Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

We all know the old adage: The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. 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?

Enter: Goldbelly.

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.

What Goldbelly does

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 Pat’s Cheesesteak, Prince Street Pizza, and Pat LaFrieda—and helps them deliver some of their most popular dishes to hungry consumers nationwide. You can find everything from fresh Georgia peaches to saucy pulled pork and ribs.

How Goldbelly works

Head over to Goldbelly and you’ll be met with a homepage 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 to peruse by category of food, what’s popular at the moment, iconic shops, or check out one of Goldbelly’s curated gift guides.

The Goldbelly homepage makes finding gourmet food gifts easy,

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.

My experience

After coming back from a trip visiting a friend in Seattle, 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?

Fresh bagels from Ess-a-Bagel.

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 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 got to try this service for free to review it, 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 besides 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.

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 foodies everywhere. While there’s nothing like eating the real deal in person, Goldbelly can get you pretty darn close.

Order gourmet food gifts from Goldbelly, here

Source link