So where are you getting takeout from tonight? To help you decide, we’ve created this Ultimate Takeout Guide, with 100 recommendations to get you started. (Scroll on for the metro Boston portion of the picks, as well as the links to the lists for north, west, and south of the city.) You’ll find neighborhood nooks alongside nationally renowned restaurants, pandemic-era pop-ups and pivots, cuisines from all over the world and good old American fare. One hundred restaurants is a lot. It also isn’t many, considering the vast landscape of places to get delicious takeout in Boston and beyond (there are more than 800 on the Globe’s list of readers’ favorites at globe.com/projecttakeout). We hope you’ll consider this list a beginning, Chapter One of your own personal Ultimate Takeout Guide, to which you’ll continue adding your favorites. — Devra First
EXPLORE BY REGION: NORTH | WEST | SOUTH | READERS’ FAVORITES
Intended as a fine-dining refuge in the sometimes snoozy West End, this waterfront restaurant helmed by industry vet Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli made a smooth pivot to takeout, with kids’ meals, grown-up American favorites (pumpkin soup, whole roasted chicken), and an online marketplace with the mixologist’s favorite wines, beers, and spirits, as well as staples such as cheeses, pasta, and (this counts as a staple these days) cookie dough.
50 Lovejoy Wharf, West End, 617-248-0050, alcoveboston.com
For more than 30 years, this Mattapan shop has been serving up some of the best West Indian roti around (also look for the flaky, delicious paratha, a.k.a. “buss up shut”). Even during the pandemic, you may have to wait in line, but it’s worth it for the supple roti skins wrapped around curry chicken, stewed oxtail, shrimp, and more.
1188 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, 617-298-9850; 1035 Tremont Street, Roxbury, 617-427-1079
Founder Ángela Atenco López won a following for her soulful mole and other recipes from her native Puebla: chiles en nogada, pipian verde. She passed away last year, but her family recipes are her legacy at these popular East Boston spots in Eagle Hill and Orient Heights. Search all you want — you’re not going to find better mole anywhere in the city.
131 Lexington Street, East Boston, 617-567-4972; 1012 Bennington Street, East Boston, 617-874-8251, angelascafeboston.com
Among the many excellent Vietnamese restaurants in Dorchester’s Fields Corner, this one stands out. Seven top reasons to order: the bo 7 mon, a seven-course feast of beef dishes (don’t order this by yourself unless you like leftovers). Other favorites at this always-busy spot include salads, pho, and hot pots.
291 Adams Street, Dorchester, 617-265-8889
Hyde Park gets its Italian food fix at this Venetian-style wine bar, where the dishes are perfectly simple and made from scratch. Think veal meatballs and arancini, gnocchi, Italian bread pizza, tagliatelle with pesto, and crispy duck breast with polenta. The takeout-only Il Pacco (“the package”) is a steal: dinner for two at $25-$35, including choice of salad and a double portion of anything from spaghetti carbonara to sausage and chicken tagliatelle with mushroom cream sauce. Owner Joe Garufi also co-owns Sophia’s Grotto in Roslindale.
5 Fairmount Avenue, Hyde Park, 617-272-3028, antoniosbacaro.com
Abdullah Ashur has managed to keep his halal restaurant in Roxbury running throughout the pandemic, working 12-hour days, with his sisters doing the cooking. That means loyal clientele have been able to feast on Somali dishes and more: kebabs, biryani, lamb shanks with rice or spaghetti. The truly hungry know to get the heaping Sports Plates for two or three people, featuring multiple kinds of meat.
291 Roxbury Street, Roxbury, 617-427-0599
Long a favorite for tasting menus ranging from homey to experimental, Back Bay’s Asta now serves glorious $30 dinners Wednesday through Saturday. Order by 2 p.m. for pick up later that evening. Menus might include braised pork shoulder with coconut rice, pulled mushrooms with potato rosti and salad, or monkfish with romesco and braised leeks, with a la carte extras like paired wines, a half-loaf of bread with butter, pints of frozen chili, and Basque cheesecake.
