After these five long weeks without the joy of having a professional whip up dinner for you (unless you have a chef in your bubble), you deserve only the best. Here are our top tips for level 3 takeaways.
As of Tuesday, takeaways are BACK, baby. Yes, that means the usual suspects - KFC and Maccas and the like - as well as, most probably, your local curry house or fish and chip joint.
But also, a whole bunch of the country's best restaurants are offering takeaways for the very first time, often innovating their usual offerings to make them more home-friendly.
Here's our non-comprehensive-but-as-close-to-nationwide-as-we-could-muster round-up of places we love, listed in geographical and alphabetical order. Yes, we know we will have missed some - feel free to post your faves in the comments on Facebook or head on over to Kai Corner.
Want to know how it all works under level three? Check out our cheat sheet.
You probably won't be able to get that mind-blowing scampi chitarra but the Amano Bakery is doing contactless pick-up in Britomart from Wednesday morning and the Amano Grocer online delivery store is open from Sunday. Fresh egg pasta, anyone?
To order: Visit amano.nz - links to online ordering will be up from Sunday, April 26.
Apéro's brand-new superette offers contactless pick-up of the K Road favourite's famous charcuterie platter, even more famous sausage by the metre, or just a cheeky cheese selection and baguette. If you live in the area, world-famous-in-Auckland-hospo-circles co-owner Mo will deliver straight to your door, too.
To order: Visit apero.co.nz/superette
Auckland Night Market
Not quite a restaurant, but packed-out markets aren't exactly pandemic friendly, and we sure do miss visiting our local stalls and chowing down on a skewer or two. Happily, you can now get night market food delivered to your door and order from multiple stores for one delivery fee, seven days a week. Vendors aren't charged a commission fee either.
To order: Via the Night Market Online app - details on the Facebook page
Pasific-inspired cafe Blue Rose is opening for takeaway at level three - don't miss the excellent pies (palusami, lu'au, hāngī are just some of the fillings).
To order: Check out the Facebook page for details
Cantine (Bar Céleste)
K Road neo-bistro Bar Céleste has launched a new offering, Cantine, which serves up more takeaway-friendly eats like buffalo wings, garlic frites, and, yes, the much-loved filet o'market fish. Contactless pick-up, or one of their team will deliver nearby via Beam scooters.
To order: Visit ordercantine.com (site going live on Monday, April 27).
Cassia, Sidart, Sid at The French Cafe
All three of Sid Sahrawat's restaurants are open for contactless pick-up and delivery via Flamingo scooters within a 3km radius for an extra $8, with new menus developed specifically for takeaway. Both Sidart's SidAtHome and SidAtTheFrenchCafeAtHome have $45pp meal options and $65 family portions. Cassia's menu is a la carte.
To order from Cassia: Visit cassia.rocketspark.co.nz/page/cassia-at-home-menu/
To order from SidAtHome: Visit sidart.rocketspark.co.nz/page/take-home-menu/
To order from SidAtTheFrenchCafeAtHome: Visit sidatthefrenchcafe.rocketspark.co.nz/page/our-take-home-menu/
Cazador (Dominion Rd)
Mt Eden game meat restaurant Cazador is previewing its new project, The Cazador Delicatessen, with a variety of hampers ranging from $65-$250. Each hamper includes a selection of their charcuterie, cheese, bread, dips, crackers and sweets plus surprise bonuses. Meanwhile on Friday nights, Cazador will team up with a different restaurant each week for a one-off special: think Cazador x Coco's meatballs, or Cazador x Culprit kebabs. Delivery and pick-up available.
To order: Visit cazador.co.nz/order-online
Yep, you can get a $350 sashimi platter delivered to your house, no big deal. But if you can't quite swing that, Cocoro's daily-changing bento is also on offer, as well as lighter sushi and donburi, including a DIY temaki sushi kit. Pick-up in Ponsonby and delivery, done by staff, available.
To order: Via the Foodprint app
Coco's level three takeaway menu features known favourites - like their polenta chips, of course - plus treats from K Road neighbours. Deliveries will be made by front-of-house staff, but they can run your order out to your car (parking out back) if you prefer pick-up on K Road.
To order: Visit cocoscantina.co.nz
You might not be able to order off the trolley, but you can get a three-course meal for two, ready at the table after a little preparation, or, if you're feeling lazy, some easier heat-and-eat options, like pork-cheek tortillas. There's also free delivery within a 3km radius of the downtown restaurant.
To order: Visit culpritdiningroom.co.nz/athome
Gemmayze Street (Karangahape Rd)
Enjoy some Lebanese street eats at home with Gemmayze's new lunch menu, seven days a week. Expect hummus, falafel, pitas and shoestring fries, plus changing weekly specials. Dinner features at-home jeeb (a selection of best dishes), and they'll be offering Mezza Box, spice-and-condiment deli boxes for home-cooked meals, too.
