What’s for dinner? The eternal question has taken on a whole new significance in the last year. With everyone staying close to home – not just for dinner but breakfast and lunch, too – it can begin to feel like the week is an endless cycle of meal planning and prep (not to mention cleaning up after all that cooking.)
And while calling in an order for some takeout pizza is a great way to break up the monotony (and always impresses the kids), there are plenty of options out there to take your meal game up a notch – or a few notches, depending on how fancy you want to get. If you have a family birthday coming up, an anniversary or special occasion, or simply want to spice up dinner, check out our roundup of local restaurants offering everything from family-style platter meals, to pre-prepped meal kits, to three-course high-end dining:
Sammy J’s Grill and Bar
Is your family in the mood for chicken fajitas, creole jambalaya or maybe some meatball linguini? Those are just a few of the choices available through Sammy J’s family platter menu. Each menu item feeds six to seven adults and includes garlic toast and a family-sized Tuscan green salad or caesar salad. Pick up orders may qualify for a pricing discount.
A Vancouver favourite located on Main Street near Chinatown has taken some of their favourite Pan-Asian recipes and translated them into prepared meal kit options for people to create at home with simple instructions. From beef noodle soup kit for two to a sake braised beef shank, Torafuku’s packaged menu offers plenty of variety – along with some great cocktail options, as well.
Take things up a notch for a particularly special occasion with Hawksworth At Home menu. This award-winning restaurant located at the Rosewood Hotel in downtown Vancouver is well known for its contemporary cuisine that draws on both local and modern flavours. Their home menu includes full family-style roast dinners for four or six, a three-course meal option, a variety of add-on appetizers and charcuterie platters or individual entrees. Don’t forget the wine – the restaurant is known for its wine selections and the at-home menu doesn’t disappoint.
Old Spaghetti Factory
It’s a classic family favourite – low-key, relaxed, yummy, and everyone loves the bread. It’s also one of the most affordable menus on our list. The restaurant has its entire menu available for takeout but most people don’t know that it includes family-style entrees – which serve four to six people and include a family-sized salad and yes, bread and butter. From Chicken Parmigiani to Tortellini Pomodoro, the options are great for all ages.
With locations across Canada and five right here in the Lower Mainland, Joeys Restaurants are a popular and well-established favourite. They’ve added to their regular takeout options with a series of meal kit options, such as a game-day kit that includes sliders, fries, gyoza and a six-pack of Stella, or a fajita kit with all the fixings, their options are all sized for two people. Just double up for a bigger family (or make some macaroni and cheese for the kids and enjoy the sliders after bedtime?)
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts
Marking 25 years since they opened their doors, the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts is a privately run culinary school located on Granville Island. Their restaurant and café are favourites for locals and visitors alike. They’re currently taking part in the Dine Out Vancouver event, which sees restaurants around the region offer multi-course meals for a set price until March 7. There are dozens of restaurants involved this year, including PICA, which is opting to run it as a pre-order menu for pickup, with two to three options for each course.
One of Vancouver’s premiere fine dining restaurants, Boulevard in the Sutton Place Hotel has taken a creative twist on the challenges presented by restrictions, launching Boulevard Provisions. The menu offers fully cooked family meals or prepared supplies to put it together at home, along with soups, sauces, charcuterie and much more (check out the grilling kit, full of a variety of meats ready for the BBQ, and the happy order menu, too,) Orders can be picked up or delivered.
Long-time favourite, Nuba has been serving authentic Lebanese foods to Vancouver residents for almost 15 years. They’ve launched a meal kit menu with prepared ingredients for some of their favourite menu items. The large kits can feed a dozen people (or better yet, a family of four or six and keep the leftovers for the next day!) Options include vegan items, like lentil stews, along with salads, meatballs, shawarma and much more. Orders can be picked at their Mount Pleasant location or delivered between 1 and 5 pm.