Founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2016, Too Good To Go brought its mission to minimize food waste to the Chicagoland area in July 2021. Too Good To Go combats food waste and “connects consumers with surplus from restaurants, bakeries, cafes and grocery stores at the end of each business day,” to prevent perfectly good meals from going in the trash.

Since its initial launch, the company has expanded to countries across Europe including France, Italy, Poland and the UK and to many major cities in the United States and Canada.

What is Too Good to Go?

On the app, users are prompted to put in their location and a specific mile radius to show all the Too Good to Go locations in their area. To date, over 140,000 cafes, restaurants and grocers have joined the Too Good to Go family and the organization's efforts have redistributed more than 100 million meals around the world.

Too Good to Go also partnered with 500+ schools to promote sustainability efforts at a young age and a nutritional literacy curriculum in support of their mission to secure a planet free from food waste.

Sarah Meadow

The map featured on the app currently shows more than 200 Chicago restaurants taking part in Too Good To Go's mission. Peet’s Coffee on Chicago Avenue and the newly-opened acai bowl outlet Deep Purpl are the only two participants in the direct Evanston area. Other familial highlights found on the app include Great American Bagel, Sweet Mandy B’s and Just Salad. Even 7-11 is getting in on the reduced waste lifestyle with their salads, sandwiches and grocery items.

Surprise Bags — which can include anything from an entree to fresh produce — range from $3.99 to $5.99. Gourmet grocery stores and local markets like Go Grocer pack up grab & go meals, baked goods and veggies all for less than the price of an organic apple! In the comments of the Too Good To Go location ratings, users said they were surprised by the substantial amount of food they received at such a low price.

Revival Food Hall, an upscale food court with popular Chicago eateries in the South Loop, houses plenty of Too Good To Go participants. Lito’s Empanadas, Boonie Foods and Smoque BBQ are among the many options to sell out quickly when sign up for suprise bags are released daily.

The Evanston Experiecne

Peet’s Coffee Evanston is not the only one of the franchise's locations to partake in Too Good To Go. Across Chicago, Peet’s offers afternoon pickups of unsold pastries and other fresh treats made that day.

Sarah Meadow

Wanting to see what all the hype was about, I bought a Surprise Bag from Peet’s for $3.99. I received two chocolate chunk cookies, one gingersnap cookie and a huge cinnamon roll. All four items added up to around $10 had I paid the original price. Not only is Too Good To Go helping save the planet, but it is cost effective as well!

Everything in my little parcel tasted extremely fresh and the items were parchment-wrapped in a paper bag for easy pick up at the register. Having never ordered from or eaten at Peet’s, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the bakery items I indulged in. The cookies had a nice crispy outer edge with a chewy center and flakes of sea salt on the chocolate chunk cookies added an extra touch.

Ordering from Too Good To Go was an excellent experience and one I would definitely recommend to college students looking to save a buck while being environmentally conscious. I was glad to learn about the many Chicago businesses doing their part to combat food waste and the impact Too Good To Go has on promoting new ways of repurposing meals worldwide. With a simple download of the Too Good To Go app, it is well worth the walk to Peet’s (or Deep Purpl) to grab some treats or a planet-friendly pick-me-up!