Panicked by Panic Buying? Try These Indie DC Markets and Groceries Instead

Find chicken and toilet paper while supporting small local businesses.

Glen's Garden Market will close in Dupont. Photograph by Scott Suchman
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

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

Since Covid-19 hit the DC-area we’ve all seen images of panic buying at mega retailers: empty shelves, wraparound lines, and runs on everything from water to chicken thighs. But things have been calmer at some independent markets, local butchers and fishmongers, and small groceries—at least for now. We’ve even found abundant toilet paper (thanks, Streets Market AdMo). Here, a few places to check out around DC.

BlackSalt Fish Market
4883 MacArthur Blvd., NW
Though Jeff Black’s restaurant is temporarily closed, his adjoining Palisades fish market is open for fresh seafood and prepared foods like soups, crab and salmon cakes, and seafood salads.

974 Palmer Alley, NW
Chef Amy Brandwein’s Italian specialty market is open at CityCenter, and is also offering delivery via Caviar for fresh seafood and meats, pastas, sauces, fancy tinned items, and wine. The restaurant menu is also available for delivery.

Each Peach Market
3068 Mt Pleasant St., NW
This gem of a neighborhood market in Mt. Pleasant is small, but packed with goodies, including local produce, fresh breads, pastas, cheffy canned items, ready-grab foods, tasty sandwiches, coffee, and a fun selection of wines, beers, and ciders.

Eastern Market
225 Seventh St., SE
Though events at this Capitol Hill market have been cancelled, the food vendors remain open. Indoor merchants include Bowers dairy products, Calomiris fruits and vegetables, Canales meats, and more.

Georgetown Butcher
3210 Grace St., NW
This new Georgetown shop from veteran butcher Wendell Allsbrook offers a wide variety of humanely raised meats, luxe D’Artagnan products, Neapol smoked seafood, fresh fish, produce, cheeses, 100 Bowls soups, and pantry items like pasta sauces and seasonings.

Glen’s Garden Market
2001 S St., NW
Danielle Vogel’s environmentally minded grocery in Dupont Circle sources largely local products and has launched nearly 90 small food businesses, many of them women-owned. Go for produce, fresh fish and meat, and delicious sandwiches, pizzas, and prepared salads (a takeout line designates six feet between customers). The cafe and bar, though, are currently closed.

Hana Market
2000 17th St., NW
The small Japanese specialty store isn’t a one-stop-shop, but you’ll find plenty of delicious pantry items—a huge selection of ramen; Asian soup mixes—as well as frozen meals, meats, and seafood. There’s also a small produce section. Uzu, which sold excellent ramen bowls at Union Market (now closed except for delivery), is selling ramen kits here, with noodles, broth, and toppings.

BlackSalt. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Harvey’s Market
1309 Fifth St., NE
This Union Market meat shop, a fixture since 1931, is one of your best bets for harder-to-find meats and cuts like rabbit, large roasts, shanks, and more. They also carry staples like chicken, ground beef, steaks, and pork chops. Shop at Union Market or order delivery via Mercado.

The Market at Ivy City Smokehouse
1356 Okie St., NE
This seafood market, run by wholesaler ProFish, sells a large variety of seafood at very competitive prices. In addition to the fresh fish there are a bunch of items from the smokehouse, plus prepared dishes like crab cakes. 

Odd Provisions
3301 11th St., NW
Jessica Woods and Rachel Mowrer, both veterans of the bar Room 11, are behind this Columbia Heights corner store—inspired by New York corner groceries but with a local angle—serving food and drink alongside local beers and ciders, pantry staples such as Gordy’s pickles, and District Batch beauty products.

Red Apron
Locations in Penn Quarter, Mosaic District, Union Market
Nate Anda’s butcher shop boasts house-made charcuterie and sausages, local and humane meats, pantry items, and tasty  sandwiches. The shop has partnered with DoorDash to deliver the latter.

1425 28th St., NW
Jamie Stachowski is behind the cases of house-made charcuterie and sausages, pâtés, and enormous sandwiches at his Georgetown shop. There are also plenty of fresh cuts, a small selection of seafood, frozen meals, and rotating grab-and-go dinners.

Streets Market & Cafe
Locations in Adams Morgan, West End, 14th Street, NoMa, Mt. Vernon, Cleveland Park, Alexandria, Arlington
This independent grocery operates six stores in DC as well as Arlington and Alexandria. The offerings hit a variety of marks: local, natural, organic, international, and conventional (so you can make your toilet paper and Clorox run here). Several branches also have cafes.

Union Kitchen Grocery
Locations in Shaw, Downtown DC, Capitol Hill, and Logan Circle 
This mini-chain of markets is part of Union Kitchen—DC’s biggest food incubator. It features mainstream grocery items as well as products made by members, including 8 Myles barbecue sauces, Chocotenango chocolates, and Compass Coffee. You’ll also find to-go sandwiches and pizzas at some locations.

Red Apron Butcher Cheap Eats 2016
Red Apron at Union Market. Photograph by Scott Suchman

3315 Connecticut Ave., NW; 4705 Miller Ave., Bethesda
One of our favorite spots for by-the-slice also stocks dried pastas, jarred peppers and olives, and great freezer staples: red sauce, cheese tortellini, and lasagna.

Wagshal’s Deli and Market
4855 Massachusetts Ave., NW; 3201 New Mexico Ave., NW
A DC institution since 1925. Between the deli and market you’ll find a variety of fresh meats and sausages, seafood, cheeses, prepared items, soups, and frozen meals. There’s a vast selection of wines and a nice collection of spirits. The made-to-order brisket sandwich is worth the trip itself.

Yes! Organic Market
Locations in Petworth, 14th Street, Adams Morgan, Cleveland Park, Brookland, Capitol Hill, and Hyattsville
True to its name, this local grocery mini-chain specializes in organic and natural produce, dairy, meats and seafood, and pantry items. You’ll also find packaged food to-go, beauty and health products, and more.

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.