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Thistle Food Delivery Review – Is It Worth The Money?

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You might be here because you're researching after someone told you that Thistle is the best vegan meal subscription service. Does Thistle Food deliver healthy, delicious food by the bushel? It's the question on everyone's mind when they're looking to switch to a new meal delivery service, try a meal delivery service for the first time, or simply get out of a meal rut. While many people know Thistle as a sustainable food service that's famed for its amazing fresh-pressed juices and plant-based options, thistle is the whole enchilada when it comes to meal delivery. Just don't expect that enchilada to have any gluten or dairy!

Many people who are lucky enough to be within Thistle's delivery zone are turning to the service for everything from weight loss to food sensitivities. Yes, Thistle meals are free of gluten, eggs, and dairy! That makes ordering your meals so easy if you hate the hassle of reading the fine print on every prepackaged meal to look for foods on your no-can-do list. The healthy ingredients and reasonable portions of Thistle meals can be exactly what you need if you're looking for a meal plan you can follow to reach a fitness goal. However, the fact that Thistle offers wholesome, delicious food tailored for people with special dietary needs doesn't mean that this service is a bowl of cherries for everyone.

Thistle reminds me a lot of Splendid Spoon. It's very similar to Splendid Spoon's meal delivery, but it is also different. Let's dig into Thistle before you dig into your first meal delivery!

What Is Thistle Food Delivery?

thistle's food delivery brand
An amazing, up-and-coming new organic + plant-based food delivery brand – THISTLE!

Let's start by talking about what Thistle Food isn't. This is not a meal-kit delivery service like Hello Fresh. You're getting full, ready-to-eat meals that don't require any preparation or extra ingredients. You don't even need a kitchen to enjoy Thistle Food. Your fully prepared meal can be delivered to your home or office. All of the meals and juices offered by Thistle Food are whipped up by an in-house team of chefs specializing in gluten-free, dairy-free, and organic recipes.

The company tempts you with promises of decadent dressings that are good for you, irresistible coconut creams, and exotic nut cheeses. Thistle meals are also packed with more than 40 “superfoods” that include favorites like matcha, chia, and spirulina. You can click on each menu item when you order your meals to get a full breakdown of ingredients and nutritional content!

Thistle isn't just a “convenient” service. While the delivery aspect is convenient, Thistle differs from other food delivery services because of what it doesn't put in its dishes. Here are the key sticking points of Thistle:

  • All food offered by Thistle is free of gluten, dairy, and eggs.
  • Thistle meals are also always free of refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives.
  • Options abound for both vegans and non-vegans.
  • All meals contain locally sourced ingredients.

Sounds good? It gets better. Thistle has you covered for three square meals a day! Subscribers can select any combination of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There's even a snack option to ensure that you're never caught without a backup plan for when you get a case of the nibbles. Again, Thistle shines when it comes to helping you enjoy balanced meals with portion control. You can also have confidence about what you're eating because most items on your plate are locally and sustainably sourced. However, it should be noted that Thistle doesn't guarantee that your meal will exclusively contain organic produce.

Overview of Thistle’s Meals

THISTLE meals overview
With vegan and other meal options, THISTLE provides a great variety of healthy meals for those looking to save time and energy on cooking and cleaning.

Let's talk a bit about the experience of being a Thistle eater! Thistle focuses on creating “nutrient diversity” in its recipes. On average, a Thistle meal delivered to you will contain a total of 5.8 unique, fruits, vegetables, plants, or meats.

If you're in the Thistle local delivery zone, you have several options to choose from. If you're just in the shipping zone, you have four boxes to choose from. We'll go deep into local delivery versus shipping zones in just a minute! First, let's unwrap the options a bit to get to the core of what's on the table with Thistle. This is what the “full menu” looks like if you're a local customer.

Vegan Options:

  • Vegan Lunch.
  • Vegan Dinner.
  • Vegan Lunch + Dinner.
  • Full-Day Vegan.

Omnivore Options:

  • Omnivore Lunch.
  • Omnivore Dinner.
  • Omnivore Lunch + Dinner.
  • Full-Day Omnivore.

