Clean, healthful, nourishing foods
Great for special diets
Positive brand messaging about how food is healing
Some items are not very filling
Not geared toward families
High order minimum outside of California
Urban Remedy is a meal and beverage service dedicated to creating clean and nourishing food. Founded in 2009 by Neka Pasquale—a northern California acupuncturist and herbal medicine practitioner who believes in the power and philosophy that “food is healing”—Urban Remedy carefully crafts healthful, anti-inflammatory meals, foods, and beverages.
Curious to try the service and gain insight into Urban Remedy, we enlisted a tasting panel to test out several food and meal offerings. Read on to see what we discovered.
How It Works: Choose From a Variety of Foods and Beverages
Urban Remedy offers meals, beverages, meals plans, and cleanses that are all available without a subscription. The online food service reminds us of a modern and trendy health food boutique, which makes sense as the company does have brick-and-mortar stores throughout northern and southern California. Think vegan cheeseburger wraps, plant-based protein bars, turmeric shots, superfoods soups, and gluten-, dairy-, and grain-free desserts. High-end and expensive cleanses and meal plans are also offered as are other home goods, such as pink mineral salt, an Urban Remedy four-day cleanse book, and resources for general wellness and fertility.
Choosing Meals: Many Options Plus Snacks and Beverages
To select your choices on the homepage, you can search by foods, which include meals, soups, bars, snacks, and desserts. You can also select beverages, which consist of cold-pressed juices, meal replacements, nut milk, coffees and teas, and wellness shots. Meal plans and cleanses are also offered, including a Kate Upton 12-week meal plan for $230 a week and a Cindy Crawford’s essential three-day meal cleanse for $165.
You may also search for foods via your own personal needs: Keto Friendly, Metabolism Reset, Skin, Digestion Ease, Immune Boost, Chronic Illness, Food Allergy, Weight Loss, Wedding Ready, Energy Boost, and Post-Baby.
Selecting foods is very simple, as each food item has an add and subtract function below the item image and the shopping cart automatically populates with a pop-up in the upper right-hand corner, making it easy to see what you have in your cart.
When you click on the food icon, you are redirected to a dedicated page that has a large colorful photo, information about the dish, nutrition facts, ingredients, and customer reviews.
It’s important to note that if you live outside of California, you must have a minimum order of $95 to meet shipping requirements. Once you meet that minimum, shipping is automatically included in that figure.
What We Made
In order to gain a true understanding of Urban Remedy, we selected from the entire site to include a variety of foods offered. Here is what we ordered for our testing week:
- Summer rolls
- Soba noodle with sesame almond sauce
- The vegan Caesar
- Upbeet vegan cheeseburger wrap
- Green goddess
- Dahli-flower soup
Since we had to reach a minimum order of $95, so we added some additional foods to reach the shipping requirement, but those items are not included in our review.
Support Materials: 'Food is Healing'
Our delivery box included a packing slip and a very colorful oversized postcard with a note featuring the tagline “Food is Healing” and a positive message about how Urban Remedy is made with love in California and that food is meant to heal. The card further explains that all the food Urban Remedy makes is organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and locally sourced. It also claims the packaging is recycled and recyclable.
Each meal is individually wrapped with a paper sleeve, which outlines how to consume the food, a full list of ingredients, and a nutritional breakdown. There is a note on the salads explaining that some of the dressings can harden during shipping, so running some hot water over the dressing container can help liquefy the contents. We thought this attention to detail was very nice. A “food is healing” message is also printed on the paper sleeves, explaining Neka’s vision behind Urban Remedy.
Packaging: Lots of Plastic but All Recyclable
Within the cardboard delivery box was a “VeriCool” insulated liner with directions to remove the outer plastic layer and recycle. The inner layer can be composted or even broken down in the sink under running water. There were also several large green plastic air pillows that can be recycled. A link to the Urban Remedy recycle page was found on the air pillows, which we appreciated. We found nine “Cold Ice” ice packs that can be reused or the outer plastic wrapping can be recycled.
