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Here's how Sydney's hospitality businesses are adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic

Person making coffee behind counter at Single O cafe
Photograph: Katje Ford

In an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the closure of “non-essential” businesses and services on Sunday evening, March 22. What that means for us is that pubs (excluding those with a takeaway license), licensed clubs, gyms, sporting venues, casinos, night clubs, cinemas and places of worship (operating at more than the one-person-per-four-square-metre rule) are to be closed from noon on Monday, March 23 until further notice. 

Restaurants and cafés are still able to operate, but will be restricted to takeaway and home delivery only. Sadly, some of the city’s most cherished establishments – including Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Quay, the Old Fitz and Ester, among many others – have chosen to temporarily shut their doors, but there are venues that are pushing onward.

Despite drastic staff cuts and an unprecedented downturn in trade, our city’s hospitality workforce is still proving how resourceful, supportive and proactive it can be, and some of our favourite spots to get watered and fed have pivoted their offerings to include home delivery (often by the venue’s very own casual staff), pre-prepared meals, contactless click-and-collect pick-up and produce boxes direct from their suppliers.

There are other community initiatives taking place, as well. Sydney-based food writer Tristan Lutze has launched an Instagram account, Saving Plates, which spotlights what some of the country’s best restaurants are doing in response. Chloe Chaplin has created Mosman Eating, a site that compiles the neighbourhood’s best pick-up and delivery options. Online booking platform TheFork is also offering restaurants free listings and a new search function that enables diners to find eateries that are operating under the new guidelines. 

Below is a by no means exhaustive list of the venues taking action right now and making it incredibly easy for you to continue showing your support (in alphabetical order), but please understand that everything is changing very quickly and everyone is doing their best to keep up. Check the social media accounts of your favourite venues for the most up-to-date information.

Help support local hospo workers: have your say here, or sign the petition here.

If you are ordering for pick-up, please remember to be responsible and take hygienic precautions before entering a venue and interacting with others and do not leave the house if you are feeling even the slightest bit unwell.  

The Apollo

Enjoy classics from the menu at this perennially packed modern Greek restaurant in Potts Point at home, like taramasalata, the whole baked lamb shoulder and those insanely good roasted chat potatoes. Order online and pick-up between 5-8.30pm.  

Arthur

This intimate deg-only diner in Surry Hills has launched ‘Arthur To-Go’, a collection of $30 meals for two the Arthur team likes to cook at home. Think lasagne with pork and tomato ragu or housemade duck sausages with mash. Click here to view the full menu, place your order by emailing hello@arthurrestaurant.com or text 0468 770 081 by 10am and pick it up from 4pm.

Azuma

You can place an order on this respected CBD Japanese restaurant's website for pick-up, then drive up to Chifley building and the staff will run it out to you. 

Baccomatto Osteria

One of Surry Hills' favourite local hangouts recently relocated to Randwick and is offering both drive-by pick-up and free contact-free home delivery (to Randwick, Kingsford, Daceyville, Coogee and Maroubra) for lunch and dinner. The menu features classic antipasti, housemade pastas and Roman-style pizza by the slice. There's also a children's menu and a $50 family pack for four. 

Bart Jr

Redfern's most happening wine bar will remain open in the evenings between 4-8pm for takeaway. Check the venue's Instagram page for the menu. Text 0413 643 349 and bring your own carry bag.

Barzaari

This Marrickville Middle Eastern restaurant will remain open for takeaway until 11pm Tuesday through Sunday, but will also be offering delivery meals like a slow-roasted lamb shoulder with roasted vegetables, Cypriot rice and tzatziki. Check the Instagram page for what's cooking and call 02 9569 3161 to place an order.

Bathers' Pavilion

The 'Bathers' at Home' menu launches Saturday, March 21, offering everything from fresh pasta and pizza dough so that you can cook at home, to pantry staples like olive oil and granola. There are also family meals available. Orders can be placed between noon and 8pm on 02 8350 5873.

Bella Brutta

Our Time Out Food Awards winner for Best New Restaurant is no stranger to takeaway, but home delivery is now an option, as well. You can browse the menu and order from the restaurant's website, which includes hits like the clam and mortadella pizzas, in addition to essentials like bread, coffee, beer and wine. And, while you're there, you can donate to the 'Slice of Life' initiative, which is providing slices to unemployed hospitality workers in this challenging time.  

Big Poppa’s

Darlo’s late-night cheese and pasta specialist is offering the entire menu for takeaway. Visit the restaurant’s website to view the menu and call 0499 052 201 to place an order.

