Restaurant Takeout and Delivery Recommendations From Eater Austin Editors

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, Eater Austin’s weekly restaurant suggestion column will look different for the time being. Here, Eater editors will share their recommendations for takeout and delivery food across the city. And, as always, when you do place your orders, remember to tip generously, opt to order directly from restaurants when possible, and wear a mask during in-person ordering and pickups.

For pho: The cold snap this week combined with an overload of cookie tins had me craving something warming but healthy, and the chicken and vegetable pho from Sip Pho fit that bill perfectly. It was fragrant, flavorful, and full of crunchy snap peas, mushrooms, cabbage, and more. The surprise star of the meal was a starter of lemongrass beef bao — I’ll definitely have to return for a banh mi. The restaurant’s dining room was adorable as well — I look forward to visiting once the COVID-19 numbers go down. Place pickup orders online. (512 West 29th Street, West Campus) —Erin Russell

For an easy lunch: To shake things up for lunch (which usually consists of leftovers or frozen samosas/kebabs shipped in from New York), I decided to pick up a meal from East Austin cafe Bento Picnic. I opted for the keto box because I was in the mood for some greens (in the form of kale salad). The flavors and textures of the meal were great, from the crunchy burdock root to the creamy avocado slices to the tender smoked salmon. The umami oil added a nice subtle savory touch, too. I’m definitely going to check out the noodles meal next time. Place pickup orders online. (2600 East Cesar Chavez Street, Holly) —Nadia Chaudhury

Past recommendations

December 4-6

For breads: I’ve been lusting over the pastries at Dō Bakery for months, and I’m so glad I finally took the plunge this week. The pastries from former Hotel Elle pastry chef Camila Velez impossibly taste just as good as they look. The guava cream cheese rolls were a highlight: the bread is soft and pillowy, the icing sticky and slightly tart, and the whole thing smells so good I barely got home without having to pull over and open the box. I also enjoyed her coquito rolls, with a subtle coconut sweetness and that super soft roll base. I ordered $50 worth of pastries for myself and regret nothing. Order online for delivery or pickups on Wednesdays and Saturdays; pickup at three locations around Austin. —Erin Russell

For pizza: I wanted to try out a new-to-me pizza spot, so we opted for Neapolitan truck Dough Boys, which did not disappoint. The springy crusts are the perfect vehicle for the truck’s topping array: the Italian Vato comes with red sauce, sliced salami, and delightfully spicy hatch green chiles; the Green-Go comes with a light green sauce and heavy garlic cream. The circular takeout containers fit the pies perfectly. Place pickup orders online. (1108 East 12th Street, Central East Austin)—Nadia Chaudhury

December 4-6

For tacos: Tacos are a-plenty in Austin, and another great go-to taco spot for me is Pueblo Viejo. The chicken taco is simple and perfect, with pieces of the rightly seasoned poultry plus onions, bell peppers, and cheese; the migas is a hefty, packed creation with bonus potatoes. Bonus: I added the delightful salsa macha from Nixta Taqueria, which brought the tacos to a whole ‘nother level. Place pickup orders online. (Multiple locations) —Nadia Chaudhury

For noodle soup: The perfect solution for dropping temperatures? Carbs in broth. New Eater 38 entrant Julie’s Noodles delivers a truly incredible mountain of hand-pulled noodles in an aromatic, beefy both that was more than enough for two meals. The rich, tender meat was comforting too, and if that incredible broth was any indication, I can’t wait to try the soup dumplings. Order online, also available through DoorDash deliveries. (8557 Research Blvd, North Austin) —Erin Russell

November 20-22

For cookies: I admit I am susceptible to beautiful Instagram pictures of cookies, but sadly, I end up disappointed probably 50 percent of the time. I’m happy to report that the stuffed cookies from new Burnet Road ghost kitchen Chicken Salad Shoppe are somehow even better than the pictures. The half-pound chocolate chip cookie — filled with gooey salted caramel and topped with the one-two salty-sweet combination of toffee and pretzels — took me two sittings to finish, but halfway through, I was already online ordering more. Order online. (7433 Burnet Road, Crestview) —Erin Russell

For almond-chocolate croissants: Epicerie is known for its great New Orleans-y menu, but did you know the pastry selection is phenomenal? The almond-chocolate croissant is perfection: a beautifully layered pastry with a thick lovely substantial almond paste mixed with bits of chocolate here and there, all topped with almond slivers creating a nice variety of texture to the sweet baked good. Pickup orders can be placed online. (2307 Hancock Drive, Rosedale) —Nadia Chaudhury

November 13-15

For burritos: El Paso-Jewish food truck-turned-restaurant JewBoy Burgers is known for, well, its burgers, but the new bigger space allowed chef Mo Pittle to expand the menu. This means El Paso-style burritos. The Puro Picadillo is stuffed with seasoned ground beef, hatch green chiles, queso, and, naturally, shredded latkes. It’s a sizable, easy to eat burrito that doesn’t get messy. And, honestly, adding potato items (latkes, hash browns, slices, etc.) should become the norm nowadays, because the root vegetable is great. Pickup orders can be placed online. (5111 Airport Boulevard, North Loop) —Nadia Chaudhury

For tacos: Tacos are often a food of convenience, with your favorite taco stand being the one that is within a 10-minute radius of your house. However, I would travel through fire to get tacos from Rosita’s Al Pastor. The thick, handmade tortillas are game-changers here, providing the perfect cradle for the juicy al pastor or filling breakfast tacos. Expect a line at most times, day or night, but it’s worth it. Takeout orders can be placed in person. (1911 East Riverside Drive, Riverside) —Erin Russell

