Meal Delivery and Meal Preparation Services

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi BPN! 
    I am a new mom to a 6 month old and resident doctor with a busy schedule, and my husband works full time. We are realizing we need some support with getting things done around the house so we can maximize our time with our son. Wondering if people have resources for any cooked/prepared meal delivery services in Berkeley either from a company or personal chef for lunches and dinners a few times a week so we don’t have to cook? 
    appreciate any and all leads!

    thanks so much!

    Three Stone Hearth has lovely food. It's simple and nourishing!

    Hi! After the birth of my child I really needed support with meals as well. I used Kitchen Doula and was really happy with the service. The food is really good and wholesome. I felt like I was actually eating well, not just eating takeout. Everything I tried was really good from the soups to the biscuits to the chia seed pudding. Another plus is it’s a locally woman (and mom!) owned company.

    My husband and I love Methodology for meal delivery. It’s healthy, delicious, and since we also have a 6-month old son, we like spending time with him over meal planning, prep, and clean up right now.

    Hi and congrats! I'm also a new mom with a 4.5 mo and a 3.5 yo. Costwise, a personal chef is probably the most expensive, with prepared meals varying in price depending on where you order from. We tried a private chef once when our first was a baby but found the cost quite high for the number of meals the food provided. It was very tasty, but ultimately went a different direction. 

    For local meal delivery services I've recently tried Olive SF and Jessie and Laurent, which both offer meals ala carte with no need to subscribe. You can choose as much as you want each week and can order on the weeks you need it.  I like Jessie and Laurent better and they are the service we currently use, just because I think the food variety is better, but they are both pretty good taste wise. There's also Cook Unity, which is a local service but does require you to sign up for a plan, which means you have to indicate when you want to skip a week, or it will default send you an order. I haven't tried them yet because I don't like dealing with a plan and have concerns about the meal size not being really enough for one person. 

    For delivered meals that aren't local, we tried Factor and Freshly with our first baby and went with Freshly for several months. Both of these services require a plan and will send you a default number of meals based on your plan if you don't do anything.  We didn't like Factor, and used Freshly for several months. It was okay, but got very repetitive and we found the meal size wasn't enough for one person and we ended up eating 3 of their meals a day.  There is also Sun Basket, which I've heard from a parent friend was the 'best tasting' of all the delivered plans they tried.  

    Good luck! 

    Kitchen Doula- but meals to choose from are limited.  They deliver.  

    We now get a weekly delivery from a local cook who will prepare 3 large dishes for us that last almost a whole week of dinners. She charges the cost of ingredients plus it ends up being about $120 per week for her time. You can choose whatever you like each week (or give her recipes) and she does wonderful home cooked Mexican in particular. It has felt much healthier than the frequent takeout we were doing before. You can DM me if you want a connection. We also get Cook Unity for our lunches which has been tasty but on the expensive side. As fellow physician who had my daughter as an attending, you have my empathy navigating all of this during residency!

    Vita Kitchen is expensive (starts at $375/week) but the meals are healthy and delicious! If that's out of your budget then you can try services like Thistle, Methodology, etc.

    Check out Jessie & Laurent.  They do door-to-door delivery to Berkeley and most of the Bay Area.  They have an excellent variety of entrees, and I like that they post their menus several weeks ahead.  Three Stone Hearth also does door-to-door delivery in Berkeley on Wednesday for $16.  You can also go to their storefront on University for in-person pickup.  Healthy food, made from scratch - mostly soups and stews. 

    I have found to be a great option. You can order as late as noon for same day delivery. Meals are varied, delicious and DELIVERED! They always have a vegetarian option.

    I recently gifted my sister a gift certificate to Sun Basket when she was working full-time and caring for her injured partner. She loved the ease of ordering and quality and quantity of the meals. She also like having the option to order fully prepared meals and snacks or prepped ingredients to make the meals herself.

    When I researched options, I found Sun Basket to be the best value for the most organic ingredients and meals that meet dietary concerns and preferences.

    We use Jesse and Laurent, it's a prepared meal delivery service. The meals are very good, have variety, and my kids will try them. 

    We love Three Stone Hearth for delicious, healthy, and easily reheated meals! They do deliver, but pick-up is also easy from their spot near University & Sacramento.

    I love Kitchen Doula and Three Stone Hearth for nourishing meals in the postpartum period— both of which deliver. We also tried Olive <> recently and it was delicious! 

    Here is a list I made a year ago - so I'm not sure if all the info is current.  I don't think I ended up trying anything other than Shef.  The cost of all the options was the barrier for me.  

    Meal delivery

    Shef - may be coming from pretty far away - recommended by a friend for any time of recovery (ex: after surgery) - foods $$$ and geared towards healing - subscription, $15 per serving, looks really tasty and healthy - order by 8am Weds for Weds night delivery ($20) (or pick up for free) - vegan, reusable glass packaging - $10 delivery fee, lots of options

    I love Thistle!

