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Ghostburger’s La Hamburguesa is topped with white queso Oaxaca, rust-colored salsa macha, and smoked tomatillo relish to the patty
Ghostburger’s La Hamburguesa is topped with white queso Oaxaca, rust-colored salsa macha, and smoked tomatillo relish to the patty
Ghostburger [official]

13 Ghost Kitchens to Try for Takeout and Delivery in D.C.

Chefs got creative during the pandemic and these virtual brands are the result

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Ghostburger’s La Hamburguesa is topped with white queso Oaxaca, rust-colored salsa macha, and smoked tomatillo relish to the patty
| Ghostburger [official]

Restaurants were forced to think outside the box when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the interpretation of traditional dining. Some went the creative route, using in-house kitchens to develop virtual brands. Ghost kitchens aren’t a new concept, but more and more of them made a debut across the Washington area over the past year. Even celebrity chefs got in on the idea, with Guy Fieri selling chicken “Parm-eroni” and Flavortown fries out of the Buca di Beppo in Dupont Circle and David Chang’s brand Fuku delivering fried chicken sandwiches in Arlington and Northwest D.C.

The flexibility in menus allowed chefs to introduce favorite family recipes or experiment with offering something different than the food they usually cook. The result? Either permanent brick and mortars or sold-out menus each week. Here are 13 places that slightly pivoted to serve hungry diners an alternate menu.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Little Prince Pizza (Multiple locations)

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2505 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 625-5400
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Chef Michael Schlow got the inspiration for Little Prince Pizza in the early weeks of the pandemic after he wanted to focus on comfort food during lockdown restrictions. A year later, Little Prince is still serving up plates like cheeseburger-inspired pizza, fire roasted wings, and a chicken sandwich dripping in jalapeño honey and Sriracha mayonnaise.

Schlow Restaurant Group’s Little Prince Pizza ghost kitchen serves pies, wings, and desserts. Andrew Cajas/LA Flicks

2. Social Beast

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2340 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 347-7893
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Can’t decide between sandwiches, wood-fired Detroit pizza or ice cream? Luckily, Ghostline has those selections and plenty more. The multi-eatery ghost kitchen in Glover Park is the brainchild of restaurateur Aaron Gordon. Eat at the Ghostline Garden outdoor bar and upper level deck, or go for takeout and delivery options through Toast or ChowNow.

3. Rita’s Tacos

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2108 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 558-9382
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There’s a new-ish Mexican spot in the city, and it’s tucked inside Roy Boys. Ranging in $4.50 - $5.50 a taco, fillings at Rita’s Tacos include Nashville hot chicken, al pastor, and the wildly favorite birria option that’s arguably the biggest taco trend of 2021. Add a side of elote corn for $6. Order for pickup for delivery through Toast.

4. The Fainting Goat

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1330 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 735-0344
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The Fainting Goat’s picnic pop-up might be one of the best ways to welcome warmer weather. Catering to Logan Circle residents by bike, the package includes baskets filled with the likes of fried chicken, hummus and pita, adult juice boxes, and s’mores. Options starts at $30 per person and they’ll even take 10% off for those who pick up their orders at the restaurant.

5. Rebel Margherita

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1214 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 735-5600
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Located inside Rebel Taco on K Street, Rebel Margherita is a spin on Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas with toppings like spicy chorizo and Serrano ham. Owner Mike Bramson of B Social Hospitality opened the concept as a pandemic reaction to the need for comfort food, as well as a way to utilize the brick oven leftover in the space from previous tenants. Alongside the regular pizza selections, there are also wings and a “Margherita and Margarita Special” of two pies and a carafe of margaritas for $45.

6. HalfSmoke

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651 Florida Ave NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20001
(202) 986-2079
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Halfsmoke really leaned into the pop-up trend with multiple in-house restaurants to choose from. The first is Get Social, a pizza joint using Detroit-style pies as inspiration for a D.C. version. The second is Butter Me Up, a breakfast-themed eatery serving up sandwiches, coffee and cocktails.

Get Social’s Half Smoked Goat pizza gets topped with half-smoke slices, caramelized onion, goat cheese, and arugula Get Social [official]

7. Taqueria de Beirut

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1317 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 450-1297
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Owner David Nammour combined his love of Lebanese and Mexican street food to give Washingtonians Taqueria de Beirut, a taco-themed ghost kitchen operating out of Muncheez in Dupont. Beef shawarma, and cauliflower tacos cost between $3.50 and $4 for one. Also on the menu are bowls featuring the same aforementioned proteins and non-taco selections like tumeric rice, spicy curly fries and smoked paprika labne with chips. Available for pickup or delivery via Toast.

