Kitchen & Cooking

This food delivery service cured my holiday homesickness

We ordered from Goldbelly to see if it was worth the hype.

Goldbelly delivers food from your favorite restaurants across the country. Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

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This weekend, I heard someone refer to taking a “gap year” for the 2020 holidays. I like this phrasing because it reminds me that this is one single year in the grand scheme of things. However, it doesn’t fully erase the homesickness I started feeling in the pit of my stomach back in early November.

Who was going to remind my mom and stepdad it was time to light the menorah on the first night of Hanukkah? What would become of all those Christmas lights I usually help my dad string on the trees in his front yard? And most importantly: How could I ever replace the feeling of being in my home state of Georgia for the holiday season? Enter: Goldbelly, the food delivery service lets you order dishes from your favorite restaurants across the U.S.

I ordered from two of my favorite restaurants in Georgia via the Goldbelly website to see if this brand could deliver the comfort and nostalgia it promises.

What is Goldbelly?

antico packaging
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

If your Goldbelly order is shipped frozen, it will arrive with ice packs or dry ice.

Founded by Joe Ariel in 2013, Goldbelly is a food delivery service connecting consumers to their favorite restaurants across the country. The Goldbelly website, what they call the “online marketplace,” features small, artisanal producers alongside larger, sometimes local chains. The Goldbelly staff curates items from bakeries, delis, restaurants, and more, some of which ship ready-to-eat treats while others deliver deconstructed dishes with minimal preparation required.

How does it work?

the grey
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

Restaurants package and ship their own food, so your order may contain extra branded swag like mine did.

Goldbelly has lots of ways to check out its offerings—browse by restaurant, chef, holiday, region, city, or meal kit (available from select restaurants and chefs). To order, you’ll need to create an account on the Goldbelly website and enter your shipping and payment information.

Products on Goldbelly are prepared by and shipped directly from the restaurant, which means if you’re lucky you’ll get some branded swag from your chosen eatery (think: stickers, matchbooks, and the like). Each restaurant also includes instructions so you’ll know exactly how to enjoy your goodies. If the food you order is frozen, your order will be packed with dry ice or ice packs, depending on the vendor.

Unlike other restaurant food delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats, Goldbelly is not on-demand. Your items ship within a few days of ordering and you’ll receive tracking information via email.

If you’re ordering Goldbelly as a gift (the Care Packages make great last minute holiday presents!), simply select your edible items then at checkout you’ll enter the recipient’s address, an optional gift message, and pick a delivery date. The same details apply if you’re ordering for yourself.

What I ordered

pizza
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

Antico's frozen pizza from Goldbelly tasted almost exactly like it does fresh from the restaurant.

I’m from Atlanta, which means I’ve also spent a great deal of time vacationing in the coastal Georgia oases of Savannah and Tybee Island. So, when I spotted two of my favorite Georgia restaurants—Antico Pizza Napoletana (Atlanta) and The Grey (Savannah)—on the Goldbelly site, I knew immediately what I was ordering.

The original Antico PIzza is a counter-service, brick-oven pizzeria located in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood, about a 15-minute drive from my mom’s house. This restaurant is family-owned and operated, which is reflected in the huge family-style tables that fill the dining room and self-serve containers of hot peppers in oil (a true delicacy, if you’ve never had them). I ordered the Antico Pizza Napoletano Best Seller - 4 Pack ($119), which includes two of their classic Margherita pizzas topped with San Marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, basil, and garlic and two San Gennaro pizza topped with Salsiccia, sweet pepper, and Mozzarella di Bufala.

cookies
Credit: Reviewed / Madison Trapkin

The cookies from The Grey tasted fresh-baked.

The Grey is hands-down the best and coolest food thing happening in Savannah, Georgia. Award-winning chef Mashama Bailey has made sure to pack their menus with Southern-inspired dishes, heavily influenced by the late Edna Lewis, a renowned American chef and champion of Southern cooking.

Bailey has built an incredible pastry program within The Grey and The Grey Market, a bodega-inspired part deli, part convenience store also located in Savannah. Conveniently, I have a huge sweet tooth, so I ordered The Grey’s Tin of Chocolate Cookies ($62).

Is it worth it?

I’m not joking when I say I almost started crying when I bit into the Antico pizza. Childhood memories flooded my brain as I chewed that first slice; standing in the line to order that often overflowed onto the restaurant steps, begging my mom to let me get a San Pelligrino Aranciata, scouring the crowded dining room for an empty spot, stealing glances at the cute guys making the pizzas and blushing when my sister called me out for it, and finally squeezing ourselves between strangers to devour our perfectly crispy-yet-still-doughy pizzas.

Somehow, Goldbelly and Antico managed to deliver frozen pizzas that tasted almost as good coming out of my oven as they do at the restaurant. And the cookies were more of the same—The Grey’s chocolate chip cookies had a delightful salt-to-sweet ratio, great chocolate chunks, and tasted like they’d been baked earlier that day.

While food delivery can’t replace restaurant dining in the same way that a plate of food can’t actually transport me to Atalnta, Goldbelly is a great second best. If you’re looking for a way to support restaurants during these trying times, or perhaps searching for a temporary cure for your holiday homesickness, Goldbelly is deifnitely worth a try.

Order your favorite foods from Goldbelly

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