November 6-8

For breakfast: The barbacoa plate at Joe’s Bakery is some of the very best available in Austin. The barbacoa is tender and juicy, the slices of thick potatoes are pan-seared just so, and the beans are mashed into a wonderful texture. I usually get sunny-side eggs because yolk just makes everything better. Layer everything onto the thick flour tortillas and use leftovers the next day for scrambled eggs. (2305 East 7th Street, Holly) —Nadia Chaudhury

For dessert: Whether you are looking to celebrate or eat your feelings, ending the week at Chez Zee is a good call. The dessert case is one of those things you have to see to believe, with giant layer cakes, fluffy meringue pies, and other rich delights. My mom’s favorite is the Coco Tres Leches cake (coconut cake steeped in coconut milk topped with coconut), although for me this weekend it will be a tough call between the silky Kahlua Crunch pie and the decadent Double Chocolate Gooey Butter cake. I mean, why not, right? (Note: their creme brulee French toast is also incredible.) (5406 Balcones Drive, Oak Ridge) —Erin Russell

October 23-25

For hot dogs: Austin has its very own truck dedicated to Sonoran hot dogs, a style of bacon-wrapped frank, which stems originally from the Mexican state of Sonora, and became very in Arizona. T-Loc’s delicious version is fully loaded with what could be considered sloppy ingredients — beans, jalapeno sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, tomatoes, onions — but every item is placed just so it doesn’t lead to a giant mess. The buns, which are sourced from Tucson on a weekly basis, are particularly great. Pair the dg with a bottle of the Mexican apple soda, trust me, it’s great. Pickup orders can be placed online or in person. (5000 Burnet Road, Rosedale) —Nadia Chaudhury

For sandwiches: Sometimes, a good sandwich is hard to find. I needed some comfort this week, and the cheesesteak at New World Deli delivered. With tender meat, caramelized onions and bell peppers, and melty cheese, it will be a warm beacon as things get chillier. I had already ordered online before I saw the pastry case, otherwise I would have purchased all the things — please do this for me and tell me how they are. Pickup orders can be placed online or in person. (4101 Guadalupe Street, West Campus) —Erin Russell

October 16-18

For Korean udon: To satisfy a recent udon craving (it’s the best type of noodle), I placed an order at North Austin restaurant Korea House. The bulgogi curry udon comes with tender slices of grilled beef; thick, chewy udon; a nice curry sauce; and a perfect fried egg that stayed intact during the commute. Dipping the plump chicken mandu into the curry sauce is very recommended too. Pickup orders can be placed online; the restaurant has reopened for patio dine-in service. (2700 West Anderson Lane, North Shoal Creek) —Nadia Chaudhury

For street food: Instead of the usual Friday night pizza, last week we feasted on Talad Thai and Lao Street Food. I would gladly drink the turmeric-curry sauce that the crispy, buttery roti came with, and the fried rice had a nice umami smack from the house-made sauce. My boyfriend also liked his spicy, fragrant Ka Pow chicken with Thai basil and ground chilis. I can’t wait to go back and sample more of the menu, particularly that beef curry as it gets cooler. Place pickup orders online, and there are Grubhub deliveries available. (1606 East Sixth Street, East Austin) —Erin Russell

October 2-4

For lasagna: There’s a fairly common gripe that Austin doesn’t have truly great Italian food — and thanks to Grae Nonas, this is no longer the case. Le Cowboy is the closest I’ve come to the meals I enjoyed while living in Italy for three years. The amatriciana on chewy strozzapreti was salty, unctuous perfection, but I particularly loved the lasagne. The creamy bechamel, meaty bolognese, and perfect sheets of pasta was a treat I enjoyed for days. It’s a little pricey, but absolutely worth it. Place pickup orders online; not open on Saturdays or Sundays though. (2113 Manor Road, Blackland) —Erin Russell

For Chinese food: To satisfy a recent craving for Chinese food, we decided to get takeout from campus food truck Chef Hong, and wasn’t disappointed. The truck is known for its liangpi, aka cold-skin noodles, a dish that stems from northern China. Chef Hong’s iteration is made with chewy noodles, matchstick-sized cucumbers, and a pile of bean sprouts, atop a peanut and citrus-y sauce, resulting in a chewy, crunchy, bright, nutty, acidic flavor bomb, with a great array of textures. Completing the meal was an order of the sturdy Chinese hamburger (pro-tip: dip the burger into the liangpi sauce) and juicy dumplings. Do request extra chili oil too. Place to-go orders in person and bring cash for tips. (907 West 24th Street, West Campus) —Nadia Chaudhury

September 25-27

For gnocchi: For lunch yesterday, I had perhaps the most perfect bite of food I’ve put in my mouth this year: gnocchi from Épicerie. Studded with fancy chanterelle mushrooms, delicate squash, and tender red peppers and onions, the gnocchi might have felt almost healthy if it weren’t for the crispy, gooey addition of skyr. The gnocchi themselves were pan-fried to achieve a marvelously crispy exterior that gave way to a soft, creamy core. Paired with a gooey chocolate chip cookie, it was a wonderful indulgence. (Order online for pickups) —Erin Russell

For pizzas topped with potatoes and corn: I will use this space to advocate for what could be considered as “unusual” pizza toppings, because everyone should try new things, especially if they taste wonderful. First, potatoes: the texture of just-firmly cooked thin slices of the stem tuber vegetable work so well atop the crispy cheesy Roman-style Disappearing Act pie from ghost kitchen spot Phantasma Kitchen. Then, corn: the kernels add a nice pop of texture to the spicy Canicule pie from Jester King Brewery, especially when placed with slices of fiery Padrón peppers. Vegetables, they’re great for you. (Order online for pickups and third-party deliveries for Phantasma at 3403 S Lamar Boulevard, South Lamar; order online for pickups for Jester King Brewery at 13187 Fitzhugh Road, Hill Country) —Nadia Chaudhury

