Six Must Try Black-Owned Restaurants in D.C

BY: DEZIMEY KUM

What is known as the “nation’s capital” is also home to great black owned restaurants. Though there has been changes to the culture and dynamic of D.C. since the departing of the Obamas, there are still places to eat  in the District that encompass what once was known as “Chocolate City.” From soul food to classic American cuisine, D.C. has something to cater to everyone’s taste buds. In honor of Black History Month, what better way to celebrate the endless contributions of African-Americans, by sharing a list of the go-to Black-owned restaurants you must visit in D.C.

  1. Oohs and Aahs

Don’t have the time to cook good ol’ soul food? Well Oohhs & Aahhs is the place to be. Featured on Food Network, the restaurant will make you do exactly what it’s name says — go “ooh” and “aah.” This famous D.C. joint is the real deal when it comes to soul-food, as they use classic recipes passed down from generation to generation. Southern hospitality found on U street and George Ave, Oohhs & Aahhs offers classic soul food staples from delicious fried chicken to golden mac n' cheese.

2.  The Caged Bird

Located in Dupont Circle, The Caged Bird specializes in Southern and Caribbean fare, offering dishes like yams and collard greens to shredded jerk chicken sliders. Their weekend brunch is a must, as well as their handcrafted cocktails. DJs regularly spin Hip-hop, R&B, and Caribbean music, so you can “buss a wine” or “milly rock”, while enjoying your meal. This is a three in one location that features a bar, lounge, and restaurant, where all cultures come together through their home-style cooked meals, flare, and sophistication.

3. Po Boy Jim Bar And Grill

Known for mid-nite brunches, Cajun eatery and bar Po Boy Jim brings Cajun rings, its Cajun appetizers, sandwiches, and mains dishes to H street and U Street Corridor. Traditional po'boys ranging from andouille sausage to hand-battered or grilled shrimp are served here. There are also house specialties like the District, as well as Crawfish etouffee, and New-Orleans classic, gumbo. All of their entrees are sure to make your mouth water.

4. Smith Commons

What was created by a Howard University graduate and currently ran by the former vice president for Morton's Steakhouse, H street’s hottest restaurant, Smith Commons, is a multi level bistro that puts a spin on classic American dishes. Smith’s offers a boasting  internationally-inspired menu full of eclectic cuisines like macaroni and cheese with aged manchego to chesapeake bay crab cake sliders.

5. NuVegan Café

Vegan Soul-food? Who would have thought! NuVegan Café is a 100% vegan, fast-casual restaurant specializing in modern vegan, takes on traditional soul-food dishes. NuVegan can be found at two locations: College Park, Maryland and Georgia Avenue in Washington, D.C. Their motto is “where nutrition meets compassion” and they thoroughly uphold this standard by making delicious plant-based meals that are sure to satisfy vegans and non-vegans alike.

6. Half Smoke

“Half Smoke” is local sausage delicacy found in Washington, D.C, has its own restaurant on Georgia Ave. which is close to Howard University! Serving wood-grilled sausages in buns, bowls, salads or flatbreads, in addition to fun takes on carnival fare like funnel cakes and tater tots, this sausage-centric playground offers a rustic-modern Shaw hangout.