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We’re lucky to live in the era of meal delivery service. You can choose between meal kits that you still cook from scratch and prepped meals that you simply heat and eat. Besides being convenient, it’s also fun to try foods and flavors you might not otherwise eat, and there’s a meal system to match every dietary need and preference you can imagine. 

518 Kitchen delivers chef-created, keto meals that can be stashed in your freezer for when you’re low on groceries or not in the mood to cook. For this 518 Kitchen meal review, GGR Senior Director of Fitness Content Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, took on the significant task of trying out 518 Kitchen to answer all your pressing questions before giving this meal delivery service a try.

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider. GGR also recommends choosing a product that has been third-party tested for quality.

We’ve Got A Taste for Honest Expert Reviews

You’ve got lots of options when it comes to meal delivery services, and we don’t want you to waste your time or money on subpar food. To date, GGR has reviewed over 40 meal delivery services to help you find the best match.

Our meal service testers include GGR staffers, most of whom are also fitness and nutrition experts, including certified personal trainers, registered dietitians, and certified coaches. Besides taste testing, our experts weigh in on nutrition, ingredient quality, food options, and the ability to customize meal services for various dietary needs and preferences.

518 Kitchen

518 Kitchen

GGR Score: 4.25 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Individually packaged frozen meals
  • Suits low-carb and keto lifestyles 
  • Reheat in the microwave or oven
  • Gluten-free

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Entire menu is gluten-free
  • BPA-free plastic tray packaging
  • Plastic film is microwave and oven-safe
  • Flash-frozen to preserve freshness
  • No subscription plans, order at your convenience

Cons

  • No app, website ordering only
  • Minimum order is $75
  • No package deals, meals are priced individually

Bottom Line

518 Kitchen delivers low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free meals right to your door. While there is a minimum order amount of $75, there are no subscription models and you can order food whenever you like. The company is based in the Adirondack mountain region of New York and is committed to utilizing local produce and responsibility sourced proteins.

A Quick Look at 518 Kitchen

518 Kitchen is a keto meal delivery service based in upstate New York. They ship low-carb and keto frozen meals to your door that are ready to eat in under five minutes. 

RELATED: Best Frozen Meal Delivery

The standout feature of 518 Kitchen is the à la carte ordering and pricing structure. You have complete control over how many and which meals you receive in each shipment, making it easy to customize to your needs. 

For example, if you don’t have time to prepare breakfast most days but enjoy cooking dinner, you could order all breakfast entrees. 

Before You Buy

  • You’ll need to clear some freezer space, since all menu items ship frozen and need to be stored frozen.
  • The menu is 100% gluten-free.
  • Meals can be nuked or baked.
  • Plant-based, dairy-free, and nut-free options are limited.

Is 518 Kitchen Worth It?

Whether 518 Kitchen is worth it depends on your food budget and what you’re looking for. 

Low-carb and keto dishes often contain a lot of dairy and animal-based proteins, which are considerably more expensive than whole grains, legumes, and produce. 

A pesto chicken meal is shown from the 518 Kitchen meal delivery service.

Items range from $8 to $16, and most are a single serving, so it can get expensive if you’re looking for family-friendly meals.

RELATED: Best Meal Delivery Service for Families

Great for:

  • People who follow a keto lifestyle
  • Singles or households where you’re the only one eating low-carb or keto 
  • People who want to keep easy, low-carb meals on hand for occasional use
  • Folks who don’t have a lot of time for meal prep and cooking

Not recommended for:

  • Families
  • People who like to cook
  • Anyone with dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, and individuals with food allergies

518 Kitchen Specs

Price per meal$7.49 to $15.99
Meals per weekÀ la carte, with no minimum or maximum number of meals per week.
Meal kit or preparedPrepared
Diet optionsKeto, low-carb
Fresh or frozenFrozen
Delivery area Contiguous U.S., Alaska and Hawaii cost extra 

Experience Using 518 Kitchen

Kate Meier, GGR’s senior director of fitness content, tested 518 Kitchen. She says, “As far as frozen meals go, these are a really good option, but only if you’re committed to a low-carb meal. You could always add your own carbs if you want, but that could get pricey.”

Price Per Meal

Menu items are individually priced from $7.49 to $15.99, with most meals in the $10 to $15 range. The meals are single servings, so that’s pretty pricey. On the other hand, 518 Kitchen snacks and sides contain several portions, bringing the cost per serving down for those items. 

A steak and chili meal is shown from the 518 Kitchen meal delivery service.

Other meal delivery services offer savings with the more meals you purchase, but because everything is a la carte with 518. According to the GGR testing methodology for meal services, meals need to cost under $10 to earn 4 points or more in this category, so Kate gave 518 Kitchen 3 out of 5 points for pricing.