September 18-20

For hot dogs: Yes, La Barbecue does barbecue well, but its array of fun, overloaded sandwiches and hot dogs aren’t to be missed. The Chi-town piñata is a Chicago-style dog that comes with a hot guts link (offering a great snap), piled with dill delish AND a pickle spear, peppers, plus a nice drizzle of mustard and optional hot sauce (go for the hot sauce). To round out the meal, the mac and cheese, made with shells, is excellent and spicy. Window pickup orders have to be placed online. (2027 East Cesar Chavez Street, East Austin) —Nadia Chaudhury

For cookies and galettes: Do you worship at the church of butter? Let me show you the light that is Vivian’s Boulangerie. Pastry chef Kendall Melton’s online delivery bakery Vivian’s is full of delights, from the rich, flaky almond croissants she’s known for to some truly incredible (and sparkly) triple chocolate cookies. You can truly taste the love and care (i.e. creamy, sweet butter) that Melton works into her creations. (Order online for pickups and deliveries) —Erin Russell

September 11-13

For dependable Italian: Last Sunday, I had an all-encompassing pasta craving, zero motivation to cook, and couldn’t find a restaurant open at the time. My boyfriend suggested ordering from Mandola’s, and it saved the weekend. Every bite of the meaty carnivore pizza on a crispy crust was perfection, and the spaghetti ortolano was a nice mix of vegetables and carbs (Do I want a side of focaccia for $1? Absolutely.). While ordering, I also found out that during weekday lunch, personal pizzas are $8 (with soup or salad), and I deserve a medal for the restraint I have shown not ordering it every day. Order online. (Multiple locations: The Triangle, Arbor Trails, Bee Caves, and Cedar Park) —Erin Russell

For gelato: This has been a long and trying year so far — it’s already September, how did that happen??? To soothe myself, I ordered gelato from Dolce Neve. I always love how rich the gelatos are, and how well the flavors shine and work well together. I opted for a trio: my go-to stracciatella with lovely bits of chocolate chips, the bright fromage blanc and blueberry, and the well-balanced mascarpone and matcha (I’m a sucker for flavors making use of sweet cheeses). Pickup orders can be placed online. (1713 South First Street; 1109 East Fifth Street, East Austin) —Nadia Chaudhury

September 4-7

For exciting salads: Sometimes, things are very popular because they are very good, and this week I found out that was the case with Sweetgreen. I wanted something fall-y but a pumpkin spiced latte was out of the question since temperatures were still in the 90s (also because I hate them). Sweetgreen’s Harvest Bowl salad was like a lighter, chilled version of Thanksgiving dinner, with roasted sweet potatoes, chicken, wild rice, apples, pecans, and goat cheese on a bed of kale. Given that this extremely filling bowl was a mere $11, I almost went back the next day. (1007 South Congress Avenue, South Congress) —Erin Russell

For all sorts of fun Asian-y foods and drinks: The DaijoubuMart is a dream come true for me. It has everything I would ever want (read: Asian-y foods and drinks): fun boozy cocktails (the MongoBoshi is essentially a boozy slushie with tropical delight, with mango bits, a whole strip of dried mango dipped in hella spicy chamoy mixture), the plentiful bento box (I’ve heard excellent things about Asahi Imports’s bento boxes and the vegetable korokke didn’t disappoint), the study onigiri (rice plus fish = perfect), the mala skillet potatoes and Chinese five-spice chicken wings (so flavorful), and, yes, that naan croissant. Online preorders are available starting on Mondays through Wednesday, wth pickups on Thursday through Saturday, and there are also limited walk-up and day-of orders available. The pop-up’s last day is on Sunday, September 20. (Last Straw, 1914 East Sixth Street, East Austin) —Nadia Chaudhury

August 28-30

For barbecue: I realize I don’t need to tell anyone to go to Franklin Barbecue, but if you were turned off by the possibility of waiting in a multi-hour line in the Texas heat, this is really a golden time for you. The peppery, moist brisket and the falling-apart pork ribs are truly some of the best in town, and Franklin has its COVID-19 safety procedures down pat. We ordered enough to feast for days — and turned the leftovers into heavenly breakfast tacos. Order online, orders open a week in advance. (900 East 11th Street, Central East Austin) —Erin Russell

For burgers: Okay, okay, okay, so the next Bad Larry Burger Club pop-up isn’t happening for another two weeks, but it’s well worth adding that date to your calendar right now before you forget. The simple smashed burger is perfect: the meat is savory with a nice touch of saltiness, the cheese is melted perfection, the dabs of ketchup and mustard plus pickles add a pleasant tanginess. It’s a sturdy burger too that doesn’t fall apart. Preorders for the next pop-up — Wednesday, September 9 at East Austin bar the Cavalier — will be available starting on Tuesday, September 8 at noon through a link on its Instagram page. Be warned: the pop-up often sells out quickly. —Nadia Chaudhury

August 21-23

For cookies: As a huge fan of sweets, I’ve been excited to work my way through the Eater guide to baked goods services. One of the standouts so far was Galleta — cookies from Rio Grande Valley native Joseph Gomez. It was almost impossible to pick a favorite from the variety box of cookies: the gooey Abuela’s chocolate chip, the tropical ube coconut crunch, the slightly bitter coffee chocolate crinkle, or the sweet brown sugar milk tea. Each had a velvety soft center with a slight crunch on the outside. Orders open at the beginning of the week, so you may be out of luck this weekend, but set your alarms now to order for next week. Place orders online for deliveries and pickups.—Erin Russell

