What Are Some Of Australia’s Favourite Takeaway Foods? And Why We Love Takeaway

It’s no secret Australia likes takeaway food, or taking away food to eat at home, work or elsewhere. On average, Australians make 30.5 million takeaway visits each month. With more eateries than we can count around many a corner in Australia, deciding on and picking our favourite takeaway can be hard.

Takeaway food is something I get most days. During weekday lunch hours, I usually find myself wandering out of the office and buying some food from a nearby shop, and then wandering to the park across the road and eating lunch there. There’s something liberating about taking away food and eating wherever we please; where, and what, we eat is a personal choice.

At times getting takeaway feels like a win | Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

At times getting takeaway feels like a win | Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory.

These days we can take away pretty much any dish and cuisine. Just like the debate over choosing our national dish, Australia’s favourite takeaways change from year to year, and from state to state too. Not much of a surprise since our tastebuds change over time and each of us feel differently about different cuisines.

More often than not, Australians warm towards takeaway that isn’t only convenient to take away but easy to eat as well. Australians are known to be laid back; we’re a nation that works hard but plays harder. So no surprise we’re a nation that loves casual dining, loves takeaway such as pizza. In the last few years, pizzerias lead the vote as Australia’s favourite takeaway spots, and popular on Saturday night dinners a home. Burgers come out takeaway tops in Victoria. Fuss-free food we eat with our hands. Fuss-free food that doesn’t take long to prepare as well.

I rarely have pizza or burgers on my lunches, but at least once a week I’ll get a toasted ham sandwich, toasted crunchy to the edges with a slice of melted cheese oozing through the airy cracks of crisp bread. A quick takeaway lunch in the park when I’m not feeling too hungry, which means more time for a walk on my break.

And often Australia loves the kind of takeaway great for eating under the sun. After all, we love the great outdoors: a casual affair, casual eating apt.

Sometimes we might be more than happy to eat the same takeaway over and over again.

Sometimes we might be more than happy to eat the same takeaway over and over again.

A lot of the time Australians have a penchant for takeaway food that is all about meat. Australia certainly is a nation that loves its meat, from succulent Angus beef to tender free-range chicken to sinewy lamb. No surprise we love takeaway pizza and burgers, with BBQ Chicken and Meatlovers topping Australia’s favourite pizzas and to many of us omnivores a good meat patty makes a good burger. And kebabs and fried chicken takeaways whet Australian appetites as well. Just like how ham sandwiches sit well with me.

Some of our favourite takeaways are rather Aussie, and others less so. Apart from pizzas, burgers and fish and chips, Chinese, Italian and Indian ready-to-go are favourites too. Seems that the more multicultural Australia’s population is becoming, the more adventurous our tastebuds are becoming. Sometimes I get takeaway sushi for weekday lunches. Or a chicken panini. Or a ham sandwich.

Takeaway is usually a tasty treat that perks us up. Chances are when we choose to get takeaway, we get a fast-food meal. In 2013, a study shows Australians spend 23% more per month on fast-food compared to the last 4 years. On one hand, takeaway isn’t exactly good for us. But on the other, no reason why we can’t have our favourite-takeaway-comfort food to feel better.

Other times we might be adventurous and new takeaways put a smile on our face.

Other times we might be adventurous and new takeaways put a smile on our face.

Admittedly, most days after work I come home through the door, tired. Throw my keys aside. Feel lazy. Simmer some noodles, free-range chicken slices and veggies in a pot of boiling water, then drain the pot and eat all that drizzled in olive oil – the very most I’d do for dinner. Plain, organic-like dinners, yes, but they don’t leave me with a greasy feeling that takeouts and eating out often does. As author Michael Pollan said on being mindful about where our food comes from and how it lived:

 “You are what what you eat eats.”

At times getting takeout, or even eating out, gets on our nerves. Get takeout and our wallets become a lighter. Get takeout and we might have to queue and push with the crowds, wait a while for our food. While McDonalds delivery is catching on in Australia, depending on traffic and weather it can take a while for takeaway delivery to arrive. Then again, making our own meals at home can get on our nerves too: mustering the effort to clean up after cooking in the kitchen, coming up with meals just enough for one person if we’re living alone and don’t want to eat the same meal again the next day.

Taking away meals and eating out, we let others prepare meals for us. When we’ve decided on having takeaway or eating out, we surrender our body and health into the care of someone’s hands, trusting we’ll get through the meal alive – a vulnerable experience. While waiting for our takeaway, what we usually tend to worry and think about is getting to where we want to be, or what our food will taste like. Cooking is far from our minds unless we want to replicate the dish we ordered. So is getting sick.

Takeaway foods. They can be comfort foods, and sinful too.

Takeaway foods. They can be comfort foods, and sinful too.

