Friday Question of the Day – What are the Best Delivery Options in DC?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe in DC

A couple years ago we spoke about the best pizza delivery options in DC. But for today I want to know what are your favorite non-pizza delivery options? Lately my favorite delivery is Greek Spot at 11th and U St, NW. Tons of restaurants have been opening up the last few years – any of them have a good delivery option? In addition to your overall favorite – what are the favorite fastest options too? And a brief side note – how much do you/should you tip the delivery guy?

103 Comment

    • Honest question: is this really worth the money? I still can’t get over the fact that I’m paying for food delivery and I still have to cook it.

      • binpetworth

        Yes. For about $25-30, you get almost three meals worth of really fresh, delicious food plus cookies! What I like about it is you don’t have to buy, say, a pint of cream when you only need two tbsp. Everything comes packaged in just the right amount with no waste of ingredients.

        • I cook almost all my meals from scratch and never waster ingredients. If I have leftover cream, I whip it up and use it with the pie I just made (plus, heavy cream lasts a long time)! I guess these services are good for people who only cook occasionally and can’t find uses for stray ingredients in time.

          • Yeah, I assume that’s the demographic they cater towards. I only cook about 3 times a week, though, and I don’t have many issues with waste–even as a single person. I rarely cook from specific recipes and make my meal plans based on what I have.

          • Three times a week is pretty frequent for a single person– I’m assuming you get half your meals from leftovers. I was thinking more along the lines of someone who only cooks once or twice a month, or is trying to impress a date!

        • Emmaleigh504

          Cream is really, really good on cereal. Or so my grandfather said 🙂

        • But what about wasting containers? I tried something like this once and was really put off by how much plastic I had to throw away. I know that doesn’t matter to many, but for me it really tipped the balance against the service.

          • I’ve tried them and everything came in little containers that were apparently cornstarch based and biodegradable. We recycled the brown box too!

        • Also, a good home cook will substitute ingredients when it makes sense. I was making a recipe that called for two Tbsp of heavy cream a couple days ago, but I had enough experience to know that the almond milk I always have on hand would work just as well.
          That said, I’ve always dreamed of opening a grocery store with a wall of ingredient dispensers that give whatever specific quantity you need (in a reusable container of course!). It would reduce food waste and be ideal for occasional home cooks, low-income people, and single people. Or anyone without a car that doesn’t want to lug home giant containers of food.

          • I used to live near a food co-op that had just that!! Not for everything, but for lots of things that you almost never want the full container amount of, like a lot of dairy ingredients. I miss it so much.

          • Aww, someone stole my idea! Yeah, I think it would be wonderful for dairy, and also for expensive things like oils and spices. Someone on a tight budget will avoid cooking because they don’t want to spend $20 on a bottle of olive oil, but it’s less daunting if they can get a quarter cup of it for a dollar.

    • Anybody know how this compares to Blue Apron? Because we do Blue Apron and it’s seriously hard to imagine anything being better than that… and you don’t need to be home to get the shipment, and it’s a set price ($20) for each 2 person meal.

      • My husband and I order from ScratchDC almost once a week. I love that everything comes prepped and ready to go so that the cooking takes 15 minutes and is actually fun to do together. No thinking about what to cook and less clean up too. It also allows us to learn new cooking techniques and recipes we wouldn’t normally explore. The portions are large – they say it’s two generous portions, but I think it makes an easy three. We always think of it as a fun date night. Also, to SF regarding being home to get the delivery, they also deliver during business hours to your place of work. Clearly, we are big fans.

        • Thanks. I think Blue Apron is awesome but I’d love to reduce the waste and support a local business. I’ll try it out!

    • Never heard of it… Thanks for the tip… looks awesome!

  • Getting off your ass and picking it up yourself. Delivery stuff is often cold.

    • Agreed. I ALWAYS carry-out. For something like a pizza, it is often cheaper, as there is no delivery charge (and La Villa at 14th and Crittendon, which is awesome BTW, has an 8.99 large 2-topping carryout special) and you save the tip.

      • Growing up in rural New Jersey, we had to pick up everything, so it still seems strange to me to get something delivered. Unless it’s very late, or I’m sick or hungover, I like getting out of the house to go get it.

        • it’s not strange.

        • I grew up in a house that didn’t even have a street address (just a rural delivery box number) so we couldn’t even get FedEx there, let alone a pizza. I didn’t experience the wonder of pizza/Chinese/etc. delivery til I went to college, where everyone thought it was hilarious that I had never seen it before. Now that I live in DC, I revel in being able to order things without even having to put pants on.

      • You should tip on carry out.

      • Yup, you know what’s up. Can’t beat that carry out deal.

    • If you pick it up yourself and bring it home, its’t that the same difference as having someone deliver it? Won’t it still be “cold”?

      • Deliveries generally involve multiple stops, so if you’re stuck in the last position, you’re getting cold mozzarella sticks.

