Washington, D.C. is much more than just the nation’s capitol. The District is home to a wide variety of attractions and businesses, from national museums to shopping centers to fantastic restaurants. The diverse restaurant styles in Washington, D.C. reflect the diversity of the American people. In addition to being home to a wide variety of restaurants, there are many Black-owned restaurants in Washington, D.C. that are delivering on flavor, service, and overall excellence. Check it out!
1211 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Ben’s Next Door is an American-style restaurant. Ben’s Next Door is a family-owned business that has an ambience that makes every guest feel at home. This restaurant is both a bar and eatery with American-style comfort food and weekend brunch. Additionally, Ben’s Next Door has live music and televisions for guests to enjoy.
950 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Another great restaurant is Georgia Brown’s. Georgia Brown’s is an elegant restaurant that features Southern-style dishes with a twist. This upscale eatery is sure to please each guest. Additionally, Georgia Brown’s offers live music for guests to listen to while they enjoy their meal.
1005 U St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Oohh & Aahh’s is another great black-owned restaurant with food options as unique and its name. This restaurant offers hearty soul-food, like collard greens and fried chicken. Ooahh & Aahh’s is a no-frills restaurant, meaning that you pay for good food, and that is what you get. If you are looking for a dining option that is what it says it is, without any extra fluff, Oohh & Aahh’s is the place for you.
500 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
District Soul Food & Lounge is a Southern-style restaurant with a vintage ambiance. District Soul Food & Lounge’s menu features classic soul food. If you are looking for a black-owned restaurant that specializes in soul food, District Soul Food & Lounge is the place for you.
651 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
HalfSmoke is another great black-owned restaurant in Washington, D.C. HalfSmoke is an American-style restaurant with a menu that allows guests to customize their sausage dinners. The meat is prepared in a D.C.-style smoke which is sure to please each guest. Additonally, HalfSmoke features a wide array of fantastic craft cocktails.
6. NuVegan Cafe
2928 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
If you are looking for a vegan black owned restaurants Washington DC, check out NuVegan Cafe. NuVegan prides itself on its relaxed venue and meat-free dishes. This eatery offers meat-free salads, sandwiches and other entrees. Additionally, NuVegan has fresh juices and smoothies for guests to enjoy.
7. Milk & Honey
1245 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Milk & Honey in Smith Commons is a multi-level bistro in the District. This restaurant is primarily a brunch spot, but the bistro offers more than just brunch. Milk & Honey in Smith Commons offers New American fare, beer and cocktails. The restaurant has a unique ambiance and is housed in a chic converted-warehouse building.
200 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011
Hitching Post Restaurant is another black-owned restaurant in Washington, D.C. Hitching Post Restaurant is a Southern-style eatery that prides itself on its traditional, homestyle cuisine. Additionally, this restaurant offers a bar for guest to enjoy. Hitching Post is upbeat and friendly, and promises to deliver the best dining experience.
6214 3rd St NW, Washington, DC 20011
Peaches Kitchen Restaurant & Catering is another great restaurant in The District. Peaches Kitchen Restaurant & Catering offers Jamaican-American dishes, and even a kid’s menu, for guests. The restaurant prides itself on its cheery ambiance and its sit-down nook appearance.
709 H ST NE, WASHINGTON, DC 20002
Po Boy Jim Bar and Grill is another Southern-style restaurant in Washington, D.C. Po Boy Jim Bar and Grill offers both the classic Louisiana-style subs and an eclectic take on the sandwich. Additionally, this restaurant provides Cajun and Creole dishes. Additionally, the bar provides lively nightlife during the evening. If you are looking for something different to try, Po Boy Jim Bar and Grill is the place for you.
2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
If you are looking for a place to eat and learn while you do so, check out Sankofa Video Books & Cafe. Sankofa Video Books & Cafe is a relaxed coffeehouse that offers light, cafe-style bites. Additionally, there is a plethora of African-focused books. Sankofa Video Books & Cafe even offers screenings of African films. If you are looking to learn while you sip your coffee, look no further than Sankofa Video Books & Cafe.
