Our Food Editors’ Favorite Restaurants for Delivery

You can eat well, even during a self-quarantine.

On Chiko's Restaurant Week menu: brisket with rice (left) and cumin lamb noodles. Photograph by Scott Suchman
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

One of the inevitable effects of the coronavirus crisis is that a lot of people are ordering more delivery. Restaurants are ramping up their carryout capabilities, while platforms like Caviar and DoorDash are emphasizing “contactless” drop-offs. So if you find yourself in self-quarantine (or just feel like hanging out on the couch), here are our food team’s personal favorite DC-area delivery options.

Al Volo
Adams Morgan, Cleveland Park, Union Market, Downtown DC
Is there anything more comforting than pasta delivered to your couch? The string of Al Volo restaurants makes fresh noodles matched with simple, delicious sauces like tomato-eggplant (my favorite), bolognese, or creamy carbonara. —Anna Spiegel

Bantam King/Haikan/Hatoba
501 G St., NW, 805 V St., NW; 300 Tingey St., SE
Caviar, Uber Eats
The ramen masters of the Daikaya group have delivery down to a science. They package noodles, broth, and other ingredients separately so nothing gets soggy, and it arrives cold with warming instructions so you could potentially stock up for a few meals. I’m particularly a fan of Haikan’s veggie ramen and the spicy miso at Bantam King (plus a side order of fried chicken, why not?). Sadly, the group’s first restaurant, Daikaya, doesn’t deliver. —Anna Spiegel

Beau Thai
1550 Seventh St., NW; 3162 Mt. Pleasant St., NW
A lot of Thai food delivers well and I’m partial to these sister spots in Shaw and Mount Pleasant. Portions aren’t huge, but prices aren’t either. Some of my favorites: shrimp-dumpling soup, duck rolls, drunken noodles, and green curry. —Anna Spiegel

423 Eighth St., SE; 2029 P St., NW
This cheffy Chinese-Korean joint is my delivery husband—comforting, reliable, and always there for me after a long day. The orange-ish chicken and the cumin lamb stir-fry were love at first sight, but our relationship has deepened with kimchee stew and Wagshal’s chopped-brisket rice bowls. I think that’s about as far as this metaphor needs to go. Also get the coconut custard—served in a half coconut even for delivery!—for dessert. —Jessica Sidman

Della Barba Pizza
1369 New York Ave., NE (Union Kitchen)
Delivers directly
Joey Barber is a former corporate defense attorney who is now one DC’s top pizzaioli. His tiny operation out of Union Kitchen is unique in that he doesn’t just focus on one style. There is deep-dish Chicago, tasty New York-style, and, my favorite, the Detroit, which is puffy, crusty with caramelized brick cheese, and striped with bright, fruity tomato sauce (he makes a different type of red sauce for each pie). He both delivers and offers curbside pickup. —Ann Limpert

403 H St., NE
OK, so I have yet to actually order delivery from Peter Prime’s Trinidadian gem, but the jerk wings and oxtail bowl are calling my name. —Ann Limpert

City Lights of China
1731 Connecticut Ave., NW; 4953 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda
Delivery directly from restaurant; GrubHub
One of my favorite delivery indulgences: half a peking duck from City Lights. (They do the whole shebang too.) The skin stays pretty crackly thanks to the careful packing. Chinese carryout staples are also great: dumplings, moo shu, fried rice, and spicy basil green beans. —Anna Spiegel

801 O St., NW
Cedric Maupillier has gone full-throttle French at his Shaw restaurant, but I love that he’s kept around his very American fried fish sandwich, which somehow stays crispy in transit. His delicious chicken with vinegar-tarragon sauce would carry out well. Choucroute garni, too. If only there was a way to transport the amazing onion soup. —Ann Limpert

Donburi Cheap Eats 2016, restaurant delivery DC
Salmon sashimi bowls at Donburi. Photo by Scott Suchman

2438 18th St., NW; 1134 19th St., NW
Caviar, UberEats
These Japanese rice bowls, laden with pickles and things like panko-fried pork or sweetly sauced brisket, are what I crave when I need serious comfort food. (The salmon sashimi bowl is lighter, and also tasty.) I always throw in a side of the excellent fried shrimp with pink sauce. —Ann Limpert

Dumplings & Beyond
2400 Wisconsin Ave., NW
GrubHub, DoorDash 
This Glover Park Chinese joint only recently joined my delivery rotation, but I’m eager to keep exploring the menu. As the name suggests, it’s really all about the handmade dumplings, which come in eight different varieties, from pork-and-chive to chicken-and-black-mushroom. I can’t speak for the fried dumplings, but the steamed ones hold up surprisingly well, thanks to their thick wrappers and meaty fillings. The extensive menu goes well “beyond” dumplings too with noodles, hot pot, and a lot of American-Chinese staples. —Jessica Sidman