        Also, La Villa is absolutely delicious. Love that place.

  • AT THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM You should tip $3 or 10%, whichever is larger. Seriously, you know you’re spending like $15 per person for that meal. Pony up the buck fifty. Not like that food doesn’t have to get organized, bagged, and safely transported.

  • I’m not telling… don’t want delivery times to get any worse than they already are at my spots!

    p.s.a. all sushi places should really put sushi in a separate bag than hot food.

  • Ma-La menu from Great Wall on 14th Street. Also, the fastest to Columbia Heights.
    Tip the driver 3-5 bucks, more when the weather is terrible.

  • Pete’s A Pizza

  • accendo

    Hikari Sushi on H St NE does delivery, which has been quick and courteous. You can even order online from their website.

    • Taylor Gourmet delivers too don’t they?

      • Yes, and Sticky Rice. I think Chupacabra and Shawafel deliver as well.

        • They use a delivery service. I forgot the guys name but it is a young dude (and maybe his partners) who saw an opportunity and made it happen. I met him one time when I was leaving Sticky Rice with my pick-up order. I think he has expanded to a number of restaurants on H St.

  • Here is a question I have often pondered: do you still tip when there is a delivery fee? If so, do you adjust from your normal tipping rate?

    • accendo

      I do, and I usually tip around the same 20%

    • I tip less if there is a delivery fee. If there is a fee, I’ve paid for delivery. Tip is extra/optional.

      • This is not credited. Read the fine print on Domino’s boxes. As someone who is a fairly stingy tipper on delivery (based on experience as a Papa John’s delivery driver during a summer in college), the delivery fee should be completely irrelevant to what you tip.

  • If I’m not cooking I prefer to dine out (or at least walk to pick up the food). When I do order delivery it’s because it’s late at night and most restaurants are closed. Unfortunately the only late-night options (like past 10pm) seem to be pizza or Chinese. Can anyone recommended places delivering other types of food late?

    • What neighborhood do you live in?

      • Capitol Hill

        • For capitol hill, Aatish on the Hill will deliver (they’ll even deliver wine with your order if asked). There is also the Thai place on Pennsylvania Ave. Both are decent.

          • I’ve gotten delivery from both and I agree that they’re the best options on the Hill. But they don’t deliver late.

          • saf

            “they’ll even deliver wine with your order if asked”

            Don’t talk too loudly about that – I would be willing to bet it would be a license problem.

          • DC CapHill

            Sanphan delivers, and it’s pretty respectable for Thai. We The Pizza delivers. We are pretty short on options on the Hill, it’s sad really.

            Used to live by A.M. and my go-to was usually City Lights of China. Place was always super quick, courteous, food was still super hot, and tastes every bit as good as at the restaurant. The sweet and sour soup was so hot that I burned my mouth on it, and I put the lid back on to keep it hot, and the steam alone, blew the top off. When has that ever happened with a delivery order?

            Hat-tip to Super Taco Bakery, if they still deliver. You have to order quite a bit if it’s just you, but NOBODY else delivers tacos/tortas/etc., unless you use a service.

    • Clearly, you don’t get hangovers and need greasy food delivered to you on a Sunday afternoon. I have heard that this happens to some people.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Pho 14 in Adams Morgan is my favorite. I tip the same as I would dining in, extra if it’s crappy weather.

  • jim_ed

    Aatish on the Hill delivers, and their naan is unbeatable. A nice bonus is that they just send one of their waiters to deliver it, so you get to feel like a big shot having a guy in a tuxedo deliver your food.

    I love that Epiphany Pit Beef now delivers. Good food and the owners are exceptionally nice.

    • I’ve never had a guy in a tuxedo deliver from Aatish! They must not like me as much.

    • Now that my neighborhood is on the gentrification fast track, I see Aatish quite a bit.

      On a side note, I got Royal Thai to deliver to me once and it was damn good.

  • I just had the realization that I’ve lived in DC for four years, and have not once ordered food to my apartment. Not ever. Huh.

    I guess I’m spoiled by how much is in walking distance in my hood.

  • Crepeaway-always fast (I was recently boggled that I had to wait over an hour for an order-it is usually a half hour tops. In their defense, it was on Saturday during the dinner rush.) The food is always warm when I get it. The Regent-also fast, always hot when I get it, and they throw in free sodas. And I also love the Greek Spot.

  •…… You can pretty much have anything in the city delivered.

  • We tried Blue Apron once but I love ScratchDC so much more. I use Scratch because I don’t have time to come up with menus and get to the store sometimes – and what I really love about them is that everything is already chopped and prepped. I didn’t like that with Blue Apron it was still all the work of chopping, so I might as well go to the store and get my own stuff.

