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Sep 16, 2009 04:56 PM

fresh food home delivery in Washington D.C.

I am a New York hound in need of advice. My pregnant sister is relegated to home bed rest for at least the next 5 weeks. I wanted to send her some groceries as a present with a focus on good fresh produce. In these circumstances, I am happy to pay a premium for superior quality and gourmet options. Is there a service where I can order something like this and have it delivered? In NY, there is a company called fresh direct that offer something like this- is there a DC equivalent? It it would help, her zip code is 20011 and I believe the area is called Petworth.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Max -- Since nobody else has replied, I'll bump this up, although I expect someone else might be more help -- wanted you to get some response, since it's a very nice idea for your sister. There's nothing like FreshDirect here (as far as I know, wouldn't that be great!), but some grocery store chains do deliver -- I'm pretty sure Safeway and Giant do -- one of them is called Peapod and I see their truck around fairly often. I assume they'll go to Petworth.

    You might also like the idea of getting her a delivery from South Mountain Creamery, a dairy farm in Maryland which I think also will include produce from local farms in their deliveries -- as I understand it, I haven't actually gotten delivery from them, but I did look into it last year:

    ETA: I had some trouble finding this link on that website, so to make sure you see it: ... although it looks like they're sold out....

    Good luck!

    6 Replies
    1. re: mselectra

      Thanks! I had looked into Peapod- which is supplied by Giant- but my experience with big city supermarkets is that the produce can vary so much between stores that I was really hoping to get a rec from folks who care about good food. Although I am not sure if they are the right for this, I will look into South Mountain.

      1. re: max

        Even if you could sign up for South Mtn. I don't think it's what you want-- it's more like a CSA-- very seasonal (so right now I think it's apples, potatoes, mushrooms, greens).

        Sorry I don't have a better idea.

        1. re: max

          I didn't think my reply would be that helpful, but thought I'd at least bump up your request. I don't think South Mountain will work for produce, but maybe your sister would still appreciate their milk, cheese, meat etc., which is separate from the produce delivery, I think (maybe).

          Probably ktmoomau's suggestions are best for you (she knows the food scene around here very well). It does seem like there are more choices for prepared meals. I wish we could be more help.

          (Maybe you could drop a line to the Prince of Petworth -- readers there might have better ideas in the more immediate neighborhood -- although that suggestion is only half-serious, he does seem like an awfully nice guy though.


          One other totally random and probably not helpful thought -- I could give you the email address of the manager of our local farmers market, to see if she has any ideas. I think I'd rather do that off-board, though -- let me know if you'd like me to email it to you.

          1. re: max

            And btw Hubby and I used Peapod my first year of law school and the produce was appallingly bad- sometimes rotten. And they would be out of the silliest things like carrots. They say if you want substitutes they will do that, but they never did in our case. Sometimes they wouldnt' deliver bread and wouldn't substitute another brand of bread. But it is very useful for dried and snack goods. I think we tried Safeway once and I liked it even less than I did Peapod.

            1. re: ktmoomau

              A friend of mine who had a baby has used Peapod quite a bit had a very different experience. She lived in NoVa - you didn't say wher eyou lived but I'm thinking things like produce quality probably vary greatly depending on where you are and which store you end up getting served by. Just wanted to point that out.

              1. re: cookie44

                I live in Arlington. The difference between the produce I received and that at Wegman's or a farmers market or whole foods was night and day. If I got the peapod produce and it wasn't rotten (which yes you can report and they will replace but that doesn't make it easy) then it would go bad so much quicker.

                But I will note that at my house at least 1/3 if not more of our total groceries are fresh produce. There is a giant three blocks from our house that would not be missing carrots or white bread when mine weren't delivered I can guarantee that. So if you plan out menus and really need the things you order then it is very infuriating, and as someone who appreciates good produce, I was almost offended.

                I saw the today on Daily Candy and thought of the OP now that sounds like what he needed.

        2. Max- the has a list of CSAs I think it is in the Food and Dining section. I believe they also have lists of personal chefs too (this might be in the cooking class list). You might be able to find something from that list. A friend of mine also gets meals delivered to her home by a company and she said they were really good, if you are interested in that I could check with her to see what the company is named.

          You could perhaps call a local small supermarket like Dean and Deluca or McGruders or perhaps even Whole Foods see if they would do an order for you and she could have someone pick it up for her or you could arrange for a courier to her house, there are a lot of couriers in DC due to all the lawyers. We used Speedy a lot:

          1. Washington's Green Grocer ( will deliver organic or a combination of organic and conventional produce. I used them years ago, and was impressed with the quality of the produce.

            3 Replies
            1. re: amarynth

              Thanks all. The Washington's Green Grocer sounds cool and might be worthwhile as she might be on bed rest for some time- however, it seems like a commitment. I'll also look into getting delivery from Dean and Deluca or Whole Foods (I don't know McGruders).

              1. re: max

                Not for produce, but since you're in New York, Zabar's and Russ & Daughters ship and you could send some delicious gourmet goodies your sister's way. Love both stores and wish we had something like them here in DC. I've used both for shipping before (I've used their web sites and have also called) and have had great experiences. Good luck!

                1. re: max

                  I use the service "on demand," and therefore request what weeks I want produce delivered. I really enjoy the service & the ability to substitute items in the box and request other items-- they've added some cheeses & breads (although I haven't ordered either of these).

              2. I just came across an email about a new "CSA" type service:
                Apparently they deliver fruits, vegetables, and other items like eggs, bread, honey, flowers, etc. It does not look like a commitment as like a CSA.

                Also, I tried green grocers in the past, and was not really impressed. We frequently had something delivered that was not good - they always gave a replacement the next week, but it was still inconvenient.

                Good luck! Let us know what you choose.