A month ago, The Boston Globe launched Project Takeout, encouraging you to get food to go that you can afford from local, independent restaurants. Takeout doesn’t just support these small businesses, it supports those they employ. Pre-pandemic, 1 in 10 Massachusetts jobs was located within the four walls of a restaurant.
So where are you getting takeout from tonight? To help you decide, we’ve created an Ultimate Takeout Guide, with 100 recommendations divided among four geographic regions. Below, you’ll find 15 of our favorites from south of the city.
We want to know your favorites, too, and check out the more than 800 on the Globe’s list of readers’ favorites at globe.com/projecttakeout.
SOUTH OF THE CITY
A La Esh
Avi Shemtov, known for the Chubby Chickpea food truck and for Simcha, corners (or creates) the Israeli barbecue market with his newest effort, specializing in traditional ‘cue with Middle Eastern flair. Think: mac and cheese made with couscous, brisket rubbed with sumac, and Brussels slaw with apricots. A sweet bonus? Union Square Donuts, available individually or by the half-dozen.
366 South Main Street, Sharon, 781-806-5804, alaesh.com
Bia’s traditional upscale cuisine, from duck breast to pate, has long been a favorite of a “steak-to-go” crowd. Now, Bia along with its fellow “Eat Local” South Shore restaurant group members (among them The Tinker’s Son in Norwell and The Parrot in Hull), are providing hearty family-sized meals from slow-braised Guinness short ribs to pan-roasted cod.
35 South Main Street, Cohasset, 781-383-0464, biabistro.com
Dim sum comes home. This Chinatown institution (with a branch in Quincy) packs up dumplings, steamed rice noodles, pork buns, turnip cakes, and everything else you’ll need for a family feast. Cart not included.
237 Quincy Avenue, Quincy, 617-773-9838; 9 Tyler Street, Chinatown, 617-426-4338, chinapearlrestaurants.com
Fire and Stone Trattoria
Takeout has always been the sole focus of this Duxbury eatery, which features comfort food with a high-end twist. Dare to devour the Duxbury Dragon, a pesto and jalapeno-topped pizza baked in a wood-fired oven handcrafted “brick-by-brick” by former mason-turned-chef Chris Jeffcote. His secret to fried haddock? Vodka-based tempura, with containers designed to keep it crisp all the way home.
285 Saint George Street, Duxbury, 781-934-6310, fireandstoneduxbury.com
Cook/baker/owner Laura Raposa’s classic comfort foods and sweets are at once familiar and different, a grilled cheese sandwich with applewood-smoked bacon, or smashed chickpea toast with pickled fennel, red chili pepper, and garlic. Want to start your day with a sugar-rush hour? The Baked Little Rhody Cawfee Doughnut is your vehicle. Act fast for Friday Night Supper, though — it sells out quickly.
17 Standish Street, Duxbury, 781-934-0134, thefoodsmithduxbury.com
Opened this summer by Irish-born restaurateurs Mick Carlyle and Areline McClay, the tavern’s 12-by-18-inch family-sized shepherd’s pie topped with fried carrots has been a breakout hit, alongside traditional pub fare of Galtee bangers and mash and Guinness beef stew.
111 Front Street, Scituate, 781-378-0037, hiberniantavern.com
Classic American food might not sound too exciting, but at Northern Spy — a nod to Paul Revere, run by the team behind similarly themed Loyal Nine in Cambridge — it’s exemplary. Feast on a molasses-soaked tub of baked beans good enough to be dessert, indulge in creamed kale richer than any green you’ve tried before, and browse a well-priced kids’ menu (don’t miss the warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies that miraculously travel well).
4 Rolling Mill Way, Canton, 781-989-1850, northernspycanton.com
Baby, it’s cold outside. And on frigid days like these when it’s so brisk your bones feel dry, soup is the answer. A classic like chicken noodle becomes pho ga at Pho Pasteur in Chinatown (there’s a second location in Quincy), with shredded chicken, rich broth, cilantro, scallions, and your choice of noodles — the yellow egg noodles never fail. Served with all the pho fixings like basil, limes, and bean sprouts, this brothy comfort food is a warm blanket for your belly.
