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2018 Best Takeout

WHY
GO OUT?

WHY GO OUT?

When you can have some of the tastiest food in the city delivered to your door. Our definitive guide to Chicago’s BEST TAKEOUT.

When it comes to delivery food in town, the options are, well, overwhelming. More than 3,000 restaurants deliver throughout the Chicago area via Grubhub alone, to say nothing of those accessible by using Caviar, DoorDash, and half a dozen other ordering services. But it’s hard to know who’s going to bring you a perfectly intact spicy tuna roll and who’s going to show up with smushed fish and gloppy rice. Rest easy, because we found 43 places that met two key criteria: 1) their food is great, and 2) they get it to you in top condition.

More munchies:

Down
town
North West South ’Burbs

Clockwise from top: Honeygrow, Graze, Left Coast

DOWNTOWN

Italian

Eataly

River North

Order via Caviar

Eataly’s Neapolitan-style pizzas don’t arrive well done—on purpose. Just pop your pie into a 400-degree oven for five minutes, and it’ll taste like it came straight out of a wood-fired oven. Best things to order Margherita pizza ($15), Massese pizza (buffalo mozzarella, spicy salami; $17)

SMOOTHIES

Graze

River North, Loop

Order via DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Ritual

A smoothie bowl at your desk just as you get back from your lunchtime workout: It’s going to be a great afternoon. Best thing to order Açaí Part Two bowl (almond butter, berries, banana, mulberry, coconut, granola; $12.50)

Health food

Honeygrow

Loop, West Loop

Order via Caviar

No matter your dietary restriction, this stir-fry spot can cater to it—and get food to your door in about 30 minutes—with customizable bowls and fresh, flavorful ingredients: housemade egg noodles, vegan and gluten-free red curry sauce, and more. Best things to order Spicy garlic stir-fry (egg noodles, roast chicken, bell peppers, broccoli, onions, pineapple; $12), fresh fruit with honey and whipped cream ($7)

Health food

Left Coast

River North, Lake View

Order via Caviar

No wilted iceberg lettuce here: Left Coast delivers artfully curated salad sustenance, leaning heavily on kale, nutritious grains and nuts, and vibrant dressings. Best things to order Santa Monica Shred salad (carrots, beets, broccoli, walnuts, quinoa, and lemon yogurt dressing; $10), Harvest Moon cold-pressed juice (pear, grapefruit, ginger; $10)

Sandwiches

The Ruin Daily

Loop

Order via DoorDash

When this nouveau lunch counter opened, its Buffalo-sauce-soaked cauli-flower sandwich got all the attention. For delivery, focus on the meatier offerings, which pack just as much flavor—thanks to additions like tangy fruit mostarda and house-cured pickles—but without the saucy mess. Best things to order Ham and cheese sandwich ($9), kettle chips ($2)

Doughnuts

Stan’s Donuts & Coffee

Multiple locations

Order via DoorDash, Grubhub

For when it’s your turn to bring office snacks but you totally space: a box of handmade doughnuts (starting at $11 for six) and a box of La Colombe coffee ($20) delivered in time for the morning meeting. Best things to order Biscoff Banana Pocket ($4), lemon-pistachio doughnut ($3)

Japanese

Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

River North

Order via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates

The sushi is solid, but when it comes to fare that travels well, the stars are the robata-grilled skewers. Best things to order Cauliflower skewer ($4), chicken thigh skewer ($4), beef filet skewer ($5), shiitake mushroom skewer ($4)

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Chengdu Impression

NORTH

Breads, pastries, and breakfast dishes

Baker Miller

Lincoln Square

Order via Caviar

Discover the pleasures of brunch in bed. Every baked good at this cozy shop is made with custom-milled flour, and the hot breakfast offerings are stellar—none more so than the oatmeal ($8), which is served with cultured cream, hot milk, and cinnamon-sugar pecans and, thanks to vents in the container, never arrives looking unappetizing. Other great things to order Beets & Greens Baguette sandwich ($14), beef and ale pot pie ($12)

