Emily Teel is a freelance food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in Rachael Ray Everyday, Better Homes & Gardens, Wine & Spirits, The Kitchn, Sift Magazine, Serious Eats, Civil Eats, Edible DC Magazine, and more.
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Purchasing the perfect produce isn't always as simple as running to the grocery store. Whether you're looking for a rare ingredient not commonly found in your area, trying to combat food waste, or simply in need of higher-quality fruits and veggies, buying produce online is a convenient alternative. There are several sites that will deliver fresh fruits, veggies, and leafy greens of your dreams, directly to your doorstep.
Here, we found the best places to order produce online.
While some produce boxes offer little to no customization, Farmbox offers a streamlined platform with lots of options. Ashley Tyrner founded the company six years ago with the goal of offering a farmer’s market experience and quality to those unable to peruse neighborhood markets.
Choose only fruit, only veggies, or both. Produce box options include small (about 11 items, 15 pieces of produce), medium, and large (about 14 items, 46 pieces), with organic and non-organic options for each. Once you’ve decided on volume, you can choose to swap up to five items from that week’s offerings. Farmbox Direct also offers juicing boxes that offer higher volumes of fewer ingredients.
Think of a really well-stocked grocery store produce section. That’s what you get with Amazon Fresh or ordering fresh groceries through Amazon Prime Now. The two services are slightly different. Both are available to those with annual Prime subscriptions. Amazon Fresh offers more variety but is only available in specific metro areas and requires an additional monthly fee.
These fees aside, the product prices are comparable, if not lower, than those you’ll encounter in person at the grocery store. Another bonus? You can add pretty much any other grocery or household items you might need to your produce order.
The OG of mail-order fruit, Harry & David now offers a huge selection of gift boxes, flowers, chocolates, and other goodies, but the heart of its operation remains the most beautiful of pears, apricots, plums, and other Rogue Valley fruits. These are available as one-off orders or in the company’s signature fruit-of-the-month club subscription.
Recently, for the first time ever, the company has added vegetables to the lineup as well. Get a monthly treat in the form of the vegetable of the month club. September brings kabocha squash, February Chinese eggplant, and April purple artichokes. Think of these as special occasion vegetables, worthy centerpieces to seasonal meals.
New York-based FreshDirect was a grocery delivery pioneer. As a result, the company excels at it, a boon for Northeast and Midatlantic residents who live within the service area. The site offers grocery options ranging from the basic to the boutique.
The best thing about FreshDirect's produce section is that it offers all of the grocery store standards, including pre-cut options, but it also buys from specialty suppliers so one can find items that one might not otherwise find at a grocery store. This includes foraged morel mushrooms and even locally grown salad mixes from Gotham Greens. Want a mystery box challenge? You can buy a no-commitment farm share from an organic co-op.
Playful branding and a simple structure make Misfits Market a solid option if you're looking for fresh produce. The name comes from the company's focus on distributing “ugly” produce that might not meet a grocer’s standards of perfection, selling cosmetically imperfect but perfectly delicious organic produce at a discount, and fighting food waste in the process.
The company offers customizable boxes at a $30 minimum; you can choose any number of items each week from a list of produce, pantry staples, snacks, and even proteins. Shipping is $5.50 per delivery.
Note From the Editor
We love Misfits Market's mission and what it stands for, but keep in mind that the produce it ships isn't perfect.
Available in areas of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska, the experience of ordering from Washington-based Full Circle Farms is the most like that of being a CSA member, coupled with the convenience of home delivery. Like a farmer’s market, Full Circle Farms tells you the varietal names of the produce—not just carrots but Nantes carrots.
The company's organic vegetables and fruits come from the family farm and others in the Pacific Northwest. Most popular is the combination of fruits and vegetables in the “mixed fruit and veggie” box. The farm offers four tiers of quantity options and subscriptions for just organic fruit as well. Bonus? You can add dry goods, dairy, flowers, and other artisan grocery options to your order.
The Fruitguys started out as a way for businesses to supply workers with fresh, healthy snacks. Now, the certified B corporation also offers home delivery of both conventional and certified organic produce. It works with regional farms to source a variety of seasonal produce nationwide. Choose to receive fruit only, or a combination of both fruits and vegetables.
The simplest option is called “the basics” and includes staples like apples, oranges, onions, potatoes, and other things that form the foundation of many a meal plan. The Harvest is a more unusual option that features a mix of conventional and organic items, a direct reflection of what’s growing where you live at any given time.
If you’re the person who buys fresh fruit with the best of intentions and then reaches for crunchy snacks when you’re hungry, The Rotten Fruit Box needs to be on your subscription list. While most businesses on this list offer fresh fruits and vegetables, The Rotten Fruit Box sends out compostable snack packs of freeze-dried fruit instead. Shelf-stable for ages, the texture of these fruits is snappy and crunchy, more like that of a pretzel than a pear.
Imperfect Foods launched with the idea of reducing food waste by offering people a chance to buy fruits and vegetables that wouldn’t otherwise be considered saleable through the mainstream grocery system. An effort at fighting food waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Imperfect also offers lots of options for customization. Choose between organic or regular produce and then add shares of meat and seafood, dairy, and even dry goods.
We like Imperfect Foods for its widely available options, its reasonable prices, its policy of offering a 33 percent discount to eligible SNAP recipients, and its broad delivery footprint.
If you’ve ever had fancy microgreens or the tiniest of radishes on a restaurant plate, there’s a good chance you’ve already eaten a veggie or two from the Ohio-based Chef’s Garden.
The farm is associated with the Culinary Vegetable Institute and offers the same selection of produce for home delivery that professional chefs use in elegant restaurants nationwide. Primarily, this means delicate lettuces, colorful root vegetables, edible flowers, and aromatic microgreens.
A California-based farm share, Farm Fresh to You is the California sister to Full Circle Farms in the Pacific Northwest. It offers very similar options, including fruit-only and veggie-only boxes, as well as a “traditional CSA” box highlighting locally grown ingredients. Depending on the box style, Farm Fresh to You offers up to four quantity tiers.
One thing the company offers that no other service does is a “no cooking” box, a selection of fruit and vegetables that can either be eaten raw or with the most minimal of cooking. As with Full Circle Farms, shoppers can add dairy, dry goods, meat, seafood, and snack items to their orders.
The top spot goes to Farmbox Direct since it offers high-quality produce and allows you to tailor your order to your needs. However, if you're looking for a service that provides a little more than produce look no further than Imperfect Foods.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do You Look for When Buying Produce Online?
From finding rarer produce to choosing between organic and inorganic produce, many online retailers allow you to customize your order to your tastes. Beyond buying produce, some retailers also offer to add on other items traditionally found in a grocery store, which can be helpful if you don't want to make a separate trip.
Keep in mind an online grocer's delivery area as well as delivery times. Before selecting a company, make sure it will ship to your area and can deliver when you are home. Also note any additional delivery fees.
Coupons and Discounts
If you're looking to save money, check out the grocer's website and see if it offers coupons or discounts. A subscription box may also help you save money, depending on how frequently you plan to purchase your produce. Also, check to see if it's compatible with SNAP or other food assistance programs.
Privacy and Security
Always practice due diligence and make sure the online grocer is reputable and well-known before entering your bank and credit card information.
Food writer Emily Teel is a produce pro. A former CSA coordinator who spent three years running a farmstand, she was often the first city-dweller to taste the local strawberries besides the growers themselves. She orders produce regularly for testing recipes at home, especially specialty items that regular grocery stores don’t reliably carry.