The latest of their wraps, The Kassa(ካሳ) comes with Turkey/Chicken/Smoked Salmon, Tomatoes, Mixed Greens, onion, Feta Cheese, a bit of spice and sauce, tucked snug inside pita wrap – grilled to perfection!
12. Bukom Cafe
2442 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Bukom Cafe is another unique restaurant in Washington, D.C. if you are seeking to try out a new cuisine. Bukom Cafe is a West African-style restaurant that has been in operation since 1992. In addition its great food, Bukom Cafe provides live music in a casual, bi-level setting. Visit Bukom Cafe to experience something new!
Shaw location: 1847 7th Street NW, WDC | Brookland location: 2701 12th Street NE, WDC
Calabash Tea & Tonic is a tea house in Washington, D.C. This restaurant offers tea, coffee and even kombucha on tap. Additionally, Calabash Tea & Tonic serves a vegan menu of pastries and other light snacks. For those looking to spend an afternoon enjoying drinks and snacks, look no further than Calabash Tea & Tonic.
1114-1118 U Street, Washington, DC 20009
A taste of Ethiopia right in your backyard! Dukem is serving authentic Ethiopian food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you’re new to Ethiopian food and aren’t really sure what to get, they have several combo and platter options for you to try a little bit of everything! For breakfast you could try some kinche or lamb wot fitfit, and for lunch try the classic beef tibs!
15. MLK Deli
3113 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, Washinton, DC 20032
You quite literally cannot go wrong with anything on this menu. They have some of the most delicious sandwiches made fresh every day like the Congress Heights Crab Cake sandwich or the Big Chair Beef Ruben. Portions are the perfect size and super filling. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, MLK Deli is serving up some awesome homemade food Monday through Saturday.
16. Negril- DC
2301 Georgia Ave Ste. G Washington DC 20001
Negril DC is a classic, hole in the wall Jamaican joint serving up some delish and fresh food. They’ve got all the classics like beef patties, curry chicken roti, and fried plantains. You can’t leave here without trying a slice of their rum cake, though. It is one of the menu items they are known for, and rightfully so.
17. Butter Me Up
651 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC
Holy brunch. Butter Me Up is serving up incredible breakfast sandwiches everyday for breakfast and brunch. Get your sandwich on a toasted butter roll, biscuit, english muffin, or loaded up between two pancakes. There are so many yummy options like Breakfast in Bed which has fried chicken, hickory bacon, and pimento cheese all on a biscuit. You just might want to come for an early breakfast and then come back and try another sandwich for brunch.
3632 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
If you are in the area, this is one of those places that you just have to try. The vibe here is super cool and almost makes you feel like you could be in a speakeasy. The decorations are awesome and it just feels super comfortable. They have a brunch menu that will wow you from shrimp and grits to vanilla bean challah french toast. Then for dinner, the offer options like braised lamb shank, fra diavolo, hemp crusted Atlantic salmon and so many more wonderful options. There is something for everyone at Mr. Braxton’s.
19. Roaming Rooster
1301 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (multiple locations)
This family-owned business started with a simple vision: serve fried chicken that anybody can feel good eating. Seven stores later, they’ve certainly lived up to that vision. Their sandwiches are available with a number of toppings and four levels of heat, ranging from Mild to Extra Hot. If it’s your first visit, it’s hard to beat The Buffalo, topped with bleu cheese and buffalo sauce. Other great options include the Honey Butter, smothered with a garlicky sweet honey butter, and the OG Nashville, topped with pickles and a vinaigrette slaw. The twice-fried fries are crispy and salted to perfection, and available with a variety of dipping sauces.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 12, 2020 and last updated on April 20, 2022. Please refer to restaurant websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.