Best restaurant meal kits
From curries and pasta to weekend feasts and special occasion menus, these DIY kits bring restaurant-style dining to the comfort of your own home
Want the best recipe boxes to recreate restaurant food in your own home? Looking for DIY meal kits? Check out our pick below, then try our favourite vegetarian meal kits or best burger kits for even more inspiration. Want to make your own recipes using seasonal produce? Get fresh veg delivered to your door with a produce subscription box. Choose from our tried-and-tested veg boxes here.
We have covered plenty of eat-at-home occasions, whether you want a simple, interactive meal or are looking for something a little more sophisticated for a special occasion. We've made things easier for you and split our meal kits guide into sections. Try "great-value nights in" for burgers, tacos, curries and more; continue to "weekend treats" for Middle Eastern meze, Sunday roasts and ingredient boxes; or choose one of our recommended "special occasion menus" to find finish-at-home tasting menus and fine dining options.
Best restaurant meal kits to buy at a glance
- Best overall restaurant meal kit: Home by Nico, from £60
- Best for Sunday roast kits: Elite Bistros, from £45
- Best for comfort food inspiration: Dishpatch, from £35
- Best middle Eastern meal kits: Shuk, from £35
- Best for supporting independent producers: On The Table, from £19
- Best American meal kits: Passyunk Avenue, from £19.99
- Best burger kit: Libertine Burgers, from £25
- Best Italian kit: The River Café, from £100
- Best for a sharing feast: Arabica, from £25
- Best for a curry kit: Opheem, from £60
- Best for cooking high-end restaurant food: Made in Oldstead, from £54
Best restaurant meal kits 2023
Special occasion menus
Themed tasting menus, Home by Nico
Six by Nico’s kit reflects the concept of the restaurants where tasting menu themes change every six weeks. We tasted a four-course Bangkok-themed menu. There is very little prep to do, just reheat a garlic-forward hot and sour tom yum soup with prawn dumplings. Roast the chicken legs of panang red curry while warming through its sauce of sweet potato, baby corn and pak choi, finished with a sprinkling of roasted peanut, crispy shallots and Thai herbs. Serve with sides of jasmine rice and crispy pork pad Thai, eaten cold, with a punchy prik nam pla (fish sauce) dressing. The swish brochure suggests dessert before cheese: cardamom and toasted coconut rice pudding, with little pots of delicious salted bean curd caramel and exotic fruit compote. And finally, delicious Dutch cheese Landana 500 with pineapple chutney and crackers (it’s not clear what the Bangkok connection is here). A bottle of picpoul-style wine is also included. A very smart kit for the price, we look forward to trying the Burgundy themed kit, including ham terrine, beef bourguignon, pommes boulangère and Langres Petit cheese.
£60 for two people, home-x.com (CH)
Haar at Home luxury lobster and crab box
MasterChef finalist Dean Banks has created this fine-dining kit, in which you’ll find a dressed crab, spicy mango slaw with a fermented chilli and black bean dressing, dressed lobster with mirin butter sauce, seaweed potatoes, seared seasonal greens and smoked mayonnaise.
More like this
From £69.95, haarathome.co.uk
Reacting to the ever-changing operational environment that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, Gary Usher, owner of the Elite Bistros group of restaurants (which includes the beloved Burnt Truffle and Hispi, located in the North West), launched Elite Bistros at Home during the summer of 2020. The pre-prepared restaurant kits come with a QR code that links to online recipe cards that show you how to finish off the dishes at home. Delivery is available nationwide, and the 16-item menu features classic Elite Bistros offerings, such as braised octopus and the signature eight-hour braised featherblade of beef. There’s free delivery for orders over £80, and bottles of wine can be ordered with the kit, starting at £12 for a bottle of vermentino white wine.
Menus from £45, from £45 (CH)
Great-value nights in
Phomo Vietnamese meal kits
If you fancy something nourishing but quick, give one of these easy-to-use kits a go. All of the broths are cooked for 16 hours for a deep aromatic flavour and are served with beef, chicken or prawn (or vegan), rice noodles, herbs, spring onion and chilli.
£9.95 per kit, phomouk.com
Make the most of the colder months by tucking into dishes from London’s best restaurants in the comfort of your own home – Dishpatch has plenty to choose from. We tried a Hereford beef pie from sophisticated East End pub, Marksman, in your own pie dish to keep, and serve with crunchy pressed potato stacks. Bookend your main with pop-in-the-oven curried lamb buns and indulgent salt toffee chocolate puddings for the ultimate winter night in. Other comfort food options include Sambal Shiok’s hearty, fragrant signature laksa, Smokestak’s BBQ beef brisket and a sharing-style Chinese feast from My Neighbours the Dumplings.
From £35 for two people, dishpatch.co.uk
Borough Market’s Israeli street-food outfit Shuk has several meal kit options to choose from, covering pita kits and babka deliveries. We tried the bountiful Weekender kit covering everything from Saturday brunch to a Sunday night feast. We opted for the lamb kit (there’s also a pescatarian option with fish tagine and lemon and ginger marinated sea bass) – start with a brunch of shakshuka with Cacklebean eggs and a plump, glossy challah loaf to toast, before moving on to pillowy pittas stuffed with spiced lamb meatballs (we swapped for delicious sabich pittas stuffed with roasted aubergines, boiled eggs and pickled cucumber) in the evening. The finale is a Sunday night spread of fall-apart 12-hour braised neck of lamb, hummus topped with slow-cooked beef brisket and veggie side dishes such as sweet potato topped with chilli yogurt. Accompanying all of this is an array of moreish condiments and sauces, from spicy zhoug and harissa oil to creamy amba tahini. Special mention should go to the delicious DIY chocolate, hazelnut and oat cookie babka, which was as moist and chocolaty as you could hope for.