For South Asian fare: With the goal of checking out a new-to-me South Asian restaurant, I ordered from North Austin Indian and Nepalese spot Bombay to Kathmandu. The lamb korma, presented as mild, was delightfully spicy, accompanied with plain rice to balance out the fieriness. The samosa chaat came with a nicely plump potato-filled fried food and piquant curried chickpeas. Next time, I’m going to dig into the Nepalese side, because I’m always a sucker for a good momo. Pickup orders can be placed online.—Nadia Chaudhury

August 14-16

For pie: Some of the best pie in Central Texas, it’s worth the trek to Marble Falls to visit Blue Bonnet Cafe. The slice of lemon meringue comes with a very tall and light meringue atop a sweet and smooth lemon curd and a doughy crust. Yes, the structure of the slice won’t keep in a to-go container, but honestly, that doesn’t matter. It’s still delicious. While the restaurant has reopened for dine-in service, to-go orders and curbside pickups can be placed during designated hours over the phone at (830) 693-2344 or (830) 693-2444. You can also preorder whole pies online. (211 US Highway 281, Marble Falls)—Nadia Chaudhury

For quesadillas: I understand what I am about to say is Austin blasphemy: I had never had El Tacorrido prior to a few weeks ago. Now those thick, gooey quesadillas with crispy, griddled cheese haunt my dreams. I like to eat half a quesadilla and pair it with a taco de verduras for nutrients, I guess. Everything I’ve tried has been solid, especially for the low price tag. Plus, where else can you get a to-go guava mezcal margarita at a drive-thru? Order in person via drive-thru. (Multiple locations)—Erin Russell

August 7 – 9

For sushi: Though there is nothing like the fun of sitting at the counter for 45-minute omakase at Japanese restaurant Uroko, the takeout version is still pretty great, and an excellent choice for a special occasion. Delivered with a sheet of colorful descriptors for each piece, the sushi is still absolutely stellar and presented beautifully. The sinfully buttery scallop was a favorite, as well as the crunchy whole shrimp snack (that is fully edible). Omakase is available Friday and Saturday only. Order online for curbside pickups or delivery of the omakase. (1023 Springdale Road, East Austin)—Erin Russell

For tacos: Food truck Cuantos Tacos has a new home along East 12th Street, and the tacos are still as great. Of the assorted tacos ordered, the suadero was tender, the champiñones was made up of plump mushrooms, the revuelta meshed meaty carnitas and buche wonderfully together, and all atop perfect double layers of corn tortillas. Alas the trompo isn’t set up just yet, but I’ll be back for al pastor tacos. Pickup orders can be placed in person or over the phone. (1115 East 11th Street, Central East Austin)—Nadia Chaudhury

July 31-August 2

For Gullah Geechee fare: Since I was writing about new food stand L.E. Meals last week, I placed an order for several dishes from chef Alexandria Hollowell. The combination of Gullah Geechee and New Orleans Creole flavors meshed into rich dishes. The Gullah Geechee alfredo is great, made with rotini pasta mixed with crab bits and a nutty alfredo sauce, and the right amount of grated parmesan cheese. My favorite, however, was the NOLA shrimp and grits, with perfectly plump shrimp, thick roux, piled on top of rightly creamy grits. Then there’s the Key Lime mason jar is essentially a layered custard concoction that is tart and sweet at the same time, plus really great mashed potatoes that traveled well. Orders are placed online for pickups and deliveries. (4305 Red River Street, Hancock)—Nadia Chaudhury

For breakfast: I had high expectations for Try Hard Coffee Roasters after learning it was opened by nationally competitive baristas, and, oh man, they somehow exceeded those expectations. But almost more than deliciously smooth coffee, I really enjoyed the house-made pastries, like a gooey cinnamon roll par-baked to be served warm. The breakfast tacos are also served on homemade tortillas — I can’t wait to try. Orders can be placed in person. (1115 East 11th Street, Central East Austin)—Erin Russell

July 24-26

For burgers: I’ve been hearing that Sala and Betty is a neighborhood gem for a while and now, as of last weekend, I can definitely confirm this is true. I added a fried egg and avocado to make the perfect summer burger, a giant two-hander which came with a soft, buttery bun, juicy beef, and fries that are definitely in the running for the city’s best and crispiest. The veggies were super fresh, too — snappy butter lettuce and a deep red tomato that tasted fresh off the vine. Order online for drive-thru pickup, the restaurant is also open for dine-in service. (5201 Airport Boulevard, North Loop)—Erin Russell

For deep-dish pizza: Since Conans Pizza was named as Austin’s favorite pizzeria by the Chronicle earlier this month, I knew it was time for me to try the deep-pan pies, and it’s great. The barbecue chicken pizza leans on the sweet side, with a barbecue-pizza sauce blend underneath cheese and grilled chicken strips, and dense and solid wheat crust. It’s the perfect lunchtime pie. Pickup orders can be placed online. (2438 West Anderson Lane, North Shoal Creek; 2018 West Stassney, Westgate)—Nadia Chaudhury

July 17-19

For Cajun: Central East Austin restaurant Big Easy Bar & Grill serves up really great Cajun fare that works well for takeout. I ordered the fried crawfish platter, which came with irresistible little meaty mudbug nuggets and fries, along with sides of the soothing gumbo that still works despite the hot weather, and perfectly dense hush puppies. Everything tasted great, and I even had enough for leftovers the next day. The po’ boy was great too. The physical restaurant remains closed due to an electrical fire in April, but the food truck, serving only to-go food, is parked behind the building, accessible through an alleyway. Chef and owner Darold Gordon is also raising money to help fund the rebuilding of the restaurant too. Pickup orders can be placed in person or over the phone. (1806 East 12th Street, Central East Austin)—Nadia Chaudhury

