When quarantine started, you thought you’d use the down time at home to become really good (or at least better) at cooking. It was a feasible idea at first. But now, a few weeks and a smoke alarm later, the only recipe you’ve really succeeded at is following the instructions on a bag of Totino’s pizza rolls. Luckily, lots of San Francisco and East Bay restaurants are offering DIY meal kits for takeout and delivery, so you can make everything from pho to beef cheek pappardelle, with (hopefully) less tears and burnt dish towels. Baby steps.
If you’re looking for groceries and other staples to stock up your kitchen, check out our guide to San Francisco & East Bay Restaurants Selling Groceries And Produce Boxes. And for a full directory of restaurants offering takeout and delivery, check out our constantly-updated San Francisco and East Bay directories.
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In the time it’ll take you to let your homemade pizza dough rise (and then have to start over when it doesn’t), you can just pick up a pizza kit from Pizzeria Delfina. It comes with three fresh dough balls, sauce, mozzarella, and basil. They’re also offering pasta kits with frozen pomodoro, amatriciana, and bolognese sauces. Place an order online.
If you’re tired of stale chips and salsa for dinner, step it up by ordering the Impossible chili nachos meal kit from Prairie. It comes with cheese, avocado, creme fraiche, scallions, and instructions on how to assemble it (spoiler, unless you’ve forgotten how to turn on an oven, you can’t mess this up). They also have beef cheek pappardelle and whole Maine lobster scampi kits, both of which require less than 15 minutes of cooking. Order over at their general store.
This Filipino food truck has turned into a meal kit takeout and delivery service, offering a weekly-changing menu with things like pork tocino banh mi, chicken adobo wings, and gochujang-glazed tofu. Order online for pick-up on Tuesdays at their commissary in SF, or for delivery on Mondays ($15 in SF, $20 in the East Bay). Check Instagram for updates.
Even if you’ve managed to make gnocchi or pappardelle from scratch, bucatini may be a bit more difficult to master. So get the cacio e pepe meal kit from Che Fico, which comes with fresh bucatini, black pepper butter, and pecorino. If you want something with alcohol in it, order their rigatoni set, which also comes with marmalade, amaretti, and a bottle of wine. Order online for pick-up on Wednesdays.
In a collab on par with Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix,” Lord Stanley and Mister Jiu’s have teamed up to create Lord Jiu’s, a weekly-changing five-course tasting menu available for pick-up in San Francisco. The weekly-changing menu includes things like wagyu sirloin and stuffed zucchini blossom. The kit is designed to serve one or two people. Order ahead here.
If you feel like giving your microwave a hard-earned break tonight, order a meal kit from Nopalito. They’ve got birria, totopos, and our favorite carnitas to-go. Order online for pick-up (at their Broderick location only) or delivery.
One perk of quarantine is that now you can try Atelier Crenn’s inventive, French-inspired tasting menu without having to shell out half a month’s rent. They’re currently offering weekly-changing take-home Crenn Kits for $38 to $125 per person. All you have to do is re-heat a few things, and you’re set. Order ahead here.
Making pizza dough from scratch is an involved process, and these days hunting down yeast packets is harder than finding that sock you lost in the dryer. But if you want the satisfaction of a homemade pie, get a build-your-own pizza kit from Fiorella. They serve two or four, and come with all the ingredients and toppings you need to channel your dough-spinning alter ego, aptly named Shredder. They also have a spritz cocktail kit (serves six) to go along with your pizza.
You could try making your own dry rub from scratch, or you could save yourself time (and some frustration after realizing the only spices you own are pink Himalayan salt and taco seasoning) by ordering a family dinner from Mastro’s. Their dinner-at-home kit includes a pre-seasoned steak, plus Caesar salad, sides, and butter cake. Order online for pick-up or delivery.
In addition to batched passion fruit and watermelon margaritas (for which we are extremely grateful), Mezcalito is offering DIY taco kits with a variety of meats, like chicken tinga, al pastor, and carnitas. Each serves two to three people, and you can order them hot or cold.
Make your own pizza with Del Poplo’s DIY pizza kit - it’s listed as a margherita, but you can add toppings like salami, guanciale, or Calabrian chilis. Order here for pick-up Tuesday to Saturday.
The takeout menu at Nopa frequently changes, but they’re always offering a few meal kits to-go. And if you’ve been trying to puree pesto without a food processor (please, give your poor arm a break), their rigatoni and pesto kit will be a welcome change. Each kit “generously” serves one and can be ordered online.
If you’re someone who gets sudden, intense cravings for paella (like us), Canela has got you covered. They’re offering seafood, chorizo, chicken, and vegan paella kits for up to four people, as well as tapas from their regular menu. And don’t let your lack of an appropriately-sized paella pan stop you - they’re also selling those for $20.
