Top Chef: All-Stars L.A. is currently airing on Bravo, and while past seasons have inspired us to reserve a table and eat out, the era of self-isolation has changed all that. The restaurant business is hurting, but you can help out—even from the comfort of your own home. If you’re sick of daily PB&Js and midnight boxes of mac and cheese, you’ll want to add these spots to your quarantine meal rotation. (And check out the other guides in this series: California and Hawaii, Pacific Northwest and the Rockies, the Midwest, the Northeast.)
SEASON 7, SEASON 8 ALL-STARS
Roots Chicken Shak, Plano, Texas
How can you improve on fried chicken? Cook it in duck fat. That’s the secret at Tiffany Derry’s buzzing stand in Plano’s Legacy Food Hall, which offers its bucket meals, sandwiches, salads, and party trays (plus gallons of sweet tea and Kool Aid) for pickup or delivery on Grubhub. Check Instagram for limited-time family meals, like the Sunday Supper for four, which comes with meatloaf, sides, and beer or wine.
SEASON 10 AND 14
Knife and Knife Burger, Plano, Texas
If you’ve been existing on canned beans for the past few weeks, the two-time cheftestant has your carnivorous side covered: Tesar is selling off part of his inventory of steaks, some of which are dry-aged up to a whopping 240 days, for at-home cooking. Or, if you prefer your beef cooked, head to Knife Burger on Caviar, which offers large-group combos of up to 12 burgers—something like a high-end take on the White Castle sack o’ sliders.
8020 Concepts, Dallas & Fort Worth
McPherson is the culinary director at 8020 Concepts, which has mobilized in a major way to tackle the crisis head on. The hospitality group has set up a centralized hub, dfweats.com, where you can donate to their family meals program for those in need, shop for groceries (and wine!), and place orders for takeout or delivery from a number of their restaurants, including family-style bison chili from HG Sply Co. and ahi tuna sushi bowls from Standard Service.
Meal plan for the week with delivery or takeout from ELM Restaurant Group’s various popular spots. Start with a classic American breakfast—sweet potato hash, chicken and waffles—at 24 Diner. Next, order sandwiches, sliders, and apps (such as Irish nachos or buffalo cauliflower) from Irene’s. Finally, restock your pantry with bulk pastas and sauces or cheese and salumi plates from rustic Italian spot Italic.
Justine, New Orleans
This French Quarter brasserie and café is offering a special menu for curbside pickup or delivery, and everything—from the French onion soup to the teriyaki duck legs to the pan-roasted shrimp—is available in individual or family portions. If you’re bored at home, you can also pick up the James Beard Award winner’s 2019 cookbook The New Orleans Kitchen to recreate the rest of his menu in your own kitchen.
Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans
The Cajun James Beard finalist’s curbside pickup menu is filled with stick-to-your-ribs staples, such as braised oxtail with rice and gravy or confit chicken with ham-braised greens. Splurge on sides (like boudin, cornbread, or cracklins), because your money is going to a great cause: Toups is offering free family meals to anyone who needs one, but especially those in the hospitality industry. Or you can simply Venmo donations to @toupsmeatery if you’re not in the area.
SEASON 13 WINNER
Stubborn Seed, Miami Beach
If you’re planning an in-house date night with your fellow quarantinee, the takeout menu at this Miami Beach spot is filled with fine-dining options, such as crunchy truffle potatoes, Wagyu beef cheek with rice grits and charred maitakes, and key lime crumble with grapefruit and coconut. Best of all, you can splurge on a three-course special for only $40.
JANINE BOOTH AND JEFF MCINNIS
SEASON 11 (BOOTH) SEASON 5 (MCINNIS)
Root & Bone, South Miami and Stiltsville Fish Bar, Miami Beach
The husband-and-wife restaurateurs run two Miami-area concepts, each of which is currently offering takeout and delivery. At Stiltsville Fish Bar in Sunset Harbour, order locally sourced seafood, such as smoked fish dip, crab cakes, and coconut shrimp, plus a much-needed new menu addition: Sunny Side Up aloe vera–based hand sanitizer. Root & Bone in South Miami, on the other hand, is all about fried chicken and ribs (and don’t forget the take-and-bake biscuits and half-off bottled wines).
