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Order delivery from these ten trendy Chicago restaurants at your next dinner party

These delicious dishes travel surprisingly well, and are bound to impress even the most hard-to-please guest

Written by Zach Long association with Grubhub.

So, you're hosting a dinner party. Who says you have to cook? Gone are the days when ordering delivery meant admitting defeat in the kitchen—these days, it's a perfectly legitimate thing to do. We've found ten Chicago restaurants delivering dishes that you wouldn't expect would travel well... and yet, thanks to clever packaging or detailed reheating instructions, they really do. Here are some of the best places to order difficult-to-deliver dishes throughout the city that will blow the minds of your dinner guests.

Tanaka Ramen
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1. Tanaka Ramen

Guests not satisfied with the temperature of your tonkotsu, chicken or vegetable ramen when it arrives? Tanaka Ramen includes reheating instructions with its containers of broth, noodles and toppings, ensuring that you can recreate the experience of slurping noodles at its Lakeview restaurant with the help of the biggest bowl in your kitchen.

Pho 888
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2. Pho 888

Much like ramen, this Vietnamese pho shows up at your door in a variety of containers, allowing you to combine the rich beef broth with noodles, beef, bean sprouts and cilantro. It's a fun communal activity that your guests will remember; and if they have kids, Pho 888 also serves a slightly smaller portion of rice noodle soup, aptly named “pho baby.”

Bad Apple
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3. Bad Apple

Burgers don’t always travel very well, and gourmet patties laden with toppings usually fare even worse. Bad Apple’s stacks of beef typically arrive in good shape — and if you’re really trying to avoid a soggy bun, you can request messy toppings like cheese sauce and onion jam be delivered on the side.

Pleasant House Pub
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4. Pleasant House Pub

You have two options if you’re hosting a dinner party when it's cold out, and craving savory royal pot pies from this English-style pub in Pilsen. Ordering a pie cooked in Pleasant House’s kitchen is usually a good bet—they typically arrive warm and crispy. But if you’re really worried about the condition of your pie, Pleasant House also delivers take and bake pies, completed with cooking instructions. 

Paulie Gee’s
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5. Paulie Gee’s

Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas like the ones Paulie Gee’s specializes in are usually at their best a few minutes after they’ve been taken out of the oven. That’s why you’ll find detailed reheating instructions on every pie delivered from this spot, giving you the ability to replicate that fresh-from-the-oven taste in your own kitchen. 

Beautiful Rind
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6. Beautiful Rind

You’ll have to supply your own board, but the charcuterie and cheese from Logan Square speciality cheese shop Beautiful Rind arrives ready to serve. Whether you want to serve cheese for dinner (no shame there) or just looking for some snacks for your movie night or book club, you can get exactly what you need—and snag a bottle of wine while you’re at it.

Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Sushi-san

Want to impress your guests with something a little fancier than the usual dinner party fare? Opt for Sushi-san’s Megatron sushi set, which mimics a tableside omakase experience with 12 pieces of nigiri, eight pieces of sashimi and two maki rolls served in an attractive to-go box. For best results, wash all that pristine sushi down with a bottle of sake—the restaurant delivers several options in the junmai category.

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8. Ssyall 

The speciality at Ssyall is samgye tang, a Korean whole cornish hen soup served with ginseng, jujube, garlic, green onions and brown rice. If you order for delivery, the dish arrives deconstructed (with the hen, broth and toppings separated), making it easy for you and your friends to customize your bowls of fancy chicken soup.

JIAO by Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings
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9. JIAO by Qing Xiang Yuan Dumplings

When you order dumplings from JIAO, they’ll arrive in a specially-designed proprietary tray that keeps your steamed or pan-fried morsels separated from one another. Whether you opt for the truffle and beef or sea urchin and vermicelli as your fillings, you won’t have to worry about trying to dislodge a clump of sticky dumplings.

Paleta Factory
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10. Paleta Factory

When you can’t track down your local paletero and you need a frozen treat, this local paleteria delivers. With flavors like cucumber lime, cheesecake, rice pudding and cafe con leche, you’ll probably be able to find something you haven’t tried before. Don’t worry about these paletas thawing out, as they typically arrive intact (nothing a few minutes in the freezer can’t fix).

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