The food itself came in recyclable plastic containers or wrappers with paper sleeves containing the brand logo, the name of the dish, a description, ingredients, and full nutritional details. Icons to indicate dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and USDA organic were also included on the paper wrappers. The plastic films over each meal can also be re-pressed around the edges if you want to save the rest of your meal or snack for later.
One of our meals, the vegan Caesar, arrived in the following packaging: plastic meal container with plastic film, a paper sleeve, and three different plastic containers holding the various toppings.
The Cooking Process: Mostly Fridge-Ready
Nearly all of our meals were prepped and prepared to be eaten cold, with the exception of the Dahli-flower soup. The instructions on the package outlined to simmer the soup in the saucepan over medium heat until the temperature reaches 165 degrees. There were also instructions to microwave the soup once you remove the lid, on high for 1 to 2 minutes. We decided to heat the soup up on the stovetop, which heated up in just a few moments.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Fresh and High-Quality Ingredients
We loved all of the vibrant colors of the foods. For the green goddess, we were struck with how green the dressing was and the bountiful rainbow array of vegetables: romaine, fennel, beets, carrots, and radishes. The dressing had a nice tang with hints of tarragon, and the vegetables were fresh and cruciferous.
The upbeet vegan cheeseburger wrap was fresh and full of vegetables, but we wished there was a dipping sauce as the wrap was a bit dry and we also didn’t think the turmeric pickle came through. We also wouldn’t compare this beet-patty to a cheeseburger by any means, but we did like how the dish stayed intact as the collard green wrap was also wrapped in rice paper so the sandwich was quite compact and easy to eat. There was also a nice cumin flavor in the vegetable patty.
The summer rolls were also packed with vegetables, but we found the rice paper to be a little tough and hard to bite into and chew. The sauce was on the thinner side though it had a nice gingery kick, but ended up being a bit overpowering over the roll itself. We thought a peanut dipping sauce would have worked in lieu of the jalapeno-ginger sauce.
We enjoyed the soba noodles dish, which was piled high with shredded vegetables and buckwheat soba noodles and had a creamy almond butter sauce. This was probably one of the most filling dishes we consumed. We loved the texture of this dish with the crunchy vegetables, black sesame seeds, and soft noodles. The sauce had a nice consistency and was reminiscent of a peanut satay sauce. We only wished there was more of it for the vegetables and noodles.
We were a little skeptical of the vegan Caesar, as we love traditional Caesar salads, especially the brine of anchovies and the salty parmesan, which don’t fall into a vegan diet. As we tasted a vegan version, there were parts that worked and other parts we thought needed improvement. First of all, we liked the mix of hearty kale and crunchy romaine lettuce. The dressing was very thick with almost a hummus-like consistency. It had a tart taste on its own, but it was sadly missing the anchovy that we know and love. However, the capers did add a bit of brininess; we only wished there was more. We didn’t think the chickpeas were necessary and wished they were crispier. Our favorite part of the meal was the sesame-sunflower crunch, which added a salty-trying-to-be-cheesy texture. While we wouldn’t call this salad a perfect replacement for a traditional Caesar, we did enjoy the salad with all of the components.
We thought the Dahli-flower soup was quite aromatic. Composed of cauliflower and tomato, and flavored with lemon, cumin, and cayenne, the soup was very bright, but the lemon and cayenne were a bit overpowering. The soup reminded us of something we’d supplement if we were doing a juice cleanse, which makes sense as Urban Remedy creates and sells a variety of detox cleanses. After consuming, we were hungry immediately afterward. Again, we wouldn’t think of this soup as a meal, but rather a light snack.
While we found the meals to be bright and healthy, the participants in our tasting panel occasionally felt hungry after our meals or snacks.
Nutritional Value: Clean and Healthful
Urban Remedy prides itself on creating gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free foods and beverages. Our meals were full of vegetables, and healing foods. The food was all very clean and featured low calories, high fiber and protein, and zero cholesterol. A few dishes seemed to have high carbohydrates (62 grams) and sugar (18 grams) like the upbeet vegan cheeseburger wrap, but we thought the 10 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein helped balance out the high carbs and sugar.