Bloodwood

Takeaway and home delivery from this Newtown locals' favourite are both available, so you can relish those polenta chips, pecan pâté and fried chicken from the comfort of your couch. View the menu here, and place an order on 02 9557 7699.

Buffalo Dining Club

Sadly, they're not delivering pasta in whole wheels of cheese, but the gang at this Darlinghurst mainstay is serving up the likes of salumi, buffalo mozzarella, lasagne, gnocchi, beef stew, salads, sides and tiramisù from 5pm for pick-up, Thursday through Saturday. Check Instagram for what's cooking and stay tuned for a range of cook-at-home meals and delivery options. 

Burger Patch

Burgers of all shapes and sizes from this Chatswood local are on offer for both lunch and dinner via online delivery partners, or by calling 02 8094 8822.

Cali Press

This popular pit stop for cold-pressed juices and healthy eats has launched an 'Immunity Booster' quarantine care package, which includes 15 fruit and vegetable juices and a pack of Ovvio tea for $95. Pick one up or order over the web to have it delivered.

Cho Cho San

Popular picks from the menu at this Potts Point izakaya, like katsu steamed buns, sashimi salmon and teriyaki fish collars are all being packaged up for takeaway. Order via the website or by calling 02 9331 6601.

Chin Chin

This Melbourne-born institution is so relentlessly popular, it used to maintain a no-bookings policy. However, to meet demand in these strange times it is now, for the first time ever, offering takeaway, from Wednesday to Sunday, anytime between 4 and 9pm. Either call in or order via its website. 

Circa Espresso

The entire menu at this ace Parramatta café is available for takeaway (hell yes, Ottoman Eggs!). Unfortunately, they’re not offering delivery, but if you order house-roasted coffee beans, they’ll ship them to you directly free of charge (with complimentary grinding on request).

Continental Deli

The fridges and shelves are stocked with the essentials you know and love at this Newtown standby – cheeses, cured meats, olive oil, hot sauce, tinned fish, Cornucopia eggs and more – but there are also 200-gram packs of housemade pasta on offer for $6 and $10 tins of soup and vegetables. Think classics like potato and leek, pea and smoked ham, as well as chickpeas and greens in tomato sauce or curried lentils in coconut. 

Dear Sainte Éloise

All the wine from the incredible list at this cosy Potts Point hangout has been made available at retail prices. In addition, they are selling $100 hampers stocked with local organic produce from the Vegetables Box and Pocket City Farms, as well as housemade pasta, eggs, bread and even bog roll. Email hello@dearsainteeloise.com before 4pm Thursday to place an order, or drop by between 3-8pm daily.

DOC

Our first outpost of one of Melbourne's most popular pizzerias is preparing the entire menu for takeaway. Give them a call on 02 9211 1507 to place an order.

Dutch Smuggler

These sandwiches have a reputation. You can still grab a mi goreng toastie from this CBD favourite's George Street outpost, or order for takeaway or delivery via Uber Eats or Hey You.

Din Tai Fung

Place your order directly at this dumpling empire's World Square, Chatswood Central Park and Miranda locations and receive 15% off. They're also offering frozen portions of noodles, buns and dumplings for you to prepare at home. 

Elva

This newish pint-sized Bondi Road trattoria has always offered takeaway, but they've introduced a take-home selection of five fresh housemade pastas ($7 for 120-150 grams) like gnocchi and casarecce, as well as a range of sauces, from Bolognese to duck or mushroom ragù ($8-$11 for 100-150 grams) for you to prepare in your own kitchen. To order, call 02 9130 1501 a half hour ahead of your pick-up time.

Fei Jai

Potts Point's beloved neighbourhood Cantonese restaurant is offering kerbside pick-up and free home delivery of its full menu to both Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay. Expect steamed buns, spring rolls, dumplings and the likes of salt-and-pepper squid, mapo tofu and more. You can save 10% by ordering directly via phone on 02 8668 4424 or WhatsApp on 0421 523 551.

Firedoor

Lennox Hastie and his team are working with their network of suppliers and putting together Market Boxes of housemade bread and butter, seasonal fruits and vegetables, local eggs and proteins for $150. Email zoe@firedoor.com.au by 5pm on Saturday, March 21 to place an order for pick-up Thursday, March 26. 

Fix Wine Bar and Restaurant

The long-standing CBD wine bar has made some of its most popular items available for pick-up from a concise menu – think a fry pack of onion rings, potato gems and school prawns to a humble Cuban sandwich or a veal schnitzel. Call 02 9232 2767 to place an order.

