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2024

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Best Catering Companies in Washington DC

Our Recommended Top 17

We did the research for you!

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Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored Washington DC Catering Companies on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

143Reviewed

92Curated

17Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.

Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

400 I St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (1)

Why choose this provider?

Southwest Catering Co prepares and serves various meals for any event in Washington DC and nearby areas. The catering company offers buffet and server-style courses for small dinner parties at home or large events. For customers who are busy during the work week and have no time to cook, the business also provides meal preparation and delivery options for lunch, dinner, and dessert. Southwest Catering Co has been in the food service industry since 2022.

  • Buffet
  • Plated Meal

2800 10th Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20017

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
5.0 (50)
Facebook
5.0 (13)
Yelp
5.0 (2)

Why choose this provider?

Have Some Charisma is a catering company that serves clients throughout the Washington DC metro area. It handles a variety of catering needs for clients with both personal and business-related event plans. Clients can choose from a particularly large selection of entrees, sides, and desserts to create custom menus for their events, and these selections can be tailored to fulfill their unique budget and guest-related needs. Have Some Charisma also offers fine dining experiences.

63 Glymont Rd, Potomac Heights, MD 20640

Expertise.com Rating

Why choose this provider?

GetPlated is a catering service based in Washington, DC that prepares custom menus for weddings, social events, and corporate gatherings in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The company provides personalized culinary services, preparing the menu according to the mood and theme of the event—whether rustic or romantic, chic or classic. It caters smaller gatherings, like office meetings, to big-scale occasions. GetPlated co-founder Keyon Hammond is a classically trained chef with more than 12 years of experience working at a premium country club.

Bethesda, MD 20816

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
3.5 (19)

Why choose this provider?

Ridgewells Catering has an astounding 85 years of experience catering in DC. The company donates to nonprofit organizations in support of “a variety of health, education, women, and children’s issues.” Typical events include not only weddings and corporate events, but birthday parties, mitzvahs, baby showers, and anniversary celebrations, as well. Along with multiple titles from ISES, the company has been awarded Caterer of the Year by Event Solutions Magazine and the Volunteer Service Award for its contributions to the National Kidney Foundation.

1455 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20014

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (5)
Google
5.0 (2)

Why choose this provider?

Based in Washington, D.C., Paris Caterers provides clients across Washington, Virginia, and Maryland with distinctive handcrafted menus tailored to their culinary preferences and style. The company also travels throughout the country to cater destination events. Founded in 1973, Paris Caterers has hosted corporate and social gatherings using primarily fresh, locally grown ingredients. By choice, it only hosts one or two events per day so it can provide each client with a unique and sophisticated experience.

Washington, DC 20017

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.0 (35)

Why choose this provider?

Occasions Caterers has been open in DC for 30 years. In 1993, the catering company had the honor of being selected by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to cater for President Clinton’s inauguration after-party. Since then, the business has been hired to service many events hosted at the White House. The Washington Business Journal named the company Top Caterer in 2007.

Laurel, MD 20723

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (12)

Why choose this provider?

Putting on the Ritz has almost 30 years of experience catering to the Baltimore and DC area. The company has earned many awards over the years, such as Howard Magazine Caterer of the Year, Bride’s Choice and Couple’s Choice Awards, first prize in the Catersource Summer Symposium Buffet Competition, and Restaurant Association of Maryland Caterer of the Year.

College Park, MD 20740

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (34)
Facebook
1.7 (3)

Why choose this provider?

Catering by Seasons is a La Prima Food Group company that is Green Restaurant Certified and serves its clients in DC. Following the company’s local and environmentally friendly goals, the Seeds to Celebrations program launched in 2012. As one client stated, “The food was exceptional from start to finish, and many guests provided immediate feedback about how delicious everything was.”

Washington, DC 20003

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (30)

Why choose this provider?

Well Dunn Catering has over 30 years of experience catering from its location in DC. The company services weddings, corporate, and social events. Along with the menu, decor and management are supplied for the occasion. The business follows the Green Initiative and sources its ingredients and supplies from local organizations whenever possible. Unused food and other raw food staples get donated to “charitable groups who operate soup kitchens and other facilities” in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Washington, DC 20018

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
5.0 (71)

Why choose this provider?

Eat and Smile Catering is a locally sourced caterer that opened in 2007. The company buys from farmers within 150 miles of its location in Washington. Following its many principles of locality, the caterers include a “strong core of environmental friendliness and sustainability” in as many aspects of its function as possible. WeddingWire and The Knot gave the company multiple Couples' Choice Awards.

Falls Church, VA 22046

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (9)

Why choose this provider?

Heirloom Catering and Event Design offers catering services for weddings, corporate events, and social celebrations. Personalized designs are also available, from the menu to the overall theme of the event. The company has been featured on Healthfully Ever After, Let’s Talk Live, StyleBistro, WeddingWire, and Washington Life Magazine. One customer stated, “The food was probably the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted, definitely not your typical catering food.”

Vienna, VA 22180

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.0 (50)

Why choose this provider?