47 Massachusetts Avenue, Back Bay, 617-585-9575, astaboston.com
Bánh Mì Oi
Yeanie Bach and Phi Pham opened this tiny Vietnamese restaurant in July, with a little help from Bach’s mother, who used to run a banh mi shop in Saigon. The food is always fresh and flavorful, from the BBQ pork banh mi on crisp, crusty baguette to vermicelli bowls loaded with bright vegetables and herbs. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian offerings, and the cafe sua da (iced coffee with condensed milk) is velvety and rich. Bach and Pham import the beans from Vietnam.
1759 Centre Street, West Roxbury, 617-325-0946, banhmioi.cafe
This South End seafood spot recently returned from hibernation, along with Barbara Lynch’s other restaurants. Time for a takeout oyster fest! Supplement your bivalves with clam chowder, fried clams, and lobster rolls. Come spring you’ll be dining on B&G’s patio once again.
550 Tremont Street, South End, 617-423-0550, bandgoysters.com
Chef Alex Saenz’s menu skews more toward comfort than it used to, focused around the likes of fried chicken, a killer double cheeseburger, house-made pasta, and party fries — an irresistible medley of french fries, curly fries, sweet potato fries, and bacon. We all need a little more comfort right now. But the Inman Square restaurant’s DNA remains apparent in all the finer touches; everything is still made by hand with cheffy care. To-go cocktails and enticing wine and beer lists are here, too.
1071 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, 617-714-3693, bisqcambridge.com
Blossom Bar Brookline’s Sichuan
Garden gets a revamp with Blossom Bar, a tiki wonderland helmed by mixology guru Ran Duan, whose family has run the spot for more than 20 years. Daring palates deserve the tripe swimming in chili vinaigrette and pickled vegetables, which get the same numbing treatment. Bonus: to-go vials of tropical drinks incorporating flavors ranging from salted banana to avocado coconut cream. You’ll feel transported, even if you can’t leave home.
295 Washington Street, Brookline, 617-734-1870, blossombarbrookline.com
The Blue Nile
Kind owners, a cozy spot, house-made honey wine, and a platter of the tangy flatbread injera, topped with spiced red lentils, stewed greens, turmeric-dyed split peas, and rich, flavorful meat stews. These are just some of the reasons Jamaica Plain loves this Ethiopian standby, a bastion of the community.
389 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, 617-522-6453, bluenileincjp.com
Chef-owner Jason Bond’s food has always been playful, thoughtful, and local. Now that translates to takeout, featuring such dishes as roasted squash soup with house-made spiced marshmallow, monkfish with collards and country ham, and steak with parsnips and wild mushrooms, all ready to heat and eat. There’s fun stuff like fondue kits and sparkling wine, plus breads, pies, and croissants. You can also make a donation to an organization fighting racism. That’s one-stop shopping.
279A Broadway, Cambridge, 617-661-0009, bondircambridge.com
Brassica Kitchen + Cafe
It’s hard to package creativity in tiny takeout boxes. But chef Jeremy Kean and team are finding ways to serve their creative spirit to go. By day, Brassica is a cafe, serving coffee drinks, sandwiches, and baked goods, all made from scratch. At night, things get wonderfully weirder, with dishes flavored with various fermented ingredients and other house-made oddments. Whether you want a really good breakfast sandwich, a tasting menu full of surprises, or a groovy cocktail, you’ll find it here.
3710 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, 617-477-4519, brassicakitchen.com
There’s no need to miss the brunch pizzas at this Charlestown gem. You can get the spicy clam, the bacon jammy, and the cacio e pepe to go. OK, you can have pizza for dinner, too, along with other wood-roasted goodness: meatballs, perfectly charred burgers and piri piri carrots with avocado yogurt and herb salad.
7 Moulton Street, Charlestown, 617-337-5703, brewersfork.com
These Israeli cafes are a must-try for their takeout meal kits: Get ingredients to make pizza, shakshuka, or rozalach. Rather have someone else do the work? Try their convenient family meals, with themes for every palate: plant-based, Mediterranean, burgers, and more, starting at $70 for four people.
900 Beacon Street, Fenway/Kenmore, 857-753-4035; 383 Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton, 617-383-5786, landwercafe.com
This Cambridge sushi spot is a favorite with chefs and neighborhood denizens alike; pre-pandemic, it won a following for the chef’s-choice omakase meals it used to offer. These days, similar experiences are available to go, from $20 signature samplers to gorgeous $100 weekend platters bejeweled with sashimi, nigiri, and maki. The sake flight is a learning opportunity.
