Roaming Rooster rooster sandwiches. {Photograph} courtesy of Roaming Rooster.

It wasn’t way back that in case you had been an up-and-coming chef trying to get on folks’s minds, you’d get a meals truck and begin slinging your 20 flavors of mac and cheese. These days, rising skills usually tend to be present in a meals corridor. Or a spot that calls itself one.

The definition of meals corridor has been stretched in recent times—particularly in the course of the pandemic. Whereas the time period could think of pioneers like DC’s Jap Market and Union Market, it’s now thrown round to explain a number of varieties of locations. Some are tiny. Some have contact-free takeout lockers. Some have white-hot eating places. (Tried to get into Caruso’s Grocery currently?) One factor these next-gen meals halls do have in frequent: They’re extra apt to be filled with bars and taquerias and pizza outlets than with the butchers and cheesemongers and grocers of previous.

The sheer breadth of decisions will be overwhelming. However the consuming will be scrumptious. Right here’s the place to start out.


Order off any menu out of your seat on the Roost. {Photograph} by Stacey Windsor.

1401 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

Neighborhood: Capitol Hill/Hill East.

Opened in: September.

The sushi counter at Ako by Kenaki. {Photograph} by Stacey Windsor.

Who’s behind it: The Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which runs a number of eating places and bars, together with Navy Yard’s Bluejacket, Arlington’s Rustico, and Dupont Circle’s Iron Gate.

What you’ll discover: A mixture of crowd-pleasing stands (by-the-slice pizza, frozen-custard sundaes) and lesser-seen choices (a low-alcohol beer backyard, a Scandinavian counter). In again, a store cheerleads for DC with District-map onesies, neighborhood posters, and domestically made bathtub salts and canine biscuits.

Variety of distributors: 11.

The way it works: Should you’re eating in on the midcentury-cool area, which is on the base of a rental constructing, you have got a pair choices. You possibly can stroll as much as lots of the counters (not all enable it but), order on-line, or seize a desk, the place you possibly can graze off any of the menus, get full service, and pay on one tab. Pickup and supply are additionally accessible.

The espresso store Cameo is without doubt one of the few morning choices. {Photograph} by Stacey Windsor.

Daytime scene: Many stalls don’t open till 4 in the course of the week. Nonetheless, the handful of accessible choices—plus Cameo, a cof­payment store—draw lunchgoers to the numerous barstools and green-leather cubicles. On the weekend, when every thing opens early, it’s a fantastic wandering spot.

Dinner vacation spot: Caruso’s Grocery, the comfortable Italian American restaurant hooked up to the meals corridor, is without doubt one of the hottest tables on the town.

The all-day European cafe Leni. {Photograph} by Stacey Windsor.

Finest breakfast: Leni’s bratwurst-and-egg sandwich.

Finest lunch/dinner: Sq. pepperoni pizza from Slice Joint; burgers and charcuterie from Pink Apron; gussied-up sushi rolls from Ako, a sushi counter from the siblings behind the Gaithersburg hit Kenaki.

Finest snack: Crystal-shrimp dumplings and buns from Yoko & Kota, the stand that’s run by Ma­ketto chef Erik Bruner-Yang.

The place (and what) to drink: Shelter is dedicated to lower-alcohol brews, and Present of Palms presents an creative drink listing—together with tasty concoctions similar to frozen Riesling with rum and lime.

Shelter focuses on low-alcohol beers. {Photograph} by Stacey Windsor.

Child-friendly eats: Queso and orange-soda-braised carnitas or crunchy beef tacos from Hello-Fi Taco.

Dessert repair: Flights of three mini­ature frozen-custard sundaes at State Honest.

Parking: Surrounded by a number of metered avenue parking.


Myriad Latin choices at La Cosecha. {Photograph} by Mariah Hayes.

1280 Fourth St., NE

Neighborhood: Union Market.

Opened in: September 2019.

Who’s behind it: Edens, the developer that created neighboring Union Market.

Drink vacation spot Serenata. {Photograph} of Serenata inside by Mariah Hayes.

What you’ll discover: The market, which took a while to fill out, now has a vibrant lineup of Latin retailers—native in addition to imported skills from Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, and past.

Variety of distributors: 13.

The way it works: Order in individual on the particular person companies or scan QR codes situated all through {the marketplace} to order on-line. Some eating places provide supply. Should you’re sticking round, you’ll discover quite a lot of seating: communal and particular person tables indoors and out, alfresco lounge seating for sipping and listening to dwell music on weekends, and bars and eating places with patios.

Dinner vacation spot: Chef “Juanma” Barrientos’s Michelin-starred Colombian sizzling spot, El Cielo, presents à la carte and a 20-odd-course tasting menu ($228 an individual).

