We can't deny that with colder weather making patio dining a thing that our past summer selves once enjoyed and tighter lockdown restrictions restaurant-going is unfortunately dwindling. But our favourite spots are always finding solutions. And many have pivoted to offer easy-to-prep meal kits, ready-to-heat packages, or simple pantry staples on their own online platforms that take the takeout game to the next level.
Here's a few places helping you create a restaurant-grade meal, all from the comfort of home.
While part of dining at establishments like Chambar might be for the experience, with heat-and-serve dinners, you can now bring Chambar favourites to the comfort of home. Most of their packages serve two, like the risotto kit (from $16.50) and the Moroccan meatballs with chickpeas ($19). Or, if you're plant-based, the vegan tamarind and coconut curry ($14).
Tractor's new at-home weekly subscription service (that kicks off November 30) features a curated menu of soup, stews, entrées and their beloved salads, in weekly rotation and all ready to heat-and-serve. There's options for two, six or 10 meals (starting from $26 for the two-meal option, up to $130 for 10 meals), plus an inventory of groceries staples. It's perfect for those who like to meal-prep but still like ample room to personalize their dinner plans.
Our Restaurant of the Year has launched BLVD Provisions. Mix and match soups, sides, charcuterie boards (from $14), ready-to-reheat meals and ready-to-cook premium proteins (from $12), all with the elegance of Vancouver's reigning best restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Leila Kwok
4. Homer Street Café
Homer Street Café just launched a new takeout and delivery menu, and we're eyeing the bake-at-home options. The mac n' cheese, rotisserie chicken pot pie and lasagna (from 15$) arrive oven-ready (with heating instructions!), making comfort food even easier, and well, comfortable.
Nuba's got four meal kit options to for you to pickup or have delivered, with vegan stew, hummus, falafels, red lentil soup and chicken shawarma. Three out of the four are 12-meal packages (from $49), and the fourth kit makes 20 ($145). That's a lot of falafels, but we're totally here for it.
6. Café Medina
Beyond UberEats delivery, Café Medina's online grocery store has got the goods for weekly meal-planning. There's sauces and dry goods, to elevate what you've already got in your pantry, and the Les Boulettes meal kit for two, that features spicy Moroccan lamb meatballs, roasted peppers, black olive and tomato stew, paired with couscous ($36).
The chefs at Toptable Group's Elisa, Blue Water Cafe, CinCin, and Thierry have banded together to curate a variety meal kits and housemade provisions to order. The meals options are boundless: ready-to-bake veal and pork bolognese, tuna poke and a burger kit that feeds four (from $24). And to top it all off, Thierry's chocolate cake trio—yes, treat yourself.
The farm-to-table restaurant's at-home kits include spinach and ricotta lasagna ($25), 6-piece braised meatballs and an entire antipasti package ($48). Stock up your freezer or enjoy right away, because we know it can be hard to resist.
With Torafuku's at-home menu, recreate and assemble duck vermicelli or beef noodle soup for two (from $28). Or the "I Love Dumplings" (oh and do we ever), that includes classic pork and chive dumplings ($18). All their packages include cooking instructions, so you can bring Torafuku's kitchen to you.