1462 Hancock Street, Quincy, 617-770-3300; 682 Washington Street, Chinatown, 617-482-7467, phopasteurboston.net
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In Scituate Harbor, Kara Tondorf’s new outpost features master sushi chef Pradip Budhathoki’s creations, from the decadent Lobster Blossom roll to stripped-down avocado and cucumber rolls for picky, pint-size eaters. The cocktails-to-go crafted by mixologist Jodie Swanepoel and her crew are true crowd-pleasers. Try the Lu Cha Biao (developed by Nick Lappen), a Jasmine green tea infused with roku gin, ginger, and peppercorn syrup.
146 Front Street, Scituate, 781-733-9030, saltsocietyma.com
Square Cafe’s contemporary take on European and American classics will turn 20 this year, and the food remains as mouth-watering as ever under current owners Luke Draheim and his wife Carol. Try the Crispy Hot and Sour Calamari with ruby red grapefruit, mango, roasted cashews, and hot and sour dressing, or the red wine braised Vermouth Short Rib.
150 North Street, Hingham, 781-740-4060, thesquarecafe.com
This friendly downtown Plymouth gastropub rethought flavors, textures, temperatures, and variety when it shifted to takeout, says co-owner Nina Peters. Recent menus featured seared black bass Cajun gumbo and chicken stuffed with local spinach and mushrooms. It added “easy-heat” dishes such as vegetarian curry soup and Bolognese lasagna. Curbside cocktails come in glass flasks, and Peters’s mother, Oma, makes a carrot cake that’s to cry for.
42 Court Street, Plymouth, 508-591-7302, thetastyplymouth.com
This Nantasket Beach breakfast institution changed hands in late 2019, but new owner Jessica Travis is still fueling surfers and sunbathers alike with hearty omelets, acai bowls, and pancake “tacos” smothered with Nutella, fresh fruit, and whipped cream. For lunch, call in for a classic Rueben: house-made corned beef, sauerkraut, and melted cheese on marbled rye. Don’t forget the curly fries.
121 Nantasket Avenue, Hull, 781- 925-5221, toastnantasketbeach.com
Thai Noodle Bar
The menu is laden with items such as curry puffs, papaya salad, and coconut soup, but noodles are the namesake for a reason: Owner Jittipong Rakritikul offers eight different noodle options to choose from. If you’re having a hard time ordering, try the build-your-own noodle bowls and mix and match your favorite Thai flavors.
501 Washington Street, Quincy, 617-689-8847, thainoodlebar.com
Trident Galley & Raw Bar
Never mind comfort food — what we’re all craving at this point is restaurant-caliber cuisine, even if we end up devouring it on the couch. That means brisk business at restaurateur Brian Houlihan’s Shipyard seafood eatery for dishes such as his Portuguese fish stew or his signature Spanish octopus, braised slowly but fired up fast on the grill.
23 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, 781-374-7225, tridentrawbar.com
Winsor Dim Sum Cafe
It might be a while until our next communal dim-sum feast, but until then, Winsor does its best to re-create that free-for-all glee. Sample to-go shrimp dumplings bursting with juice, fried chive dumplings that crackle at the corners, and sweet, gloriously sticky barbecue pork buns. At around $5 per plate, it’s an economical way to transport your taste buds without leaving your living room.
706 Hancock Street, Quincy, 617-481-5383; 10 Tyler Street, Chinatown, 617-338-1688, winsordimsumhouse.com
With contributions from Peter Bailey-Wells, Michael Fitzgerald, Alyssa Giacobbe, Sheryl Julian, Jakob Menendez, Jeneé Osterheldt, Mark Pothier, and Melissa Schorr.
This story has been updated to correct the names of the owners of Square Cafe in Hingham and the creator of the Lu Cha Biao cocktail at Salt Society in Scituate.