518 Kitchen Meal Preparation

518 Kitchen meals require basically zero prep work. Food should arrive frozen and be stored in the freezer until ready to heat. Meals are packed in BPA-free plastic trays covered with plastic film. All you have to do is remove the tray from the cardboard sleeve, pop it in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes, and then remove the plastic film to dig in. 

You can also heat meals in the oven, but you’ll need to remove the plastic film first and let your food bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Microwave and oven reheating instructions are provided on the packaging.

Taste, Ingredient Quality, and Portion Size

Our tester, Kate, gave the meals she tried 4 out of 5 stars for taste and ingredient quality and 5 out of 5 for portion size. 518 meals are made with whole foods, like chicken breast, steak, eggs, parmesan cheese, and non-starchy vegetables. They use premium proteins, including grass-fed meat and cage-free eggs, and are free from artificial ingredients.

Short ribs from 518 Kitchen

Kate tried the steak chili, chicken pesto, egg bites, a fajita bowl, short ribs, and a cauliflower meal. She enjoyed everything, with the exception of the vegetables and egg bites. “The vegetables got soggy, as frozen vegetables often do,” Kate says. “The egg bites were so salty, I literally couldn’t eat them. Neither could my partner. We had to throw it out.” 

RELATED: High-Protein Vegetables

Kate’s meals ranged 600 to 800 calories apiece, and because most options are high in fat, they should be plenty filling for most people. Kate found the portions were just right—not so big that she couldn’t finish them and not so small that she was left hungry. However, that may not be the case for the full 518 Kitchen menu.

518 meals range widely in calories. Some meals contain as few as 250 calories, which may work as a small meal/large snack or quick post-workout meal but won’t be enough for a filling entree. Of course, 518 also offers side dishes you could pair with some of the lower calorie meals for extra nutrition and staying power.

Meal Plans and Customization

The 518 menu offers several cuisines and enough variety to keep you from getting bored—for a while, at least. We noticed many menu items are often labeled out of stock, which limits your choices. Overall, Kate gave them a 4 out of 5 for variety.

There are no meal plans and no way to customize meals. Instead, you can filter the menu by the following dietary restrictions:

  • Vegetarian
  • Dairy-free
  • Nut-free
  • Pork-free
  • Keto
  • Keto-friendly
  • Low-carb

Dairy-free, nut-free, and vegetarian options are extremely limited, since low-carb and keto food features lots of animal protein and high-fat ingredients, like cream, cheese, and nuts.

With traditional keto diets1, you typically eat 55% to 60% calories from fat, 30% to 35% from protein, and 10% or fewer from carbohydrates. 518 meals range from 50% to 80% calories from fat and 5 to 20 grams of net carbs.

To be sure the meals you want fit your calorie and macro goals, you’ll want to double check the nutrition facts before ordering. You’ll find nutrition information and macro breakdown for each menu item on the 518 Kitchen website and on the meal packaging.

Ordering, Packaging, and Shipping 

Ordering is as simple as browsing the menu and adding the meals you want to your cart. Because everything is à la carte, there are no plans to filter through and you don’t have to commit to a certain number of meals per shipment. However, there is an order minimum of $75, which equates to roughly 5 to 8 lunches and dinners. 

Looking into a freshly opened package of goodies from the 518 Kitchen meal delivery service.

Your food ships frozen in an insulated box with dry ice. Kate’s meals were still frozen when she unpacked the box despite sitting on her porch on a hot and humid day. “It was 90+ degrees when they were dropped off, and they were probably outside an hour before I got to them,” she says. All shipping and meal packaging—except for the plastic film on meal trays—is recyclable.

518 Kitchen left us with no complaints in this department, earning 5 out of 5 points for ordering, packaging, and shipping.

518 Kitchen vs Factor Meals 

Factor Meals

Factor75

GGR Score: 4.03 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Heat-and-eat meals that are delivered weekly
  • Five menu plans, including calorie-controlled and keto
  • Can mix and match from different menu plans for more variety
  • New menus drop weekly
  • Can order up to 18 meals per week

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Not restricted to one specific diet plan
  • Meals arrive fresh and ready to heat
  • Offers options for different dietary preferences
  • Can cancel or skip a delivery anytime

Cons

  • No options for customization
  • No personalized plans for weight loss

Bottom Line

Factor75 is a heat-and-eat delivery service that works well for those on specialized diets. Boxes are delivered weekly, and you can mix and match from different menu plans to maximize your menu variety.

