These seven spots have two things in common. The first is tasty takeaway dishes. The second is proximity to lovely spots where you can socially distance while you eat your meal. If you’re keen to eat out, but not so keen on mixing with crowds, try one of these picnic-friendly takeaways.
Westwood Pizza, Newtown
Newtown’s pint-sized pizza hut is one minute’s walk from Camperdown Memorial Rest Park. Choose from the seven pizzas on the menu – perhaps the grilled zucchini with goat’s cheese and shallot oil or the spanner crab with shellfish oil – then find your perfect patch. The park is especially pretty in the early evening on a clear day, when the sun casts long shadows over the grass.
Shwarmama, Surry Hills
Shwarmama makes next-level kebabs, 120 metres from the nearest green spot. Co-owners Mat Lindsay (Ester, Poly) and Russell Beard (Paramount Coffee Project, Reuben Hills) offer a tight menu of six favourites, including the shawarma (flatbread crowded with spiced rotisserie chicken, tahini, hummus, harissa, onions and pickles) and the hummus plate (hummus, chickpeas, tahini, pickles and pita). Enjoy on the steps at Harmony Park, against a backdrop of city highrises.
Charcoal Fish, Rose Bay
Charcoal Fish, by seafood whiz Josh Niland (Saint Peter, Fish Butchery), turns the humble fish’n’chipper into a gourmet paradise. The main event is Murray cod, served myriad ways – from barbequed “wings” to fish fillets with chips – but don’t overlook the yellowfin tuna cheeseburger with pickles, cheddar and burger sauce. The shores of Sydney Harbour are just a stumble away, whether you head to nearby Tingira Memorial Park or Rose Bay Beach.
Fsh Mkt, Bondi
The owners of Fsh Mkt (who also run Fishbowl) chose the spot for their takeaway-only seafood eatery precisely because it’s opposite a picnic-perfect park. Go fancy with a dozen Appellation oysters or peel-and-eat prawns, or choose a twist on a classic, such as the eggplant scallop or the swordfish-steak sandwich with salsa verde, tartare, onion jam and wild rocket. If you’re craving sand and sea, the beach is just 600 metres away.
Lox in a Box, Bondi
The seven-strong bagel menu at Lox ranges from the classic salmon and herbed cream-cheese schmear (with tomato, capers and onions) to LP’s Cheeky Reuben (smoked beef cheeks, Russian dressing, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and pickles). The beach is 600 metres away, but, if you’re short on time, you can dine directly outside the shop, beneath shady paperbark trees.
Chica Bonita, Manly
Take a little (imaginary) trip to Mexico – via the Corso in Manly – at Chica Bonita, a stone’s throw from Manly Beach. Chica Bonita’s menu specialises in novel takes on tacos and tostadas, including one with roasted cauliflower, chickpeas, coconut mayo, chilli, sprouts and nuts, or the tuna tostada (sashimi yellowfin tuna, avocado, radish, salsa macha and nuts). For a post-feast adventure, stroll along the promenade to Shelly Beach, if not all the way to North Head.
Lankan Filling Station, Darlinghurst
Nearly everything on Lankan Filling Station’s Sri Lankan menu can be made to take away. The diner is also located near several city parks, including Cook & Phillip Park and Hyde Park, both five minutes away on foot. Get a basket of hoppers, pan rolls, spicy crab balls and chickpea fritters, as well as a curry or two – such as the cashew nut with cumin, or prawn with fiery red tamarind – with pickles, sambol and veggies, then make a beeline for a shady tree.