We like the carnitas from Loló, and we like them even more now that we can pick them up in kit form and eat them in our sweatpants while blasting Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club on repeat. They’ve got whole-roasted chicken and chicken tinga kits - they serve about three. Order here for pick-up.
We might not be able to buy tickets for Lazy Bear’s tasting menu and sit down with a group at their Last-Supper-y communal tables right now, but we can still order their delicious food to-go. They’re offering weekly-changing dinner kits, like grilled sticky ribs or pork shoulder (serves two) to walk-ins only. You can also pick up some desserts, pantry items, or cocktails to-go. Check out the updated menu on their Instagram.
We miss three-course meals and being asked if we want to see the dessert menu at restaurants (and pretending to pause and think about it before answering “yes”). Luckily, Great Gold is offering three-course dinner kits that come with salad, focaccia, an entree (steak, lasagna bolognese, or spaghetti), and tiramisu. Order online for pick-up or delivery.
We miss dim sum. Like, a lot. So much that we’ve tried using garbage can tops as Lazy Susans for our frozen Trader Joe’s gyoza (which did not work very well). A much better method: order DIY dim sum from Palette Tea House. They’re offering xiao long bao, siu mai, dumplings, and more for pick-up. All you have to do is steam them at home.
If making lumpia in your five-year-old air fryer resulted in lots of tears and your smoke alarm going off, order some from Pinoy Heritage instead. This Filipino pop-up is offering meal kits with lumpia, sisig fried rice, and more that you can lightly cook yourself or simply re-heat. Order for pick-up at Pacific Cocktail Haven in Nob Hill or High Treason in Richmond.
In a move that’s almost as exciting as a Warriors championship win (almost, OK?), Shake Shack is delivering throughout the Bay Area (from their San Francisco, Marin, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara locations). So throw on this Grilling Dads Playlist and make your own Shackburger. Their DIY burger kit comes with patties, cheese, buns, and their special sauce, and makes eight burgers. Order for delivery here or through delivery apps.
If the slowly-growing list of recipes you’ve mastered still doesn’t include beef cheek stew, don’t stress. You can just order one from The Gap Year At Nico. They cost between $38 to $49 per person, and come with salad, an entree, and dessert. If you and cooking meals from scratch have a love-hate relationship, get several meal kits and make them throughout the week.
Summer’s approaching, whether we’re ready or not, so it’s time to fire up the grill (or, more likely, your stove top) and cook some brats. Rosamunde is offering a family pack of ready-to-cook sausages, which comes with french rolls, potato salad, and peppers, so you can make your own sandwiches at home. Order for pick-up or delivery here.
The only thing more exciting than eating a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel is making one (and then eating it). And these days we’ll do literally anything to save us from spending an entire day going down a TikTok rabbit hole. Daily Driver is offering DIY kits that come with six bagels, eggs, bacon, and cheese. They’re available for pick-up or delivery (check online to see what day they’re delivering to your city).
Sister is offering a variety of bread, pantry staples, pizzas, and meal kits for takeout. Order here for pick-up on Thursday (meal kits only) through Sunday.
You figured out how to make soup in an Instant Pot, and tested your patience by simmering a bolognese on low for a few hours. But when it comes to a 24-hour bone marrow broth, we’ll leave the attempts to the professionals. Right now, Sidestreet Pho in Alameda is offering pho kits for $40 that serve five. They’ve got weekly-changing meat options and all the usual pho toppings, which you can order ahead for pick-up on Fridays.
This Italian spot in Oakland is offering cook-at-home pasta kits, like braised pork-filled ravioli and pancetta ragu. They come with hand-made pasta and sauces, and are more than a great alternative to your Chef Boyardee. You can also throw in an order of their fresh ricotta for pick-up or delivery.
There’s plenty we miss about going to Korean barbecue restaurants: the friend who won’t let others have a turn at cooking the meat, or the mad dash to stuff your unfinished bulgogi in someone’s purse. But you can recapture some of this joy by ordering from Gogi Time. Though not technically meal kits, they do have pre-marinated meats by-the-pound (pork belly, chicken, kalbi, and pork) that you can grill at home. They’re also selling a variety of banchan, including japchae, kimchi, and pickled daikon. Call 510-834-5757 to place an order for pick-up, and for delivery order through the apps.
We can’t spend an afternoon basking in Soba Ichi’s peaceful dining space, but at least we can order some of their fresh, hand-cut buckwheat noodles to-go. They’re $15, serve two, and come with their delicious dashi dipping sauce. And heads up, all alcohol is half-off. Call 510-465-1969 to order for pick-up.
Congrats, you made bread! But if you want something other than Land O’Lakes to eat it with, order all the smoked meats from Augie’s. They’re selling brisket, turkey, and pastrami brisket sausages, as well as coleslaw and pickles (vegetables, so you can have a well-balanced meal). You can also take home a meal kit including their meat sauce and pasta shells. Order online for curbside pick-up.