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How to Enjoy Washington’s Iconic Food Scene from Home

Ethiopian food from Dukem

Missing your favorite DC delicacies? Fear not….

While you’re at home, you can get a glimpse of what DC looks like by going on a virtual tour of museums such as the National Gallery of Art or exploring DC’s monuments and memorials with our 360-degree videos. But what if your taste buds are hankering for a sense of some local flavor? Here’s how you can get crafty in the kitchen or order in a taste of DC’s Michelin-starred dining scene via delivery or take out.

Wings with mambo sauce from Capital City Co. - Washington, DC's signature dishes

Put on your apron and whip up some mumbo sauce

The sticky, sweet and spicy red sauce is a Washington, DC treasure. In the 1960s, mumbo sauce was first served at Wing-n-Things, originally located at 7th and Florida Avenue NW. While it began as an accompaniment to wings, you’ll now find the sauce served with fried chicken, over half-smokes (more about those in a bit) and Chinese carryout. The sauce is a bit thinner than traditional barbecue sauces and is really easy to make at home.

Half-smoke from Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street - Where to get the half-smoke in Washington, DC

Order an iconic half-smoke

Since 1958, Ben’s Chili Bowl has spent decades serving up its spicy pork and beef sausage links with onions, mustard and chili, also known as DC’s signature dish, the half-smoke. If you’re a student, you can get some Ben’s grub for free right now! The restaurant is also taking call-in orders and delivery orders.

You can also hit up HalfSmoke, offering its a la carte brunch and dinner menus for families to enjoy at home, including a special pulled pork half-smoke smoked for six hours and served with a Carolina-styled tangy barbecue sauce. Did someone say yum? You can also hit up The Passenger for a half-smoke from Stachowski’s butcher shop in Georgetown and while you’re there, you might as well pick up a custom cocktail to complete your to-go meal.

Columbia Room - Derek Brown Cocktail Bar in Washington, DC - Best American Cocktail Bar

Shake up your own Gin Rickey

One of DC’s culinary claims to fame is its native cocktail, the Gin Rickey. In 1883, the cocktail was first concocted at Shoomaker’s bar, now the JW Marriott. The combo of gin, lime, ice and seltzer water is always refreshing. We recommend checking out this recipe from Derek Brown, co-owner and mixologist at the Passenger and the Columbia Room in the District.

Ethiopian Food - Washington, DC

Soak up some authentic Ethiopian cuisine

DC is home to the largest Ethiopian population outside of Africa. Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the city’s authentic Ethiopian menus and soak in some culture from your bed or couch. Check out Dukem on U Street (order on GrubHub) or Ethiopic for carry-out or free delivery.

@masseriadc - Seafood from Masseria in NoMa - Michelin-starred restaurant near Union Market in Washington, DC

Indulge in a Michelin-starred meal from your couch

Some of DC’s most travel-worthy culinary experiences are at its Michelin-starred restaurants oozing with diverse cuisines and dishes cooked to perfection. While you might miss out on the exquisite ambiance at these restaurants, you can still order in some fancy grub and turn any evening at home into the perfect date night. Check out these Michelin-starred restaurants offering to-go menus during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Rose’s At Home
    Although owner Aaron Silverman has had to close his two Michelin-starred Pineapple & Pearls, he is pointing folks to sister restaurant Rose’s at Home, offering multi-night dinner packages that include meals and wine for up to six people. You can expect no-contact delivery to anywhere in the DMV area.

  • The Dabney
    Chef Jeremiah Langhorne and his team at The Dabney are offering a $45, three-course prix fixe menu that showcases the quality and diversity of the region’s ingredients. Orders are taken by phone starting at 11 a.m. daily with the option to order bottled wine, beer, cider or cocktails to accompany your delightful meal. We know you’ll miss dining in the comforts of Blagden Alley, but at least you can still enjoy some signature Mid-Atlantic fare with loved ones at home.

  • Masseria a Casa
    Savor coastal cuisine and a well-manicured wine list from Nicholas Stefanelli’s Italian restaurant in the heart of Union Market. Masseria a Casa offers family-style meals for same day delivery if placed by 3 p.m.

  • Komi x Happy Gyro
    While Komi has suspended dinner service for the time being, the restaurant launched an all-vegetarian Happy Gyro: Carryout Edition, which includes beer and wine available for pick-up at 40% off.

  • Fiola
    You can still support Fabio Trabocchi restaurants during this crisis. Wines, spirits and food are available for curbside pickup or white glove home delivery from Fiola Mare. You can also make a tax-deductible donation to the Fabio Trabocchi Disaster Relief Fund, which provides small grants of financial aid to assist employees of his restaurants in DC, Virginia and Miami, along with other individuals and contractors employed in the hospitality industry in those markets.

Salvardoran Pupusas

Amp up your pajama party with a pupusa

Salvadorans are one of the largest immigrant groups in the nation’s capital, making the pupusa a signature DC food that can make any work-from-home breakfast, lunch or dinner special. A traditional pupusa is made of corn dough filled with melted cheese, pork, beans, salsa and a fermented cabbage mix similar to sauerkraut. La Casita Pupuseria brings DMV natives pupusas in Nationals Park, Northeast DC, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg and Germantown. Right now, the restaurant is open for take-out and on-demand delivery and if you use promo code MARCH20 for an online order, you will receive a 20% discount. If you’re feeling creative in the kitchen, try your hand at your own classic Salvadoran dish.