To order: Visit gemmayzestreet.co.nz
Now this is our kind of drive-through: the Riverhead fixture is offering an abridged menu of Hallertau classics plus freshly filled flagons of delicious beer, and you don't even have to leave your car. Delivery's an option too.
To order: Visit hallertau.co.nz
Missed your chance to nab some of Yael's famous hot cross buns? Good news: Ima will be pumping those out alongside a changing weekly menu featuring comfort-food favourites like moussaka or chicken schnitzel. Available for pick-up downtown and delivery.
To order: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-lockdown, Grey Lynn's new osteria was so damn popular that getting a table was a feat unto itself, but from next week you can order Lilian's excellent wood-fired pizzas and a selection of smaller plates to pick up and take home, where tables presumably won't be in such high demand. Its sister cafe Honey Bones is also opening from Tuesday morning for click-and-collect coffee and cafe food - order that on the Regulr app.
To order: Visit lilian.co.nz/takeaway
A new venture from the Lillius team, Lillius on Toast launches Thursday, April 30, selling baked breads and accompanying sides like smashed pumpkin and smoky beef. Order online or over the phone, and deliveries - done by the Lillius team - are on the table too.
To order: Visit lilliusontoast.co.nz
You'll have to wait a little longer for a pisco sour, but Madame George will be cooking up some Peruvian-inspired dishes, paired with non-alcoholic concoctions, for delivery (by the team) or pick-up on K Road.
To order: Visit madamegeorge.co.nz
Filipino restaurant Nanam will be churning out bread in the morning and offering a separate takeaway lunch and dinner menu for Nanam Hits Home. If you're a little out of the way of the Takapuna restaurant, food kits to assemble their pork belly taco pao and wagyu sausage longganisa will soon be available, as well as a "life box" hospice kit with essentials and ready-to-heat meals. You can buy one for yourself or one for the Harbour Hospice community.
To order: Visit nanam.co.nz
PB To Go will have a different menu every day of the week, but one constant: sourdough. You can expect three courses for $39, and a flat delivery fee of $15, which can be used across several days of the week.
To order: Visit parisbutter.co.nz/pb-to-go
Pasture's six-seater restaurant ethos doesn't exactly lend itself to takeaway, so they've introduced the Pasture Pantry instead. It's all appropriately luxe: think live lobster, 120-day-aged wagyu, Bluff oysters, or their famous sourdough bread, all packed up in curated pantry boxes to be picked up from the Parnell restaurant.
To order: Visit exploretock.com/pasture
Head chef Ryan Moore is going back to his roots and serving up some British classics from his childhood. There's a whole heap of options: sandwiches, set menus and frozen meals. Expect fish pie, beef wellington, rice pudding, and then more pie, probably. Local delivery by the team and pick-up (CBD) available.
To order: Visit thegroverestaurant.co.nz
Banh Mi Caphe
Craving Vietnamese? Banh Mi Caphe has got you covered with fresh rice paper rolls, fried chicken, pho, and, of course, banh mi for pick-up or delivery.
To order: banhmicaphe.ordersnz.co.nz
Whizz Bang Bao
From the team behind Hayes Common, Whizz Bang Bao is a new initiative slinging out hot baos, duck wings and potato skins, straight to your door.
To order: Via booknorder.co.nz
Clarence is offering gourmet takeaways that stay true to their bistro style: wagyu beef burgers, fig salads and shoestring fries abound. Pick-up only. Its Italian sister restaurant, Alpino, is also opening at level three, serving up pizza and other tasty Italian fare.
To order: Visit clarencetauranga.co.nz/page/bistro
Crawford Road Kitchen
Crawford Road Kitchen at the Gisborne Wine Centre is doing three-course CRK At Home dinners on Thursdays and Fridays. First up the theme is Mexican and Middle Eastern, with the following weeks TBC - just let them know any dietary requirements and leave the menu in the chefs' capable hands.
To order: Visit this website
Instead of waiting in an impossibly long line for KFC Wicked Wings, you can chow down on some of Bistronomy's fried wings instead. Find a range of starters, mains (like lamb rump) and desserts on the Napier restaurant's quarantine menu for pick-up or delivery ("just ask").
To order: Visit bistronomy.co.nz
Order from a special "classic hits"-esque takeaway menu, with promised customer favourites from past menus, like the ever-important carbonara and bolognese, plus alla vodka, puttanesca and more. Online click and collect available, plus delivery from Deliver Easy.
To order: Visit 1154.co.nz
Four words: yum cha to go. Or is it three? Either way, we're pleased Dragons is offering dim sum to your door (pork buns et. al), fresh or frozen if you want. You can even get a whole Peking duck! They're on all the apps, including UberEats, but we recommend ordering direct via Dragons Express.
To order: Visit wellingtondragons.co.nz
Field & Green
What could be more comforting than a hearty bowl of kedgeree? Field & Green's kedgeree tuk tuk will be on the road, staffed by its own team, to deliver within the Wellington region for a $5 fee. Pick-up is also available.
