10 Ways to Support Philly Restaurant Workers & Yourself During COVID-19

I Love Food, But I’m Not Made of Money!

Here are a few ways to show socially-distanced some love for your favorite local restaurants. They’re always there for us, so let’s be there for them! Life is better when we work together… even at a distance.

While all examples are specific to Philadelphia, the actions themselves are not. So please, check it out!

Pump them up on social media.

It’s FREE! Follow them. Tag a friend. Like a picture. Share a post. Shout them out. For example: legends like Kalaya Thai Kitchen, 1-900 Ice Cream, Middle Child, and South Philly Barbacoa are providing meals to healthcare workers. Let these people know how excited you are to get back in their doors.

Write a glowing review.

Also. Free. Take 5 minutes right now so that somebody else will give them business later on. Google, Yelp, OpenTable, Caviar, etc.

Reach out to your local officials.

Free again?!? Tell them you want restaurants covered in the federal stimulus plan, that you support The Independent Restaurant Coalition. Find your representative here, or your Senators here, and call 202-224-3121 for the Capitol switchboard. 

Courtesy of Neighborhood Ramen Social

Get some sweet merch.

This gives them a cash-and-advertising double whammy. Look out for discounts or free shipping. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Neighborhood Ramen beer koozie for $5. Or one of their iconic bowls for $40.
  • The entire CookNSolo shop. Or maybe just a Goldie tee or FedNuts hat.
  • A care package, SPAM candle, or lip balm from Poi Dog
  • This cool Cacio e Pepe shirt from Fiorella
  • Reanimator Coffee’s ~at home~ tees and classic can glasses.
Courtesy of Poi Dog

Order delivery or takeout.

The CDC has repeatedly said it’s perfectly safe. The Infatuation is an AWESOME resource, providing rolling lists based on neighborhood, occasion … and even ones for pizza and booze! Make sure to tip the deliverer if you can!

  • Keep your eye out for Vetri wine cellar sales at 35% off!
  • Yards Brewing Co. also has delivery and pickup with 20% when you use the code: staysafe20.

Having a tough time finding groceries?

Some spots are selling essential food items for pickup or delivery, or even some ***super cool meal kits*** to make all this cooking at home a bit easier. 

These spots can hook you up with your eggs and milk:

  • United By Blue in Old City, from what I’ve found, has the most extensive selection, and a very specific health policy. 
  • The Olde Bar in Society Hill has prepared family-style meals and some kitchen staples like rice, beans, and bath tissue. 
  • On Wednesday through Sunday, order from Fond in South Philly for prepared foods as well as fresh pasta and other essential items. 
  • Stargazy has a whole menu section dedicated to British groceries, from cadbury eggs to tea cakes to mushy peas.
  • Giordano Garden Grocers is offering boxes of “fresh essentials” at $35 each.
  • Use the code “RTMFREE” for free delivery from select spots in Reading Terminal Market… including Bassetts.
Pizzeria Vetri family bundle, complete with coloring sheets

Here are some spots with unconventional takeout options:

Buy a gift card!

Treat yourself and think of it as an investment, or treat someone else to give a great pick-me-up. (We even did an exchange!) Look here for Philly Mag’s list of spots to get gift cards, and here to search OpenTable if you don’t find what you’re looking for.

Check out #SavePhillyEats.

The initiative “special experiences or offers to help the Philly food scene generate revenue during closures. 100% of proceeds go to the businesses. Zero fees.” Some are fancy che dinners, some are coupons. Take your pick. Free delivery on Rival Bros Coffee and a private dinner raffle from June BYOB caught our eye…


This is the most obvious option, but if you’re able, the following organizations are making a huge difference:

Off Their Plate partners with restaurants to provide meals for healthcare workers on the front lines.

Operations like The James Beard Foundation Relief Fund, The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, The Bartenders’ Guild provide support to service staff and loans to make sure small restaurants and businesses can reopen.

Many spots have begun their own relief funds or virtual tip jars as well.

Off Their Plate

Practice social distancing.

For real. Everyone has to do their part to make sure this can come to a timely but safe end. So sit back and stay informed. Check out Zagat Stories for interviews with chefs and hospitality workers, Bon Appetit for 33 bread recipes to keep you busy, and, of course, Penn Appetit for recipes, stories, and more.

Courtesy of Branimir Balogovic for Unsplash

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