The options are less robust if you're only located in Thistle's shipment zone. Again, we'll cover exactly what that means just a little bit further down in this review. Here's a look at what non-local customers within the shipping range can choose:

  • Once-weekly Thistle Essentials Box.
  • Once-weekly Enhanced Box.
  • Once-weekly Cold-Pressed Juice Box.
  • Once-weekly Lite Bites Box.

If you're still making your mind up about Thistle, now is a good time to check out the pros and cons. While there's a lot to love about these tasty, ultra-fresh meals, some people are going to find Thistle limiting. However, the pros column is notably much larger than the cons column.


  • The food is SO fresh compared to many other meal delivery services.
  • Zero prep time on your part!
  • Deliveries are predictable.
  • You can scale up or down based on your weekly schedule.
  • New meal items are added every week.
  • Tons of vegan options!
  • The brand is focused on catering to people who can't eat mainstream “grab-and-go” options due to having special dietary needs.
  • You can have it delivered right to your office because it's all fully prepared. You do not need a kitchen to order food through Thistle.
  • Meals are full of locally sourced ingredients.
  • People who are avoiding gluten, dairy, and eggs don't have to think twice before each bite.
  • Forget about refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. Thistle focuses on letting the natural flavors of food do the work!


  • While Thistle Food is a sweet arrangement if you're within the local delivery range, you don't get access to the full scope of what's available if you're only in the shipping range.
  • People in most of the country can't use Thistle.
  • When compared to similar services, Thistle Food delivery can be one of the pricier options.
  • While this may change in the future, Thistle Food currently wraps its products using single-use plastics that aren't necessarily the best fit for the environment. However, this is common among food delivery services simply because it provides a safe, hygienic way to ensure that your food is getting to you in top condition without excessive handling.

How Does Thistle Food Delivery Work?

Let's talk a little about how Thistle gets to your door. The cool thing about Thistle is that you never really have to worry about meal boredom. The company works hard to create fresh, rotating menus with tons of new options being added all the time.

When you sign up for Thistle, the company designs, preps, and delivers meals right to your door. You also have tons of freedom to update your meal options week by week if you find that a particular option doesn't work for you. Of course, you can always cancel your Thistle subscription without any questions.

Thistle has scheduled delivery days. If you're considered a local delivery, orders go out on Monday and Thursday mornings! The alternate delivery window is Sunday and Wednesday evenings. The perk of being a local customer with Thistle is that you can actually customize your window a bit. When delivering to customers who are within the shipping range even though they are not in the local range, Thistle promises that refrigerated boxes will arrive by 8 p.m. on Monday or Thursday. However, you can't necessarily choose a delivery time.

Of course, all of this raises the question of what Thistle Food delivery considers to be local. This is where the delivery service gets a little complicated for people located away from the West Coast. Let's cover Thistle delivery and shipping ranges next!

Where Does Thistle Food Deliver?

thistle delivery area

What makes Thistle Food delivery feel so elite is that the company has a very specific service range for customers. If you're considered a local customer, you'll get your meals delivered to your door using ice packs for freshness. Here's the list of places that make the local cut for Thistle:

West Coast:

  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Napa & Sonoma
  • Sacramento
  • Davis
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
  • Santa Cruz
  • Orange County
  • Inland Empire
  • Ventura County
  • Palm Springs
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Cruz
  • Las Vegas
  • Portland
  • Seattle-Tacoma

East Coast:

  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • WashingtonD.C.
  • Boston
  • Also parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Connecticut.

Don't get too disappointed just yet if you didn't see your city on the list. There's still hope that you've located on the short list of delivery zones that Thistle Food delivery services. Thistle ships meals to parts of:

  • California.
  • Oregon.
  • Arizona.
  • Nevada.
  • Idaho.
  • Washington.

If you're curious to see if your town or city makes the cut, the easiest thing to do is just to contact Thistle's customer service department to ask about your zip code. You can track all the goodies that are coming your way by post using the tracking number for OnTrac that Thistle gives you once your order has been placed.