8. Ghostburger

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1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 827-5237
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What began as a joke between the partners of Oaxacan hotspot Espita has turned into a Philly-inspired menu serving up of smash burgers with a Pat LaFrieda beef blend, boozy shakes, comfort desserts, and the classic Philly cheesesteak made on a Sarcone’s roll directly from Philly.

From left, an Avocado Smash, a ghostburger, and la Hamburguesa Ghostburger [official]

9. Your Only Friend

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1228 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

The pop-up sandwich shop at Columbia Room feels like a trip down memory lane, which is what exactly chef Paul Taylor envisioned when they began serving subs from the Blagden Alley mainstay. Priced between $13 to $15 a sandwich, choose from a fast food “Rib” patty option (Ribwich); smoked turkey, Swiss cheese and bacon selection (Club Sub); and for the meatless crowds, a sub packed with eggplant, braised broccoli rabe, pickled red peppers and provolone cheese (The Philly Special).

10. Pho Joint at Duke's Grocery

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2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 733-3967
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The East London-inspired spot is going a different route with their pop-up at the Foggy Bottom location: pho. Satisfy cravings for the Vietnamese soup with options like a well-done brisket with meatballs, chicken or veggies. Available as a dine-in in addition to takeout or delivery preferences thanks to Caviar, Doordash, GrubHub and UberEats.

11. Satellite Sandwiches

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1308 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20004

The team behind Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken are shying away from breakfast food and focusing their attention on massive cheesesteaks loaded with meat and the option of mild, medium or “Out of this World” heat. Other plates include turkey club hoagie, chicken parmesan on a sub roll and a breakfast burrito wrapped tightly in a whole wheat tortilla. While they don’t have doughnuts, their 4-inch, 4.5-ounce satellite cookies are a satisfactory alternative.

12. Side Door Pizza

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909 New Jersey Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 780-0140
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Tucked inside Scarlet Oak in Navy Yard is Side Door Pizza, co-owner Brian Schram’s concept of Detroit-style pies. Pick up 10x14”-sized cheese or pepperoni pizza in the window adjacent to Scarlet Oak’s large dining patio.

13. Ampersandwich

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360 Water St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 554-7474
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Located inside Shilling Canning Company in Yards Park, Ampersandwich serves up a limited menu of burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and St. Louis-style ribs on  benne seed buns. For those craving a taste of New England, chef Reid Shiling showcases his own iteration of the lobster roll. Feel free to “amp it up” with a cookie, chip and drink combination for an extra fee. Available to order via UberEats or GrubHub.

1. Little Prince Pizza (Multiple locations)

2505 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Schlow Restaurant Group’s Little Prince Pizza ghost kitchen serves pies, wings, and desserts. Andrew Cajas/LA Flicks

Chef Michael Schlow got the inspiration for Little Prince Pizza in the early weeks of the pandemic after he wanted to focus on comfort food during lockdown restrictions. A year later, Little Prince is still serving up plates like cheeseburger-inspired pizza, fire roasted wings, and a chicken sandwich dripping in jalapeño honey and Sriracha mayonnaise.

2505 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

2. Social Beast

2340 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Can’t decide between sandwiches, wood-fired Detroit pizza or ice cream? Luckily, Ghostline has those selections and plenty more. The multi-eatery ghost kitchen in Glover Park is the brainchild of restaurateur Aaron Gordon. Eat at the Ghostline Garden outdoor bar and upper level deck, or go for takeout and delivery options through Toast or ChowNow.

2340 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

3. Rita’s Tacos

2108 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

There’s a new-ish Mexican spot in the city, and it’s tucked inside Roy Boys. Ranging in $4.50 - $5.50 a taco, fillings at Rita’s Tacos include Nashville hot chicken, al pastor, and the wildly favorite birria option that’s arguably the biggest taco trend of 2021. Add a side of elote corn for $6. Order for pickup for delivery through Toast.

