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Meal Delivery and Meal Preparation Services

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > House & Garden > Meal Delivery & Meal Prep


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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. http://www.homeontherangemeals.com/ 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@yahoo.com. 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: http://www.magickitchen.com/ 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 (www.thescramble.com). 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 http://threestonehearth.com/ 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@cucinapartenopea.com 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-- www.jessieetlaurent.com 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, http://www.homeontherangemeals.com/. They prepare meals and deliver them. I used it when I was sick, it was good. Rebecca
Go to http://www.jessieetlaurent.com/ 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 everydaygourmet510.com 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 everydaygourmet510.com 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: www.chez-ellen.com. 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 www.mealassembly.net 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! www.thedinnerfairy.net -a new mom
Try planetorganics.com -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 www.homeontherangemeals.com 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 www.threestonehearth.com- 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 www.everydaygourmet510.com Food and service is wonderful. Not the cheapest, but portions are fair size and we think well worth it. Also www.threestonehearth.com 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 yahoo.com
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. http://threepotatofour.com/ Kim
Aubegine Catering at http://www.auberginecatering.com/ 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 (www.chickweedcatering.com 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 -- chez-ellen.com -- 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: www.chez-ellen.com 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) schwans.com
2) impromptugourmet.com
3) homebistro.com

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. www.viansa.com 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. www.auberginecatering.com 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 www.pedalinggourmet.net. 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 achefseye.com 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: http://www.auberginecatering.com Dara
After seeing a post for Aubergine catering (www.auberginecatering.com) 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 busy...no commitment. Their phone number is 510 339-0503 or you can email them and ask for a menu lisa AT achefseye.com. You can email me if you have specific questions.
Contact information for Jessie et Laurent can be found here: http://www.jessieetlaurent.com/ 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 aol.com 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: http://www.personalchef.com

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
heidi


Web van delivers cooked meals. Check it out http://www.webvan.com
Veronica
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 http://www.dine11.com/ or The following place has a list of all places that deliver: http://www.slip.net/~john/delivery/

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
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