All the family indoors, eating, playing, and living together? What is this, Christmas? An unreleased Richard Curtis film? A particularly wholesome LSD trip? No friends, this is your imagination. Your optimistic fantasy. Because, let’s be honest, at this point you’d rather have a drink with your postman than play a game with the so-called ‘love of your life’ or worse, your ‘children’. Worry not though, because if there’s one thing that can bring everyone together (and shut everyone up), it’s a big family meal from one of the 18 places below.
Sharing is caring. Until it isn’t, and you want to throttle your own flesh and blood for eating the Lindt that you had been carefully and meticulously refrigerating to optimum chocolate temperature. You’ll have no such worries when ordering from Rice Error - the delivery service from Bao. Their rice boxes, with confit pork belly, mapo tofu omelette, kimchi prawn, and more - are all recommended for one. While their Taiwanese fried chicken buckets, or XO corn on the cob, can be divvied up. There’s even a kid’s fried chicken box too.
Did you bring a child into this world to say ‘go away, I’m drinking wine in the bath’. No. No, you did not. But here we are, and whilst you’re continuing to do your absolute bloody best, get a vegetable and some hummus in them too. Melabes in Kensington serves seriously good Middle Eastern food like chicken skewers, falafel, and a super smooth hummus that we’re just a little bit obsessed with. There’s also a kid’s special for £9.50 that includes chicken schnitzel fingers, potato wedges, fresh veggies, and a scoop of ice cream for dessert.
Things like brick-sized sausage rolls and crunchy, creamy chicken and leek pies tend to keep everyone schtum for at least half an hour or so. At least, that’s what happens to us whenever we eat anything from the Quality Chop House. Their classic pies and confit potatoes are a perfect (and delicious) order for everyone. Plus there are changing desserts, and wine for those that need it most.
So it turns out that the number of times your child says the word ‘why’ a day is directly linked to the number of alcohol units you consume in a day. Go figure. A good idea is to also up your daily consumption to keep the whole family happy. Popular Peckham spot Mr Bao are delivering their fluffy bao, alongside some chicken dumplings and prawn crackers for them, and some panang curry and a Taiwanese peach beer for you. Big news for your freezer, you can order 20 frozen dumplings for later too.
Every family needs a good old-fashioned pig out now and again. The kind that ends in buttons being undone, sighs around the table, and any stresses being mellowed by the soothing effect of beef brisket and mac cheese taking up residence in your stomach. Smokestak’s Saturday takeaway does a good job of all that. The Shoreditch BBQ spot is doing its juicy 15-hour smoked brisket, pulled pork, beef rib, by the 100g. Plus, rarebit mac ’n cheese, burnt end beans, and a perfectly nap-inducing sticky toffee pud.
Fish. School of fish. Schools. Remember when they went to school? Remember when you were 22 and only ate chicken nuggets of drunken choice rather than necessity? Stop sadly picking things off their plate and go for a big order from Fish Central instead. As well as the kid-friendly classics like cod and chips, this place is also delivering oysters, seafood spaghetti, and scotch salmon. And yes, you do deserve to order a bottle of champagne to go with those oysters.
Being in close quarters with family is often about extending or accepting olive branches. Not literal ones of course: an apologetic twig in the eye isn’t often appreciated. But pasta bowls tend to work pretty well instead, especially if you’re ordering in from Manteca. The excellent Soho pasta restaurant is doing individual dishes, like their brown crab cacio e pepe, or smoked cod’s roe with pink fir potatoes to order. Alternatively there are packages for 2-4 people that include family amounts of antipasti and pasta.
Something about living with your parents during a pandemic quickly descends from calm, collected grown-up to demanding why someone would have the audacity to move your cup of tea before slamming a door. Bring a little sophistication back to the household with things like confit duck with mustard cream and a potato and comte pie from Bistrotheque. This great, neighbourhood spot in Bethnal Green is doing combo delivery options, starters, and desserts that will feed the whole family. In the interest of world peace, you’re probably going to want to get a bottle of batched negroni too.