1105 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, 617-492-0434, cafesushicambridge.com
In normal times, Chalawan, an elegant hideaway outside Porter Square, has beautifully plated Southeast Asian food and proper service. The plating might get lost in translation with takeout, but those vivid flavors — steamed snapper dumplings electrified by a black vinegar sauce, fish curry in a heady broth of lemongrass and turmeric — endure.
1790 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, 617-547-8888, thechalawan.com
This Seaport restaurant run by No. 9 Park vets serves up delicious dips and spreads with fluffy pita, glorious handmade pasta dishes, and entrees like porchetta with Brussels sprouts, apples, chiles and fried peanuts. You can’t go wrong, but don’t miss the fried chicken, crispy and juicy perfection served with cheddar biscuits and other sides.
21 Drydock Avenue, Seaport, 617-531-5591, chickadeerestaurant.com
Dim sum comes home. This Chinatown institution (with a branch in Quincy) packs up dumplings, steamed rice noodles, pork buns, turnip cakes, and everything else you’ll need for a family feast. Cart not included.
9 Tyler Street, Chinatown, 617-426-4338; 237 Quincy Avenue, Quincy, 617-773-9838, chinapearlrestaurants.com
The Coast Café
Cambridge’s own Tony Brooks and his family are well into their third decade serving “food from the soul” at The Coast Café, and that experience shows. They plate up fried chicken, BBQ ribs, and robust sides that will warm you up and satisfy your cravings.
233 River Street, Cambridge, 617-354-7644, coastsoulcafe.com
Craigie on Main
Chef-owner Tony Maws is roasting chickens for two, flipping exactly 18 of his famous grass-fed Craigie burgers, preparing a variety of meats and vegetables with his signature intense flavors, and hosting Chef’s Whim on Sunday nights, when you order what he’s cooking. It’s always a delightful surprise, like a recent shepherd’s pie with brisket.
853 Main Street, Cambridge, 617-497-5511, craigieonmain.com
Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen
The thing about soul food is, when it’s done right, the comfort delivers through all circumstances. On hard days and celebration days alike, Darryl’s is there with dishes like mac and cheese and Bob’s Glorifried Catfish, fried to cornmeal perfection with flavorful greens on the side. A Neighborhood Combo Meal is an easy carryout favorite because you get a side dish, corn bread muffins, and your choice of wings, catfish strips, or BBQ spare ribs. Try to secure a jug of sweet tea. It’s liquid sunshine.
604 Columbus Avenue, South End, 617-536-1100, dcbkboston.com
Nadia Liu Spellman — daughter of restaurateur Sally Ling, who ran the legendary Sally Ling’s on the waterfront — brings sophistication to Chinese takeout from her restaurants in Weston, Cambridge, and Brookline. Try the greaseless shrimp dumplings, sweet crab Rangoon (made with real meat!), and savory scallion pancakes rolled with eggs, greens, and spicy mayonnaise. To-go service is speedy and polite.
37 Center Street, Weston, 781-216-8989; 73 Ames Street, Cambridge, 617-577-8886; 1309 Beacon Street, Brookline, 617-383-5282, dumplingdaughter.com
Earnest Drinks / Gracie’s Ice Cream
Despite the name, Earnest Drinks in Kendall Square doesn’t take itself seriously at all: Enjoy Kool-Aid-drenched pickles, Red Bull vodka slushies, and bread pudding spiked with fruity pebbles, along with comforting entrees like baked mac and cheese and pot pies. Oh, and don’t forget the ice cream — Aaron Cohen, founder of Union Square favorite Gracie’s, is in charge.
399 Binney Street, Cambridge, 617-631-9113, orderearnest.com
Lobstah. In New England, it’s a divisive delicacy, especially if you put it on bread. Many think it needs to be cold and slathered with mayonnaise; others like it hot and buttery. Everyone should be able to agree on the version at Eventide, which cooks its lobster in brown butter and hugs it with a fluffy bao. Bye, basic hot dog bun, bye. You always want more. So don’t opt for the small roll and definitely order the fries.
