It's tough finding time to cook every night. Sometimes you want a home-cooked meal but you don't want to cook it. Here's the answer to your prayers. Good food, not too expensive, and they deliver!
Chop Chop Go
Motto: "On Chop Chop Go you’ll find fresh, healthy meals that are simple to execute, connected with personal shopping at your local grocer. Add a week of meals, or individual recipes to your order in just one click. Your groceries will be hand selected by personal shoppers who are as picky about freshness and quality as if they were shopping for their own family. Schedule pickup, or have everything delivered to your doorstep."
How it works: Choose from several options. Build a meal online using their proposed ingredients (check or uncheck what ingredients you want to buy - price estimates are included) or from weekly menus. You can add your own grocery items to the shopping list too. They'll do the Whole Foods shopping and delivery (or you can JUST have them do the shopping and delivery).
Service areas: East Bay - Alamo, Orinda, Concord, Danville, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Lafayette
Motto: "We strive to simplify your life. Sous Kitchen provides a Lifestyle of Delicious Chef Prepared Fresh, Ready-to-Cook Gourmet, Nutritious Homemade Meals that are easy to make and delicious to eat. And yes they can be conveniently delivered too."
How it works: Order your meals online, and either pick them up in Burlingame or Menlo Park, or schedule delivery for a Thursday in California, or in other states on Friday.
Service areas: Throughout California
Motto: "Relax, leave the cooking to the pros. Munchery chefs...handcraft meals from scratch each day in small batches, for delivery to your door that night."
How it works: "New menus give you fresh options each weeknight. Order that day while supplies last, or order days in advance." Meals are delivered to your house, chilled, with heating instructions. Use your microwave or oven. Discounts for ordering early. They have some kids' meals too.
Service areas: Parts of Marin, San Francisco, East Bay and the Peninsula to San Jose. See the map here.
Motto: "Our locally-sourced seasonal meals are crafted with care by former Google executive chef Nate Keller. We offer a daily rotating menu featuring ingredients you can feel great about. And we always provide a vegetarian and a gluten-free option."
How it works: Order from their iPhone app (Android coming soon) mid-day or evening. They'll bring you the hot meal in an average of 20 minutes. Flat rate of $10/dinner plus $2 delivery/tip/tax.
Service Area: parts of San Francisco, map here
Motto: "Square Meals specializes in wholesome prepared meals. Our 20+ item menu changes weekly featuring the best of the season. We cook from scratch daily and take pride in supporting local farms, ranches and artisans. We look forward to cooking for you!"
How it works: Order from the week's menu and select a delivery date. Deliveries are on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or set up a package plan and they'll choose your meal based on your preferences. Reheat and eat. They deliver to home or office. See delivery times based on map here.
Service Area: San Francisco
Motto: "Luke’s Local delivers the best seasonal organic produce, ready-to-eat meals and artisan foods right to your door every week."
How it works: Make a mealbox, which can include pre-made meals, produce, meat, milk, eggs, bread, coffee, etc. and select delivery time/date. Use the code WORKSFORME25 for 25% off your first order through 5/31/14.
Service Area: San Francisco, the Peninsula, Oakland and Berkeley
Motto: This one is a little different, in that they don't deliver a freshly-made meal, but they do much of the the prep work (and all the shopping) for you. Spend two hours in their store putting the ingredients together in a bag (it's actually fun - whether you go on your own or with a group) and you don't have to clean up. You just do meal assembly.
How it works: Schedule a session (you'll choose your meals online). You'll go in and assemble a number of meals, seal them up in Ziploc bags for your freezer. When you want the meal, defrost and cook it. You'll have everything you need, plus cooking instructions, included. No thinking involved. Sometimes they have specials where they'll assemble them for you and you just go pick them up.
Service Area: stores in Belmont and Benecia. You can come from anywhere - just bring a cooler to transport the food back home.
This article initially ran at Mommy Nearest.