    Vita Kitchen! They are amazing. The chef proprietor just had a baby herself (though the team is keeping the operation going smoothly during her leave). All the meals are incredibly delicious, nutritious and tons of variety (crowd pleasing enough for my 11 month old and 5 year old to eat most nights, but also exciting for my husband and me). We often say to each other, if we had a personal chef this is exactly the kind of food we would ask him or her to cook. Locally sourced, sustainable packaging, east drop off/pickup.

  • Meal Help needed

    (2 replies)

    I'm also looking for a meal delivery service or maybe even a personal chef to prepare weekly meals. Any recommendations? 

    Highly recommend Vita Kitchen for meal delivery. 

    We use Vitakitchen for meal delivery and have liked it.

  • Healthy Meal Delivery for Busy Family

    (11 replies)

    Hello! I'm in the market for someone to help with meal preparation or meal deliveries. I have two very little kids and a full-time job that makes cooking almost impossible.  Delivery every night feels indulgent and unhealthy. Has anyone had good luck with a meal plan or service (a personal chef even...) in the East Bay?

    Thank you!


    Dear Elizabeth, in a situation similar to yours, over the years I have tried many of the meal preparation companies. Some involve less prep, with more "basic" meals, and some ask you to do more prep, and you get more interesting meals, recipes you might not have tried yourself. Some are organic, others are not. There is probably something to suit you. Here's the thing. I have always stopped using them because of the waste generated by such a service. All the boxes have to be kept cold so usually there are ice packs that then go in the garbage. Most items in the box, including sauces, meat, vegetables, etc., are in plastic bags or containers, and those containers are inside bigger plastic bags. Getting rid of it all as responsible as possible is a job in and of itself.

    I would like to recommend you try, if you aren't too far away, Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley on University Avenue. They make organic, local, free-range foods and put them in glass jars. You pick it up or can pay extra to have it delivered. The jars go back and are re-used. It is as healthful and as ethical as it possibly could be. Of course, you have to like their style of cooking. In the end it's not more expensive than a delivery service.  

    Hi Elizabeth,

    There is a home-made food delivery service called Tiffin Bay ( that delivers home-cooked Indian food that is pretty tasty and varied. The key is to get on their texting database so you receive their bi-weekly menus and can place orders whenever you feel like. (No subscriptions etc.) They text us the menu every Wednesday (for Sunday delivery) and Saturday (for Wednesday delivery), where we make choices on what entrees we want, and have hardly had any repeats. They are pretty healthy and tasty, not oily etc. either and well spiced. Delivery is free. I think it is $60 for: 5 16 oz containers of main entrees (of your choice from the menu), 10 rotis (Indian whole wheat flatbread), and 2 16 oz rice containers. You can also get lesser/more food or less frequent delivery. 

    We also tried personal chefs but honestly this was much easier for our lifestyle, and we don't have to worry about groceries, post cooking clean-up, etc.

    Hope this helps!

    We have been ordering prepared meals for delivery from Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley. All very delicious and healthy, has made our life much easier! Highly recommended!

    Totally get this! I’m not sure if she is still doing this but our family used to love having meals made by Chef Traci, so good and healthy too:

    Now that the kids are a little older what gets us through is focusing on simple but tasty/healthy meals we cook for Sunday-Tuesday or Wednesday (sometimes it’s a crock pot meal, sometimes meatballs, rotisserie chicken, fish or pork chops we minimally prep the night before). We usually have staples like bread, rice, egg noddles or pasta to have on hand and easy lettuce-carrot/cucumber salads or something easy like green beans or broccoli. 

    By Wednesday it’s simple like breakfast for dinner, quesadillas and fruit/cut up veggies, we like the Rao’s soups in a jar. By Thursday it’s kids choice which is always “Mac and cheese and hot dogs” kind of boring but whatever, we made it to Thursday! Alternatively sometimes that night we do taco take out or rice and beans. Friday usually pizza/salad, Saturday take out or dinner out. 

    it has helped me greatly to prep (simply!) the night before so I can literally just let heat an oven and throw the pan in and to focus on making a few “bigger” meals like this and being ok with something like scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. If you have room, we got a small overflow freezer and put things like quarts of favorite take out soup, stews, etc in there so it’s easy and available. 

    Hope this helps!

    Olive.  Tuesday dinners, yum!

    They are a husband/wife biz based in Richmond that did catering pre-Covid and they have been doing meal delivery in the East Bay once or twice a week during Covid, currently on Tuesdays only.   My family of 5 has been enjoying their meals every week for a year now. They specialize in Mediterranean/Middle Eastern fare, with many kid-friendly offerings such as meatballs and pasta dishes, and plenty of vege cooked in create ways. You can order online and choose what you want. My picky family loves everything they make!

