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Covid & Carryout: The Best Restaurants to Order from for your Next Night-In

During the pandemic, the practicality of takeout has begun to trump that of the traditional sit-down restaurant experience. The increase in options for ordering-in does not necessarily correlate with better tasting food, however, as not many kinds of food can withstand the grueling process of delivery. While it may seem difficult to find restaurants where the fares' "magic" holds up through transit, this guide will provide you with some delivery options for food that will still taste amazing at home.

Bondi Sushi is a Japanese restaurant chain with four locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. The variety of locations means that there's a high chance for speedy delivery — offered through Doordash, UberEats, Seamless, and Postmates — or pickup no matter where you are in the city. Bondi is well known for its innovative sushi rolls, but they also offer rice bowls. With options such as cauliflower rice and the "Truffle Avocado" roll, Bondi caters to the eclectic tastes of New Yorkers whilst maintaining the classic elements of traditional sushi. Their most popular item, the "Combo Box," offers a curated selection of rolls, with each option containing four rolls and sixteen pieces of sushi total. The preselected options for the Combo Box range in price from $14-$20, and for $3, Bondi Sushi offers a "Build Your Own Box" option where customers can order four rolls of their choice. The best part about the Bondi Sushi takeout experience is their creative packaging, which consists of a sturdy blue and white paper box that holds the sushi and is embedded with three cups that hold ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce — a feature that is not only aesthetically pleasing but minimizes the impact of single-use condiments. The box maintains a minimalistic design with their signature phrase "Rolled with Love" embossed on the interior lid, spreading a positive message to customers. The packaging serves to protect both the structural integrity and freshness of the rolls, ensuring a top-notch sushi experience even in your own home.

Like sushi, salad is always a safe bet when ordering in because of the lack of heating required for the dishes. Sweetgreen and Chopt are two popular eateries dedicated to salads and other "nourish bowl"-esque items. Heaping portions of fresh and vibrant ingredients are available for ordering through the websites themselves as well as through other popular delivery methods like Doordash and Postmates. For those looking for healthy options outside of the salad realm, vegetarian restaurant By Chloe serves burgers, sandwiches, and pasta to those in search of a quality plant-based takeout option.

When I think about ordering in, it's important to me to choose foods that are good whether or not they are eaten immediately, and noodles, whether it is pasta, ramen, or pad thai, always fit the bill. Noodles may be a go-to for carryout or even just for a comforting meal, but not all noodles are created, or delivered, equally. Tue Thai Food, located in Greenwich Village, serves traditional Thai food and is available for delivery through Seamless, Doordash, Postmates, UberEats, and Their most popular noodle dishes include pad thai, pad see ew, and pad woon sen, but their other options include curries, sautés, and soups, all of which fare equally well as leftovers.

When it comes to pasta, putting in the work for a homemade dish always pays off, but some restaurants offer an equal payoff for less work. Rubirosa, an Italian American restaurant, Ruby's, a casual Australian-influenced eatery, and La Pecora Bianca, another Italian restaurant, boast a wide range of pasta dishes from Ricotta Ravioli to Ragu. These three establishments are also available for takeout or delivery through most delivery services.

King's Kitchen is a Brooklyn based restaurant that specializes in Cantonese dishes as well as other Chinese food. While they don't offer outdoor seating, delivery is available through multiple platforms such as those listed above. Two of the most popular dishes ordered at King's Kitchen include three choices of BBQ meat on rice and clay pot rice. For $9.50, you can choose three proteins from a colorful selection that ranges from Scallion Chicken to Roasted Duck. The components of the meal — meat and rice — are inherently takeout friendly with a low possibility of sogginess and the option to be reheated. Furthermore, the magic of the flavorful marinade and juicy meat is not lost through the process. The clay pot rice dish again consists of your choice of meat and rice, but what makes it special is the preparation of the rice in a clay pot. The hot clay pot allows for the rice to become crispy and warm and meld seamlessly with the meat and optional poached egg. Similar to "hot pot" and Korean barbeque, which rely on a simmering pot of soup and a built-in grill, the clay pot is essential to the dish. Restaurant closures, general COVID safety measures, and the limitations of delivery may have resulted in a more difficult procuration of these popular cuisines, but King's Kitchen still offers the traditional clay pot rice experience to its customers even through delivery, as they provide a reusable clay pot with the meal for only $7. Like Bondi Sushi, this option promotes sustainability in the delivery industry overrun with plastic. King's Kitchen also allows customers to bring back a washed clay pot from a previous order for $1 off the next.


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