Just because you’re stuck at home for your birthday, doesn’t mean you have to stick some candles in an old loaf of banana bread to celebrate. Besides, now you don’t have to worry about making a reservation or splitting a giant check twelve ways. From living room omakase sets to roasted bone marrow tacos, here are a few special take-home meals that would make for a great birthday celebration.
All restaurants featured on The Infatuation are selected by our editorial team. Where To Get Takeout And Delivery For Your Birthday In Austin is presented by Caviar.
If truffled deviled eggs, caviar, and a 32-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye sounds like a birthday treat, then Jeffrey’s might be the perfect spot for you. Order online, throw in a martini kit, and set your Zoom background to Don Draper’s office - you’ll have everyone fooled at your virtual birthday party.
East Side Italian restaurant Intero has a limited menu available for curbside pickup, including items like the spaghettini with aged cheddar and fermented kale that we love. If you’re celebrating with family or housemates, they have a variety of family meals as well, with things like lasagna or a daily risotto with fresh-made burrata. And don’t forget, they’ve got a great menu of chocolates that you can add as a pre-, post-, or mid-dinner treat. Or just eat chocolate for dinner. It’s your birthday - you do you.
For the first time ever, you can get Uchiko delivered or for curbside pickup. Most of their menu is available to order a la carte, or you can get one of their “dinner for two” packages like their “to-gomakase” or a fully sake-paired meal.. There’s also the option to add even more courses (and drinks) if you want to forget about your planned trip to Tokyo that’s definitely not happening anytime soon.
Comedor recently opened their dining room, but a good portion of their menu is also available for takeout. But for the real birthday experience, you’ll want to get their popular bone marrow tacos - currently available in DIY meal kits that you can cook yourself at home. Everything comes individually packaged and pre-measured by Assembly Kitchen, with step-by-step instructions that will convince you that bone marrow should now be a part of every meal. It even comes with a curated Spotify playlist that will make you forget you’re having your birthday dinner in your living room.
We all wish we could celebrate another year around the sun at a sushi bar with some sake, ordering the omakase, and talking to the chef about where they get their scallops. But just because you’re celebrating at home, it doesn’t mean you can’t still get the full sushi bar experience. One of Austin’s best omakase spots is now bringing the 12-piece meal to a living room near you. It’s available for pickup or delivery, and there’s even the option to add a sake pairing to your meal (the scallop talk, on the other hand, might have to wait).
At the downtown Italian restaurant Red Ash, you can get a wide range of excellent pastas in addition to some really great grilled meats. Because nothing says “happy birthday!” like a plate full of pappardelle alla bolognese with a side of 20 oz bone-in beef filet. And, of course, you can throw in a beet, orange, and fennel salad, because life is all about balance.
The suadero tacos at Suerte have developed something of a following, which undoubtedly left many people crushed when they temporarily closed their doors to both dine-in and takeout service. They’ve since reopened their dining room with a pared-down menu, but have also expanded their takeout menu to include everything from their suadero tacos to tamarind margaritas by-the-bottle. And while you’re there, throw in a slide of tres leches. After all, it is your birthday.
As the old Texan saying goes, “If you love someone, grill them a steak.” Actually we made that up. But it’s true. Also, if you love someone and it’s their birthday, you should think about grilling them a really nice steak. And you can find some of the best steaks in Austin at the butcher shop/restaurant Dai Due. They’ve since reopened their patio, but they still have everything you need to put together an at-home birthday dinner, including various meats, pickled veggies, and baked goods. No birthday cakes, but they do have Basque cakes. Or they sell flour, sugar, and yeast if you want to channel some Great British Baking Show energy.
Be careful surprising someone on their birthday with a huge spread of smoked meat from Franklin Barbecue, for they may just have a heart attack. Getting smoked meats from Franklin used to involve a serious commitment - you’d either have to get up early and wait in sometimes epicly long lines, or you’d have to plan way ahead and pre-order weeks ahead. These days, the restaurant has switched to curbside pickup only. You still have to think fast, but now you can orders a few days in advance. Slots, especially during the week, are generally easy to get.
Even if you can’t spend your birthday exchanging sultry glances in the dimly-lit Milonga Room beneath Buenos Aires Cafe, you can at least try to recreate some of the food at home. The empanada making kit comes with everything you need to make your own mountain of pillow-y goodness. Or you can just pick up a 14oz ribeye with chimichurri and call it a day.
Clark’s Oyster Bar has always been a pretty great backdrop for celebrations, what with the fun raw bar, comfortable outdoor seating, fantastic cocktails, and stellar seafood. They’ve since reopened for dine-in, but you can still celebrate at home by spending $90 on caviar, $36 on a lobster roll, $58 on a margarita kit, and $19 on their best-in-class burger. Eat outside and commit to the nautical theme by wearing a captain’s hat and nailing a ship’s wheel to the front of your house.
The Asian-inspired smokehouse Loro has new specials including a NY steak dinner for two - with horseradish-yuzu cream, salad, grilled vegetables, and smoked chocolate creme brulee - that would make for a pretty great birthday celebration. The restaurant also has gin and tonic slushees available for takeout, as well as 25% off bottled wine and sake.
Lambert’s has always played a delicate balancing act between upscale, downtown dining, and classic Texas barbecue. They also happen to be a great choice for a birthday dinner, particularly because they’re one of the few good barbecue spots in town that’s actually open after the sun goes down. Load up on their brisket and ribs, or go big with the family pack. It comes with three sides; if you’re the indecisive type, we’ll make it easy for you - smoked bacon braised collard greens, waffle fries with smoked paprika and herbs, baked mac & cheese.
Mikado Ryotei specializes in Northern Japan-style tapas, with things like miso sea bass and pepper tuna tataki. They also have a great selection of sashimi, nigiri, and signature rolls. But we’re here to talk about a platter fitting for a birthday, which means you’re looking for the Mikado Combo or the Love Boat - a massive chef’s choice platter for one or two, respectively. And you should probably throw in a bottle of sake, because why not?
Salt & Time is another great spot to pick up a steak to toss onto your Big Green Egg at home (or a _little baby Weber, in our case). They’re equal parts butcher shop and restaurant, so regardless of what you’re cooking it on, you’ll find some excellent meats here worthy of a special day. And if you’d rather kick back and relax, well, this is a butcher shop. They know how to handle and cook large cuts of meat as well as anyone. Try the pork slayer chop or the wagyu ribeye with beef fat fries.
It used to be that you had to drive all the way out to Lockhart on a Saturday morning then wait in a long line to get your hands on some Black’s BBQ. But now they’ve opened up a location right near UT, where the same meat is driven in daily. The fatty brisket here is excellent - so order more than you think you want - and the pork ribs are top notch. But if you’re looking for something to turn a good day into a great one, you’ll want to snag one of their coveted beef ribs. You can even try sticking a candle in it.
The North Austin restaurant Tomodachi does traditional sushi, sashimi, and rolls exceptionally well, and they also have hot dishes like black cod, tonkatsu, and teriyaki. For a birthday celebration, we’d recommend the sushi/sashimi for two, and then adding on a few specials that they post on the wall - and on their Facebook account once a week - with fish flown in from places like Japan and Hawaii.