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 11 of our favorites from west of the city.
We want to know your favorites, too, and check out the more than 800 on the Globe’s list of readers’ picks at globe.com/projecttakeout.
WEST OF THE CITY
Can’t decide on dinner? Try Bianca, which marries sophisticated cooking (owners Tim and Nancy Cushman run downtown hot spot O Ya) with variety that could rival The Cheesecake Factory. Choose from excellent sushi, Roman-style pizza, torched-fish tacos, rigatoni, and fried chicken, plus a kids’ menu that even includes a Wagyu cheeseburger. No food snobbery, though; they use American cheese and it comes with a side of fries.
47 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, 857-576-8300, biancachestnuthill.com
Da Vinci Bistro
Chef Peppino (a.k.a. Shingara Singh) previously owned the now-closed Da Vinci in Back Bay; before that he cooked at La Campania in Waltham. He knows his Italian food. So after opening Soul of India in Sudbury, he followed it with a reborn Da Vinci in the same town. The takeout menu is filled with classics — mussels in white wine and lemon with capers, rigatoni Bolognese, chicken Parm — as well as surprises like masala ravioli, a clever bit of Indian-Italian fusion.
457 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, 978-261-5330, davincibistro.com
Nadia Liu Spellman — daughter of restaurateur Sally Ling, who ran the legendary Sally Ling’s on the waterfront — brings sophistication to Chinese takeout from her restaurants in Weston, Cambridge, and Brookline. Try the greaseless shrimp dumplings, sweet crab Rangoon (made with real meat!), and savory scallion pancakes rolled with eggs, greens, and spicy mayonnaise. To-go service is speedy and polite.
37 Center Street, Weston, 781-216-8989; 73 Ames Street, Cambridge, 617-577-8886; 1309 Beacon Street, Brookline, 617-383- 5282, dumplingdaughter.com
At this posh Waltham steakhouse, celebrate special occasions (like, say, a Wednesday) with seafood towers, filet mignon, bone-in prime rib eye, and all the classic sides. There’s cheesecake for dessert and bottles of fancy champagne. Curbside pickup? Check. Pretty baller.
74 Tower Road, Waltham, 781-373-1245, the-federalrestaurant.com
Gigi’s Pizza Co.
In a leap of faith, former limo driver Alexi Girginis opened this humble Watertown pizzeria, named for his young daughter, in the fall of 2020. Not the ideal time to launch a business, but locals are grateful for the light-as-air spinach pie and overstuffed meatball subs on sweet braided rolls, as well as for the warm service. Regulars know to ask for Gigi’s Cutlet, chicken topped with fresh mozzarella.
129 Waltham Street, Watertown, 617-744-0957, gigispizzaco.com
At this sweet little épicerie and food counter in Lexington, grab a full array of imported French groceries to go, but don’t leave without requesting a salmon, brie, mushroom, and tomato crepe with sweet batter, lovingly folded into a pizza box and tasting of Paris in the spring.
46 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, 781-862-1047, mafrancegourmet.com
The menu for this Framingham favorite (there’s a sister restaurant in Worcester) is Vietnamese plus — appetizers include a popular lightly fried, soft shell crab as well as crab Rangoon, spring rolls, and summer rolls. Savor the sweet kick of its phos and its excellent yellow curry. The pad thai features more veggies than is typical.
101 Concord Avenue, Framingham; 508-872-2211; 593 Park Avenue, Worcester, 508-756-7555; phodakao.com
Royal India Bistro
Some of the area’s richest, spiciest Indian food is hidden on a side street in Lexington Center, serving creamy saag paneer, lamb vindaloo that doesn’t hold back on heat, and buttery naan studded with garlic aplenty. Portions are generous, and so is the staff; phone service is polite (though you might get a busy signal at first; don’t give up), the in-house delivery team is speedy, and food always arrives hot. Ask for extra mint chutney. You’ll want to sip it on its own.
7 Meriam Street, Lexington, 781-861-7350, bistroroyalindia.com
Saxonville Mills Cafe and Roastery
Get a jolt of Colombia at this former carpet mill near the Sudbury River dam in Framingham. Coffee importer Cristian Barragan decided to add a retail shop to his business, serving up single-estate brews from the Andean village where he grew up. There are sandwiches, both American and Colombian-style (try the guava and cheese empanada), and smoothies with Colombian fruits. The tres leches cake is transcendent.
2 Central Street, Framingham, 508-309-3294, saxonvillecafe.com
David Punch’s neighborhood bistro has become a Newton Centre mainstay, thanks to its pates and dips, balanced salads, and flavorful main courses like grilled avocado with lentils and red rice mujadarra, harissa chile crisp, and tahini and grilled pork chop with braised collards, black-eyed peas, and sweet pepper jam. You can subscribe to monthly meals, and don’t forget to check out the menus from sister restaurants Little Big Diner and Buttonwood, too.
755 Beacon Street, Newton, 617-244-4445, sycamorenewton.com
With contributions from Peter Bailey-Wells, Michael Fitzgerald, Alyssa Giacobbe, Sheryl Julian, Jakob Menendez, Jeneé Osterheldt, Mark Pothier, and Melissa Schorr.
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