Concerns about COVID-19 have forced all of us to reconsider how we go about our daily lives, including how we get our meals. While staying at home is the best way to protect yourself during the coronavirus pandemic, you still need to eat—and our local small restaurants and cafes need your business.
Read on for some ideas on how to support local restaurants, cafes, breweries and small grocers during this time.
And with so many incredible restaurants in Baton Rouge, we recognize that the businesses listed below represent just a slice of our city’s rich culinary scene. Please leave some love for your local favorites in the comments and let us know which ones we may have missed!
1. Have it delivered
If you’ve decided to self-quarantine in your home—and you’re not ready to start digging into your “emergency food kit” just yet—order your favorite foods through Waitr, DoorDash, UberEats or restaurants’ in-house delivery services. Check out 225 Dine‘s list of restaurants offering takeout and delivery.
Many restaurants are waiving or heavily discounting fees right now, and UberEats is offering free delivery. And psst: a simple Google or Facebook search for the other delivery companies usually reveals some free codes, too.
2. Take a virtual cooking class
The 225 staff can’t get enough of Bon Appetit and its videos. But it’s even cooler to see cooking classes taking place virtually from right here in Baton Rouge.
Red Stick Spice Co. has become known for its cooking classes in recent years. Tuesday, March 17, at 4:30 p.m., owner Anne Milneck is moving a class to a new platform: Facebook Live. Tune in to watch Milneck make lentil soup.
3. Don’t forget about local grocery stores
There are plenty of opportunities to buy groceries—and hunt for toilet paper—at locally owned shops. Head to Calvin’s Bocage Market, Calandro’s Supermarket, Matherne’s Supermarket, Alexander’s Highland Market or Rouses Markets.
4. Let the pros do the grocery shopping and recipe planning by cooking from meal kits
Meal kits empower customers to make restaurant-style dishes at home.
You could always opt for a national service like Blue Apron or Sun Basket, but we’re starting to see local businesses offer DIY kits, too.
5. Pick up pre-made meals by local culinary creatives
Get a premade meal to reheat at home from eateries like Good Eats Kitchen, known for its health-centric prepared meals. The company is currently waiving delivery fees. Check out its delivery schedule here.
Gourmet Girls has fresh and frozen meals available at its shop and is regularly updating inventory on Instagram Stories. Meal delivery company Ingle Eats has also setup shop inside The Royal Standard, dishing out fresh and frozen meals.
6. Drink local beer at home
Local breweries are still awaiting guidance on how the bar closures will be applied to them. But in the meantime, Baton Rouge breweries like Rally Cap have been offering beer to go. And of course you can always shop local brands like Tin Roof and Southern Craft Brewing Co. at the grocery store.
7. Consider getting a gift card from a local restaurant to use later
If you’re planning to just stay home and cook, but you still want to support your favorite restaurants in this difficult time, consider purchasing a gift card. It gives the restaurants the cash they need now, and you have a reason to head out to dinner later once restrictions are lifted. In all seriousness, your purchase might just help the city’s most beloved restaurants stay afloat.
Brittney Forbes contributed to this report.