The bustling metropolis has a vibrant and diverse food scene, with many black-owned restaurants. They provide delicious dishes that showcase the heritage and flavors of the African diaspora, serving as essential pillars of the community.
From soul food restaurants that honor Southern cooking customs to cutting-edge fusion restaurants. These restaurants blend contemporary influences.
Black-owned restaurants in DC not only tempt the palate but also offer a venue for celebrating the contributions of black entrepreneurs to the city’s culinary scene.
Explore the best black-owned restaurants that represent the fusion of culture and cuisine in the heart of the nation’s capital as you embark on a flavorful journey.
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12 Best Black-owned Restaurants in Washington DC
Below is the list of the 12 best black-owned restaurants in Washington, DC, ranking from the bottom to the top.
Letena is home to every type of Ethiopian recipe you can imagine and has one of the largest Ethiopian populations in the community. The restaurant has a vegetarian sampler full of vibrant vegetables that’ll have you thanking whatever higher power you believe in for bringing you this far.
Additionally, the restaurant’s walls are lined with framed artwork and rustic lanterns, giving off warm, vibrant orange tones that go beyond the food. After a few cups of honey wine and an order of the silky tiramisu, you’ll leave feeling buzzed and sanctified.
You can get your framed artwork on Amazon using this link.
Community is at the heart of Kitchen Savages, which has opened a posh restaurant east of the river with black linen tablecloths, gold flatware, and cozy blue velvet chairs. It’s a great place to choose for a late-night date.
You can taste the care that goes into creating each recipe, from the iconic Savage fries to the jerk lamb chops. You’ll love the lobster mac and cheese that comes topped with a perfectly fried lobster tail. You can choose between a sweet Irene or a variation of the French martini. The drinks are straightforward.
Ben’s Chili Bowl
You can look through the pictures of diners from various eras dotted around the restaurant and tell the story of Ben’s and “Black Broadway” inside.
To order food, be prepared to wait in line. You can eat at the counter or, if lucky, in one of the few red booths.
You can order their catering services for all occasions.
The Park at 14th
A premier dining and entertainment location, The Park at 14th in Washington, DC, is popular for its energetic ambience and exceptional offerings.
It paved the way for the Black Clubstaurant idea, allowing other restaurants to run with it. The spot is like killing two birds with one stone, as you can have your food and stay up late for clubbing.
The atmosphere is always different depending on the time of day, the day of the week, and which of the four floors you are on. The Park, on the other hand, is a great place to go if you and your friends want to have a good time, eat some soul food, and soak up your alcohol.
This upscale eatery has been operating since 1993 and combines luxury dining with traditional southern fare. With a grand piano and arched windows, the restaurant aims to transport you to a New Orleans jazz club.
You’ll feel not only satisfied after eating at Georgia Brown’s but also glad you came. Popular dishes that live up to the hype include catfish fingers, fried green tomatoes, and banana pudding. Georgia Brown’s is the place to go if you want a sophisticated night out and a traditional meal to go with it.
The restaurant is open for private events and catering.
Negril Jamaican Eatery
One of the top black-owned restaurants in Washington, DC, is Negril.
A variety of Jamaican dishes and homemade drinks are available on this casual and colorful restaurant chain’s menu.
They serve Jerk Chicken over the grill, a whole chicken coated with the marinade and marinated overnight. On the menu, you must try their scrumptious oxtail. You shouldn’t miss out on Negril if you want to try Jamaican cuisine.
When you enter Cane, the first thing you see is a painting of President Obama enjoying some doubles. And like the doubles in the painting, the doubles at Cane are stuffed full of curried chickpeas and spices.
Heavy hitters like oxtail and snapper escovitch are on the menu, which pays homage to the island’s Afro-Indian street food and other traditional Caribbean dishes.
But if you only have time to sample one dish, go for the jerk wings, which are marinated in a 24-hour mixture of scotch bonnet peppers, cumin, and paprika before being smoked for three hours.
You will eat them so quickly that you will find yourself licking your fingers and wondering who finished the last one.
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On your phone, it can be difficult to locate a local vegan soul food restaurant that is black-owned.
However, in Nuvegan Café, you’ll not taste the difference between how they make it and how your grandma makes it. You will start drooling once you take a bite because their food is so delicious.
The best place to take someone for lunch is at this establishment. Vegan fried fish and crab cakes are two of their most well-liked vegan foods. You can also eat mac and cheese, okra, sweet potatoes, and collard greens.
The mother-and-son team behind this West African takeout spot in Anacostia knows their way around the kitchen. A perfect example is the jollof rice, which might be your favorite on the menu.
The rice is tender with spices like red pepper, curry, and garlic powder but still holds a bite. I recommend adding shito to the jollof if you don’t like it on its own.
You’ll also love the Ghanaian peanut soup with rice balls, which has you drooling already. Although the service is quick, I recommend ordering ahead of time just in case. If you order ahead, you can go in and out in under 10 minutes.
The largest Black-owned provider of food services and facility management is Thompson Hospitality. Warren Thompson laid the groundwork for the business.
Hearty American seafood and meat classics are served in The Delegate, a modern, brick-clad hotel restaurant.
Brunch favorites like grits, sandwiches, fried chicken, shrimp, and meat are also popular. Pick up the appetizer menu while waiting and find a tasty snack. The staff remains present throughout, sits down, and fires a few shots.
East and West Africa come together at the Swahili Village in Dupont Circle for a delicious spread of food. The restaurant is a popular gathering spot for the who’s who of Black DC.
Since the restaurant offers a variety of seating options, including roomy private rooms and a roped-off balcony that works great for guests looking for something more intimate, it’s a great choice for birthday dinners and first dates.
In order to create a menu that will have you doing the Birdman hand rub while you wait, the menu combines traditional African dishes and ingredients like jollof rice, sweet plantain, and goat stew.
You’ll love Nigerian suya–grilled and charred beef cubes served with freshly diced onions and tomatoes.
Also included is a sweet but fiery dipping sauce for the beef samosas wrapped in flaky filo dough.
Since 1992, Bukom Cafe has been a mainstay of black-owned restaurants in Washington, DC, serving delectable West African cuisine in a warm, bilevel setting.
Each dish at Bukom Cafe is painstakingly crafted with a Bukom spin that maintains the authenticity of traditional West African cuisine, drawing inspiration from dishes and recipes from nations like Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia.
With the addition of the energetic atmosphere produced by live music performances, tourists will undoubtedly check it off their must-visit lists!
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African American restaurants in Washington, DC, reflect the rich culinary traditions and entrepreneurial spirit of the community.
As a platform for supporting black-owned businesses, Spotcovery believes these restaurants not only allow you to taste delicious dishes but also contribute to the economic empowerment of black entrepreneurs.
By celebrating and embracing these culinary gems, you foster a dining scene that truly reflects the essence and diversity of Washington, DC.
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