    I’m in the same boat. I use Jessie and Laurent meal delivery a couple times a month (expensive so I don’t do it every week) and also rely heavily on the Rockridge Market Hall (very good value for the quality). I do parking lot pickup at Market Hall, but they also do home delivery for an extra fee. 

    We use Greenleaf Provisions. They are a gourmet meal delivery company. Their food is high quality, delicious and they have healthy options. Everything arrives ready to eat and there is plenty for leftovers. You can order through their website. If you have any dietary restrictions just reach out to them and they will work with you.

    Hi Elizabeth,

    We're in the same boat as you and have tried a few different meal delivery services. Check out freshly. That's the best we could find, within our budget. Good luck. 

    We’ve ordered from Shef about 30 times in the last year. The meals arrive cold and you need to reheat but that’s never a problem for us. Also we order at least 3 days in advance. Incredible quality food and good prices. Our kiddo likes the empanadas and middle eastern foods.

    Wow these are some incredible recommendations.

    Looking forward to checking out so many of these!!! Particularly the Tiffin service. Brilliant. 

    My family has been LOVING a meal delivery service called Alab SF.  The chef behind it is Mikki Bunag. He's incredibly talented as well as being a toddler dad who manages to make things that taste incredible but also kiddo friendly.  It's 5-6 nights' worth of food for our family of 3.5.  He uses glass containers which he picks up Tuesdays and drops off Thursdays. Can't really say enough good things about MIkki's food and the calm and camaraderie our cooking-free evenings have created for the family.

    Here are more details and his contact:

    I second Greenleaf Provisions. I started using them during the pandemic when they pivoted to doing home deliveries (previously they were only a catering company and restaurants). The prepared food is very good, and the customer service is top notch. I don't know what your budget is, but for us it was a once a week indulgence kind of thing (Thursday or Friday night, with some leftovers for next day). Their fried chicken is the best. At our house we used to call it "fried chickenmergency" when we really wanted one...

  • Any mommies successful in finding a Chinese postpartum meal company that services the Bay Area?  Looking for something local or will deliver to Oakland.  Maybe somewhere in Oakland Chinatown?  Thinking those who have Chinese nannies or can read Chinese newspapers would know - wish I paid more attention in Chinese school when I was younger :)  Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

    I used I-San house.  They deliver all over the Bay Area. 

    I-San House in the South Bay delivers to Oakland for $50 per trip so I'm doing a weekly delivery.  I have not been able to find a company in the East Bay, let me know if you do!

    here is their website:

    I couldn't find anything local to Oakland but my SILs used this place in San Jose

    I used JingMommy based in Socal and they will ship meals weekly. I think JingMommy tasted better.

    I did not find a service local to East Bay. We went with I-San House in San Jose ( We used them for our first birth and were happy with the service so are using them again. At the time of our first birth, they did not deliver beyond 30 miles (or something like that), so we actually arranged for them to delivery to a friend's house within their radius. Then we picked up the food there. We are using I-San second time around, too. They do delivery to East Bay now, and the cost they quoted me was $90/delivery, based on where we live. You can choose delivery once a week (which is a lot of food - be sure to completely clear out your fridge/freezer), or twice a week, which is more manageable food/space-wise, but then you'd be paying for delivery each time. I think for full 4-week meal service, it comes down to roughly $2000 for just the food. It's possible to have leftovers and share with your family, but actually, the food is not seasoned much. My husband helped eat some occasionally, but I'd always have to add miso paste into the soup for him, lol. My mom actually could've made the soups as well and it would've been tastier, but you can't go wrong with convenience. They have an intro seminar you can attend before you commit, but it's at their office. You can taste the food there too. You can also request to not have certain dishes, e.g. if you don't eat organ meats, etc. Even though I felt I was just pumping soup into my body for a while, I didn't have any problems with milk production, which is why we're doing it again. Also it is excellent for losing pregnancy weight, despite eating liver several times a week... Good luck!

    Yes I used i-San House in San Jose for two kids. They have a yelp listing but I think the ratings are a bit harsh. I liked their service. I paid a bit more to deliver to San Francisco. They also give a lot of food and/or I would get tired of bland food so one week of food lasted me maybe 2-3 weeks with other home cooked or bought meals in between. Good luck! 

  • Hi everyone, we are first time parents who also work very demanding jobs. We have been finding it hard to have time to cook (been eating peanut butter sandwiches for a while now :p) or clean the house.  We are thinking we might want someone to come 3-4 hours for 3-5 days out of the week to help with meal planning, cooking, washing baby bottles and cleaning, etc.

    Does any one have any suggestions on what kind of arrangements work best and how much we should expect to pay? And if anyone has specific people they would recommend, that would be great too!

    Thanks so much,



    It is a difficult time in life as we get use to being parents. My family has enjoyed using a pre-cooked meal delivery service (Methodology) which allows me to get home at 5:30 and eat a healthy meal with my 9-mo old by 5:45 or so (heat and serve). This may be a good immediate option for you as well. Good luck!