Dishes are easy to put together – most involve simple heating through and assembly, aside from the lamb which required a 90-minute session in the oven, and the babka, which needed to be rolled out, plaited together and proved before baking. Everything comes with detailed instructions (the babka’s will also direct you to helpful videos on Shuk’s Instagram account), but our one tip would be to take a few minutes to divide all the ingredients by meal in your fridge as there a lot of different components. Intricate, vibrant and packed full of flavour – this is easy, fuss-free feasting.
From £35, shuk-london.myshopify.com
On The Table
A feel-good concept that delivers on flavour, each kit contains ingredients sourced from independent producers. The chicken kit contains a spice-rubbed, spatchcocked Fosse Meadows free-range bird, Natoora beetroot with labneh and capers, hasselback potatoes with ’nduja and stracciatella cheese, and Wye Valley salad. Some preparation is required (peeling and roasting the beets and slicing the potatoes) but this is easily done while sipping a glass of Dynamic Wines white rioja and nibbling on The Snapery Bakery sourdough. QR codes on each menu introduce you to the producers and the story behind your dinner via a recorded video. Please see images here and link to order here.
From £19 per person, from £19 (CH)
Go full USA at home with a Philadelphia-inspired feed. Fill a thick, sub-style roll with prime rib-eye steak, oozy cheese sauce and onions; gnaw on wings with tangy, spicy buffalo sauce and blue cheese dip; and don’t forget the deli-style hoagie sandwiches. The kits (from £19.99) are called LOVEbundles, and we can’t think of a better way to deliver some love and culinary comfort to friends, family and, of course, yourself.
From £19.99 for two people, passyunk.co.uk (JC)
Libertine has two outlets in the Midlands and has something of a cult following. Its home kit is far from average, featuring four beef patties made with flank, chuck and brisket with a deeply meaty flavour. Instructions are on the nice side of bossy, explaining exactly which order to load up each sesame seeded brioche bun with Heinz ketchup, French’s mustard, pickles (all provided) and iceberg lettuce. Cook burgers for four minutes on each side, add seasoning, American cheese slices, crispy bacon and boom. Dedicated burger flippers can supplement the kit with tools such as Hell’s Kitchen Grill Scarper (£25), also sold online.
£25 for four people, libertine-burger.myshopify.com (CH)
The River Café
Simple, seasonal, and a cinch to prepare. River Café is known for its excellent sourcing of high-quality Italian ingredients and this box set (we tried number six) doesn’t disappoint. Expect the best buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto di parma, Violetta artichokes, grissini and braised spinach for a mouth-watering starter. Super-thin tagliolini needs just three minutes max in boiling water, and is eaten simply with warmed-through, slow-cooked tomato sauce, with – transformatory! – a tablespoon of butter. Finish with cantucci almond biscuits – if you’d like to dip them in vin santo dessert wine (as they do in Tuscany), check out the wine tab in the online shop.
£100 for four people, from £100
Ping Coombes Malaysian recipe box
One of a series of boxes curated by expert cooks to deliver the most authentic experience, this kit has everything you need to make a Malaysian feast, and includes hard-to-find ingredients such as galangal and pandan.
From £32, thecookaway.com
Get involved with these generous Lebanese feasts. Assemble your own beautiful meze dishes to start – top silky hummus with sweet peppers and roast chickpeas, sprinkle pomegranate over smoky baba ghanoush, fry squeaky halloumi pieces in Turkish dried mint and pop spiced squash pumpkin kibbeh (Lebanese croquettes) in the oven to warm and crisp up. Diners are encouraged to enjoy this spread as a starter before moving onto mains – slow-cooked beef short rib in a spiced red pepper stew served with crunchy, toasted vermicelli noodles and fragrant rice. The feast is finished with a dinky plate of buttery baklava and a pack of mint leaves to brew a refreshing mint tea. 5% of sale proceeds from this box will be donated to Red Cross Lebanon to support the city by which it’s inspired.
From £25, arabicalondon.com (AC)
Aktar Islam’s Opheem restaurant in Birmingham was the first Indian restaurant outside London to be awarded a Michelin star, and now you can enjoy the creations of the former Great British Menu-winning chef in your own home for £60. Each week Aktar develops a menu of 10 dishes – more than enough for a banquet for four, several meals for two, or a whole week of dinners for one. The box we tried contained a spectacular sikandari raan (spice-marinated smoked leg of lamb), accompanied by an array of veggie curries and sides. The dishes come vac-packed, ready to cook, with a menu and step-by-step instructions. Great value.
£60 for two people, aktarathome.co.uk (KK)
Made in Oldstead boxes, The Black Swan
Chef Tommy Banks, of The Black Swan, is the man behind Made in Oldstead Food Boxes. Choose a standard or celebration box, and expect dishes such as beef wellington made with local salt-aged beef fillet. Locals can collect from either The Black Swan or sister restaurant Roots, and there’s also a national delivery service. Roots has reopened its doors with amended opening times, and The Black Swan plans to reopen in August.
From £54, from £54 (JC)
(CH) Christine Hayes
(JC) Jessica Carter
(AC) Alex Crossley
(HG) Hannah Guinness
(JR) Janine Ratcliffe
(KK) Keith Kendrick
(LG) Lulu Grimes
(LR) Lucy Roxburgh