Best weekly prepared meals delivery in California in 2021?
May 2, 2021 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Not meal kit - fully prepared meals

Seeking fully prepared meals that you just microwave and eat. I’m temporarily in a living situation where I have no kitchen, just a fridge and microwave, and am trying to do my best while working multiple jobs.

I have unusual dietary restrictions that aren’t supported specifically by any service anywhere, so it’s hit or miss, but would appreciate any suggestions!

Keywords: healthy, affordable, delicious
posted by hot_tea to Shopping (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What is your location and what are your specific dietary restrictions?
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:12 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]

You may find this previous question/answers helpful.
posted by bookmammal at 11:30 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]

If you're in the East Bay, the Parkway theater pivoted to a weekly food crate service and people report that it's great. If you're not in the East Bay, maybe try some of those as key words for your area?
posted by vunder at 11:40 AM on May 2 [2 favorites]

I've been pretty happy with Eat to Evolve, but I have no idea how they would work with your dietary restrictions.
posted by primethyme at 12:13 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]

Came here also to recommend the Parkway meal crates. Really good.
posted by JenMarie at 1:09 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]

In case you haven't considered this: depending on what grocery stores are near you, they might offer some prepared food options that would work. And your grocery order can be delivered.
posted by wondermouse at 1:48 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]

We use Freshly in NY, but they appear to serve CA. I think everything is gluten free and they are very clear about what's in everything. We've used them as lunches for the adults during quarantimes, one less meal to cook. Some of them are just eh, but others are big hits.
posted by true at 2:20 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]

If you're in the east bay or marin, I recommend Dee Wagner. She has new menu options every week. You get your orders in by Wednesday at noon and have a delivery on Friday or Saturday. Each of her servings will feed two people, so I can get meals for 3-4 days out of one of her deliveries.
posted by Nickel at 3:27 PM on May 2

We’re trying Thistle specifically because I can opt out of allergens I can’t eat (in their local delivery area). Might not work if your restrictions aren’t in the Top 8 but it helped me a lot.
posted by bananacabana at 3:46 PM on May 2

I get Freshly in Los Angeles and with the exception of one week when there was a distribution issue (we got refunded plus some kind of credit), it lands on our porch (with a text notification) on time in good condition every time, with the freezer packs still solid enough that the box occasionally sits on a living room chair for a day before we crack it and put them away.

The one thing they do not really do is vegetarian, and there's no breakfast options. They have a number of items that decently scratch a takeout itch, and they also have a really great selection now (it's evolved a lot in the past 4 months) of more modest-carb dishes that aren't entirely made of potatoes or rice. They run about $10/ea on the smaller plans, the economy scales as you go up to 9 or more meals a week. Yes you can make a sandwich or pot 'o pasta cheaper, but given the cost of my time plus materials and labor I am not sure I can beat that and still have hot meals for lunch for two people every day, which is what we primarily use them for.

I do always advise checking Yelp and Craigslist to see if there's someone local nearby doing these, because that often means less packaging and money into the local economy. I used to be able to easily find real humans on Craiglist doing this as a side hustle, there's been an influx of entrepreneurs with dark kitchens kinda pretending to be a mom and pop shop now, and you can often tell by how expensive and foofy the food is. But check and see, you might find a local restaurant or catering company doing it where it's still a good deal.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:18 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]

Might have to try the Parkway...

I've done this before by posting an ad on Craigslist

Imagine a fair budget, describe the kind of service and food you would like, and post as a gig in CL.
posted by jander03 at 4:36 PM on May 2 [1 favorite]

For some parts of the Bay Area - Bentocart! They deliver prepared meals from local restaurants that just need to be reheated. A great bonus way to support your local restaurants!
posted by blueberrypuffin at 6:54 PM on May 2 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you everyone!
posted by hot_tea at 11:48 PM on May 2

My roommate has been getting meals from Pete's Paleo and she said they're really good.
posted by radioamy at 6:28 PM on May 6

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