Let’s get real: parenting is wild and crazy enough without the challenge of preparing homemade dinners for your family every single night. Especially during the first month of the school year, when parents and kiddos are all adjusting to waking up at sunrise, racing to get to school on time, after school homework, and sports practices. After a hectic day, cooking is the last thing you want to do. Takeout is the perfect answer to the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” That’s why we’re going to don our superhero capes and rescue you from a would-be dinner disaster by serving up our tried-and-true list of the best easy weeknight dinners for busy families in Dunwoody.
The irresistible fragrance of sizzling stir-fried vegetables and simmering curries greet you at the doors of this local favorite that’s been serving up popular Chinese, Thai and sushi dishes for more than a decade. Located in the Williamsburg at Dunwoody shopping center on Jett Ferry Road, Asian Café's convenient location makes it easy to dash in for a to-go order that will satisfy all your family’s Eastern cravings.
Need inspiration for what to order? You can’t go wrong with the Panang curry chicken with colorful al dente bell peppers and juicy chicken in a velvety sauce, the shrimp fried rice that bursts with umami flavor, or the spicy Dunwoody roll that combines shrimp tempura and smoked salmon with house-made spicy mayo.
Breadwinner Café & Bakery
It’s no secret that this cheerful neighborhood cafe Breadwinner is a favorite among our team at Discover Dunwoody, an honor that’s well deserved. If your family’s inability to agree on a restaurant choice is driving you nuts, you’ll be thrilled to regain your sanity at this cozy spot in the Shops of Dunwoody that offers something for everyone.
Picky kids can dig into classic sandwiches like chicken salad and grilled cheese, and the cravings of the health-conscious will be deliciously satisfied with standout salads like the healthy slaw or the beet and blue (trust us, that raspberry vinaigrette is a thing of beauty).
Making it even easier, the Dunwoody outpost boasts a generously stocked refrigerated grab-and-go section piled high with all your favorites. Pro tip: don’t miss Ruth’s Brisket on Saturdays or in the refrigerated section to take home. This family recipe will have you coming back for seconds.
Brown Bag Seafood
Opened less than a year ago in Dunwoody’s bustling Ashford Lane development, Brown Bag Seafood is making seafood approachable for every palate. The made-to-order meals are served impressively fast with no sacrifice in the flavor department, making this coastal-inspired fast casual spot a perfect choice for busy evenings.
Design your own dinner plate with mouthwatering options like grilled salmon, crispy shrimp or curry fish cakes, and customize the vehicle from tacos to fresh salad greens to the protein-packed quinoa and rice blend. Style it up with a few flavorful sauces, add fun sides like buffalo-bleu tots or spicy sesame cauliflower, and you’ll be savoring the first bite before you can say “go fish.”
Chicken Salad Chick
When you’re in the mood for a delicious sandwich with a heaping side of Southern hospitality, a stop at Chicken Salad Chick is your next move. Serving up what else – chicken salad – in a variety of flavor profiles with cutesy names like Kickin’ Kay Lynne (buffalo ranch) and Fruity Fran (apples, grapes and pineapple), this friendly dining destination gives the vibe that someone’s sweet Southern mama made a sandwich just for you.
Add some zingy rotini pasta salad or a cup of rich and creamy loaded baked potato soup, and before you know it, you’ll have a well-fed family ready to be tucked into their beds and a night off from kitchen cleanup duty.
E. 48th Street Market
If you haven’t yet experienced the Holy Grail of authentic Italian delis, you’re about to have a life-changing experience. In fact, we’re a little jealous of first timers experiencing their inaugural bite of pesto penne or eggplant parmigiana at Dunwoody institution E. 48th Street Market. You’ll be welcomed like famiglia when you step inside this charming neighborhood eatery that’s part Italian grocery store, part restaurant, and part specialty deli counter (Prosciutto di Parma, anyone?).
Lovers of Italian food will be enveloped by that “kid in a candy store” feeling as they try to decide whether to order a handmade pasta with a slow-simmered sauce, a flavor-packed hero (#13 for the win!), or a Mama’s Pizza piled with premium toppings. Our advice? Don’t overthink it; just come back again tomorrow.