Fratelli Fresh

The fast-casual Italian giant has launched 'Gourmet Grocer & Home Chef' service, offering free home delivery to the Eastern Suburbs, South Sydney, Sutherland Shire, the Sydney CBD, Inner West, North Sydney, Manly and Brookvale. In addition to a full-fledged grocery selection, there are fresh meals to prepare at home – soups, pizza bases, pastas and sauces – and a substantial beer, wine and liquor selection.

The Grounds of Alexandria

The catering arm of this Alexandria mega café can brighten your day and your dining table by delivering cakes of all shapes and sizes right to your door. We're talking everything from Black Forest to red velvet, banana, caramel chiffon and more.

Handpicked Wines Cellar Door

Same-day delivery is now available within a 25-kilometre radius of this urban cellar door in Chippendale, which also happens to boast an extravagant selection of cheese, charcuterie and other premium goods (hello, Russian caviar) to go along with the wines. Members of the cellar door team are also hosting complimentary video calls for virtual wine tastings.

The Hopper Pan

A fixture at markets across the city, the Hopper Pan has temporarily transitioned from food stall to ready-made and frozen meal pick-up and delivery, offering a host of Sri Lankan short eats and curries. Check out their website for more information.  

I Maccheroni

This Woollahra-based restaurant is slinging a three course feast for just $50: mushroom arancini, tortelli spinach and parmigiano reggiano and a ricotta tiramisu to top it off. Make sure to order online the day before. 

Isabel

Check out this Bondi local for vegan ramen, gyoza and fresh, fusion classics. But most importantly, they've got a spirit-centred highball kit and cocktail kit menus – so you can have fresh, botanical ingredients delivered to your door. BYO liquor. 

Kikuma

This family-owned Japanese eatery in Canley Vale is ladling up tonkotsu and tori ramens, as well as udon, curries and donburi and packing up all manner of classics like agedashi tofu, karaage chicken and gyoza from its extensive menu. All takeaway orders will receive a 10% discount and can be placed by calling 02 9755 5549.

Love, Tilly Devine

The entire Aussie-focused wine list is available for retail prices, and there are $15 pre-batched Negronis and $5 tinnies available to take home, too. As for food, they're dishing up lasagne, charcuterie and burrata to go with it. Pop by the Darlo laneway stayer between 3-8pm to pick up.

Lucio’s

Staples from the Italian institution's menu (tagliolini alla granseola, FTW) are currently available for pick-up at 25% off regular prices. Orders can be placed from noon-8pm by calling 02 9380 5996 or via email at info@lucios.com.au, with pick-up commencing at 5.30pm.

Madame and Yves

You can treat yourself to the handiwork of one of Sydney's best pastry chefs by popping into this Clovelly patisserie, or visiting the website to place an order for home delivery. 

Maisys

This 24-hr Neutral Bay café isn't going anywhere soon. They've reduced their opening hours to 3pm-3am, but you'll be able to get their menu to take away or for delivery. 

Mamak

Sydney's most queued-for roti, satays and curries, along with the rest of the menu are all available for takeaway at both the Haymarket and Chatswood locations. Orders can be placed via the Mamak app or by phone on 02 9411 4411 (Chatswood) or 02 9211 1668 (Haymarket).   

Maybe Frank

Both the Randwick and Surry Hills branches of the popular pizzeria and cocktail bar are still open and offering a concise menu for takeaway and home delivery. There's a 15% discount on all orders placed for pick-up, and there are frozen pizzas available for $12-$15, as well. Ring 02 9398 8061 (Randwick) or 02 9357 3838 (Surry Hills) to get yet yours. 

Nel

They've temporarily closed, but you're still able to get your hands on the restaurant's food boxes, which include a selection of produce from the restaurant's suppliers as well as meat or seafood and pantry essentials. You can even add a bottle of wine or two.

Nilgiri’s

For a sumptuous Indian feast, look no further than Nilgiri's. Check out their menu here and order online for takeaway and delivery.

The Nine

If you want local brews and classic breakfast fare, Bondi café The Nine has still got you covered. Order via the major food apps for takeaway and delivery. Smashed avo incoming.

No. 92

Glebe's newest wine bar is offering both a menu of comfort classics (think roast chook or tomato and buffalo curd salad) and $10 cocktail kits that require nothing more than the addition of your favourite spirits. Order by calling 02 9571 9292, and you can arrange for delivery if you live within a five-kilometre radius. 

The Oaks

Neutral Bay's destination pub and home to one of Sydney's most beloved beer gardens is offering takeaway meat at local butcher prices. Expect rump caps, sirloins, fillets, dry-aged rib-eyes on the bone, schnitzels, sausages and more.

