There are some days when I have dinner on the table at 6pm. Some days, I even manage to have all of the ingredients for a proper home cooked meal without going to the grocery store three separate times. Then there are the other days. For those “other days,” having a reliable, affordable, go-to takeout restaurant can be the difference between a happy, well-fed family or cereal for dinner. And thankfully, with the emergence of online ordering and delivery services like GrubHub and OrderUp, getting food to go has become easier than ever.
But ordering from your favorite sit down restaurants can have a downside. Not all food was meant to leave the restaurant. Even the best meals can lose their luster during the trip from kitchen to home. So when looking for the best takeout, you need a different set of standards. Some meals get cold or just don’t taste as good when they’re not served immediately. So for the the best takeout, you need to have options that will taste just as good when you get it home as it would in the restaurant.
With that being said, we’ve taken a look at some of Richmond’s most popular restaurants to see which ones offer the best takeout options. When choosing our five favorites, we considered:
- Menu options for the whole family
- Speed (without sacrificing quality)
- Delivery and/or pick-up options
The following five restaurants each provide fast and affordable food that will taste just as amazing once you get it home as it did at the restaurant. The next time you have one of “those” days, try one of our top five takeout choices and enjoy a night off. And as always, if you already have an old faithful when it comes to takeout, let us know in the comments below. We’re always looking for the latest and greatest in the Richmond area!
When it comes to our takeout standards, Nisa Thai hits the mark. Not only are they fast, but they offer online ordering for delivery or pickup. But what really seals the deal for us is their menu. Not only do they offer a wide selection of traditional Thai dishes as their name would imply, they also offer Chinese, Japanese (in the form of a surprisingly expansive sushi menu), Vietnamese and Laotian dishes. This means that if you’re in the mood for Pad Thai, but one of the kids wants beef and broccoli, while yet another wants pho, you’ve got a one-stop shop that’s ready to go. With competitive prices (between $9 and $12 for dinner entrees with seafood dishes at the higher end) and plenty of options, you’ll be tempted to give up cooking altogether.
Why we love it: As we mentioned, we love the menu options. Far from your traditional hole-in-the-wall Chinese takeout shop, Nisa Thai provides a great atmosphere for take-out or dine-in meals. But should you choose to takeout, they make it so easy. You have three options for ordering: order online with Yelp’s Eat24 (the link is available on the Nisa Thai website), order online through GrubHub or call them directly at (804) 343-1113. There is a $3 delivery fee and $15 minimum order with both online ordering options, but for delicious food brought straight to your door, that’s a small price to pay.
118 S. Belvidere Street
Richmond, VA 23220
The name might be short, but what they lack in a descriptive title, they more than make up for in authentic Italian taste. This tiny little shop in The Fan could easily be passed up as a market or small grocer. But don’t be fooled. Through those doors lies a takeout haven. In fact, with only two small tables and no table service, takeout is really all they do. But with options like homemade lasagna, fresh pastas and what is considered to be one of the best pizza pies in the area, you can’t go wrong. If sandwiches are more your thing, be sure to check out their hero menu, including classics like the Italian or specialties like the Arugula, fresh mozzarella and prosciutto. The prices are fairly reasonable with most entrees around $10 (around $15 for the most expensive items) and 10” specialty pizzas at $11 each. Unfortunately, they don’t offer delivery – one of the main reasons they’re not higher on our list. You’ll definitely want to call ahead to order, or plan to walk around while you wait for your food. However, if you’re happy to get out of the house for a bit and want a takeout meal that tastes like your Italian grandmother cooked it, 8 ½ is the spot for you.
Why we love it: With the same owners as Richmond favorites, Mama Zu’s and Edo Squid’s, you know the food is going to be good at 8 ½. And not just good, but really, really good. But what really sets them apart is their set-up. Designed almost solely for takeout service, 8 ½ offers a special combination of unparalleled taste with all the convenience of food to go. Unlike other places that lie on the border between “takeout” and “fast food,” 8 ½ doesn’t cut corners simply to get their food out the door. They rely on fresh, seasonal ingredients and tried and true recipes, which means that you’re guaranteed a tasty, home style meal –without having to dirty a single pot.
