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A Guide to D.C. Area Regional Foods

The D.C. area is a melting pot of culinary delights, offering a wide range of regional foods that reflect the area's rich history and cultural diversity. Whether you're a local or a visitor, exploring the local culinary scene is an absolute must for any food enthusiast. Here's a guide to some of the D.C. area's regional foods.

1. Chesapeake Bay Crabs

A true culinary treasure of the region, Chesapeake Bay crabs are famous for their sweet and succulent meat. Traditionally, Chesapeake Bay crabs are steamed to perfection, capturing the essence of their natural flavors. This gentle cooking method ensures that the meat remains tender, juicy, and bursting with the taste of the local Maryland waters. As the steam envelops the crabs, it infuses them with a subtle hint of brininess, enhancing their natural sweetness and lending them an irresistible aroma.

2. Half-Smoke

A beloved staple of Washington, D.C., the half-smoke is a culinary gem that holds a special place in the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike. This delectable creation is a truly unique type of sausage, fusing together the best qualities of both hot dogs and sausages into a mouthwatering delight.

Crafted from a tantalizing blend of beef and pork, the half-smoke boasts a distinct flavor profile that sets it apart from other sausages. The combination of these meats creates a harmonious balance, resulting in a rich and savory taste that satisfies cravings with every bite.

3. Mambo Sauce

D.C. Mambo Sauce, a one-of-a-kind regional specialty, holds a special place in the hearts of Washingtonians and has gained a devoted following beyond the city's borders. This tangy and slightly sweet sauce has become synonymous with the vibrant food scene of the nation's capital, providing a unique and irresistible flavor experience that adds a delightful twist to a wide range of dishes.

With origins rooted in D.C.'s African-American community, Mambo Sauce has evolved into a beloved condiment that is often enjoyed alongside chicken wings, fries, and other culinary delights. Its exact recipe may vary slightly from one establishment to another, but at its core, Mambo Sauce is characterized by its harmonious blend of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors. Give it a try on a Bacon Me Crazy Pizza from We, the Pizza Express!

4. Eastern Shore Crab Imperial 

Continuing the celebration of Maryland's crab-centric cuisine, Eastern Shore Crab Imperial is a luxurious dish that showcases the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay. Lump crab meat is combined with a creamy mixture of mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and spices, then baked until golden and bubbly. The result is a rich and indulgent crab casserole that is perfect for special occasions or a memorable dinner.

5. Virginia Ham 

Just a short drive from the nation's capital, Virginia is known for its exceptional hams. Virginia ham is traditionally dry-cured and aged, resulting in a rich and savory flavor. The hams are often served thinly sliced and can be enjoyed on their own or incorporated into sandwiches, biscuits, or hearty breakfast dishes. For a taste of authentic Virginia ham, visit local butcher shops, dine at restaurants specializing in regional cuisine, or try a Honey Ham and Pineapple Pizza from We, the Pizza Express!

6. Corn Pudding


Corn takes center stage in the D.C. area's Corn Pudding, a beloved side dish that combines the sweetness of fresh corn with a rich and custard-like texture. Made with a mixture of corn kernels, eggs, milk, and seasonings, this comforting dish is baked until golden and can be enjoyed alongside grilled meats or as part of a holiday feast. 

7. Eastern Shore Cream of Crab Soup 

Another culinary gem from the Eastern Shore region, Cream of Crab Soup is a rich and creamy delight. This soup is made with a velvety base of cream and crab stock, loaded with tender lumps of crabmeat, and seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices. Served hot and garnished with a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning, this soup is a must-try for seafood lovers visiting the D.C. area.

8. Smith Island Cake

Indulge your sweet tooth with a slice of Smith Island Cake, a decadent dessert that hails from the Chesapeake Bay region. Named the official state dessert of Maryland, this multi-layered cake features thin layers of yellow cake stacked together with rich, creamy icing in between. Variations can include flavors like chocolate, coconut, or caramel. Smith Island Cake is a true labor of love, and its exquisite taste and stunning appearance make it a must-try treat when in the D.C. area.

Gourmet Pizza from We, the Pizza Express

When it comes to indulging in the best gourmet pizza in D.C., look no further than We, the Pizza Express. Our mouthwatering pizzas are crafted with the finest ingredients, including a range of options for vegans and vegetarians. Experience the perfect balance of flavors and textures, topped with fresh vegetables, creamy cheeses, and delicious plant-based proteins. We also offer gourmet wings and party catering services, ensuring that your next event is a culinary success.

So, explore the flavors of the D.C. area's regional foods and indulge in the finest gourmet pizza from We, the Pizza Express. Contact us today to place your D.C. pizza delivery order and experience the ultimate culinary delight. Whether you're craving a gourmet pizza, vegetarian or vegan options, gourmet wings, or catering services, we've got you covered. Trust us to satisfy your cravings and make your dining experience exceptional.