Smile Politely

Booze and food: Here are some C-U carryout and delivery options for both

With the state-wide mandate to stay at home, we are all doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We are cooking more, but some nights, the dishes are too much, or the food in the fridge is too little. If you’re looking for a great option for dinner — and a great way to support our local restaurants — carryout or delivery are perfect options. What’s even better: these local establishments have adult beverage offerings along with their food menu.

Cheese & Crackers

The interior of Cheese & Crackers with a patron waiting to be served. There is a long refrigerated case of various cheeses followed by another of cured meats and sausages. The middle has a many-tiered shelf of non-perishable goods. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

This little hole-in-the-wall place has everything you could want: cheese, artisan meats, crackers, fish, sandwiches, wines, chocolate, and more. We interviewed the owner in 2013

They have many different cheeses and meats that can be purchased by the pound, half pound, or quarter pound, sliced in the thickness you prefer. They offer sandwiches that are made to order: cheese and meat for the sandwich sliced when you put in your order. You can find a list of all their sandwiches here. Their fish is delivered three times a week, and the list can be found here. You can order the exact fish you want, in the amount you want. You can call 217-615-8531 to place your order. Call or email [email protected] to find out what wines they have available. Be sure to add some wine to your order. Park in the lot; Cheese & Crackers offers curbside pickup for all orders.

Cheese & Crackers
1715 W Kirby Ave
T – Su 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
M 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Nando Milano

White plate of yellow pasta sits on top of a brown wooden table. There are green peas and grown mushrooms and sausage in the dish. There's a light brown basket in the back right of the photo. Photo by Anna Longworth.

Nando’s rigatoni alla norcina. Photo by Anna Longworth.

This local Italian eatery is still open during the stay at home mandate, and Nando Milano is serving up all kinds of deliciousness. You can view Nando Milano’s updated menu here. I was pleased to see that my favorites Arancini di Riso and Rigatoni alla Beppe are still available. They are offering all wines for 50% off as well, so it’s a great time to add a bottle to your date night in.

You can get Nando as carryout, curbside pickup, or delivery. They offer free delivery for our local area within five miles. Additionally, they are offering no contact delivery. Call 217-954-1439 from 3:30 to 9 p.m. to place your order.

Nando Milano
204 N Neil St
M-Th 5 to 10 p.m.
F + Sa 5 to 11 p.m.
Su 4 to 9 p.m.


A pasta dish in a circle plate is centered in the image. The pasta is rigatoni noodles with a light sauce. A small red sign reading

Photo from Naya’s facebook page. 

Naya offers Asian-inspired Italian cuisine. If you haven’t tried Naya yet, you should read this article. With the dining room closed, they are offering Grab-and-Go dinner kits which change daily. It is usually a pasta that you cook at home with a provided, prepared sauce and topping. Follow them on social media to see each day’s special. In addition to their specials, you can find their menu online. Naya delivery is available through Grubhub, and there is also carryout and curbside pick up available. Call in your order 217-729-7430 between 5 and 8:30 p.m. Bonus: Naya is offering their wines by the bottle for 50% off, so make sure you add a bottle (or two) to your order.

212 E Green St
M-Th 5 to 9:30 p.m.
F+Sa 5 to 10 p.m.

El Toro 

A row of yellow margaritas with salt rims and a lime lined at the top of the image with a red background.

Image from El Toro’s facebook page. 

El Toro is offering this really fun deal: lime margarita kits delivered to your house. In addition to lunch and dinner orders, El Toro is offering 32 ounce margarita kits for $11.99, 64 ounce kits for $23, and 128 ounces, or one gallon, kits for $45. These margarita kits are available for delivery or carryout. You can get El Toro delivery through Grub Hub and Door Dash.

El Toro is also offering a taco bar which includes ground beef, shredded chicken, soft and crunchy taco shells, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, rice, beans, chips, and salsa for $10.99 a person. Their full menu can be found online here.

El Toro
Multiple locations 
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily

Common Ground Co-Op

A brightly lit counter of Common Ground Co-Op Cafe counter with vertical wooden planks. There are many menus in black on the back wall. Two staffers work on making pizza. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

More than just a grocery, Common Ground Co-Op has lunch options available and dinner as well. You can choose from salads, soups, sandwiches, pizzas, bagels, and more in their updated cafe in addition to grab-and-go options. When you pop in for a yummy meal to-go, you can also pick up one of their many wine and beer selections available in store.

Common Ground Food Co-op
Lincoln Square Mall
300 S Broadway
9 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily

Harvest Market

A row of refrigerators holding cold beers along the right side of the photo. Photo from Harvest Market's facebook page.

Photo from Harvest Market’s facebook page. 

Harvest Market is a grocery store, but you can get meals to go. You can also pick up cheeses and meats to make your own charcuterie board. Pick up your meal and choose one of the many boozy options to go with your dinner: beer, wine, and/or spirits.

Harvest Market
2029 S Neil St
6 a.m. to midnight, daily

Top image by Anna Longworth. 

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