2443 18th St NW
Washington DC, 20009
Art is jam-packed into this vibrant Latin food hub in the Adams Morgan hood: walls filled with intricately carved African and Central American masks, patterned tapestries, doors painted in Picasso’s style. A rainbow of stringed picado flags draw the eye to a clearing under a disco ball where live music serenades diners: bongos and guitars and trumpets blare out tango, salsa, bossa nova, cambia and salsa. The dishes take influence from as broad a gambit of Latin nations as the music heard: Arepas are stuffed with garlic-parsley calamari and sprinkled with paprika; Brazilian cuts of steak are served with sauteed ramps and taro root pure; Peruvian yellow pepper sauce is drizzled over salmon before being topped with habanero and cilantro. The brick-floored front patio makes an ideal spot for caipirinhas and mojitos. It’s a lot to take in, and with no-cover live music during the evenings Thurs-Sun, Rumba Cafe is practically giving it away.