There’s no move that makes you feel more like a VIP guest or regular at a restaurant than knowing you can order off the menu or asking the chef to “just cook.” While our restaurant experiences these days are relegated to scrolling through apps to order the N1 hand-pulled noodles or one of the “Top Menu Items” from our favorite eateries, you can still feel like you’re in on a secret these days with some of the city’s best delivery and takeout options.
The process is very similar to how New York’s pastry chefs have created underground dessert pop-ups across the city. When you follow a private Instagram account, join a weekly email list or slide into a kitchen’s DM, what may show up at your doorstep ranges from a sprawling Vietnamese crayfish boil to a month’s worth of fresh dumplings you can freeze while sheltering in place still feels very TBD—and all you want to do is eat.
Di An Di
Di An Di in Greenpoint has a diverse (and creative) Vietnamese menu available on Grubhub and Caviar, where you can get your fix of pho and other hits favorites like spring rolls and Viet coffee. But you’ll find a secret menu under the restaurant’s private IG account @didi.nyc for specials like an at-home crayfish bowl (a bi-weekly special that's available on Wednesdays and Sundays until its sold out) or chicken wings doused in lemongrass ginger fish sauce caramel sauce.
Taste of Persia
Saeed Pourkay’s beloved Taste of Persia is back. While he had plans to open a brick-and-mortar location, those plans are on pause and he’s focusing on delivery. You’ll find about three dishes (typically priced $17-$25) each week listed on Pourkay’s Facebook and Instagram accounts with free delivery in Manhattan and $15 for Brooklyn and Queens. If the ash reshteh—a thick soup with lentils, noodles and plenty of herbs—is on the menu, we'd highly recommend it as a must order.
Indonesian Food Bazaar
Once a month, fans of Indonesian fare would flock to St. James Episcopal Church in Elmhurst, Queens, where Felincia “Fefe” Anggono has organized the Indonesian Food Bazaar since 2011. While she’s directed much of her efforts to feeding frontline employees at Elmhurst Hospital, you can text Anggono via WhatsApp about her daily menu, ranging from more traditional beef rendang (a fragrant and spicy coconut beef stew) to nasi kuning (turmeric yellow rice with coconut milk). Her number is 347-615-2003 and there's a $50 minimum delivery to Queens, northern Brooklyn and most of Manhattan and $100 minimum for Harlem and the Bronx.
La Bicyclette Bakery
The menu of baguettes and croissants at La Bicyclette Bakery makes you feel like a traditional French boulangerie has landed in Williamsburg. You can be like the regulars here and just order a sandwich by Chef Flo, whom will create a recipe on the spot with the organic baguettes. The modified hours are currently 8am-3pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Maxi Lau temporarily closed her Flushing noodle shop over a month ago, but now her delivery service is humming along. You can email Lau—firstname.lastname@example.org—for the latest menu and delivery times. The orders of wontons and dumplings ($14.15-$16.33) come in bulk sizes that you can keep frozen, but the menu may include dishes like beef stew and a house-made chili oil.
Shimai Care Kit
Chef Hong Thaimee has teamed up with Erina Yoshida (Angel’s Share, Sunrise Mart) to offer the Asian-inspired Shimai Care Kit. Only 100 meals are prepared each week—with themes like Chiang Mai New Year Feast and Vegan Love—and you can order ahead of time by emailing email@example.com for details (they’re even taking menu suggestions). Another bonus: they’re donating 20% of profits from each week, split between City Harvest and another charity each week.
Do or Dive
This laid back bar is a Brooklyn favorite in Bed-Stuy that we can’t wait to hang out during the warmer months (dogs are welcome!). But for now, the party takes places at home and you can order through DMing their IG account and pickup your order or get delivery 2-8pm daily.
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