Despite all evidence to the contrary, time continues to march on while we’re under quarantine. So there’s a good chance that we’ll eventually encounter events like birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations that will need to be celebrated while we’re sheltered in place. Here are 15 restaurants offering carryout and delivery that are great for acknowledging these occasions - even if the “occasion” is that you finally caught a scorpion while playing Animal Crossing.
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Honestly, not having to wait three hours for Au Cheval qualifies as a special occasion by itself. That’s one of the (few) benefits to come out of our current situation. Au Cheval has the best burger in the city, and now you can get it for pickup and delivery. Choose between the single (which has two patties) or the double (that has four) and for the love of god, add bacon and get some fries.
Imagine a ball pit, but instead of one that’s filled with plastic balls and crying children, it’s full of all sorts of Nepali dumplings and is actually enjoyable. That’s the correct way to approach ordering from the Momo World. All the momo are delicious (with varieties like steamed, tandoori, jhol, and sadeko to name a few) and it’s impossible to choose just one. That’s why the only real solution is to order a bunch, and create a special occasion to justify your dumpling buffet.
S.K.Y. is our favorite special occasion restaurant in Pilsen, primarily because of the fantastic food (their roasted root salad is one of our all-time favorite plates of food), and their “S.K.Y. At Home” menu allows you to pick a meal for two people from their greatest hits. You choose a salad (seriously - get the roasted root), main course, and side, and everything comes with their black truffle croquettes and cornbread madeleines. Which, honestly, are just great.
Vajra is an Indian and Nepali restaurant with fantastic food, and they’re open for delivery and takeout. You’ll find creative small plates like a samosa chaat topped with pomegranate seeds, along with very good curries like the sweet and spicy madras and the cashew tikka masala. And even though it all comes in plastic to-go containers, we swear some dishes (like the chaat) look almost as pretty as they do in the restaurant.
This steakhouse in the Gold Coast is determined to make sure we can all still have fancy-ass meals despite being on lockdown. They have steaks, fire-roasted seafood, truffle-filled sides, and expensive bottles of wine available. So locate a candelabra (you’re pretty sure you saw one in the alley, right?), break that wrinkled tablecloth out of the closet, and start decorating.
While dinner at Chicago’s most famous restaurant used to require hundreds of dollars and setting numerous calendar alerts to get a reservation, now it’s much more affordable ($34.50 - $49.95 per person), and you can get the food the same day. Right now they have two meal options - a six-course menu that involves things like chamomile-compressed cantaloupe and a lapsang emulsion, or a dinner with osso buco and saffron risotto that’s more casual, but still pretty fancy for your couch.
Tanta’s pickup menu is long, and we couldn’t be happier about that fact. This fantastic Peruvian restaurant is offering several family-style meals (including a vegetarian option) and a long a la carte menu that has all their best dishes (like the chaufa aeropuerto - pork fried rice with shrimp). If you want to upgrade your occasion to “probable sh*tshow,” consider adding the El Chingon - a cocktail kit that includes both mezcal and tequila.
Wherewithall is a wonderful, casual tasting-menu spot with a menu that changes daily. And the carryout-only version of this restaurant basically keeps the same formula, meaning a delicious four-course meal that changes weekly instead of nightly. You can expect a variety of - dishes, like green curry chicken, brown sugar baby-back ribs, and banana butterscotch trifle. So basically, plan your occasion around their menu.
This definitely falls under the “oh sh*t, they’re doing takeout?” category. Kyoten is Chicago’s best (and most expensive) omakase-only spot. And the idea of eating its carefully crafted sushi in our apartments sounds pretty luxurious. The bento boxes they’re offering are still pricey - $120 ($20 going towards charity), and definitely feel special occasion worthy.
RPM Italian has giant leather booths, is owned by E! reality stars, and has great Italian food. So basically, it’s designed for a fun celebration. And while you (probably) can’t get their booths (or Bill and Guilana Rancic) sent to your house, you can get their fantastic food delivered. Everything is carefully packaged, and the food available on the delivery menu somehow travels really well. Get dishes like the homemade bucatini, truffle garlic bread, or shrimp scampi.
Prior to lockdown, Bavette’s was a great choice for a wide range of occasions - from anniversaries to birthdays to finding your left Airpod that mysteriously disappeared. And this applies to any occasion while being stuck inside your house. The carryout and delivery menu is smaller, but it has what matters: excellent steak, truffle pasta, crusty sourdough bread, and fried chicken. Also, they have a cheeseburger which is suspiciously identical to the one from Au Cheval.
We love the Middle Eastern food at Galit. And like Bavette’s, we’ve yet to find an occasion this restaurant can’t make better. This includes your graduation, Mother’s day, or the end to a pretty great tuesday in Quarantine. Celebrate with creamy brisket hummus, fluffy falafel (two words that sound great together), and balkan-stuffed cabbage.
If no occasion feels complete without plates filled with way too-much Italian food, order dinner from Mart Anthony. This old-school spot in the West Loop has their whole menu available for carryout and delivery. Get rigatoni with housemade sausage, veal scallopini, braciole, or lasagna - all of which will have you covered in the leftover department for about three days.
Joe’s is our favorite option for a “surf and turf”-type dinner. That’s because we like the steak at Joe’s just as much as the seafood (including the stone crab it’s known for). And we especially appreciate its impressive pie - particularly the key lime, which is one of our favorite desserts, ever.
If you want your celebratory meal to feel like a Bon Appetit magazine spread, order from Pacific Standard Time. Their family-style meals read like the “backyard party” recipe section - dishes like shrimp linguine, green curry-roasted sweet potatoes, and chocolate chip cookies. And unlike when you try and make this meal yourself, you don’t have to ruin a weekend trying to recreate it - it can just get sent to your house.