The nutritional breakdown is found on each paper sleeve and Urban Remedy includes the breakdown for the main entree as well as the main entree with the sauce. For instance, the summer rolls included facts for the two rolls with the jalapeno ginger sauce as well as the rolls without the sauce.
Here is a breakdown of everything we tasted:
- Summer rolls: 180 calories, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 39g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 9g sugar, 3g protein, 0mg cholesterol, 830mg sodium
- Soba noodle with sesame almond sauce: 540 calories, 39g fat, 5g saturated fat, 42g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 13g sugar, 11g protein, 0mg cholesterol, 340mg sodium
- The vegan Caesar: 520 calories, 39g fat, 6g saturated fat, 31g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 6g sugar, 18g protein, 0mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium
- Upbeet vegan cheeseburger wrap: 400 calories, 13g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 62g carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 18g sugar, 11g protein, 0mg cholesterol, 1240mg sodium
- Green goddess salad: 200 calories, 17g fat, 3g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 5g sugar, 3g protein, 0mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium
- Dahli-flower soup: 100 calories, 6g fat, 1g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 5g sugar, 3g protein, 0mg cholesterol, 930mg sodium
Urban Remedy Is Good For
Urban Remedy is good for individuals seeking a strict anti-inflammatory diet and who want to eat clean, low-calorie foods or cleanses.
The food was all very clean and featured low calories, high fiber and protein, and zero cholesterol.
Urban Remedy Is Not Good For
Urban Remedy is not good or geared toward families or individuals who crave heartier, non-vegetarian food, or for adults who are budget-conscious.
Add-ons: Everything Is a La Carte
Since the service is all a la carte, there are no formal add-ons, but here are a few extras you could order: two organic pasture-raised hard-boiled peeled eggs for $3.50; 3 ounces of free-range organic chicken breast for $6.99; 16 ounces of almond maca nut milk for $11.99; 16 ounces of cold brew energy drink with lion’s mane and reishi for $7.99; a six-pack of a two-ounce package of booster shots for $24; and pomodoro soup for $8.99.
Customer Service: Quick and Detailed Live Chat
Urban Remedy has an online contact form, phone, email, and live chat options for customer service. To utilize the live chat, you must first fill out your first name and email. Then, a new pop-up appears stating that live chat may take up to 15 minutes to respond. We had a response from a live person within 30 seconds. An option to receive push notifications from your customer service representative also appears, which is helpful, especially if you happen to step away from your computer or mobile device. The chat feature also allows you to send an image or use an emoji if you’re feeling creative.
Making Changes and Canceling: Done Online
You have an option to create an account for faster checkout or check out as a guest. You also have a choice of a few shipping dates, which are calculated via your ZIP code, once you meet the $95 minimum order. If you do create an account, you can access your order history and update billing and address information.
The Competition: Urban Remedy vs. Territory Foods
Both Urban Remedy and Territory Foods are dedicated to clean and healthy eating. Urban Remedy is more of an off-shoot from its brick-and-mortar health food store, delivering salads, light snacks, and beverages, whereas Territory Foods is a company that creates healthful foods that are a bit more filling; its meals are made in kitchens regionally and only delivered to nearby delivery hubs. We would reach for Urban Remedy for a snack and order from Territory Foods for our weeknight dinners.
Urban Remedy’s foods and beverages are clean and nutritious, and the brand’s strong messaging about how food is healing comes through well. But we found the foods we tasted and tested to be more appropriate as snacks or light bites, such as something that you may reach for to refuel after a yoga class rather than a filling weeknight dinner after a long day of work.
We spent numerous hours looking through 48 meal delivery services’ websites, ordered meals and cooked them at home, photographed the process, spoke with customer service representatives from the companies, filled out detailed surveys about each company and their meals, and wrote in-depth reviews and comparison articles. Our expert panel includes dieticians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
The criteria we used to evaluate each company included:
- The ordering process
- Meal selection
- Packaging and support materials
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service
- Product Name Urban Remedy
- Lowest Price per Serving $8.99
- Number of Diets Served 3
- Number of Recipes 10
- Delivery Area 50 states
- Serving Sizes Available 1