Mix Up Your Takeout Order

For most of us, ordering takeout is a pretty well-honed routine. We pick up the phone, rattle off the same three dishes we’ve been getting for as long as we can remember, and settle in for a comforting night of great and familiar food.

From time to time, however, we want to step outside of our culinary comfort zone and discover our next favorite dish. Fortune does favor the bold, after all.

If you’re looking to add a little adventure into your takeout — and introduce your taste buds to few new hidden gems in some of the most popular cuisines — look no further than our guide below.


Orange Chicken, Fried Rice, Sesame Beef — they’re as iconic as the takeout box they come in. But think outside the classic carton next time you’re in the mood for Chinese cuisine. With flavors and tastes across the spectrum, these dishes offer variety you didn’t know you were missing.

Adventurous eaters will look for:

Gua Bao

Bao Gua Pork Belly BaoHaus Los Angeles New York takeout online ordering
The Chairman Bao (bottom) from BaoHaus is made with braised Braised all-natural Berkshire pork belly and topped off with Haus Relish, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro.

(Photo by @snapfirstplease)

Popular in Taiwan, Gua Bao start with marshmallow-soft, fluffy buns wrapped around caramelized pork belly. Topped with fried suan cai (pickled mustard greens), cilantro, spicy sauce, and ground peanuts, these buns will make your mouth explode with an incredible mix of sweet, salty, and savory that satisfies every single one of your cravings.

BaoHaus | @baohaus 

Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Simple and delicious, Salt and Pepper Shrimp are perfect for a satisfying snack or main course with a little bed steamed rice. Coated in cornstarch, deep fried, and then seasoned with a carefully blended mix of Sichuan peppercorns, salt, and garlic, there’s nothing small about the flavor of these shrimp.

Lion’s Head Meatball Stew

(Photo by @triple8la)

A Shanghai specialty, the stars of this dish are the tender, juicy meatballs. Made with a mixture of ground pork and tofu, diced water chestnuts for a nice crunch, and a zesty mix of ginger, scallions, Shaoxing wine, garlic, white pepper powder, and soy sauce, these meatballs are so big they are reminiscent of a lion’s head — mane and all. Simmered with cabbage and either a sumptuous dark brown sauce or light sauce complete with vermicelli noodles, this dish is sure to have you roaring for more.

Triple 8 Chinese | @triple8la | Order Here


While a steaming plate Chicken Tikka Masala or spicy Samosas are excellent options for any night in, India is positively brimming with thousands of diverse dishes to try, each shaped by the unique flavours of their region of origin.

Adventurous eaters will look for:

Saag Paneer

Vegetarians (and omnivores!) rejoice – this is the dish you have been waiting for. A vibrantly green dish from Northern India, Saag Paneer is a wondrous combo of silky smooth greens, typically spinach, cooked with a splash of coconut milk or cream, and crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside fried paneer cheese.


(Photo by @abrowntable)

Trade in the naan for Dosa, a South Indian savory rice and lentil crepe, served plain or chock full of spiced mashed potatoes. Forget utensils and use your fingers to dip your dosa into a host of chutneys, from chile-garlic to mint to tomato to coconut, or sambar, a lentil dipping soup. Uttapam, a slightly thicker, pancake-style version of dosa, served with a variety of savory toppings and yes, chutney, is also an excellent option.

Dosa by Dosa | @dosabydosa

Fish Curry

While fish curries vary by region across India, one particularly delicious variety is Malabar Matthi Curry. Originating from regions close to the ocean, this unexpected dish is made with sardines (stick with us!) semi-stewed with onions or okra, red chillies, and a splash of tamarind juice or sweet coconut milk, all coming together to form a hearty Kerala-style curry.


Tacos, enchiladas, and burritos rule Mexican takeout in the US — and for good reason. Who doesn’t love biting into the warm and cheesy filling of a freshly wrapped burrito? Luckily for us, these dishes are only just the beginning.

Adventurous eaters will look for:


A traditional stew that is often served as a celebratory dish in Mexico, pozole is a hearty mixture of hominy (dried maize kernels soaked in a mineral bath), tender meat or beans, and a flavorful base of broth and spices. Garnished with a wide variety of condiments, including shredded cabbage or lettuce, onion, radish, avocado, lime juice, and chili peppers, Pozole will be your next favorite comfort food.


The Chilaquiles from King and Queen Cantina has lime crema, queso fresco, red onion, radish, choice of carne asada, chicken breast or pork belly, and a sunny side up egg.

(Photo by @galsthatbrunchsd)

Take your breakfast (or brunch) to the next level with this popular dish chock full of fried corn tortillas, salsa or mole (a sauce made from chocolate and chili peppers), scrambled or fried eggs, and pulled chicken. With a healthy serving of crumbled queso fresco, crema, frijoles (refried beans), and avocado on top, Chilaquiles are the perfect start to your day.

King and Queen Cantina | @kingandqueencantina


Sold pretty much everywhere in Mexico, elote is corn on the cob, but so much better. The corn is typically grilled, which gives each sweet, juicy kernel an extra nutty, toasted flavor, and is served on a stick, for easy consumption. The best part? Each ear of corn is slathered with some variation of salt, sour cream, lime juice, butter, cotija cheese, mayo, garlic, and powdered chili. With such endless possibilities, we guarantee you’re going to want more than one ear.

Inspired to try a new restaurant in your community? Order online through ChowNow! Hungry for something else? Discover other delicious eats in your area, ready to be ordered.