Good News Thistle is now delivering to New York City and Philadelphia!! Are you still outside of the Thistle area? You can sign up here and be notified when Thistle comes to your area! You will be able to get updates when Thistle does start delivering in your area, by signing up to get updates you can lock in $100 off your first 4 weeks! Plus, the first 10 sign-ups will win a $100 donation to your local food bank 😉

review of Thistle food delivery featured image
owner of GLAM Vegan, reviews THISTLE – a food delivery service for plant-based (and vegan) lovers to see if it's worth the money.

How Much Does Thistle Food Delivery Cost?

Let's get to the heart of the matter when it comes to deciding if Thistle Food delivery is a go for you. Are Thistle meals expensive? Like any restaurant or meal service, the answer can vary based on what you choose to order. Thistle Food meals begin at just $11.50 per meal. Honestly, that's about as much as you'd spend on a regrettable fast-food meal these days. It's possible to get away with spending just $43.50 per week with a 100% plant-based basic Thistle plan.

Vegan meals tend to be cheaper on Thistle Food delivery. For instance, someone going for three vegan lunches delivered to their office per week would pay just $43.50. However, if you're going for a full six days of omnivore meals coming to your door, that can creep up to almost $234. But that is $13 per meal for a freshly prepared meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner which doesn't sound like a bad deal. Let's go back to the package options we discussed earlier. However, we'll plug in some prices based on what you can probably expect. Just keep in mind that prices can vary based on factors like your specific location, any special requests you've added, and menu changes on the part of Thistle.

cost of THISTLE meals
Starting at just $43.5 per week or $11.50 per meal, THISTLE FOOD is priced reasonably, and their food is better than other meal delivery services I've tried.

Thistle Price for Vegan Options:

  • Vegan Lunch (3 per week): Under $45.
  • Vegan Dinner (3 per week): Under $45.
  • Vegan Lunch (5 per week): Under $75.
  • Vegan Dinner (6 per week): Under $85.
  • Vegan Lunch + Dinner (5 per week): $125.
  • Full-Day Vegan Option (6 per week): Under $210.

Omnivore Options:

  • Omnivore Lunch (5 per week): Under $82.
  • Omnivore Dinner (6 per week): Under $100.
  • Omnivore Lunch + Dinner (5 per week): Under $150.
  • Full-Day Omnivore (6 per week): Under $235.

Is Thistle Worth the Money?

are thistle meals worth the money?

If you're in the Thistle local delivery zone, it's almost silly not to try this company! The fact that you have the ability to axe your subscription whenever you want means that you have nothing to lose by trying out Thistle Meals for a week to see how you like the service. The price per meal won't be much different if you're already ordering salads from a local eatery for lunch or dinner. In fact, the free shipping on Thistle Food delivery orders can actually cause your Thistle Food delivery meal to be much cheaper than local takeout if you're paying for delivery from Uber Eats, Grubhub or DoorDash.

If you're just in the delivery zone, it's still worth checking out the flavor vibe that Thistle Food delivery brings. This is very much worth the money if you're a busy person who is finding it impossible to get proper nourishment from a balanced diet. Thistle Food helps you to stay organized and disciplined about your diet without getting bored. A new and spectacular option is going to show up whenever you schedule your food delivery.

Are Thistle Meals Good for Weight Loss?

thistle great for weight loss
Thistle can help you lose weight if you also stick to a healthy lifestyle.

First, it's important to know that Thistle doesn't position itself to be a weight-loss service like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. However, many people do find that the meals offered by Thistle help them to eat in a balanced way that aids with weight loss. Don't expect Thistle to be your nutritionist. That's not what this service is about. However, it is your source of nutritious meals that can help you meet your goals by staying on track with healthy, satisfying meals.

Thistle Meal Plans Review

reviewing thistle meal plans

The fact that Thistle changes up its menu so much means that you really need to dive in to try a few items on your own to see if this is your culinary speed. Overall, the meals do an excellent job of giving you the cutting-edge, nicely packaged vibe of a brand like Hello Fresh while also making you feel like a friend who owns the local eco-friendly growing cooperative just dropped off a personalized treatment for you!

