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A Buffalo fried chicken sandwich (medium heat) with house cut fries at Roaming Rooster 
A Buffalo fried chicken sandwich (medium heat) with house cut fries at Roaming Rooster 
Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post via Getty Images

12 Standout Restaurants for Contactless Ordering Around D.C.

Reduce interactions with restaurant staff while satisfying a fix for bagels, barbecue, chicken sandwiches, and more

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A Buffalo fried chicken sandwich (medium heat) with house cut fries at Roaming Rooster 
| Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post via Getty Images

During the COVID-19 pandemic, D.C. area restaurants quickly adapted to introduce new safety procedures that limit interactions between customers and workers. One of the most noticeable examples has been a rise in “contactless” — or “contact-free,” or “zero-contact” — options for pickup and delivery. While online pre-ordering has become commonplace, several businesses have taken the extra step of adding windows or tables as pickup zones. QR code ordering for outdoor dining allows food runners to whisk by tables in lieu of servers who linger to jot down diner preferences. Here are a dozen options to secure a meal while keeping face-time to a minimum, whether it’s bagels for breakfast, a crunchy chicken sandwich for lunch, or a braised lamb shank for dinner.

D.C. allows indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Money Muscle BBQ

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8630 Fenton St
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 646-7006
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From brisket to a smoked whole chicken, the Money Muscle crew consistently pumps out some of Silver Spring’s best barbecue. This food truck and ghost kitchen, based inside seafood restaurant All Set, has options to piece together zero-contact family meals for pickup or delivery.

2. Muchas Gracias

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5029 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-5000
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When a craving from Mexican food hits, Muchas Gracias has a contactless pickup or delivery option in upper Northwest. An almuerzito (little lunch) package comes with a chose of agua fresco or Jarritos, a green salad or chips and queso, and a choice of one of five burritos, all for $18. There are also short rib birria tacos, bake-at-home enchiladas, Northern Mexican sirloin fajitas, and more. Orders are accepted on Chow Now.

A sweet potato burrito from Muchas Gracias Holly Barzyk/Muchas Gracias

3. Call Your Mother (Multiple locations)

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3301 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

The hometown hit that continues to grow with four locations in D.C. and Maryland, plus several tents at weekend farmers markets. Whether you toast your sesame bagel, or refrain from such a scandalous act, there’s no debating this is a top-pick for a contactless breakfast to-go. One recent addition to a beefed-up menu is cacio e pepe cream cheese. For lunch, set boxes come with turkey or pastrami sandwiches, chips, and a pickle spear. Place same-day orders here or next-day preorders after 3 p.m.

4. Roaming Rooster (multiple locations)

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3176 Bladensburg Rd NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 507-8734
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For many Washingtonians, this small D.C. chain sells the quintessential chicken sandwich. After starting its first standalone store on Bladensburg Road in Northeast, Roaming Rooster has quickly expanded to U Street NW and Tenleytown. There’s also plans to come to Foggy Bottom’s Western Market soon. Order here for contactless pickup or delivery.

Classic fried chicken sandwich with slaw (mild heat) with house cut fries at Roaming Rooster
Classic fried chicken sandwich with slaw (mild heat) with house cut fries at Roaming Rooster
Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post via Getty Images

5. Martha Dear

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3110 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010

This may be a tiny pizzeria, but the Mount Pleasant newcomer has enormous appeal due to its sourdough crust and emphasis on quality toppings like charred clusters of ‘nduja or halloumi cheese. For now, Martha Dear is operating under a takeout-only policy that limits contact between workers and customers. If you’re planning to order dinner here, you better be strategic. Online pre-orders go live at noon and sell out in as little as 10 minutes.

6. Komi x Happy Gyro

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1509 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

Komi’s transformation from a pricey tasting menu spot to a mostly vegetarian ode to Greek diner food is full of options to delight everyone’s inner-child. Select menu items ranging from tofu skin or lamb souvlaki gyros to pizza specials, freekeh-based cheeseburgers, and black walnut tacos here. There’s also an array of wines, merch, and other swag, including fancy ice cream and hot sauce. Orders are available for pickup in front of the Dupont Circle restaurant.

