Raise your hand if you’re so over cooking (and cleaning!) after months and months of restaurant shutdowns. With restrictions slowly being lifted and restaurants throwing open their doors, opportunities to dine out are emerging. But, you might not be quite ready to take the plunge into un-distancing your family. Luckily, restaurants have been upping their family-friendly carry-out game with new specials to-go. A carry-out family feast is always a welcome break and a good way to ease back into feeling human again. Here are ten picks for the best family feasts to-go, all of which also promise to introduce little taste buds to delightful new flavors and spices from a variety of culinary traditions.


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Pisolino Italian Market’s Half-Pan & Take & Bake Pizza Family Feasts

Popular Italian eatery Pisolino recently morphed into an Italian market, offering gourmet goodies direct from il bel paese, to-go meals and more. Their hearty half-pans to-go serve six and bring healthy, homemade cooking direct to your dining room table. Choose from all your favorite Italian classics, including whole roasted chicken Vesuvio with potatoes; eggplant Parmesan; red wine braised short ribs with potato cauliflower purée; and grilled beef tenderloin with a fresh thyme, rosemary/chianti reduction. Pop one of their authentic Italian-style take & bake pizzas into your oven for now or into your freezer for later. Delivery is also available via Caviar, UberEats and Post Mates.

Order online at pisolinochicago.com


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Luella’s Southern Kitchen Half Pans To-Go

Luella’s Southern Kitchen is a beloved Lincoln Square restaurant, known for its traditional Southern favorites. Order up half pans of mac-n-cheese, cornbread, braised collard greens, country fried or smoked jerk chicken and shrimp etouffee, with a Texas sheet cake for dessert (buttermilk chocolate cake with candied pecan topping) for a crowd-pleasing feast to remember.

Order online at luellassouthernkitchen.com


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Gather Chicago’s Seasonal Family Feasts To-Go

Gather Chicago gathers everything you need for a celebratory (or plain old weekday) dinner with the family. Their rotating seasonal family-style dinners emphasize innovative and healthy American cuisine and are available for pick-up or carry-out and the menu changes weekly: a sample menu features fried chicken (with roasted sweet corn and coleslaw), roasted pork loin (with creamy polenta, spring peas and Cobb salad) and roasted pork shoulder (with mac -n-cheese and potato salad).

Order online at gatherchicago.com


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The Outpost Mexican Eatery’s Build Your Own Family Taco Bar To-Go

Located in the West Loop, Outpost Mexican Eatery prides itself on offering traditional Mexican favorites with a focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients. Tacos, burritos and bowls can be ordered a la carte, for both delivery and to-go, but the Build Your Own Family Taco Bar is where it’s at this summer: Complete with fresh tortillas, grilled steak and chicken, plus rice and beans for four, this feast is the ultimate crowd pleaser, since everyone customize their own tacos. Order online at theoutpostmexicaneatery.com/


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Demera Ethiopian’s Messob Combination Family Feast To-Go

Ethiopian food is best served family-style, and Demera’s Messob Combination Family feast lets you try a bunch of different dishes, up to seven, all accompanied by injera—a traditional, spongy sour flatbread. Take your pick from a variety of meat stews or vegetarian main dishes and sides. Kids (and parents!) will especially love the doro wot (lemony chicken drumsticks simmered with onions, garlic, and ginger), sambusas (fried dumplings served with a sweet and spicy honey sauce) and kayser tibs (sautéed garden beets and carrots seasoned with cinnamon).

Order online at toasttab.com/demera-ethiopian-restaurant


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Mundano’s Family Picnic To-Go

Located in Lincoln Park West, Mundano now offers family picnics to go. Everything you need for a picnic in the park, including a selection of focaccia, salumeria, cheese, spreads, pickles, and cookies, is conveniently packed up to-go, all you need is a blanket to spread out on the grass.

Order online at exploretock.com/mundano


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Banyan Ko Family-Style Dinners To-Go

Bayan Ko is a Filipino-Cuban mashup founded by Chef Lawrence Letrero and his partner Raquel Quadreny. Bayan Ko means “My Country”, or “My home” in Tagalog, and all of the offerings here were inspired by family recipes. Their weekly, rotating, family-style dinners include a main entree, veggies, sides, and for dessert, donut holes from Downstate Donuts. Check out instagram @bayankochicago for the latest menu, posted every Saturday.

Order online at exploretock.com/bayankochicago/


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Nana, Ajo & Taco E Chicago’s Brunch To-Go

Ahh. . . the weekend. There’s nothing like heading out for a relaxing brunch. Even better, how about staying in your PJ’s and bringing brunch home? Nana, Ajo & Taco E Chicago have teamed up to offer all your brunch favorites to-go, making for the ultimate weekend family feast. Choose from guava-stuffed french toast, chilaquiles, breakfast burritos, tacos and tortas and more. And because brunch isn’t brunch without a little booze, parents simply must check out the to-go brunch cocktail options, including fresh lime and strawberry margaritas, mimosas, and spicy bloody marys.

Order online at toasttab.com/nana-chicago


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Café Cancale’s Prix-Fixe Family Meals To-Go

Café Cancale recently morphed into the quintessential french market. In addition to a gourmet selection of fresh seafood, seasonal veggies, freshly-baked breads and cheese, and all the French pantry essentials you need, the market also offers curated, cook-at-home dinner and ready-to-eat meals to-go. Their prix-fixe family meal to-go includes a collection of French dishes including Lyonnaise salad, roasted chicken with carrots and mashed potatoes complete with a fromage blanc cheesecake for dessert.

Order online at exploretock.com/cafecancale/


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Scandanavian-Style Family Feast To-Go

Michelin-starred Elske is offering takeout for the very first time, with a new menu every week prepared by chefs David and Anna Posey. Available for ready-to-eat pickup Fri.-Sun., 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m., a sample menu features buckwheat crepes stuffed with Gruyere, mushrooms and kale, creamed peas and asparagus, marinated beet and radish salad and vanilla rice pudding with hearth-roasted strawberries. Check back every Monday at noon for the weekly menu.

Order online at exploretock.com/elske-chicago

— Amy Bizzarri

Featured photo: August de Richelieu via Pexels


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