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!