We’ve tried them all for you, so you don’t have to! Yep, the 5 main meal kits available in Montreal: Good Food, Miss Fresh, Chef’s Plate, Cook It, and Hello Fresh. We’re here to tell you what we think.
First a little background for those who don’t know what meal kits are. Basically it’s a service that offers fresh produce for you to make a quick meal. It’s like having grocery delivery service of the meals you like. It’s different than take-out since with meal kits, you cook the food yourself; and it’s also different than getting groceries delivered from a store because with meal kits, you get the exact amount of produce you need for specific meals you’ll want to cook, and it comes with recipe cards.
The advantage of meal kits is that it is often healthy, relatively cheap, and there is very little or no waste (yay!). Having said this, it might not be for everyone. If you are a great cook, you can probably make something better/tastier yourself. Similarly, if you have time to go to the grocery and cook your own meals, then this service might not be all that useful. But if you want to venture out on something you rarely make, this is quite a treat. You’ll learn new recipes (very quickly) and have fun doing so.
In order to rate the meal kits, we looked at 1) taste, 2) freshness of produce, 3) clarity of instruction, 4) website’s user-friendliness, 5) environmental friendliness, and 6) delivery service. Note that we mostly eat vegetarian meals [Henry: Well, technically, Mariam is vegetarian. I just go along…], so the reviews we are giving you below is solely based on non-meat foods.
Alright, let’s start. We are going to go from the worst, to the best. Bear in mind that this is based on our experience and our tastebuds. Other reviewers (or yourself) may disagree with us. We are only sharing what we feel based on the six rubrics above. But of course, we’d love to hear your opinion too.
5) Cook it
By far, this was the one we liked least. For starters, it was impossible to register or order from their site. The website kept crashing despite the fact that we tried different browsers, different internet connections, and different means (computer, phone, tablet). After trying for 3 weeks, we gave up. But then we got lucky enough to try one meal at a friend’s house (who after many tries managed to place an order). It did taste good and fresh. But not enough to encourage us to keep trying.
The good: Many options for vegetarians
The bad: Website crashes a lot
4) Miss Fresh
Miss Fresh’s food is quite fresh (Hee hee). The moment you open the box, you can tell right away that it will be a healthy meal. We really appreciated how low the food was on salt, fat, and unhealthy carbs. Sadly, we also found the taste a bit bland due to lack of spices/herbs. But the worst experience came with the delivery service. Every time we ordered, they did not call us or ring the bell. They just left the box unattended without informing us. On days that we have a meal delivery, we tend to work from home so we can pick our box and have fresh produce. But Miss Fresh failed on so many levels: not delivering the day they say they would, not calling/or ringing bell to check if we are home, putting the box under the sun when there is a tree right by the gate that can protect it from heat… Thankfully, we always look at the window to see if the box is there, and if yes, we go grab it as soon as we see it. It is probably thanks to that that the produce were still fresh when we got them.
The good: Low on ‘bad’ calories; fresh veggies.
The bad: packaging not separated by meal; disappointing delivery service.
3) Hello Fresh
Soooo tasty!!! We have to say, everything we tried was good. Sadly the veggies are not too fresh, but because we cook them, it seems to not affect the taste much. The instruction on the recipe card is clear (but the cooking times are often off), the images are great, and their website is very friendly to users. A bit more effort in packaging would have been nice (reducing plastic).
The good: Best phone app; Delicious meals.
The bad: Too expensive. Cooking time is off
2) Good Food
Good Food is indeed good! We love ordering from their site/app as well as cooking their meals. The produce are very fresh and the delivery service is amazing. Not only do they arrive around the time they said they would, they even send you an email telling you your box is on the way. The people delivering are always nice and smiling. Plus, they exchange your old boxe(s) with the new one they bring (yay for not wasting). We have to say, Good Food is the easiest to follow when it comes to reading the instructions. And their timing is exact to the second. Amazing! Our only complaint was the volume of plastic bags we had. Some are biodegradable, but most aren’t.
The good: Good quantity (not too much, not too little); perfect on cooking time
The bad: Only 3 choices of veggie meals for the week (which means it’s not really a choice since you order 3 meals/week)
1) Chef’s Plate
And the winner is: Chef’s Plate. For many reasons: Taste, freshness of produce, website/app friendliness, little amount of plastic waste, and an excellent delivery system. They also tend to have more than 3 veggie options so for those of you who don’t like meat much, this might be a good option.
The good: No or very little plastic. Tastes really really good
The bad: They don’t take back their boxes (but you can recycle them yourself)
So there you have it. You can see a summary of the scores on the table below. As you can see Good Food, Hello Fresh, and Chef’s Plate are pretty close. So we definitely recommend any of the 3. But we’d love to hear your experience. Maybe you’ve tried other meal kits that we dont know.