There's no way around it – Toronto's once thriving food scene took a serious hit when COVID-19 prevention measures forced restaurants and bars to close their doors to the public last month. But while bar stools are stacked and dining rooms lay dormant, many restaurateurs have started to innovate ways to stay afloat during this worldwide pandemic.
As more and more of our favourite burger, pizza and pasta (you name it) spots pivot to offer takeout, we're overwhelmed with delivery options from sit-down staples that can now even offer us a wine or cocktail pairing with our TV dinners. However, if you're seeking a more cost-effective way to help support local businesses while still making home-cooked meals, food delivery boxes might just be the compromise you're looking for.
From pantry boxes with grocery-list staples like toilet paper and tea to sustainable boxes that help support Ontario growers and farmers, we've got the delivery service to help you quarantine like a KWEEN.
You might know Mother better as a spot for some of the city's best sippers, but this West Queen West favourite is metamorphosing. During COVID-19, the cocktail bar has transformed into a pantry box purveyor delivering unique items like kombucha, loose leaf tea, sourdough and tomato sauce to customers. The project sees Mother and Jef Edwards from Ration Food Lab team up to collaborate with chefs and local farms for boxes that can be delivered or picked up at the restaurant. Mother Pantry Boxes will be delivered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and cut-off times apply.
Grassroot Food Box
From the people behind Montgomery's comes Grassroot, a weekly food box that can be picked up at the restaurant or delivered to your door. Guy and Kim Rawlings always wanted to do a community-supported-agriculture style food box and, as it turns out, sometimes necessity is the mother of invention. Their box will sustainably source food from nearby growers and farmers, giving customers access to the seasonal items and ingredients used at their Queen St. W. restaurant. Boxes include everything from meat, flour, coffee and toilet paper to fermented hot sauce and sauerkraut. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to the newsletter.
The Good Cheese
The east end's cheesiest spot pivoted to delivery and curbside pickups a couple of weeks ago, but the most exciting development to date are their Stay at Home Boxes. The Good Cheese has been creating tasty packages to keep the folks of Toronto tucked safely up inside, and if anything is going to convince us, it's probably manchego, chorizo, plum jam, cornichons and crackers TBH. Keep an eye on their Instagram to see what else you can pickup or have delivered via Uber Eats – other highlights include Blackbird Baking Co. bread, international wine and bottles from Bellwoods Brewery.
This flexible subscription food box, with a rotating roster of mouth-watering meals, has long been one of our favourite food delivery options. Pre-portioned meals mean that we get to save time chopping up and avoid food waste, while still enjoying a home-cooked meal from the comfort of our living room. Choose from a Family Plan, Pronto Plan or Veggie Plan – with 24 different recipes and a new menu every week – then sit back and relax until HelloFresh ships their high-quality, deconstructed dinners to your door.
One of Toronto's biggest catering companies has transitioned to a safe and easy boxed meal pick-up and delivery service to thwart pandemic woes. byPeterandPauls will deliver breakfasts, lunches and dinners across the GTA, offering all customers a 20 per cent discount on safe meal packages and free delivery. A delivery service for wine, bubbles and a selection of spirits is also available with free delivery when ordered alongside food orders of $120 and over. Orders can be placed by emailing email@example.com or calling +1 905 326 6000, and the menu – which features homemade lasagna, chicken pot pie and coq au vin – can be viewed here.
The Good Food Box has been helping to support community food programs for 30 years, but now seems like an especially good time to sign up. In addition to organic veggies, Food Share has teamed up with Niku Farms to offer pasture-raised meats from small-scale Ontario farmers delivered right to your door. If you feel so obliged, you can also donate to FoodShare's emergency food relief during the COVID-19 health crisis to help those facing food insecurity during the pandemic.
Mama Earth's Organics
Being busy – or unable to leave the inner sanctum of your living room – shouldn't mean bad eating habits. Mama Earth's Organics' commitment to local farmers means that every order you make supports the local food economy, while ensuring that you know exactly where your food is coming from. Their local and seasonal baskets are customizable, so you can shop pantry staples or choose from chef-prepared meals made to order.
This Toronto-based, certified organic meal service company is offering free contactless delivery with expanded service within the Greater Toronto Area during COVID-19. In addition to nut-free, gluten-free, nutrient-dense meals crafted by in-house nutritionists that are good for the environment, Bio Raw is giving back to the community. Bio Raw will donate $10 for every order placed on their website to the charity or organization associated with a specific code used at checkout. Plus, their Bio Raw Supports initiative includes over 30 local charity and community organization partners in need, and offers customers the option to donate to frontline workers.