A quiet food revolution has developed in London over the past few years. People passionate about good food and the planet have been providing an alternative to pollution-inducing delivery services. Although not yet common, a range of meals delivered by bike has increasingly become available. Some artisan businesses have also taken to two wheels to deliver to trade customers. These deliveries have the benefit of speed, as cyclists are able to nimbly nip through congested London traffic.
Lunch BXD was set up by two friends who met while training at Leiths School of Food and Wine. They created their own company to deliver great tasting, healthy and seasonal food. Individual lunch boxes can be ordered by 10 am each day within central London. They are delivered for free by bike no later than 1 pm. Each lunch comes in a fully recyclable box, with a wooden fork and napkin.
Aimed at central London workers who eat at their desks, Al Desco offers breakfast and lunch options, and meals are delivered by British bicycles with trailers. Sandwich platters are made from biodegradable materials, and the Al Desco team recycles and minimises packaging as much as possible.
Founder Eccie Newton launched Karma Cans after being inspired by tiffin deliveries in Mumbai. Karma Cans delivers food for free around central London in either reusable tiffin tins or disposable, eco-friendly containers, along with metal cutlery. Meals are made on the morning of the delivery or the night before, with ingredients sourced locally and sustainably wherever possible. The focus is on providing balanced meals; customers choose between meat or vegetarian options.
Pronto offers free and speedy delivery within the City of London. It takes an average of 20 minutes for lunch or dinner to be delivered to desk or door. All meals are cooked from scratch, and the website has lovely pictures of each ingredient used. Pronto sources their ingredients from local producers and keeps waste to a minimum. Meals start at £7 and there is no minimum order.
Home Cooking SE24 is Slow Food-approved and aims to share authentic Italian food. Founders Giuseppina and Totò grew up in Sicily and lived in Tuscany, where they were private chefs. They supply evening meals, with orders placed by phone and delivered by bike within 40 minutes. Home Cooking SE24 delivers to Lambeth (SE24) and East Dulwich (SE22), plus some surrounding areas.
If you prefer to make your own meals, Cycling Veg offers crate delivery of a wide range of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Choose a set crate or customise one to your own tastes. Cycling Veg delivers for free within central London and down to the SE15, SW16 and SW17 postcodes. Day and evening delivery slots are available, and delivery cyclists visit each area once a week.
Using a Dutch delivery bicycle, E5 Bakehouse delivers organic sourdough bread to local cafes and restaurants from its base under a railway arch near London Fields. All the flour used is organic and, when possible, is sourced directly from UK farms. Sustainability is key; energy comes from renewable sources, packaging is biodegradable and the team recycles or composts waste.
The Little Bread Pedlar delivers handmade croissants and brownies to cafes across London. Nichola Gensler established her business after working as a chef and pastry chef for 10 years. She started selling croissants, cakes and bread as Cherry Pippin in Pimlico but has now grown to become the Little Bread Pedlar and has moved her business to Bermondsey.
Based in a micro-bakery in North London, Bread By Bike makes naturally leavened sourdough breads, with flour sourced from Shipton Mill in Gloucestershire. Delivery is free in North London, and there is no minimum order. All packaging is recycled and biodegradable, and Bread By Bike also ensures that energy used in the bakery comes from a renewable energy supplier.