Purple Onion Catering was founded in 1990 with the goal to “provide exceptional food and service” to DC. Typical events are weddings, corporate, and private parties. Menus are custom made, while event details are individually personalized for each client. The company is a member of ISES, as well as SESMA, ICA, and NACE. It was also awarded 2010 Best of Weddings by The Knot, Best of the Best in 2014 by The Wedding Look Book, and Couples’ Choice 2016 by WeddingWire.

Washington, DC 20002

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.0 (671)

Why choose this provider?

Bistro Cacao is a French restaurant in Washington DC that can be hired for catering events. Winner of the OpenTable Diners’ Choice award in 2015, the restaurant has been mentioned in the Washingtonian, The Epicurianist, and The Washington Post. One customer stated in their review, “Bistro Cacao is one of DC’s newest little gems, and is sure to remain a favorite for its creative elegance and romance.”

Alexandria, VA 22312

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
3.5 (37)
Google
4.3 (24)

Why choose this provider?

Windows Catering Company has been catering events in DC since its founding in 1987. Weddings by Windows, Full-Service Events, and Corporate Express are the divisions offered to assist with customers’ needs. The company has been awarded the Catersource Achievement in Catering Excellence and is a Certified Green Restaurant. In association with the its "green catering" philosophy, the company uses Energy Star appliances, environmentally friendly cleaning products, high-efficiency light bulbs, and low-flow water sink valves.

Washington, DC 20001

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
3.5 (375)

Why choose this provider?

Rito Loco is a burrito company in DC. Both the restaurant location and the food truck offer catering. Corporate events, parties, celebrations, weddings, and reunions are all events the company serves with its full-service catering. As one reviewer stated, “You won’t find rice, beans, or sour cream in Rito Loco’s burritos. Each is jam-packed with your filling of choice.”

Washington, DC 20007

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
3.5 (436)

Why choose this provider?

Mai Thai Restaurant has been serving authentic Thai cuisine in DC for over 20 years. Along with the dine-in experience, customers can also hire the restaurant to cater personal and professional events. Three separate locations are available to call upon for service.

Falls Church, VA 22042

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.6 (9)
Facebook
5.0 (8)

Why choose this provider?

Root and Stem is a catering and events company in Washington DC. The Green Restaurant Certified company is split into two divisions that cater to corporate clients and those seeking services for more private social events. Because of its focus on Green practices, the caterers use locally grown produce, offer customers reusable ware, and recycle as much waste as possible.

Compare our Top Catering Companies

NameExpertise RatingAddressPromotionsLearn more
Southwest Catering Co
400 I St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Have Some Charisma
2800 10th Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20017
Get Plated
63 Glymont Rd, Potomac Heights, MD 20640
Ridgewells Catering
Paris Caterers
1455 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20014
Occassions Caterers
Putting On The Ritz
Catering by Seasons
Well Dunn Catering
Eat and Smile Catering
Heirloom Catering and Event Design
Purple Onion Catering
Bistro Cacao
Windows Catering Company
Rito Loco
Mai Thai Restaurant
Root and Stem

FAQs

  • Introduction

    Catering is a convenient service that brings restaurant-quality food and beverages to a variety of social gatherings. It's beneficial to weddings, workplace celebrations, and other events because it invites guests to relax and enjoy a festive meal. While there are many dedicated catering businesses that transport food and equipment to their clients, many restaurants also offer catering as part of their dining services.

    For those interested in a career in catering, the flexibility to take your business anywhere is one factor that may make the industry attractive. Like traditional restaurants, caterers often specialize in one type of cuisine, and they can vary widely in price and capacity. Whether you're looking to hire catering services for your next event or you want to learn more about the profession, take a look at these frequently asked questions below.
  • Can a catering company serve alcohol?

    Just like brick-and-mortar restaurants, catering companies need a liquor license to serve alcohol to patrons. If a caterer is serving alcoholic beverages, guests under the age of 21 are allowed on the premises, but they may not buy or consume alcohol.

  • Are catering tastings free?

    If you're having a large event catered and expecting to spend a lot of money, having a tasting beforehand is often a good idea. Tastings are handled differently by catering companies; some may charge while others won't. In general, most caterers charge a fee, usually around the cost of a meal at a restaurant.

  • When catering for a party, how do you calculate how much food is needed?

    Caterers usually help their clients calculate food by offering a recommended portion size per guest. Taking this into consideration, all you need to do is multiply this portion by the number of expected guests to determine the total amount of food needed.

  • When should you reserve catering services before an event?

    The amount of time in advance needed to schedule catering services depends on the number of people and type of event. For weddings with 50 people or more, six to 12 months in advance is recommended. For smaller gatherings, a month or two should suffice.

  • Do you tip the caterer?

    Some catering services include tips in the bill, so you don't have to worry about handling this aspect on the day of your event. If the tip is not included, a minimum of 15% of the total bill is recommended, while tipping 20% is not uncommon.

  • What is included with catering services?

    In addition to the food you order, catering services can include delivery, linens, silverware or plasticware, plates and cups, a small heat source to keep hot dishes warm, and staff. When planning your event, it's always a good idea to confirm which of these items are included and necessary.