2108 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

4. The Fainting Goat

1330 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

The Fainting Goat’s picnic pop-up might be one of the best ways to welcome warmer weather. Catering to Logan Circle residents by bike, the package includes baskets filled with the likes of fried chicken, hummus and pita, adult juice boxes, and s’mores. Options starts at $30 per person and they’ll even take 10% off for those who pick up their orders at the restaurant.

1330 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

5. Rebel Margherita

1214 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Located inside Rebel Taco on K Street, Rebel Margherita is a spin on Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas with toppings like spicy chorizo and Serrano ham. Owner Mike Bramson of B Social Hospitality opened the concept as a pandemic reaction to the need for comfort food, as well as a way to utilize the brick oven leftover in the space from previous tenants. Alongside the regular pizza selections, there are also wings and a “Margherita and Margarita Special” of two pies and a carafe of margaritas for $45.

1214 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. HalfSmoke

651 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20001
Get Social’s Half Smoked Goat pizza gets topped with half-smoke slices, caramelized onion, goat cheese, and arugula Get Social [official]

Halfsmoke really leaned into the pop-up trend with multiple in-house restaurants to choose from. The first is Get Social, a pizza joint using Detroit-style pies as inspiration for a D.C. version. The second is Butter Me Up, a breakfast-themed eatery serving up sandwiches, coffee and cocktails.

651 Florida Ave NW, Washington
D.C., DC 20001

7. Taqueria de Beirut

1317 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Owner David Nammour combined his love of Lebanese and Mexican street food to give Washingtonians Taqueria de Beirut, a taco-themed ghost kitchen operating out of Muncheez in Dupont. Beef shawarma, and cauliflower tacos cost between $3.50 and $4 for one. Also on the menu are bowls featuring the same aforementioned proteins and non-taco selections like tumeric rice, spicy curly fries and smoked paprika labne with chips. Available for pickup or delivery via Toast.

1317 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

8. Ghostburger

1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
From left, an Avocado Smash, a ghostburger, and la Hamburguesa Ghostburger [official]

What began as a joke between the partners of Oaxacan hotspot Espita has turned into a Philly-inspired menu serving up of smash burgers with a Pat LaFrieda beef blend, boozy shakes, comfort desserts, and the classic Philly cheesesteak made on a Sarcone’s roll directly from Philly.

1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. Your Only Friend

1228 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

The pop-up sandwich shop at Columbia Room feels like a trip down memory lane, which is what exactly chef Paul Taylor envisioned when they began serving subs from the Blagden Alley mainstay. Priced between $13 to $15 a sandwich, choose from a fast food “Rib” patty option (Ribwich); smoked turkey, Swiss cheese and bacon selection (Club Sub); and for the meatless crowds, a sub packed with eggplant, braised broccoli rabe, pickled red peppers and provolone cheese (The Philly Special).

1228 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

10. Pho Joint at Duke's Grocery

2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

The East London-inspired spot is going a different route with their pop-up at the Foggy Bottom location: pho. Satisfy cravings for the Vietnamese soup with options like a well-done brisket with meatballs, chicken or veggies. Available as a dine-in in addition to takeout or delivery preferences thanks to Caviar, Doordash, GrubHub and UberEats.

2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006

11. Satellite Sandwiches

1308 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20004

The team behind Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken are shying away from breakfast food and focusing their attention on massive cheesesteaks loaded with meat and the option of mild, medium or “Out of this World” heat. Other plates include turkey club hoagie, chicken parmesan on a sub roll and a breakfast burrito wrapped tightly in a whole wheat tortilla. While they don’t have doughnuts, their 4-inch, 4.5-ounce satellite cookies are a satisfactory alternative.

1308 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20004

12. Side Door Pizza

909 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

Tucked inside Scarlet Oak in Navy Yard is Side Door Pizza, co-owner Brian Schram’s concept of Detroit-style pies. Pick up 10x14”-sized cheese or pepperoni pizza in the window adjacent to Scarlet Oak’s large dining patio.

909 New Jersey Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

13. Ampersandwich

360 Water St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Located inside Shilling Canning Company in Yards Park, Ampersandwich serves up a limited menu of burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and St. Louis-style ribs on  benne seed buns. For those craving a taste of New England, chef Reid Shiling showcases his own iteration of the lobster roll. Feel free to “amp it up” with a cookie, chip and drink combination for an extra fee. Available to order via UberEats or GrubHub.

360 Water St SE
Washington, DC 20003

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