Joe’s Prime Steak, Seafood and Stone Crab
750 15th St., NW
When I was on maternity leave a couple years ago, I turned 40. Having a two month old made the idea of going out for something fancy kind of… exhausting. Anyway, this retro, Miami-born dining room came to the rescue. It’s splurgy for sure, but they package everything really nicely. The stone crab claws come on ice, the BLT wedge salad is kept properly separated, the fried shrimp stay crunchy, and they even include the (excellent) bread basket. I always throw in a slice of pie even if it feels like overkill. I’m partial to the Boston cream and apple versions. —Ann Limpert

3100 14th St., NW
UberEats, GrubHub
Along with Indian curries, Ethiopian stews travel better than most delivery foods. In particular, the vegetarian options at this Columbia Heights spot go beyond the competition. In addition to berbere-spiced red lentils and garlicky gomen (collard greens), go for the spicy minced carrot wot, tofu gulash, or mushroom tibs. The “chef’s signature” beef tibs with plenty of sautéed onions is a must-order too. —Jessica Sidman

Mellow Mushroom
2436 18th St., NW
Caviar; GrubHub
The chain pizzeria isn’t going to win any culinary awards or anything, but it’s a solid pick for not-too-thick, not-too-thin delivery pies and buffalo wings. Just make sure you order the pizza extra crispy—they tend to under-bake. —Ann Limpert

restaurant delivery DC
Prescription Chicken’s Taryn Pellicone and Valerie Zweig. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Prescription Chicken
Caviar, DoorDash, GrubHub, direct from website
When I had the flu—just the flu!—this chicken-soup delivery service saved me. There are a ton of different flavors, whether you’re in dire straights (simple bone broth), craving comfort (the “grandma” with matzoh balls and egg noodles), or want something spicy (pho, chicken chili). There are also cold/flu packages with ginger ale and tissues.—Anna Spiegel

Rakuya Izakaya
1900 Q St., NW
Left to my own devices I typically patronize this Japanese spot near Dupont Circle (and my home) once a week—whether that means delivery or capitalizing on one of their great lunch or happy hour deals. The sushi is super fresh, the rolls creative, the chirashi bowls beautiful, and they have plenty of interesting cooked items like crab shumai, yakitori skewers, and oden hot pot. —Anna Spiegel

633 D St., NW; 1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Indian is already at the top of my list for delivery—it delivers beautifully—and Rasika is no different. Yes, it’s indulgent price-wise, but you can also keep it simple and less spendy with their chicken tikka masala. Sister restaurants Bombay Club and Bindaas deliver as well. —Anna Spiegel

restaurant delivery DC
Detroit-style pizza at Red Light. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Red Light
1401 R St., NW
Another favorite for a thick, square Detroit pie, which shouldn’t travel well but somehow does. The creations from chef Naomi Gallego (yes, she’s from Detroit), can get pretty out-there (one is topped with hot dogs; another with pierogi and bechamel). But I most love her straight pepperoni. It’s definitely decadent—just try to eat more than one slice. Luckily, it reheats well later on. —Ann Limpert

RPM Italian
650 K St., NW
Uber Eats, Caviar
Another one that’s not cheap, but when the garlic bread craving hits, it hits (and it really doesn’t get much better than the loaf here). The pastas are housemade and hold up well—the simple pomodoro is my favorite. —Ann Limpert

Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse
1356 Okie St., NE
This tavern/fish market/smokehouse excels with classic, always fresh mid-Atlantic seafood dishes. There are fantastic fried shrimp (even after a car ride), a good fried-fish sandwich, and the city’s best crabcake. The smoked fish board, which comes with five varieties (candied salmon, smoked trout, etc.) and a couple bagels, is a dream for work-from-home snacking. —Ann Limpert

Timber Pizza
809 Upshur St., NW
When I’m trying to be healthy-ish but not a total bore, this is my go-to. The “Neapolitan-ish” pizzas are loaded with farmers market-fresh ingredients and toppings you don’t see at other pizzerias. (I’m currently digging the “Turu” with Argentine salami, jalapenos, apples, spicy fruit jam, and micro-arugula.) The same goes for the generously portioned seasonal salads, which might include beets, sweet potatoes, and a za’atar vinaigrette. (Pro tip: always ask for extra dressing and have a big bowl at home ready to mix your greens properly.) Lastly, no order is complete without the blistered, wood-fired empanadas. Order more than you plan to eat; They make an excellent breakfast the next day. —Jessica Sidman

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.