1321 Boylston Street, Fenway-Kenmore, 617-545-1060, eventideoysterco.com
In a hideaway cellar on Craigie Circle, this little bistro from Stanislas Hilbert emphasizes relationships with area farmers, fishermen, and foragers (naturally). The takeout menu has gotten really resourceful, with tasting menus with wine pairings, wine dinners, amaro flights, pints of ice cream in unusual flavors, subscription meals, and more.
5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, 617-576-5444, foragecambridge.com
Fox & the Knife
Chef Karen Akunowicz’s spirited enoteca is South Boston’s go-to for handmade pasta, grilled broccoli Caesars, and Taleggio-stuffed focaccia, one of the best cheese pulls in town. All of the bucatini pepe e cacio, tagliatelle Bolognese, and pollo al mattone are now yours to go, along with cocktails for two and fresh pasta and sauces to prepare for yourself.
28 West Broadway, South Boston, 617-766-8630, foxandtheknife.com
Once the pandemic’s over, Cambridge Crossing will be a high-tech hub for life sciences offices, labs, condos, and restaurants, including three from chef Will Gilson (Puritan & Company). In the meantime, warm up at home with Gilson’s sturdy Sicilian pizza squares with pepperoni cups, hunks of tangy lasagna splashed with creamy tomato sauce, and spicy braised pork sugo.
100 North First Street, Cambridge, 617-945-1349, thelexingtoncx.com/geppetto
Ghost King Thai
It launched cheekily, mysteriously, with spicy food pics posted on the Instagram accounts of chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, co-owners of Coppa, Little Donkey, and Toro. Who was making this extremely appealing, chile-anointed fried chicken with sticky rice, green papaya salad, and shrimp chips? Maybe Bissonnette and Oringer know. All roads lead back to Toro, after all; it’s the South End pickup point for the pop-up’s food.
1704 Washington Street, South End, 617-536-4300, ghostkingthai.com
Gourmet Dumpling House
This Chinatown restaurant is wildly popular for its soup dumplings, pliant wrappers filled with meat and steaming broth. (They’re equally as good at its sister restaurant Dumpling Cafe, in the same neighborhood.) But it’s also worth ordering from its long menu of Taiwanese and other specialties. Look for the bright blue sign.
52 Beach Street, Chinatown, 617-338-6223, gourmetdumplinghouse.com
Haley House Bakery Café
This beloved Nubian Square spot serves healthful, creative, filling fare — breakfast hand pies and coconut porridge, curried vegetables with chickpeas and chapati, rice and beans with chimichurri — plus bake-at-home cookie dough, as well as coffee drinks, wine, and beer. Its mission is to support the community, and it does so in many ways, from youth cooking programs to an urban farm.
12 Dade Street, Roxbury, 617-445-0900, haleyhouse.org/hhbc
This down-and-dirty sister of Somerville legend Highland Kitchen took over the beloved East Coast Grill space pre-COVID-19 and still fills those shoes admirably, with burn-your-mouth-off Nashville hot chicken, a terrifyingly large fried chicken sandwich smeared with chili-ranch sauce, and to-go Mai Tais so strong you’ll almost forget there’s a pandemic.
1271 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, 617-714-4662, highlandfried.com
Ideal Sub Shop
This little storefront in Roxbury run by a Cape Verdean family specializes in well-priced, enormous subs — especially tuna. Ingredients are freshly sliced to order. As owner Egidio Teixeira recently told the Globe, “We don’t get rich. We just get by, and everybody’s happy.” You will be, too, after one of their sandwiches.
522 Dudley Street, Roxbury, 617-442-1560
Jamaica Mi Hungry
Chef Ernie Campbell created a hit on wheels with his Jamaica Mi Hungry food truck, warming Boston with curry goat and beef patties on coco bread. In 2019, he launched a brick-and-mortar restaurant operating under the same name next to the Jackson Square T station. Come for the fiery, moist jerk pork shoulder with dill slaw and plantains, plus the warm, friendly energy of Campbell and crew. Jamaica Mi Hungry is currently popping up in Allston, too.