  • Home-cooked meal delivery in Berkeley

    (6 replies)

    I'd like to hear if folks have recommendations for services that deliver home-cooked meals in Berkeley. In the past we've relied on SpoonRocket (a defunct business) and occasionally on Munchery, but the quality of the food from these places wasn't always great (it feels more like a large-scale catered meal than a real home-cooked meal, if that makes any sense). The last recommendations on BPN date back to 2010, so perhaps there are new businesses that have sprung up since then? We're expecting our second child in September and so one big help will be to not worry too much about cooking. 

    Check out Kitchen Doula. Pricy but great food and quality, especially for postpartum. 

    We've been using Jessie & Laurent and have been very happy. Food is tasty, easy to order online, no need to commit/you can skip weeks if you want, never any problems with delivery. It has been a godsend with two full time working parents, a toddler, and a baby. 

    Try, The private network for home cooked meals.

    Neighbors cooking for neighbors.

    Not sure they deliver, but they are in your neighborhood!
    We use it about once per week.

    My parents really like the folks at 

    Bon Appetite!

    I used Kitchen Doula after the birth of my second child. It was definitely pricey but very high quality and delicious.

    I also highly recommend Three Stone Hearth. I usually pick up from them directly (on university) but I believe there is also a delivery option. We continue to buy meals from them to this day. 

    I highly recommend Three Stone Hearth for delicious, sustainably sourced and extremely nutritious food. They don't deliver but you can order online and then do an easy pick up from their kitchen on university ave. i also use and they do deliver. They have lots of ready made meals that are easy to heat up, I think you can even put stuff on your registry. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

2010 Recommendations

May 2010

Does anyone know of a service that delivers home cooked dinners to people who are unable to cook for themselves? An elderly couple who lives near me complain that they are eating too much processed food b/c they aren't really able to cook much. The service would have to deliver since my neighbors don't drive. And of course they are on a limited income so nothing too fancy. thanks. anon

I used to volunteer with Albany's Senior Center delivering warm meals to seniors in the community. I believe this service was free? Please check with the local senior center in the town that this couple lives and see if they have something similar. gretchen

Check out Home on the Range, an Emeryville business that delivers cooked meals in the East Bay. Friends gave me a gift card for their meals when I was sick, it was tasty and convenient. Rebecca

Three Stone Hearth makes wonderful healthy meals and they can deliver. Check out the website. cb

I love Susan at ''One Less Thing'' in Berkeley. The menu changes daily. She uses fresh local ingredients and offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. I have really enjoyed her cooking. It's comfort food - creative and delicious. Prices are extremely reasonable and she delivers in Berkeley. You can reach her at szasholin [at] Gwynn

We have used Jessie et Laurent during times when we were too busy to cook (e.g. new baby, one parent in school, the other at work w/two toddlers, moving, etc....) Their meals are absolutely delicious, fabulously flavorful, healthy, easy to heat or even freeze. The variety of dishes is so vast that we never had a dish twice even though we used them over large periods of time, repeatedly. Meals are not greasy and just the right size. Love Jessie et Laurent

2009 recommendations

Oct 2009

Hi, I am a house-husband and my family is tired of my cooking. So, I'm asking for advice either for a service I can order great catered dinners to be delivered once or twice per week, and/or a really good cook-book to try some new meals with. We live in Berkeley. Thanks John

There are more and more of these companies popping up. I first learned about them through someone in a class I took and they raved about them. The company I used is located only on the east coast but this one may be comparable: Try a Google search on 'prepared meals delivered to your home'. Good luck! Tanya

Hi John, While not a service that will cook for you, I'm a big fan of an online meal-planning outfit called The Six O'Clock Scramble ( We were in a rut and up against the clock every night and bored bored bored with our usuals. The Scramble answers the eternal question of ''What's for dinner?'' and provides five meals and a grocery list in a weekly email. There's also a large database of recipes to customize any menu so you can account for likes and dislikes. Every meal we've made has been quite (and sometimes surprisingly) tasty, and one can easily embellish the basic recipes. There's a subscription fee, but it's pretty reasonable - cheaper than take-out! We kept trying to meal plan and never did, now we have a week's worth of recipes and the groceries with which to make them on hand. And we're making things we wouldn't normally have made, changing up our habits, eating more healthfully and refreshing our palates. Good luck! Happy Scrambler

Hi! I'm sure a billion people will say the same thing, but: 3 Stone Hearth Their food is 'home' cooked & really amazing - very healthy & super-yummy. Not so good if you're a vegetarian. It's not catered, per se, though I know they do offer delivery in some areas - but the food can be picked up from their store (on University, between California & Sacramento) Wednesdays & Thursdays, and keeps for at least a week... I'm convinced they've literally saved my life as a new mom who just cannot always get it together to cook, but wants to eat real food :) Good Luck, KC