For biscuits: There has been a biscuit-shaped hole in my heart while Olamaie has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Little Ola’s Biscuits has greatly improved my life. The menu is full of picnic-perfect items like a smoked chicken salad, frozen (boozy) piña coladas, and of course, all types of biscuits. There are biscuits with honey butter, biscuits with pimento cheese, biscuit sandwiches — and all of them are fluffy, buttery, and excellent. Though the restaurant sold out quickly the first weekend, production has increased to make the biscuits the people demand. Pickup orders can be placed online. (1610 San Antonio Street, Downtown)—Erin Russell

July 10-12

For Vietnamese: It is just too dang hot, y’all — and for me, that means it’s time for Vietnamese food. This week I tried a banh mi from Heo Eatery and while the juicy lemongrass beef on fresh bread was excellent, the real star of that meal was the Summer Breeze drink — a “why didn’t I think of this sooner?” refreshing blend of hibiscus, peach, mint, and lime. I’m excited to stop in next door soon and try the aromatic bún from sibling restaurant Bun Belly [Update: I did stop in, and it was great!]. To-go orders can be placed online. (701 East 53rd Street, North Loop)—Erin Russell

For fast-casual Turkish: MezzeMe might be one of the best casual grain-bowl restaurants in Austin. The beef and lamb doner entree comes with thinly shaved juicy bits of meat, plus accompanying grains, tart pickled vegetables, densely thick pita, and very spicy harissa. To round out the meal, the grape leaf dolmas are sturdy and the small pistachio baklava packs a lot of balanced sweetness. While the restaurant is open for dine-in service, takeout and delivery orders can be placed online. (2530 Guadalupe Street, West Campus)—Nadia Chaudhury

June 26-28

For black eyed peas and plantains: When I want healthy food that will keep me full for cheap, I head to Wasota Vegan Paradise. Owner Lawrence Eguakun, who is from Nigeria, serves flavorful vegetable dishes out of the neighborhood vegan food truck park. I usually go for a dish of black-eyed peas, fried plantains, and spinach served mild, but the spicy jollof rice dishes are also great. Be prepared to wait — but with the charming park and the amazing sunsets we’ve had lately, it’s a nice reminder to slow down for the good things in life. Pickup orders can be placed over the phone or in person. (701 East 53rd Street, North Loop)—Erin Russell

For croissant sandwiches and cake: I believe that sandwiches are made even better with the use of flaky croissants and Crema Bakery & Cafe does this the best in the city. For a recent lunch, I opted for the turkey-avocado sandwich (turkey is the best lunch meat), and chased it with a slice of cake, because, really, every meal should incorporate dessert. Orders can be placed online or over the phone for curbside pickups and Favor deliveries. (9001 Brodie Lane, Suite B3, Far South Austin)—Nadia Chaudhury

June 19-21

For chicken fried steak: Hoover’s chicken fried steak is the best example of why the Cherrywood restaurant is so good. The steak itself is thin and tender, the breading is crispy and doesn’t detach from the meat, the accompanying gravy is creamy and rich. Orders can be placed online or over the phone, with in-person pickups. (2002 Manor Road, Cherrywood)—Nadia Chaudhury

For crispy jerk chicken wings: For an excuse to get out of the house, we trekked down to San Antonio for a day trip. Since we were in the city anyway, we decided to grab to-go dinner from The Jerk Shack, one of Eater’s best new restaurants in 2019. The Jamaican restaurant still proved to be just as popular and busy, with a line and wait periods, but it was worth it for those wonderfully spiced crispy jerk chicken wings and dense beef patties. Orders are placed in-person and people can wait in their cars. (117 Matyear Street, San Antonio)—Nadia Chaudhury

June 8-12

For Jamaican food: I’ve been told by others how great the food at truck Tony’s Jamaican Food on East 11th Street is, and I wasn’t steered wrong. The sturdy beef patties remind me of my home in Queens, New York. The jerk chicken and oxtails, paired with rice and plantains, were flavorful and soothing. I was sad that my dessert choice (the rum cake) wasn’t available, but there’s always next time. Pickup orders can be placed in person. (1200 East 11th Street, Central East Austin)—Nadia Chaudhury

For empanadas: I wrote about Comadre Panadería because she was one of many businesses supporting black communities, and I placed a massive order the minute I saw those cinnamon rolls. However, my favorite treat turned out to be the guava cream cheese empanadas. Flaky and pillowy, tart and sweet, the tropical guava perked up my morning after a long, long week. I also loved the buttery flour tortillas and the coconut milk beso. The menu changes weekly, so I look forward to exploring more flavors. (Order online)—Erin Russell

May 29-31

For cake: I know, I know: I’m a bad native Austinite for never trying Mother’s Cafe until now. The (vegan!) Belgian chocolate cake completely made my week. The silky, light chocolate frosting atop dewy, coffee-kissed cake fulfilled my chocolate cravings and then some. I can’t wait to work my way through the whole dessert menu. Pickup orders can be placed over the phone, and there are Grubhub and Favor deliveries too. (4215 Duval Street, Hyde Park)—Erin Russell

For sushi: I turned to the ever-reliable Japanese restaurant Kome to satisfy a recent sushi craving. I might’ve ordered too much (but really, what is too much when it comes to perfect sushi?): the nigiri set was perfect and included its perfect tamago piece, the tekka maki, and the substantial hokkaidon bowl, which came with sushi rice topped with salmon, ikura, tobiko, and hotate. I have enough leftover rice, ikura, and tobiko for a rice snack the next day. Orders can be placed online with curbside pickup orders placed on tables set up within the parking lot. (5301 Airport Boulevard, North Loop) —Nadia Chaudhury

