Eat Around the Globe With Takeout From These 10 Philly Restaurants

Get a taste of the vacation you planned — and canceled — without leaving your house.

international food takeout

A spread from Amma’s South Indian Cuisine. Photograph by Jason Varney

So it looks like your summer vacation plans are canceled, right? But with takeout and delivery options, you can at least get a taste of foreign latitudes — from the comfort of your couch.


Via Locusta, Rittenhouse Square
Available for pickup or delivery, with a weekend market

Via Locusta, which the Schulson Collective and Jeff Michaud opened shortly before COVID-19 knocked the world sideways, takes the pasta traditions of Italy and considers them through the lens of a modern kitchen. Michaud has his own little mad scientist’s lab above the main dining floor where he turns out things like two-chambered ravioli stuffed with fig and gorgonzola, perfect little agnolotti funked up with black truffle, and a very recognizable handmade pappardelle with pork ragu. The market sells pasta by the pound, sauce by the pint and Italian beer on the weekend.


Amma’s South Indian Cuisine, Center City
Available for pickup or delivery

Amma’s is a perfect way to get a fix of one of the things that Indian food does exceptionally well: snacks. From dosa and idli to Chicken 65 and aloo bonda, there’s something for everyone — soft or crispy, spicy or sweet, whatever it is you need.


Pho House Thang Long, Northern Liberties
Available for pickup or delivery

Last year, Phan and Dung Tran, who own the beloved Thang Long in Kensington, expanded onto Girard Avenue with a brand-new pho shop called Pho House. The menu is similar, and, more important, the recipes are the same family treasures they’ve been using for years. Get a taste of some fantastic pho tom, a bowl of vermicelli noodles, crab and pork spring rolls, and a Hanoi-style pork belly banh mi, all for way less cash than a night’s stay at that weird backpacker hostel your cousin told you about.


Laser Wolf, Kensington
Available for pickup weekly

While most restaurants took on the shutdown by pivoting to a delivery/takeout model with a limited menu, Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook did something different: They put together a weekly schedule, with each of their restaurants offering a different package deal for pickup only on certain days of the week. If you’re looking for a real taste of Israeli street food and backyard summertime grilling, on Saturdays there’s a $100 ready-to-grill dinner for two from Laser Wolf complete with salatim, hummus and fresh pita, skewered meats and vegetables ready to cook, and dessert.


Forsythia, Old City
Available for pickup or delivery

You can get chef Chris Kearse’s brilliant French-inflected daily menus delivered right to your door for a taste of the City of Lights at home. And while sitting around watching La Vie en Rose in your sweatpants ain’t the same as sitting at a cafe by the Seine, Kearse’s fennel-spiced salmon with ratatouille and Meyer lemon verjus will taste just as good.


Kalaya, Bella Vista
Available for pickup or delivery

Nok Suntaranon has spent years figuring out how best to translate the traditional flavors of Thailand for this modern moment in Philadelphia. So if you’re looking for a true taste of Bangkok without leaving home, the crabmeat curry is fantastic, the fried chicken drumsticks marinated in fish sauce and palm sugar are junk food raised to the level of art, and the whole fried branzino is party food even if you just order it for yourself on a Wednesday night.


Dim Sum House, University City and Rittenhouse
Available for pickup or delivery

China was where I’d hoped to be this summer, and while the Shanghai-style soup dumplings and dim sum that Jane Guo’s new Rittenhouse location is offering won’t get me all the way there, I guess they’ll have to be enough. At least for now.


Taqueria Morales, South Philly
Available for pickup or delivery

The best meals you’ll have in Mexico will be the ones you enjoy standing up: street tacos, shrimp cocktail, tortas and huaraches — all things you take with you and eat on the go. So getting some sopes and a couple al pastor tacos from this new family-run shop on the corner of Jackson and Carlisle streets will be pretty typical of the eating adventures you’d have if you were actually in Guadalajara or the D.F. on vacation.

The Shore

Vernick Fish, Center City
Available for pickup or delivery

While Shore beaches are open, most of the restaurants remain closed. That’s fine, because we’ve got Greg Vernick and his team right here in Philly, doing his upscaled version of Jersey Shore summertime food. Smoked whitefish spread, pints of half-and-half chowder with clams and potatoes and bacon, and strawberry shortcake have been among the offerings from the Four Seasons (where Vernick Fish lives).


Side of the Road Jerk Chicken, North Philly
Available for delivery

James Leggett isn’t letting a little thing like a global pandemic stop him from bringing jerk to the masses. Here, jerk chicken, jerk salmon, jerk shrimp — all of it is still on the board and still being delivered to those who badly need a taste of the Caribbean right now. Add some coconut rice, sautéed kale with garlic and onion, and a tall ginger sweet tea, and you’re as close to Negril as you’re going to get this summer.

Published as “Get a Taste of That Vacation You Planned” in the Summer Starts Now guide in the June/July 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.