I can recommend Tota To Go, a new family meal service here in Berkeley specializing in Southern Italian cuisine. They catered my son's 1st year birthday party last month and it was delicious! Here's his contact info: Antonio Capezzuto antonio [at] tel.510.417.9679

2008 recommendations

August 2008

I am pregnant and on bed rest and my husband cannot cook to save his life. Making a box of mac and cheese is an undertaking for him, and I am really getting sick of frozen food and take-out. I am wondering if anyone knows of a service in the area (Berkeley) where someone comes and cooks food at your house or delivers meals to your house? I have heard of similar services in other areas... Thanks in advance! Sara

It doesn't sound like cost is an issue for you, but a somewhat less expensive alternative to having someone actually come and cook at your house might be to use one of the dinner prep places. For example, Dream Dinners in El Cerrito Plaza (right next to the new Joann's) allows you to come and put together your own ingredients (not for you?) **OR** just pick up prepared items that you cook when you want (no other prep necessary). You can check their website for more info. If you want to actually go to the location and do the prep, they have set hours. However, if you want to pick up pre-prepared meals (just not cooked) I think Tina (one of the owners) would be willing to meet you there at a convenient time. ~dinner for the fam~

Try Jessie et Laurent. You do it all online-- The food is excellent and many items you can freeze. They deliver once weekly. They saved my life when I was pregnant and then home with a newborn. anon

Check out Home on the Range, They prepare meals and deliver them. I used it when I was sick, it was good. Rebecca

Go to We have used this cooking service for probably 8-years and have never grown tired of it. It is easy to use - order on-line - and while the menus repeat themselves over time, they introduce enough new things periodically to keep it interesting. They delvier to your house once a week, and everything lasts the week just as they say it does. Cost is much less than an in-home cooking service and from what we have experienced from friends with personal chefs, for the price, the quality is every bit as good. We got started with Jessie after Webvan went bust and we had twins. It has been a savior ever since. no time to cook

We have happily used a young woman who delivers delicious food on Tuesdays. She is jessica at We got her name originally from BPN. She gives you a choice of selections, and you may choose one, several, or none. She will take food allergies into account, if need be. With some consultation, she may be able to give you a low salt meal if your doctor advises. We think she is fantastic. You can check her website or send her an email. She is lovely about answering questions. (She may still be on her honeymoon, but she's was due to return this week.) Also, feel free to email me. Again, she is: jessica at P.S. Another service is the prepared food at Planet Organics. We mainly use them to deliver produce to our home, but they'll also bring other things. Good luck! Judy

For more personal service, Pamela Little will come to your home and do meal planning, shopping (at farmer's markets too), food prep, and cooking, or deliver home cooked meals to your home. She currently works providing these services for a family with two children that I know in Berkeley. What a treat! She's a graduate of Berkeley's Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. she can be reached at: cell 530-587-2122 Kathleen

March 2008

Searching for meal preparation and delivery service for a month after second child is born. Any recommendations for services that would delivery or be an easy pick up spot from Oakland? Kelle

Check Chez Ellen website: Ellen is an amazing chef who accommodates any diet and her meals are absolutely delicious. I feel like we are eating out in a gourmet restaurant most of the time with her delivered meals. Ellen could also cook at your home. I am not sure if she has a spot open, but if she does: you are in for a treat! paula

Jan 2008

With one young kid and another on the way, I'm considering a meal prep or personal chef service. I'm interested in current recommendations. Also, I like the idea of organic, healthy and not more than $800-$1000 per month for 4-6 meals a week. Is this realistic? need help with food!

I've been going to a ''meal assembly'' place once a month for three years. LOVE IT- and you'd spend way less than you mentioned in your post (more like $250 a month). We used a personal chef for a short time about 8 years ago, and we loved that too, but we were in an area with a lower cost of living. I currently have been going to Dream Dinners, but there is another place called ''Full Plate'' that you could also check out. Look at for another search tool. Dream Dinners doesn't have an organic focus, but you can check with the other companies to see what they offer. We've been very happy with the convenience and price of meal assembly, and I know we're eating at home much more than we would otherwise. busy mom of 2

Editor Note: Also recommended: Personal Chefs

2007 recommendations

Sept 2007

Looking for reccomendations for meal delivery (daily or weekly) in the area. With the arrival of our new baby, we've sort of maxed out on pizza and chinese.... I've thought about something like Dream Dinners, but wonder if there are any places like this that use more organic and local ingredients? THANKS!!!
tired of the kitchen

We recently had a baby and used the Dinner Fairy for some meals, and were very pleased. She uses farmers market items when possible and the food tastes very fresh. Great service, too! -a new mom

Try -check out the ''full plate meal kits''! They have lots of variety. anon

I'm a new parent too and a relative gave me a gift certificate to Home on The Range I've been saving it for a really busy night, so haven't used it yet, but it sounds like it's worth a try! Here's to happy tummies!