7. Sushi Taro

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1503 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 462-8999
Visit Website

Consistently cited as one of the best sushi restaurants in Washington, Sushi Taro took a summer break before reopening with a pickup stand out front that dispenses online preorders full of sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, condiments, and all grilled and fried dishes. Diners will need to email sushitaroTOGO@gmail.com at least two days in advance to secure an ornate delivery box set for kaiseki ($100 per person, two-person minimum), omakase ($250 minimum), or wagyu sukiyaki ($230 for two).

8. Buffalo & Bergen - Capitol HIll

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240 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 525-3350
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Early in the public health crisis, popular Capitol Hill bagel and bloody mary bar Buffalo & Bergen designed a pickup system that’s easy and efficient. Call in or order online, then walk up to the restaurant’s window, where a lox-and-loaded special will be packed and ready for pickup.

9. The Duck and the Peach

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300 7th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 431-1913  
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This homey daytime cafe and nighttime dinner spot is one of the newest restaurants to open in Eastern Market. It has buzzy appeal for a succulent lamb shank, rotisserie chickens, and cauliflower meals designed to feed two to four people. These dinner-to-go options are available to order on Toast Tab. When the food is ready, simply call the restaurant and a server will drop a meal in the trunk of your car or drop it outside on a table for contactless pickup.

10. The Roost

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1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20003

The Roost food hall opened during the pandemic with QR code ordering to limit contact between servers and outdoor dining customers at Shelter beer garden. The bar from Neighborhood Restaurant Group beverage director Greg Engert (Churchkey) which sells a wide range of low-ABV craft beer, including selections from sibling brewery Bluejacket. The Roost takes orders online for zero-contact pickups, too, so there’s no need to walk inside.

11. Open Crumb

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1243 Good Hope Rd SE
Washington, DC 20020
(202) 610-9979
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Chef Peter Opare’s Anacostia shop, known for Ghanaian carryout and fried chicken or crab cake sandwiches on homemade milk buns, offers contactless pickup. Customers can either call in orders ore use GrubHub.

Weekend cover - Open Crumb Washington Post via Getty Images

12. Cheesetique (Multiple Locations)

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2411 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301
(703) 706-5300
Visit Website

Fancy some fromage? Cheestique’s Alexandria and Shirlington locations both offer contactless pickup and delivery for grilled cheese sandwiches, lobster mac and cheese, chicken Parm, and other dairy dishes. There are also virtual classes on subjects like build-your-own cheesy nachos or a fondue pot seminar offered via Instagram video.

Grilled Pimiento cheese from Cheesetique in the Del Ray neighbo
Grilled Pimiento cheese from Cheesetique
Chris Barber/The Washington Post via Getty Images

1. Money Muscle BBQ

8630 Fenton St, Silver Spring, MD 20910

From brisket to a smoked whole chicken, the Money Muscle crew consistently pumps out some of Silver Spring’s best barbecue. This food truck and ghost kitchen, based inside seafood restaurant All Set, has options to piece together zero-contact family meals for pickup or delivery.

8630 Fenton St
Silver Spring, MD 20910

2. Muchas Gracias

5029 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
A sweet potato burrito from Muchas Gracias Holly Barzyk/Muchas Gracias

When a craving from Mexican food hits, Muchas Gracias has a contactless pickup or delivery option in upper Northwest. An almuerzito (little lunch) package comes with a chose of agua fresco or Jarritos, a green salad or chips and queso, and a choice of one of five burritos, all for $18. There are also short rib birria tacos, bake-at-home enchiladas, Northern Mexican sirloin fajitas, and more. Orders are accepted on Chow Now.

5029 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

3. Call Your Mother (Multiple locations)

3301 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

The hometown hit that continues to grow with four locations in D.C. and Maryland, plus several tents at weekend farmers markets. Whether you toast your sesame bagel, or refrain from such a scandalous act, there’s no debating this is a top-pick for a contactless breakfast to-go. One recent addition to a beefed-up menu is cacio e pepe cream cheese. For lunch, set boxes come with turkey or pastrami sandwiches, chips, and a pickle spear. Place same-day orders here or next-day preorders after 3 p.m.

