Where to Eat During Black Restaurant Week in the DMV Area
Decadent bread pudding, plant-based soul food, and so much more.
The greater DC region’s Black Restaurant Week returns from Monday, July 18 to Sunday, July 31, marking the event’s third iteration in the District. Founded six years ago by Warren Luckett, Falayn Ferrell, and Derek Robinson in Houston, Texas, the movement has expanded to regions across the US to highlight and garner support for Black-owned eateries, smoothie shops, bakeries, and more.
Aimed at promoting the sustainability of Black-owned food businesses, this year’s restaurant week has expanded from restaurants to food trucks, sweets, and other non-traditional food businesses. When restaurants all over the region shut their doors due to the pandemic, Black-owned businesses were hit the hardest, so the event is more important than ever after such a tumultuous few years for many small businesses. As eateries begin to rebuild, this week serves as an opportunity to revisit old favorites and try out new ventures that emerged despite the challenges, so check out our list of some of the best restaurants in the DMV area to support this week.
Calabash Tea & Tonic
Founder Sunyatta Amen drew inspiration from her Jamaican and Native American great-grandmother’s formulas to create more than 80 teas available at Calabash Tea & Tonic. Amen is a fifth generation master herbalist and grew up behind the counters of her father’s herb shops and vegan juice bars in Harlem, so stop by to pick up tea and spices to bring home or sample tonics and light vegan food in the shop.
If you’re in the mood to sit down and enjoy a casual meal with a southern flare, head just outside the District to Alexandria to experience this cozy spot. The full service restaurant specializes in craft cocktails, fried chicken, and brunch fare. For restaurant week, Hen Quarter is offering a fried chicken dinner with your choice of a Rockin' Margarita or Cluckin' Juicy IPA for $35.
Land of Kush
Find the vegan soul food dish of your dreams at this takeout spot. The healthy eatery, established in 2011, has a menu of 100% plant-based dishes like black-eyed pea fritters, lentil patties, and BBQ vegan ribs. Co-owners Gregory and Naija Wright-Brown established the restaurant as a place for Black people to enjoy healthier soul food, and Naija continues that mission as the co-creator of Vegan Soulfest and Maryland Vegan Restaurant Week. During restaurant week, Land of Kush is offering a vegan crab cake sandwich, fries, and a drink for $12.99.
Named after the French word for “mixing,” chef Elias Taddesse’s restaurant blends flavors, ingredients, and techniques from around the world. Taddesse was raised in Addis Ababa, the capital of the largest city in Ethiopia, trained in France, and now creates one of the best burgers in the District, so it’s clear the menu at this worldly fast-casual restaurant is true to its name. For Black Restaurant Week, the eatery is offering 15% off all orders placed online with code BRW22.
MONEY MUSCLE BBQ
This Silver Spring-based barbecue favorite serves up all the classics courtesy of chef and partner Ed Reavis. Hailing from a small town in Virginia just outside North Carolina, the chef is bringing punchy Carolina-style barbecue to the District with dishes like pulled pork sandwiches and all the sides you could dream up. Get 10% all pick up and delivery orders made on the site for Black Restaurant Week.
Founded by Detroit native Paulos Belay, Motown Square came to life after Belay became frustrated that he wasn’t able to satisfy his cravings for the perfect slice in the District. Months spent attempting to recreate the flavors of his favorite pizza shop back home have culminated into what Motown Square is today: A reliable spot for Detroit-style pizzas with a flavorful Ethiopian twist. Belay adds the Ethiopian spice Berbere to his signature sauce, which provides a nod to the chef’s cultural heritage. In honor of Black Restaurant Week, the eatery is offering 15% off all pickup orders.
Peaches Kitchen Restaurant & Catering Service
Known for its Southern-style comfort food, Toyin Alli has been slinging bread pudding and gumbo from local venues and food trucks since 2010. Popular menu items include chicken and beef sausage gumbo, shrimp and grits, and red beans and rice. Of course, you can’t leave without trying Alli’s signature dish (and the inspiration for the eatery’s name)—the Brown Butter Bourbon Bread Puddin’. The eatery has expanded to include a Union Market location and two food trucks, so there are plenty of places to catch this must-try spot.
For a refreshing break on a hot day, visit this smoothie and tea spot. The shop sells 100% whole food smoothies, according to owner Victorious Hall. For Hall, it was important to establish a shop where he grew up as a way to give back to the community that raised him. The venture switches its menu up periodically, so check out the website to see what’s in season this time of year or try a restaurant week special smoothie for $6.95.