Check out they are a coop business focused on making delicious, organic, locally produced prepared meals- you can order online and they deliver or you can pick up the food weekly at their kitchen in Berkeley. Yummy!

Check out Food and service is wonderful. Not the cheapest, but portions are fair size and we think well worth it. Also You have to pick up your own meals or join a cluster group (sharing pick up dates with others in your area). These meals are extremely healthy and yummy and prepared by a very sweet, aware bunch of people! I never miss a weekly pick up, unless we are out of town. onika mann onikalh at

We have used Home on the Range for years. They have very nice meals and you can call up to 1pm for same day delivery. Very reasonable and healthy with a variety of options. Sick of cooking

2006 recommendations

Dec 2006

We are a family of two mostly vegetarian, working professionals and one 4-year old. It is increasingly more difficult to make time to cook healthy meals on the weeknights. I have tried some of the meal assembly places (Dream Dinners, Dinner Source, etc.) and like them but they do not offer enough vegetarian options for us.

I am interested in finding a service that will prepare healthy vege or fish-based meals (either fully cooked or prepped for me to cook) 3X week to deliver to our home in Central Contra costa county. We could also pick up if the pick up place is close to home. I am not interested in a personal chef as the cost is prohibitive for us. I've found some meal prep services online but they seem pretty expensive (maybe I just don't know what these services are supposed to cost?) or they are not in Contra Costa county.

Any recommendations to help this busy family who are tired of Trader Joes and Take-Out? anon

I really like Three Potato Four, which I learned about through a BPN recommendation. They deliver fully prepared meals. They are vegetarian, mostly organic and really good. The portion size is reasonable, and they have sustainable delivery method so no wasted packaging. I have tried a few different meal service options and this is by far my favorite. The website lists their pricing options and menus. Kim

Aubegine Catering at is wonderful. We've been working with Joan for 1.5 years, and her food is excellent and the service wonderful. Leila

I have recently been ordering a couple of Dinner Source meals each week in my Planet Organics weekly box. I think the meals are delicious - some of them I just put in the oven and that's it, others I need to brown chicken first or somehting similar. The best part of Dinner Source is you don;t have to use your brain at all, which is nice if you are coming home from work and everybody is cranky and hungry. Everything is done for you! They offer both organic and non-organic and include vegetarian selections. I've been very happy with the meals. One tip: some of the more delicious meals such as Indian curries are too spicy for my 5-year-old so be aware of that and order accordingly. Ginger

Oct 2006

The latest ''thing'' seems to be pre-prepped dinners such as The Dinner Source, The Home Bistro and Dream Dinners. As I'm nearing the end of my 2nd pregnancy, the idea is intriguing to me and I'd love to hear feedback on these companies. I believe there is a location in Modesto that even offers preparation and/or delivery to us pregnant ladies -- for free! This is most appealing, but Modesto is too far away for me. I'm not opposed to standing in a commercial kitchen assembling dinners to shove in my freezer but if I can get someone to do it for free, you better believe I'll take advantage of THAT offer! So who's used one of these outfits and what is your take on it? Worth the money? Do I need a chest freezer to store all the food? Or am I better off buying frozen entrees at Trader Joes? And really specifically.....can I get that pregnant lady special anywhere around here? ;-)

The Dinner Source is good. The food is consistently tasty, easy to prepare (though for only $4/meal they'll prep it for you.) The recipes do seem to call for a little too much salt for my family's tastes, but I just leave it out or use less than the recipes say. You'll need to have your freezer pretty much empty to fit in 6-8 meals at a time, but it's nice to purge it out in preparation for your Dinner Source visit. (Amazing what's edible in there!) After baby #2 I used both Dinner Source and the frozen TJ's stuff - for ease and cost. Anon.

I tried one of those places a few times. My experience was that it was fun and easy, and the food was tasty, BUT the majority of the choices were a meat with a marinade, there were very few vegetables involved. If that is your preffered meal anyway, I say go for it. But it didn't work for me because unless I prepared a side dish (which I don't have time to do - that is the whole point), we ended up eating way more meat and hardly any vegetables. The other problem is that the food is pre-assembled but not pre-cooked, so you have to plan on spending anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes cooking the food after you thaw it. Also it is pretty expensive. I prefer to use the same concept of preparing meals for the freezer - in my own kitchen. You can make a triple batch of some good all-in-one dishes, like lasagna, or chicken curry w/vegetables, soups, individually wrapped burritos, that are pre-cooked, and then just freeze them for later. I found several books at the library with menus specifically designed to freeze, like four meals that all use chicken in various forms, etc. -not a fan

