We Tried HotBox By Wiz Khalifa So You Don't Have To

If you've used a food delivery app, chances are you've come across a ghost kitchen concept. The shared-kitchen space, delivery-only business may just be the future of restaurant dining, so it's no surprise that plenty of big names like Guy Fieri and David Chang are getting in on the action. But it's not just celebrities of the chef variety who are looking to scare up some ghost kitchen business. From super diva Mariah Carey and her virtual cookie company to YouTube sensation Mr. Beast and the breakout success of his burger operation, if you have a famous face, you can be the star of the next big ghost kitchen concept.

Enter one of the biggest names in hip-hop. HotBox by Wiz Khalifa is a barely year-old addition to the fray and as the venture's name not so subtly implies, the focus of this particular operation is satisfying those munchie cravings. The business fits snuggly into his business portfolio which also includes the dispensary Khalifa Kush, which, according to the company, is named after a strain developed exclusively for the man himself.

Whether you enjoy living the high life, have a general taste for midnight munchies, or are simply a fan of the superstar rapper, here's everything you need to know about HotBox by Wiz Khalfia.

Where to find HotBox

You won't come across HotBox by Wiz Khalifa in real life. The concept is strictly virtual which means the only way to try is to have it delivered directly to you. When HotBox launched in October 2020 it catered exclusively to a select group of major cities such as Chicago, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles. Nowadays it's available across the country. (According to HotBox, there are locations from coast to coast and new spots are being added each week.)

Check Door Dash, UberEats, GrubHub, or Postmates to find out if an outpost is within your delivery range. (if there is an address tied to the location, don't head to the source and attempt to grab a pickup order because, as we mentioned, for this situation it's delivery or bust.)

If you're not a fan of the delivery apps, you can also order food directly via the HotBox website. 

What does HotBox cost?

Prices for Hotbox by Wiz Khalifa items will vary by location. At a Los Angeles outpost via GrubHub, items start at $4 for snack-sized portions of the Taylor Gang Tots and mac and cheese (cleverly given the title of Mac and Yellow — if you don't get the reference, we're going to assume you are not very familiar with Wiz's oeuvre). More substantial dishes such as a burger, a fried chicken sandwich, a bowl (of the food variety), are in the $10 range.

Drinks, which include Coke, Sprite, bottled water, lemonade, sweet tea, and a Khalifa Palmer (which blends the latter two beverages) are all $4. For dessert, the So Baked Hybrid Cookie, a chocolate cookie and brownie fusion slathered in salted caramel, will set you back $7. The biggest ticket item on the menu is the $22 All-in-One Hit Combo (are you noticing a theme with the names here?), but that includes a burger, tots, the hybrid cookie, and a beverage.

Then, of course, you need to factor in tax, tip, and the inevitable delivery app service fee, or rather, fees.  Basically, you're looking at prices a bit above what you are likely to find on your standard fast food menu, but considering this a "top-shelf munchie menu" it should come as no surprise that the costs are higher.

Is HotBox good for you?

As you might imagine, this ain't health food. Far, far from it. If you or someone in your party has a particular dietary restriction, we suggest looking elsewhere. But if you're all in on cheese, carbs, and meat, here's what you can expect, according to HotBox by Wiz Khalifa.

If you want to keep your calorie count below four figures, you need to stick with either the tots, the snack-sized portion of the Mac and Yellow, or the 5-pack of buffalo wings. (Even the honey mustard sauce is 278 calories.) The big-ticket items are all over 1,000 calories.

When it comes to total fat, there are a few items that top 100 grams including the entree-sized portion of Mac and Yellow, the Blazed OG Cheetos Burger, and the Fully Packed Bowl. While the daily value for sodium is 2,300 milligrams, per the FDA, the wings, Blazed OG Cheetos Burger, and Fully Packed Bowl each surpass that. You want to be particularly careful of the OG Fried Chicken Sandwich and its Blazed counterpart which pack a whopping 11,864 and 12,051 milligrams of sodium respectively. For protein, wings are your best bet — five will fill you up with 71 grams of it.

Now, is any of this a surprise? Of course not! You wouldn't watch a Quentin Tarantino movie and be shocked by the amount of violence, and similarly, if you're ordering from a munchies-inspired menu, carb-overload should be a given.

How does HotBox taste?

If you set your expectations for HotBox by Wiz Khalifa to fast food levels, you might be pleasantly surprised. One aspect of the business we have yet to mention is that while Wiz may have played a part in curating the menu, the operation is run by Nextbite which has become a major player in the ghost kitchen game.

Now, before we get to specifics, full disclosure: We were fully sober when we consumed our HotBox meal, so take that for what it's worth. The good news is there are no misfires on the menu, but certain items didn't exactly light up our palates. The Taylor Gang Tots were just your standard garden variety cafeteria version of the nostalgic fried potato puffs — we suggest having some dipping sauce handy. While we had high hopes for the Blazed OG Cheetos Burgers, the brioche bun was too toasted and the patty could have been juicier. Luckily, it was well seasoned and able to stand up to the topping onslaught of American cheese, Hot Cheetos dust, and the creamy "Thrill Sauce." We also welcomed the inclusion of lettuce and tomato.

While we were fans of the Even Better Bigger Buffalo Wings — meaty, with just the right amount of kick — the biggest hit was the Fully Packed Bowl, nutritional facts be damned. The kitchen sink combo of tots, Mac and Yellow, and slices of Fried Chicken Nuggs, all topped with Buffalo sauce, Thrill Sauce, and Hot Cheetos dust was stoner food at its finest.

Our overall impression of HotBox

Even without the Wiz Khalifa connection, there is an obvious market for HotBox, particularly as the legalization of marijuana continues to spread across the U.S. Beyond the cannibals' crowd, the roster of indulgent eats befits a weekend football home game, college dorm meal, or the capper to a late-night booze-fueled outing. We also appreciate that HotBox serves a specific purpose and it ties directly to Khalifa's brand, unlike, say, a certain singing sensation and her generic ghost kitchen cookie line. The offerings are a step up from the fast food standards but aren't gourmet — the quality lies somewhere between Carl's Jr. and Shake Shack

For a standard weeknight order, it might be a tad overwhelming and probably wouldn't fit into the regular delivery rotation of most eaters. For the days following our Hotbox feast, we made it a point to keep our meals on the light side. But could we see ourselves ordering the Even Better Bigger Buffalo Wings and Fully Packed Bowl once again? Perhaps, we'll mark our calendars for April 20.