A few months ago, drive-thrus were reserved for road trips and late nights after consuming too much of one thing or another. But these days, they’re a big part of safely eating out. So if you’re looking for a place to pick up food without having to leave your car, we’ve put together this guide to 16 non-fast food spots with curbside delivery, including a few places with genuine, real-life drive-thrus.
Since converting their dining room to an actual drive-thru, Broad Street Oyster in Malibu is now a place where you can actually hear the phrase, “Please pull through to the second window.” But more importantly, it’s also a place where you can get some truly excellent local seafood, like Morro Bay oysters and Santa Barbara uni. The Beach Burger and hot lobster roll are two of our other favorites, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Order in-person at their window in the back of Malibu Village, or call ahead (weekdays only) for pick-up - (424) 644-0131.
This Woodland Hills sushi spot is offering curbside pick-up of their excellent sushi sets. They’ve got super-high-end options like “The Omakase” set, which feeds two for $250 and involves sashimi, sushi, king crab, and wagyu and sea bass lettuce wraps, but also some more affordable options. That includes a $30 DIY hand roll set with bluefin, yellowtail, salmon, and spicy tuna, along with rice, nori, and radish sprouts. Order online, then call when you park and they’ll bring it out.
C & O Cucina
A classic Venice Italian-American spot, C&O Cucina has all the carbohydrate-based comfort food you need at a time like this. This includes linguini with clams, calamari fritti, chicken parm sandwiches, and, of course, their totally addictive garlic knots. Order online, and add Curbside Pick-Up to your cart with your car make and model in the notes.
This recently reopened neighborhood spot is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something slightly fancy that won’t cost an entire week’s grocery budget. We love the pastas (especially the ragu with house fennel sausage), but you can’t go wrong with the Birdie Burger or the Morrocan-spiced fried chicken with harissa aioli. Don’t forget a cocktail, either - we like the Adventures In Paradise, a rum-based drink that’s ideal for summer. Order online, and select Curbside Pick-Up when you check out.
This classic Sherman Oaks Mexican spot has converted their parking lot into a drive-thru. And whether you’re getting the house enchiladas combo, the three taco special, or a behemoth carne asada burrito, your order must also include one of their margaritas. They come in a few different size options, but we recommend going for the half-gallon, which is $30 and approximately eight servings. Order online or call (818) 788-4868 for curbside pick-up.
Chuy’s is a super-affordable drive-thru Mexican spot in Van Nuys. They’re best-known for their tacos dorados with carne deshebrada (shredded beef), loaded with cheese, in a fried hard taco shell. Their burritos are also good, if you want something more substantial - get the carne molida with chorizo and beans. Drive-thru only.
Baking sourdough and reappropriating mushy bananas into bread is great for some, but if you’re a little less, ahem, skilled in the kitchen, leave the baking to the professionals. Which in this case, means Clark Street Bread. This wonderful little shop has everything - flaky kouign-amann pastries, hearty meals like the Nordic breakfast, as well as some of the best merch in town, and you don’t even have to leave your car to get any of it. Order online, then just pull up to their curb on Glendale Blvd. and call (213) 529-4252.
Hail Mary makes inventive, excellent sourdough pizzas in their small Atwater Village kitchen. Your options here include the Maddison (kale, chard, mornay sauce, and raclette), the Abbot (porchetta, Calabrian chilis, and olives), and a great $10 margherita that’s loaded with basil and mozzarella. Every pizza has a bit of funk from the sourdough crust, which complements the toppings perfectly. Order online - they’ll text you when it’s ready, and bring it out to the curb once you’re there.
This two-for-one spot in Northridge has always been at the forefront of innovation (killer sushi and burgers fit for a king, all on the same menu?), so of course they’ve also perfected the art of the curbside service. When placing your order online, just leave your license plate number in the “Special Instructions” box, then give them a ring - (818) 885-6456 - when you’re parked outside. Picking up salmon belly nigiri, hand rolls, and pastrami burgers has never been so easy. Seriously, give these people a MacArthur Grant or something already.
Living through “unprecedented times” isn’t easy, especially when that means you just spilled ice cream all over your bed for the first time (maybe you shouldn’t have white sheets?) Right that wrong with something familiar, like The #19 from Langer’s, a.k.a. the best pastrami sandwich in the world. Stuffed with perfectly cut pastrami, Swiss cheese, and homemade coleslaw, then served between two slices of their famous double-baked rye bread, this is exactly what you want whenever you need a reminder that times weren’t always this tough. Call Langer’s at (213) 483-8050 to place a curbside pick-up order.
This awesome (and affordable) Culver City taco spot is doing pick-up via the Platform Drive-Through, which is great for when your wallet is telling you to cook, but your brain can’t handle the idea of doing more dishes. Get one of the plates - either chicken or mushrooms - which are around $11 and come with tortillas, pickled onions, rice, beans, and tremendous guacamole. Go ahead and get a 12-pack of their fantastic flour tortillas, too. Order online, and follow the signs for the drive-thru once you’re there.
Holy sh*t, Neptune’s Net has a drive-thru. Is this how Isaac Newton felt when he invented calculus? No, this has got to be better, because you can actually eat it. The iconic roadside diner has converted their parking lot into a full-blown drive-thru, where you enter from PCH and leave via the little side street adjacent to it. Is it quick? No. Does it feel a little freaky to eat raw oysters in your Toyota Corolla? Absolutely. But tell us that pulling out onto an empty highway, and eating clam chowder from a bread bowl while watching the waves crash over the horizon isn’t one of the best things to happen since… oh, we don’t know. That apple fell in front of Newton? You can’t.
Thank god Rice Box has curbside pick-up, because even during quarantine, Downtown LA is still filled to the brim with bikers with death wishes and far too many one-way streets. And we’re not saying that we wouldn’t order from here even if we did have to find parking - their boxes of affordable Cantonese dishes like honey-roasted char siu and wild mushroom bao are worth the trip alone - but let’s just say, much like having your debit card memorized, curbside service makes life a whole lot easier. Email email@example.com or call (213) 988-7395 to place an order, then give them a call when you’re outside.
Brooklyn transplant Roberta’s is serving their excellent Neapolitan-style pies curbside via the Platform Drive-Through. They’ve got a bunch of our favorites, including the Bee Sting (spicy honey and salami) and the Famous Original (tomato, chili, three kinds of cheese), along with a new pie called the King Kong, involving Thai basil, lemon juice, Calabrian chilis, and toasted fennel seed. Order online, and follow the signs for the drive-thru once you’re there.
The words “Drive-Thru Ramen Window” might seem like they were ripped from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, but guess what? That movie was set in 2019, and this Torrance-based to-go operation is here to stay. All you need to do is download the Shin-Sen-Gumi 2GO App, head to their Gardena storefront, and then pull up to the window for bowls of rich Satsuma ramen, beef curry udon, and pork cutlets over rice. Enhance that, Deckard.
This casual Korean dessert spot just so happens to also makes some of our favorite dishes in the city - think rich and creamy pork belly dumpling soups and kimchi cold noodles - but what’s been in everyone’s to-go order lately, and what frankly, should be in yours, is their dosirak, or Korean packed lunch. Featuring 24 different items, from meatballs to kimchi to ground pork with rice cakes, this reads more like a roster of the heaviest hitters in Korean cuisine, and less like whatever horrors you used to find in your brown paper bag at lunchtime (one time it was just a single, sweaty slice of American cheese). Pre-order your meal on Tock, then when you arrive, pop your trunk, call (323) 930-0789, and one of the employees will drop it off for you.