Maybe a friend is celebrating a promotion and you want to send them something as a congratulations. Or they’re going through a rough patch and you want to cheer them up. Or maybe you just like the idea of sending a close friend a whole lot of cheese. Maybe that person is yourself. Whatever the reason, here are 12 great delivery ideas from Chicago restaurants - everything from charcuterie and wine to cocktails and pastries. Not only will this food make a person’s day, but you’ll be supporting local bars and restaurants at the same time.
Everything we’ve tried (and we’ve tried everything) from this bakery and chocolatier in the West Loop has been delicious. They make all sorts of pastries, petit gateau, macarons, alfajores, and lots and lots of handmade chocolates. Basically, if you’re in the market to send something sweet, you can’t go wrong if it’s from here. So, we’ll just go ahead and put our address in the chat.
This cafe and wine shop in Ukrainian Village is one of our favorite places to get wine, cheese, and basically anything you’d want to file under “picnic provisions.” For the holiday season, they’re selling gift boxes that come with an assortment of cheese, cured meats, “crunchy fun stuff” (like almonds and snack mix), local honey, housemade crackers, cookies, and just all sorts of good things.
Nothing says “I recognize your special occasion and/or horrible occasion” like booze. And while a bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s is always appreciated, consider sending a fancy cocktail kit from Kumiko instead. Like, for example, their signature “seamless” cocktail, which is made with namazaké, aquavit, Pineau des Charentes Rouge, elderflower syrup, and orange saffron bitters. Or, the oolong Old Fashioned, which has Japanese whisky, scotch, calvados, cassis, oolong, and angostura bitters. Plus, they also have a long list of spirit-free drinks. You can order some snacks like honey nori cashews or tea cookies, too.
Living Water Tea House
If giving booze doesn’t feel right, consider tea and pastries from Living Water, a cute tea parlor that opened last summer in University Village. Their menu has a variety of hard-to-find teas (like Pu-erh and Dong Ding oolong), honey peach avocado milk, pastries like salted egg yolk or taro su, and a variety of basque, pudding, and cotton cheesecakes. They also have teaware for sale, but the handmade pottery isn’t available for delivery.
With their wrappers gently snuggling fillings, dumplings are pretty much the embodiment of a hug in food form. And if you’re looking for something warm and comforting for someone having a sh*tty time of it, send a box of dumplings from QXY in Chinatown. You can get them cooked or uncooked, and they come with instructions for steaming, boiling, or frying. They also have plates, teacups, chopsticks, and miniature loose leaf tea sets, all of which are available for delivery.
After last year’s sourdoughapalooza, the idea of baking bread might sound as appealing as a Zoom Happy Hour. But Parachute’s bing bread is truly one of the most delicious things someone can possibly eat, and they made a little cookbook dedicated to recreating it. Luckily, the restaurant still has actual bread available for delivery. So send both, along with a bottle of wine, to anyone who loves baking and/or delicious things.
This new cheese shop and cafe in Logan Square has (of course) a fantastic selection of cheeses, and offers a variety of different wines too. Send someone a charcuterie spread with a bottle of wine, one of the curated “treat boxes,” or better yet, their “cheese for dinner” plate, which is exactly what it sounds like. Either way, more cheese is a good thing.
If there’s someone in your life who’s way too busy to cook (this person might very well be you), send them the fantastic take-and-bake enchiladas from Frontera. They have two kinds (red chicken chile and enchiladas suiza), and the dish comes with heating instructions. Include a to-go margarita with it.
After being closed for a few months, this upscale omakase spot in Logan Square reopened with a carryout bento box for $120. It’s a perfect option if you would like to take someone out for a celebratory dinner, but, you know, Covid. The box varies from week to week, but always includes a selection of nigiri, rolls, and miso soup. You’ll find things like salmon oshizushi, futomaki, and even a spicy tuna roll made with large-grain Kyoten rice.
Or instead of dinner, give someone a celebratory brunch spread from The Bongo Room. This weekday brunch spot is known for dishes like their chocolate tower French toast, and white chocolate and caramel pretzel pancakes, which they’ve turned into take-and-bake bread puddings. They also have savory strata, biscuits and gravy pot pie, and a selection of to-go mimosas.
The best Italian restaurant in Chicago has meal-kit versions of some of their best dishes. This means things like gnocchetti with fresh pasta, ricotta, sauce, pine nuts, and pecorino. There’s also take-and-bake lasagna, or the ragu alla Napoletana, which includes their housemade fusilli rustico, cacciatore sausage, soppressata meatball, tomato-braised pork shank, and broccoli rapini. Everyone’s day is a little bit better when they’re cradling a pork shank in their arms.
Consider this entry a four-for-one, because you’ll find an assortment of meal kits from several of the “goat” restaurants - whether it’s dumplings, the pig face, pancakes, or green beans. The “Dinner In Under 40” kits feed two and (as you might have deduced) take less than 40 minutes to prepare. Plus, they even ship nationally. We sent one to our parents for their anniversary, and they didn’t even complain once.