The Chicago (Quarantine) Dinner & A Movie Guide

Where to order from, and what to watch: 11 ways to do dinner and a movie right.
The Chicago (Quarantine) Dinner & A Movie Guide image

photo credit: Sandy Noto

If you’re like us, right now your evenings revolve around two main questions: What to eat, and what to watch. Because let’s face it, there isn’t much else to do. So we’re here to make sure you’re doing dinner and a movie right. Below, you’ll find our picks for great delivery, and the perfect classic (according to us) movie to pair with it. We’ll be updating this regularly.

The Spots


West Loop

$$$$Perfect For:Cheap EatsClassic EstablishmentDeliveryDining SoloLunchQuick Eats

Movie Pairing:Minority Report (Netflix)

“This 20-year-old sci-fi movie (based on a 1956 short story) takes place in 2054, and it’s always fun to see what older sci-fi gets right. In Minority Report’s case, it predicted targeted advertising long before attorney ads started appearing on your phone after a fight with your spouse. And seeing pre-crime cop Tom Cruise frantically wave his haptic gloves in front of a sophisticated future computer is even better when paired with the carefully-engineered sandwiches from J.P. Graziano. For example, the muffuletta, which has the perfect ratio of meat to giardiniera to fluffy bread. It’s also a nice nod to the sandwich Cruise doesn’t end up eating after his black market eye replacement surgery. But you should definitely eat yours before that scene - it’s pretty gross.” -AK

Movie Pairing:Clue (Prime)

“Bavette’s is my favorite place to eat far, far too much, and forget about the concepts of time and space and sobriety. But it also possesses the same mysteriousness that you’ll find in Clue. Whenever I eat here, I spend most of my time creating backstories for everyone else in the room and theorizing how we all ended up in the same dark and indulgent hall of meat at the same time. And even if none of us can currently experience that in person, sitting on my couch with a ribeye, bacon, creamed spinach, and some sourdough while watching Tim Curry do his Tim Curry thing is almost just as good. Just don’t touch my chocolate cream pie, or else the story’s going to end with, “Me. In the kitchen. With the lead pipe.” -MB

Movie PairingMy Cousin Vinny (Hulu)

“I’ve always wondered why Marissa Tomei’s character Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny is so hellbent on getting Chinese food in rural Alabama. They’ve just arrived in town after a nearly 16-hour drive where her fiance (Joe Pesci AKA Vincent Gambini AKA Joey Gallo AKA Jerry Callo) has to defend his nephew and another innocent young kid from getting put in the electric chair. One of the first words out of her mouth is “I bet the Chinese food here is terrible.” She’s being sarcastic, but there’s a deep layer of frustration in what she’s saying. I guess when you’re craving Chinese, nothing else will do. Order the salt and pepper prawns and the twice-cooked pork from Lao Sze Chaun and watch Tomei put on one of the best performances in movie history.” -CM



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Movie Pairing:Cabin In The Woods (Hulu)

“I’ve had the privilege of seeing Cabin In The Woods with a skeptic who didn’t know anything about it. They were expecting a typical horror movie, and it was deeply gratifying to watch their surprise as it slowly registered how funny this movie is. And because most of Cabin In The Woods takes place (wait for it) in a cabin in the woods, it goes perfectly with food from Frontier, a restaurant that actually has antelope on the menu. You can go full cabin-mode and get elk or wild boar. Or take a cue from the movie and do a genre switcheroo. Order Frontier’s “stoner dinner” that includes a cheesesteak, flamin’ hot Cheetos, and red-velvet deep-fried oreo. What’s this spot doing with this particular meal on their menu? It doesn’t matter, just appreciate the surprise.” -AK

photo credit: Jack X. Li

Movie Pairing:The Muppet Movie (Disney Plus)

“There are some things in this world that have an immediate calming effect. In this case, though, I’m referring to the opening notes of “The Rainbow Connection” played by Kermit the Frog at beginning of The Muppet Movie - not anything that comes in gummy form. The second I hear that banjo, I take a deep breath and know that for the next 97 minutes, I get to sit in a warm, content state and wonder things like, “But why a Studebaker?” and “Was there really a market demand at the Bogen County Fair for dragonfly ripple ice cream?” Pho makes me feel similarly, especially the Tai Bo Vien at Pho 777. It comes with round steak and those mysterious squeaky meatballs, and just the smell of the broth makes me feel f*ckng great. However, a gummy for dessert doesn’t seem like the worst idea either.” -MB

