Is Too Good To Go any good? My Magic Bags reviewed

This post was originally published in May 2021. It was updated in June 2024.

Founded in Copenhagen in 2015, the Too Good To Go app is designed to fight food waste.

It helps restaurants, supermarkets, cafes and more sell their surplus food and drink, and the general public to get a bargain breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I’ve been using the Too Good To Go app since 2021 – here’s my verdict on whether the “Magic Bags” are worth the money.

What Too Good To Go is all about

The Too Good To Go app is basically a platform that allows food businesses to sell their surplus food or drink in packs known as Magic Bags.

The food can be close to expiry, or are made fresh that day but cannot be kept overnight and resold a day later.

Basically they’re still good enough to eat, but can’t be sold after the day it’s listed on the app.

Magic Bags cost a fraction of what you would normally pay for the contents, and can include everything from leftover pastry and cooked meals to groceries and even alcohol.

There are quite a few chains on there, like Greggs, Caffe Nero, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Pret. You’ll also get supermarkets like Spar, Morrisons and Nisa Local, as well as independent restaurants and cafes.

That’s just what’s around me in central London.

Depending on where you are located, there can be more or less choice, but you can expect more options and choice in a big city.

It’s also worth noting that Too Good To Go are onboarding new food businesses all the time, and some also leave because it’s no longer suitable for them.

How does the Too Good To Go app work?

Once you’ve downloaded Too Good To Go, you just have to plug in the location and distance to see what outlets are around you.

Each outlet will show you how many Magic Bags are available, what you might get inside, how much it’s selling for vs actual value of the products and when you can collect.

Some places also offer dynamic pricing, where discounts are offered on normal Magic Bag prices when there’s an excess.

Because of the nature of surplus goods, you don’t know what you’ll actually get until you turn up to collect.

If there’s a Magic Bag you like the sound of, you reserve it, pay for it on the app, and then go collect it during the designated collection window.

Some have collection windows throughout the day, but some are late into the night near closing time.

What do you get in the Magic Bags?

Since 2021, I’ve purchased 42 Magic Bags and it’s been a really mixed bag in terms of quality and value for money.

Mostly it’s food that you’ll want to eat right away, or freeze, rather than have languishing in the bottom of your fridge for a week.

To give you an idea of what’s inside, here’s a list of my haul from a few different places:

B Bagel Bakery Bar

  • I paid: £2.80
  • What it’s meant to be worth: £8.40

This was my first try and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and, confusingly, they didn’t have the Magic Bag packed and ready to go.

Instead, I was handed one of their paper bags and told to pick anything I wanted out of the bagels and pastries available, up to the value of £9.

So for £2.80, I ended up with:

  • A cream cheese sesame bagel
  • Two pain au chocolat
  • Two croissants


  • I paid: £2.59
  • What it’s meant to be worth: £8

The Magic Bag at Greggs was prepped and ready to go when I got there, which made collection super easy and far less awkward.

For £2.59, I got:

  • A ham and cheese baguette
  • Two triple chocolate muffins
  • Two Belgian buns

Chucs Cafe

  • I paid: £4.30
  • What it’s meant to be worth: £13

It was quite weird to walk into a sit down restaurant and essentially get a to-go bag. The Magic Bag wasn’t packed and ready, but the staff were able to put it together quickly.

This £4.30 bundle contained:

  • Chucs green juice
  • Chucs apple juice
  • Porchetta and salsa verde sandwich
  • Pain au chocolat
  • Almond croissant

Bread Ahead

  • I paid: £3
  • What it’s meant to be worth: £9

Bread Ahead had their Magic Bags lined up and ready to go despite the fact that they were very busy and had a long queue out of the door. Very impressed.

My Magic Bag included:

  • Ginger cake
  • Two demi brioche buns
  • Doughnut ring
  • Wholemeal sourdough loaf

Are the Magic Bags worth the money?

I’ve bought dozens of Magic Bags over the last couple of years and the experiences have been varied.

Most of the places I went to had their Magic Bags ready to go so it was a straightforward collection. Occasionally I’ve had to explain what I wanted, which made things awkward.

In terms of value for money, it varied a lot from place to place and even on different visits to the same place – but that’s the nature of these Magic Bags.

Overall, yes they were good value for money, but not the cheapest way to eat.

You’ll certainly get things at a huge discount compared to retail price, but it might be more expensive than getting them at the supermarket.

And the downside is that there is no choice, so you might end up with something you wouldn’t normally eat or dislike.

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