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Which Takeout Meals Stood Out the Most in 2020?

Local food writers and health care professionals weigh in on what sustained them during a tumultuous year in the Seattle dining scene

A display showing various takeout boxes, cups, and bags against a blank background
With dining rooms closed for a good portion of 2020, having a robust takeout menu was vital to Seattle restaurants.

Eater usually ends December by surveying local food writers on various restaurant-related topics that sum up the previous 12 months. But 2020 wasn’t like any other year. Since the pandemic caused so much upheaval in the dining scene, it seemed appropriate to include health care professionals and a science writer on the panel this time around to get their perspectives on COVID-19 impacts.

We’ll roll out more topics in the coming days. Here, the various experts weigh in on this question: Which takeout meals stood out the most in 2020?

During the summer, we had a lot of fun biking, picking up takeaway, and eating at a nearby park. We loved Bok a Bok for this outing. For a really special treat, we ordered from Village Sushi and ate it at the park. Others we frequent are Indian Bistro (large orders and wonderfully tender chicken), Chopstick Cuisine (large orders provide multiple meals), Mioposto, Pagliacci Pizza, Wedgwood Alehouse, Señor Villa, Metropolitan Market Deli food options, and PCC prepared food. We are missing a good Thai cuisine on our list of options. — Lori Higa, registered nurse

Takeout has been one of our treats of the pandemic. We’ve aimed to try something different as often as we can and to buy deep. But mostly takeout, not delivery, as we didn’t want to support third party apps. In the past nine months, we’ve returned to Sushi Kashiba, Eden Hill Provisions, Addo, Coyle’s Bakeshop, Ba Bar, and JuneBaby again and again. — Frank Guanco, food and wine writer, Seattle Refined

Lately we’ve been enjoying Moon Pizza, which has been a weekly offering for pickup at Sea Wolf Bakers. It’s expensive for us, but we did it once last month and once this month — it’s worth it! We regularly order from places nearby: Pagliacci Pizza, Taste of India, Chiang’s Gourmet, Yummy Cafe (delivers in NE Seattle), Bryant Corner Café, Café Arta & Pub at Third Place Books, and Zaina for falafel and fries. My youngest daughter loves Thai food, so we order from Thai Tom, Prachathaya, Royal Palm, and An Nam Pho for pad thai and teriyaki tofu (both my girls are vegetarians). Through my project, WeGotThisSeattle, I’ve learned about many restaurants that I now enjoy ordering takeout from: Zaika, Mark Thai Food Box, and places in the International District such as Jade Garden. — Ellen Kuwana, freelance science writer and editor, founder of WeGotThisSeattle, an initiative that feeds frontline workers by partnering with local restaurants

I’m never really able to get takeout from one consistent place, but the meals that came the closest to recreating the pleasure of a dinner out were usually some sort of family-style set menu package, rather than me randomly ordering dishes online without the benefit of a server to help synthesize. I hope the concept of family takeout meals sticks around. — Allecia Vermillion, editor-in-chief, Seattle Met

Every weekend begins with doughnuts and coffee from Good Day Donuts in my car. I’ve also loved their Friday night takeout dinners, which I actually eat at a genuine table. Cookie’s Country Chicken is another standout; I follow that pop-up around like I’ve taken some sort of “whither thou goest” vow. I feel strongly protective of my immediate community: spicy chicken teriyaki and veg yakisoba at City Teriyaki; pepperoni paint job at Breezytown; mac and cheese at The Comfort Zone; carne asada at El Sombrero; goat cheese quiche at Beach Bakery; everything at Bua 9 Thai Cuisine. Jill Lightner, food writer and editor

We’ve tried to support our neighborhood independent restaurants. Our go-to takeout meals have been from our favorites in Roosevelt/Ravenna. Burgers, Souvlaki, and Avgolemeno from Cafe Arta & the Pub at Third Place, fish and chips from The Counter at Old Ballard Catering Co., croissants and quiche from Sod House Bakery, burritos from El Camion, and southern food from JuneBaby. Comfort food, essentially. — Andrew Wright MD, general surgeon