Shake Up Your Takeout Routine With These Five Restaurants

Steamed buns, brick-oven pizzas, “turtle shells,” and more, from these takeout spots bring creativity to the kitchen table.

With the ongoing pandemic, not everyone is comfortable with dining in, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to the same old, same old. Step outside of the usual and support these local restaurants in your own backyard.

Photograph by Kaylie Lehman

The Gruff

Build your own brick-oven pizza, snack on a fried chicken sandwich, or munch on the Grass is Greener salad—all popular items made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients. These items can be picked up without stepping a foot inside via the restaurant’s pick-up window.
The Gruff, 129 E. Second St., Covington, (859) 581-0040

Boom Box Buns

Editor’s Note: Boom Box Buns closed permanently on February 19, 2022.

This quick-bite restaurant specializes in handmade steamed buns, like their beef bun, or a vegetarian option, the sweet potato bun. Try their chili noodles on the side, and grab a sweet bun coated in cinnamon sugar for dessert.
Boom Box Buns, 1400 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine

Photograph courtesy of Bridges Nepali Cuisine

Bridges Nepali Cuisine

This Nepalese restaurant serves popular dishes, including momos (Nepalese-style dumplings) chow mein with vegetables and Nepali spices, and bowls of rice and your choice of protein (meat or vegan) toppings. There’s a little something for everyone.
Bridges Nepali Cuisine, 4165 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 374-9354; 133 E. Court St., downtown, (513) 978-9055

Sleepy Bee Café

Your neighborly breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot, with locally sourced ingredients, is a friendly option for those with dietary concerns. They make it easy to find vegan and gluten-free options, and note on the menu dishes containing nuts and soy. With choices ranging from breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, and scrambles to soups, bowls, and salads, this place will suit everyone’s taste.
Sleepy Bee Cafe, 9514 Kenwood Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 241-2339; 3098 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 533-2339; 8 E. Fourth St., downtown, (513) 381-2339

Photograph by Bruce Bennet

Gomez Salsa

This Mexican restaurant specializes in tacos with meat or tofu filling, salsas—made fresh in-house daily—and the “turtle shell,” a unique spin on a classic burrito. Try the signature margaritas, available for takeout at the Walnut Hills location. Or visit the walk-up window in OTR for convenient sidewalk ordering.
Gomez Salsa, 2437 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, (513) 954-8541; 107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-1596

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