May 23-25

For breakfast: Southern restaurant Fixe, which I had always hoped would do brunch, has some of the best biscuits in town. Now, it serves breakfast every day, which includes fluffy biscuit sandwiches (the tangy house-made hot sauce is excellent) and — trust on me on this — biscuit cinnamon rolls. Somehow butter on butter is not too much here: the soft, slightly savory dough is the star, with just enough sweetness from the icing to keep things interesting. Plus, any restaurant that serves breakfast until 3 p.m. is a win in my book. Call (512) 888-9133 to order. —Erin Russell

For burgers: For some reason, the burgers I make at home don’t taste as nearly great as restaurant burgers. I’ve had a few great ones from various restaurants so far during the pandemic, and last weekend, I opted to try Dai Due’s oh-so-hearty wagyu burger for the first time, and I was glad for it. It was so hearty, meaty (not one but two beef patties), cheesy (thick melty cheddar cheese), and tangy (whatever is in that sauce especial is great). It’s a solid burger too that doesn’t fall apart (my biggest burger pet peeve), but I know to always trust Dai Due when it comes to meaty dishes. Orders can be placed online for pickups through the restaurant’s pickup window in the back, where the parking lot is. (2406 Manor Road, Cherrywood)—Nadia Chaudhury

For Thai: I was very glad when my favorite Thai truck Dee Dee announced that it would reopen for takeout business this month with a whole first-time-ever online ordering system, which is pretty simple. Instead of going for my usual orders (very spicy laab moo or the comforting om gai), I ordered the tofu stir-fry. The delightfully marinated tofu chunks are tossed around with a variety of vegetables that are just cooked enough to maintain that fresh crunch, from snow peas to broccoli. Orders are placed online for pickups. (4204 Menchaca Road, South Lamar)—Nadia Chaudhury

For dessert: We’re in the middle of a stressful pandemic, it’s a long weekend, it’s freaking hot outside — what better time for boozy ice cream? The wizards at Prohibition Creamery churn out luscious, creamy ice cream and fruity sorbets, with or without booze. Try the triple bourbon milkshake made with bourbon ice cream, bourbon, and bourbon whipped cream (I add espresso fudge sauce because I am a glutton). Though booze orders must be accompanied by food, the perfectly sized fudgy brownie bites make this a pleasure — I was snacking on them all week. Order via DoorDash, Favor, or Postmates for pickup or delivery. —Erin Russell

May 16-17

For brunch: For Mother’s Day last weekend, we ordered brunch from a restaurant everyone in my family can agree on: Foreign & Domestic. I’ve had most of the dishes here and it’s hard to pick a favorite. The makes-you-feel-healthy vegetable frittata? The complete-opposite-of-that cardamom cinnamon roll with supremely creamy icing? The feather-light crepe stuffed with the tried-and-true lemon, blueberry, and ricotta? Red wine in the morning may not be your thing, but you should also grab a bottle of the tart and playful 2019 William Chris Cinsault, my drink recommendation of the week, which helps support Texas restaurants. Orders can be placed online for pickups and curbside pickups, as well as DoorDash deliveries. —Erin Russell

For poke: Craving something fresh and healthy after several days of ragu, I ordered takeout from Malibu Poke and it hit the spot perfectly. Though the bowls are fully customizable, my order had massaged kale (sounds like marketing, really does make a difference in texture), perfect sushi rice, jicama and radishes for crunch, edamame, and a light yellow curry sauce that added a bit of sweetness. The small was filling enough for me for a light meal, but it was so good I wish I had had more. Orders can be placed online for pickups, and there are DoorDash deliveries. (211 Walter Seaholm Drive, Seaholm) —Erin Russell

For ramen: The entire take-home ramen kits from Ramen Tatsu-ya works out very efficiently. The broth is served separately, the noodles and accompanying ingredients (always make sure to always get the ajitama egg, tofu, naruto maki, and mushrooms) are placed in a wider container. Pour the warmed-up broth into that wider vessel and voila, you’ve got the perfect bowl of ramen. Orders can be placed online for pickups. —Nadia Chaudhury

May 8-10

For pizza: While Neapolitan pizzeria Bufalina had been closed earlier (it has since reopened for takeout), there is another restaurant for those looking for a chewy, charred pie: DeSano’s. The Burnet Road pizzeria keeps the simplicity of the Italian style, with high-quality mozzarella, tomato sauce, and dough and, dare I say, even wins points for the varied sizes and topping options. I prefer the piquant pepperoni with added herby basil to end my week. Order online or through DoorDash for deliveries. (8000 Burnet Road, North Shoal Creek) —Erin Russell

For DIY ram-don: The cook-it-yourself ram-don kit (aka jjappaguri) from The Peached Tortilla is actually fun and easy to put together. Everything is packaged and labeled well, from the already marinated steak and caramelized kimchi mixture to little containers of the black bean sauce and seasonings, to the perfect Tokyo wavy noodles. It makes for a delicious, hearty meal, and there’s plenty of leftovers too. Orders can be placed online for pickups and curbside pickups. (5520 Burnet Road, Allandale) —Nadia Chaudhury

