Pandemic boosts interest in food on the go

Going to a restaurant to eat with close friends and family has been a staple of life that everyone, children and adults alike, would partake in without giving it a second thought.

But, when COVID-19 hit and restaurants closed, those consumers who still wanted the appeal of a night out turned to the closest solution: takeout.  

“I really like takeout,” said sophomore Abigail Harris. “I think takeout is a great option because everyone can get what they want and aren’t limited by what everyone else is having.”

The staggering variety of restaurants that offer takeout menus, however, can make choices rather difficult. 

For lovers of Italian food, Ciao Bella in Worcester offers an extensive menu that includes everything from pizza to panini. 

“It’s the best Italian [food] around,” said sophomore Meredith Fontaine. “Plus the food always tastes the same and the service is wicked fast.”

For those consumers who personally prefer the classic takeout appeal of Chinese food, options include Worcester’s Nancy Chang’s, Holden’s Wong Dynasty, and West Boylstons’s Cheoy Lee’s. 

“My favorite takeout place is Cheoy Lee’s,” said freshman Ella Buckley. “It’s close to where I live, and it’s delicious.”

Nancy Chang’s takes a more healthy perspective on Chinese food, offering vegan, gluten-free, and diabetic-friendly dishes, all while cooking delicious, low fat, healthy cuisine. Their specialties include Chinese food while some of their best dishes have Thai, Malaysian, and Polynesian roots.

Another option for Chinese food is Holden’s own Wong Dynasty restaurant, located by Big Y. This menu has much to offer, including classic Chinese dishes like beef lo mein and General Tso’s chicken, as well as Japanese sushi.

“Who doesn’t love some good Chinese food?” said Fontaine.

Healthier restaurants to purchase takeout meals include Fatima’s Cafe in Worcester. 

“One of my favorites places to eat like someone with a plant-based diet is Fatima’s Cafe in Worcester, ” said sophomore Ella Gingras. “They offer hand-cooked, homemade East African takeout and even offer catering options. They also have very yummy Kenyan drink options that they also make themselves.”

When not in the mood for Asian food, residents of the Wachusett district can turn to Pepe’s Taqueria in Worcester. With an extensive menu of mouth-watering Mexican food, Pepe’s offers tacos, quesadillas, dips, burritos, and plates of every variety.

Those craving pad thai noodles, coconut rice, and spring rolls have several takeout options.

“Siam 9 Thai in Holden is awesome,” said sophomore Amy Prachniak, “My family has tried most of their menu and have always loved it but our favorite is their crispy rolls.”

Whether wanting to eat Chinese, pizza, Mexican, Italian, or something else, consumers have plenty of excellent takeout places within Worcester County to leave them full and satisfied.