Wondering where to order your next meal from in DC? When culinary inspiration wanes, and hunger pangs hit, the last thing anyone wants to do is scroll through endless (contradicting) reviews to satisfy a craving. Save this list of #BlueBootsGo approved, best, go-to takeout and food delivery picks in Washington DC in your hour of need.
Does anyone else decide on takeout by craving? I do.
Restaurants with one location are often linked to Google Maps, or to the website, especially if there is more than one location. I hope this list helps you find satisfying options!
NOTES: I’ll continually update my recommendations and add photos, so be sure to save, Pin, or bookmark this page.
I dub this the ultimate takeout and picnic food. Pack your own beverages, pick up the pizza, and find a spot of green space to nom. I usually go for pizza that hits a balance of the best tasting sauce, crust ratio, and quality toppings.
Pizzeria Paradiso. With multiple locations around the DC, ordering is easy for pick up or delivery. The oven-fired goodness boasts fresh flavors. For two eaters, my go-to here is to order a large Margherita pizza with extra fresh basil on the side to top it with!
Pi Pizzeria. Especially for Chicago transplants, this will be your spot when you’re a little homesick for some good deep dish. Plus, they’ve offered $10 wine bottles recently with their orders!
Emmy Squared. Their Detroit-style, square, thick slices are craveable. Get the cheese and add a topping, like Pepperoni, if that’s your thing. (Also, their burgers, chicken tenders, and waffle fries are also great picks if someone in your party isn’t in the mood for pizza).
Andy’s Pizza. Best place for a large, thin-crust, classic cheese pizza. Slices and slices and soda combos are also available.
Pupatella. Naples-style, wood-fired pizza. The Margherita is a personal favorite!
Slice Joint at The Roost. Great for slices. Situated in a food hall in Capitol Hill, if you’re with others who want tacos or sushi or ice cream, there’s something for everyone.
The Red Hen. Also lovely and cozy for dining in. throughly enjoyed the meal and thoughtful wine pairings. Takeout has been consistently high quality and flavorful.
The Pembroke or Doyle’s, which is next door. One of my favorites – their rigatoni alla vodka.
Le Mirch. (*Sadly, now closed permanently) Tasty, flavorful authentic (I’m told, by those who actually know!) butter chicken devotees will enjoy the Chicken Maharaja, and all the flavors of naan are delicious.
Tacos & Enchiladas, Chips & Queso
Surfside – found on a midday walk, the yellow rice and limes are their own form of comfort food, and the flavors are quite good. Ultimately a picky queso person, their queso and chips are something I look forward to every time.
Hi/Fi Taco at The Roost. Crispy Avocado Taco. Full stop. Deliciously craveable.
Dumplings & Beyond. Craving dumplings? This spot in Glover Park is a go to for classic soup dumplings. We love the special and will often just order these two, but, their other options for dishes are also quite good!
Himalayan Heritage. Nepalese Mo-Mo dumplings (chicken/pork, vegetarian, and goat or buffalo)
Lapis. Afghan aushak or mantoo dumplings.
Daikaya Ramen. Offers a variety of broths, from clearer and simpler (e.g. Shio), to more complex choices.
Jinya Ramen. With a few locations around the DC, MD, VA area, they are usually a pretty solid choice with lots of flavorful ramen options. While Ramen is their specialty, if a tokyo curry rice is what you’re craving, you can grab one of those. For smaller appetites, they also have a kids meal with chicken ramen, kikurage (chicken bites) and corn, sweet potato fries and some sweets (also a vegan option).
We’ve tried many spots in DC, comparing classic favorites, and many have not been noteworthy. I do enjoy Chinese American dishes, but sometimes I also look for some specialties that not all takeout places will offer.
Han Palace. Newly opened in 2022 in Woodley Park, I recommend calling in your order or eating in to experience the zen decor. They offer pretty good dim sum, which you can also get to-go. Try the: Ma po tofu (this version has other vegetables, which I like, since I usually prefer this classic comfort dish vegetarian.
Astoria DC. While Astoria is known as a cocktail bar, when they’re not super busy at certain times in the night, you *might* be able to get an order in for pick up. It is one of my favorite places for flavorful, comfort, Chinese food in the District. Try the ma po tofu, beef noodles, pea shoots, walnut shrimp, basil eggplant, cumin lamb, double fried ribs.
Great Wall Szechuan House offers pick up options and Doordash Delivery. Portion size for value and taste make it a plus! Their Ma Po Tofu has a nice and not overwhelming Ma la flavor even at a mild spice, and chicken and broccoli was a significant size for sharing, and both left plenty for leftovers. For fellow crab rangoon lovers, they offer it on the menu and they’ll hit the spot just fine.
Shanghai Lounge in Georgetown was the first Chinese restaurant we tried, and the quality and taste is pretty good with a good amount of variety of dishes.