Nashville-style fried chicken

The Budlong

Multiple locations

Order via Amazon Restaurants

The spiciest option at this two-year-old chicken joint will blow your ears off; fortunately, there’s a sliding heat scale. The skin stays crisp in transit, and a heavy coating of seasoning means you’ll be lustily licking spices off your fingers between bites. And why not? You’re at home. Best things to order Chicken tenders ($9), biscuit with jam ($3.75), cane-sugar Coke ($3)

Sichuan

Chengdu Impression

Lincoln Park

Order via chengduimpression.com, BeyondMenu, Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless

No other Sichuan restaurant brings the heat quite like this four-year-old spot. Ardent fire seekers should make the dry chili chicken ($15) a mandatory order, especially since its less saucy preparation keeps it from getting soggy on the way to your door. Other great things to order Sichuan won ton ($8), mapo tofu ($14)

Vietnamese

LD Pho

Albany Park

Order via Eat24 or Grubhub or by calling the restaurant at 773-961-8551

Order pho and you get a kind of meal kit: a tub of broth, a bag of parcooked noodles, herbs and bean sprouts, and a bag of thin slices of raw beef. Put the noodles in a bowl, reheat the broth, pour it over the noodles, add the meat so it cooks to medium rare, toss in the leafy stuff, and start slurping. Best things to order Pho bo dac biet (sliced beef, flank, tendon, tripe, and meatballs; $9), spicy chicken salad ($15)

Sushi

Naoki Sushi

Lincoln Park

Order via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats

This is sushi for those who can’t stand spicy tuna rolls shellacked with mayo. Naoki uses a lighter touch, adorning the hamachi roll, for example, with a gentle drizzle of yuzu sauce. Best things to order Spicy shrimp and salmon roll ($15), hamachi roll ($15)

Persian

Noon O Kabab

Albany Park

Order via noonokabab.com or by calling the restaurant at 773-279-8899

The kebabs are delicious, but they shouldn’t be your only focus: Add an order of tadig ($11), a sheet-cake-size mound of buttery, crisped saffron rice, best paired with Persian beef stew. Another great thing to order Kash-ke-bademjan (eggplant with caramelized onions and yogurt; $7.50)

Seafood

Oyster Bah

Lincoln Park

Order via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats

Shucked, sealed, delivered: Oyster Bah carefully packages shucked oysters on ice and conveys a bag of them to your doorstep. No one has to know you didn’t pry them open yourself. Best things to order Stuffed clams casino ($8.95), assorted oysters ($18 for six), seafood roll ($24.95)

Pizza

Pizzeria Bebu

Lincoln Park

Order via Caviar

Some of the best thin-crust pies in town show up at your door just as crisp as they show up at your restaurant table, thanks to a judicious application of toppings. Bonus: The “Shhhhhh” section of the delivery menu has one-off specials. Best things to order Little Gem salad ($14), Manhattan Project pizza (littleneck clams, garlic, shallots, Calabrian chilies; $19)

Thai

Rainbow Thai

Lincoln Square

Order via BeyondMenu, DoorDash, EatStreet, Eat24, Grubhub, Seamless

In a city bursting with Thai takeout joints, Rainbow rises above the rest. For proof, try the sauce-slicked pad see ew ($10)—the cooks gently stir-fry the noodles until they’re a little crisp. This savory dish is an ideal match for any of the nearly 20 crunchy and tart Thai salads on offer. Other great things to order Pad thai ($10), nam kao tod (crispy rice salad with pork; $10)

Jewish deli

Steingold’s of Chicago

North Center

Order via Caviar

This newcomer delivers fresh takes on old-school deli pleasures, including towering bagel sandwiches, platters of cured meats and smoked fish, and rugelach. You may never wait in line for brunch again. Best things to order Whole Shebang (six bagels plus a platter of smoked and cured fish; $60), the Grandpa Joe (pastrami with mustard on rye; $12)