To order: Visit fieldandgreen.co.nz/at-home
Highwater to Go will be ready to go from Wednesday, offering a range of ready-to-eat dinners for two. Alongside that, they'll be supporting local suppliers by curating fruit and veg boxes with add ons like cold-pressed juice and sausages available.
To order: Visit highwatereatery.co.nz
Plant-based restaurant Hillside will be running three-course meal options (catering to vegetarian and vegan) with mains like pumpkin lasagne for $47. It's pick-up only for now, but deliveries are in the works, to be done by the team.
To order: Via the Regulr app
Say hello to Logan Brown at Yours. This fine diner will now be delivering kit-set dinners straight to your home, Thursday to Friday only - duck confit and a nice steak is on the menu.
To order: Visit loganbrown.co.nz/logan-brown-yours
The new place from former Rita head chef Matt Hawke will be offering two-person doner meal kits from Tuesday. This ain't your standard late-night kebab: we're talking braised lamb neck, "copious amounts of jus", muhammara tabouli, Israeli salad, tahini yoghurt and a couple of grilled pitas for $46. There is also a delightful-sounding vegetarian option of cauliflower and Medjool date tagine, $23 for a single serve or $46 for two. Pick-up or delivery, which is free in Newtown, $6 elsewhere.
To order: Email email@example.com
Pandemic Pack is a group of Wellington hospitality operators who have banded together to offer collective delivery for their businesses. This means you can order from any of them and have all the goods delivered to you at the same time; a crazy logistics nightmare, imo, so hats off to 'em. Order from places like Pour & Twist, Grace Patisserie, La Boca Loca and Leeds Street Bakery.
To order: Visit pandemicpack.co.nz
It would be darn hard to replicate the charm of this pint-sized Aro Street restaurant at home, unless you live in a historic worker's cottage, perhaps, but from next Friday, you can replicate chef Kelda Hains's delicious food: Rita is offering three-course dinner kits for pick-up and delivery. A little bit of assembly and reheating will be required.
To order: Menu and ordering details coming soon - keep an eye on the Rita Instagram, @89aro
Shepherd's much-loved Goldburger fast-food side gig will be up and running from Tuesday, with some Shepherd-inspired takeaway items soon to follow - smoked fish, egg salad, chives and Marmite crackers, anyone?
To order: Visit shepherdrestaurant.co.nz
Duck liver parfait, house-made Toulouse sausage and profiteroles to finish, anyone? The stalwart Wellington bistro, now owned by Asher Boote of Hillside, is up and running at level three, offering a three-course-and-sides menu for two for $70, or you can build your own a-la-carte style.
To order: Via the Regulr app
What doesn't Arden at Home have? The menu changes weekly, with packages for two, three or for the family (expect sourdough, meats and boozy tiramisu); pantry and pastries (cheeses, olives, macarons) and matched wine. Free delivery over $60.
To order: arden.nz
Arbour is a little bit fancy, and so's its takeaway offering - they encourage you to recreate the Arbour experience by trying your hand at plating and chucking the results on social media. Though all the food is done, the kits come with service instructions and images. Yes, chef.
To order: Visit arbour.co.nz
Gatherings' Fish Supper takeaway menu changes weekly but will always include, you guessed it, fish. The deal (steal?) runs at just $45, which feeds four and features bread, salad and potatoes too. Contactless pick-up only at the restaurant in Merivale.
To order: Visit gatherings.co.nz/fish-supper
Some assembly is required for Inati at Home's sharing meal, designed for two, which features one large plate, two sides, one nectar and some bread.
To order: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Twenty Seven Steps
Level three Friday night dinners are sorted: choose from a menu of soups, risottos, braised meats and bread and have it all delivered to your door Friday afternoon.
To order: Visit twentysevensteps.co.nz
Yes, this Akaroa favourite will be doing sweet treats and coffee, but best of all, there will be a daily community curry and soup for $15, which will feed two. Click and collect only.
To order: Via the Bopple app
Wanaka's Kika is reopening on Wednesday for takeaways - Te Mana lamb shoulder with preserved lemon and chilli or a bucket of Kika fried chicken, anyone? Or go for the "Just feed me" option at $45 per person for four delicious courses.
To order: Check out the menu at kika.nz/takeaway-menu and order over the phone
Queenstown's Amisfield Bistro has pivoted to Amisfield at Home with family-friendly dishes - well, if you consider wild fallow deer pie family-friendly - and accompanying wines. Bread, charcuterie platter and pies galore.
To order: Visit amisfield.co.nz/bistro
Grab dinner for two from Moiety's special takeaway menu, featuring a protein cooked over charcoal and sides for $65, then add on some additional snacks, small plates and desserts. Contactless pick-up only.
To order: Via the Regulr app
If you're missing a bit of No.7 Balmac, they're not quite open for dinner yet, but no matter: there are baked goods, sandwiches, fries and, most importantly, COFFEE, for takeaway till 2pm, instead.
To order: Visit no7balmac.co.nz