225 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, 617-708-0465, jamaicamihungry.com
Joon Son is local Korean food royalty; his mother long ran Somerville’s Wu Chon House. At his restaurant, he serves Korean street food, stoner snacks, fried chicken, and poke bowls. The menu cavorts from Spam sliders and Korean corn dogs to ddukboki, a medley of rice cakes, fish cakes, and ramen tossed in fiery chile sauce and topped with cheese. There are deep-fried Oreos, too, because why not?
81 Harvard Avenue, Allston, 617-208-8005, kimchipapikitchen.com
This North End favorite with an outpost in Winchester is run by the Frattaroli family, who oversee many of the neighborhood’s mainstay spots. Lucia has adapted well to changing times, with themed to-go menus (for Valentine’s Day, it offered a feast with heart-shaped ravioli and a gift card) and an “at home” food shop with everything from quarts of tomato sauce to veal roast for four.
415 Hanover Street, North End, 617-367-2353; 13 Mount Vernon Street, Winchester, 781-729-0515, luciaristorante.com
A partnership with Dorchester Brewing Company, M&M is a brick-and-mortar evolution of a longtime food truck. Just thinking about the sandwiches, brimming with pulled pork and fixins or fried chicken, is enough to make the stomach growl. Ribs, BBQ chicken, brisket, and all the sides are here.
1250 Massachusetts Avenue, Dorchester, 617-307-7674, mandmbbq.com
Two childhood friends from Thailand opened this Brookline restaurant together, serving homey dishes and hand-crafted cocktails. On the menu, you might find the Thai fresh rolls called popiah sod; yum sum-o, a crispy, spicy, juicy, sweet, and salty salad made with pomelo and shrimp; crab curry with vermicelli; and fried chicken with shallots, chile sauce, and sticky rice. Everything is made from scratch, and you can taste the care that goes into it. There are to-go cocktails made with ingredients like pandan leaf, Thai spice bitters, and rambutan juice; the rice ginger beer is an excellent nonalcoholic alternative.
236 Washington Street, Brookline, 617-487-5986, mahaniyomboston.com
Irene Li stopped offering her full takeout menu, but she continues selling her prized dumplings at her restaurant on the Brookline/Boston line. She’s also at farmers’ markets, most recently in Natick, Roslindale, Somerville, and Wayland. Best to order online, because she sells out. Or take one of the online classes she’s offering on dumplings, noodles, and Chinese cooking techniques.
506 Park Drive, Boston, 857-250-4959, meimeiboston.com
Brookline’s quintessential Jewish deli is run by neighborhood statesman Steven Peljovich, who personally delivers meals to surrounding towns every night on his way home from work. Load up on pastrami, corned beef, knishes, and barbecued meat loaf to make weeknight dinner easier, or take a “triple brisket” on a 7-inch onion roll, plus a half-pound of slaw or potato salad, to go.
256 Harvard Street, Brookline, 617-738-3354, michaelsdelibrookline.com
Decadence doesn’t come easy in a pandemic. But when you can treat yourself, going big for dinner is fun. Mangia Monday at MIDA is a take-home buffet of delectable pastas for two. An Italian-inspired feast for real: Five pastas, bread, and a salad for $70. Choose from chef and owner Douglass Williams’s specialties like the gnocchi cacio e pepe, short rib lasagna, eggplant Parmesan, bucatini all’amatriciana, spaccatelli al pesto, and — don’t miss these next two — paccheri Bolognese and a classic carbonara. If you’re going to go all out, you might as well order the tiramisu.
782 Tremont Street, South End, 617-936-3490, midaboston.com
For those who really miss capital “D” Dining, Boston’s Mistral is here to help. Its takeout menu doesn’t feel like takeout, with dishes such as sole meuniere and roast duck with mushroom risotto and cherry gastrique. (Its grilled pizzas are here, too, of course, and various sweets can be pre-ordered.) Plus, close neighbors can opt for Butler Delivery Service, which just sounds fancy, no?
223 Columbus Avenue, South End, 617-351-2618, mistralbistro.com
Now you can experience sushi omakase in the comfort of your own home. Chef-owner Chris Chung posts Google forms with his offerings, which change frequently but are always a good value for the high-quality fish he showcases in beautiful preparations. There are sake options to choose from, and Chung often checks in by phone with customers before pickup time, adding a personal touch.