    I’ll admit there have been weeks I’ve done all four of the ScratchDC meals. I’m a pretty good cook, but it is worth the time and the money to me to have all the work other than cooking already done. It’s more expensive than cooking at home, but cheaper and healthier than most other delivery. And I cook things I’ve never been brave enough to make before – like duck.

    • I’m looking at the Scratch DC menus, and yikes, the calorie counts are twice as high as anything I make at home! I guess it’s on par with other delivery options, but still. Maybe the portions are gigantic? I hope so!
      Also, I hate the words they use to describe the food (mouthgasm, drool, BOOM this just happened, etc). I know I shouldn’t judge a service by its crappy website, but the language makes everything sound unappetizing.

      • I was about to go to their website and check them out but you pointing out the words they used totally turned me off. Who puts that stuff on their website (I know, I know, it is a rhetorical question ; )

      • Remember the obnoxious neighbors I wrote about yesterday in the RRR&R? The ones who sit out on their porch broadcasting their (often offensive) views on everything to the whole block at high volume? They also fancy themselves foodies. “Dude, I picked up this bigass trout from Union Market, threw that sucker on the grill with a little thyme and sea salt, and it was the most unfuckingbelievably awesome thing I’ve ever tasted.” “You should wrap that shit in bacon next time, bro.”
        And the write-ups on Scratch DC sound exactly like my ridiculously un-self-aware stoner neighbors could have written them. Ick.

      • Wow, I actually wasn’t expecting this many people to understand and agree with me. 🙂 I truly despise the aggressive, macho language that is popular for describing food these days. I photograph some of my culinary projects (only the beautiful things like macarons) and I cringe every time someone says they like my “food porn”.

        • Food porn
          Food coma
          “Get in my mouth/belly”
          … all need to be removed from the lexicon. Also, unless it’s something ridiculously manly like a killer hot sauce, the word “shit” should not be used when talking about a food item!

          • Don’t forget that anything tasty can be described as “like crack”. There was an article on slate about it that was totally overwrought, but still not completely off-point.

          • DC CapHill

            Blame Anthony Bourdain, for the “food porn” takes. Personally, I always enjoyed the “it’s like sex, in your mouth” blast, it’s pretty great.

      • Writing might be a bit silly but the food has always been really delicious. I would not write them off because of the writing!

  • Regent Thai!
    Banana Leaves!
    Himalayan Heritage!

    • +1 Banana Leaves

    • +1 Regent and Banana Leaves!

      Also, Pete’s Apizza has many great non-pizza options. Try the large antipasti platter for dinner: Four interesting dishes with lots of seasonal vegetables – delicious! (I always get takeout because I live nearby, but they do offer delivery.)

  • @Popville: Does the Greek Spot deliver to Petworth? I’m thinking on the west side Quincy near the Georgia Av metro stop.

    Anyone know if Great Wall Sezchuan House comes up that way?

    Best delivery I have had is Moroni Bros Pizza… They only deliver on Fri & Sat and have a minimum amount, but it’s great pizza. I’d also throw out Mei Wa for Chineese or Chix for a healthy option.

    • saf

      You can get Mei Wah to come here? Really? Cool.

      • Sorry, Mei Wah doesn’t go up to CoHi or Petworth… I was referencing when I lived in another neighborhood. Of course, I’m closer to the great thai places in MD now, so I consider it a wash.

  • justinbc

    Great Wall Szechuam on 14th St. Damn do I miss being inside their delivery zone.

  • saf

    The Greek Spot will deliver up here?


    OK, when we moved here, the only available delivery was Pizza Hut (at Georgia and Kansas. I could WALK there and back far faster than they could deliver. But why would I? Ugh.)

    Now I can get Moroni, and Pete’s, and TDF, and Thai I forget its name at the metro station, and I find that amazing. I heard the other day that I might be able to get Chix to deliver here too. Now if only I could get good Chinese food delivered.

    I still can’t believe it. I am so used to nobody delivering here that I am astounded every time I find out about another one.

  • DC Noodles! Although their permanent location has been closed for Louis on 14th construction, their sister restaurant (Rice) offers the full DC Noodles menu and they deliver. It’s so amazing.

  • My question is who delivers beer???

  • I was just thinking about the possibility of getting dinner delivered, then I stumbled on this post and thought, PERFECT!

    So I scroll through, and all I see is a couple chinese and pizza options (even though it said no pizza discussion), and a lot of discussion about tipping drivers, meal delivery for the week, and people proclaiming it’s not worth it to get delivery at all.


    • Really? Go back and read the posts again and you’ll see Thai, Nepali, Greek, sushi, pho, tacos, crepes…..
      AND (more reading comprehension skills needed) one of the questions posed was about tipping => responses about tipping drivers.

  • I think,I love la villa pizza place …:) you know why?

  • Wiseys in Georgetown has fantastic sandwiches and cookies. Also the delivery zone for Wingos is pretty large and the wings are solid.

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