The onus is always on us to make wise food choices. We only see what our ready-to-go food entails when we open the takeout container, ready to tuck in. More often than not, we see and feel the results of our eating habits afterwards, be it a moment after eating or practically a lifetime of eating. Comfort food may not always be comfort food, as food writer Mary F.K Fisher alluded:

“Probably one of the most private things in the world is an egg before it is broken.”

Just as we can bored of home cooked meals, we can get restless from eating takeaway. Earlier this year, I got tired of eating ham sandwiches. Tired of eating sushi. On a warm spring lunch hour, I walked a few of blocks down the road. Stumbled into a café. Grabbed a prosciutto salad off the shelves and sat outside for lunch. Salty, it tasted. Much more than the ham sandwiches. Never again.

How often do you get takeaway food?

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230 thoughts on “What Are Some Of Australia’s Favourite Takeaway Foods? And Why We Love Takeaway

  1. I don’t get takeaway food much… Here in Spain I’ve never really had any good experiences with it. Even if in the SAME restaurant they serve great food, I dont know how they do it to make the takeaway food be like half in quantity and somehow taste like carton. Even so there’s a growing number of apps for you to order takeaway at your fingertips, but the restaurants maybe still need to improve in their presentation of it. Great photos by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would have thought paella is a popular takeaway there in Spain. Perhaps it’s more of a dish where you eat in… You are right, though, that takeaways can look “less presentable” than eat in foods. But I’m sure they taste just as good – or not so good – a lot of the time!

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  2. takeaway is usually fast food or the ‘dai pai dong’ stuff. the fast food option is usually out of desperation or at the insistence of the girls for the occasional change. ‘dai pai dong’ option is like a lucky draw, at times you hit some gems, but on most occasions, the experience is wanting with a horrendous MSG after effect. therefore, i tend to prefer either to dine at home (agnes is a pretty good cook) or at a tried and tested restaurant. it’s also getting very expensive eating out in KL nowadays, and for the quality one gets at certain places, it’s just not worth the visit or the money. regards, ken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “dai pai dong” So very popular in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia today. Interesting to hear you say people eat fast food out of desperation sometimes. MSG is so bad for our health. To be honest, I feel that it makes food salty, too much salty for my liking. I hear it’s so easy to spend close to RM100 eating out for a family of four these days. Pricey.

      Liked by 1 person

      • a pinch of MSG may help to ‘lift’ the taste, but a lot of vendors get carried away, cut corners/costs/preparation time, and dump a heap in. leaves my throat with a parched burning sensation when i have this MSG infested food, and i never ever go back again. having said that, there are some really nice restaurants/dai pai dong around KL and the smaller towns/cities like Ipoh and Penang (i am sure some comes to your mind now). For a family of four, you have to really watch what you order to stay within RM100 these days, its just crazy. best policy, cook and eat at home :). regards, ken

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  3. According to a recent article, Sydney’s most popular takeaway is Pad Thai.
    http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/eat-out/sydney-goes-stircrazy-for-oodles-of-thai-noodles-20141011-1145rg.html

    I try to limit takeaway to maybe once a week or less with regard to eating at home (i.e. eating dinner or lunch at home). At work is a different matter. I don’t have time to make my own lunch, so I always buy lunch at work – strangely, I don’t consider that to be takeaway. 🙂

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    • Such an interesting article. Thanks for sharing, Dragon. Perhaps (western) palates are warming to spicier and spicier foods. Or perhaps Pad Thai here isn’t as spicy as in where it originated from.

      Interesting you say you don’t consider lunch to be takeaway. When I takeaway a caramel slice, croissant or sandwich from a cafe for lunch during work, I don’t really think that as takeaway either 🙂

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  4. Hello, Mabel. I just had my driving test two days ago and, fortunately, I passed. Got my license now. That explain the busy mode I had for the past month.

    I couldn’t be happier to blog yesterday and read this post. Learning something about statistics with regard to Australia’s penchant for takeaway foods is something that wouldn’t really catch my interest. However, if it’s infused with the “Mabel wit”, it’ll be a completely different story.

    I’ve never really realized how fast-paced people are in Australia’s main “cities” until today. I think the same goes for the rest of their counterparts across the globe. Hence, fast food for take away I believe. Foods are tailored to how people’s lives revolve in this day and age.

    In spite of that reality though, I’m someone who still prefers home cooked meals. I rarely eat outside unless I get an invite from friends or colleagues. Occasional if you may. I get to do that like two or three times a month. As for taking food out, the times I succumbed to that are still countable by the fingers for my almost four years here in Saudi. That was when I discovered Noodle Box. The first time I made an effort to bring some food home was Christmas last year (2014). The second was when I stayed in the office until midnight last August this year. All from Noodle Box.

    I love to cook my own (and housemates’) foods. I’ve been cooking and loving it since I learned how to when I was in college. I do it like it’s my second workout.