For tacos: Erin already recommended tacos from Nixta below, so I’ll instead talk about the offerings from Discada and Cuantos Tacos. The three taco spots teamed up to offer a fun Cinco de Mayo taco kit on Tuesday, featuring tacos from each establishment. There was the namesake discada from Discada, the campechana with brisket and chorizo from Cuantos, and the duck carnitas from the East 12th Street restaurant, and meaty duck carnitas from Nixta, all atop perfect little corn tortillas made with Barton Springs Mill’s heirloom yellow corn. The instructions were simple, the meats were juicy, the vegetables and toppings were crispy. The DIY nature meant I had enough for leftovers the next day. While, yes, this was a one-time offering, everyone should still get tacos from these three spots. Nixta is taking online and call-ahead orders for pickups and deliveries; Discada is open for takeout orders placed online; and Cuantos Tacos is open for call-ahead and in-person orders for takeout (plus it has a giant taco package available for advanced orders via email). (Discada: 1319 Rosewood Avenue, Central East Austin; Cuantos Tacos: 2967 Manor Road, Cherrywood) —Nadia Chaudhury

May 2-3

For sandwiches: One of the first aspects I use to judge a restaurant is bread quality, and Lenoir has some of the best bread of all time. Buttered and toasted thick slices of the soft loaves are used as the base for some truly excellent sandwiches. This week, I ordered the Thai chicken salad, which had carrots for crunch, and a slice chocolate-y layer cake for dessert. Highly recommend both of these choices. Orders can be placed online for pickups and curbside pickups. (1807 South First Street, Bouldin Creek) —Erin Russell

For cinnamon rolls: Now that morning traffic is gone, it’s absolutely feasible for me to venture south to Teal House for breakfast. Having rather unsuccessfully tried my hand at cinnamon rolls recently makes the ones from Teal House all the more magical. I pick up a few of the sweetest, softest cinnamon rolls in town (and a kolache for some savory balance), grab a chai latte, and ride out my sugar high for the rest of the day. Orders can be placed in person or through its website. (1716 East Slaughter Lane, South Austin) —Erin Russell

For Thai: People have been talking up the food at Del Valle restaurant Little Thailand for a while, so I decided to check it out for myself. It turns out I agree. The pad prik khing was a delectable spicy fried mixture of chicken, green beans, and red bell peppers; the tod mun pla were dense little fish cakes with a wonderful sauce; and the spring rolls were fresh. The dessert of the sticky rice with mango is some of the best I’ve had in a while too. Orders can be placed online or over the phone for pickups and deliveries. (4315 Caldwell Lane, Del Valle) —Nadia Chaudhury

For burritos and fries: Burritos already lend themselves well for travel: a wrapped food item already covered in foil. I ordered Bummer Burrito’s Frito ‘Rito, but this time, I added sliced avocado, which really kicked it up a notch. The fries, however, were excellent: crispy exteriors giving way to to a perfect amount of potato. Orders can be placed online for pickups or deliveries. (89 Rainey Street, Downtown) —Nadia Chaudhury

April 25-26

For prepared foods: I recently had to go stay at my parents’ house for a day as construction work took away my life force (the internet), and, as parents are wont to do, they made sure I was fed during my stay. This meant light, crunchy chicken salad from neighborhood grocery store Fresh Plus served with crackers and avocado. It was perfect for the hot day, whereas the store’s meaty lasagna would be an excellent option while the nights are still cooler. In addition to the tasty prepared foods, Fresh Plus is huge an asset in my neighborhood, as it has no lines but serves lots of local products. (multiple locations) —Erin Russell

For soup: After a tough week, I sought the most comforting meal I could imagine: chicken soup from Julio’s. The brothy soup comes loaded with veggies, chicken, sliced avocado, optional rice, and two soft tortillas. Because the broth is so delicate, it’s still great for these hot “spring” days without being too filling. (4230 Duval Street, Hyde Park) —Erin Russell

For chicken pot pie: Pies are a major food group for me, and a friend thoughtfully got me a gift card to bakery Tiny Pies for my birthday. I ordered the chicken pot pie, because she had raved about it before, calling it the best one she’s had in awhile. She wasn’t wrong: the (always great and flaky) pie crust enveloped a nourishing mixture of chicken, vegetables, and gravy. I chased that savory pie with a lovely little Key lime pie, which was tart and sweet. Pickup and delivery orders can be placed online or over the phone for each location. (5035 Burnet Road, Brentwood; 2032 South Lamar Boulevard, Zilker) —Nadia Chaudhury

For falafels and desserts: Ahead of the first day of Ramadan, falafels seemed appropriate , especially from essential Mediterranean food truck Abo Youssef. The falafels are compact and sturdy, the rice pudding was creamy, and the baklava was sticky sweet. Orders can be placed through Yelp, or in person. (2101 Manor Road, Cherrywood) —Nadia Chaudhury

April 18-19

For fancy takeout: I felt like jazzing up my Tuesday, so I ordered from one of my favorites, Emmer & Rye. The cacio e pepe was dependably cheesy and comforting as always, but the smoked broccoli was what really blew me away. With a lemongrass glaze, crunchy benne seeds, and fresh herbs, it turned plain ol’ broccoli into a surprising, upscale dish. Order online for contactless pickup or delivery. (51 Rainey Street, Rainey) —Erin Russell

For pasta: Uncle Nicky’s is an overlooked neighborhood delight, and I’m so excited the restaurant reopened for takeout. From a $4 breakfast sandwich with the all-important melted American cheese (available all day) to great, unfussy pastas (I’m a fan of the rigatoni with meaty ragu) to coffee drinks, it’s an easy stop any time of day. (51 Rainey Street, Rainey) —Erin Russell

For Chinese beef noodle soup: My love of noodles and soups have been well-documented, and the large container of house-made Chinese beef noodle soup from Julie’s Noodles is wonderful. It’s spicy, the noodles have a great chew, the soup is restorative, and, even better, it travels well. The restaurant has implemented a whole contactless pickup system that involves a whole lot of trust: online orders are placed at a table right behind the door, customers pick up said-orders, those who are paying by card input the amount into the Square register, and then use the hand sanitizer. (8557 Research Boulevard, North Austin) —Nadia Chaudhury

