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These Chicago-based meal delivery services will make your life easier and healthier

These Chicago-based meal delivery services will make your life easier and healthier
Photograph: Jessica Berson

Chicago is full of hard-working, food-obsessed people, and sometimes those two traits don't exactly add up to a healthy lifestyle. Luckily, meal delivery services have been popping up all over the place lately, offering Chicagoans a way to enjoy freshly prepared, healthy meals at home or on the go. Using one of these services takes all the hard parts out of the equation and keeps you away from your go-to burger place for at least a few days longer.

RadishThis app-based service offers nine different dishes daily (some side dishes, some main courses). From the app, customers can choose their desired combo and have their meal hot and in their hands in 20 minutes or less for around $10 to $15 a plate. A big bonus for those watching their intake is that you get a summary of the protein, carbs, fat and calories as you add dishes to your plate. Downsides are they only do dinner, and so far just serve Lincoln Park, River North, Gold Coast, West Loop and Old Town.

Madison and RayneThis service is one of Chicago's answers to national companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Customers can browse a weekly list of recipes, which usually run from $15 to $20 a portion with free delivery within the city. Orders come in a box with all the ingredients to make their chosen dishes as well as detailed instructions on preparation. This service is perfect for food lovers who like to be more hands-on with their meals and also makes cooking for a dinner party really easy and impressive.

CookedAs far as prepared foods go, Cooked is probably the most diverse of these services. They offer a little bit of everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner to kids meals and even juice cleanses. They also have flexible delivery times to accommodate almost anyone's schedule. Bigger entrees average around $12 a plate and the delivery fees are calculated by neighborhood. Cooked is based in Evanston, but delivers throughout Chicago.

ChefmadeChefmade lies somewhere between the recipe boxes and the prepared meals, sometimes requiring a little more effort than simply sticking a carton in the oven. Often, these dishes make for stunning presentations, coming with little garnishes like herbed butter for your steak, home made hot sauce for your breakfast or pine nuts for your salad. They also offer bottled drinks like cold pressed coffee, almond milk chai lattes and juice blends. Menus go up on Mondays, the ordering deadline is Thursday, with delivery on Sunday or Monday night. Almost all the meals are $10 or less and there is an additional $10 delivery fee that includes tax and tip, which is ultimately most cost effective when ordering multiple meals.

Eat PurelyAnother app-driven service, this new meal delivery company seeks to be the perfect hybrid of technology and deliciousness. You can access these guys right now through sites like Grubhub for just a $1 delivery charge, where they currently serve mainly the downtown area with "ready to heat" lunch dishes, but once the app officially launches the coverage area will expand and meals will arrive in 20 minutes or less. Entrees range between $10 and $15.

Meez MealsTaking their name from the French term Mise En Place meaning "putting everything into place," Meez Meals, as their name implies, does all the prep work for you. The meat is all butchered and trimmed, the veggies are washed and peeled and step-by-step instructions are provided. Their delivery area is wide, circling all of Chicago and a little beyond, and they don't even require the customer to be present at delivery. Selectable portion sizes also make this a convenient option for bigger families.

KitchFixKitchFix is fast becoming a hit with busy city dwellers looking for healthier options. They offer home delivery for $6 within the city and $12 to the suburbs, but they also offer "hub" delivery for only $1, where they will bring your order to a location of your choice from their map of 24 different spots. You can also pick up your order for free from their location at 1731 W Grand Ave. The food is mostly breakfasts, lunches and snacks, and caters to every dietary need, from paleo to vegan with lots of different portion sizes to serve both individuals and groups.

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Comments

5 comments
Easy D

One of the biggest advantages of food delivery systems is their health benefits. Since the meals are pre-planned, it is easy to determine the exact number of calories consumed at each meal.

Nick S

Working my way down this list.  One thing stuck out,  The Radish android app is awful.  It's unusably slow and laggy.  Their phone code required to log in doesn't work either (never get messages).  Delivery in 20 minutes doesn't include the hour it takes to get past their terrible app.

Sharron A

Great lead for healthy eating.

Raymond L

Thanks @bunnyandbrandy it was great to meet you the other day! 

Andrew H

Excellent list. Meez Meals is terrific. I'm also a fan of Factor 75 here in Chicago.