What began as a sensationally popular street food cart in NYC is now available right here in Dunwoody’s Perimeter Center area. Located just steps away from Perimeter Mall, Halal Guys’ fast casual format is making quick weeknight dinners in Dunwoody a cinch for busy families.
The Mediterranean eatery keeps choices simple by offering savory beef gyro, succulently seasoned chicken or herby vegetarian falafel either in wraps cradled in warm pillowy pita bread or in platters atop savory rice and fresh veggies. Add a tasty side like baba ganoush or hummus and a sweet slice of baklava cheesecake, and you’ve got proof that a fast meal doesn’t have to be a boring one.
Piccola New York Pizza
Mention Piccola in a conversation with other Dunwoodians, and you can guarantee someone will start raving about the eggplant Parmesan pizza that’s undoubtedly the most popular order from this no-frills, food-forward pizzeria on Winter’s Chapel Road in Dunwoody. Local families flock to Piccola New York Pizzeria for flavorful eats and friendly service, and it’s one of the best easy weeknight dinners for busy families in Dunwoody.
Of course, we recommend the aforementioned eggplant parm pizza as a must-try, but if that’s not your thing there’s no need to fret. Dig into a Philly cheese calzone stuffed with grilled steak, peppers and onions, or a big bowl of penne alla Vodka with house-made meatballs. Satisfying insatiable appetites after a weeknight soccer game or hockey practice has never been easier… or more delicious.
The glorious simplicity of all-chicken-everything restaurant Super Chix is something to be celebrated. We’ve all stood beside an elementary-aged kiddo, impatiently tapping a foot while they peruse the menu endlessly and all we want to do is grab some quick food and start bath time. Not a concern at Super Chix, where a hand-breaded or grilled chicken cutlet is the foundation of pretty much everything on the menu.
This newcomer to Dunwoody, which opened in Perimeter Marketplace less than a year ago, delivers speedy service and an impressive reimagining of the chicken sandwich – and salad – in a variety of palate-pleasing flavors like blacked Cajun, bacado ranch, Asian sesame and cordon bleu. We love the ability to go as healthy or indulgent as you wish with your order, and that the food is served in minutes, meaning dinner is done in a snap.
You’re pressed for time and tempted to hit the drive-thru with a car full of hungry littles, but what you really want is a bountiful, nourishing salad. Sound familiar? The next time you’re in this predicament, steer yourself into Ashford Lane and head to Sweetgreen, the healthy-food-fast casual restaurant that’s set out to reimagine fast food.
Parents’ quick dinner dreams come true when they stop into Sweetgreen and pick up takeout boxes holding the luxury of beautiful restaurant quality salads and grain bowls overflowing with farm fresh greens and grown-up flavors. We recommend the Elote Bowl topped with organic warm quinoa, arugula, and lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette or the hummus crunch salad with basil, za’atar breadcrumbs, chopped romaine, shredded kale, and pesto vinaigrette.
But what will the picky children eat, you ask? Let your sweet peas choose from Sweetgreen’s kids’ menu, featuring healthy but approachable options like mini mezze and ranch-y chicken and rice. Pro tip: order ahead on the app and all dash in the door to grab your order from the takeout area.
Juicy, flavorfully grilled burgers are only one of the craveable items on the menu at neighborhood go-to eatery, Village Burger. Chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, wings and tasty salads round out the generous variety on the menu that makes it easy to please your crew. Located in Dunwoody Village, VB is an easy pit stop on the drive to-and-from many local kids’ activities. Don’t be deterred by a line at the door; this consistently busy restaurant serves up both dine-in and takeout orders with applause-worthy speed.
We love the ability to customize each delicious burger or sandwich with an impressive array of toppings from refreshing coleslaw to tangy sauerkraut, and of course the dangerously addictive seasoned fries. What’s more is that the VB staff, which consists mainly of local teens, have mastered the art of carryout packaging, making for a still-delicious meal when you get home. That is, if you don’t devour it all in the car (no judgment here!)
So, there you have it, fellow parents. Weeknights are hard and being nonstop taxi drivers for offspring is a daunting task, but we promise having this expert list of guaranteed-to-satisfy takeout options in your dinner planning arsenal will make this back-to-school season much more manageable and take one to-do item off your plate (pun intended). Now go forth and bravely sign up for that ice cream social committee!
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