When all hell breaks loose and three generations of family are talking about their preferred methods to silence each other - from the medieval mace, to an opium-equipped drone, to a good old-fashioned orange in a sock - then you’re likely looking at a very hangry household. Which is where the app from Brick Lane’s legendary Beigel Bake comes in. A solid order of salt beef, pickle, and English mustard beigels will placate all. Or, if that doesn’t work, get a load of smoked salmon ones, plus an array of chocolate brownies, shortbread, cheesecake, and strudel, to get those sugar levels back up.
This one goes out to all the iPads out there. You’ve increased your kids screen time from an hour to 24 hours. Good for you. It’s this or asking them to count the tiles in the bathroom again. We’d also like to shout out another lockdown saviour - pizza. Especially the big, best-in-London pizzas from Theo’s. They’re doing delivery and collection from both their Camberwell and Elephant And Castle restaurants, including their great margherita and tiramisu.
The Clarence Tavern is the latest gastro-pub from the same people as the Anchor and Hope and The Canton Arms - two of London’s most family-friendly restaurants, ft. pints. The local delivery service from this Stoke Newington spot has crowd-pleasers like lamb pie, gratin dauphinois, salad, chocolate mousse, and treacle tart. There’s also a tonne of produce and nibbles to keep everyone going before and after.
It’s saturday morning. You just stood on something you desperately hope is honey and either your partner, child, or mother-in-law is crying upstairs. Here’s hoping it’s the one you can console with an episode of Paw Patrol. Either way, it’s time to call in brunch reinforcements in the form of Juliet’s. This spot in Tooting not only delivers grilled pumpkin bread, fried eggs on sourdough, and some truly majestic looking scrambled eggs, they now do evening meal kits too. Plus, an order of their iced coffee, fresh orange juice, and pistachio cake definitely won’t hurt either.
Fish and chips, like hating Jeremy Clarkson, or wanting one more after last orders have been called, brings us all together. Crunchy battered fish, drenched in vinegar, that’s dipped in curry sauce, which then burns the top of your mouth, is one of life’s good things. Particularly when it comes from Fladda in Camberwell. Needless to say, chips (theirs are proper), mushy peas, and a gherkin should be on the family order. Oh, and a battered sausage too.
Burger, for them. Beer, for you. Fries, for them. Beer, for you. Mac balls, for them. Beer, for you. See how nice this order is working out? Beer and Burger is a cool and casual diner situation that serves uncomplicated comfort food like rocky road bites, chips and gravy, and some of the best burgers in the city. And even better they’re now delivering from Dalston, King’s Cross, The O2 Centre, and Brondesbury. Check your postcode as they’re covering big zones too.
Nothing beats sitting down to a couple of ginormous 18-inch pizzas, with your loved ones (garlic and herb, chilli oil) next to you, the family, and the knowledge that you (and you alone) will be eating this cold, in the early hours of the morning, whilst everyone else sleeps. Just us? Whatever. You’ll be doing the same once everyone piles into Yard Sale’s classic Holy Pepperoni, or their TSB (broccoli, parmesan, pine nuts). They’re big, they’re chewy, and they’re definitely too much if you get brownies and ice cream sandwiches as well.
The most straightforward way of describing Casa Do Frango is by saying it’s “like Nando’s, but better”. And though that doesn’t do justice to everything this Southwark spot does aside from charcoal grilled chicken, like bacalhau fritters or sweet potato feijoada (a Portuguese stew), it’s the only thing your kids will be interested in.
Hide is the kind of exceptional Mayfair restaurant you might be a little bit scared to take your young kids to in case they start flinging tomato sauce everywhere until it looks distinctly The Shining. But now you can get their fine dining food delivered to your home, including things like soft-shell crab tempura, wagyu meatloaf, freshly baked madeleines, and their excellent sourdough with whipped salted butter. Their kids menu is full of great, albeit pricey, options, but it’s perfect for a special isolation occasion.
No you’re not going to make a cocktail out of their Calpol. You’re going to order a couple of hibiscus margaritas and Taqueria’s family bundle instead. This Mexican spot in Notting Hill is doing a set delivery menu including fish, steak, and chicken tacos, as well as guacamole, totopos, and beer for just under 40 quid. Plus, eight different kid’s meals to keep them happy too. Did we mention the hibiscus margaritas?