No matter which way you look at it, we’re living in strange times. Whether you’re in quarantine, self-isolating, socially distancing or just working from home, we’re all coming to terms with finding new ways to enjoy our cities until the Covid-19 crisis passes. Sadly, that means many of us won’t be able to visit – and support – our local cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs as we usually would. But that doesn’t mean we should just forget about them. Here are a few ways you can enjoy what your favourite eateries have to offer, while still being mindful of public health.
A heap of restaurants around the country have switched modes due to the coronavirus, encouraging patrons to take their orders away so they can still enjoy their food, but without spreading Covid-19. In Sydney, Bondi restaurant Cicciabella is giving its patrons the option to take away its pizzetta and pastas from 5pm to 9pm each night, seven days a week. It’s also removed tables so diners can practice social distancing while enjoying a meal out. Sri Lankan diner Lankan Filling Station is offering its full menu, minus hoppers, to take out, while new Glebe bar No. 92 has launched a “social-distancing menu”, which includes cocktail kits, roast chicken and charcuterie plates, for pick-up or delivery within a five-kilometre radius.
In Melbourne, pint-sized Bar Americano is open for regular business, but is also delivering its pre-batched cocktails around the CBD for no extra charge. Likewise, The Everleigh remains open, but will also soon begin delivering its excellent cocktails – with Covid-19-appropriate names such as the Quarantini and Penicillin – to homes. Though it may be tempting to drink your way through these tough times, there are plenty of food options as well: Connie’s pizzeria (inside Heartbreaker) will begin offering takeaway and delivery options alongside its regular dine-in menu, Grossi Florentino has made its Cellar Bar menu available to take home, and Lune Croissanterie in both Fitzroy and the CBD has gone takeaway-only.
Meanwhile, in Adelaide, Clement + Herron has launched takeaway, and Underdale’s Squatters Collective is doing next-day delivery on all products including cold-pressed juices, nitro coffee and kombucha.
In Sydney, food journalist (and Broadsheet writer) Tristan Lutze has also started Saving Plates, a website and Instagram account listing the increasing number of Sydney restaurants offering takeaway meals for the first time.
Buy restaurant merch
Loads of gigs have been cancelled because of coronavirus, so we won’t be buying band merch any time soon. Luckily, we can fill the gap by wearing our love of our favourite diners on our sleeves. Most even do online delivery. Melbourne’s vegan eatery Smith & Daughters and its spin-off Smith & Deli sells backyard-picnic-friendly rugs and coolers, as well as lapel pins and baby onesies. St Ali T-shirts and totes are perfect additions to your supermarket-run wardrobe, while its mugs are ideal for drinking your at-home morning coffee until you begin working at the office again (St Ali also delivers its coffee beans).
Modern-Asian Adelaide diner Shobosho and its sister yakitori restaurant Sho have both splashed their signature geometric logos across black T-shirts that you can buy in-restaurant. Popular pink Perth cafe Someday Coffee Co is known for creative dishes that keep patrons coming back for more, such as caramelised-banana granola and paleo pumpkin bread. Its merch also makes us want to drop some cash: there are tees and totes, as well as very millennial pastel-pink sweaters, perfect for when you’re working from home and don’t want to turn on the heating. Fellow Perth eatery North Street Store also brings the merch goods, with garments splashed with the legendary “Hot Bread” sign.
Sydney’s Continental Deli sells tinned cocktails and bottles of hot sauce and olive oil to take home – but it also puts shirts splashed with its logos into reusable cans so you can prove you’re in the know outside of your home kitchen. And nearby bike shop and ramen diner Rising Sun Workshop adds to its slashie game with a selection of tees and pins to pick up online or in store. Check out more Sydney merch here.
Buy gift cards
Even if you’re hesitant about heading out to eat now, it doesn’t mean it’ll be like that in the future. Most restaurants sell gift cards you can buy now and redeem months – sometimes years – later. Buying one during this tough time means you can both help a diner stay afloat and enjoy a tops meal down the track. It’s a win-win. Restaurants including Sydney’s Automata and Poly; Melbourne’s Ides and Tonka; Adelaide’s Orana and Africola; Brisbane’s Gerard’s Bistro and Gauge; and Perth’s Balthazar and Bread in Common – plus many others – sell vouchers.
Pick up a cookbook
You might find yourself cooking a lot more at home over the next little while, meaning there’s no better time to expand your repertoire. Loads of Broadsheet’s favourite eateries sell their cookbooks in store and online (we recommend buying directly from the venue or from its online store so it gets a bigger cut). Bake the beautiful cakes from the pages of the Sydney-based Flour and Stone’s cookbook, or put together Spanish delicacies with the help of MoVida’s Frank Camorra.
Covid-19 (coronavirus) means we’re living in unprecedented and uncertain times. Mass public gatherings are banned and minimal social contact is recommended. For the most up-to-date health information, visit the Department of Health.