1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, 617-945-7328, mominonmi.com
Myers + Chang
The beloved South End standby from restaurateurs Christopher Myers and Joanne Chang is, unsurprisingly, killing the takeout game. In addition to a la carte favorites such as Mama Chang’s dumplings, dan dan noodles, nasi goreng, and brunch banh mi, you’ll find dinners that serve two and four; a kids’ menu; beer, wine, sake, and cocktails; take-and-make kits for both food and beverages; and a whole mess of sauces and other pantry items.
1145 Washington Street, South End, 617-542-5200, myersandchang.com
Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor
Maybe it’s the Ginger Bomb, a fiery potion of fresh-squeezed ginger root that will cure what ails you. Maybe it’s the Everything Plate, a brimming container that holds several kinds of grains and an assortment of zestily seasoned stews and vegetable sides, healthful and generous. Maybe it’s simply the vibes. Everyone who works here is welcoming and kind. Whatever it is, takeout from this Four Corners restaurant always leaves customers feeling better.
340 Washington Street, Dorchester, 617-237-9033
Chef-owner Gloria Omoregbee serves traditional dishes from her native Nigeria, as well as inventions like coconut pasta, at this Roslindale restaurant. You’ll find soups flush with peppers, stews enriched with palm fruit and served with creamy pounded yam, and a brick-red jollof rice that warms the back of the throat. Don’t miss the small chops — finger foods like meat pies, fish rolls, and samosas — or the fish pepper soup.
146 Belgrade Avenue, Roslindale, 617-327-3700, obosafoods.com
Chef-owner Tracy Chang’s takeout menu features Pagu classics and pandemic innovations: squid ink bao, hand-pulled noodles, and Taiwanese sausage pizza with XO sauce and pickled peppers, plus much more. You’ll find baked goods, ramen kits, cocktails, house-made condiments, and groceries, too. Chang has been a leader during COVID, cofounding initiatives Off Their Plate and Project Restore Us to help feed those in need.
310 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, 617-945-9290, gopagu.com
The food at this Chinatown institution, a favorite among local chefs, arguably tastes best late at night with a group of rowdy friends. But salt-and-pepper seafood, eel in black-bean sauce, and other favorites travel excellently. Getting takeout from Peach Farm will make you happy and support a restaurant that has helped make Chinatown a dining destination.
4 Tyler Street, Chinatown, 617-482-1116, peachfarmseafood.com
Baby, it’s cold outside. And on frigid days like these when it’s so brisk your bones feel dry, soup is the answer. A classic like chicken noodle becomes pho ga at Pho Pasteur in Chinatown (there’s a second location in Quincy), with shredded chicken, rich broth, cilantro, scallions, and your choice of noodles — the yellow egg noodles never fail. Served with all the pho fixings like basil, limes, and bean sprouts, this brothy comfort food is a warm blanket for your belly.
682 Washington Street, Chinatown, 617-482-7467; 1462 Hancock Street, Quincy, 617-770-3300, phopasteurboston.net
In ordinary times, restaurateur Kathy Sidell’s tinned seafood emporium, where towers of shellfish and lobster claws gleamed against overflowing champagne glasses, was one of the Back Bay’s top spots for indulgence. She re-creates the glamour for home-bound guests with seafood-topped pizzas, an at-home subscription caviar club, and sake.
279 Dartmouth Street, Back Bay, 617-267-0691, saltiegirl.com
Takeout from chef-owner Cheryl Straughter’s Southern-influenced restaurant brings a needed ray of sunshine to your day. The two-year-old spot in Nubian Square serves generous breakfasts (such as the veggie sweet potato hash with eggs, grits or home fries, and toast), Southern specialties (including a fried-shrimp po’ boy or Cajun-fried catfish), delicious wood-planked salmon, and more. There’s also a menu of veggie and vegan burgers.
2306 Washington Street, Roxbury, 617-541-9000, soleilboston.com
Chef-owner Cecelia Lizotte brings Nigerian favorites to Roxbury. You’ll find the namesake beef suya (spicy, skewered meat, a West African staple), plus soups and stews with or without fufu, a starchy staple meant for dipping. There’s also vegetarian fare, meat pies, and family meals, as well as specials like savory, spicy ofada stew with boiled eggs and orishirishi: cowfoot, goat meat, and tripe (preorder required).
