In order to eat at Rao’s Italian food in East Harlem, you typically have to secure one of the restaurant’s ten tables. This nearly-impossible process typically involves knowing a regular with a standing reservation, being Selena Gomez, or maybe even knocking on their door during a blizzard and hoping for the best. (That last situation actually happened to one of our coworkers).
Now, anyone can eat the full menu at Rao’s. All you have to do is text the manager, Marc, at 646-200-1787. After starting a limited takeout service a few months ago, Rao’s recently made their full menu available on a “first text, first served” basis between 4pm and 8pm on Monday to Friday. You can find all of their options for things like meatballs, eggplant parm, and penne alla vodka below.
Here's How ORdering at Rao's Works
Text the number 646-200-1787 one day before you want to pick it up. The window for texting is noon to 4pm, Monday through Friday. (If you want to place an order for a Monday, text the Friday before.)
They’ll send you a menu (which you can see below) and the time slots available for pick-up.
Text your order with your name and desired pick-up time slot.
Don’t text them anything else until they confirm with you. Apparently it messes up their texting queue.
Make sure to bring cash when you pick up your food - they’re not accepting card payments and they’re adding a 20% service charge for all orders.