Las Gemelas has a day by day glad hour. {Photograph} of Las Gemelas by Leah Judson.

Finest breakfast: Make it a two­fer: Drop by President Biden–accredited Las Gemelas Taqueria for breakfast tacos on heirloom-corn tortillas—we like inexperienced chorizo or carnitas and eggs. Then get your caffeine repair from Panamanian espresso firm Café Unido, identified for luxe Geisha coffees and funky fermented brews.

Finest lunch/dinner: The pupu­sa trio at La Casita—griddled to or­der and stuffed generously with fillings similar to loroco flower, fried pork, beans, and/or cheese; Peruvian Brothers’ spiced rotisserie rooster, with sides together with yuca fries and avocado-quinoa salad—all matched with chilly Cusqeña beer or a bottle of Peruvian wine from pan-Latin wine store Grand Cata.

Finest snack: Recent chips and guacamole and nueces (spiced peanuts with lime) from Las Gemelas; pandebono (Colombian cheese bread) at Serenata.

Serenata’s cocktail cart. {Photograph} of cocktail cart by Mayo2Media.

The place (and what) to drink: It’s enjoyable to barhop across the market. Our splendid night: (1) a fruity, effervescent cocktail on the outside Spritz by Serenata cart, (2) a spiced-pineapple margarita with togarashi salt at Serenata’s spacious indoor bar, (3) something with mezcal from indoor/outside Las Gemelas Cocina Mexicana, paired with scrumptious crudos or a slab of achiote-rubbed pork stomach drizzled with honey.

Child-friendly eats: Tequeños (crispy Venezuelan cheese sticks) and Latin-style sizzling canines from Mosaico by Arepa Zone.

Dessert repair: On a sizzling day, all-natural Mexican paleta (popsicle) stand Jarabe Connoisseur Pops is our cease for flavors similar to watermelon-lime and chocolate ganache. On the lookout for a candy reward? Clever Venezuelan vendor Arcay Candies is the best way to go.

Parking: Free outside parking across the Union Market district, or an underground lot at La Cosecha (first three hours free).


Takeout decisions at Ensemble. {Photograph} by Jeff Elkins

4856 Cordell Ave., Bethesda

Neighborhood: Downtown Bethesda.

Opened in: March.

Who’s behind it: Steve Salis, the restaurateur who owns the faux-diner chainlet Ted’s Bulletin and different informal locations in and round DC.

Decide up your meal from a locker inside. {Photograph} by Jeff Elkins

What you’ll discover: A takeout-only mini meals corridor that’s a distillation of Salis’s comfort-minded ideas. So that you’ll see “pop-tarts” from Ted’s subsequent to pulled-pork sandwiches from barbecue vacation spot Federalist Pig, fried rooster from Honeymoon Rooster, and a brief listing of pastries courtesy of his Sidekick bakery, multi function place.

Variety of distributors: 4.

The way it works: Order via the meals corridor’s app or website, then decide up your picks by scanning a QR code and opening a heated locker. (A staffer is readily available to assist.) You can too get supply.

Fancy fruit sodas. {Photograph} by Jeff Elkins

Daytime scene: Although a couple of issues can be found for walk-in shopping for, similar to cookies and drinks, that is an in-and-out place—an automat for the twenty first century. It seems to be like a slick model of an airport locker room.

Finest breakfast: Ted’s large burrito, full of eggs and jalapeño/cheese sausage and topped with avo­cado crema and green-chili sauce. It’s served all day.

Finest lunch/dinner: Honeymoon’s slaw-topped fried-chicken sandwich; Ted’s Greek salad; Federalist Pig’s ribs, wings, and smoked-turkey sandwich.

Finest snack: Honey-butter-slicked dinner rolls from Honeymoon.

The place (and what) to drink: The zero-alcohol lineup consists of canned lattes, boxed water, and subtly candy fruit sodas.

Breakfast from Ted’s. {Photograph} by Jeff Elkins

To cook dinner at house: $50 brunch kits from Ted’s, which embody scrambled eggs; bacon or sausage; pancakes or French toast; and 4 pop tarts.

Child-friendly eats: Wedge fries from Honeymoon, mac and cheese from Ted’s.

Dessert repair: These pop-tarts will be fairly dry—seize a salted chocolate-chip cookie as a substitute.

Parking: There’s a small metered lot subsequent door.

This text seems within the July 2021 subject of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert

Govt Meals Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was beforehand an editorial assistant at Leisure Weekly and a cook dinner in New York restaurant kitchens, and she or he is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Training. She lives in Logan Circle.

Meals Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the eating and ingesting scene in her native DC. Previous to becoming a member of Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia College’s MFA program in New York, and held numerous cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here