185 Dudley Street, Roxbury, 617-708-0245, ordersuyajoint.com
Sweet Cheeks Q
Fenway place-maker Tiffani Faison (Orfano, Tiger Mama) offers a comforting, Southern-inflected pandemic menu at her barbecue joint. Settle in for a night of Netflix with fried okra, a burnt-ends quesadilla, and trays of juicy meat big enough to feed a hungry family. Best of all? Considerate (if not exactly healthy) accoutrements like buckets of cheese sauce and ranch dip. You won’t see anyone ‘til spring, right?
1381 Boylston Street, Fenway-Kenmore, 617-266-1300, sweetcheeksq.com
This lovable nook in Huron Village offers a smooth curbside experience with food that tastes familiar, yet better than what you could do yourself: squid ink fettuccine, braised beef short ribs, sourdough loaves (for those who abandoned their bread-baking earlier in the pandemic), and martinis for two. It’s date night for the modern world.
377 Walden Street, Cambridge, 617-714-5584, talullacambridge.com
Tawakal Halal Cafe
The smell of wonderful spices fills the air at this East Boston Somali restaurant, where owner Yahya Noor and team serve up sambusas, turnovers filled with ground beef; biryani with slow-cooked goat; coconut grits; and heaping plates of chickpea and spinach stew. The bottled house hot sauce is excellent, and for sale.
389 Maverick Street, East Boston, 617-418-5890, tawakalfoods.co
The sushi at this Cambridge omakase specialist will take your breath away. Takeout containers are filled with jewel-toned nigiri, fresh-cut fish glistening; maki topped with precise rows of roe; a square of omelet emblazoned with the restaurant’s insignia. Chef-owner Gary Lei’s food feels special, and tastes that way, too. Plus: fun sake!
2372 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, 617-868-2121, umamiomakase.com
One of the best restaurants around to celebrate a festive occasion in the Before Times, and now, too, with takeout. There are fun plates from the kitchen, headed by chefs Ken Oringer and Tony Messina: duck carnitas, wagyu beef dumplings, and Thai-style Brussels sprouts. But sushi is the focus, with chirashi bowls, a la carte nigiri and maki, chef’s choice combinations, and cocktails and sake to go.
370A Commonwealth Avenue, Back Bay, 617-536-7200, uni-boston.com
Winsor Dim Sum Cafe
It might be a while until our next communal dim-sum feast, but until then, Winsor does its best to re-create that free-for-all glee. Sample to-go shrimp dumplings bursting with juice, fried chive dumplings that crackle at the corners, and sweet, gloriously sticky barbecue pork buns. At around $5 per plate, it’s an economical way to transport your taste buds without leaving your living room.
10 Tyler Street, Chinatown, 617-338-1688; 706 Hancock Street, Quincy, 617-481-5383, winsordimsumhouse.com
Yellow Door Taqueria
Yellow Door sells the most creative tacos in town, and this writer still dreams of the scallop frito version, slathered with celery mayo (think: sophisticated tartar sauce), pickled jalapenos, and a sweet prickly pear molasses that you’d love to bottle. Speaking of bottles: Complement your meal with 32-ounce margaritas to go. Feeding a crowd? Try a bulk “quaran-taco” kit.
2297 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, 857-267-4201; 354 Harrison Avenue, 857-239-9276, South End, yellowdoortaqueria.com
Get Asian-Caribbean fusion to go — or personally delivered with a smile to a generous 12-mile radius — at Zaz, perhaps the only place in town where you can order Thai lo mein, creole shrimp wraps (they’re spicy, watch out), and crab hush puppies for one meal. Really pinched for time? Order meals in bulk for Sunday delivery and start off the week stress-free.
1238 River Street, Hyde Park, 617-276-3729, zazrestaurant.com
EXPLORE BY REGION: NORTH | WEST | SOUTH | READERS’ FAVORITES
With contributions from Peter Bailey-Wells, Michael Fitzgerald, Alyssa Giacobbe, Sheryl Julian, Jakob Menendez, Jeneé Osterheldt, Mark Pothier, and Melissa Schorr.