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Big Star

WEST

Italian

Animale

Logan Square

Order via Caviar

The gnocchi and pappardelle from this sibling of Osteria Langhe are handmade, come with your choice of four sauces, and seamlessly transition from container to candlelit table. Bonus: For $14, you can add an order of frozen housemade plin, a stuffed pasta, for another night in. Best things to order Pappardelle with pesto-alfredo sauce ($12), fresh plin with herb butter ($16)

Mexican

Antique Taco

Multiple locations

Order via Caviar, DoorDash

Thanks to inventive fillings (tamarind barbecue pork, tempura Alaska cod) and sturdy housemade tortillas that withstand the inevitable delivery jostle, Antique is a top choice for taco night. Best things to order Chili cheese curds ($10), carnitas tacos ($9 for two), mushroom tacos ($9 for two)

Asian fusion

The Bento Box

Bucktown

Order via thebentoboxchicago.com, Grubhub

With only four entrées to choose from—all tasty Korean-Thai—deciding what to order from the couch has never been easier. And the portions are large enough to feed two. Best things to order Red chili chicken with noodles ($22), house hot sauce ($1)

Tex-Mex

Big Star

Wicker Park

Order via DoorDash

This taco temple dispatches orders in carefully considered containers that protect their cargo better than a bag. Best things to order Taco al pastor ($3.50), taco de chorizo ($3), chips and guacamole ($8)

Pizza

Coalfire

West Town, Lake View

Order via Caviar

The stealth pick for delivery is the generous charcuterie platter ($18): a gorgeous tableau of prosciutto, coppa, speck, nduja, and artisanal cheeses. Another great thing to order Soppressata and Broccolini pizza ($18)

Indian

Curry on Fire

Little Italy

Order via BeyondMenu, Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless, Uber Eats

Speed is one of this restaurant’s best attributes. Add Gobi Manchurian (fried cauliflower; $9) to your cart without fear—if you use the right delivery service. Other great things to order Butter chicken ($13), garlic naan ($2)

Chinese

Duck Duck Goat

West Loop

Order via Caviar, DoorDash

It’s hard to get a prime-time reservation at this Stephanie Izard spot, but delivery never takes more than an hour. Best things to order Hot-and-sour egg drop soup ($13), hong shao rou ($15)

Breads, pastries, and coffee

Floriole

Lincoln Park

Order via Caviar

Treat a loved one—or yourself—to a five-star breakfast in bed. This beloved bakery will even deliver a still-warm latte. La vie est belle. Best things to order Vegetable quiche ($10), chocolate croissant ($4.50), latte ($4)

Fried chicken

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Avondale

Order via Caviar

Here’s a beautiful symbiosis: The warmth from the fried bird—loved for its juiciness—softens the accompanying honey-sweetened butter to dippable consistency during its trip to your door. Best things to order Four-piece fried chicken ($16), pimento macaroni and cheese ($4)

Sandwiches

J.P. Graziano

West Loop

Order via Postmates

This stalwart’s meaty sandwiches promise instant gratification. But a gigantic jar of the famed housemade giardiniera ($8.50)—also available for delivery—is a gift that keeps on giving. Other great things to order Italian sandwich ($8), cannoli ($3)

Barbecue

Lillie’s Q

Bucktown

Order via Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless

What sets this BBQ joint’s wings ($13 for 10) apart? They’re smoked, then barely fried, and thus stay moist while en route to your home compared with most way-too-greasy deep-fried wings. Other great things to order Pulled pork sandwich ($15), macaroni and cheese ($8)

New American

Lula Cafe

Logan Square

Order via Caviar

This farm-to-table pioneer has always offered an affordable “café” menu, and its upscale yet simple offerings, like beet bruschetta ($11), make for perfect delivery fare. Other great things to order Lemony kale with Parmesan ($6), marinated beets with dill ($6)

Italian

Nonna’s

West Loop

Order via Caviar, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless

We’re not going to tell you that Nonna’s gloriously drippy meatball sub ($10) will arrive looking pretty, but once you take a bite, we’re sure you won’t care. Other great things to order Eggplant Parmesan sandwich ($9), chopped salad ($8)