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Movie Pairing:My Girl (Netflix)

“My family used to own funeral homes. Like, seriously, Six Feet Under-style. Thankfully the business was sold before I was born, so I didn’t experience growing up in one. But my dad did, and that’s who I saw My Girl with for the first time. And he, a 46-year-old man, identified with 11-year-old Vada Sultenfuss even more than I did (an actual 11-year-old girl). Everything about this movie is very nostalgic and makes me feel coming-of-agey and sweet. Well, except for the traumatizing bee scene. Either way, nothing goes better with that feeling than a plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and fluffy biscuits from Split Rail.” -AK

Movie Pairing:Tank Girl (Netflix)

Tank Girl combines two of my favorite movie things: a post-apocalyptic wasteland and awesome futuristic hair. And while Mad Max is the dystopian GOAT, during this current situation I’ll take brightly colored ass-kickings delivered by Lori Petty over the grim brooding of Furiosa anytime. Basically, it’s the feel-good post-apocalyptic movie you didn’t know you needed. And nothing goes better with the fun, ridiculous tone of this film than one of the slightly-silly cocktails from Machine (they come with candy cages and a little hammer), and pairing it with a giant bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.” -AK

Movie Pairing:The Other Guys (Netflix)

“ I like The Other Guys so much I re-named my Wifi network Dirty Mike & The Boys. And every time I watch it, there’s something hilarious that I hadn’t noticed before. Like when I found out that the scene where Will Ferrel explains to Mark Whalberg that a lion attacking a tuna would be a bad idea was completely improvised. I could go on about all the phenomenal details in this movie, and how there’s truly just no wasted space at all. It’s hard not to say the same about Tempesta Market’s menu, where everything on it feels essential. Besides their delicious sandwiches (including bacon, lettuce, tomato, egg, and giant hashbrown creation called the “Potato-nator”), they also sell a ton of stuff that will keep your pantry stocked. From Italian staples like giardiniera, dry pasta, and olive oil to wine, beer, meat, cheese, and gelato. If you’re (understandably) feeling like Whalberg’s character right now (“IT’S A BAD TIME, BOB!”), order something from Tempesta.” -CM

Gene’s Sausage Shop

Moving Pairing:Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Netflix)

“You know what I want to do right now? I want to go outside and dance in a crowd and sing in the street and take a joy ride in a vintage Ferrari while the Star Wars theme song plays in the background. Yes, I want to be Ferris for an afternoon. This movie makes me think of everything great about Chicago in the springtime - and like all great things in life, includes a nonsensical parade that peaks with the greatest lip-syncing of “Twist & Shout” ever filmed. Unfortunately, none of this is currently possible. So instead, I’ll settle for watching Cameron’s Seurat-induced epiphany over a few brats from Gene’s and pretend to be Abe Froman, the sausage king of - well, my apartment - for the day.” -MB

Movie Pairing:Arrival (Prime)

From the minute Arrival starts, it’s clear that the stakes are as high as possible: the fate of the human race is in question because aliens. This is the kind of movie I live for - one that makes me so anxious I feel like I’m going to puke because I’m so invested in the characters, even with their giant flaws (this is also why I’m a Bulls fan). Therefore, the best way to watch Arrival is with as little distraction as possible since there’s already a lot going on (like how can a language make you time travel??). That’s why getting a barbecued duck combo from Sun Wah is ideal - you can just hold the takeout container up to your mouth and mindlessly eat as you watch Amy Adams try to save humanity.” -CM

Movie Pairing:Gremlins (Amazon)

“Hear me out: we are all Gizmo right now. After a month of being at home without access to my salon, gym, and favorite restaurants, I can definitely relate to the transformation from a sweet, adorable mogwai into a bitter, hideous gremlin - not to mention the compulsion to eat a ton of junk food after midnight. And eating something that only a child or drunk person (like mac and cheese pizza or s’mores pizza) from Dimo’s is what we all need. It’s the ultimate in pandemic f*ck it food.” -AK

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Suggested Reading

Chicago’s Brunch Takeout & Delivery Guide image

Chicago’s Brunch Takeout & Delivery Guide

Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean you can’t have brunch.

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Restaurants that can help keep your kitchen stocked.

The Chicago Burger Delivery Guide image

24 spots to get a burger tonight.

The Chicago Steak Delivery And Takeout Guide image

How to turn your house into a steakhome.

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