SEASON 14 AND 16
The Hummingbird Way, Mobile, Alabama
The two-time cheftestant is something of an ambassador for coastal Alabama cuisine, and his streamlined curbside pickup menus are all about Gulf seafood (call 251-408-9562 to place an order). Daily specials might include a shrimp and Conecuh sausage boil, blackened grouper, whole grilled yellowtail snapper, or old-fashioned fried fish platters, served with potato wedges, coleslaw, and tartar sauce. If you’re not a seafood fan, you’ll also find Southern specialties, such as biscuits with cane syrup and fried quail with sawmill gravy.
SEASON 6 RUNNER-UP, SEASON 17 ALL-STARS
Red Beard Restaurants, Atlanta Metro Area
While his mini empire of Atlanta restaurants is temporarily closed, the chef and cookbook author is offering a limited menu of family-sized favorites designed to be reheated at home, available for delivery or pickup at Revival in Decatur. Dishes skew Southern and comforting, including bacon-wrapped meatloaf, pimento cheese au gratin potatoes, and chicken and dumplings, and proceeds from the meals will go toward feeding staff through this period. While you’re stopping by the site, you can also kick in a donation or buy some merchandise.
Bald Headed Bistro, Cleveland, Tennessee
At this Tennessee restaurant, family dinners start at $24, and they’re hearty enough to feed three or four: meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans, spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread, chicken and dumplings with salad, and more. You can also stock up on snacks, such as deviled eggs with Benton’s country ham or French onion dip and house chips, to satisfy your midnight cravings. Order on Toast for curbside pickup.
SEASON 5 FAN FAVORITE, SEASON 8 ALL-STARS
Osteria OKC, Nichols Hills, Oklahoma and Osteria Bar & Kitchen, Tampa, Florida
The Florentine-born fan fave is spreading the gospel of Italian cuisine across the country with an ever-expanding roster of restaurants. At Tampa’s Osteria Bar & Kitchen, the takeout and delivery menu (via Uber Eats) includes a number of mix-and-match family meals which include varying quantities of pizzas, salads, entrees, pastas, and desserts. And at Osteria OKC, which is offering delivery and curbside pickup through Toast, kids under 12 eat free on Mondays. Don’t sleep on the cook-at-home pasta and pizza kits.
610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry, Louisville, Kentucky
The Kentucky-based chef is one of the leaders in the industry’s relief efforts. His charitable organization, The LEE Initiative, has partnered with Maker’s Mark to start the multi-city Restaurant Workers Relief Program to feed out-of-work hospitality employees. If you’re in Louisville, order online for curbside pickup at his award-winning 610 Magnolia. The special menu includes upscale dishes like Wagyu coulotte steak and chamomile cheesecake, plus standouts from Lee’s other restaurants, including Whiskey Dry’s Big Ed Burger and MilkWood’s at-home ramen kit.
SEASON 12 AND 14
High Horse, Raleigh, North Carolina
You’ll see signs of Tanabe’s Mexico City upbringing in the takeout menu at his Raleigh restaurant, which serves coal-roasted chicken or black Angus tri-tip with all the taco fixings, street corn on the cob, and churro bites with chocolate sauce. The $95 family special is so absurdly filling—a whole chicken or tri-tip, rice and beans, corn tortillas, chips and salsa, salad, pickled vegetables, dessert—that it comes with a recipe card with ways to remix your leftovers.
Catch, Wilmington, North Carolina
Not confident enough to try your favorite seafood recipe at home? Rhodes, a James Beard finalist for Best Chef: Southeast, is now offering his modern seafood dishes for delivery on DoorDash. With many of the ingredients sourced from North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast, dishes include signature lump crab cakes, firecracker Pamlico shrimp, and buttermilk-fried calamari.