Some highlights that pop up on the menu include the Mocha Chia Smoothie Bowl (breakfast), Lemon Herb Roasted Artichoke Bowl (dinner), Peach Coconut Yogurt Parfait (breakfast), Tricolor Pesto-Goat Cheese Dip (snack), Tropical Mango Salad (lunch), Vadouvan Curry (dinner), Banoffee Mousse Cup (snack), Patatas Bravas Scramble (breakfast) and Peanut Butter Ganache Bar (snack).

While we would be here all day if we broke down all of the amazing ingredients and flavors of every Thistle offering, let's focus on just one dish that was recently featured on the weekly menu called the Hearty Pesto RightRice Bowl. This hearty meal features a grain-free, legume-based rice substitute called RightRice that consists of lentil flour, chickpea flour, rice flour, pea fiber, sunflower oil, and salt. The RightRice is served with roasted yams and broccoli that are topped with sunflower-seed pesto! For this meal, you're looking at 264 calories, 26 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 5 carbs.

@glamvegan Vegan what I eat thistle meals version. Updating our thistle meal review soon! @thistleco #vegan #plantbased ♬ Made 4 – Vincent Mason


Are Thistle Meals Plant Based?

Many are! In fact, Thistle's menu is heavily dominated by vegan options. However, this is an omnivore service.

Thistle Reviews: What Are Customers Saying?

Thistle currently has a Yelp rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. That's saying a lot for the tough California crowd that has access to some of the best culinary options in the world! The general consensus is that Thistle is the best bet out there for busy people who are specifically looking to stay on track with “healthy” and “vegan” eating. Overall, the actual meals created by Thistle get rave reviews. However, the company does get a few dings from reviewers when it comes to delivery hiccups and customer service.

thistle customer reviews
thistle FAQs

How Many People Does a Thistle Meal Feed?

Each Thistle meal is a personal portion meant to satisfy one person.

Can You Freeze Thistle Meals?

Yes! According to Thistle, dinners can be frozen for three to four weeks. The company also points out that its frozen soups are ideal for freezer storage. Thistle also shares that its meals can be heated up.

Do You Have to Cook Thistle Meals?

No, Thistle delivers fully prepared, ready-to-eat meals that do not require a kitchen. However, you can heat up your Thistle meals if you like your food slightly hotter.

Is Thistle Food Organic?

Many of the ingredients in Thistle meals are organic. While Thistle strives to be a fully organic company, it can't yet promise that every single item used is organic.

Who owns Thistle meal delivery?

Shiri Avnery is the co-founder and president of Thistle. She founded Thistle meal delivery in San Francisco with her husband in 2013. Her research as a Ph.D. student at Princeton on air pollution, agriculture, climate change, and natural resources was one of the inspirations to start Thistle food delivery. Because she figured out that eating more plants and less meat will lead to solving the global climate and health issues.

Does Thistle deliver to NYC?

Yes. They do deliver to New York City. And here are all the other places they now deliver to.

Are you new to eating a more plant-based diet or trying out eating vegan food? Purchasing Thistle Subscription would be a great way to jump in! While you are eating yummy Thistle meals, check out some helpful articles to stay on track. (Tips for keeping a healthy vegan diet, ingredients for healthy vegan meal, reasons to go vegan)

Is Thistle Subscription Worth It?

You now know all about the buzzed-about plant-based meal delivery service called Thistle! Should you rush to start your subscription? As we covered, Thistle is more than worth it if you're looking for a simple way to enjoy healthy, plant-based meals that are always free of gluten, eggs, dairy, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and additives.

The truth? You should at least try Thistle if you're looking for how to find a good vegan delivery service in California! While nobody is saying that this is the cheapest option, you'd be surprised by how affordable Thistle begins to look once you do an apples-to-apples comparison if you're paying for food delivery from a local vegan restaurant most days of the week. Thistle is a great option if you're looking for meal delivery services with free shipping. It's also good to know that Thistle currently offers a discount of 10 percent for hospital workers and teachers! Just email to take advantage of the offer!

thistle meals worth money

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