    But, of course, these takeaway foods are now now part of our lives. The kind of comfort they bring when one doesn’t have the luxury of time to cook is unquestionable. They’re indispensable nowadays.

    PS

    I’ll try to eat Taco one of these days.

    😉

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    • Congratulations on your driving test, Sony. So happy that it went well. Next time I come to Saudi you can drive me around. Nah, I’m kidding 😀

      “Foods are tailored to how people’s lives revolve in this day and age. ” Wonderfully said. Cities are always on the move, always changing fast. So our eating habits has become fast too. Of the times you eat out, you seem to eat fancy, judging from your blog posts 😀 Noodle Box sounds like comfort food for you, and I hope it isn’t too bad for you.

      Taco? I’m sure you can find it where you are 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Most Saturday teatimes my husband has a takeaway curry. It’s my Saturday treat because I don’t have to cook. Just scrambled eggs or something simple for me, though occasionally I’ll have takeaway too. 🙂
    Hope you’re having a good weekend.

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  6. We don’t eat as much take-away food as I use to, but we do like to have a take-away curry once in a while. I remember when we always had take-away fish and chips every Friday night, but times seem to have changed now and healthy eating means we tend to cook all our food from scratch rather than buy it readymade. However, I suppose a take-away comes as a treat every once in a while.

    Your take-away sandwich look very nice, Mabel.

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    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but takeaway fish and chips sounds very British. But it’s nice to hear that healthy eating is more common now. Gourmet fish and chips seems to be a thing here in Australia these days – eating it in in restaurants is common here. And I notice you say take-away, as opposed to take-out, unlike a lot of the other commenters.

      The take-away sandwich, that’s a taco. A Mexican kind of food 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, it is very British, Mabel. The UK is the home of Fish and Chips. There are a few Fish and Chip restaurants here in the UK but they tend to be quite low-key and offer both a take-away and eat in service. The most well known of these is called Harry Ramaden’s.

        Yes, it’s known more as a ‘take-away’ rather than a ‘take-out’ in the UK. When ever anyone goes and buys ready made food they usually say they are going to get a take-away, or ask the question “shall we have a take-away tonight?”

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  7. Mouth watering post, Mabel 🙂

    ‘Take Away’ culture is quickly catching up, in India as well.

    Though we can debate on the health benefits, there is no question about the taste and variety of options, right?

    I used to try out, all different kinds of food, while in Bangalore, but as I moved back to my native, it’s come down.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this, tasty post, with some easy to digest facts an figures 🙂

    Like

  8. We did take away at least twice per week in the Netherlands, but mostly because of we love the Asian food where we used to get our takeaway (three typical our takeaway: Indian, Chinese or Indonesian 😉 ). We haven’t found good Asian restaurants for takeaway yet here (our demand of tasty Asian food is quite high, you know 😉 ) so nowadays we hardly do takeaway and stick to home food or going out for dining. I guess our main reasons for takeaways are similar to you, easy food when time constraint but also tasty 🙂

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    • Seems like you are quite biased in what kind of takeaway you get 😉 Indonesian food and takeaway here in Australia is too spicy for my liking!

      In Australia it is also hard to find authentic Asian takeaway. Outside food here is also expensive 😀

      Like

  9. I love the way you photograph the food Mabel. Especially for the monkey, hehe. My favorite food to take away is Martabak an Indonesian style sweet thick pancake. 😉

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  10. Another great post, Mabel. I actually read it on Thursday before I went to the doctor’s.

    I think it is a part of the culture. I often seen my husband and his two older brothers grabbing for the bill whenever we have a family gathering. It is fun watching them go back and forth.

    However, I have dined with a few Taiwanese who put their heads down when it is time to pay and never offer to foot the bill – and unfortunately, we have to have a meal with them each year out of obligation. I really don’t mind that we pay each time, but they should at least make an attempt to offer.

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    • “it is a part of the culture.” I love how you put things this way, Constance. I think that phrase can be applied to a lot of things 🙂

      It is always fun watching people fight over the bill. It is like a game of tug of war, only that all of us are fighting for the place of giving away money from the bottom of our heart. Sorry to hear that some try to get out of paying the bill. I haven’t had that experience before, and it does not sound pleasant. Maybe they have a valid reason as to why they don’t want to pay the bill (e.g. they don’t like the restaurant, they are shy to speak up to split the bill). But who knows.

      Not sure if this comment was intended for the paying the bill post (this is the takeaway food post I wrote last year). But that’s is okay. Hope you are doing well and all is going good with you and your family 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Every country, every state and every village has their own special dishes ❤ such a wonderful post and I want to eat that taco. I have never had a taco. haha I wonder how it feels to eat one. You make me hungry with your posts. Thank God it's morning here, I have a whole day to eat up. lol

    Like

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