Indian

Pub Royale

Wicker Park

Order via Caviar, DoorDash

This bar’s curries, though not strictly traditional, bring deeper and more complex flavors than much of what you’ll find on Devon Avenue. Best things to order Eggplant curry ($15), paratha ($5)

Vietnamese

Saigon Sisters

West Loop

Order via saigonsisters.com, Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless

Delivery lets the juices from the saucy banh mi sandwiches soak into the crusty baguettes just enough to create the ideal crunchy-soft textural contrast. Best things to order VBQ banh mi ($10), shrimp spring roll ($7.50), Vietnamese iced coffee ($3.50)

Cookies

Warm Belly Bakery

West Loop

Order via DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless, Uber Eats

An assortment of half a dozen softball-size cookies ($16) comes to your door nestled in a cute little gift tin. Grab some candles and you’ve got an impromptu alternative to birthday cake. Other great things to order Hazelnut chocolate chip cookie ($3), peanut butter and jelly cookie ($3)

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At bottom:
Yassa chicken, nem, and maffee from Gorée Cuisine, Garlic stir-fry from Honeygrow

SOUTH

Brewpub

Baderbräu

South Loop

Order via Caviar, Grubhub, Seamless

The beer-friendly brat, meaty sandwiches, and hearty appetizers are nicely executed, but what makes this place list-worthy is the fact that you can have them delivered with a cold growler fresh from the tap. Best things to order Pretzel bites ($6), Bader Brat ($12), Wind Chill lager ($21 for a growler)

Senegalese

Gorée Cuisine

Kenwood

Order via Amazon Restaurants

Who else will send you a perfectly grilled whole snapper ($19) that you can eat in your PJs? Other great things to order Dibi lamb (grilled lamb chops; $17), jollof rice ($3.50)

Chinese

MingHin

Multiple locations

Order via Grubhub

This Chinatown standby offers its entire vast menu for delivery, including an impressive dim sum selection. Best things to order shrimp dumpling ($5), pan-fried green chive cake ($5), pan-fried pot sticker ($5)

American

Nana

Bridgeport

Order via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless

The definition of a crowd pleaser: lots of vegetarian options (including an excellent veggie burger for $12.50), a solid rendition of a Cuban sandwich ($14), and a seven-item kids’ menu featuring a quesadilla ($6) and a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich ($6). Other great things to order Ground beef empanadas ($12), avocado fries ($11)

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Union Squared

SUBURBS

Middle Eastern

Bab Al Salam

Norridge

Order via DoorDash, EatStreet, Grubhub, Seamless

Enjoy a fluffy, never-leaden falafel sandwich ($5) for dinner, and save the exceptionally silky hummus ($6.25) for a late-night snack. Another great thing to order Baba ghanoush ($6.59)

Jamaican

Jennifer’s Edibles

Evanston

Order via DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless

The saucy stewed oxtail lunch special and bottle of Jamaican pineapple soda may just be the best $11 you can spend on a delivery meal. Other great things to order Jerk chicken ($10), plantains ($3)

American

Scratch Kitchen & Lounge

Forest Park

Order via DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless

This is more than just a burger joint: There’s fresh mozzarella made in-house for the caprese sandwich ($13), macaroni and cheese with oniony béchamel, and, for good measure, just-sweet-enough bread-and-butter pickles on the side. Other great things to order Three Little Pigs burger (ground pork with bacon and spicy ranch sauce; $13), Fire Mac (macaroni with roasted poblano peppers; $9.50)

Pizza

Union Squared

Evanston

Order via DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless

Get the sauce on the side when you order, and pour the tangy tomato purée over the top when you’re ready to eat. That way, there’s no chance of this thick-crust pie going soggy. Best thing to order Mushroom pizza ($25)

Thai

Yum Thai

Forest Park

Order via DoorDash, EatStreet, Grubhub, Seamless

Curries may as well have been invented to be delivered­, since the flavors of a good one meld and deepen if the dish rests for a spell—say, in the back seat of a car. The kaeng par curry ($10) here sings with lemongrass. Other great things to order Stir-fried curried catfish ($13), spicy basil chicken ($10)





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