For pizza and beer: As a former New Yorker, pizza is important to me, and I enjoy the variety of pies available in the city. For thicker pies, my go-to is Via 313. I love the sweet and savory flavors of the Cadillac, with the balance of the jammy fig preserves, the sharp gorgonzola, and the drizzle of the balsamic glaze. The Rainey Street location also makes it easy to pick up some beers from host bar Craft Pride’s retail shop. Orders are placed online and then, when ready, people will get a text message and be able to pick up their pizza boxes from a table out front. (61 Rainey Street, Downtown)—Nadia Chaudhury

April 11-12

For bento boxes: East Austin Japanese restaurant Fukumoto put together hefty bento boxes for takeout service. I went with the king salmon deluxe bento box, which came with so many items. Along with the salmon skewers (which I mixed with white rice), there were fried baby octopuses, kurobuta sausage cut up to look like an octopus, delightful pickled vegetables, Brussels sprouts covered in sesame seeds, and even miso soup. The meal was rounded out with a slice of delicately layered crepe cake covered in chocolate ganache. Pickup orders can be placed online, and there are also GrubHub deliveries. (514 Medina Street, East Austin) —Nadia Chaudhury

For tacos: After a really stressful morning, I realized there was only one thing that could make it better: tacos from Nixta Taqueria. The sweet potato (vegetables!) is my dependable go-to, but I also ventured out with the queka special, a regional street food of veal picadillo in a kind-of fried empanada. I would recommend ordering 700 of these if you can. It was crunchy, cheesy, and comforting, with a small side of shredded cabbage to offset the decadence. It’s impossible to leave the colorful building and warm hospitality without a smile on your face. Order online for pickup or delivery ($40 minimum for delivery). (2512 East 12th Street, Chestnut) —Erin Russell

For enchiladas: I finally had the time to try Parkside’s Tex-Mex restaurant, Vamonos, and I now greatly regret it has taken me this long. The chicken enchiladas came in a herbaceous poblano cream sauce, with lots of gooey Oaxacan cheese for unctuousness. My order also came with tortilla chips and spicy salsa — which I turned into chilaquiles the next day. The staff were friendly and accommodating, even during our brief interactions. Order online for contactless pickup. (4807 Airport Boulevard, North Loop) —Erin Russell

For cheeseburgers: Okay, I’m a believer in the restaurant burger (unlike my other colleagues), and I’ve previously shared my praises for Salt & Time’s wonderful version, made with leftover butcher trimmings lending to a great textured patty. Thankfully, the stellar burger is currently available for takeout service. I stuck with the pickles, but nixed the mayonnaise. I amped the sandwich up even further by adding a thick slice of mozzarella from cheese haven Antonelli’s, which is also open for to-go service right now. Meat and cheese: the perfect pairing. Both Salt & Time and Antonelli’s are offering curbside pickups through online ordering, and Antonelli’s is also offering delivery through Favor. (Salt & Time: 1912 East Seventh Street, East Austin; Antonelli’s, 4220 Duval Street, Hyde Park) —Nadia Chaudhury

April 3-5

For large servings of Korean hot pot: Flavorful soups with a whole bunch of additions is major go-to comfort dish for me. Korean restaurant Seoulju’s spicy rice cake hot pot fits that bill. Surprisingly, it travels well and the serving is massive, so much so that I have enough portions to last me for at least five or so meals. The (again) gigantic serving is chock-full of both rice and fish cakes, fried seaweed rolls, fried dumplings, and ramen noodles (variety keeps you on your toes). Of course, I added cheese and extra kimchi. Takeout and delivery orders are placed over the phone. For takeout, you arrive at the restaurant, where your order is placed on the table out front, and you can either pay through Venmo ahead of time or pay right then. (9515 North Lamar Boulevard, North Lamar) —Nadia Chaudhury

For actual vegetables: Better Half’s spring big salad was a nice contrast to the endless amounts of pasta and cheese I have eaten since March (even if I did pair the salad with a porky empanada from Dai Due — but that had greens in it, too!). The big — no joke, you can eat it for two days — salad has shaved asparagus, Little Gem (aka the best lettuce), feta, clementine wedges, and more delightful, texturally interesting, and healthy additions. Order online or call ahead for curbside pickup. (406 Walsh Street, Clarksville) —Erin Russell

For carbs and cheese: On the other end of the spectrum, Aviary’s take on lasagna was one of my favorite takeout dishes I’ve had so far. Scandalously tender 48-hour beef short rib is layered with braised collard greens (!!!), and housemade ricotta for a kind of lighter, modern take on the traditionally Italian dish. The dish seems to have been converted into a pappardelle dish with the same ingredients — pair it with something from its wine list (one of the most fun in town) and you’re set for the night. Order online for pickup or via UberEats for delivery. (2110 South Lamar Boulevard, South Lamar) —Erin Russell

For comforting seafood and rice: Again, comfort food is essentially required now, and South Austin Cajun restaurant Evangeline Cafe hits that need perfectly. The fried catfish po’ boy is a hefty sandwich, especially when paired with the oh-so-thinly battered onion rings. Then there’s the very comforting seafood dinner. I opted for fried crawfish (’tis the season) and grilled shrimp, plus dirty rice and a side salad (for something green at least). The breading is just enough to compliment the mudbugs, the sizable grilled shrimp was juicy, and the dirty rice is seasoned rightly spicy. Call in your order, arrive at the restaurant, tell them you’re there, wait outside, and someone will come out with the bill and your food. (8106 Brodie Lane, Far South Austin) —Nadia Chaudhury

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