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We all know the old adage: The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. And most of us would agree it’s true.
Food is more than sustenance — it’s nostalgia, comfort, a common denominator in a world of difference. A bite of a tender lobster roll transports you back to childhood summers spent in Maine. The chewiness of a New York bagel beckons memories of lazy Sunday morning rituals from when you lived in the city. A whiff of a hot, gooey, cheesesteak will always be associated with cheering on the Phillies at baseball games with Dad.
As we pack up and move on with our lives, we’ll continue to crave these nostalgic bites. Whatever the connection, wouldn’t it be lovely if you could experience your favorite meals from local, regional eateries no matter where you are?
It’s an online marketplace offering up some of the best bites from iconic food establishments all around the United States — and it’s the ultimate gift for food lovers, or honestly, yourself.
What Goldbelly offers
Every region has its own delicacies — Philly cheesesteaks, New York bagels, Kansas City barbecue — and Goldbelly is on a mission to make these local foods available to everyone, regardless of location.
Goldbelly partners with famous food purveyors and eateries all over the country — like Magnolia Bakery, Lou Malnati’s, and Pat LaFrieda —and helps deliver some of their most popular dishes to hungry consumers nationwide. You can find everything from wood-fired pizza to saucy pulled pork and ribs.
There are also meal kits and monthly subscriptions for different types of foods like pizza or bagels, as well as subscriptions to foods from different cities. All proceeds from a City Subscription goes toward delivering Goldbelly care packages to healthcare heroes across the nation.
How Goldbelly works
Head over to Goldbelly and you’ll be met with a page filled with drool-worthy pictures of delicious eats from all over the country. Goldbelly helps you find what you’re looking for in a variety of ways. Choose by category of food, what’s popular at the moment, iconic shops, or check out one of Goldbelly’s curated gift guides.
Once you find what you’re looking for, it’s just like ordering anything else online. There is also an option to add a gift message and recipient information, which makes Goldbelly packages extra giftable. Shipping time and price is dependent on the product and where it’s coming from. Since Goldbelly works with independent vendors, it’s understandable that shipping would be varied.
Review of Goldbelly
We’ve tested Goldbelly on several occasions, here are our experiences.
Remi Rosmarin, reporter: “After visiting a friend in Seattle in July last year, I was looking for the perfect thank-you-for-hosting-me gift.
Of course, there are always flowers, candles, and edible arrangements, but nothing felt personal enough for a friend who had gone out of her way to plan a wonderful weekend on the West Coast. As coincidence would have it, I came across Goldbelly the day after I returned. While in Seattle, my friend had mentioned her only real complaint about the city was that there are no good bagels (sorry, Seattle), so I figured, why not send them?
I perused Goldbelly’s curated guide to “Best Gifts from NYC”, knowing there had to be some great bagels inside. I landed on a package from Ess-a-Bagel — a New York institution and a personal favorite — which included enough bagels and fixings for six. The box cost $85 for six bagels, a 1/2 pound nova lox, and a 1/2 pound of any type of cream cheese. You can also add more cream cheese, lox, and even add more spreads for an added price. I ordered it on Tuesday morning and it was delivered to my friend’s doorstep the next day on Wednesday afternoon.
While I was able to test this service for free, when it comes down to it, it’s clear that Goldbelly provides a pretty good value. A typical nova bagel sandwich at Ess-a-Bagel costs $13.25, but the Goldbelly price isn’t much higher, clocking each bagel and lox combo in at just about $14.20. Of course, there is also a delivery fee to consider, and you may get a heavier helping of lox and schmear at Ess-a-Bagel, but that’s beside the point. The point is, this delivery brought serious smiles to an East Coast transplant who had a hankering from some New York bagels, and for that, I’d definitely gift it again.”
Jada Wong/Business Insider
Jada Wong, senior editor: “Goldbelly is great when you’re missing certain foods or want to deliver a special treat for someone’s birthday. It’s a delicious and practical gift for yourself or someone else.
So far, I’ve ordered fresh Maine lobster meat for homemade-ish lobster rolls from McLoon’s Lobster Shack and deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s when my husband and I were craving dishes we’d miss on some canceled trips, and cupcakes from Carousel Cakes for my dad’s birthday.
Prices are comparable to if you’d gone to the restaurants, though they seem pricey up first because items are usually in bundles and packs. You can’t just order one pizza, you have to order a pack of two or four.
The lobster meat prices were similar to online grocery store prices, but with the added benefit that the meat was fresh from Maine. We ordered two pounds of lobster meat and that was enough to make six rolls with generous piles of meat. If you get a 4-pack of deep-dish pizzas at Lou Malnati’s through Goldbelly for $95.99, each one comes out to $23.99 instead of the $22.40 they’d usually cost at the restaurant. These prices don’t include tax or shipping of course, but those won’t nearly be as expensive as a flight to Chicago or Maine.
All the orders arrived safely in padded styrofoam boxes, and in the case of the lobster and pizza, in boxes surrounded by ice packs so they were still fresh. There were easy-to-follow prep and cooking instructions for the lobster and deep-dish pizza, and the results were delicious.”
The bottom line
Nowadays, we’re comfortable with buying so many items online. If you can buy a mattress and have it delivered to your door, why shouldn’t you be able to do the same with pastrami sandwiches and clam chowder?
Goldbelly has definitely filled a niche for food-lovers everywhere. While there’s nothing like eating the real deal in person, Goldbelly can get you pretty darn close.