Eating in the Car? Here’s What You’ll Need to Keep Things Neat

Due to safety concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, take-out dining is more popular than ever. But as anyone who’s ever eaten a cold french fry knows, your dinner usually doesn’t taste the same by the time you get home. We’re here to tell you that eating in your car doesn’t have to be a giant mess—not if you come prepared. Most of the items on this list are plastic, washable, and durable, but none are so expensive that if you lost or broke one of them, you’d be crushed. Don’t forget the wipes!

More Ways to Protect the Seats

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Clip-On Dining Plate

This plastic dinner plate clips onto your steering wheel, the passenger-side door, or wherever else you may need it. It articulates and holds 2.2 pounds of food (which should be plenty).

Portable Stainless Steel Flatware

If you’re only ordering for one, this stainless steel flatware set from Topbooc comes in tons of colors and fits snugly inside a carrying case. Reusable straws also help the environment!

Wheat Straw Plastic Plates

These unbreakable, extremely light, BPA-free, washer- and microwave-safe plates measure about 12 by 7 inches and come in a package of four. A carrying pouch is included.

Silverware Kit

This 12-piece set from Wealers includes settings for two with plates, knives, spoons, forks, and a wine opener. The silverware is stainless steel, and it all comes in a zip-up case.

Tableware Set

This dishware set from Preserve is made from recycled materials and includes four 9.5-inch dinner plates, four 16-ounce bowls, and four 16-ounce cups. It’s all dishwasher safe.

Travel Bento Box

If you’re carrying a meal from home, boxes like this one from Bizz are a great option to store and serve. This two-pack is billed as resistant to stains, odors, and mildew and is microwave and dishwasher safe.

Steel Caddy

This is more of an outdoor condiments caddy, but if you’re having a family dinner in the car, this gem from Superior Trading is a handy way to hold all the stuff. Or your fries.

Steering Wheel Desk

This adjustable lightweight tray from Cutequeen hooks on to your steering wheel for the perfect fit. (If you’re not just dining but also working in the car, it also doubles as a laptop tray.)

Steering Wheel Tray

This tray from ElfAnt Car connects to either your steering wheel or the back of a front seat for back-seat diners. It has an auxiliary tray that pops out on the side so two people can dine together.

Car Trash Can

After dinner there will invariably be some trash, so use this can from High Road to store it before you toss it. Bonus: It can be fitted with a standard grocery bag.

Hand Wipes

You’ll also need something to clean up after yourself and the kids—especially as you get braver and start eating messier food in the car. Stash some Wet Ones Sensitive Skin hand wipes so they’re there when you need them.

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