Factor is another done-for-you meal delivery service that seems to be everywhere these days. We tested Factor meals, scoring it 4.03 out of 5 vs 4.25 out of 5 for 518 Kitchen. 

Unlike 518, Factor meals arrive fresh and should be eaten within 7 days, while 518 meals can last 6 months in the freezer. Factor meals can be prepped in minutes in the microwave, but we found they tasted better heated on the stovetop.

Factor is not strictly low-carb, but they have a keto meal plan. They also offer high protein, low-calorie, and plant-based meal plans, plus add-ons, like smoothies, side dishes, and desserts. The meal plan you select dictates the menu options available to you.

Another big difference: Factor meals ship weekly and you have to commit to a certain number of meals per week. They’re also pricier. The smallest box contains 4 meals and costs $75 and the largest contains 36 meals and costs $400.

For more information, read our full Factor Meals review.

518 KitchenFactor
Price per meal$7.49 to $15.99$74.95 for 4 meals/week (lowest option) = $18.70 per meal
Meals per weekÀ la carte, with no minimum or maximum number of meals per week.4-36 meals per box
Meal kit or preparedPreparedPrepared
Diet optionsKeto, low-carbChef’s Choice, Protein Plus, Vegan & Veggie, Calorie Smart, Keto
Fresh or frozenFrozenFresh
Delivery area Contiguous U.S., Alaska and Hawaii cost extra Nationwide except Alaska and Hawaii 

Customer Experience 

The 518 Kitchen website could use some updating, as there’s no way to make changes to orders directly from your account. Orders can be changed or canceled within 24 hours, but you have to email to customer service to do so. 

Customer service is decent, although somewhat delayed. One of the meal’s Kate ordered (Mac & Cheese Meatloaf) ended up being refunded after placing her order. She received a customer service email with the notification, but they didn’t provide a reason. “I assume it was out of stock,” she says. “I didn’t get the note until after the other food had been delivered.”

Customer Reviews

The food and customer service has earned a 4.5 out of 5 star rating based on over 2000 customer reviews on the 518 Kitchen website. Customers say portions are plenty, shipping is fast, and (most importantly) the food tastes great. The only negative reviews came from people who didn’t care for some of the menu items they tried, which is a matter of personal preference.

One customer wrote, “I have used other keto meal delivery services and this is one of the best with diverse meal profiles that aren’t always available on other sites.” Others choose 518 for the à la carte flexibility. “I like that I don’t have to keep up with a subscription,” wrote another customer.

Final Verdict of Our 518 Kitchen Review

518 Kitchen is a good meal delivery option if you’re following a low-carb or keto diet. If you’re not strictly low-carb and want meals with pasta, rice, and potatoes, 518 isn’t right for you.

RELATED: Best Low-Carb Meal Delivery

We think this service is ideal if you want to keep a stash of readymade meals on hand for convenience. It could also be useful for jumpstarting a new low-carb or keto diet for a few weeks. We don’t see this as a long-term solution as eating pre-made meals every day is costly, and most people quickly grow bored with limited meal options. 

518 Kitchen Full Rating

518 Kitchen

518 Kitchen delivers low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free meals right to your door. While there is a minimum order amount of $75, there are no subscription models and you can order food whenever you like. The company is based in the Adirondack mountain region of New York and is committed to utilizing local produce and responsibility sourced proteins.

Product Brand: 518 Kitchen

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 15.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.25

518 Kitchen Rating

Price Per Meal – 3
Ordering – 5
Taste – 4
Ease of Preparation – 5
Portion size – 5
Ingredient quality – 4
Variety – 4
Meal plans and customization – 4
Access to nutritional info – 5
Packaging and shipping – 5
Sustainability efforts – 3
Customer reviews – 4.4
Customer service – 4
Buy Now

518 Kitchen FAQs

How does 518 Kitchen work?

518 Kitchen is an à la carte meal delivery service, which means you can select as many or as few meals per shipment as you want. However, there is a $75 minimum per order. You also have complete control over which menu items go in each shipment. 

What kind of food is on the 518 Kitchen meal menu?

The 518 Kitchen menu strictly features low-carb and keto meals, so meals that are high in fat and low in carbs, with moderate amounts of protein. You can expect meat-based meals in creamy or cheesy sauces with non-starchy vegetables and no grains. Sample meals include Bacon Quiche and Buffalo Chicken with Broccoli.

How much does each 518 Kitchen meal cost?

518 Kitchen meals are individually priced and range from $7.49 to $15.99. Breakfast options range from $8 to $10, and most dinner entrees range from $10 to $15.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

  1. Masood W, Annamaraju P, Khan Suheb MZ, et al. Ketogenic Diet. [Updated 2023 Jun 16]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-.

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