Chang Out. The Carryout portion of Chang Chang, in Dupont Circle, offers a different menu than dine-in. I also enjoy their ma po tofu, which can be made to varying levels of heat but is still flavorful, and classic craveable Chinese take out favorites mix with a few of their Chang Chang menu selections (some of the signature hot appetizers, and a solid selection of their innovative desserts).
Comfort Food – Asian/Asian-influenced
Doi Moi on 14th Street. Drunken Noodles, Shaken Beef, bao buns.
Bambu Asian Cuisine DC. Crying Tiger Beef – the sauce makes the dish (ask for extra)! Basically, I’ve ordered this dish more times than I can count.
Call Your Mother Deli – Jewish deli, NY style, all the way! With multiple locations throughout DC, and options to order the day before, skip the line, and pick up. You can get a solid NY style bagel sandwich, like The Palm. Also, I love their seasonal flavors – in the summer, you’ll find Blueberry Muffin, for instance. Find them at farmers markets as well! Moreover, their Georgetown location is also insta worthy ;), inhabiting a bright pink building adorned with flowers that used to be the home of a local institution – a neighborhood dry cleaner set alongside a cobblestone block. If you find yourself in Denver, CO, they’re slated to open there soon!
Due South for modern southern favorites is over by the Navy Yard and affords a nice view if you pick up and want to sit and enjoy a picnic. They have biscuit bites, and two are a nice light lunch. These fulfill the biscuit craving nicely.
Tatte. Breakfast biscuit egg sandwich with tomato salad, or grab a biscuit on its own with jam and butter.
Primrose. Biscuits and honey butter for $8 (I sometimes like to take this to go for the week after, especially with so many great options for brunch).
The Pretzel Bakery in Southeast DC. The fact that DC has a specific bakery for pretzels is a highlight and a treat! Specifically, the Nutella pretzel bombs are excellent hot, so plan to eat it right after you pick it up – the cinnamon drizzle, hot pretzel, and chocolate are phenomenal. They’re not shareable (or you won’t want to). Also, try the pretzel dogs, or regular pretzels. If it’s getting chilly out, grab a Nutella coffee for the road.
Donut Run has some of the best donuts in DC, and I’d rank them #1 for price, taste, and fun. Check their Instagram @donutrundc for the day’s flavors of yeast or cake donuts. On weekend mornings, as early as 8:30, there will already be a line down the block to pick up treats. Beforehand, I usually stop by Lost Sock Roasters across the street for a coffee and then get in line to grab a box. Try flavors like: apple fritter, mango tajin, mango coconut, coconut key lime pie, strawberry, french toast, blueberry glazed, blueberry pancake, chocolate crumb cake.
District Doughnuts. There are several locations of this fun-flavor doughnut shop. Try flavors like: PB&J, Vanilla bean creme brûlée, everything cream cheese, brown butter, chocolate waffle cone, lemon bar, Nutella s’mores.
Rose Ave Bakery. Look no further for bright, intriguing Asian-flavors infused artfully into donuts (and other cakes and pastries). Formerly in the Block Food Hall DC, they are slated to open in Woodley Park in 2023.
Boulangerie Christophe – Georgetown. Having spent some time abroad in Europe, quick grab-and-go sandwiches made in the French or German style on baguettes are often my preferred way to enjoy sandwiches. Generally, these sandwiches hit the mark, although they’re a litttttle more pricey than I would like. The bread quality is half the sandwich experience, and for that, I’ll make an exception to my usual lack of enthusiasm for sandwiches. The ham and cheese baguette jambon fromage is a particular classic favorite of mine.
Annabelle. They opened just around the time the pandemic started. The decor is 💯. They offer sidewalk patio dining, and we were impressed with excellent service. The menu rotates seasonally and the desserts are beautifully balanced, sophisticated, and artfully unique.
I Ricchi. Tiramisu <3.
Honeymoon Chicken – Southern-style. Buckets.
Roaming Rooster. Southern-style. Sandwiches.
Hot Lola’s (technically in VA). Sandwiches and tenders, with modifiable spice levels.
Emmy Squared. While this is a pizza place, their chicken tenders are also good.
Rose’s Luxury/ Rose’s at Home. During the pandemic, luxury dining, which depends on making the dining experience special, pivoted to accommodate the changing health landscape when many people were not comfortable to dine in. Some, like Rose’s Luxury, created special meal delivery programs that brought the experience to home, adding elements like special playlists and fun wine pairings.
Coming soon: more craveable categories for best DC takeout….
Fries/Frites — Doyle’s; Bourbon Steak
Hot Dogs — Haute Dogs (Alexandria, VA)
Mac & Cheese
Chicken Soup — Lapis; Founding Farmers
Chicken Pot Pie — Founding Farmers; Kirwan’s on the Wharf
Ribs — Tiger Fork; Federalist Pig
Sushi — Sushi Taro (dine in, usually); Nobu; Sushi Ogawa
Looking for other BlueBootsGo food guides? Check out my BlueBootsGo Eating Out Guides to Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and Los Angeles.
If there’s a must-try I don’t have, please comment with suggestions or send a message.