Ode

'Ode Bunker' is the new takeaway service from the Bondi Road cubby, with fresh pasta packs and focaccia on offer, as well as a compact menu of hearty Italian fare – think broccoli soup or baked cannellini beans in sugo. Call 02 9130 2894 to place an order, or message @ode.bondi on Instagram.

Olio Kensington Street

Pick-up and delivery for lunch and dinner from this Sicilian restaurant in Chippendale's Central Park precinct are both available. View the full menu here, and call 02 9281 1500 to place an order.

The Oxford Tavern

This Petersham pub's made the whole menu available for takeaway. In addition, they've recently opened a bottle shop with a range of independent beers and boutique wines. They've also launched an on-demand delivery service operated by their own staff, which offers burgers, barbecue and other pub classics alongside a range from the bottle shop. 

Panama House

There's a different kind of offering from Central American restaurant Panama House, who've introduced a new meal kit menu. Each pack is kitted out with the ingredients needed to prepare a meal in thirty minutes or less, for maximum freshness. They're also partnering with Diffferent Drop for handy wine pairings. 

The Plant Kitchen Co

What began as a Sydney Vegan Market stall is now a home delivery service that's 100% plant-based and plastic-free. Expect comfort classics like risotto, casserole, tagine, shakshuka and more. 

Porch and Parlour

All the menu items at one of North Bondi's busiest cafés are available for takeaway via the Hey You app.

Prince of York

Score staples from the CBD party palace's menu (yes, even the crab spaghetti in a bag!) prepped and ready for lunch and dinner if you wish, but if you'd prefer to do the cooking yourself, vac-packed meats, fresh pastas and sauces are also on hand. They've teamed up with Shorty's Liquor and Moonshine Music to offer a 'Party @ Home' package, too, with home booze delivery and playlists for dinner and dancing. Pick-up and delivery are both available by calling 02 8066 0550 or emailing hello@princeofyork.com.au

Puntino

This rustic Italian eatery in Woolloomooloo has made the entire menu available for pick-up and is selling pasta and sauces if you pop by, but if you'd rather stay at home, the team will deliver to Potts Point, Woolloomooloo and Darlinghurst between 5.30-8.30pm. Call 02 9331 8566 to order.

Ragazzi

Drop by this pocket-sized CBD pasta and wine bar for DIY pasta kits to cook at home and a bottle of something from the killer list of minimal-intervention Italian drops at retail prices between 4-7pm on weekdays.

RaRa Ramen

All the noodle soups you know and love from Redfern's ramen poster child are available for pick-up at both the Regent Street original and new Randwick locations via the website.

Rising Sun Workshop

Newtown's motorcycle-repair-shop-cum-ramen-ya are still open for takeaway at lunch time. Have a look at the menu here, and place your order by calling 02 9550 3891. You can also score the "ultimate" two-minute noodles to prepare at home later.

The Roosevelt

The Potts Point cocktail bar has you covered for dinner and drinks for both takeaway and home delivery. To eat, there's. a selection of comforting mains like beef bourguignon and green-bean casserole for $20 a pop. On the drinks front, you'll find $15 pre-batched Roosevelt Cocktails; classics like Negronis, Margaritas and Manhattans in 700ml format; and if you're wanting the full-blown bar experience, cocktail equipment and bespoke glassware to hire. Call 0423 203 119 to place your order.

The Royal - Leichhardt

This Leichhardt pub is changing gears and temporarily resurfacing as a convenience store, with dry goods, fresh produce as well as beer, wine and spirits all available for takeaway.

Saint Peter

Feel like some top-flight fish? Read more about the 'Mr Niland at Home' initiative here

Saltie

Brekky rolls, burgers and bowls are the orders of the day at this Surry Hills café that's made the whole menu available for takeaway between 7am and 3pm, Monday through Friday.

Sáng by Mabasa

While the pint-sized, family-owned Surry Hills Korean eatery has adopted a more simplified menu, you'll still find favourites like mandu, kimchi pancakes, fried chicken and bulgogi available for both takeaway and home delivery to Surry Hills, Redfern, Paddington and Darlinghurst. To-go packs of dumpling and soup are also available.

Santorini on Oxford

This local Greek joint has you covered for moussaka, spanokopita, dolmades, and all your Mediterranean favourites. Call 02 9360 9342 to order, as they have their own delivery and takeaway system. Plus, they're throwing in a roll of toilet paper for all takeaway orders. 

Salt Meats Cheese 

Want easy, fresh Italian cuisine delivered to your door? Salts Meats Cheese has got you covered with their solid selection and excellent value combos – we're talking a pizza and a drink for $20 on Mondays. Order online.  