401 Strawberry Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Sauce & Toss offers spectacular seafood, superb service and a super chill, relaxed dine-in experience, to be certain. But they don’t miss a beat when it comes to takeout either. Specializing in fresh seafood pots, Sauce & Toss offers Sharks Bag O’ Boil with a choice of mussels, shrimp, clams, crab legs, crawfish or lobster tail or Sharks Buckets, with a combination of seafood. Both are available in a range of sizes with your choice spiciness, and served with corn, potatoes and sausage. If you’ve got folks that are less enthusiastic about seafood, no worries. The menu also features fried chicken wings, a huge selection of sides and much more. Mix and match, pick and choose, and create a seafood feast for the whole family that you can order online, pick up, or have delivered right to your door. Ordering options are available on the Sauce & Toss website, by phone at (804) 477-8509 or on third party sites like Seamless and Yelp’s Eat24.
Why we love it: If you’ve ever had a low country boil, or sat at a paper-covered picnic table up to your elbows in messy, delicious seafood, then you know that it’s an experience like no other. And while there are plenty of places like this closer to the beach, it’s a treat to find this kind of option in downtown Richmond – not to mention at your own kitchen table. Best of all, Sauce & Toss lets you pick and choose your order by the pound so that you can feed a few or feed a crowd at competitive prices (between $8 and $25 per person depending on your choices). But the truly unique feature of this local favorite is their loyalty app for smart phones. Simply download the free app from the Apple app store or Google Play, then order for pick up or delivery, earn Sauce & Toss points and even get free food!
711 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23223
Our goal in creating a list of top takeout spots in Richmond is to provide you with creative options – and an excuse to skip cooking, of course. But we also want those options to cover a range of food types, styles and price points. That being said, we would like to introduce Crush – your option for fresh, fast and affordable (not to mention delicious) food. Crush is often classified as a juice bar thanks to their offering of fresh, made-to-order smoothies, but what they really are is a one-stop shop for Mediterranean and American cuisine that will satisfy the whole family. Known for their rich, creamy house made hummus, Crush also offers favorites like falafel, stuffed grape leaves, tabouli, a wide range of salads, flatbreads and pizzas, and an impressively long list of subs. While you have the option to dine-in at their small, but brightly colored shop, they specialize in takeout and delivery. And with so many choices under $10, it’s easy to feed the whole family on the cheap.
Why we love them: If you’re tired of the same old pizza and Chinese takeout, Crush offers an exciting option. Not only is their food really, really good, it’s extremely affordable and it offers a choice for every one in your family. You can even get a cheeseburger for that kids who simply won’t eat anything else. And with multiple delivery and pick-up options, you can have dinner ordered, ready and on the table even when you’re short on time. Basically, what we’re saying is that Crush offers everything you could want in a creative takeout option – and then some. To order ahead for pick up or delivery, call (804) 225-0318 or order online at GrubHub or Eat Street.
1810 E Main St
Richmond, Virginia 23223
Featuring Texas-style barbecue at its finest, Alamo BBQ tops our list with takeout that’s hard to beat. In addition to their award-winning brisket (which is slow-cooked to barbecue perfection), they offer something for every palate, including pulled pork, pulled chicken, smoked link sausage, “BBQ Portobello” and blackened tilapia – not to mention mouth-watering, finger-licking ribs. But they don’t stop there. You’ll also find Tex Mex classics like burritos and tacos, as well as a creative sandwich menu. As for sides, they serve up generous helpings of coleslaw, jalapeno mac and cheese, Texas caviar (a cold black bean and corn salad), honey cornbread and much more. Best of all, they do all of this – and more—at surprisingly reasonable prices. Platters are $11.95 or $12.95, and include two or three meats and three sides. Ribs go as high as $22.95 for a whole rack and two sides, but offer a range of lower-priced options, as well. Likewise, you can get bulk meats at a range of prices and sides by the pint if you want to go for a family-style meal.
Why we love them: Sometimes barbecue joints can just be…well, a whole lot of meat. And while that’s kind of the point of a barbecue restaurant, it’s nice to have options when you’re ordering for the whole family. That’s why we love Alamo. In addition to their barbecue classics, Alamo also offers Tex-Mex favorites like tacos (with chicken, fish or beef), burritos and quesadillas, as well as options like the Texas Train Wreck – your choice of meat served over mac and cheese, cowboy beans and cornbread then topped with chopped onions and jalapenos. All of that to say, even you have someone in your house who isn’t a huge fan of barbecue, you can still find something to make them happy. If you need any more convincing as to why Alamo should be on your speed dial for takeout, keep in mind that they actually specialize in carryout, delivery and food to go…and they do it well. With no indoor seating (picnic tables are available under a covered patio), all orders can be placed and/or picked up at their outdoor window. Just stop by, grab your order and enjoy! To order ahead for pick up, call (804) 592-3138; or order online for delivery or pickup at Alamo BBQ or GrubHub.
2202 Jefferson Ave