe difficulty (and price point) is a little higher, and there’s no free or discounted trial, like the others—but high risk yields high rewards.

Have you tried any of these meal-prep services? Let us know what you think of them in the comments below!



For a short time GoodFood and HelloFresh saturated the advertising market in Calgary. Everyone I knew seemed to have ordered and tried them. I ordered from both companies myself as the price seemed reasonable. It was the buzz and then everyone went back to the regular meal prep companies in the area for one reason: flavour. If you dont cook the first thing you miss is the taste of a well prepared meal from a real Chef. I now just purchase prepared meals from local delivery companies that offer farm fresh and organic whole food meals. Its still cheaper than going out or running around and getting the ingredients and throwing out half you use. Nothing about ordering groceries then spending an hour to prepare to taste and paying for it makes any sense to me.


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