3301 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

4. Roaming Rooster (multiple locations)

3176 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018
Classic fried chicken sandwich with slaw (mild heat) with house cut fries at Roaming Rooster
Classic fried chicken sandwich with slaw (mild heat) with house cut fries at Roaming Rooster
Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post via Getty Images

For many Washingtonians, this small D.C. chain sells the quintessential chicken sandwich. After starting its first standalone store on Bladensburg Road in Northeast, Roaming Rooster has quickly expanded to U Street NW and Tenleytown. There’s also plans to come to Foggy Bottom’s Western Market soon. Order here for contactless pickup or delivery.

3176 Bladensburg Rd NE
Washington, DC 20018

5. Martha Dear

3110 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010

This may be a tiny pizzeria, but the Mount Pleasant newcomer has enormous appeal due to its sourdough crust and emphasis on quality toppings like charred clusters of ‘nduja or halloumi cheese. For now, Martha Dear is operating under a takeout-only policy that limits contact between workers and customers. If you’re planning to order dinner here, you better be strategic. Online pre-orders go live at noon and sell out in as little as 10 minutes.

3110 Mt Pleasant St NW
Washington, DC 20010

6. Komi x Happy Gyro

1509 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Komi’s transformation from a pricey tasting menu spot to a mostly vegetarian ode to Greek diner food is full of options to delight everyone’s inner-child. Select menu items ranging from tofu skin or lamb souvlaki gyros to pizza specials, freekeh-based cheeseburgers, and black walnut tacos here. There’s also an array of wines, merch, and other swag, including fancy ice cream and hot sauce. Orders are available for pickup in front of the Dupont Circle restaurant.

1509 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

7. Sushi Taro

1503 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Consistently cited as one of the best sushi restaurants in Washington, Sushi Taro took a summer break before reopening with a pickup stand out front that dispenses online preorders full of sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, condiments, and all grilled and fried dishes. Diners will need to email sushitaroTOGO@gmail.com at least two days in advance to secure an ornate delivery box set for kaiseki ($100 per person, two-person minimum), omakase ($250 minimum), or wagyu sukiyaki ($230 for two).

1503 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

8. Buffalo & Bergen - Capitol HIll

240 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Early in the public health crisis, popular Capitol Hill bagel and bloody mary bar Buffalo & Bergen designed a pickup system that’s easy and efficient. Call in or order online, then walk up to the restaurant’s window, where a lox-and-loaded special will be packed and ready for pickup.

240 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

9. The Duck and the Peach

300 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

This homey daytime cafe and nighttime dinner spot is one of the newest restaurants to open in Eastern Market. It has buzzy appeal for a succulent lamb shank, rotisserie chickens, and cauliflower meals designed to feed two to four people. These dinner-to-go options are available to order on Toast Tab. When the food is ready, simply call the restaurant and a server will drop a meal in the trunk of your car or drop it outside on a table for contactless pickup.

300 7th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

10. The Roost

1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003

The Roost food hall opened during the pandemic with QR code ordering to limit contact between servers and outdoor dining customers at Shelter beer garden. The bar from Neighborhood Restaurant Group beverage director Greg Engert (Churchkey) which sells a wide range of low-ABV craft beer, including selections from sibling brewery Bluejacket. The Roost takes orders online for zero-contact pickups, too, so there’s no need to walk inside.

1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20003

11. Open Crumb

1243 Good Hope Rd SE, Washington, DC 20020
Weekend cover - Open Crumb Washington Post via Getty Images

Chef Peter Opare’s Anacostia shop, known for Ghanaian carryout and fried chicken or crab cake sandwiches on homemade milk buns, offers contactless pickup. Customers can either call in orders ore use GrubHub.

1243 Good Hope Rd SE
Washington, DC 20020

12. Cheesetique (Multiple Locations)

2411 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301
Grilled Pimiento cheese from Cheesetique in the Del Ray neighbo
Grilled Pimiento cheese from Cheesetique
Chris Barber/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fancy some fromage? Cheestique’s Alexandria and Shirlington locations both offer contactless pickup and delivery for grilled cheese sandwiches, lobster mac and cheese, chicken Parm, and other dairy dishes. There are also virtual classes on subjects like build-your-own cheesy nachos or a fondue pot seminar offered via Instagram video.

2411 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301

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