Chicago Takeout Guide: 5 Dishes to Try

Credit: Artango Bar & Steakhouse

With the touch-and-go nature of indoor dining, local restaurants need business more than ever. Fortunately for you, it’s never been easier to bring some of Chicago’s best meals back to your place, with the city’s restaurants offering endless choices for quality to-go options.

Rather than just sticking to your standbys, why not use this time to try takeout across the city? It’s a win-win — you spread love to more local restaurants, and you get to eat delicious food. From Evanston to Chinatown, here are some of the city’s must-try takeout options.

Ceviche Nikkei at Artango Bar & Steakhouse (Lincoln Square)

The restaurant: In a city full of steakhouses, Artango Bar & Steakhouse stands apart for its Argentinean approach, cooking everything over the parilla, a traditional wood-fired grill. While meat may be the main focus, the restaurant also honors the country’s extensive coastline with multiple ceviche preparations, making for a unique at-home surf-and-turf experience.

The dish: In Peruvian cuisine, “Nikkei” broadly refers to the influence of Japanese traditions on the country’s cuisine and culture, a fusion born from generations of Japanese migration to South America. The ceviche Nikkei is a great example of this concept, featuring the Japanese pairing of ahi tuna and avocado topped with huacatay sauce, a tangy, herbal condiment that is a staple of many South American cuisines.

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Jerk wingettes at Culture (Homewood)

The restaurant: Culture’s mission is to serve up “American comfort food” and “good vibes,” two things that we could all use in large quantities right now. Offering salads, nachos, a wide selection of wings, and more, the takeout menu has a dish for every craving.

The dish: The jerk wingettes are doused in the restaurant’s house jerk sauce, giving them a pleasant amount of heat and spice. Available as either a snack or a main dish with two sides, they are a go-to order for any time of day. 

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The pig’s feet at Da Mao Jia (Chinatown)

The restaurant: This Sichuan street food restaurant highlights the region’s mouth-tingling chiles and other ingredients unique to the cuisine. The large menu ranges from niche regional dishes to classics such as handmade dumplings and beef noodle soup. One thing most of the dishes have in common is a healthy amount of heat, making it the perfect takeout choice for cooler days.

The dish: There are many delicious dishes at Da Mao Jia, but the pig’s feet steal the show. Slowly braised and then roasted, the result is a plate of tender, caramelized meat that’s topped with peanuts and herbs. A favorite of the Chicago Tribune’s food writer and many customers, this destination dish is now available to bring home.

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The three-course meal at Oceanique (Evanston)
Duck confit in a takeout container with an egg on top

Credit: Oceanique

The restaurant: Known for its seafood, this Evanston restaurant has been a fine-dining staple since 1989. While dinners here are often reserved for special occasions, Oceanique’s takeout menu offers a relative bargain, allowing you to bring home reasonably priced French comfort food on a more regular basis.

The dish: For $45, Oceanique offers a three-course meal to-go, allowing diners to choose from timeless dishes such as country paté, duck confit, and pot de crème. Simply grab your own bottle of red wine (French, of course) to recreate the bistro experience at home.

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Black rice sushi roll sampler at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar (River North)

The restaurant: Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar takes its cues from Japanese culinary traditions, but doesn’t adhere to them too strictly, offering both sushi and traditional Japanese barbecue alongside inventive small plates. The takeout menu is as extensive as the restaurant menu, offering something everyone, from ramen to barbecued meat skewers.

The dish: Get a taste of what the River North restaurant does best with the black rice sushi roll sampler, a four-roll platter that wraps a variety of fish and flavors in unique black rice. From a grilled scallop masterpiece to sweet potato tempura with curry mayo, this 16-piece sampler gives an opportunity to have a colorful and wide-ranging meal.

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