What beers to pair with your favourite takeout dishes

A Greek gyro wrapped in paper sits on a purple rectangular plate next to a tall glass of bubbly, light golden beer on a picnic table.

Whether it’s pizza night or you’re honouring a hankering for pad Thai, we’re here with beers that complement your takeout dishes perfectly

There’s no denying the appeal and (let’s be honest) sheer joy of having someone bring food to your door. It’s just so easy: Choose a cuisine, reach for your phone, place your order, and then kick back with a beer that will bring out the best in your takeout fave.

To help you do that, we’ve put together a list of brews that pair beautifully with some of the most popular delivery options.

Margherita pizza + pilsner

What’s the best brew for ’za? That depends on what kind of pie you’re having (and trust us, we’ve done a delicious deep dive on this subject). But for a simple pizza with cheese, sauce and maybe basil, a pilsner is ideal. It has aromatic hops that waft on the same wavelength as the basil and oregano in the sauce, and the crispness washes away each chewy bite of crust and cleanses your palate for the next bite.

Illustration of a Margherita pizza alongside a tall footed glass of pilsner beer.

Pad Thai and green mango salad + dark lager

Thai cuisine is all about balancing salt, spice, sourness and sweetness. A dark lager can keep up with that flavour complexity: It has sweetness to match the tamarind in pad Thai and the mangoes in the salad, but it’s crisp and refreshing enough to chill out the saltiness of the fish sauce (and, of course, the heat of any added sriracha).

Illustration of a bowl of pad Thai noodles next to a small plate of mango salad and a handled mug of dark lager beer.

Rotisserie chicken with fries and sauce + Belgian-style strong ale

A big-bodied Belgian ale loves snuggling up to a classic order of roast chicken and fries. This brew has a hint of spice that will harmonize with the spice rub on the chicken and the sage aroma of any hearty sauce that might come with it (if you know, you know).

Illustration of a plate containing two rotisserie chicken drumsticks and fries, with a ramekin of brown dipping sauce alongside, served with a tulip-shaped glass of Belgian-style strong ale.

Souvlaki or gyros + Belgian witbier

Some Belgian-style wheat (or “white”) beers have a slight tang of lactic acid, so they’re super-delicious alongside a zippy dairy dip, like yogurt-based tzatziki. A witbier also gives you sunny citrus aromas, which is like adding a spritz of lemon to the juicy grilled meat in either souvlaki or gyros.

Illustration of a plate containing souvlaki wrapped in a pita, a side of Greek salad and a tall, slim glass of Belgian witbier.

Burrito + India pale ale

When it comes to a burrito, more is more: more sauces, more ingredients, more flavours! Same goes for India pale ale (IPA) — its big, malty body and powerful hops are robust enough to go toe-to-toe with whatever spicy salsas, smoky chipotle sauces or tangy guacamoles you throw at it.

llustration of a grilled burrito with a side of salsa, alongside a flared-mouth glass of India pale ale.

Jerk chicken with rice and peas + stout or porter

This pairing sometimes surprises people, but the roasty flavours of a stout or porter will complement the char on slow-cooked jerk chicken. Meanwhile, the brew’s molasses-like sweetness makes for a tasty contrast to the feisty allspice in the jerk marinade.

Illustration of a plate of jerk chicken with rice and peas, served with a traditional pint glass of stout beer.

Butter chicken and naan + pale lager

Pro tip: When you order Indian food, get a double order of butter chicken, because you know it’ll pull a vanishing act at the table. Pale lager is a crowd-pleaser, too: Crisp and light-bodied, it’ll cut through that creamy sauce and complement all the aromatic spices.

Illustration of a bowl of butter chicken, two pieces of naan and a slim pub glass of pale lager beer.

Bibimbap and kimchi + sour ale or light lager

Imagine a big bowl with salty-sweet bulgogi-style beef, veggies and an egg on rice. You feel comforted just thinking about it, don’t you? But before you relax, grab a sour ale to make that puckery, spicy pickled cabbage alongside really shine. If you’re not into sours, an easygoing light lager is another yummy option.

Illustration of a deep, wide bowl of bibimbap with chopsticks laid overtop, served with a small bowl of kimchi and a pint glass of sour ale.

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