2005 recommendations

Nov 2005

A couple months ago I went to the Solano Street Fair and remember seeing a booth for a meal delivery service. But I forgot to pick up the brochure and can't remember the name. It was a company started by a mother, and it provides nutritious meals delivered to your home. Does anyone know what this company is called? Or does anyone have a suggestion for a similar company in the Bay Area? I am expecting my second child and, when the baby arrives, I would like to be able to have nutritious hot meals delivered that are suitable for me (a breastfeeding mother) as well as my toddler (2 years old). Any suggestions would be much appreciated! cclocke

We tried chickweed catering ( 282- 7605) and loved the food. they deliver on thursdays and i think everything is organic. they have veg and non veg entrees, salad, side dishes, small desert. $25 per meal. portions are large. we ordered three meals and made it into two dinners for two. low fat, high flavor. Stu

Nov 2005

We have been living in S. Berkeley for a couple of years and have had NO luck finding good Chinese delivery. We have checked all the websites we can find and no luck. If you have a place you like that delivers (this is the key) please pass it on. Thanks. Bonnie

Mandarin Garden, on Shattuck at University, delivers to Berkeley, Albany, Kensington and Emeryville. The food is great, and they always send along a little something extra. 510-848-4849. Catherine

June 2005

A colleague and his wife just had a new baby. We co-workers are interested in having dinner delivered to them, since it is such a tremendous convenience to have a meal that just needs to be heated-up at the time when a family is adjusting to a new- born. The family lives in Oakland. Can anyone recommend a reasonably-priced service that can deliver a nutritious dinner? Thanks. phillip

Ellen Doren of Chez Ellen Personal Chef Services is a superb chef who cooks for various families in the Bay Area including meal delivery. Her menus are inventive and her cooking is wonderfully delicious. I have used her in the past and have been very satisfied. She has a website -- -- and her phone is 510-428-CHEF. Katie

Ellen Doren from Chez Ellen is a very creative personal chef who prepares or/and delivers gourmet meals. Her menus are based on your likes and dislikes. She has cooked for us for 3 years now, weekly meals and private parties. She is simply great! Her website: Good luck! Paula paula

Planet Organics, the organic grocery delivery company, now delivers both prepared heat-and-eat organic meals and meal kits. The meal kits have all the ingredients for a pretty sophisticated dinner (for 2 or 4 people), cut up and portioned, so all you have to do is put it together on the stove. It takes about 20 minutes and the food is excellent. The prepared meals are less expensive and there are 4-5 to choose from - meat, fish, vegetarian, etc. All organic and ready to be eaten. Larry

Feb 2005

I'm looking for recommendations for a service that will provide frozen meals/entrees. I've looked at the personal chef recommendations in the archives, and they're not quite what I'm looking for. It seemed they're geared toward doing a number of nights of complete dinners for consumption in the very short term, but what I'm hoping to find is someone who can fill my freezer with a variety of healthy two- and three-person entrees for consumption on busy nights over the course of a month or so, with me still providing side dishes. Is that someone just called Trader Joe's? I guess I was hoping for something a step up from that. Also, we're a vegetarian family, and I figured we could get more variety going with a service. Any recommendations? Expecting Number Two

I have three you can give a look at:
1) 2) 3)

Feb 2005

Does anyone have a recommendation for a gourmet food company that delivers a new product each month? I'm not picky about the actual food type, but I'm thinking mustards, jams, or cheeses. It just needs to be excellent and reliable. Thanks! anita

I love Viansa Winery's monthly gourmet food/wine club called the ''Tuscan Club.'' Their products are excellent. You can chose to get just wine, just food products, or both. Getting their box every month is a treat. Diane

2004 and earlier

June 2004

We are expecting our second child soon and are looking for an affordable meal delivery service preferably one that delivers organic and/or vegetarian meals. Any information would be helpful. Thank you, Tamara

Just last week a posting was made on BPN by Aubergine Catering. They prepare and deliver organic meals. Karen

Hope I'm not out of line to recommend my husband's business, but I am a frequent and lucky consumer of his healthful and organic cooking - his business is the Pedaling Gourmet. His is technically a personal chef business, rather than meal delivery; however, incase you have trouble finding organic/vegetarian delivery options, please check out his website at Esther

Home on the Range, 251-8030, always has at least one veggie option, but not organic. Dinners are about $11 each, including salad and roll, delivery is free with two dinners. a satisfied occasional customer

Hi, A Chef's Eye, based out of Montclair always has at least 2 veggie meals on their weekly menu and I am sure they can make more for you if you ask them. Their email is orders AT They deliver all over the east bay. happy eating

We have been ordering for more than 6 months now from Aubergine - a weekly home delivery caterer. The food is very, very yummy. My husband describes it ''like French countryside''. Joan offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes (and I think makes vegetarian versions of several of the meat dishes). From her web site: ''Only organic and free-range meats are used, and pesticide-free and organic produce is used whenever possible.'' Anyway, check it out. We have young children, and this makes up for not going out to nice restaurants - many times we heat the food while one of us puts the children to bed and then we have a excellent meal at home together. Well worth it! AUBERGINE: Dara

After seeing a post for Aubergine catering ( on the BPN,we signed up for 4 meal deliveries. We have two small children and longed for good food that we didn't have to leave the house for or prepare ourselves. The first delivery came this past Wednesday and it was fantastic! They use organic free-range meats and organic produce and the delivery is free. They also have kid choices. It reminded us of Oliveto's in Rockridge. dennisandjennie

April 2004

I'm interested in exploring options for meal delivery services and the archives are dated and a little sparse. Anyone using Aubergine and/or Jesse et Laurent (whose contact info I couldn't find)? Others you like?