Single O

Thankfully, takeaway is still an option at this almighty Sydney café, but the crew is urging you to buy beans from your local café and have launched a kickback initiative that allows Single O's café partners to earn 15% of referred online sales with the use of a unique code. They've also released a new 'Stimulus' blend that's perfect for espresso and filter brewing and are offering three bags for the price of two. Details here

Sixpenny

Not only can you procure a $120 hamper of the finest produce in the state (and the restaurant's pancake mix) from the highly acclaimed and intimate fine-diner's website, you can also arrange at-home dining for pick-up on Thursday and Friday evenings. Chef-owner Dan Puskas is putting together dinners for two – think moussaka with braised beans, Greek salad and rice pudding for dessert – for $90, and you can even request for the restaurant's sommelier to pair a bottle of wine for you. 

Sketch

This Manly café-cum-small-bar is brewing coffee and serving up brekky staples for takeaway and home delivery, as well as heat-and-eat curries. Stay tuned for batched cocktail and craft beer delivery, too. 

Sonoma

For all orders over $20, this much loved bakery is offering free home delivery within a four-kilometre radius of all locations (except Glebe), and there's also a click-and-collect option if you're close by, so running out of bread won't be an issue.

Song Kitchen

This Hyde Park café and not-for-profit fighting domestic violence has got you covered for breakfast lunch, and dinner – plus, they have a new immunity boosting menu to help you through this crisis. 

Soul Dining

This contemporary Korean restaurant in Surry Hills is offering some of its greatest hits, like roasted cauliflower with Korean curry and abalone risotto, for pick-up via Mr Yum.

Southside Charmers

A takeaway lunch menu is available on this Redfern favourite's Instagram page. Text 0466 413 203 to place an order, then just swing by, pay by card and collect.

Spice Alley

Viet, Alex Lee Kitchen, Old Jim Kee and Bang Luck are still offering takeaway, as well as delivery via online partners. Stay up to date with the latest developments on the precinct's Instagram account

The Taphouse

Not only is the whole food menu able to be ordered for takeaway, but the entire 300-strong packaged beer offering at Odd Culture is also. Rock up or call 02 9360 0088 to place an order.

Tequila Mockingbird

Chips and guac, ceviche, tacos and other Latin American favourites can be picked up from this Paddo small bar, and the crew will shortly be offering home delivery, not just of food, but of beers, wines and cocktails, too. View the full menu here

Third Rail Cafe

This local café is still serving aromatic brews and breakfast fare from its Waverton outpost. What's more, its owners are offering free coffee to doctors and nurses during this crisis as a way of showing their support. Order by phone on 02 9220 2060 or via the Hey You app.  

Timbah

This spunky Glebe wine bar is now doing takeaway, pick-up and a special drive-through service on its At Home Yum Cha special. Call 02 9571 7005 to order. 

Tokki

David Bae and Tony, the owners of this Surry Hills pan-Asian newcomer, are delivering food to customers within a one-kilometre radius of the restaurant themselves. Get Korean fried chicken, kimchi fried rice and other goodies by calling 02 9280 3637 from 5pm.

Totti's

Merivale's much-loved breezy Bondi local has launched a takeaway menu that includes the famous wood-fired flatbread, along with a host of antipasti, pastas and mains. There are pre-batched cocktails and bottles of wine available, too. Orders can be placed from noon daily and collected between 5-10pm from the bottle shop at the Royal Hotel on Bondi Road.

The Tudor

The Redfern pub will be operating as a convenience store, selling essentials like fresh food, pantry staples, toilet paper and sanitiser, as well as beer, wine and liquor.  

Upper East Side

The Bondi restaurant and bar has recently launched a new Japanese-Peruvian fusion menu, with pick-up available for both lunch and dinner, and home delivery via a number of partners. In a gesture of goodwill, customers over the age of 60 can receive 25% off their orders.

Where's Nick

Our 2020 Time Out Bar Award winner for Best Wine Bar is in the process of moving its entire selection to an online store and offering free same-day delivery on all orders place before 3pm to the Inner West.

Yan

Wolli Creek's destination-worthy Asian smokehouse has pivoted fully to takeaway and delivery and expanded their operating hours, with a newly devised menu of individual mains and family meals available for lunch and dinner daily. Place an order for pick-up by calling 02 9599 8712 or request delivery via Uber Eats.

Yulli's Brews

Pick-up and delivery are available from the Alexandria craft brewery by accessing the online shop, or calling 02 9519 0161.

If your venue is offering an initiative, we'd like to know about it. Email us at matthew.hirsch@timeout.com

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