Young and Hungry

Pizza Etiquette: Delivery Via Public Transportation?

Topher Mathews of Georgetown blog Georgetown Metropolitan today asks a very good question: "Is it totally rude to carry a pizza on the bus?"

Mathews and I ride the same bus, the D2, but I have never encountered him on his "Thursday night ritual," where he picks up a fresh pizza from Pizzeria Paradiso's Dupont Circle location on his way home from the office before hopping on the bus for Georgetown.

So is it rude? Let's discuss.

  • While some people are certain to frown on carrying food or drink of any kind on public transportation, transporting food is allowable under Metro rider rules. Just don't eat or drink while in transit.
  • The aroma of a fresh pizza might lift the spirits of a bus-weary commuter, but all those riders headed to stops toward the end of the line in Glover Park are at a higher risk of being agitated by the smell. You see, all those four-way stops on Q Street NW make a D2 ride quite jerky. And having a fresh, wonderful smelling pizza may remind some riders how much farther they have to go before eating anything. And there isn't Pizzeria Paradiso waiting at home.
  • Compared to some freshly prepared food items, the smell of a fresh pizza is relatively neutral. Young & Hungry remembers an uncomfortable New York City subway ride carrying a carry-out container of Korean fried chicken from this wonderful place in Queens. Y&H suspects that some D2 riders might not appreciate the strong (and mouth-watering) smell of fried chicken. (Or, for instance, a durian—which is actually banned from public transit in Singapore.)
  • Verdict? It's probably OK to bring Pizzeria Paradiso home on the bus, as long as you aren't flaunting how wonderful your edible cargo is. That's just rude.

    Photo by anokarina using an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

    • Topher

      Thanks Mike! I get off relative early (30th and Q) so I'm not on the bus that long. I also try and catch the D1 or the D6, which are normally less crowded. But I do get self conscious about how good it smells. Maybe once they get a bikeshare station at Montrose Park, I'll just start biking home instead.

    • Alex

      What happened to the Washington City Paper food section? I'm about to drop it from my RSS feed because of all the overlong, uninteresting, poorly-written fluff like this. I never used to have to sift through so much drivel. The knee-jerk editorial reaction to the post-Carmen era seems to have been to cast around for material from anyone willing to contribute. I think it's time to reconsider that decision, or at least ratchet down the volume and ratchet up the quality.

    • Eric

      If he's headed to Georgetown why not just hit the Pizzaria Paradiso there?

    • Michael E. Grass

      @Alex: I'm sorry you feel that way. We are still searching for a full-time replacement for Tim Carman and we hope to have a permanent Young & Hungry person in place as soon as we can. In the meantime, many people are contributing in this space to keep Y&H going.

    • Kim

      Eric, I was wondering the same thing.

      As to the focus of the post, no, I don't think it's rude, as long as you're being respectful of other people's space (and I'm sure you are if you were thoughtful enough to think to ask if it's rude).

    • Pingback: Tweets that mention Pizza Etiquette: Delivery Via Public Transportation? - Young & Hungry - Washington City Paper --