I am so glad that you asked about meal delivery services because we just started using one that we love. Its called A Chef's Eye, based out of Montclair. We originally got this service as a gift after I had my second baby, but we continued on with it because its so good and affordable. Its run by two very talented female chefs who designed this service to be affordable to the average family with kids. The way it works is that they will send you a menu via email every Monday. From that, you email back your choices. They deliver the meals to your door on Monday morning. Every week we get 6 meals delivered, plus a side item and some dessert. So there is enough for my husband and I, plus our 2 year old son for 3 nights. Its fantastic. There are many choices such as fish, or vegetarian. And there is always something that kids like, like pasta or fruit compote on the menu. We end up spending about $80 a week on this, which is cheaper frankly than if we did takeout or even cooked. Plus, we get a variety in our diet (so many different vegetables, etc) that we wouldn't get if we cooked ourselves. My husband loves the fact that meals are prepared and ready, and there is no clean up for him to do for at least 3 nights a week. It makes for more relaxed evenings and more time with each other. And the other nice thing is that you can do it one week here or there if you are commitment. Their phone number is 510 339-0503 or you can email them and ask for a menu lisa AT You can email me if you have specific questions.

Contact information for Jessie et Laurent can be found here: Google is your friend

Excellent Home Delivered Meals Beans catering provides gourmet, fully prepared, organic when possible meals delivered to your refrigerator once a week at a reasonable price. Beans Tina ... Ernano AT 510-697-9471 Danielle

There is another fabulous meal delivery service offered by 2 women chefs (Traci and Judy).It's called Delish Dish. They are new and almost online but not quite yet,(I have been using them for about 2 months now) but all you have to do is call their office 1-925-979-0078, and they will drop off a brochure and a menu (changes weekly). They drop off meals on Mondays and Wednesdays.(up to 6 meals per person/per week) Each meal comes with a pretty big entree with 2 sides, salad and small desert. They also have kids meals. Their office is in Alamo, their kitchen is in Berkeley. I believe they deliver from Alamo, Lafayette (most business in Lafayette I think) and Berkeley and most points in between. I highly recommend them! They will drop meals off for special occasions too and do regular catered events. Lee

November 2001

I have friends in LA, living north of downtown, near Silverlake, who've just had twin girls. I'd like to get them something to make life easier, along the lines of Home on the Range meal delivery, or line up a post-partum doula-type who could come in and cook them a week's worth of meals. (Not long ago it would have been a Webvan gift certificate, but alas . . . ) I do know about Dinners Delivered in Pasadena, which will deliver restaurant food a la Takeout Taxi, but I had in mind something a little more overtly domestic and healthful. Can anyone suggest something or someone to fit the bill? Thanks a lot. Wendy

In reply to LA-area meal delivery service, I have a good suggestion. Check out the following website:

My husband is a personal chef in the Bay Area who does just this type of thing and is very popular with new parents. I think you'll find most of the chefs listed on this site are reasonably priced and provide just the service you're looking for. Esther

May 2000

I have used the services of an excellent post-partum doula, Treesa McLean, for meal preparation in my home. She's great about collaborative menu planning with emphasis on healthy organic iron- and protein-rich foods that new moms need. She does the food shopping per your specifications and can cook up several tasty meals in an afternoon...and does a thorough clean-up afterwards! She is also a very kind and knowledgeable person. I believe she offers her services on a sliding scale of $15-25 per hour. You can contact her directly at 510/581-1013

Web van delivers cooked meals. Check it out

Home on the Range: 251-8030 does this. There's another one, but I can't remember their name. There is also Dine-One-One, at or The following place has a list of all places that deliver:

I've also heard very good things about Jesse et Laurent, which I think is based in Marin.

I can recommend my neighbor, Mary Ann Simmons, telephone 510/845-3161. Her food is healthy and delicious and she's a very good person, a mensch. She delivers a menu for each week and you pick the item(s) you prefer for the day(s) you want a delivery.

I have a great recommendation for you. Call Nancye Benon or Ms. Dish as she is know. She prepared some wonderful vegan meals for us during a time when I could not cook and the food was wonderful. She specializes in Vegan and organic foods and she can do special requests. She is pretty reasonable too. Right now she works a a personal chef who prepared meals in you home and she has sample menus etc. She's great. 510-459-7480. hadley Stef